Tours & River Cruises

Tours in Myanmar / Burma

The Ruby Land

The Ruby Land

12 Days/ 11 Nights

from / to Yangon

Tour Highlights
• See Mahamuni Pagoda, the country’s most revered site.
• Visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’
• Visit Paung Daw Oo Pagoda, where the Buddha’s throne is lined with rubies, sapphires and other precious stones donated by wealthy local families
• Explore the mines and see the origins of these precious stones
• Hiking in Mogok valley
• Visit local ethnic tribes
• Catch a train over Gohteik Viaduct which spans a 300-meter deep gorge in the Shan mountains with spectacular views
• Visit the amazing ancient temples of Bagan
• Observe the fascinating lives of the the peoples in Inle Lake
• Explore the fascinating bustling city of Yangon
This fascinating 12-day non-stop adventure will take you to different amazing places in Myanmar and marvel at it’s beauties. From it’s ancient temples, magnificent monasteries and precious stones. Along the way you will be treated to spectacular views and stunning sights where you will also get the opportunity to visit the local people and discover new ways of lifestyles especially in Inle Lake. This tour will also take you to the marvelous city of Mandalay where more ancient sites await you. You will also tour wonderful sites along Inle Lake and Bagan.


Day 1: Mandalay Arrival (-/-/-) 

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your Asia Trip Guide who will accompany you as you transfer to the hotel.

Mandalay Airport to Mandalay city centre – 41 km/60 minutes

Upon arrival, begin your sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda.

This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with gold leaf giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. Mandalay is well known for its skilled craftsmen and as you tour traditional workshops, you will learn more about the city’s cottage industries.  Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.

Optional Activity: Make your own marionette! Visit a local craft shop, choose your marionette’s design (clothes, face & body) and make your own unique souvenir. The entire process takes around 1 hour and is suitable for adults and children. Depending on the figure, the fees will be applied.

Take a midday break for lunch (client’s account).

Continue your tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19 th century Royal Palace. This grand teak building is known for its exquisite woodcarving.

Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River.

Overnight in Mandalay

Day 2: Mandalay – Mogok (B/L/-)

Rise early this morning for a stunning road trip through the Shan Hills to once-restricted town of Mogok.

Mandalay to Mogok – 217 km/ 6hours

Exchanging Mandalay’s bustle for quaint roadside villages and verdant tropical rainforest, the journey to Mogok is the one only few travellers have made.

After four hours stop at a small village for a rest.  All local buses and trucks make the stop, creating a vibrant rest area where stalls are stacked high with damson fruit, Burmes snacks and dried spices.  Try a bowl of Shan Khauk Swe, a traditional Shan noodle dish.

In the afternoon you will reach Mogok’s city-centre.  Known as ‘Ruby Land,’ the town produces the finest rubies in the world.   But it is so much more than just precious stones, offering stunning mountain scenery, a rich and diverse culture and an experience found nowhere else in Southeast Asia. Its downtown area is lined with not only the Buddhist monasteries that are seen everywhere in Myanmar, but also monasteries with Indian influenced architecture, mosques, and even Christian churches.

Visit Paung Daw Oo Pagoda, where the Buddha’s throne is lined with rubies, sapphires and other precious stones donated by wealthy local families. There are also ruby-lined crowns and tiaras on display.  The pagoda affords stunning views of downtown Mogok, providing a nice introduction to the city.

In the late afternoon arrive to your hotel.

Dinner at hotel. (Client’s own account)

Overnight in Mogok.

Day 3: Mogok (B/-/- ) 

After breakfast, lace up your trekking boots and set off from the hotel for a half-day of hiking in Mogok valley. Just meters down the trail you’ll reach an overlook with sweeping views of valley where pointed stupas and small farms are shadowed by the impressive mountain range.

Along the first part of your hike you will come across some peculiar sites. First, you will visit an abandoned rice wine distillery that has been taken over by a chicken farmer. Next, you will see an abandoned mansion with its own moat. The trail ends at a small waterfall.

Return to the main road where a steep raod brings you to the local Lisu Baptist church.  The Lisu tribe originates from the Himalayan foothills in the north, and actually are practicing Christian Baptists. From here, continue trekking to through the Lisu. You will walk through several jungle paths and conclude your trek at monastery compound which has architecturally Indian inspired structures.

Returning to the hotel you will transfer to Myo Oo Lwin monastery, a massive fortress-like compound with Hindu-inspired architecture.

Return to town for a lunch at local restaurant (client’s own account)

In the afternoon, begin your ruby tour. Myanmar produces nearly 90% of the world’s rubies.  Several of the stones on Queen Elizabeth’s ruby tiaras were mined here along with many of royal sapphires.

Today you will visit the mines and see the origins of these precious stones. You will have the opportunity to enter the mines’ small caverns and observe the production. You will also get to see and purchase ‘new rubies,’ small red stones in granite that are a million years away from ‘pigeons’ blood.’

Next, you will visit Mogok’s ruby market, unlike any other market in Myanmar. There are no stalls, no vendors, nor any shops. Business is conducted here at tiny picnic tables where buyers, sellers, and experts examine the stones and negotiate prices over a cup of tea.

After the market, you will go to a local bbq restaurant (client’s own account) for dinner.

Overnight in Mogok.

Day 4: Mogok – Pyin Oo Lwin (B/L/-)

After breakfast, depart Mogok and continue onwards to Pyin Oo Lwin.

Mogok to Pyin Oo Lwin – 110 Km/ 3hours

Pyin Oo Lwin is home for many ethnic tribes as well as a considerable numbers of Nepalese and Hindu who migrated during the British occupation, famous for its climate weather.

Enjoy a traditional horse cart and carriage ride through town. Stop at the Botanical Gardens, 432 acres of leafy gardens home to a diverse mix of botanical species from around the world. The Gardens were established by Sir Harcourt Butler, former Governor of Burma.

Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin – Naung Pain – Mandalay (B/L/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the station to catch a train over Gohteik Viaduct to a nice Hilly town of Kyauk Me.

Train schedule: 08:35 AM – 11:10 AM

The scenic journey crosses the famous Gokteik Viaduct which spans a 300-meter deep gorge in the Shan mountains. The views from the train are spectacular, so be sure to have your camera ready Lunch-box on board.

On arrival in Naung Pain transfer back to Mandalay by car and drive to your hotel in Mandalay.

Naung Pain to Mandalay – 149 km/ 2 hours & 20 Minutes

Overnight in Mandalay

Day 6: Mandalay – Bagan (B/-/- )

After the breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan.

(Estimated flight schedule: 08H20/08H50)

Nyaung U Airport to Old Bagan – 9 km/20 minutes

Nyaung U Airport to New Bagan – 12 km/20 minutes

From the 11th to 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.

On arrival, your journey begins with a visit an elevated temple from where you will have a panoramic view of the magnificent plains of Bagan.

Continue with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history. Then, visit to nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.

This afternoon begin with a visit to a traditional lacquer ware workshop where you can observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples.  Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.

From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and Sulamani Temple.

Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 7: Bagan (B/-/- )

Optional Activity: Balloon Experience over Bagan – Start your morning with an incredible hot-air balloon flight over Bagan’s temple-studded plains. Start your morning snack on pastries and croissants, and sipping coffee and tea as the balloon is inflated.  Climb aboard before gently rising above thousands of gilded stupas and earthen temples all back-dropped by the impressive Irrawaddy River.  A truly unforgettable and unique experience. (Note: available only from late- October to late-March; all flights weather permitting). USD342/pax.

After breakfast, visit the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where villagers gather every day to buy and sell their produce and other goods.  Continue to Myinkaba village and take a short walking tour to explore the temples of Manuha and Nan Paya.

Explore more temples in the area, visit more craft shops or return to your hotel for a break to relax from the midday heat.

This afternoon, continue to the rural village of Minnanthu, one of Bagan’s least visited areas.  Here you will explore temples such as Payathonzu, Lemyentha and Nandamannya before heading to the riverside pier.  Board a local boat for a slow cruise down the Irrawaddy River.  As you cruise the waters, observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.

Return to your hotel this evening.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 8: Bagan – Heho – Inle (-/- /-)   

After early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho.

(Estimated flight schedule: 08H35/09H15)

From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake.

Heho airport to Nyaung Shwe – 28 km/ 45 minutes

Start your exploration over the charm of Inle Lake on your private boat. The lake is surrounded by Shan Mountains. It is the home of Inn Tha people who are famous for their unique one-leg rowing practice. Lake dwellers cultivate fruits, vegetables and flowers in pictures que floating gardens. As a very first site, visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. This famous Pagoda festival is held around September and October of every year. Continue to Nga Phe Kyaung monastery, where an extensive collection of Buddha images is made of different materials.

Optional Tour: Prepare your lunch with a local family! This cooking course is a fun and interesting way to learn about the traditional flavors and preparation techniques of Burmese Cuisine.  Join a local Inthar family in their kitchen to cook local dishes then sit on the floor at a round table and dine in the local way. Minimum 2 persons.

Depending on your choice of interest, you can stop at several workshops on and around the lake such as paper making, blacksmith, gold and silversmith workshops, boatbuilding and cheroot making workshops etc., if time permitting. Silk weaving industries are among the most fascinating attractions in this area.

Overnight on Inle Lake.

Day 9: Inle – Indein (B/-/- ) 

After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day).

From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of In Dein.  Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area.  Here you can climb the covered stairway to the top of a hill which is covered with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below. After enjoying your visit to In Dein, return to your boat.

If time permits, visit Kaung Daing Village which is famous for the rice crackers, tofu snacks and fried beans production. You can also visit a popular hot spring about 40 minute-walk from the village.

Overnight on Inle Lake

Day 10: Inle – Heho – Yangon (B/-/- )

After breakfast, transfer to Heho Airport for the 1.5 hour flight to Mandalay. On arrival in Yangon, transfer to Hotel and take a rest for a while.

Then in the afternoon, your guided tour goes to Kandawgyi Park, one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. Here you will see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge, and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon in the background. Depending on the day of your visit Kandawgyi may be busy with local families who come here on the weekend to relax in the fresh air.

From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas and your guide will show you around the massive complex, explaining why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point. Then you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Yangon Airport to Yangon city centre – 20 km/ 30 – 60 minutes

(Estimated flight schedule: 11H35/12H45)

Overnight in Yangon

Day 11: Yangon (B/-/- )

Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.

In the evening we will visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. A visit to Kyaukhtatgyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha, the feet of the statue carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray.

Continue to a local tea shop for a chance to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea as you sit amid businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business.

Overnight in Yangon.

Day 12: Yangon Departure (B/-/- )

In the morning, you will transfer to Yangon Railway station to take local circular train journey to the outskirts of town (20-30 minutes ride). The slowly traveling train gives you a unique opportunity to observe the lively and colorful life of the rural Burmese people.  Disembark to visit Kyi Myin Daing market where a variety of street vendors sell colorful wares.  Enjoy exploring the market and meeting the friendly locals before returning by road to Yangon.

Then, reach Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where there is time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops. This is Yangon’s best market for handicrafts and other goods.  (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays).

Then return back to your hotel for the break. Afterwards, you will be transferred to Yangon International airport to your own forward flight.

Rates & Services

Rates: 20.04. 2016 – 30.09.2016

Price per person in USD (private tour) 2 persons in double room 1 person in single room(single traveller) Single room supplement
Hotel Category Standard 1.986
Hotel Category Superior 2.082
Hotel Category First Class 2.574
German Throughout guide supplement – USD468/group
Note: All prices are subject to change in case of increase to fuel surcharges, taxes, transportation cost, entrance fees etc. Prices also may vary during the period of New Year (30Dec-02Jan), Chinese New Year and Water Festival.

Rates: 01.10. 2016 – 30.03.2017

Price per person in USD (private tour) 2 persons in double room 1 person in single room(single traveller) Single room supplement
Hotel Category Standard 2.088
Hotel Category Superior 2.239
Hotel Category First Class 2.827
German Throughout guide supplement – USD475/group
Note: All prices are subject to change in case of increase to fuel surcharges, taxes, transportation cost, entrance fees etc. Prices also may vary during the period of New Year (30Dec-02Jan), Chinese New Year and Water Festival.

Would you like to book this tour or request changes to the itinerary?

Please fill out our form for tailor-made changes to an itinerary here.

For rates for 3 or more travellers in one booking, please inquire with our team.

Services included in our rates:
• Accommodation with breakfast on double/twin occupancy (Single supplement varies)
• Private transfer with air-conditioned as specified in the itinerary
• All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
• Domestic flights
• Private motor boat at Inle Lake and Kyauk Gu U Min
• English speaking station guide
• Meals mentioned in the program
• Circle Train in Yangon
• 2 bottles of water & 2 cooling towels per person / day
• Porter fees at airport and jetty
Services NOT included in our rates:
• Visa to Myanmar
• International airfares
• Meals, if not otherwise mentioned
• Early check in and late check out
• Separate arrival/departure transfer
• Personal expenses (laundry, beverages, phone bill, camera fee…)
• Travel insurance
• Tips
• Any additional expenses caused by reasons beyond our control such as natural calamities (eg. typhoon, floods), flight delays, rescheduling or cancellations, any accidents, medical evacuations, riots, strikes etc.)
• Any extra surcharges or fees (e.g. peak season, historical sites, camera/video fees etc)
Travel dates [&] minimum no. of travellers:
• any day departure
• no minimum number of travellers
• this tour is a private tour and you will not be travelling with people other than those you booked with
As this is a private tour, you can depart on the day of your choosing and alter the daily sightseeing program to suit your interests. Inquire with our team to extend this tour or to combine it with our other programmes.

Our Selection of Hotels for You

Hotel Category Standard:
Mandlay: Hotel Yadanabon MDL (Superior Room)
Mogok: Golden Butterfly (Superior Room)
Pyin Oo Lwin: Kandawgyi Hill (Deluxe Room)
Bagan: Razagyo Hotel (Superior Room)
Inle Lake: Royal Nadi Hotel (Superior Room)
Yangon: Hotel Bahosi (Deluxe Room)
Hotel Category Superior:
Mandlay: Yadanarbon Dynasty (Deluxe Room)
Mogok: Golden Butterfly (Superior Room)
Pyin Oo Lwin: Kandawgyi Hill (Deluxe Room)
Bagan: My Bgn Resident by Amata (Deluxe Room)
Inle Lake: Inle Resort (Garden Cottage)
Yangon: Reno Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Hotel Category First Class:
Mandlay: Mandalay Hill Resort (Deluxe  Room)
Mogok: Golden Butterfly (Suite Room)
Pyin Oo Lwin: Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin (Deluxe Room)
Bagan: Aureum Palace Resort (Deluxe Room)
Inle Lake: Myanmar Treasure Resort (Superior Lake View Room)
Yangon: Chatrium (Deluxe Room)

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