Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Capturing the Essence of Myanmar (15 days)

Trails of Indochina - Vietnam

Yangon, Myanmar To Mandalay, Myanmar

Valid for Departures: 04 Nov 2018 - 18 Nov 2018

Capturing the Essence of Myanmar (15 days)

Day 3

Loikaw, Myanmar

Day 4

Loikaw, Myanmar

Day 5

Sagar, Myanmar→Phekhone, Myanmar→Inle Lake, Myanmar

Day 6

Bagan, Myanmar

Day 7

Bagan, Myanmar

Day 8

Bagan, Myanmar

Day 9

Mandalay, Myanmar

Day 10

Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar

Day 11

Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar→Nyaung Byine, Myanmar

Day 12

Shan Village, Myanmar

Day 13

Mandalay, Myanmar

Day 14

Mandalay, Myanmar

Day 15

Mandalay, Myanmar


Day 1
04 Nov 2018
Yangon, Myanmar
Rose Garden Hotel Lunch

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, and after collecting your luggage and having completed immigration and customs, please proceed to the exit and look for “Meeting Point.” The sign is situated in front of International arrival exit (inside the terminal) and this is where you will find your guide waiting for you. He or she will be holding the Trails of Indochina signboard with your name on it

Transfer from the Airport to your hotel.

After lunch, we will start our urban photo adventure with a half-day walking tour of the city. Yangon [Rangoon] the former capital of Myanmar, is the country’s economic hub and home to over seven million people. However, instead of modern high-rise buildings, the streets of Myanmar’s largest city are lined with impressive, original, colonial-era buildings.

Explore this historic section of town with its leafy boulevards on a heritage city walk. A street photographers delight, the tour begins on Pansodan Road, lined with some of the most outstanding colonial architectural buildings in Yangon including the General Post Office and High Court. Stroll towards the river and see the City Hall, completed in 1936. Notice the detailing in the traditional tiered roofs and look for the green peacock ornamentation above the central doorway. Pass religious pagodas and well-maintained parks to the Customs House built in 1915. Finish your walk at the Strand Hotel, a colonial landmark built in 1901 along the promenade of the Yangon River.

Visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites

Day 2
05 Nov 2018
Yangon, Myanmar
Rose Garden Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, visit Thiri Mingalar Zay - a massive, bustling produce market that is open round-the-clock. It's an especially interesting place to visit and photograph in the morning to see brightly-colored vegetables, fruits and flowers on display.

After the market visit, we’ll board the Circular Train. The Circular train is a slow journey through Yangon’s diverse neighborhoods. Photograph on and out of the train as you witness the landscape changing from concrete to paddy fields to pastoral villages.

In the afternoon, transfer to the Nanthida Jetty to board a double-decked local ferry to cross the Yangon River to Dala[on the other side of Yangon city]. Around the jetty prior to boarding, observe the colorful street market where locals come to buy and sell their wares. The boat ride takes 15 minutes and upon reaching Dala, travel by local trishawthrough the town, visiting the market, candle factory and meet with local inhabitants.

The trip to Dala is shutterbug’s delight, as it is full of scenic spots and natural beauty. There is a wide gap between Yangon life and the life of the people at Dala. The most outstanding thing is that these charming people extend their hospitality with enormous smiles. Their life is lacking in many amenities however, mutual help and cooperation are concepts underlying a large number of social and religious customs prevailing in the Dala area.

Proceed to the Dala monastery which serves as a community center, where the people can do good deeds, gain eternal merit and find peace of mind. Return by boat to Yangon, observing life along the river and reflecting back on your excursion to Dala.

After Dala tour, transfer to Yangon Rooftop Bar for a relaxing drink to end the afternoon.

There will be time either during drinks or when returning to hotel for a review of the day’s work or to answer any photographic related questions.

Day 3
06 Nov 2018
Loikaw, Myanmar
Loikaw Lodge Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast box from hotel. Early morning at 6 am, pick up from our hotel and transfer to Yangon Domestic Air Terminal for the flight to Loikaw

Upon arrival in Loikaw, you will be met and transferred to our hotel.

Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State in Myanmar. It is located in the Karen Hills area, near the state's northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu River. The inhabitants are mostly Kayah (Karenni) ethnic people. Women of the Kayan tribes identify themselves by their forms of dress and well known for wearing neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck.

Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to hotel for check in.

After check-in, start your visit to Haw Shan Palace (Haw Nam), the former Shan Palace. Explore this fine example of Colonial architecture, then continue on Poke Hpayone Monestary.

“Paya” as it is known, is home to some 500 monks and is the largest monastery in Kayah state.

Then proceed to “Natural dyeing path” at the Loikaw Weaving and Vocational Training Centre. A master trainer from the weaving center will take you for about one-hour tour around the center’s garden to witness the natural dyeing process.

Lunch is between the tours at local restaurant. Then drive to Hta Nee La village house to learn about traditional Kayah costumes.

Enroute, we can visit “Kan Khon Na Sint”. Legend says it is the birth place of a beautiful story of Dwe Mae Naw, a mythical half-human, half-bird creature and her sisters who lived in Silver Cloud Land. It is said that these seven angel sisters often came to “Kan Khon Na Sint”, 7 lakes, to play in the water. Enjoy the sunset and panoramic view of Loikaw from Taungwe Taung Zedi hill before transferring back to our hotel.

Day 4
07 Nov 2018
Loikaw, Myanmar
Loikaw Lodge Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at your hotel. Afterward, start your half day trekking tour.

Proceed from Demawso or Loikaw market to Salong Kana hamlet [about a 40-minute drive] to meet with local Kayan artisans. Enjoy a hands-on demonstration about making a traditional Kayan bracelets. You’ll also have a chance to make one of your own. Enjoy a hot drink and a simple snack at local home.

On the way, your guide will point out special cultural and natural sites, which are important for the local people and way of their life. Then, start walking tour to Pemsong Village about 1 hour and hill trek for 35-minutes to see a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains

Enjoy your pack lunch or special Jungle picnic.

Hike back to Pemsong village from the hill and then start visiting local homes to capture the essence of this remote mountain lifestyle.

After the village visit, you will be driven to Rang Ku hamlet, where guests can visit small shops, run by the famous Kayan people (popularly known as Long Neck Karen). Then, drive back to your hotel in Loikaw [about1 hour 15 minutes].

Then, drive back to your hotel in Loikaw by 1 hour 15 minutes' drive.

A special event:

In the evening time before dinner, Lecture with Jens Uwe Parkitny, the photographer of Blood faces – Tattoo Faces of Myanmar Tribal Women.

Day 5
08 Nov 2018
Sagar, Myanmar
Phekhone, Myanmar
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Pristine Lotus Resort Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at your hotel.

In the morning, visit to Demawso Market [which only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays] or Loikaw local daily Market. You will have spectacular opportunity to see the ethnic groups wearing colorful traditional costumes and trading their wares.

We then depart for the drive to Phekon Jetty [about 1.5hrs from Loikaw] where we will embark on a magnificent 4-hr boat journey to Inle Lake via [Sagar] Sankar, a site of over 100 Buddhist stupas rising from the lake. Along the way, you will have a chance to photograph colorful floating villages and river life along a “one lane river highway”

Enjoy lunch at the Lodge at Sakar.

There will be a number of photos stops on our way to Inle Lake - Thaya Gone village to see locals produce rice wine; Sae Khaung Pottery Village where villagers still use underground kiln; Tar Kaung on the western shores of Sagar, a series of more than 200 stupas. Then will proceed to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 6
09 Nov 2018
Bagan, Myanmar
Pristine Lotus Resort Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, pick up from the hotel will be around 8 am and start the Inle lake full day tour by private boat. The freshwater lake of Inle is Myanmar’s second largest and measure about 70km2. Located at an altitude of 880 meters, the lake is also one of the highest in the country, with a cool climate and exceptional flora and fauna. There are estimated 70,000 local people living at more than 200 villages on or around the lake.

In the morning, visit a local village to photograph a fishing demonstration. Then, visit Maing Thauk Village and then see the monks Alms Giving Ceremony at Maing Thauk, an old forest monastery. There will be plenty of opportunities for photos and you can also interact with the monks.

In the afternoon, start your trip passing by the floating villages and gardens.

A visit to Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda – the most venerable pagoda on the lake, which houses five completely gilded images of Buddha.

Next visit Heya Ywama village and observe traditional handicraft workshops, such as the silk weaving on wooden handlooms and a blacksmith shop. Continue the journey with a visit to see cheroot making and gold and silversmiths workshops.

On the way back to the hotel, catch a glimpse of the lake’s unique “leg rowers” the Intha people, who row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar.

Return to the hotel, rest and relax in the late afternoon. Enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Inle Lake from your room’s balcony.

Day 7
10 Nov 2018
Bagan, Myanmar
Su Tine San Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast box from hotel. In the morning, transfer to Heho Domestic Airport for your domestic flight to Bagan.

After pick-up and check-in at your hotel, start with a stroll through the colorful local market and continue the day with visits to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan including Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Ku Byauk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jakata scenes; Khay Min Ga Temple, noted for its panoramic view of the area’s numerous monuments and Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images.

In the afternoon, visit to one of the famous lacquer ware shops where the fascinating production techniques of this ancient craft will be explained. Continue the journey at Myinkaba Village to visit Gubyaukgyi Temple which is noted for its beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. You will continue to Manuha Temple, built in the Mon style in 1059 and follow on to Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said to have been the palace of King Manuha.

Enjoy a sunset view from one of the most scenic spots overlooking the plains of Bagan before returning to your hotel

Day 8
11 Nov 2018
Bagan, Myanmar
Su Tine San Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at your hotel. This morning, drive to Salay(approx.1-hour 30-minute drive from Bagan) through Chauk, where you will see old Burma Oil installations ('nodding donkeys'). Arrival Salay house and then visit to Yokesone Monastery, which is the oldest surviving wooden monastery hall built on 154 teak posts with beautiful wood carvings decorating the outer walls. Continue to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya - a large lacquer Buddha image, said to date from the 13th century.

Then, Lunch at beautiful Salay House.

After Salay, drive to Wat Khoung Village (approx. 1-hour drive from Salay). Along the way, stop at Yenan Chaung Township for a view to Salay-Mt. Popa. This is one of the largest villages in the area and where we can tour the village by oxcart. We then drive back to Bagan (approx: 2 hours). Arrival Bagan, transfer to your hotel and remaining time is at leisure at your hotel.

Day 9
12 Nov 2018
Mandalay, Myanmar
Hotel Magic Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast, pick up from your hotel and transfer to airport for flight to Mandalay.

After check-in, if we have in time, explore the country’s largest monastery, Mahagandayon. Then, drive to Mahamuni Temple, one of Myanmar’s most famous. Built in 1784 by King Bodawpaya, the temple is home to the amazing 5m (16ft) tall Mahamuni Buddha image, entirely coated by pilgrims with 5cm (2in) of gold leaf, giving it an irregular outline.

Lunch at local restaurant.

Continue to Atumashi Monastery, built in 1857 by King Mindon, before visiting the Mandalay Palace (also known as Mya Nan San Kyaw), the primary royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw, the last two kings of Myanmar. In the afternoon, visit Shwenandaw (Golden Palace) Monastery, known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, famous as the World’s Biggest Book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the teachings of Buddha.

Finally, drive up Mandalay Hill to visit the serene standing Buddha at Shweyattaw Temple, said to have pointed the way to the former capital. Enjoy the view from the top of the hill before sightseeing to Shwe Kyin Monastery (Evening Prayer). Overnight at the hotel in Mandalay.

Day 10
13 Nov 2018
Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar
Aureum Pyin Oo Lwin Lunch

Depart your hotel and drive 1.5hrs. northeast to the hill resort of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) known for its cool weather, strawberry fields and amazing wild flowers. Enroute, stop at a flower market before enjoying an orientation tour of the hill station by horse carriage. Explore the 177ha (437ac) Kandawgyi Botanic Garden situated 1,097m (3,600 ft.) above sea level.

Modeled after the famous Kew Gardens in England, Kandawgyi features more than 480 species of trees including 80 species of bamboo, 113 species of orchids, medicinal plants and seasonal flowers, many of them indigenous to Myanmar. After your walk around the garden, drive to the outskirts of town and visit Aung Htu Kan Tha Pagoda which houses a Buddha that fell off a Buddha-laden, China-bound truck in 1997. The story is that when the Buddha image could not be hauled back on, the driver claimed that he had dreamt that one of the Buddhas did not want to leave Myanmar. So the statue stayed and a temple was built.

Continue on to the Peik Chin Myaung limestone stalactite caves, estimated to be up to 310 million years old.

Day 11
14 Nov 2018
Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar
Nyaung Byine, Myanmar
River side Hsipaw Breakfast, Lunch

Early morning drive to station where we board the train to Nyaun Byine.

On the way you’ll pass over the amazing Goteik Viaduct. This is the highest trestle bridge in Myanmar and the views and photo ops over the valley are breathtaking. The total ride takes approximately 4 hours.

Arrive at Nyaung Byine train station where you will be picked up and transferred to the town of Hsipaw [pronounced See-paw].

In the evening, sightseeing around Hsipaw includes such sites as City Centre, Mahamyatmuni Buddha Image, Excavated Buddha Image, Globe Pagoda, Shan Palace and Sunset Hill.

Day 12
15 Nov 2018
Shan Village, Myanmar
River side Hsipaw Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast in the hotel, we will be met by a local guide and begin our trek through town. We then enter luscious rice paddies and farmers’ villages with seasonal crops. Experience traditional lifestyle of Shan Villages by visiting houses, where women weave, roll cheroots, and produce fans and bamboo baskets. After about four hours of walking you will be back to Hsipaw for lunch.

After lunch, walk to the jetty on the bank of the Dokthawady River and take a boat up the river. Enjoy the beautiful scenery full of mountains, valleys, orange and orchard plantations along the river. Leave the boat and walk up the hill for about half an hour to see a Shan monastery believed to be 150 years old. On the way you will see plantations of pineapple, papaya, and orange, which are widely grown in this area.

Return to the boat and continue your journey to the confluence of two rivers, where swimming is possible. Enjoy the view, take a dip in cool water and return to Hsipaw. On the way you can visit a Shan village with typical houses, small charming gardens, view the same railway connecting Mandalay and Lashio and a small animist temple.

Total walking time: 4 hours; Difficulty Grade: 2 (Easy)

Day 13
16 Nov 2018
Mandalay, Myanmar
Hotel Magic Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive back to Mandalay.

End the day by watching the sunset from the 200-year-old U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak span. Return to Mandalay in the early evening.

The drive from Hsipaw to Mandalay will be approximately 6 hours with photo and rest stops.

Day 14
17 Nov 2018
Mandalay, Myanmar
Hotel Magic Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast transfer to airport for your international departure.


9.00, meet with your guide at hotel and depart for the Mahamuni Temple, one of Myanmar’s most famous. Built in 1784 by King Bodawpaya, the temple is home to the amazing 5m (16ft) tall Mahamuni Buddha image, entirely coated by pilgrims with 5cm (2in) of gold leaf, giving it an irregular outline. Continue to Atumashi Monastery, built in 1857 by King Mindon, before visiting the Mandalay Palace (also known as Mya Nan San Kyaw), the primary royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw, the last two kings of Myanmar. Enjoy lunch a local restaurant between the two sights. In the afternoon, visit Shwenandaw (Golden Palace) Monastery, known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, famous as the World’s Biggest Book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the teachings of Buddha. Finally, drive up Mandalay Hill to visit the serene standing Buddha at Shweyattaw Temple, said to have pointed the way to the former capital. Enjoy the view from the top of the hill before returning to your hotel.

Day 15
18 Nov 2018
Mandalay, Myanmar
None Breakfast

After breakfast, free at leisure until meeting with your guide and you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking


Myanmar’s varying landscape, colourful culture and friendly locals make this country a photographers’ paradise. Trails of Indochina invites passionate photographers of all skill levels to join an expert led tour through the scenic highlights. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit the cities less travelled by the regular tourists. Create truly unique photographs in places like Loikaw and Pyin Oo Lwin and learn how to adjust the aperture to take action shots of the one-leg rowers at Inle Lake and sunsets over the temple-laden plains of Bagan.

About Us

Trails of Indochina had its humble beginnings in 1999 as a boutique inbound tour operator. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and now with more than 250 employees throughout the region, Trails of Indochina has grown to be a full-service Destination Management Company and tour operation across Indochina. At Trails of Indochina, our personal relationships can make anything possible. We invite you to experience our part of the world where you will uncover the hidden gems and see a different perspectives of Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

Vietnam is a top destination for foodies with its cuisine differing greatly from north to south. We suggest a combination offood experiences including food tours, cooking classes and craft beer tours.

Terms & Conditions

To read our Booking Terms and Conditions, please click here.

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Friendly Service

By: Andy37

Reviewed on: 02 Sep 2015

Overall, our experience was a great one. The drivers, tour guides, etc were all there to pick us up and get us to where we were going and everyone was extremely friendly and outgoing. We did have a minor issue with a few additional charges that we were given and we were not told (at all) that any of them would have been an extra charge. Additionally, our tour guide in Bali seemed to be really pushing us to sign on to additional tours with him on days that we had chosen to be on our own. Our experience on Lombok was top-notch, however in Bali, the tour guides were much more chatty with what seemed their prescribed talk and not so attentive to specific questions that we had. Additionally, when we were picked up for our bike tour, the guide asked to see our itinerary, as he had no idea what we were supposed to be doing. We ended up not doing a number of activities outlined on the itinerary and instead just did what the guide wanted to do. We had a great time, but these were concerns.
Travel Advisor:  Sari Greene

Very informative

By: Jandm42

Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2015

They made the arrivals and departures very easy. All guides were personable and very well informed. They added greatly to our travel experience.
Travel Advisor:  Judy Perl

Recent trip

By: Fletch

Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2017

Our experience was excellent. The organization proved to be very professional and reliable
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart

Southeast Asia

By: David Nixon

Reviewed on: 19 Feb 2017

The tour, with a few exceptions, we well organized. We saw most of what there was to see. The hotels and guides were excellent.
Travel Advisor:  Roxanne Girard