Maximise your time in Myanmar by flying overnight to Yangon, the countries former capital.
The economic and spiritual heart of Myanmar, Yangon is full of traditional shophouses and ornate temples. On a downtown walking tour you’ll pass the crumbling colonial buildings that line the city’s streets. Your private guide will take you to important attractions like the National Museum, the Reclining Buddha Pagoda and the city’s beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda.
After a short flight to Mandalay, board the Sanctuary Ananda for a four-night cruise down the Ayeryarwady River to Bagan. After lunch on board, you'll visit the holy Sagaing Hills. An important religious and monastic centre, the hills are home to 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Next, you’ll visit Amarapura, once known as 'The City of Immortals', before heading to the elegant U Bein Bridge for sunset.
This morning, sail to the village of Sin Kyun before continuing on towards Pakokku. The deck of the Sanctuary Ananda is a great spot for sightseeing. As the ship sails past Mingun you’ll be able to see the town’s unfinished pagoda. As you continue south, admire villages set against a backdrop of rich tamarind trees, while white and golden pagodas grace the distant hills.
Disembark to explore the local market in Pakokku before a cooking class with the ship's executive chef. After lunch, you’ll arrive in the ancient city of Bagan. Visit a small pagoda complex to see the different architectural styles of the stupas up close. You can then carry on to the impressive golden Shwezigon Pagoda. The day ends with sunset views over the scenic plains of Bagan.
Visit Bagan's Ananda Temple, one of the most beautiful in Myanmar, before taking a horse-and-cart ride to Htilominlo and Pyathatgyi Temple. Spend the afternoon at Mount Popa, watching the sun set behind the hazy hills. In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner and a local performance as you bid this fine boat farewell.
It's time to leave the magnificent Sanctuary Ananda behind and explore the warm heart of Bagan with a local guide. Visit the villages and meet the welcoming people of Bagan. You’ll also explore a lacquerware workshop where traditional methods are still used.
Travel from the temples of Bagan to the enchanting waters of Inle Lake. There you’ll stay at the Villa Inle Resort. Each of its comfortable villas blends into the lush lakeshore and offers views out over the water. In the afternoon, visit Phaung-Daw-U Pagoda and the vast Inle Lake. Watch as fisherman and farmers use their unique methods to cultivate the lake and bring in the catch.
The Villa Inle Resort is a good base for exploring the region. Visit industrious artisans, precarious stilt-houses, green mountains and off-beat villages. With a guide, explore the bright and bustling Five-Day Market where local hilltribes come to trade their goods. Lunch is served on a unique restored riceboat. Transformed into a restaurant, the boat serves up Myanmar specialities with a side dish of spectacular views.
Fly back to Yangon for your final night in the city. The last day is yours to enjoy. We can offer our recommendations or you can simply go wherever takes your fancy.
Time to leave the glittering pagodas and smiling people of Myanmar and return to the UK. We’ll drive you to the airport for your flight home.