Hidden Trails of Burma    *alt*

14 days, from £1999
Explore Worldwide
Speak to an expert

Need more advice before deciding which tour might suit you best and with whom to travel? 
Our Phonethrough feature allows you to talk directly to an expert holiday advisor from each of the leading specialist operators who organise tours to the destinations featured. 

  • Benefit from their in-depth knowledge and free advice, with no strings attached to give you the re-assurance that you are booking the right holiday for you.
  • Call the Freephone numbers or the 03 Phonethrough number. Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as to other standard fixed line numbers (starting 01 or 02) and calls made will come out of any inclusive minutes you have with your Service Provider. Ofcom rules dictate that 03 calls do not generate any money for the call recipient
  • Prefer to send an email in the first instance? Click on the email icon and submit your general enquiry or for a specific tour with a request to respond by email or to phone you back.
  • This will help you decide if they have the tour that best matches your requirements.

Our aim Is To introduce And match holiday planning consumers With specialist escorted tour holiday operators & organisers. Please note that any booking you make Is made directly With the tour Operator, travel organiser Or provider As Somewhere Special.travel does Not act In any agent Or booking capacity.

Call 01252 883 992

Description

After decades of relative isolation, the way of life in Burma (Myanmar) remains largely untouched by modern times. On this adventurous introduction to Burma we walk through remote lands and also spend time visiting the highlights of the country. We trek to hilltribe villages in Shan state, admire the sunset across the temple plains of Bagan, join Buddhist pilgrims on our hike to Golden Rock and walk in the beautiful surrounds of Inle Lake.

Sadly, recent events surrounding the Rohingya minority have seen Burma thrust into the international spotlight again. The areas of unrest are concentrated within the north of Rakhine state, far away from any location our itineraries visit. We actively monitor the situation on the ground and closely follow the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

We also remain acutely aware of our ethical responsibility; and in order to ensure that the local communities benefit the most from our trips, we use a privately-owned Burmese local ground agent for all of our local services. Our itineraries have been carefully planned to limit the use of services owned by, or affiliated with, the government. This ensures that the Burmese people benefit as much as possible from our tours.

We strongly believe that we contribute positively to the local economy, whilst providing our customers with the privilege of direct and genuine interaction with the local people, as well as an insight into the country's unique culture and heritage.

Tour comfort rating: standard

Trek grade rating: moderate

Itinerary


 Day 1 Join trip Rangoon (Yangon)

Arrive in Rangoon and check-in at the hotel.
Meals included: none
Single room option


 Day 2 Hike up to Golden Rock for sunset

After a leisurely start, we drive for around five hours to Kin Pun at the foot of Mount Kyaiktiyo (the Golden Rock). Swapping to a local truck, we drive part way up the sacred mountain to Yatetaung and join local pilgrims on an ascent of one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. We will carry our own overnight things in our daypacks and spend the night at a hotel on top of the mountain, allowing us the chance to enjoy the spectacle of sunset on the shimmering Golden Rock. Believed to be held in place by a single hair of the Buddha, the Rock perches precariously on the edge of the mountain, topped by a six metre high pagoda. The one-and-a-half kilometre ascent of Golden Rock is expected to take about 45 minutes. Time allowing, there's the option to extend the walk to the Mosdu Taung cave - an additional three kilometres taking one hour.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 3 Descend Golden Rock; drive back to Rangoon via Bago

This morning you can choose to rise early and watch the sunrise from the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo before breakfast. Saying farewell to the Golden Rock, we walk back down to Yatetaung and drive to Rangoon. The journey takes us by way of the historic town of Bago. Founded in 573AD, the town is home to a number of sacred shrines and pagodas including the Shwemawdaw Paya (the Golden God Temple) the tallest pagoda in the country. If time allows we'll pay a visit to the pagoda, as well as the Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha (the second largest in the world) and the Kyaik Pun Pagoda. We may also have time to take a look around Bago's local market, before continuing on to Rangoon. The return one-and-a-half kilometre walk to Yatetaung will take around 30 minutes.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 4 Fly to Bagan; explore the temples by bicycle

We catch an early flight this morning to Bagan, one of the most impressive religious sites anywhere in Asia. Bagan rose to prominence during the 11th to 13th centuries and at its height its 13,000 temples and pagodas presented a sea of colour and spectacle. Today just over 2,000 remain and include the Shwezigon Pagoda, the 13th century frescoes of Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi and the Ananda Pagoda, one of the best preserved monuments in the entire city. Our explorations today will be by bicycle and we expect to cover around 20 kilometres around the temple complex. We plan to enjoy sunset from one of the upper terraces of the Shwesandaw Pagoda.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 5 In Bagan; explore villages and temples on foot

We continue our exploration around Bagan today on foot. Starting out from the 14th century Thitsawadi temple we follow flat sandy paths to reach the monastic university complex of Su Than Pyay, part of which is still in a good condition. Continuing past fields of corn and cotton, we reach Thein Pyin Swan, a new monastery rebuilt with the assistance of the people of South Korea. Our next stop is the 12th century Pyatagyi monastery, a great place to enjoy the extremely photogenic panoramas of many of Bagan's major temples. The walk ends at the Dhammayangyi temple which is one of the most significant architectural structures in Bagan. In the late afternoon we will take to bicycles once again and enjoy a ride out to Minanthu Village to visit the three interconnected shrines of the Payathonzu Pagoda and watch the sunset from the Tayok Pye Temple. We expect to cover around two kilometres walking around the temples, taking us approximately two hours.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 6 Fly to Heho; trek to Yasakyi village and overnight in monastery

After flying to Heho this morning we drive on to the limestone caves of Pindaya, home to a remarkable collection of over 8,000 Buddhist images. We take a short tour of the site before continuing on to the start of our trek. The rest of the day then sees us trekking through villages and past tea plantations and chive farms, as we make our way towards our overnight stop in the remote village of Yasakyi. We overnight in the local monastery. Our accommodation will be basic (sleeping on individual mattresses in one large hall - mosquito nets provided), but the chance to interact with the villagers more than compensates for the rustic conditions. Our trek today covers a distance of approximately 12 kilometres and will take around five hours.
Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Single room option


 Day 7 Morning trek back to Pindaya; drive to Inle Lake

The trek back to Pindaya takes us by way of an alternative route, passing through Danu villages and on to Taung Paw Gyi, from where we can enjoy a panoramic view over Pindaya. Stopping to have lunch in this lovely spot, we then continue back to the bus for the 85 kilometre drive to the beautiful setting of Lake Inle, high up on the Shan Plateau. Surrounded by hills and populated predominantly by the Intha people, Lake Inle is one of the highest lakes in the country. Our trek today covers a distance of approximately 12 kilometres and will take around five hours.
Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Single room option


 Day 8 Explore Inle Lake by longtail boat; hikes to tribal villages

Devout Buddhists, the local population of Lake Inle are self-sufficient farmers and fishermen, living in simple stilted houses of wood and bamboo and growing their food on floating gardens of grass and seaweed. Today we have a chance to explore this idyllic spot by longtail boat, heading to Indain village where we visit an enchanting 17th century pagoda. Back on dry land we will walk through some of the villages around the lake around the base of Udaun Taung mountain. There should be plenty of opportunities to meet the tribal communities who live here. Today's walk today covers a distance of approximately six kilometres and will take around two hours.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 9 Fly to Kengtung; sightseeing in Kengtung

Returning to Heho this morning we then take a flight on to Kengtung, situated in the remote mountain valleys of eastern Shan State. Part of the Golden Triangle that encompasses neighbouring Thailand and Laos, Kengtung is a cultural and scenic gem that is home to dozens of minority tribes. On arrival we pay a visit to the Naung Tong Lake and the standing Buddha (the spot where the town was found over a thousand years ago), before heading up One Tree Hill to watch the sun set over the surrounding valleys.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 10 Hiking around the villages of the Lahu and Akha people

An hour's drive out of Kengtung lies the village of Pan Kwai and the start of our trek through the Ho Kyin (Hochin) region. Leaving our vehicles behind, we hike out to the explore the villages of the Akha and Lahu people, hill-tribes who can trace their ancestry back to the Yunnan province of neighbouring China. Returning to Pan Kwai later in the day we then return to Kengtung via the village of Mong Zine Khun, where we have a chance to watch a traditional Lahu blacksmith at work. Our trek today covers a distance of approximately 18 kilometres and will take around six hours.
Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Single room option


 Day 11 Hiking through tribal villages to Pin Tauk Waterfalls

This morning we follow the main highway that runs between China and Myanmar, heading towards the tribal villages of the Akha, Lahu and Ann. The hour's drive takes usto Pin Tauk (Kyaing Tong), from where we hike out to the outlying villages. The people in this region still adhere to the old traditions, both in their dress and their customs and we have ample opportunity to enjoy this cultural goldmine before heading back to Pin Tauk. If time allows after lunch we'll also visit some of the Paluang villages before returning to Kengtung. Our trek today covers a distance of approximately 22 kilometres and will take around five hours.
Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Single room option


 Day 12 Visit Kengtung market; fly to Rangoon

Before we return to Rangoon we pay a visit to Kengtung's morning market, where we can bargain for traditional clothing, lacquerware and other souvenirs from China, Thailand and the valleys of eastern Shan. We also visit the Wat Jom Khan a tall, gilded chedi that can date its origins back to a visit by the Gautama Buddha. The stupa is topped by a golden umbrella which is inlaid with silver, rubies and diamonds and decorated with tiny golden bells. We fly back to Rangoon for the final two nights of the holiday.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 13 Walking tour in Rangoon

On our final day in Rangoon we will explore the rich history and architecture of the city on a walking tour. Listening to the stories of our leader, we hope to be able to enter some of the old buildings, many of which are virtually unchanged since the colonial era. In the late afternoon we visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Burma, whose golden stupa dominates the city skyline, making it the ideal spot from which to watch the sunset and contemplate our time spent in Burma. The Shwedagon complex is large with a number of surrounding statues and temples and locals still visit and contribute to its special ambience as the holiest of Buddhist shrines. Our walking tour will cover around 2 kilometres and take us approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 14 Trip ends Rangoon

The trip ends this morning after breakfast.
Meals included: Breakfast


Tour Map