Culture & Cuisine of Myanmar

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Yangon
Duration:
8 Days
End:
Yangon
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 2789
ENQUIRE NOW

Go on a culinary journey through Myanmar; from bustling morning markets and local teashops to lake-based farms and villages famed for single delicacies. Along the way, take cooking classes with local chefs and enjoy a host of Myanmar experiences.

Discover Rangoon with your guide; visit a local teashop to try out an assortment of dishes. Go to Chinatown to sample some more local foods, including meat and vegetable satays and draught Myanmar beer. Take a short hop flight to Bagan and explore it by horse carriage. Learn about the making of Bagan’s most famous food, ‘Pone Yay Gyi’ at a local shop. Drive on to a village where people make a range of products using the juice of the palm tree, including sweet molasses and wine.

Enjoy lunch prepared by a local family. Later we cruise the Irrawaddy River, watching the sunset as you pass riverside villages and temples. Learn more about the craftwork for which Mandalay is famous by visiting workshops and cottage industries, including gold-leaf techniques and kalaga tapestry weaving. Try La Phat Toke; a salad made from fermented tea leaves mixed with salt, garlic, lime juice and green chilli. See the ‘World’s Biggest Book’ at Kuthodaw Pagoda.

Head out onto Inle Lake in a private motorboat, passing floating garden houses built on stilts, and the lake’s famous ‘leg-rowing’ fishermen. Visit a floating tomato garden and meet the farmers (depends on the season). Make lunch with a lake-dwelling family at their house. Visit a village famed for its traditional tofu treats, which you can see people prepare.  Next, go to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery, where you can try out their wines and learn how different grape varieties are grown.

Enjoy some of the best Shan food in the country at a Shan restaurant. Meet an experienced local chef and learn how to make several Myanmar dishes.  Visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered site in Myanmar. Walk around the huge complex and its 65 stupas before going to the green expanse of Kandawgyi Park, where you can relax and dine at one of its many restaurants.

Itinerary

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DAY 1

Arrive at Yangon International Airport. Please clear immigration & visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel if you do not have goods to be declared to customs. At the arrival lounge you will be welcomed by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS guide/driver holding plaque card, he will assist with transfer and check-in at the hotel. (Normal check-in time 1400 hrs) Formerly known as ‘Rangoon’ in its days as a British colony, the city has many fine old colonial buildings. Yangon also has a rich spiritual heritage, reminders of which are spread throughout the city in the form of temples and pagodas. In the afternoon, visit Sule Pagoda. Take a stroll around Mahabandoola Park’s colonial courthouse and city hall, before walking to the main colonial area and discovering its many old buildings. Lunch will be at a local tea shop, Shwe Yi. The British introduced the practice of drinking strong tea with condensed milk and sugar over a century ago. Green tea is still drunk, often after the strong tea in order to wash it down. Try an assortment of snacks and noodles here, including rice pancakes, golden sticky rice and ‘Mohingar’, Myanmar’s national dish, rice noodles in a fish soup. Shwe Yi tea shop is famous for its Kyauk Pa Daung Palartar, which should be tried while you’re here. After lunch, head to the Yangon River to see riverside life by the busy Martin Jetty, after the sightseeing we return back to Chinatown for dinner a great place to try out some other local foods, including meat and vegetable satays and draught Myanmar beer. We return to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 2

After breakfast or take the breakfast box from the hotel, in time transfer to the airport to board a short hop flight to Bagan. Once at Bagan meet your guide, who will take you around its wonderful scenery and architecture. We visit the glittering Shwezigon Pagoda, the cave temple filled with exquisite murals at Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi and Ananda Temple and its nearby monastery. Next is more interesting craftsmanship with the fine plaster carvings of Htilominlo Temple. For lunch we will stop at Shwe Myanmar; a popular place where visitors come mainly for the delicious curry they serve. After lunch, explore Bagan by horse carriage. Clopping along, you’ll pass through the village of Taungbi; see the highest temple in Bagan, Thatbyinnyu; and the enormous Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its intricate brickwork. Stay two nights in Bagan.

DAY 3

Early morning optional hot air balloon (Not included in price) trip over Bagan: A once in a lifetime experience, take an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan at dawn. Available from October to March only, the 45minute to 1-hour flight glides over temples, stupas, villages and dependable on the wind, the Irrawaddy River. After breakfast, we’ll go to lively Nyaung Oo Market where your guide will help you to discover the many herbs and vegetables used in Myanmar cuisine. After this, you’ll learn about the making of Bagan’s most famous food, ‘Pone Yay Gyi’ at a local shop. This black paste is made from soybeans and you’ll get to see how it’s made, from the raw soybeans through to the finished product. Try out the popular dish of Pone Yay Gyi salad here, where onion, dry shrimp, green chilli and peanut oil are added to the paste. Many tourists buy the famous paste in Bagan as a treat to take home to their families. Next, see the making of another local speciality, Pe Chaung; a brittle bean snack. Drive on to a local village where the people make a range of products using the juice of the palm tree, including sweet molasses and Palm juice. See the farmers as they climb the trees to collect the juice. Lunch will be prepared for you by a local family, which you can enjoy in the shade of the palm trees. Visit a workshop next producing lacquerware. Bagan is famous for this craft, and the skills involved are constantly being refined and passed down from generation to generation. Board a local boat next for a cruise down the Irrawaddy River. See the sunset from the river as you pass riverside villages and temples. Overnight stay in Bagan.

DAY 4

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Mandalay. Begin your tour with the revered Buddha image at Mahumani Pagoda. Learn more about the craftwork for which Mandalay is famous by visiting workshops and cottage industries. You’ll see gold-leaf techniques, wood carving and kalaga tapestry weaving. Try another Burmese food now; La Phat Toke. This is a salad made from fermented tea leaves which have been mixed with salt, garlic, lime juice and green chilli. Beans, peanuts and sesame are added, along with other ingredients depending on taste, and the dish is eaten as a snack, a dessert, or even with rice as part of the main meal. Go to a popular tea house for lunch. Tea houses are the centre of social and commercial life in Myanmar, and Min Thiha Tea Shop is no exception. You can see all kinds of people here, from business people and brokers to students and families all doing their daily business or just relaxing and socializing. Try the Mandalay Monte or Khotaung Monte here. After lunch, see the ‘World’s Biggest Book’; the 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scripture at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set. Your evening is free at leisure. We recommend a trip to Chapatti Corner, where people gather to enjoy the many Indian foods on offers here, such as biryani and mutton curry. Stay overnight in Mandalay.

DAY 5

After breakfast take a short flight to Heho this morning. From here, it is a scenic one-hour drive to the village of Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to the magnificent Inle Lake. Head out onto the lake in a private motorboat, passing floating garden houses built on stilts and the famous ‘leg-rowing’ fishermen who make their living from the lake’s plentiful supply of fish. Visit a floating tomato garden. Meet the farmers and learn how they grow tomatoes and other plants on the lake. Make lunch with a local Inthar family at their house next. Join them in their kitchen and learn about the ingredients and cooking of Inthar cuisine, before joining them at a traditional round table to enjoy the food. You have a chance to see more of Myanmar’s rich craft heritage next, in a visit to the weaving village of Inpawkhone. Also visit a cheroot factory, where the cigars are still made by hand in the traditional way. Overnight in Inle Lake.

DAY 6

After breakfast, see the lake’s lively morning market;(It is a five day market around the lake depending on the lunar calendar) where the community of the lake, including local hill tribes, all come to trade with each other. It’s a bustling centre of activity with many interesting sights. Continue by boat to the northwest side of the lake and the village of Khaung Daing. The village is famous for its traditional tofu treats. You can watch as the triangular treats and fried tofu crackers are made by hand, and of course, you’ll get the chance to give them a try. Next, visit the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery, where you can try out their wines and learn how their different grape varieties are grown. (depending on the season) After the drive back to Nyaung Shwe, enjoy lunch at Viewpoint Restaurant, which serves some of the best Shan food in the country. Take a stop to see the beautiful Buddha images and carvings of Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, before transferring to Heho airport for your flight back to Yangon. Stay two nights in Yangon.

DAY 7

Meet an experienced local chef this morning. They will take you to a local market and help you to select ingredients to be used in cooking. After the market, head to Monsoon Restaurant where your chef will teach you how to make several Myanmar dishes. Once you’ve made your dishes, you can try them out for lunch. Visit Pagoda, where locals come to pay respect to the 70 meters reclining Buddha. There are some interesting murals here depicting the life of Buddha, which your guide will be happy to tell you about. Next, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered site in Myanmar. Walk around the huge complex and its 65 stupas. The central stupa is 90 meters tall and gilded with gold-leaf. See the sunset from here, overlooking the city. Afterwards, proceed to the green expanse of Kandawgyi Park. The park is a popular place for people to come on an evening to relax and dine at one of its many restaurants, dinner is at leisure and in your choice of restaurant. It houses the Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge; and also a large lake with views of Shwedagon Pagoda. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 8

This morning is at leisure for your own activity until 12:30 am. Later in time transfer to the international airport to board your onward flight home.

Inclusion


Hotel accommodation with private facilities

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

Travel, transfers and sightseeing by Private car with driver as per Itinerary

Services of a private air-conditioned vehicle with driver (no air conditioning at the Inle Lake area)

Service of local English speaking  guides in every location

Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited

Activities and sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary

Culinary experience as mentioned in the itinerary

Domestic airfare as per Itinerary

Assistance and transfers

All current collectable local taxes

Exclusion


Early check-in and late check-out from the hotel

Meals: As specified in the itinerary

Visa Fees

Tips

Travel insurance

International Airfares

Expenditure of personal nature, such as porter charges, camera fees, drinks, souvenirs, laundry etc.

International airport tax in Yangon (US$10 per person)

Services not listed in above inclusions