Discovery Journeys | 7 nights
Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake - Inle Lake - Heho - Bagan - Mt Popa - Nyaung U - Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcome by our Exotissimo Guide and transferred to hotel. Each child will receive an activity book on arrival that contains fun yet educational games to keep them entertained during their stay.
Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.
After freshening up at your hotel, head to Kandawgyi Park in central Yangon. With its large lake, views of Shwedagon, replica royal barge and shady walking paths this park is popular with local families and a great place to relax and enjoy lunch (depending on arrival time; client’s account). Explore and play in the park or relax by the waterside and enjoy the views.
Around 15.00 we head into downtown and cool off with an ice cream at Shwe Pa Zun, a popular sweet shop which sells an array of homemade treats. The sweets are delicious and it is a great place to meet friendly local families.
From here we take a short drive to the boat jetty for a sunset cruise on the Yangon River. Enjoy snacks as you cruise along the water, past the cityscape and villages on the opposite side of the river. Kids can feed the seagulls while parents can relax with a beer or local rum sour (free flow!) and enjoy the scenery.
We disembark around 18.00 and transfer back toward the city centre. Around Sule Pagoda Road, we’ll switch from our car to a local trishaw for a ride along Strand Road to Monsoon Restaurant for a welcome dinner.
Overnight in Yangon.
Families | Visit All-Year
Today starts with a transfer to Shwedagon Pagoda. Kids will love visiting around the pagoda as there are many fun activities and interesting things to learn. They can make wishes by tossing coins into bowls, make an offering at their ‘animal’ post and see the unusual ‘neon’ Buddhas in the prayer hall.
After visiting the pagoda, head down the eastern stairs to the ‘monks market’ where everything from monk robes to alms bowls is sold. It is a colorful spectacle that kids will love.
Next make a stop at Mahawizaya temple where kids can have a chance to feed the fish. Feeding temple fish is a way that the local Buddhist make merit, but great fun for kids who can see the giant fish swim to the surface for a bite of food.
From here our car will transfer us to downtown and the fabulous Bogyoke Market. Also known as Scott Market, the building is filled with stalls selling local handicrafts such as marionettes, laquerware and jewelry. To get your family into the local spirit, we’ll purchase a traditional longyi (the sarong-like skirt worn by men and women) for everyone and try thanaka (the local yellow paste used as suncream). Take a family photo- a perfect snapshop memory of your day in Yangon.
Lunch is at your leisure today- your guide will offer several selections depending on what your family would like to have.
This afternoon transfer to the Yangon Airport for the flight to Heho, in the heart of the Shan State. From Heho it is a one-hour drive to Nyaung Shwe where a local motorboat will be waiting to transfer you onto the lake and your hotel.
Overnight at Inle Lake.
Today a private boat and guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of Inle Lake.
We pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles.
Start with a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.
Lunch at local restaurant.
This afternoon continue your exploration of the lake, travelling down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of Indein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Alaung Sitthou is filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.
On the way back to your hotel, stop at Inthar Heritage House. This traditional house is a great place to learn about the culture of the lake’s residence and also serves as a small breeding ground of Burmese cats.
Overnight on Inle Lake.
This morning after breakfast we’ll set off for the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location on a 5-day basis and attracts vendors from around the lake and its surrounding hills. Walking among the stalls you’ll see local produce, handicrafts and possibly vendors dressed in their traditional hilltribe costume.
Then continue by boat to Kaung Dhine village on the eastern shores of Inle Lake. The people living here are known for their delicious soy bean crackers, tofu and other treats. Walking around the village you can observe all steps of the process of creating these local items and taste the treats. It’s a fascinating experience for kids and adults.
Continue to Nyaung Shwe where your car is waiting to transfer you to the Heho Airport. Depending on flight time there may be time to explore this small, quiet village and its many temples and nunneries. There are several restaurants here including an Italian restaurant with superb pizza.
A short flight takes you to Nyaung U. The transfer to your hotel in Bagan will take 10-20 minutes and the evening is at leisure to relax.
Overnight in Bagan.
Your family holiday continues with a day out in Bagan, visiting some of the 2000 pagodas as well as exploring local workshops and villages.
After breakfast we’ll visit the Nyaung U Market, where amid the produce stalls are local toys and other handicrafts that kids may enjoy. We’ll take a local trishaw to a nearby village to observe the making of poneyay gyi (a local pea paste) and plum jam.
Then we’ll spend a couple hours exploring a variety of temples that kids will enjoy. We’ll start at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the city’s most important, where we can see unique nat statutes and the glittering golden stupa. Then, using flashlights, we’ll explore Kyan Sitthar Cave temple- walking through the tunnel-like corridors and viewing the fading paintings on the ceiling.
Next we visit Ananda with its mysterious smiling Buddhas and Shwegugyi, which offers spectacular views from its upper terrace.
Take a break for lunch (own account). Then, for animal lovers, we’ll make a short stop at Lawkanandar Sanctuary which is home to a family of unique star tortoises.
Then take a break back at the hotel to go for a swim and escape the midday heat.
Around 16.00 we’ll head to the local boat jetty for a sunset cruise. The boat takes us out to a sandbank in the middle of the Irrawaddy where a table and chairs are set up. Enjoy snacks and a drink on your private ‘island’. Kids will have a chance to play chinlone, a local sports game, or build sand castles while the adults relax and enjoy the views.
Return to the shores just after sunset and transfer back to your hotel or to dinner.
Overnight in Bagan.
Today begins with a horse cart ride through some of the temple area, for a final glimpse of the temples before departing. In the morning there are fewer horsecarts so the roads are less dusty and can explore at a leisurely pace.
We then begin the drive to Mt Popa, leaving the temples behind and heading through the dry flatlands toward Popa. Along the way we’ll stop at a small village where the locals make a variety of treats from the juice of the palm tree. Watch as the farmers climb the tall toddy trees and tap the fruit, returning to land to boil the liquid into wine and sweet molasses. Kids can also help grind rice and corn, guiding the oxen as they pull the stone grinder.
The family will set up lunch for us in the shade of the toddy palms.
Continue the drive to Popa and check into Popa Mountain Resort. Surrounded by forests and with a swimming pool, this is a great place for the family to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Myanmar.
Overnight at Mt Popa.
Enjoy a leisurely morning at the resort before heading down to Mt Popa itself to visit this famous nat shrine. Join the local pilgrims on the walk to the top. Kids will love seeing the crazy statues along the way as well as the dozens of monkeys who live on the mountain. From the top there are superb views of the plains of Bagan and distant hills.
Drive back to Bagan this afternoon and to the Nyaung U Airport for your flight to Yangon.
Upon arriving in Yangon, transfer to your hotel for an evening at your leisure.
Overnight in Yangon.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Yangon International airport for your onward flight. Or if you wish, extend your stay in Yangon with one of our family-friendly excursions or a beach break.
Dhala Colors of the Countryside: Take a local ferry across the river to Dhala, a typical rural Burmese village. Travel by trishaw through the quiet streets visiting the markets, neighborhoods and monasteries and meeting friendly locals along the way. This half day excursions gives families a chance to see and enjoy rural Burmese life.
Learn Traditional Burmese Dance: Spend two hours with a dance teacher and learn the elegant movements and gestures of traditional Burmese dance. This aspect of local culture is uniquely Burmese and a fun activity for both kids and adults.
Beach Extension- Pathein & Ngwe Saung:Travel to the coast for a relaxing beach break at a family-friendly resort in Ngwe Saung. The drive takes you through the countryside to the town of Pathein where we’ll stop to see the local market and crafts shops- kids can make their own umbrella and paint their own pottery. After lunch continue to the beach (1 hour) with an optional stop at a jungle elephant camp for a ride on these beautiful animals. Spend as many days as you wish on the beaches of Ngwe Saung before returning to Yangon.
As your family and you discover Burma together, you will find mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the world's friendliest people.
From golden Buddha's and busy markets, magical temples and the tranquillity of Inle Lake - Burma will excite, impress and intrigue those of all ages. Like travelling back in a time-machine, you will experience South East Asia as it was twenty years ago - brimming with rarely seen sights and generations of exciting stories just waiting to be told.
Come and uncover a little bit of Burma magic with us on this amazing Family Adventure!