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Wonders of Myanmar with Inle Lake – Cruise Upstream

Overland and overwater  – explore the ancient land of Myanmar and its rich tapestry of heritage, culture & wilderness 


A Private 15 day itinerary with International and domestic airfares, 10 nights Pandaw cruise, accommodation, travel insurance, visa, transfers, guides, meals & more!

From AUD $11,399 per person twin share Ex Australia based on 2 travellers*

Fast blossoming into one of the most talked about and desired destinations in Asia. Once shrouded in civil conflict, this country has opened it ancient doors, welcoming travellers to experience its untouched landscapes, authentic cuisines, rich cultures and some of the most awe-inspiring temples on the planet. Begin your journey exploring the sights and sounds of bustling Yangon, before we set sail on the elegant RV Pandaw. Sailing through the heart of ‘Middle Myanmar’ we pass through a varying landscape – from the lush teak plantations around Prome to the desert country south of Pagan.

We visit a number of small villages and towns and see local agriculture and manufacturing at first hand.These places are remote from the modern world and offer a glimpse of a timeless, lost Myanmar far from the usual tourist track. We also visit a number of old monasteries and temples of art historical interest in this the cultural heartland of old Myanmar.  We find ourselves cruising across the tranquil waters of Inle Lake, between floating flowers, vegetation and fishing villages of the Intha People. We spend the next couple of days exploring the different corners of the lake and meeting its hospitable people, before heading back to the bustling capital of Yangon.

inle lake


IP MYANMAR Bagan in field

Trip Duration: 15 days
Grade Cultural touring: light adventure
 13 nights in Luxury River Cruising and tourist class hotels 

Board your flight from Australia to Yangon. Arrive Yangon and transfer to Hotel. In the afternoon, visit to Bogyoke (Scott) Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) gives you the opportunity to see Myanmar’s wide range of handicrafts and souvenirs. Enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide – its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. It is always full of people praying and making offerings, and is a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go by.

Accommodation at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar, Deluxe room.

Meeting point at Sule Shangri La Hotel in Yangon at 06.00am, followed by coach transfer to Prome. Please note that this transfer can take up to 6 hours. We reach Prome by the afternoon and travel by coach to the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former centre of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner on board.

This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanmar War of 1855. Many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar (1885). We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to the golf course, passing through the former British botanical garden.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Minhla – We visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. The fight for the Minhla redoubt was the only serious action in the war and the death of a young subaltern inspired Kipling to write a poem.We ride Trishaws to reach the magnificent Magwe Myat-thalon Pagoda, constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts..

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Here we visit the Yout-saun-kyaung monastery with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses and continue sailing upstream..

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by WWII jeep. Afternoon, we tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Further exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquerware workshop and visit to the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream. Evening walk at Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community..

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

This small rural village is specialized in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Guests will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. In the afternoon we visit Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art. Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach, take a boat ride along Taungthaman lake and watch the tranquillity and serenity of this beautiful lake and its famous U-Bein Bridge at sunset. .

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

We stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda which is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50 gallon water pots are handmade. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the week-long firing in huge kilns. Afternoon cruise back downstream to Mandalay.

Accommodation On board RV Pandaw, Upper Deck.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Disembark at Mandalay Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty in mid-morning. (Disembark the ship between 8.00 am – 9.00 am at Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty, Mandalay.)

Pick up from jetty and transfer to Mandalay Airport for domestic flight to Heho.
Transfer from Heho airport by private vehicle down into the valley to Nyaungshwe on the edge of Inle Lake, and board your private local boat to take you to your hotel. Inle Lake is simply magical. At 1000 metres elevation, the temperatures are pleasant, and the calm waters are dotted with Intha stilt house villages, floating vegetable gardens and fishing canoes, set against the back drop of the beautiful Shan hills. Motorised boats are the means of transport across the lake, although the Intha people get around in traditional flat bottomed boats using a unique and skilful form of leg rowing.
In the afternoon, we enjoy a boat tour to Indaing, at the western end of the lake. Pass through the busy village of Ywama, the largest, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts; and enter a long, often tree-lined canal, either side of which farmers cultivate their land. Disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes through Indaing village to reach the 14th – 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th – 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed. Return to the boat jetty with a leisurely ‘nature walk’ through the trees, and travel back across the lake to your hotel.

Accommodation at Inle Princess Resort or similar, Lake House (Front Lake Chalets).

Breakfast on board, Lunch at Golden Kite Indaing, Dinner at hotel.

If it coincides with your visit you will explore one of the 5-day rotating markets in the area – a fascinating insight into the life-style of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people who visit these markets to buy and sell. During today’s excursion by boat on Inle Lake we see the famous leg rowers and the typical floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown, and learn about local methods of fishing and village life. A highlight may be a visit to the traditional village of Paukpar, with neat rows of bamboo houses. If possible we will stop and visit a family for Shan tea.
In the afternoon we visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, home to five gold leaf-covered Buddha figures, and the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. We also visit the boat construction workshop at Nampan village and stop to see some traditional handicrafts – silk weaving on wooden handlooms in Inpawkhon village, a cheroot-maker’s workshop and a blacksmith’s forge. Continue by boat to visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake, where you can see exquisite Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old. Return to your hotel by boat as the sun lowers and the light softens over the lake.

Accommodation at Inle Princess Resort or similar, Lake House (Front Lake Chalets).

Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at Green Chilli Restaurant, Dinner at hotel.

In the morning, transfer by boat from your hotel to Nyaung Shwe and proceed by Car to Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, our Guide and Car will be at disposal for sightseeing or shopping until transfer back to Yangon International airport for your departure flight.

Breakfast at hotel.


Return economy International flight with Singapore Airlines
Domestic airfare and taxes
Current airline fuel levy (subject to change)
Meals as indicated
Accommodation in twin/sharing cabin (or single cabin)
All transportation, daily tours and admission fees
Boat trips as specified
Professional English speaking guides
Airport transfers on the first and last day of your tour
Myanmar tourist visa
Includes comprehensive Travel Insurance (Excludes pre-existing medical conditions and surcharge for over 70 year old travellers

Excludes :
Personal expenditures such as laundry, phone calls, beverages etc
Tipping for guide, driver and porters

Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure

Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only

T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all and taxes. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change.

Clients ex Adelaide will require a night in Singapore at an additional cost.

NOTE: The Rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the excitement of any Pandaw expedition. Published itineraries are informational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop.  Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience – not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and are subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!


Featured Accommodation or highlight



“On a Pandaw Steamer, there is no mistake you are on a luxury riverboat. There are knob end light switches, an old fashioned horn that blows before departures and polished brass and teak throughout” –  The Wall Street Journal 

IP MYANMAR iawadi sset boat silet


A incredibly scenic 12 km lake region, that embodies the traditional way of life , interspersed with stilt-house villages, island-bound Buddhist temples and floating gardens.

The Next Step…

If you would like to discuss this itinerary or something similar in more detail, please contact the Thor Travel Team.

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or call 1800 801 119