Trek through jungle, rice fields and tea plantations to remote mountain villages, take sunset cruises along rivers and across lakes before visiting temples and monasteries, and then soar over the Bagan temple plain at sunrise in a hot air balloon on this amazing adventure in Myanmar.
This afternoon, depart from the UK on an overnight flight to Mandalay in Myanmar, connecting through a hub city in Southeast Asia. We will recommend the best connecting flights, and the total travel time across the two flights will be in the region of 16 hours.
You will arrive in Mandalay in the early afternoon and be met for a private transfer into the city centre to your hotel. Enjoy a relaxing first evening before an early night, ready to explore the city.
Meet your guide for an early morning walk up Mandalay Hill. Take in the stunning panorama of the city and the surrounding countryside before descending to the Golden Palace Monastery to view the elaborately carved facade - a classic example of traditional Burmese architecture.
Next stop is Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, with its immense marble Buddha, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda which houses the world's biggest collection of Buddhist manuscripts.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch by the banks of the Irrawaddy River before boarding a boat to sail from Mandalay to Mingun where you'll disembark to explore the village's craft district and see the artisans at work. Stop off at the enormous Mingun Bell and the Mingun Pagoda before visiting the Hsinbyume Pagoda, which was built to resemble the sacred and mythical Mount Meru.
Conclude the day with a sedate sail back along the river to Mandalay as the sun sets. Arrive back at the hotel in time for dinner and an evening of relaxation.
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before being transferred back to Mandalay Airport to catch your flight to Bagan. The flight takes approximately an hour-and-a-half and you'll be met at Bagan Airport by your driver who will drive you the twenty-minutes to the delightful hotel we've chosen for this part of your adventure in Myanmar.
Check-in at the hotel then the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Explore the local area or make the most of the hotel facilities and just relax by the pool.
Discover why Myanmar is called the land of the temples when you leave after breakfast to explore Bagan's ancient sites.
From your first observation point you'll be able to see hundreds of temple spires towering above the treetops before coming back down to earth to visit the Ananda Temple and the Tharabar Gate.
After lunch at a local restaurant, drive from Bagan to Nyaung U. There will be stops at Upali Thein to view the murals, the Shwezigon Pagoda with its gilded stupa and the architecturally impressive 12th century Sulamani Temple. End the day watching the last of the sun's rays glint off the golden temple domes before returning to the hotel in time for dinner.
You will be up before dawn today to go ballooning over Bagan. At the launch site, watch the balloons inflate, listen to the safety chat and then climb into the gondola before soaring over the Bagan temple plain as the sun rises.
It's a one-hour flight and there'll be a champagne breakfast waiting when you touch down to celebrate what will likely be one of the most memorable travel moments imaginable.
After lunch, enjoy an afternoon tour where you'll participate in a Buddhist blessing at the Nat Htaung Monastery in the rural village of Taung Bi, before sailing along the Irrawaddy River to a secluded spot for a sunset yoga class. Return to the hotel in the early evening for a relaxed dinner and time to reflect on an amazing day.
After breakfast you will return to Bagan Airport to catch a 40-minute domestic flight to Heho in Shan State.
You'll be met at Heho Airport by your personal chauffeur who'll drive you to the mountain town of Kalaw, once a British Hill Station. The journey through the Myanmar countryside takes around an hour. Expect to see tea plantations and herds of livestock before arriving at the hotel where you'll be spending the night.
Enjoy the afternoon and evening in the stunning mountain location resting up in preparation for your trek tomorrow.
It's a scenic two-hour drive from Kalaw to Naung Tayar where your trekking guide and porters will be waiting. Set off on a two-and-a-half-hour trek through jungle, rice fields, tea plantations and a colourful Pa-Oh village before stopping for lunch at a family home in Ngo La.
Continue the trek for a further couple of hours or more, depending on your own personal fitness level, until reaching the remote village of Saung Khar where you'll stay the night in the home of a friendly local family.
It's backpack and boots back on for another exciting day's trekking today. Leave Saung Khar early to venture through forests of bamboo to Naung Mon.
Visit the monastery there before continuing the trek downhill to Tharyar Gone. Trekking time will be around five hours in total for the day with a stop off in either a village or at a restaurant in Tharyar Gone for lunch.
After lunch, explore the Thar Khaung Pagoda Complex before boarding a traditional long-tail boat on the shores of Lake Inle. Cruise across the lake to your hotel on the shores of Inle Lake.
Experience life afloat on Inle Lake as you navigate a busy morning market by long-tail boat, and cruise through stilt-house villages and floating gardens.
Moor up for a visit to Phaung Daw U Pagaoda, with its five gold Buddha statues, and the royal boat house before re-boarding to sail to Inpawkhone to see the resident weavers at work.
After watching how Myanmar cigars are hand-rolled at the cheroot factory, enjoy some local Inthar cuisine for lunch then continue by boat to Indein. Explore the village on foot and get an interesting insight into the lake's indigenous tribes at the Inthar Heritage House before sailing back across Inle Lake to your hotel.
Enjoy a full day and evening to do as you please in the wonderfully tranquil surroundings of Lake Inle.
After breakfast you will be back on the water for a three-hour crossing of Lake Inle to Sagar. Take your binoculars as there's plenty of wildlife to spot on the way, then visit the sunken stupas of Sagar and a wine distillery in the village of Thaya Gone. Yes, there's some product sampling too!
After climbing up to a scenic viewpoint in Thaya Gone, there'll be a stop in Sae Khaung Pottery village to watch the artisans at work, followed by monumental Tar Kuang and its 200 stupas.
Lunch is in a local restaurant, or take a picnic if you prefer, then you will disembark and sail on to Phekon. You'll be met at the jetty there and driven the 45 minutes to Loikaw. There, check-in at your hotel, and enjoy dinner and a relaxed evening.
Start the day with a visit to colourful Demawso market, popular for its vendors of homemade wine, followed by a drive out into the surrounding countryside.
Leave the vehicle behind and walk for around an hour through the fields to the village of Phan Phet, where several ladies from the Paduang tribe wearing the traditional neck rings.
Return to the hotel for a late lunch and to enjoy some free time until the evening when it'll be time to leave for a boat cruise along the Bilu River. It's a 45-minute voyage past riverside villages and ending at Thattu Bilu where a vehicle will be waiting to return you to the hotel.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before being collected to go to Laikaw Airport to catch a 50-minute domestic flight to Yangon. A guide-driver will be waiting in Yangon Airport to then show you a little of Yangon, including the Shwedagon Pagoda, before arriving at the hotel and checking in.
Rest until later in the afternoon when it'll be time for a sunset cruise along the Yangon River. Swap the boat for a trishaw and an exhilarating ride through the streets to Chinatown. Enjoy an atmospheric dinner on 19th Street and drinks after in one of the local bars.
Get a taste of what it's like to live in Yangon when you ride the Circle Train for the half-an-hour journey to the station in Kyee Myin Dine.
Absorb the eclectic atmosphere of the colourful neighbourhood before hitting Chinatown for demonstrations on noodle and rice paper making. Then enjoy lunch in a curry shop before catching a boat from Nanthida jetty to Dala for a ride around the town in a trishaw.
You have most of today to relax at the hotel or explore more of Yangon before it's time to depart for the airport to catch your overnight connecting flight home. The journey will be via one of the South East Asian hubs, and the total journey time will be in the region of 18 hours.
Depending on what exact routing you choose, the flight should arrive back in London in early or late morning.
If you would like to book the itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.
If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.
If you are looking for something extra special, we can discuss with you upgrading your accommodation, flights or activities.