- Stand in Front of the Most Sacred Glittering Pagoda
- Take a Hot Air Balloon to See Thousands of Temples
- Watch a Sunset from the Longest Wooden Teak Bridge
- Explore the World's Largest Unfinished Stupa
- Cruise the Irrawaddy River
- See Floating Gardens and Fishermen Standing in the Leg-Rowing Position
- Observe the Gravity-Defying Golden Rock
- Relax on the White Sand of Ngapali Beach
Myanmar(Burma), a little-explored country with fascinating cultural gems open to discovery, keeps enticing visitors. Most of the recommended activities below would be best experienced during the peak tourist season from November to February.
It takes at least 9 days to discover the enchantment of Myanmar on a classic tour covering Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. To extend your trip and relax for another two or three days, Ngapali Beach would be a nice option.
Stand in Front of the Most Sacred Glittering Pagoda
Yangon - Recommended time: two or three hours at sunset
In a country full of Buddhist monuments, to see the most sacred is to see the essence of the monuments. The Shwedagon pagoda is the most sacred. Standing almost 110 meters tall, this 2,500-year old pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and its top is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds. The pagoda shines magnificently in sunlight and it's particularly impressive at sunset when the lights come on.
Walking around the surrounding terrace leading to the principal monument, you can explore a forest of elaborately decorated subsidiary shrines. A stream of pilgrims comes here to worship every day, proceeding in a clockwise direction and making offerings along the way. Some devotees just kneel at the terrace and pray facing the pagoda. At dusk the atmosphere is especially intense.
A knowledgeable local guide will provide an insider's view, revealing stories behind this work of art. Bring your camera for some good photographs.
Excellent planned and executed Myanmar excursion
Asia Highlights and their local Myanmar partner "mAsia" did an excellent job in planning and execution of a one week trip to Myanmar.The various tour guides and drivers had good knowledge and good command over English.More
Gerd, Jan 2018
My experience in Thai
All of this was well organized by the local office. The holiday was wonderful. Our guide, Mr. Longdy（ Siem Reap）were exceptional. He shared his extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions. Thank you so much .shared their extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions.More
kelli, Jul 2023
From the day I submitted an inquiry request, I instantly received a response from Monica asking my preferences for my trip. She has been attentive and responsive to our every needs and we very much appreciate it. Looking forward to our trip in November but many thanks to Monica for making this experience to seamless thus far.More
Sana Samhouri, Jul 2023
Very professional agency for a memorable trip to Asia
A special thanks to Albee who worked with us and helped to tailor the itinerary to our taste, she was amazing and always available for whatever we needed. The trip would not have been the same without her and her team. Thank you!More
Daniela, Jul 2023
It was our first time in Cambodia and …
It was our first time in Cambodia and we had a wonderful time. The accommodations, food, and sites were really beautiful. We ended our trip with a relaxing massage. Sam was very accommodating to our needs and knowledgeable. Thank you for the laughter and for being so kind.More
Amy Oakes Moon, Jun 2023
Our guide Borin - never boring!
Our guide Borin, in Cambodia, was knowledgeable, understanding and thoughtful in every aspect of the plan he put together for our trip to Siem Reap and in its execution. He can read the room, and knew exactly how to pace the tour, when to pause, when to break, and how to prepare us for the maximum benefit. He is extremely kind and caring, and it showed at every turn. He also is a dab hand with the camera, and we have a lot of great pictures to show for it. Kudos to my Asia Highlights coordinator - Cathy Chen, for picking Borin. Borin works with a driver (007) who was also very kind and caring. Whenever we returned to the car, he would have cold towel rolls and chilled water to refresh us. So amazingly considerate. It was an unforgettable experienceMore
David Muliyil, Jun 2023
Our guide, Anna, was fantastic! She was highly informative and a delight to spend our days with. Would request her again if we were to return!More
Alejandra M Almonte, Jun 2023
We've had such a great experience…
We've had such a great experience planning our honeymoon with Alisa at Asia Highlights! We gave her our dream itinerary, thinking that it might be impossible to do all the things we wanted, but Alisa made our dreams a reality! She's gone so far above and beyond to answer ALL of our questions and make little adjustments that will make a huge impact on our experience.More
Lauren, Jun 2023
Alisa knows how to work fast and please a customer.
Alisa is very helpful and works very fast. I am a very difficult client because Inknow what I want in therm of hotels and comfort. She had a lot of patience with me, and moved a lot the plan of the trip, always following my requests. It was a pleasure organizing my trip with her. I recommend her a lot! Thanks Alisa. Malala from Argentina.More
maria laura artola, Jun 2023
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
Tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
The tour guides and drivers were another high point. All were very good, friendly, knowledgeable and spoke English well. There were two that I want to call out for their excellence. Chan Sovannarith in Siem Reap was our guide in Cambodia. He really made the experience special. His knowledge, willingness to answer all my questions, helpfulness and general attitude made him fun to be around. In order to praise the second exceptional guide I have to explain about an unfortunate occurrence that I had. I'm normally a very active senior, but after leaving Cambodia for Laos I was suddenly struck by the most intense back pain I've ever experienced, couldn't even roll over in bed (turned out to be sciatica). The guide, Mr. Sonophet, really went the extra mile. He went with my traveling companion and bought a back brace and medications for me. When that didn't help much he took me to a clinic where I was seen by a doctor, given a shot and pain meds. He hand-made a walking stick for me that I'm still using! He made it possible for me to somewhat participate in the activities, i.e. a bed on the boat down the river. When it was time to move on to Bangkok he got me a wheelchair at the airport. I can't thank him enough for these kindnesses! This problem lasted for the remainder of the trip, through Bangkok and Phuket and these guides were also very helpful getting wheelchairs, etc. It was a terrible disappointment to have this wonderful trip disrupted, but it would have been SO much worse without the great help that I received from the guides and my poor travel companion!More
Deb M, Mar 2023
In good hands with Sam
Sam Ol took very good care of us - lots of information, listened to and answered all our questions, was passionate about the places we visited and about his people and country. He was kind, had a great sense of humor, and made sure we felt safe and comfortable at all times. He helped us to fall in love with Cambodia in 3 short days.More
Carol Jones, Feb 2023
Best tour guide in Cambodia
When we first arrived at the airport in Siem Riep it was so nice to be greeted by Mr Sam Ol. We instantly fell at home when we saw his friendly smile. We were impressed by his great English and knowledge of the temples. On the tour to the temples Sam took care of us every step of the way. He took awesome pictures of us. It felt like we were on a tour given by our brother who is also a professional photographer. Also, we appreciate his humor as well as the fact he had an answer for every question we had. I give Sam 5 stars, best tour guide ever :)More
Len S, Feb 2023
Mr. Sam our guide in Cambodia, he and the driver out standing service they went above and beyond touring, my wife so amazed beautiful country, we're planning back here near the futures. Thank Mr. Sam,We'll feedback the whole trip next week when we be home in USMore
Pho Lover, Feb 2023
We are still in the middle of our trip, but we are just finishing up our time in Cambodia and our guide, Borin, has been AMAZING!!! He has truly made our time here unforgettable and I plan on referring all of my friends and family to come visit this beautiful country! Thank you, Borin, for everything you did to make our trip so fantastic!More
Danielle Blount, Feb 2023
Excellent service and Wonderful Guides
All of our guides have been terrific. Mr. Sam in Siem Reip was especially wonderful. Both he and our driver were polite, safe knowledgable and informative. Sam made our trip memorable and enioyable. We will definitely recommend Sam and Asia Highlights to our friends.More
Kaaren, Feb 2023
Take a Hot Air Balloon to See Thousands of Temples
Bagan - Recommended time: one hour on a scheduled morning flight
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Bagan is one of the richest archeological sites in Asia, with over 2,000 ruins of religious sites. Observing this majestic landscape by soaring in a hot air balloon through the delicate mist at sunrise is the experience of a lifetime.
Operated by experienced ballooning companies, these magical flights run in the early mornings, when the weather conditions are more reliable and the scenery is beautiful. The flights provide visitors a unique experience flying over the Bagan complex, enjoying the panoramic view from an unrivaled perspective. Accompanied by a professional pilot, you will be inspired by a new horizon of discovery, while drifting serenely across the skyline. Take a hot-air balloon now.
Watch a Sunset from the Longest Wooden Teak Bridge in the World
Amarapura - Recommended time: two or three hours at sunset
At Amarapura, the sight of people walking or sitting along the wooden bridge watching a sunset, with sunlight intensifying the orange hues of the lake, has became iconic. The magical sunset can be seen in different colors - sometimes red or violet, yet most of the time a peerless orange.
The bridge is the U Bein Bridge, a 1.2-kilometer teakwood structure said to be the longest and oldest of its type in the world. It remains a central part of the community, as every day red-robed monks stride across and villagers wearing straw hats cycle across. Walk along the bridge and touch the teak planks or just rest there, watching the people pass by. If you are looking for an opportunity for good photos, take a boat trip on the lake.
Explore the World's Largest Unfinished Stupa
Mingun - Recommended time: half a day
"Had it been [completed], the stupa would have risen even higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt"; David Abram, an author from DK Eyewitness Travel.
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, the Mingun Pahtodawgyi is the world's largest unfinished stupa. Construction began in the 1790s, but was never completed. Visitors are welcome to climb up and see spectacular views of the nearby area; especially of the Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white pagoda unique in design.
In front of the south fa?ade of the great stupa lies a whitewashed pagoda, the Settawya Pagoda, which is said to house a marble footprint of the Buddha. Along with the pagoda sits the second largest ringing bell in the world, known as the Mingun Bell and weighing 90 tons. Meanwhile, an hour-long boat trip upriver from Mandalay to Mingun provides insight into life along the Irrawaddy River.
Cruise the Irrawaddy River
Mandalay to Bagan - Recommended time: three to four days
The Irrawaddy River, one of the most important waterways in Myanmar, flows for around 2,170 kilometers from north to south. The best time for cruising is during the dry season from November to February. Once aboard the cruise, start your journey to discover the civilizations that sprung up on the riverbank and let the tenderness of the surrounding natural beauty melt your heart.
Bhamo, a city at the northernmost stretch of the river, is where visitors catch ferries south all the way to Yangon. The cruise from Bhamo to Mandalay reveals stunning Upper Irrawaddy scenery. The cruise from Mandalay to Bagan usually lasts two or three days. It is the most popular and classic excursion, filled with wonders. Enjoy your life on board, as your boat sails the most scenic stretches of the river.
See Floating Gardens and Fishermen Standing in the Leg-Rowing Position
Inle Lake - Recommended time: one day
Situated in a valley and surrounded by the Shan Hills, the Inle Lake region is quite different from the rest of Myanmar. The unique living conditions and lifestyle of the local ethnic group have made the lake one of the most popular attractions.
The Intha people live in traditional stilt houses and grow vegetables in floating gardens. They have developed a unique way of life over the water, perfectly adapted to the seasonal flow of the waterline. The scene of a fisherman steering his boat in the leg-rowing position and holding a conical net over the rippling lake has become a classic image of this region.
Take a boat trip to start your day skimming across Inle's glassy surface. Watch villagers cultivate their vegetables, which are fixed to the lake bed by long poles in the unusual floating gardens. Visit two or three local villages and see cheroot factories, bustling markets and weaving workshops, including an opportunity to see how fine silk spun from lotus stalks is made into vibrant costumes. If you're looking for souvenirs, traditional handicrafts might be just the job.
Observe the Gravity-Defying Golden Rock
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (the Golden Rock) - Recommended time: one day
Ranked as the third most sacred religious site in Myanmar after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and the Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is a pilgrimage site well-known for its iconic gravity-defying golden rock. Perched on a ledge, the golden rock, with a gilded pagoda sitting on top, seems about to roll down the hill and plunge into the void.
A lower terrace has been built around the base for female visitors to admire the golden rock from a distance; while male visitors are allowed to stand next to the rock and fix gold leaves onto it. There are a few observation decks nearby, from which you can gain an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding forested valley. The summit can be crowded during the peak season, when pilgrims from all over the country come here to worship.
Relax on the White Sand of Ngapali Beach
Ngapali - Recommended time: two or three days
With its clear turquoise water, pristine white sand and lush palm tree backdrop, Ngapali Beach owns a reputation as Myanmar's premier beach destination. Here, it's all about relaxing. Take a leisurely walk on the beach or try other activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or taking a small boat to explore the nearby fishing villages.
As for accommodation, the area has some chic resorts, providing good service and amenities, such as beach chairs under grass umbrellas for enjoying the stunning coastal views. One of the special local treats is to taste the fresh seafood. Most resorts own a beach view restaurant offering a wide variety of drinks and a menu of both local and western food. The peak season for the beach is from November to March.
Visit Myanmar with Asia Highlights
We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 9 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.
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Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
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