Treasures of Myanmar Group Tour

Myanmar – Treasures of Myanmar Group Tour – a 15 day Small Group Tour.

From chaotic and charming Yangon, where we take a spiritual Shwedagon tour, to Kayah villages and old pagodas and monasteries, this is a group tour that really goes beyond the tourist trail.

You have the chance to go trekking to the villages in Kayah state and learn about the ethnic longneck tribe. Add in a cycle tour in Mandalay and visit a project for retired elephants around Kalaw, and you can see why this group tour of Myanmar is so different.



We start our Myanmar group tour in the capital, Yangon. Formerly known as Rangoon, it is a delightfully ramshackle city.

Founded in the 18th century and becoming an important port it was destroyed by fire and then again suffered during the Second Anglo-Burmese War in the 19th century. Much of downtown Yangon hosts a splendid array of colonial style architecture dating back to the British occupation, including the wonderfully picturesque City Hall and the High Court.

Many streets are thronged with people buying from the numerous stalls set up alongside the pavements, selling everything from fried insects to engine parts. Central Yangon contains the wonderfully gaudy Sule Pagoda, an ancient structure in the middle of a busy intersection, which gives a great picture of how Myanmar melds ancient spirituality and modern day commercial interests.

The jewel in Yangon’s crown is however the Shwedagon Pagoda, a collection of stupas encrusted in gold which attracts pilgrims from all over Myanmar, and is said to contain hairs from Buddha. Containing numerous images of nats (spirits) and Buddha himself, Shwedagon is immensely important for the Burmese people, and is where Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a crowd of hundreds of thousands demanding democracy from the military regime.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Begin the Myanmar group tour on arrival in Yangon and transfer to the hotel accommodation. Overnight at Clover City Centre Plus Hotel or similar.

This morning we visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. There’s time to discover the history of the pagoda, learn about the daily lives of people living in the immediate vicinity and gain an insight into the Buddhist religion and how spirituality combines with belief in nats – Myanmar spirits. The tour passes workshops, markets and monasteries along the way and includes a traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda, and a visit to a fortune teller. The afternoon is free to discover downtown Yangon and its heritage buildings independently. You may wish to revisit Shwedagon in the evening to see the pagoda illuminated in all its glory. Overnight at Clover City Plus Centre Hotel or similar. (B)

This morning we head to the airport for a short domestic flight to Mandalay, followed by transfer to hotel accommodation. In the afternoon we visit the Mahamuni pagoda and examine the centuries-old Buddha statue, originating from Mrauk Oo. Later, we continue to Amarapura, a quiet village known for its artisan weavers. Finally, we visit the famous Mahagandayon Monastery complex, home to hundreds of monks, take in a 100-year-old institution dedicated to training weavers, taste Mandalay rum, produced since 1886, and watch sunset from the U-Bein Bridge. Overnight at Victoria Palace Hotel or similar. (B)

Two wheels provide a great way to appreciate the city and surroundings. The ride starts among the back lanes of town, passing markets and lively neighbourhoods, heading for the north east of the city. After a short ride we find ourselves in true countryside, where farmers tend their fields and villagers go about their daily tasks, often stopping to wave as we pass. We stop at a market to see what’s on sale, then discover the multiple applications of bamboo, used to construct everything from roofs and walls to fans. Later, we dismount and walk through a typical central Myanmar village to learn about lifestyle and farming practices. On the way back to town we stop at a tea shop for some snacks, and expect to return around noon, giving our legs a rest and heading back to the hotel by motorbike. The rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at Victoria Palace Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note: Suitable clothing is advisable for this activity, such as quarter length trousers or shorts, t-shirts and closed shoes. Hats and sunscreen and hat are a must too.

This morning we take a public bus to Bagan, arriving at lunchtime and checking-in to hotel accommodation. In the afternoon our Myanmar group tour has a guided sightseeing tour, climbing a pagoda for an impressive view over the whole plain before visiting some of the area’s most interesting temples. Highlights include the Ananda, Dhammayangyi and Thatbyinnyu. Overnight at Zfreeti Hotel Hotel or similar. (B)

Today is a free to explore Bagan independently at your own pace. Consider renting a horse drawn buggy, a bicycle or an electric bike. For a spectacular perspective, book at least six months in advance, and take an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the Bagan plain. Overnight at Zfreeti Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note: Accurate weights of all passengers are required for balloon flights. Passengers in excess of 125kg/280lb will attract a 100% surcharge on the ticket price. Pregnant women and children younger than eight-years-old or under 137cm tall are not permitted to fly.

(Approximate driving time: six-hours)

Today’s long drive takes us to an elephant conservation project near Kalaw. If we arrive on schedule there’ll be time to take a peaceful walk in the forest before meeting the elephants and their mahouts. The project was started by local school friends and focuses on protecting the elephants, the environment, and preserving the traditions of local people. As well as providing a natural environment for retired working elephants, the project assists villagers in education and micro finance. We have an opportunity to learn about the elephants, to help wash them in the river and feed them in beautiful forest surroundings. After lunch we continue on to Kalaw itself. Overnight at the Dream Villa Hotel or similar. (BL)

An early start sees a spectacular train journey through the landscapes of Pa O. The train leaves Kalaw at 06:00 and arrives at Saung Byaung station around 16:00, but be prepared for delays… On arrival we continue by private car to Loikaw to enjoy a traditional, home cooked meal at a local family house. Overnight at Kayah Land Hotel or similar. (BD)

Please note: We recommend you carry enough drinks and snacks for the train journey. The train has hard wooden seats, so it may be an idea to bring a soft pillow for the journey.

Today we start with a visit to the busy morning market of Loikaw, followed by the former palace of the Kayah prince and Kayah Museum. Later, we drive to Kasae Kum village where the rings that some Kayah women wear around their necks are made – the story of longneck women is itself an intriguing tale. Next, we continue to Pemsong village, stretching our legs, and not our necks, on a four-hour ‘trail of the ancestors’. During the walk, local guides recount the story of their ancestors, describing their belief in spirits, the significance of totem poles, and the application of herbal medicines. We have a picnic lunch before arriving in one of the Kayah villages and meeting more longneck women. Finally, we drive towards Loikaw, visiting a Kayah boxing training centre, before enjoying Kayah liquor (or a beer) sundowners with Kayah sausages. Overnight at Kayah Land Hotel or similar. (BL)

This morning we visit Hta Nee La Leh and meet members of the community who will explain their animist shrines and traditions. We take lunch at a local house, leaving the rest of the day free for independent exploration or just relaxation. Overnight at Kayah Land Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate journey time: four-hours)

After breakfast we drive to Pekon and take a boat across Pekon Lake towards Samkar village to visit Samkar Monastery. Later, we continue by boat to Inle Lake a highlight of the Myanmar group tour. Overnight at Paramount Inle Hotel or similar. (B)

Today is dedicated to exploring this magical lake by boat. We discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowing fishermen, and take tea in a local home. Traditional markets are held in different villages around the lake, according to a five-day schedule. We visit one of the markets frequented by Shan and Pa O people. We also visit a local cheroot factory, where Burmese cigars manufactured, floating tomato gardens, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Intha Heritage house where Burmese cats are bred, and if there’s time, call in at a weaving factory. Overnight at Paramount Inle Hotel or similar. (BL)

In the morning we visit the recently discovered ruins of Indein, still partly covered by vegetation. If time allows, we’ll take a short walk to a viewpoint over the lake and visit a school in Tha Ley village. We take lunch at a local house before continuing towards the Nam Pan village for an interesting canoe excursion exploring the village life on the lake’s side channels. Finally, we visit a recently established vineyard, one of two in the whole country, for tastings. Overnight at Paramount Inle Hotel or similar. (BL)

A short domestic flight from Heho airport returns us to Yangon, followed by check-in at hotel accommodation. The rest of the day is free to explore the city. Overnight at Clover City Centre Plus Hotel or similar. (B)

The Myanmar group tour ends today and after breakfast airport transfers meet onward flights. (B)

Extend your Myanmar group tour with an extension to Ngapali Beach 4 Days/3 Nights (Not available as an extension in the wet season May – October)

This morning head to Heho airport for a domestic flight to Thandwe, for Ngapali Beach. On arrival transfer to hotel accommodation. Overnight at Linn Thar Oo Lodge or similar. (B)

Spend the next 2 days at leisure at Ngapali Beach. Overnight at Linn Thar Oo Lodge or similar (B)

Transfer to Thandwe airport for flights back to Yangon. On arrival transfer to hotel accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at Clover City Centre Hotel or similar. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight at the end of your Myanmar group tour. (B)

Extend your Myanmar group tour with an extension to Mon/Kayin

This morning we leave Yangon and visit the Taukkyan War Cemetery, where over 6,000 Allied soldiers are laid to rest, and the Rangoon Memorial records 27,000 Commonwealth soldiers who died in Burma during WW2.  It’s here that prisoners of war forced by the Japanese to construct the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway’ in Kayin and Mon state are commemorated. Later we continue to Kyaiktiyo and visit the Golden Rock pagoda. Balanced on the edge of a mountain, over the years the pagoda’s rock has been entirely covered by gold leaf, and it has become one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. Overnight Golden Sunrise Hotel or similar. (B)

There’s an early start today as we drive to Hpa An. Exploring by kayak and on foot through typical Kayin landscapes and traditional villages, we see how local people live and work, taking lunch at a local house. We continue by kayak to the remarkable Saddar Cave known for its Buddha statues and carvings. Overnight at Hotel Gabana or similar. (BL)

Please note: The streams in this region are shallow, and we’ll use small kayaks to get around. This means you could get wet. Sandals, shorts and a t-shirt are recommended, and of course a hat and sunscreen. We are supporting local communities in this off-the-beaten-track region and therefore you’ll be accompanied by local people. Though English language skills may be limited a genuine love of the area sees them share their community with pride.

Today we board a private board boat for a cruise on the Thanlwin (Salween) River – one of the longest rivers in Myanmar, ending in Mon State. As the river is quite narrow we have fantastic views of life on the river banks. We stop at Pa Lin village to visit the community, home to Kayin, Shan, Mon, Bamar and PaO people. Continuing along the river, we also stop at a small jetty in U Na Auk village. Here, we take tuk tuks to see the ornate carvings and decorations of the temples and ordination hall donated to the village by Mr Na Auk, a successful Mon trader during the British period. On arrival in the city of Mawlamyine we visit a local house for a home cooked lunch of Mon specialities. In the afternoon we visit the Mon Museum and walk around an area notable for impressive colonial buildings from the time writers George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling lived in the city. Finally, we visit the Seindon Mibaya Monastery known for its exquisite wood carvings, before returning to Hpa An for the evening. Overnight at Hotel Gabana or similar. (BL)

After breakfast we drive northwards, passing through rural villages and towns of Mon and Kayin State. We call in at Kawgun Cave, known for its artwork of clay Buddha statues dating from the 7th century, the period of the Mon kingdom. Later, we stop at the former Royal Palace I Bago. From Bago we continue by train to Yangon, a great way to take in the scenery. On arrival at Yangon station we transfer to hotel accommodation. Overnight at Clover City Centre Plus Hotel or similar. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your onward international flights at the end of the Myanmar group tour. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This Myanmar group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.

Return flights from London to Yangon start at £600. Contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Single Supplement for main group tour from £350 to £385

Single Supplement for Ngapali Beach extension from £150

Single Supplement for Mon/Kayin State extension from £75

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Yangon costs from £30 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £55 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.


If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.

Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please get in touch with Mark so we can tailor your perfect tour of Myanmar.

Mapped itinerary.

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Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Myanmar - Beyond the Tourist Trail Tour Map

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Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader where mentioned
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

A very enjoyable time. We feel we have a much better understanding of Myanmar: it’s people, culture and politics as a result of this trip. We have seen many wonderful sights ( not all pagodas though they are varied and amazing!). This trip is marketed as beyond the tourist trail. Mostly we were firmly on it but the local variations such as village walks and meals, train and bus rides helped us feel we were seeing a bit more and you could not have missed out on the main tourist areas of Bagan and Inle. We also did the Mon extension. The Golden Rock was a great experience.


Name withheld at clients request