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Arrive in Yangon, where you’ll be met and taken to your hotel. A classic, colonial-style property in the picturesque part of Yangon, within walking distance of the Shwedagon Pagoda and People’s Park.
You’ll spend the afternoon sightseeing. From the grave solemnity of the Reclining Buddha in the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, you’ll find a complete contrast in the colourful bustle and noise of places like Strand Road, Yangon Harbour, Chinatown and the Indian Quarter. Not to mention Boyoke Market which is famed for its handicrafts. In the early evening, peace descends with a trip to the Kandawgyi Lake where you’ll watch the sunset over the golden Shwedagon Pagoda.
Stay: One night in a deluxe garden view room at Belmond Governor’s Residence
Take an early morning flight to Bagan and you’ll have plenty of time to admire the huge statues of Buddha in temples like Gu Byauk Gyi, Ananda and Shwezigon. You can also visit lacquer workshops and wander around the Manuha, Nanbaya and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi temples at Myinkkaba village.
Another high point (literally) of your holiday awaits. As an option, the Bagan Shuttle will collect you and take you to the departure ground for an unforgettable hot air balloon trip over the soaring temples and pagodas of Bagan, giving you a new perspective and a fresh sense of wonder. In the afternoon, you’ll take a scenic overland journey to Mount Popa where you can climb to the top of an extinct volcano for yet more magnificent views.
Stay: Two nights in an orchid villa at Aureum
Today you fly to Heho airport to be met and taken to your hotel at Inle Lake. In the afternoon you have ample time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings with a boat cruise that takes you past floating gardens, leg-rowed fishing boats and untouched local villages – like the weaving village of Inpawkhon.
During your stay you’ll explore a hilltop stupa and the quaint villages that surround the lake. You’ll board a traditional boat to the western end of the lake, passing close to farmers tending their crops in a time-honoured way. It’s a trip that’s made for photographers.
Stay: Three nights in a lakefront villa at Villa Inle Resort and Spa
Fly to Kawthuang via Dawei and transfer by luxury boat (approx. 2-3 hours) to your private island resort in Myanmar’s remote Mergui Archipelago. You’ll find yourself surrounded by white sand beaches, hidden bays, lush mangroves and the beautiful blue waters of the Andaman Sea – the ultimate setting for pure relaxation.
The surrounding Lampi Marine Park – which protects over 1,000 species of animals, plants, coral and marine life – makes for superb snorkelling and diving, but you can also choose to go kayaking through the tranquil mangrove forests. A trek through the jungle will show you a plethora of indigenous flora and fauna, whilst a village visit will give you a unique insight into the local Moken community.
Stay: Four nights in a tented beach villa at Wa Ale Island Resort
It’s time to make your way back home. Fly back to London via Bangkok.
We have just returned from what was a vacation of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough. All the places you recommended were excellent. The organisation was meticulous and made our lives so much easier.- HPB, India