15 days
Duration
Asia and the Orient
Destination
Level 2 - Moderate
Activity

Discovering Myanmar | Small group tour for seniors

Myanmar's culture is as rich as its scenery in this part of South East Asia. Discover the beauty of Myanmar in 14 days as we visit the major archaeological site, Bagan and explore and learn the fascinating historical and culture of classic Myanmar. Beginning in Yangon (or Rangoon), Odyssey Travellers Myanmar tour travels to Inle Lake, Pindaya, Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin and Bagan. Our small group tour is escorted by a local guide and an experienced program leader. Our 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 will be spent exploring the old colonial city of Yangon. 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 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 spend two days to wander and explore the temples of Bagan, 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 will truly be a memorable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Myanmar

  • What kind of food can you expect in Myanmar?

Reflecting its position as a cultural crossroads, Burmese food blends local traditions with influences taken from Thailand, India and China. The main elements of any Burmese meal is t’ămìor rice, and hìn (Burmese-style curries)Burmese curries have developed an unfortunate reputation for being rather oily, thanks to a cooking technique that sees them cooked until the oil separates from the other ingredients and rises to the top. But it isn’t all greasy – Burmese cuisine also features fresh sides, light and tangy salads and moreish leq.p’eq (or laphet), fermented green tea leaves mixed with sesame seeds, fried peas, fried garlic and peanuts. And spice-phobes will be happy to hear that Burmese curries are generally much milder than their equivalents in India or Thailand.

  • What should I wear when visiting temples?

Clothing that covers the arms and legs is a requirement at many Burmese temples for both men and women, and recommended elsewhere as most Burmese people dress conservatively. Women travellers should note that Myanmar is not as accustomed to tourism as nearby Thailand and Vietnam so revealing Western dress might attract attention.

Bring light, loose clothing that will keep you cool in Myanmar’s hot climate. Be prepared that average highs in Yangon reach over 30 degrees all year-round. Myanmar also lies within the monsoon region, so expect heavy rain if visiting between May and November, particularly in coastal regions.

  • Should you say Myanmar or Burma?

It’s complicated. In 1989, the ruling military junta changed the name from Burma to Myanmar. The move was portrayed as anti-colonial, as the country had been commonly known as Burma during the period of British rule, and as anti-Burman ethnic supremacy (because of the obvious similarity between Burman and Burma). Following the change, what name you used took on a political weight – with opponents of the regime and sympathetic nations such as the US and UK continuing to use the term Burma.

Since the end of the regime, however, the term Myanmar has entered everyday use. The country retained the name following the end of the military regime. After all, the two names shared a common root and meaning. Though they look very different in English, in Burmese they are pronounced almost identically. Native speakers use both words: Myanmar is the formal, literary form, and Burma an everyday term.

For more FAQs, read our article Questions about Myanmar (https://www.odysseytraveller.com/articles/questions-about-myanmar/).

Tours Are Offered Regularly

Odyssey offers a group tour to Myanmar every year, in February, March and November. Each group consists of a maximum of sixteen people and is suitable for both couples and solo travellers. For more information, 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.

As featured in our brochure: Discover Myanmar (Burma).

About Odyssey Traveller

We specialise in educational small group tours for seniors, typically groups between six to 12 people from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada  and Britain. Our maximum number of people on a tour is 18 mature aged travellers.We have some 150 tours and offer 300 scheduled departures on offer each year. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs since 1983.

Odyssey Traveller is committed to charitable activities that support the environment and cultural development of Australian and New Zealand communities.

Odyssey Traveller scholarship for Australia & New Zealand University students.

We are also pleased to announce that since 2012, Odyssey has been awarding $10,000 Equity & Merit Cash Scholarships each year. We award scholarships on the basis of academic performance and demonstrated financial need. We award at least one scholarship per year. We’re supported through our educational travel programs, and your participation helps Odyssey achieve its goals. Students can apply for the scholarship by clicking on this link to find out more details. 

Join our loyalty program when you join an international small group tour.

Every International small group tour taken typically contributes to your membership level in our Loyalty Program for regular travellers. Membership of the alumni starts when you choose to take your first international small group tour with Odyssey Traveller, discounts in tour pricing for direct bookings accrue from your third tour with Odyssey Traveller. To see the discounts and benefits of being a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond alumni member with us, please see this page.

For more information on Odyssey Traveller and our educational small group tours, visit and explore our website., remember to visit these pages in particular

Alternatively, please call or send an email.

Tour Notes
  • 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.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: We spend 3 nights at the Park Royal Hotel, Yangon, or a similar.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Pristine Lotus Spa & Resort, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Pindaya Inle Inn, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 2 nights at the Sedona Hotel, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Sedona Hotel, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Aureum Resort, Governor’s House, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Hilton Hotel, or similar.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 3 nights at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Bagan Hotel River View, or similar accommodation.

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Park Royal Hotel, or similar accommodation.

Overview: Our tour concludes today after breakfast at our Yangon hotel.

1
Discover Bagan, one of the world’s premier archaeological sites with more than 3,500 Buddhist monuments dating from the 11th century onward
2
Join pilgrims at the Shwedagon Pagoda, arguably the world’s most impressive golden stupa, and see it come alive as the sun goes down
3
Explore the city of Mandalay, the cultural and historic heart of the old monarchy
4
Wonder at the leg rowers, floating gardens and ancient Indein pagoda complex on Inle Lake
5
Spend sunset at U Bein’s Bridge near the former royal capital of Amarapura

Tour Inclusions

  • 13 nights of twin share hotel accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 12 dinners
  • 3 internal flights as detailed in the itinerary
  • All sightseeing including entrance fees and 1 day of cruising
  • All transportation as per itinerary by private vehicle and driver
  • 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
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry
Map of Myanmar
Myanmar places of interest
Small Group Discovering Myanmar
Young Boy Myanmar
Morning ballon ride over the Pagodas, Myanmar
Reclining Buddha, Myanmar
Myanmar
xplore Bagan, a cultural and artistic wonderland
Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan Pagadas, Myanmar

Tour Reviews

June 20, 2016

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

November 13, 2017

Your chat-operator was informative and helpful. We have covered quite a few countries and seasons to travel. Full marks for that!

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