Day 1. Arrival at Tachileik Border Checkpoint.
Your guide and driver will meet you at border immigration to help you with the formalities. Then travel by air-conditioned car from this border market town along a quiet country road to the valley of Kyaing Tong (Kengtung) and your accommodation.
Day 3. Visit the water buffalo market this morning before continuing by car to the end of the valley. From here we walk along trading paths in the forest to an Akha and then an Animist Eng hill-tribe village. The Eng are famous in this region for their tradition of blackening their teeth.
Day 4. Today we head down the scenic road towards the Chinese border and the villages of the Loi tribe. The Loi live in longhouses, several families residing under the same roof.
Day 5. Breakfast at the hotel and a transfer to the airport for the short flight to Heho. On arrival your car will be waiting for the drive through the Shan hills to the British colonial town of Kalaw.
Day 6. Begin your 3 day trek to Inle Lake. Today visit Taunggyi Chae village at the foot of Mt Myin Ma Hti (5,602 feet). After lunch continue to La Maing and finally Binn Nwe village. We overnight at a local home or monastery.
Day 7. After breakfast we continue to Kone Hla village, about 16 kilometres walk. After lunch we trek onto Hti Thein village along the valley. Dinner and overnight at a local home or Buddhist Monastery.
Day 8. Enjoy breakfast and then set off for Ngoke village, about six kilometres away. After some lunch we continue to Taung Mauk followed by the final stretch to the lakeshore. A boat will be waiting to take you to your chosen hotel.
Day 9. After breakfast set off for a full day’s exploration of the Inle Lake area. Photograph the Intha fishermen’s leg-rowing technique, meet the local tribal people and observe the fascinating local cottage industries. Visit the now famous ‘jumping cat’ monastery and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda with its five sacred gold-covered Buddha images.
Day 10. After breakfast meet your driver for the transfer to Heho airport and your flight to Mandalay. Check into your hotel, then continue to the Ayeyarwady River and your boat for a tour upriver to the huge, unfinished Mingun Pagoda.
Day 11. Enjoy your breakfast then embark on a tour of the ancient cities area, Amarapura and Inwa to the South of Mandalay. Continue in the afternoon onto Sagaing, the religious centre of Myanmar home to some 500 pagodas. Sunset photographs at the famous U Bein Bridge.
Day 12. After breakfast your car will pick you up for a full day visit to the Monywa area. The highlight of the days touring is the Hpo Win Daung Cave complex, 492 sandstone caves filled with murals and Buddhas dating back to the 14th Century. In the afternoon visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, home to an astonishing 582,000 Buddha images.
Day 13. Breakfast at your hotel is followed by a transfer to the airport for your short flight to the ‘tentative’ world heritage site of Bagan. After checking in at your hotel continue on a tour of the archaeological zone with sunset from one of the tallest pagodas.
Day 14.After breakfast today your air-conditioned car will bring you out of Bagan to the less-visited monasteries of Salay. Continue on to Mt Popa, the ‘Nat’ worship centre of Myanmar; the shrine atop a volcanic tower.
Day 15. Your last day in Upper Myanmar. Optional dawn champagne balloon ride over the pagodas of Bagan. Enjoy another full day in the archaeological zone visiting such famous ancient monuments as Shwezigon Pagoda and the beautiful Ananda Pagoda. We can also arrange a visit today to a local rural village. Your air-conditioned car will drop you at the airport for your late afternoon flight to Yangon.
Day 16. Have breakfast at your hotel. Enjoy a full day excursion in the colonial city of Yangon culminating in a visit to the breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 17. Depart from Yangon Airport. Have breakfast at your hotel.
There may be time for a little last-minute shopping at Scott Market before your transfer back to the airport for your onward flight. If you are departing on an evening flight we can arrange another excursion for today.