Few places are as exotic as Myanmar. Shut off to the world for decades, this South-East Asian state remains a mystical place where charming, traditional ways of life prevail. Visit colonial Yangon and the standout stupas of Bagan, before slowing the pace on a luxury river cruise up the Irrawaddy River.
The Golden Land
Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar’s lively capital, to start your adventure with a two-night stay. Take a stroll through Burmese history on a guided heritage walk of the city’s impressive colonial-era buildings, from the former headquarters of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company to the Armenian Church. No trip to Yangon would be complete without seeing the sacred Shwedagon pagoda. A visit to this golden, bell-shaped Buddhist site will give you a first insight into Myanmar’s longstanding traditions and rituals.
Fly north to Bagan, Myanmar’s ancient capital and one of the world’s great archaeological sites. Get an incredible, bird’s-eye perspective of Bagan’s iconic temples courtesy of a sunrise hot-air balloon flight. As the delicate mist begins to clear, and you look down upon the hundreds of stupas, a land that feels almost forgotten and completely undisturbed is revealed. If you’d rather stay on the ground, exploring the temples by foot or bicycle is equally as rewarding across your two-night stay.
Up The Irrawaddy
Board the Sanctuary Ananda cruise ship and sail up the Irrawaddy River to Mandalay. Pass local villages and witness riverside life, as white and gold pagodas grace the distant hills. Take in a spectacular sunset at the famous U Bein Bridge and explore villages inaccessible by road as you spend two nights travelling along Myanmar’s lifeblood. You can also meet the residents of a monastic school and orphanage to learn about their way of life. Back on board, there are culturally enriching activities, as well as a jacuzzi and pool to unwind in.
After docking in Mandalay, you’ll catch a flight to Heho then transfer on to Inle Lake. Spend two nights by the lakeside immersing yourself in the area’s watery way of life. Take a cruise alongside traditional Shan villages, which float above the water on rickety stilts. Visit the impressive Indein pagoda and floating gardens, before meeting the residents of Nam Pan village. Watch out for the local Inthar fishermen too, who are renowned their one-legged rowing technique.
Your journey ends here, or if you’re seeking some beach time we can fly you to Thandwe for a four-night stay at Sandoway Beach resort.