1 Be mesmerised by the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset in Yangon. Getting out of your car, there is only one thing that commands the skyline. A massive golden zedi (stupa) that is without doubt one of the most spectacular things created by humans. Hailing you to the southern of four directional entrances are a pair of enormous chinthe (mythical lion creatures). As you step out into the light of the sun at the top platform, the massive central zedi twinkles and golden Buddha statues shine in the shade of the countless shrines surrounding it. There is no photo, guidebook or story that can prepare you for the glory of the great pagoda of Yangon, the Shwedagon Zedi Daw.
2Float in a hot-air balloon over the temples and plains of Bagan. Rated as one of the world’s top ballooning experiences, your adventure starts with a short journey in one of our romantic converted vintage buses to one of our dedicated launch sites. The growing light reveals our teams busy at work preparing your balloon against a backdrop of ancient temples shrouded in mist. There is time for tea, coffee and refreshments before the all important safety briefing. With the balloons now standing upright, it is time to climb on board, where our helpful crew are on hand to assist you into the basket. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 15 mph, allowing passengers a serene and peaceful bird's-eye view of ancient temples drifting by. Using his skill and years of local knowledge in Bagan the pilot is able to guide the balloon to a gentle landing where our friendly and experienced crew will be on hand with fruits, fresh pastries and a glass or two of sparkling wine to complete the post flight celebration.
3 Take an epic voyage on the Irrawaddy River. Immortalised in history, culture, and spirituality of the country, you will now find tranquility along Myanmar's most fabled river, as you glide past ancient pagodas and charming fishing villages. Get to see some of its most spectacular natural scenery – farmers tending rice paddies, stilt villages in the shallows and, farther north, dramatic gorges that channel the river into an angry rush. The most popular route is a 2-3 day trip between Mandalay and Bagan on colonial-style riverboat. This is one of the best and most relaxed ways to explore Myanmar, and gives you access to a side of the country that those travelling by land just won’t see.
4 Discover the secrets behind the famous lacquerware of Burma. Step into a local workshop in Bagan with a renowned artisan and see each stage of the process unfold. Learn the craft’s history and how it has evolved over time. Cap-off the experience with a hands-on course to create a unique, handmade souvenir. Alternatively, book our exclusive Arts & Antiques Tour in Yangon. This full-day tour reveals the city’s rich history through its art and antiques. Visit several antique shops tucked away in a residential neighbourhood where the goods echo the years past. Dine at a 100-year-old colonial house filled with furniture and remnants of General Aung San’s revolutionary period and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city’s art galleries.
5 Cooking with cats and other Burmese cuisine! Experience authentic Intha culture on the Inle Lake! Join a hands-on cooking class to prepare delicious dishes from Inle Lake’s indigenous people. Learn about the efforts being made to preserve the Intha’s rich traditions and cuddle with rare Burmese cats, all the while supporting a vocational training centre. If you don’t like the idea of being around furry animals, there are many other ways to experience Burmese cuisine - from foodie tours in Yangon to cooking classes in Bagan or wine and toddy tours in the countryside.
6 Revisit the history, revolution and architecture of colonial Burma in the city once called Rangoon. The seeds for Myanmar’s recent democratic uprising were sowed decades ago. The road towards discovering the story behind this revolution begins with a visit to Myanmar’s spiritual heart, Shwedagon. Afterwards, explore the General Aung San Mausoleum to learn about his pivotal role in shaping Myanmar’s current political landscape. Along this Revolution Road Myanmar historical tour, discover the stories of the country’s dignitary historical figures such as U Thant, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, and visit important sites such as Yangon University and the National League of Democracy. Alternatively, you could do an architectural walking tour. Look past the gleaming stupas of Yangon to discover the diverse architecture and remarkable buildings of downtown. Take a guided half-day walking tour to learn the stories behind Yangon’s iconic landmarks, explore vibrant neighbourhoods and gain a better understanding of Myanmar’s past.
7Take an exclusive archaeology tour of the temples of Bagan with an expert. Get an in-depth look at the Bagan archaeological zone. Travel with an archaeology expert, learning the incredible history behind the 2000-plus religious buildings that fill Bagan’s flat, riverside plain. Climb an elevated viewpoint to appreciate the sheer scale of the site then wander through the impressive monuments for an up-close look.
8 Discover Myanmar on two-wheels and other active ways! From half-day to two weeks - there are plenty of choices if you opt to discover Myanmar the slow way. You can choose from urban rides in Yangon, village bicycling in Bagan and Inle Lake, or even pick a fully-designed and supported family cycling tour for a week across the country that combines hiking with biking. Other adventures also await - trekking programs in remote areas, kayaking trips on Inle Lake, and snorkelling and diving expeditons in the Mergui Archepelago situated in the Andaman Sea.
9 Trade Jade in Mandalay! The Mandalay Jade Market is an experience that brings history, culture and modern Myanmar to life. Get a truly authentic experience while browsing the workshops and stalls. Watch as craftsmen cut and polish jade and gems and shoppers haggle with merchants for the best quality goods.
10 Question the laws of physics at the Golden Rock Pagoda. What do you know about the laws of physics? If a rock is hanging on the edge of a cliff, should it come rolling down? Not so fast. You haven’t seen the Golden Rock yet. The place makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look like your regular upright structure. And that’s not all, there’s a small pagoda on top too! Because of its precarious nature and associated legends, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda as it is also known is a holy revered site. Golden Rock Pagoda can be visited as a day trip from Yangon.