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Until very recently, Burma was isolated from modern tourism. It is a captivating land steeped in history and culture, and rich in natural beauty. Our hilly route takes us through farmland, jungle and quiet villages where oxen pull wooden ploughs. Our journey ends at Lake Inle, where boats will take us past the incredible floating gardens and lake villages.
This challenge is packed with fascinating cultural discoveries and fantastic trekking.
Day 1: Depart UK
Day 2: Arrive Yangon
We arrive in Yangon and transfer to our hotel in the centre. Explore the streets of this historic city, formerly known as Rangoon, before meeting again for dinner and a briefing.
Day 3: Yangon – He Ho – Pindaya – Tuang Myint Gyi (Trek approx. 3 hours)
Fly to He Ho, near the shores of Lake Inle, where we transfer to the small town of Pindaya. We have time to visit the amazing Pindaya Caves, a pilgrimage site where thousands of Buddha figures form a labyrinth. A wonderful half-day trek take us into the hills, through lush jungle and past tea and coffee plantations on our way to the monastery where we stay the night.
Day 4: Tuang Myint Gyi – Mwe Daw (Trek approx. 8-9 hours)
We begin by trekking through a dense forest of bamboo, on a hilly and muddy trail. The landscape flattens out later, and we begin to see more villages and gain a fascinating insight into local life.
Day 5: Mwe Daw – Nawar (Trek approx. 7-8 hours)
This morning we trek through the villages inhabited by the Palaung people. We trek through some areas of jungle, ending our day at a hilltop monastery with breath-taking panoramic views.
Day 6: Nawar Taung – Thi Thein (Trek approx. 6-7 hours)
We trek to the small village of Mynka and then have a short drive to Kalaw, where we can experience the bustling and colourful market. From here we continue trekking and our route becomes hillier and more remote, taking us through a pass in a range of limestone mountains; we then continue on undulating paths through villages and rice terraces.
Day 7: Thi Thein – Indein – Lake Inle (Trek approx. 6-7 hours)
Our last day of trekking takes a wide track passing through villages. We see rice paddies on the hill terraces and descend towards the lake shores which mark the end of our trek. Explore the wonderful temple complex of Indein, where the temples are overgrown by plants. We then take to motorised canoes through the canal system, passing houses on stilts and innovative floating gardens. Our hotel is on the lake, and in the evening we enjoy dinner to celebrate our achievements.
Day 8: Lake Inle
A free day to enjoy the sights on and around the lake. One of the highlights will no doubt be to watch the leg-rowing fishermen, a unique way of fishing that the local people have developed.
Day 9: Lake Inle – He Ho – Yangon
A boat ride takes us to Nyaung Shwe, where we transfer to He Ho for our short flight to Yangon. We can wander round the fascinating golden Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. We then return to the airport for our international flight home.
Day 10: Arrive UK