Feel the Burm Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GTBU
Trip valid from : 01/01/2013
Trip valid until : 31/12/2015
Trip length : 15
Trip starts in : Rangoon
Trip ends in : Rangoon
Maximum group size : maximum 16


  • Bust a move
  • 2000-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Pagan's thousands of temples
  • Local transport
  • The Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo
  • The one-legged rowers of Inle Lake
  • She's smoking cheroot, a cigar that a lot of Burmese people like to smoke
  • Tickled pink

 When we talk about getting off the beaten track, we’re talking about Burma: hill tribes who’ve never seen foreigners, one-legged rowing fisherman, 2000 temples in one valley and a balancing rock held in place by Buddha’s hair. Did someone say bragging rights?(Was Best of Burma)



Rangoon (Yangon) - overnight train

Shwedagon Pagoda is made from 8688 sheets of gold and encrusted with 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies. That’s more bling than a bunch of rappers at a Mr T convention.Day 1Arrive in Rangoon and explore the cityAttend a Welcome Meeting at 6pmDay 2Go on an orientation tour around the busy streets of Rangoon (now officially known as Yangon)See Rangoon's most famous structure Shwedagon Pagoda - resplendent with a golden spire that dominates the skylineOptional visit to Sule Pagoda, located in the centre of the cityEnjoy some free time, perhaps visit some other important temples and pagodas or shop at the centrally located Bogyoke MarketTransfer to central railway station for a train to Pagan (Bagan)


Pagan (Bagan)

After an overnight train, discover the magnificent archaeological site of Pagan (Bagan). Riding a bike, explore many of the temples, stupas and pagodas that litter the lush plains.Arrive into Pagan (Bagan) after an overnight train journey and a road transfer - once the capital of a great civilisation dating from 849 AD to 1287Over 2000 monuments dot the plains by the banks of the river, a testament to the city's glorious pastSpend a whole day exploring these wonderful temples on bicycle - some still contain frescoes from historic timesThe spires of many of them form a dramatic skyline and provide excellent vantage points to view the other temples and pagodasNyaung U itself has one of the more interesting markets to be found in the country



Perhaps see the Buddhist monk procession over U-bien Bridge at sunset, take a optional boat ride on the Irrawaddy River and witness daily rural life unfolding and, in nearby Mingun, see the big bell and the foundations for what would have been the world’s biggest stupa.Board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to MandalayArrive at our inner-city hotelTake the chance to go an optional trip to Mandalay Hill, for a sunset view over townGo on another optional excursion, this time by boat on the Irrawaddy River up to the village of Mingun, home to the world’s largest unfinished pagoda, as well as a gigantic bellIn your free time, perhaps visit some of the surrounding elaborate pagodas or temples around town - Kyauktawgyi Paya, Kuthodaw Paya (home to the 'world’s biggest book') and Shwenandaw KyaungMaybe take a half-day trip up to the hill town of Maymyo (Pyin-u-Lwin)



En route to Inle Lake we stay in Kalaw, this town is nestled in rugged mountain scenery and has a backpacker vibe with many options for hikes.En route to Inle Lake, stay in the chilled town of Kalaw - sitting high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and once a popular hill station in British colonial days, now a backpacker meccaPerhaps go on a hike in the areaIf you prefer to chill there's plenty of 'teashops' serving chai (Indian-style tea), where you can enjoy great interaction with the locals


Inle Lake

Encircled by towering mountains deep in the highlands, Inle Lake is absolutely stunning. From our base in the township of Nyaungshwe, enjoy a full day boat tour of the lake, see the floating gardens and markets, and the artistry of the leg-rowing Intha fishermen. We have a free day to explore Inle Lake.Journey to the highlands of the Shan State, spend a couple of nights at the township of Nyaungshwe, next to Inle Lake (the road condition is pretty poor here, prepare for some long and arduous travelling on this stretch)Enjoy a full-day lake tour by long-boat, visit some local villages, explore unique temples and monasteries, and meet the famous local leg-rowing fishermen from the Intha tribePerhaps enjoy walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside, or simply appreciate the cool climate - a welcome respite from the heat of the plains


Kyaiktiyo-Bago-Rangoon (Yangon)

We travel to Heho and catch a flight to Rangoon. We then head to Kyaiktiyo and spend the night on the hilltop alongside the incredible balancing rock - one of the country’s most holy and moving sites. Afterwards, drop in to Bago to see the reclining, 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon.Transfer to Heho and join a flight to Rangoon,Drive out of town to Kyaiktiyo, where we spent a night near the Golden RockIt is a five-hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan, where we transfer to an open truck and drive for 45 minutes up a steep hill to RathedaungTrek up a path following groups of Buddhist pilgrims - this is one of the holiest sites in BurmaAccommodation standards here are quite basic - it is a place of pilgrimage rather than a resortReturn to the lowlands. Bago, formerly known as Pegu, is a small town with some of the most famous structures in the countryVisit the reclining 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon


Rangoon (Yangon)

We have a free day to explore Rangoon so there will be time to visit some of Rangoon's other sights or shop for souvenirs in Bogyoke Market. Our tour finishes after breakfast on Day 15.Day 14Enjoy a free dayPerhaps find your way to the monastery of the Reclining Buddha (Chaukhtatgyi Paya), visit the National Museum or shop at Bogyoke MarketDay 15The trips end after breakfast on Day 15.


While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.



Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.


Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures


  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour.
  • Visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon- Bicycle tour of the archaeological site of Pagan.- Inle Lake boat tour.
  • Drive and walk to the sacred Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo, with an overnight stay.
  • Free time to explore Rangoon, Mandalay, Pagan and Inle Lake.
  • Public ferry from Pagan to Mandalay.
  • Local flight from Heho to Rangoon.
  • Overnight train from Rangoon to Thazi, en route to Pagan.


International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.


13 breakfasts


Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.


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