Yangon – Bagan – Inle Lake – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay – Singapore
Myanmar (Burma) is a culturally rich and diverse country. It is emerging from more than 50 years of military dictatorship and the people of Myanmar can’t wait to welcome you to their extraordinary country – a land of glittering golden pagodas, enigmatic ruined temples, picturesque countryside and colourful culture.
Super-modernity co-exists harmoniously with old traditions in Singapore. Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has risen to become the envy of Asia with its remarkable economic success and racial harmony. The city-state of 5.5 million is so popular as a tourist destination that in 2014 alone it attracted over 15 million overseas visitors.
- Small group size (20 max)
- Expert local guides
- No forced shopping stops
- Authentic local cuisine
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers included
- Unlimited supply of bottled water
- Free Wi-Fi in all hotel
- Village and school visits
Meal Code: B = breakfast / L = lunch / D = dinner
Scroll down for dates, prices, hotel list and visa requirements.
Day 1/Wed: Departing Home City
Your Myanmar & Singapore tour begins with your transpacific flight departing from a city of your choice. You’ll lose a day upon crossing the International Date Line.
Day 2/Thu: Arrival in Yangon
Welcome to Yangon. Meet your guide on arrival and transfer to the hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 3/Fri: Yangon (B/L/D)
Yangon is the former capital and the largest city of Myanmar. Once known as Rangoon (“end of strife”), it was founded in the 11th century starting as a fishing village and was transformed into a commercial and political hub after it was seized by the British in 1852 during the Second Anglo-Burmese War.
Our morning sightseeing includes Sule Pagoda and Independence Park by the City Hall. Sule Pagoda has been a focal point for contemporary Yangon and Burmese politics. As we drive along the streets, the guide will point out major buildings constructed during the British colonial era.
Later today we visit the Shwedagon Pagoda. Situated on a hilltop, the spectacular Buddhist temple thought to be more than 2,500 years old is the city’s most significant landmark.
Day 4/Sat: Yangon (B)
After a stroll along lovely Kandawgyi Lake, we spend the rest of the day exploring Yangon on our own. We recommend the famous Scott Market which is very popular among jewelry and handicraft shoppers.
Day 5/Sun: Yangon – Bagan (B/L)
The early morning flight to Bagan takes 1 hour 20 minutes. Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region. From the 9th to 13th century, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day. The plain east of the curving Irrawaddy River is one of the most wondrous sights in Myanmar.
The most prominent monuments we will visit in Bagan include Shwesandaw Pagoda and Ananda Temple. We will also learn about the local lacquerware during our visit to a traditional workshop. Viewing the vast forest of spires of temples from above is another highlight of our visit to Bagan.
Day 6/Mon: Bagan (B/L)
We start the day with a stroll through a local market. We then proceed to Shwezigon Pagoda built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. This is followed by a stop at Khay Min Ga Temple for a panoramic view of the pagodas and temples in the area. We return to the hotel after lunch. Later we drive to Bupaya Pagoda or Mingala Zedi Stupa to watch sunset over the Irrawaddy River.
Day 7/Tue: Bagan – Inle lake (B/D)
After a relaxing morning, we fly to Heho, gateway to the tranquil Inle Lake. The lake is lined with simple villages on stilts and dotted with unique floating gardens tended by farmers in their boats. The state of Shan, where the lake is situated, is known for its traditional papermaking and we can witness this craft during a workshop visit. This evening, we enjoy a traditional dinner accompanied by a cultural performance.
Day 8/Wed: Inle Lake (B/L)
This morning we explore the Indein Stupa Complex, a stunning forest of 1,000 ancient towering spires. We then get in a small boat to visit one of the lake’s villages perched on stilts. After lunch, we visit a charming silk-weaving village and stop by at one of the village’s floating gardens.
Day 9/Thu: Inle Lake – Mandalay (B/L/D)
Free morning to relax. Fly to Mandalay in late afternoon.
Mandalay is the second largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. Located 716 km north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, the city has a population of 1.3 million and is the economic hub of Upper Burma.
After hotel check-in we drive to the top of Mandalay Hill for a panoramic view of the historical city in glorious sunset.
Day 10/Fri: Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay (B/L)
After breakfast, we embark on a 67km drive to Pyin Oo Lwin. The scenic hill town was once known as Maymyo, named after Colonel James May (later Major General) of the 5th Bengal Infantry stationed there in 1886. The town located at 1,070 metres above sea level was developed during the colonial era and used by the British to escape Rangoon’s summer heat and humidity. Many of the locals in Pyin Oo Lwin still prefer to call their town Maymyo. Although the British have been long gone, the bungalows, villas and public buildings built by them still remain.
We will drive past numerous British buildings and visit one or two of them along the way, but the main reason we come here is the well maintained Kandawgyi Botanic Garden. The National Kandawgyi Garden complex is a 435-acre botanical garden first established in 1915 as the Maymyo Botanical Gardens by Alex Roger, a Forest Officer. The original site was 30 acres and modeled after the Kew Gardens of England with the help of an amateur gardener called Lady Cuffe. On December 1, 1924, the site, with a total area of 240 acres at the time was declared the Government Botanical Reserve. This is also the year when the Burmese Ministry of Forestry designated the Botanical Gardens a “protected forest area”. In the year of 2000, the garden underwent a major renovation. Since then it has been heavily used by the Burmese government to promote ecotourism. The Botanical Gardens has more than 480 species of flowers, shrubs and trees. The $5 admission fee (locals pay less) covers the butterfly museum, the orchid garden and the aviary.
Day 11/Sat: Mandalay (B/L)
Our full-day sightseeing in Mandalay includes Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay Palace, Kuthodaw Complex and a boat cruise on Irrawaddy River that takes us to Mingun Pahtodawgyi ruins and U Bein Bridge.
Mingun Pahtodawgyi is an incomplete monument stupa in Mingun, approximately 10 kilometers northwest of Mandalay across the Irrawaddy River. The ruins are the remains of a massive construction project begun by King Bodawpaya in 1790 which was intentionally left unfinished on advice from his astrologers. The Pahtodawgyi is seen as the physical manifestations of the well known eccentricities of Bodawpaya, who set up an observation post on an island off Mingun to personally supervise the construction of the temple.
U Bein Bridge is a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura, not far from Mandalay. The 1.2-kilometre bridge was built around 1850 and is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. Construction began when the capital of Ava Kingdom moved to Amarapura, and the bridge is named after the mayor who had it built.
Day 12/Sun: Mandalay – Singapore (B)
Free morning to explore on your own. We transfer to the airport for mid-afternoon flight (1hr55min) to Singapore. Transfer to the hotel on arrival and have the balance of the day at leisure.
Day 13/Mon:Singapore (B/L)
Today’s sightseeing takes in Singapore Botanic Gardens & National Orchid Garden, the National Museum, and historic Chinatown.
The beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. It is home to some 300 plant species and plenty of birds including oriental pied hornbills, spotted wood owls, crimson sunbirds and stork-billed kingfishers. The tropical rainforest here is one of the few pockets of original jungle left on the island.
Singapore is famous for orchids and the National Orchid Garden is situated on the highest hill in the Botanic Gardens. Orchids have been part of the collections here since the gardens’ beginnings in 1859. Early directors commissioned extensive orchid collecting expeditions and since 1995 the collection has its own beautifully landscaped home – the National Orchid Garden.
We’ll lunch at Halia, one of the city’s loveliest restaurants, surrounded by the orchid and heliconia gardens.
Up next is the National Museum of Singapore. With a history dating back to its inception in 1887, the National Museum is Singapore’s oldest museum with a progressive mind. Its galleries adopt cutting-edge and multi-perspective ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience. A cultural and architectural landmark in Singapore, the museum hosts innovative festivals and events all year round. The programming is supported by a wide range of facilities and services including retail and a resource centre. The National Museum of Singapore re-opened in December 2006 after a three-year redevelopment, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012. The Museum refreshed its permanent galleries and re-opened them on 19 September 2015 for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee.
Finally, we head down to Chinatown Complex to learn about the history of the local Chinese community and taste delicacies from some 260 food stalls.
Day 14/Tue: Singapore (B/L/D)
Today’s itinerary covers Sky Bridge at Pinnacle, Kranji Memorial (cemetery), Bollywood Veggies farm and Gardens by the Bay.
After Breakfast, We head for Sky Bridge at Pinnacle. Completed in 2009, the Pinnacle@Duxton is the world’s tallest public housing buildings to date and is comprised of seven 50-storey towers linked by multiple levels of open-air sky bridges. The Pinnacle offers unobstructed views of its surrounding area including Chinatown, the central business district, the busy Singapore harbour and Sentosa Island.
We then drive to the outskirts to explore the Krangi area located at the western tip of Singapore. Full of nurseries and mangroves, this is the only food producing area in Singapore. We stop by the Krangi Memorial (cemetery) to pay homage to the Allies’ fallen soldiers during World War II.
Afternoon sightseeing at the stunning Gardens by the Bay, a park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The extraordinary project brings to life the vision of the Government of Singapore to make the island city-state a “City in a Garden’. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The largest of the three gardens is Bay South Garden, standing at 54 hectares.
Two enormous conservatories and a grove of “Supertrees” dominate the site. Super tree is the name given to the towering, 16-storey structures that act as frames for climbing and epiphytic plants, as well being supports for solar panels. The Super Trees are lit at night in exhilarating displays.
The conservatory complex at Gardens by the Bay comprises two cooled conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The conservatories, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, are intended to be an energy efficient showcase of sustainable building technologies and to provide an all-weather edutainment space within the Gardens. Inside the giant bio-domes are exotic plants collected from South Africa, California, southern Spain, Italy, and south-western Australia.
There are two distinctly different sets of horticultural themed gardens which centre on the relationships between “Plants and People” and “Plants and Planet”. They are an important part of the Gardens’ edutainment program, which aims to bring plant knowledge to the public. The “Plants and People” theme features a Heritage Garden that highlights the various cultural groups in Singapore and the important role that plants play in their respective cultures, as well as the country’s colonial history.
Our farewell dinner is at the high-end Pollen Restaurant, which serves mainly Mediterranean-inspired modern European cuisine. The restaurant’s distinctive setting surrounded by temperate olive trees, herbs and vegetation, complete with a sub-20 degree temperature allows diners to escape the usual heat and humidity of the Singapore weather.
Day 15/Wed: Singapore (B)
Today is a free day. Please feel free to ask your local guide or tour leader for recommendations.
Day 16/Thu: Singapore – Return Home (B)
Spend the morning at leisure. Bid farewell to your fellow travellers and transfer to the airport by taxi (cab fare about $20 SGD or $15 USD) for return flight. Cross the International Date Line and arrive home the same day.
Contact us for printer-friendly PDF version of the itinerary
|Yangon||3||Sule Shangri-La Yangon||luxury|
|Inle Lake||2||Novotel Inle Lake||luxury|
2019 Dates & Prices
|Depart (Wed)||Return (Thu)||Land Tour Price
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See Terms & Conditions for more information.
This tour requires the participant to possess have a high level of stamina because there will be lots of stair climbing and extensive walking often on uneven grounds. It can be frustrating for everyone if participants cannot walk comfortably or take part fully in scheduled activities.
Passport & Visa
A passport with at least two (2) blank visa pages and six (6) months validity at the end of the tour is required.
We can help you obtain your Visa on Arrival.
Tourist visa is not required for Canadians, Americans, Australians and citizens of other Western countries.
Health & Vaccination
You are not required of any inoculation certificate to enter Myanmar and Singapore. However, we do advise that you visit your family physician to determine what precautions you should take. We recommend inoculation shots for hepatitis A and suggest that you check out advice provided by Health Canada and the US CDC.
It is common among Western visitors to get diarrhea. Food poisoning is a real threat if you don’t use caution. Talk to your doctor before the trip and discuss into Cipro, Azithromycin, Imodium and rehydration salts.
Tap water in Myanmar is not safe to drink. Ask for bottled water when eating in restaurants. When buying bottled water from street vendors, especially at tourist sites, make sure the cap is properly sealed.
Singapore is developed country where standard of living is high. The country’s tap water quality exceeds the World Health Organization’s drinking water guidelines. The government of Singapore maintains that the tap water “is suitable for drinking without any further filtration”.
What Else You Need to Know
Try to avoid uncooked food. Even the food you eat is clean, you may still experience stomach upsets or diarrhea due to ingredients your stomach is not used to.
Always carry a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of hand sanitizer containing more than 60% of alcohol, no matter where you go. Since in Myanmar you must remove shoes and socks to enter Buddhist temples, you should carry some wet wipes or towels because the temple grounds are very dirty.
Myanmar Kyat (1 CAD = 904 Kyat)
Singapore Dollar (1 CAD = 1.09 SGD)
Major credit cards are widely accepted for major purchases. U.S. dollars are accepted almost everywhere in Myanmar but, unless you pay with credit card, you must use the local currency in Singapore. U.S. or Canadian dollar bills you bring into Myanmar must be in near mint condition. Banknotes with stain or marking or missing corner will be rejected by the banks and currency dealers.
You do not need Kyat prior to arrival. If you wish to buy Singapore dollars prior to the trip, please be sure to shop around and stay away from dealers at airports or tourist districts.
Best Time to Visit Myanmar and Singapore
The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from December to February when temperatures are relatively manageable. Naturally this is the peak season Myanmar’s inbound tourism industry. From March to May, the country becomes very hot, particularly the dry zone of the central plains where Bagan and Mandalay often see temperatures in excess of 40°C.
Because Singapore is 137km north of the Equator, it is hot all year round with slight seasonal variations. The Northeast Monsoon arrives in early November and stays until mid-March. Heavy rainfalls do bring temperatures down a bit making November to February better months to visit Singapore. By and large, year-round temperatures remain uniform, with a daily average of 27°C, afternoon temperatures reaching as high as 31°C.