Myanmar on a Shoestring
Amazing, surreal, largely untouched by modernity – there are a ton of ways to describe Myanmar (also known as Burma), but it’s better to visit and see for yourself. Using Thailand as a jumping off point, take two weeks to walk, hike, and roam all over the region, from the Bagan temples and ruins to the rice paddies and rural hilltribes. And with two flights included, you’ll avoid long travel days and ensure you get the most out of your cultural immersion in different Myanma towns. Just trust us when we say you need to experience the wonder and beauty of Myanmar for yourself at least once in your life. Make that time now – right now.
Full-day trekking excursion (Kengtung). Sunset temple tour (Bagan). Orientation walk in Yangon. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Experience the ancient ruins of Bagan, trek amongst rice paddies and hilltribes, stroll Mandalay’s temples, relax at Inle Lake.
There are some very long travel days on public buses.
As we frequently get on and off sometimes crowded local transport please note backpacks are much more suitable than suitcases for this style of trip. Also note that in some major cities in Vietnam, many hotel rooms do not have windows.
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to see and do, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 12
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private vehicle, public bus, plane, walking.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Simple hotels (12 nts), overnight bus (1 nt).
A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations – rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.
Please make your own way to the joining hotel.
When arriving to Chiang Mai Airport, You can take a taxi from the entrance of Airport to your hotel. The cost of this transport should be between 300 – 500 THB.
If you are arriving into the Chiang Mai Train Station or Bus Station, you have two transport option. Public Pick-Up taxi or a Tuk Tuk taxi. Public Pick-Up Taxi is about 60 THB per person. The Tuk Tuk Taxi price is to be negotiated. Please note, this option can be very expensive and you may get taken to a shop along the way.
**If you have pre-booked an airport transfer through G Adventures please meet your driver near the information counter of the Chiang Mai Airport. If for any reason you can not locate your driver, please call the emergency transfer phone number +66 (0) 812885797.
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash (small denominations preferred)
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required
Small towel and swim wear
Sturdy walking shoes/sport sandals
Hiking pants/track pants
Fleece jacket or warm layer
Windproof rain gear
Rain jacket or poncho
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs (knees and shoulder should be covered)
Camera & memory cards/charger
Pocketknife (optional, useful for scissors, corkscrew & knife)
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
MYANMAR/BURMA – All travellers will need a visa in advance and should apply for one at the closest Myanmar Embassy to your country of origin. You will need to obtain the one-month visa prior to your trip start. Please note that an e-visa does not work for this trip as we are not flying into any of the approved airports.
As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Approximate costs (per person) for popular optional activities taken in free time are:
Jim Thompson’s House (Bangkok) – USD3.5
National Museum (Bangkok) – USD1.5
Royal Barge Museum (Bangkok) USD1.5
Grand palace (Bangkok) – USD11
Wat Po (Bangkok) – USD2
Klong(Canal) Tour (Bangkok) – Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
Thai massage – USD10 per hour
Doi Suithep (Chiang Mai) – USD2 (plus transport)
Bicycle tour (Chiang Mai) – USD30 for Half Day
Thai Cookery Course (Chiang Mai) – USD30 for Half Day
Kan Toke Traditional Dinner (Chiang Mai) – USD30
Bamboo rafting (Chiang Mai) – USD15 plus transport
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO’s are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
A Couple of Rules
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples, mosques or other holy sites.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD195-255 for meals not included.
10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 0 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: ATTB, ID: 23415
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Chiang Mai
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Chiang Mai/Kengtung
Cross the border into Myanmar (Burma), then travel inland to the ethnically diverse town of Kengtung.
Please note: you MUST arrive on tour with a Myanmar (Burma) visa stamped in your passport. E-visas are not accepted.
Border Crossing (Thailand – Myanmar/Burma)
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s), 155km)
Day 3 Kengtung (1B, 1L)
Enjoy an included full-day trek through rice paddies along a countryside dotted by various hilltribes. Try Shan khao swè, a noodle soup and regional staple—it’s delicious.
Day 4 Kengtung/Inle Lake (1B)
Travel in style with a quick flight to serene Inle, home to the Intha people, floating villages, and leg rowers.
Plane (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 30km)
Days 5-6 Inle Lake
Enjoy free time to explore the area. Opt to rent a bike, take a cooking class, or tour the lake by boat, visiting some of its floating villages and gardens.
Day 7 Inle Lake/Bagan (1B)
After a full day of travel, visit the ancient site of Bagan for a sunset temple tour.
Sunset Temple Tour
Local bus (9.00 hour(s), 320km)
Day 8 Bagan (1B)
Enjoy a free day to visit nearby villages or further explore the ruins.
Day 9 Bagan/Mandalay (1B)
Travel to Mandalay and enjoy free time.
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 270km)
Day 10 Mandalay (1B)
Opt to check out Mandalay’s ancient temples, visit the nearby ancient royal capital of Amarapura, or traverse the world’s longest teak bridge.
Day 11 Mandalay/Yangon (1B)
Enjoy a free day before boarding an overnight bus to Yangon.
Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 590km)
Day 12 Yangon
Enjoy an orientation walk in the country’s largest city, and opt to visit the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 13 Yangon/Bangkok (1B)
Fly back to Thailand. Enjoy a final night with the group in the country’s capital city.
Plane (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 14 Bangkok
Depart at any time.