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Mystical Myanmar - A Luxury Small-Group Tour and Cruise

Discover the alluring beauty of enchanting Myanmar on this 10-day luxury small-group tour and cruise (max. 16 travellers). Stay in luxurious five-star accommodation, cruise Burmese waterways in ultimate style on the magnificent Strand Cruise ship, visit iconic sights, take part in a traditional offering ceremony, have your fortunes read by a Burmese fortune-teller, cycle through the sugarcane fields and villages of Inle Lake, view the magnificent sunrise over Bagan from the Shwe San Daw temple and so much more. Includes daily breakfast, dining experiences, private local guides, sightseeing and entrance fees, private transportation, airport and port transfers and all internal flights.

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Myanmar has maintained the ability to surprise even the most experienced travellers thanks to its impressive pagodas, Buddhist monuments and ancient temples perched in splendid isolation. Immerse yourself in a country brimming with natural and man-made wonders, as you travel through** unique cities, taste fragrant and varied cuisine and **embrace the slow-paced Burmese lifestyle, sailing the waters of the Ayeyarwady River on an unforgettable 4-day luxury cruise.

What you'll love

The Accommodation – The most exceptional hotels in Myanmar, and the most luxurious ship to sail the Ayerwaddy river

This memorable tour of Myanmar will see you travelling through the country in pure *luxury and ease, *giving you the chance to experience some of the best hotels in the country.

Start your journey staying at the magnificent five-star The Strand Hotel in Yangon, member of the Leading Hotels of the World and one of Asia’s most enduring Colonial landmarks. Known as the best hotel in Yangon, this award-winning, charming hotel** offers a taste of the past with marble floors and rattan furnishings - plus all the modern comforts and superior facilities of a five-star hotel. Complete with a stunning infinity pool, two therapy rooms, a fully equipped fitness room and **a 24-hour personalised butler service; every suite of this enchanting hotel also features handwoven bed linen, a spacious bathroom with double basin and a deep soak bathtub complete with bespoke amenities.

Feel like royalty when you board the Strand Cruise for four nights. Featuring everything a luxury cruise ship can offer, the Strand is known for impeccable service and an exceptional level of comfort. Soak up incredible river views from your floor-to-ceiling window, in your elegant Deluxe Cabin. Whilst on board, all of your gourmet meals are included, as well as soft drinks, beer and house wine during lunch and dinner.

Spend two nights in a Cloister Deluxe room at the Sanctum Inle Resort, a former monastery sitting quietly by picturesque Inle Lake. Winner of the World Luxury Hotels Award in 2017 and identified as one of the best resorts in Asia by Condé Nast, **this resort is an escape from reality in a dreamy destination, where you will be able to **embrace the peaceful sorroundings and lifestyle of Inle Lake.** Unwind by the beautiful swimming pool overlooking the glistening waters of the lake *or *indulge in a Spa treatment **at the luxurious Sanctuary Spa, a perfect treat after a day of exploring.

The Experiences – Visit golden pagodas and admire the one-leg rowers of Inle Lake

Kick off your adventure in the** capital city of Yangon, where you will get your first glance at the country's marvellous landmarks. Visit Yangon’s impressive **Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Buddhism's most sacred sites, adorned with 27 metric tonnes of gold leaf. Let us take you behind the scenes, showing you the** full history of the site and lifestyle of locals. On this guided visit, you will be able to **enjoy a traditional Burmese breakfast and experience the local daily ritual of purchasing an offering. Your last stop in Yangon is General Aung San's mausoleum; a must-see in the area, the museum pays tribute to one of the most-loved figures in the country's history, Aung San, founder of modern Myanmar and national hero.

The adventure continues after a quick flight, taking you to the heart of Bagan, the golden land, dotted with over 3000 temples. Pay a visit to the area's most famous landmarks: from the Shwezigon Pagoda – the most iconic site in Bagan - to the impressive Ananda temple, with its distinctive tower like spire, visible from miles away over the Bagan plains.

Board your luxurious, custom-built Strand Cruise ship, your** home for the next four nights. This luxury cruise will take you on a remarkable journey along the **Ayeyarwady River: sailing through dreamy landscapes and local villages you will reach Mingun and Mandalay **- the second-largest city and last royal capital of Myanmar - whilst visiting breathtaking temples, pagodas and monasteries*. You will be well and truly looked after on this beautiful ship, with *delicious breakfasts, champagne *on the deck before dinner, and a delightful *French dinner **on your last night.

Picture a vast, serene lake, encompassed by floating gardens and villages: your next stop is one of Myanmar's most-renowned destinations,** Inle Lake. Take a *morning bike ride *around the Khaung Dine village, the native village on the northwestern shore of the lake, then enjoy a *lunch of *local Shan cuisine and witness the iconic leg rowers, as they catch fish from their narrow boats. Last but not least, bask in the lake's traditional atmosphere as you board your **private motorboat. Admire floating gardens and colorful markets, and discover the slow-paced life of the surrounding villages.

End your tour the best possible way, with a *one-of-a-kind lunch on a rice carrier boat *in the middle of the lake, an experience available exclusively to Luxury Escapes guests.

Your Package Includes:

  • Nine nights of luxury accommodation: three nights (non-consecutive) at The Strand Hotel, four nights aboard the Strand Cruise, two nights at the Sanctum Inle Resort
  • Daily breakfasts, including two traditional Burmese experiences
  • Eight memorable lunches, including one lunch of Shan cuisine at a local home-cooking initiative by Inle Lake, a traditional Intha lunch with a local family and a unique lunch on a rice carrier boat in the middle of Inle Lake
  • Five dinners, including a welcome Burmese dinner at one of Yangon’s top restaurants and a French dinner aboard the Strand Cruise
  • Soft drinks, local beer and house wine with meals during your cruise
  • Return airport and port transfers throughout the entire tour
  • Three internal flights from Yangon to Bagan, Mandalay to Inle Lake, Inle Lake to Yangon
  • *All sightseeing *and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Small group sizes of just 16 people max. for the perfect balance of intimacy and freedom throughout your tour
  • Transportation in private vehicles
  • An English-speaking local tour leader with expert knowledge of all the sites
  • Take part in a traditional offering ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Have your fortunes read by a Burmese fortune-teller
  • Cycle through the sugarcane fields and villages of Inle Lake
  • View the magnificent sunrise over Bagan from the Shwe San Daw temple
  • See the famous leg-rowers on Inle Lake
  • Visit the Aung San museum

The '7 day change of mind guarantee' does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Luxury Escapes Refund Policy applies.

After you have made your booking, please follow the instructions on your confirmation email and ensure you complete your traveller information details within 48 hours.

Valid for select departure from:

Low Season

29th of September 2018

2nd of March 2019

16th of March 2019

6th of April 2019

20th of April 2019

High Season

13th of October 2018

20th of October 2018

3rd of November 2018

17th of November 2018

8th of December 2018

5th of January 2019

19th of January 2019

2nd of February 2019

16th of February 2019

Tour includes accommodation at the following hotels:

Strand Hotel, Yangon

The Strand Cruise

Sanctum Inle Resort

Accommodation is subject to availability and may be substituted for a hotel of a similar standard.

Maximum tour capacity is 16 people, minimum tour capacity is two people.

Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion (as a guide, approx. US$10 per person, per day is the industry standard).

Arrival and departure transfers are only available on the first and last day of the tour. Any arrivals and departures outside of these days will need to make their own arrangements to/from the airport.

Travellers should have a basic level of physical fitness and mobility and must be able to negotiate uneven surfaces, climb stairs and board boats.

Travellers are advised to check with their local health professional at least 45 days prior to departure, as some vaccinations require 30 days or more to be effective. Proof of vaccination is not usually required unless you are coming from an infected area.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

*The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 18 years or older *(based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise if travelling alone, you must purchase the Single Traveller package option. See the package options for further details. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

All surcharges are payable directly to Luxury Escapes.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

Additional expenses such as (but not limited to) international flights are not included with this package.

Package cannot be split.

Travel insurance is compulsory. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package.

Strictly no refunds for this package for amendments and change of date.

Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on existing reservations.

Any unused portion of the package is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.

Please note: disability access is limited during the tour, please consider this when making your booking.

Before making a reservation, please ensure that the name on the reservation is the same as it appears on your passport. An error may result in a name change penalty or boarding being denied by the airline. Luxury Escapes accepts no responsibility for accuracy of name on the travel documents.

The value and comparative savings have been determined based on published rack rates and the value of inclusions. Please be advised that rack rates may not be reflective of actual rates being charged, dependent on the timing and manner of your booking and therefore are only indicative of the level of saving.

Occasionally our itineraries are updated prior to departure to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers’ feedback as well as updates from our ground operators. Please note that while we operate successful tours in this region throughout the year, some changes may be necessary due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities may also vary from time to time.

All activities and services are subject to availability.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply – refer

Day 1 - Yangon

On arrival into Yangon International airport you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. There are no activities planned for the first day – so, depending on your arrival time, the day will be your leisure.

This evening you will meet you tour leader and group and enjoy dinner at a local favourite – a great introduction to Burmese cuisine.

Accommodation: Strand Hotel

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Yangon

After breakfast at the hotel, you will visit the golden Shwedagon Pagoda. During this interactive tour we will take you behind the scenes and show you the full history of the pagoda, the daily life of all people living in the immediate surroundings of the pagoda and a deeper insight in the Buddhist religion and how the spiritual belief is mixed with the belief in nats – the Myanmar spirits. An intriguing tour starting from the bottom of the hill and passing the workshops, markets and monasteries which will be essential to understand more of the country during the rest of your journey. The tour includes a traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda, and a visit to a fortune teller.

After stopping for lunch, we will visit the Aung San museum and his wife’s mausoleum. The father of Myanmar’s independence, the national hero and the person who fought against the British and later against the Japanese to give Burma independence in 1947, Bogyoke (which means General) Aung San is still loved by people nationwide.

The evening will be at your leisure.

Accommodation: Strand Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 3 – Yangon – Bagan

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your short flight to Bagan. Begin your journey through the golden land with a freshly made welcome breakfast in the tranquil shaded gardens of the oldest lacquerware house in Bagan. Lacquerware is a traditional art form that originated at the same time that the first Pagodas of Bagan were being built in the 11th century and is still practiced today.

After breakfast you will travel to the nearby Shwezigon Pagoda, renowned for its gold leaf decor, and the Ananda temple, famous as being one of the four great temples of Bagan and one of the most exquisite in Myanmar before boarding the ship.

After lunch, continue your exploration of the Bagan Heritage Trail including visits to the beautiful Sulamani and Gubyaukgyi temples. Upon your return to the ship, as the sun sets, you will have the chance to admire Bagan’s magnificent sights over the Ayeyarwady River from the Sundeck with a Strand signature cocktail before enjoying a traditional cultural show and dinner.

Accommodation: The Strand Cruise

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 - Cruising the Ayeyarwady River

Early risers can join an excursion to view the magnificent sunrise over Bagan from the Shwe San Daw temple. This pagoda contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella. From the top, you get an impressive 360-degree view of the entire area of Bagan. Today you sail upstream toward Mandalay, passing landscapes and typical Ayeyarwady villages that have inspired many authors and artists throughout history, including Rudyard Kipling.

Accommodation: The Strand Cruise

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 - Mingun

Today you arrive in Mingun, one of the country’s former capitals, at the foot of the unfinished pagoda, one of the largest pagodas ever constructed in the Myanmar. Visit the pagoda by a popular local means of transportation, the Tuk Tuk. The pagoda is home to the magnificent Mingun Bell, claimed to be the largest un-cracked hanging bell in the world. You’ll also visit Paya Hsinbyume, an impressive pagoda that rises in seven curved whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt Meru, the mountain at the centre of the Buddhist universe.

This afternoon, enjoy champagne on the sundeck before dinner.

Accommodation: The Strand Cruise

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 – Mandalay

This morning the ship will depart for Mandalay, the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar. After an early breakfast, enjoy a food offering to the monks in their monastery in Mandalay before visiting the U-Bein Bridge, a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. The bridge is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Continue on the Mandalay Heritage trail by visiting the Mahamui Buddha temple and the Shwe In Bin monastery, a beautifully carved teak monastery known as the perfect spot for meditation in the heart of Mandalay, before re-joining the cruise.

After lunch you will visit Ava, the ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse carts await the ship to transport you on a delightful ride through the naturally preserved Ava landscape and key landmarks. Enjoy a traditional Myanmar tea break in a local teahouse during the visit.

Return to the ship for sunset cocktails before a delightful French dinner.

Please note: When in Mandalay, you will be visiting several temples. Please make sure your knees and shoulders are covered on today’s excursions.

Accommodation: The Strand Cruise

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 - Mandalay - Inle Lake

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to to Inle Lake.

On arrival, you will meet with your local guide and transfer to Nyaung Shwe to collect your bikes for a leisurely morning cycle around the Khaung Dine village - passing sugarcane fields and taking in the beautiful views of Inle Lake. Nyaung Shwe is a lively little town which used to be the home of the Shan Prince of Nyaung Shwe, Mr Sao Shwe Thaike, who later became the first prime minister of Myanmar after independence. Stop for lunch at Viewpoint restaurant, a local home-cooking initiative, where you will indulge in local Shan cuisine, before being treated to an insider’s view of life on the lake. Villages, farms, and a monastery perch over the water on stilts and float on pads of reeds and earth. You will have the chance to observe the awkward-looking leg-rowers as they manoeuvre, balancing precariously on the tails of their narrow craft. Also visit a local cheroot house where Burmese cigars are made, as well as a lotus-weaving factory.

Arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon, the rest of the day and evening will be at leisure.

*If you don’t like biking (simply let us know a day in advance) and we will arrange a private car transfer from Heho airport to Nyaung Shwe where you will meet up with the rest of the group.

Accommodation: Sanctum Inle Resort

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 8 – Inle Lake

Inle Lake in the southern Shan State, is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. The Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts on this lake. Today you will enjoy a private motorboat tour around the lake to discover its natural beauty as well as to visit the floating gardens. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule and today you visit one of the colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby.

Afterwards, continue to one of the Intha houses where you will enjoy a traditional Intha lunch with a local family. In the afternoon, you will have the chance to work off our lunch in our private canoes - exploring the lesser-known villages, and our local rowers will be on hand to take over when you’ve had enough.

Returning to your hotel in the late afternoon, the rest of the day and evening will be at leisure.

Accommodation: Sanctum Inle Resort

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 9 - Inle Lake - Yangon

This morning after breakfast we will visit the ancient Indein ruins near Inle Lake, whose pagodas and stupas were built in the 8th century. Even though these structures may be crumbling, the intricate details of the structures can still be seen. In some parts, the elaborate stucco carvings of celestial beings and mythical animals are still apparent. We’ll also visit Nam Pan Village and its floating gardens, allowing us another angle on local life.

This afternoon you will be in for a real treat. Lunch will be served on a rice carrier boat in the middle of Inle Lake. The boat has been transformed into an ephemeral restaurant, an exclusive experience and the perfect way to end our time in Inle Lake.

After lunch, you will transfer to the airport for your flight back to Yangon and your final evening in Myanmar.

Accommodation: Strand Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 10 – Tour Ends

This morning your tour comes to an end with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

The tour begins and ends in Yangon. Your international flights are not included in your package. Flights to Yangon from Australia will typically take a minimum of one stop and approximately 12 - 16 hours, departing from most major cities with Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Thai Airways.

Book your flight through us. First, confirm your tour booking dates. Our Tours Concierge will then be in touch within 48 business hours to assist with additional arrangements, with no booking fee to you.

Please book your flight out of Yangon anytime after breakfast on Day 10.

A visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each traveller’s responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor website Visa’s Direct to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes. If you require any supporting documentation when applying for your visa please let us know and we would be more than happy to assist. Click here to visit the website.

Wonderful journey. Cruise was fabulous! Staff excellent, always happy and smiling. Only thing for me was maybe too many pagodas, otherwise perfect. Will recommend. Nyn Nyn was excellent as were all other people connected with this experience. Will recommend!
- C Blackman September 2017
Fantastic trip. Loved the authentic experiences and information from the guides. Will definitely recommend other to do this trip. Excellent.
- G. Dubern October 2017
We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Myanmar and would recommend to others. The Strand Hotel was amazing - one of the best. Inle Lake was also a wonderful experience. All staff from Luxury Escapes have been excellent.
- L&P Crosby March 2018
Cherry is a fantastic tour guide. Her spoken English and her understanding of the language is excellent. The tours were great and Cherry's knowledge of the past and present history of this country was fantastic. Exceeded our expectations.
- R&G Davis March 2018