Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors
- 1. Join pilgrims at the Shwedagon Pagoda, arguably the world’s most impressive golden stupa, and see it come alive as the sun goes down
- 2. Explore the city of Mandalay, the cultural and historic heart of the old monarchy
- 3. Wonder at the leg rowers, floating gardens and ancient Indein pagoda complex on Inle Lake
- 4. Spend sunset at U Bein's Bridge near the former royal capital of Amarapura
|09 March 2024
Ends 23 March 2024 • 15 days
|26 October 2024
Ends 09 November 2024 • 15 days
|08 March 2025
Ends 22 March 2025 • 15 days
|25 October 2025
Ends 08 November 2025 • 15 days
|07 March 2026
Ends 21 March 2026 • days
|24 October 2026
Ends 07 November 2026 • days
Discovering Myanmar | Small group tour for seniorsOdyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Myanmar and beyond into South East Asia. We explore itsits World Heritage Sites, and cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Myanamar, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.
Myanmar 's culture is as rich as its scenery in this part of South East Asia. Discover the beauty of Myanmar in 14 days on one of Odyssey's small group tours Myanmar for senior and mature travellers. On this Myanmar tour we visit the major archaeological site, Bagan and explore and learn the fascinating historical and culture of classic Myanmar . This Mynmar tour begins in Yangon (or Rangoon), Odyssey Travellers small group tours Myanmar then travels to Inle Lake, Pindaya,Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin and Bagan. Our small group tours Myanmar is escorted by a local guide and an experienced program leader.The Myanmar tour itinerary is ideal for mature-aged or senior couples or single travellers wanting to learn about places of interest in Myanmar and its history and culture. Join us as we travel in Myanmar on a small group holiday and meet some of the warmest and most welcoming peaceful people in the world.
Myanmar Small Group Tour Highlights
The first three days of this Myanmar tour will be spent exploring the old colonial city of Yangon with a local guide . Highlights include the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, arguably the world's most impressive golden stupa. There will be a walking tour of downtown Yangon hosted by the Heritage Trust. Thereafter, we will head north to Inle Lake where floating gardens and stilt villages await. Following this, we travel to Pindaya for Shwe Oo Taung cave complex, home to an amazing 8,000 images of the Buddha.
A short flight takes us from Yangon Mandalay , Myanmar's last royal city. Here, we'll board our private chartered boat on the Ayeyarwady River (Irrawaddy River) to visit Mingun, the famous Shwenandaw Monastery, and the Mahamuni and Kuthodaw Pagodas. We then travel to the old British Hill Station, now known as Pyin Oo Lwin, where we will stay for the night. We return to Mandalay the next morning to visit the former royal city of Amarapura before taking in the sunset from U Bein's Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world.
There will be a boat trip down from Mandalay to Bagan along the Ayeyarwady River (irrawaddy river) to Myanmar's ancient capital, Bagan . Today, the mighty Ayeyarwady River remains a key transport and communication highway for the people of Myanmar. En route, if tides permit, we visit the fascinating historic village of Yandabo. Finally, we have two days to wander and explore the Bagan temples with expert local guides. Bagan is an ancient capital and is today composed of some 3,500 ancient pagodas and Buddhist monuments that contribute to this UNESCO world heritage site . Regarded by many as one of Asia's premier archaeological sites, a visit to Bagan as an ancient capital will truly be a memorable experience.
You can learn more about this Southeast Asia small group tours Myanmar with Odyssey's country profile. For more information about this tour, check out the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ pages above. To make a booking, please call, send us an email, or simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
Articles about Myanmar (Burma)
The following list of articles are either published by Odyssey Traveller or are carefully selected external sources to maximise senior traveller's knowledge and enjoyment of Myanmar when visiting:
Day 1: Yangon
Accommodation: We spend 3 nights at the Park Royal Hotel, Yangon, or a similar.
After arrival at Yangon’s international airport, participants make their own way to the hotel. Our tour commences with a full tour briefing at 6pm, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel.
Day 2: Yangon
Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.
Our sightseeing in Yangon commences today. Highlights include the Chauktatgyi pagoda and its colossal reclining Buddha statue, a stop for a scenic photo opportunity on the shores of Kandawgyi Lake, and a guided walk of historic downtown Yangon hosted by the Yangon Heritage Trust. In the afternoon, we will visit Myanmar’s National Museum where you can find Burmese artefacts and other cultural exhibits.
Day 3: Yangon
Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.
Our sightseeing in Yangon continues with its waterfront. We will visit the Botataung Pagoda, a famous landmark on Yangon’s waterfront, and home to an unusual stupa that can be explored internally. Before proceeding to colourful Bogyoke market one of the local markets, we also visit Nanthida Jetty where people commute from the other side of Yangon River.
We then return to the hotel for some leisure time. In the evening, we will visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda which dates back 2,500 years. The stupa is sheathed in 11 tonnes of pure gold and 4,350 diamonds weighing 1800 carats. It is most spectacular at sunset, offering visitors a breathtaking show of light, shadow sights and sounds.
Day 4: Inle Lake
Accommodation: 1 night at the Pristine Lotus Spa & Resort, or similar accommodation.
This morning, we will fly north from Yangon to Heho.
On arrival, we will travel by coach to Inle Lake. After checking into our hotel, we will board private longboats to begin our exploration of Inle’s enchanting water world. Highlights include the unique ‘one-legged’ rowing style that Inle’s boatmen use, the floating gardens, villages built on stilts over the lake itself, and traditional local industries including silversmithing, cheroot making and weaving. We will also visit the famous Paungdaw Oo Pagoda. It is home to five solid gold images reportedly brought to Inle Lake after the fall of Bagan in the 13th century.
As a group we take time to explore the sights and sounds of the bustling ‘5 day market’ where the local Pa’O and Intha people come to sell their produce.
Day 5: Pindaya
Accommodation: 1 night at the Pindaya Inle Inn, or similar accommodation.
This morning, we re-board our longboats on the main lake for a lovely ride up a side canal to visit Indein village, the hidden treasure of Inle Lake. There will be a walking tour through bamboo groves along streams where children and young monks play, as well as to the Shwe Indein pagoda complex which houses small temples and stupas dating back to the 11th century.
We then return to the main part of Inle Lake for lunch. After checking out from our hotel, we take a scenic drive through the countryside at the northern end of the Lake and visit the Red Mountain winery en route to the small town of Pindaya, where we spend the night.
Day 6: Mandalay
Accommodation: 2 nights at the Sedona Hotel, or similar accommodation.
This morning, we will visit the small, local market in Pindaya for a taste of local culture and village life.
This is followed by a tour through the astonishing Shwe Oo Taung cave complex, formed over 200 million years ago and now home to over 8,000 images of the Buddha.
We return to Heho airport in the afternoon to catch a flight to Mandalay.
Day 7: Mandalay
Accommodation: 1 night at the Sedona Hotel, or similar accommodation.
This morning, we will transfer to the riverbank to board our private chartered boat upriver to Mingun. Here, we will see the mammoth pagoda commonly referred to as ‘the largest pile of bricks in the world’ (widely believed to be abandoned before construction was finished). A lovely stroll along the riverbank takes us to Mingun Bell, the world’s largest ringing bell.
We then proceed to the outstanding Mya Thein Tan Pagoda, also referred to as the Taj Mahal of Myanmar. We will then return by boat to Mandalay for lunch.
There will be a city sight seeing tour in the afternoon which includes the highly-revered Mahamuni Pagoda, a traditional gold leaf making workshop, the Shwenandaw Monastery (noted for its exquisite wood carvings), and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the world’s largest book with its 729 stone slabs that contain the entire Buddhist scriptures. If time permits, we will visit Mandalay Hill for a stunning view of the city and Ayeyarwady River.
Day 8: Pyin Oo Lwin
Accommodation: 1 night at the Aureum Resort, Governor’s House, or similar accommodation.
We continue our journey by coach, driving up to the former British Hill Station, Maymyo, (now known as Pyin Oo Lwin) for cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery. Our sightseeing includes elegant colonial houses, Myanmar’s beautiful237 acre National Botanical Garden, and the Pwe Kauk waterfall.
Day 9: Mandalay
Accommodation: 1 night at the Hilton Hotel, or similar.
Today’s sightseeing begins with a visit to the busy Pyin Oo Lwin market before we return to Mandalay for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will head to the Bagaya monastery and a silk weaving workshop in the former royal capital, Amarapura, before driving down to Lake Taungthaman to see the sunset at U Bein’s Bridge. This is the longest teak bridge in the world, built in 1782 using huge teak pillars salvaged from the former royal capital.
Day 10: Bagan
Accommodation: 3 nights at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.
Today, we transfer to the banks of the Ayeyarwady River to board our vessel for a full day’s cruise to the plains of Bagan. If tides permit, we break our journey at Yandabo village. This is the site of the peace treaty that ended the First Anglo-Burmese War between the British and Myanmar in 1826. Locally, it is more famous for its pottery, and we will witness the pottery-making process. We then return to our boat for lunch, and resume our cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan now a UNESCO World heritage site.
After disembarking around sunset at Nyaung U, we transfer to our hotel in the historical centre of Old Bagan.
Day 11: Bagan
Accommodation: 1 night at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.
Today we’ll begin our sightseeing in Bagan, home to the world’s largest and densest concentration of temples, pagodas, stupas, and other Buddhist monuments. Many date back to the 11th century and are still in use today. Bagan is widely regarded as the world’s premier archaeological site. Bagan’s architecture and accompanying frescoes are one of the main highlights of our small group tour to Myanmar. Our visit will take in a variety of temples, stupas and monasteries, and ancient pagodas the magnificent Bagan Archaeological Museum.
Day 12: Bagan
Accommodation: 1 night at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.
This morning, we travel southeast of Bagan to visit Mt Popa, an extinct volcano now covered in lush forest. After Mt Popa erupted many millennia ago, the volcanic plug that was blown onto the surrounding plain became known as Popa Taung Kalat, a 2,418 foot-high natural feature now home to a plethora of Buddhist and not-so-Buddhist shrines inhabited by pilgrims and monkeys.
On our drive back to Bagan, we stop at a local farm to see the production of jaggery and palm wine liquor.
In the late afternoon, we will take a pony cart drive through the temples nearby our hotel to Taungbi village and its lovely 18th century teak monastery.
Day 13: Yangon
Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.
Our sightseeing in Bagan concludes with a morning visit to tour Bagan at your leisure or to go to the market at Nyaung U where you can pick up some souvenirs. This is followed by a tour of one of Bagan’s famous lacquer-ware workshops, where we will learn how Myanmar’s famous lacquer-ware is produced, and see highly skilled artisans creating a wide variety of products.
Following lunch, we head to the airport for our flight back to Yangon and a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Day 14: Tour concludes in Yangon
Our tour concludes today after breakfast at our Yangon hotel.
- Group size is limited to 16.
- Tour will include walking up to 3 kilometre a day at a leisurely pace with stairs, uneven surfaces, and boarding of long boats from piers.
Includes / Excludes
- 13 nights of twin share hotel accommodation.
- 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 12 dinners.
- 3 internal flights as detailed in the itinerary (economy class, luggage limits may apply).
- All sightseeing including entrance fees and 1 day of cruising.
- All transportation as per itinerary.
- Services of an English speaking local guide.
- Odyssey program leader for the duration of the tour.
- Detailed tour information booklet.
What’s not included in our Tour
- International airfares and taxes.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Meals not specified in the itinerary.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
Your chat-operator was informative and helpful. We have covered quite a few countries and seasons to travel. Full marks for that!
The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. · I have travelled expensively but have not with a travel organisation that comes anywhere near Odyssey's attention to detail and the comfort of its travellers. · The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. The transport provided was always very good and where the seats were a little narrow, the bus was big enough for us to 'spread out' for more comfort. · Our accommodation was excellent as was our local guide.I would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful country with many treasures to explore and learn about. Discover Myanmar Nov ‘15
Reading List Download PDF
A History of Myanmar since Ancient Times: Traditions and Transformation
Michael Aung-Thwin and Maitrii Aung-Thwin
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, known amongst English speakers as Burma, is often characterized as a place of repressive military rule, civil war, censorship and corrupt elections – and despite recent attempts to promote tourism to this little-known country, few people visit this region of Asia.
In A History of Myanmar since Ancient Times, Michael Aung-Thwin and Maitrii Aung-Thwin take us from the sacred stupas of the plains of Bagan to the grand, colonial-era British mansions, revealing the storied past and rich culture of this country. The book traces the traditions and transformations of Myanmar over nearly three millennia, from the relics of its Neolithic civilization to the protests of Buddhist monks in the early twentieth century, the colonial era of British rule and the republic that followed. The authors also consider the present-day life, culture and society of the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia and examine the 2010 elections – its first in over twenty years.
The most comprehensive history of Myanmar ever published in the English language, this book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Southeast Asian history and will surprise, challenge and inform in equal measure.
The Pandaw Story: On the Rivers of Burma and Beyond
In 1995 Paul Strachan invited an unlikely assortment of eccentrics and adventurers to join him in an untried new boat that would venture up the Irrawaddy River, the first time foreign tourists had ventured up the mighty Burmese thoroughfare since the Second World War. Against all odds, the trip was a huge success, word quickly spread and before Strachan knew it he was running a business in one of the world's least business-friendly environments. He named it the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in honour of the Glasgow-based company that ran Burma's river transport when the country was an outpost of the British Raj. The company now trades under the name Pandaw, after the Clyde-built paddle steamer it restored in Burma In turns hilarious, shocking, moving and often highly provocative, this book celebrates the 20th anniversary of the revived Irrawaddy Flotilla Company and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the original Irrawaddy Flotilla. In The Pandaw Story Strachan describes many adventures, successes and mishaps on the rivers of Burma and then, after 2002 on the Kwai, Mekong, Ganges and Rajang rivers all of which he pioneered for river cruising. Few foreigners lived in Burma through these years and this book gives a number of fascinating insights into life in a military dictatorship, offering a uniquely well-informed account of the brutal impasse that for decades has dominated political life in one of the world's least-understood countries. This lively, humorous and anecdotal account gives some insights into the trials and tribulations of doing business in Burma and in South-East Asia more generally, introducing many outrageous and some sinister characters.
Greetings from Myanmar: Exploring the Price of Progress in One of the Last Countries on Earth to Open for Business
In just a few years, Myanmar has gone from destitution, dictatorship, and isolation from the international community to being hailed “World’s Best Tourist Destination”—a seemingly impossible transition that led David Bockino, in 2015, on a search to find out exactly what happened, and how. Traversing the country, he encounters a pompous Western businessman swindling his way to millions, a local vendor with a flair for painting nudes, and long ago legends of a western circus. Sensitively written and expertly researched, Greetings from Myanmar: Exploring the Price of Progress in One of the Last Countries on Earth to Open for Business is the story of a flourishing nation still very much in limbo and an answer to the hard questions that arise when tourism not only charts, but shapes a place as well.
The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma
What do we really know about Burma and its history? And what can Burma's past tell us about its present and even its future? For nearly two decades Western governments and a growing activist community have been frustrated in their attempts to bring about a freer and more democratic Burma―through sanctions and tourist boycotts―only to see an apparent slide toward even harsher dictatorship.
Now Thant Myint-U tells the story of modern Burma, and the story of his own family, in an interwoven narrative that is by turns lyrical, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Through his prominent family's stories and those of others, he portrays Burma's rise and decline in the modern world, from the time of Portuguese pirates and renegade Mughal princes through a sixty-year civil war that continues today―the longest-running war anywhere in the world.
The River of Lost Footsteps is a work at once personal and global, a "brisk, vivid history" (Philip Delves Broughton, The Wall Street Journal) that makes Burma accessible and enthralling.
Myanmar: A Political History
Myanmar, since its independence from the British in 1948, has witnessed decades of military dictatorship, a plethora of ethnic and political problems, and an arduous struggle to political normalcy and democracy. Reinventing its place in international trade, diplomacy, and geo-strategy, Myanmar today presents a complex pictureand how it engages with its own history plays an important part in this process of transformation.
Myanmar: A Political History examines the politico-historical antecedents of contemporary Myanmar: from colonial rule to the establishment of its first civilian government; the subsequent fall into military dictatorship; and the transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic government. Kipgen weaves in its relations with the United States, Myanmars political, economic, and military connect with China; IndiaMyanmar relations in the context of Indias Look East policy; and Myanmars cooperation problems on human rights within the ASEAN. Lucid and well researched, this book is a valuable guide to those interested in the future of Myanmar as well as South and Southeast Asia, to understand the historical knowledge as to how different political actors played differing roles in the countrys transition across governments.
Letters from Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi
Letters from Burma - an unforgettable collection from the Nobel Peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi In these astonishing letters, Aung San Suu Kyi reaches out beyond Burma's borders to paint for her readers a vivid and poignant picture of her native land. Here she celebrates the courageous army officers, academics, actors and everyday people who have supported the National League for Democracy, often at great risk to their own lives. She reveals the impact of political decisions on the people of Burma, from the terrible cost to the children of imprisoned dissidents - allowed to see their parents for only fifteen minutes every fortnight - to the effect of inflation on the national diet and of state repression on traditions of hospitality. She also evokes the beauty of the country's seasons and scenery, customs and festivities that remain so close to her heart. Through these remarkable letters, the reader catches a glimpse of exactly what is at stake as Suu Kyi fights on for freedom in Burma, and of the love for her homeland that sustains her non-violent battle. Includes an introduction from Fergal Keane 'Aung San Suu Kyi has become a global symbol of peaceful resistance, courage and apparently endless endurance' Guardian 'A real hero in an age of phony phone-in celebrity, which hands out that title freely to the most spoiled and underqualified' Bono, Time Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of Burma's National League for Democracy. She was placed under house arrest in Rangoon in 1989, where she remained for almost 15 of the 21 years until her release in 2010, becoming one of the world's most prominent political prisoners. She is also the author of the collection of writings Freedom from Fear.
Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know
No country in Asia in recent years has undergone so massive a political shift in so short a time as Myanmar. Until recently, the former British colony had one of the most secretive, corrupt, and repressive regimes on the planet, a country where Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was held in continual house arrest and human rights were denied to nearly all. Yet events in Myanmar since the elections of November 2010 have profoundly altered the internal mood of the society, and have surprised even Burmese and seasoned foreign observers of the Myanmar scene. The pessimism that pervaded the society prior to the elections, and the results of that voting that prompted many foreign observers to call them a "sham" or "fraud," gradually gave way to the realization that positive change was in the air.
In this updated second edition of Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Davd I. Steinberg addresses the dramatic changes in the country over the past two years, including the establishment of a human rights commission, the release of political prisoners, and reforms in health and education. More than ever, the history, culture, and internal politics of this country are crucial to understanding the current transformation, which has generated headlines across the globe. Geographically strategic, Burma/Myanmar lies between the growing powers of China and India. Yet it is mostly unknown to Westerners despite being its thousand-year history as a nation. Burma/Myanmar is a place of contradictions: a picturesque land with mountain jungles and monsoon plains, it is one of the world's largest producers of heroin. Though it has extensive natural resources including oil, gas, teak, metals, and minerals, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. And despite a half-century of military-dominated rule, change is beginning to work its way through the beleaguered nation, as it moves to a more pluralistic administrative system reflecting its pluralistic cultural and multi-ethnic base.
Authoritative and balanced, Burma/Myanmar is an essential book on a country in the throes of historic change.
Under the Dragon: A Journey through Burma
The memory of a brief visit to Burma had haunted Rory MacLean for years. A decade after the violent suppression of an unarmed national uprising, which cost thousands of lives and all hopes for democracy, he seized the chance to return. Travelling from Rangoon to Mandalay and Pagan, into the heart of the Golden Triangle, he hears stories of freedom fighters, government censors, basket weavers, farmers and lovers -- ordinary people struggling to survive under one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. Under the Dragon is a perceptive and heartbreaking portrayal of contemporary Burma, a country that is shot through with desperation and fear, but also blessed – even in the darkest places -- with beauty and courage.