Burma cultural tour, small group

“A highlight-packed exploration of this magical country, including Yangon, Bagan temple complex, beautiful Mandalay and Inle Lake, with three flights to help cover the ground in just 12 days.”


Yangon | Mandalay | U Bein Bridge | Bagan | Nyaungshwe | cycling to local winery | Inle Lake and walk to Indein village

Description of Burma cultural tour, small group

Travel to Myanmar and discover a country of mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the friendliest folk you’ll ever meet. From the glittering spires of Shwedagon Pagoda, and the ancient temples of Bagan, to the tranquillity of Inle Lake and the lively atmosphere of Mandalay, Myanmar will excite, impress and intrigue you. Full of rarely seen sights and stories just waiting to be told, come and experience the magic of Myanmar.

Begin your Myanmar discovery in Yangon, the country’s largest city. Home to a wealth of ancient relics it attracts an extraordinary mix of monks, pilgrims, worshippers and tourists. Visit its symbolic and iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, a magnificent glittering temple crowning the city. From here visit Mandalay, Myanmar’s ‘Jewel City’, and savour the sights, sounds and flavours on a city tour. Enjoy an afternoon cruise from Mandalay to Mingun, and visit the world’s largest pagoda, then return to watch the sunset over the Ayeryarwady River. Then head to Bagan, Myanmar’s ancient city famous for the Bagan Archaeological Area, where more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plain. Soak up the tranquillity of Inle Lake, enjoying a leisurely boat trip, and sample the hospitality of the Shan people, one of many groups that contribute to the ethnic diversity of this colourful country.

To save time on this trip there are three internal flights, with all other travel by boat and private bus and all accommodation in hotels. This is a small group guided trip.

Travel Team

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04 Oct 2020
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Holiday type

Small group adventure - Comfort trips

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Comfort trips, designed for travellers looking for more inclusions in their itinerary, a higher standard of accommodation and more focus on private vehicles over public transport.

Comfort trips are aimed at the adventure traveller who wants to discover the world up close, but with some creature comforts along the way. Dependent on the itinerary, there may still be a night multi-share accommodation (at a homestay for example), but this will be to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic experience. Camping trips will usually stay in permanent, tented camps or some of the safari options may be lodge based.

You'll stay in predominantly 3 ½ star and above tourist class hotels with private, en suite facilities, although some itineraries will still include the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend a night on an overnight train or camp out somewhere amazing (without the hassle of putting up your own tent!).

You'll find a number of the meals are included (as per your itinerary) and when eating together we'll focus on smaller, often family run restaurants, often eating where the locals eat and ensuring that you are still getting an authentic travel experience.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

A further benefit of eating locally is environmental; food sourced regionally has travelled considerably less distance than that shipped from elsewhere, massively reducing the impact of food mile carbon emissions, a subject we are passionate about.

Steps will be taken throughout your trip to Burma to further reduce our environmental impact while in country. Small measures can make a big difference to the overall picture and you will notice little actions throughout your trip. For example, all travellers in your group are encouraged to travel with refillable water bottles and purification tablets rather than purchasing water in plastic bottles to minimise waste and your group leader will also be on hand to advise on the responsible discarding of rubbish throughout the trip. These minor considerations help us ensure that travel to Burma can be enjoyed for many years to come.

As a company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. We run and support a variety of projects globally, from healthcare, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and environmental and wildlife protection. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 11 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.

The Impacts of this Trip

In 2003, we responded to the call for a boycott on travel to Burma by the then democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party was denied the right to govern the country by the military dictatorship. Over the past few years positive events within the country including the elections in November 2010, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and the subsequent call to end the travel boycott by the NLD, have prompted us to return to this fascinating destination.

By reintroducing our grassroots style of travel, we can contribute to improving the circumstances of the Burmese people by way of initiating a two-way exchange. Firstly, resuming trips will give them a chance to interact with visitors from other countries, thus giving a rare glimpse into life and governance in other parts of the world, and secondly, taking passengers to Burma will help to build awareness of the complex issues this country continues to face, as well as positively contributing to the economy.

With these goals in mind, this itinerary has been designed to include lots of local interaction throughout the trip and also to utilise locally owned transport and accommodation. We aim to be as financially responsible as possible on all of our itineraries, ensuring that money spent on trip goes directly back into the local economies. On this trip for example, we will use local operators when hiring river boats in Mandalay and the ferryboat we use to journey up the Irrawaddy River. The canoes hired on Inle Lake will be owned locally and there will be the opportunity to stop at village houses around Inle to purchase traditional snacks. There is free time throughout the itinerary where travellers may like to hire bicycles to explore, or venture out by horse and carriage; both services that will be owned and operated locally.

We encourage our travellers to support local industry when it comes to purchasing souvenirs, in Burma there is plenty of opportunity to hone haggling skills visiting the local markets of Mandalay, Maymyo and Rangoon, or perhaps travellers may wish to support the craftsmen and women plying their trade in the ruin of Bagan where traditional lacquer-ware and sand paintings are available.

As well as small, local accommodations, our small group sizes (averaging 10 people with a maximum of 16) mean that we are a small enough party to enjoy local restaurants and hospitality that larger groups overlook. This again supports local industry and gives travellers a better flavour for the region, whilst our use of local guides not only creates valuable employment opportunities, but gives clients a fantastic tour experience with their ‘inside knowledge’ of Burma.


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