19 Days Yunnan (China) – Old Burma Road Overland Tour from Shangri-La to Yangon

Day 1 Arrive in Shangri La
Take the high speed train or flight to Shangri La.
Meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities: Songzanlin Monastery, Tibetan village, Shudu Lake, Pudacuo National Park
Accommodation: Shangrila
Meals: Breakfast

In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.

Then drive to visit a Tibetan Village and a local family.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, but more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Day 3 Shangri-la–Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Tiger Leaping Gorge, Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast,Lunch

From Shangri-la, drive to Qiaotou Town. Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha River in this area because you can find gold in the river.

Then drive to Shigu Town.  Visit the Iron Chain Bridgethe Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks.

Drive to Lijiang. On the way,  you’ll have a stop to see the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery.

Day 4 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Yulong Snow Mountain, Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui River and Terraces, Baisha Old Town and Murals
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe Rivertake the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).

After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, with a cast of over 500 people and a number of horses.

In the afternoon, you’ll stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan town. Visit the Baisha Murals about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 5 Lijiang-Dali by Private Car

Sightseeing and Activities:Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Ancient Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Black Dragon Pool Lijiang

In the morning, you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture.

Then explore Lijiang Old TownLijiang Old Town has a history of more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.

Afternoon, drive to Dali. You will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style.

Day 6 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Three-pagodas in Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake Cruise, Dali Ancient Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Reflection Park of Three Pagodas in Dali City

In the morning, visit the Three Pagodas in Chongsheng Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years and located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle.

After lunch, you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island. In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy a view of the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake.

At last, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. After climbing up to the City Wall of Dali, you will have a panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.

Day 7:  Dali-Tengchong

In the morning, you travel along the Burma Road through wonderful landscapes to Tengchong.

The Old Burma Road was built during the Second World War when advancing Japanese forces cut off the supply routes of southern Burma. With an enormous effort the American army built, under the command of General Joseph Stillwell, a road from Ledo in India right through the north of Burma to Kunming in China.

Visit to the idyllic Wo Fo Si Temple with a recumbent jade Buddha that came from Burma.

Through glorious landscapes along the winding section we reach first the impressive and fertile Nujiang Valley. Nujiang River (in Burma Thanlwin or Salween) flows from Tibet through China and Myanmar, where it empties into Lake Andaman after flowing 2,800 km.

We cross over Nujiang River and go on through the impressive Gaoligong Massif to Tengchong.

Overnight stay in Tengchong.

The area around Tengchong is known for its seismological activity. The city is surrounded by more than 90 extinct volcanoes, and the many hot water springs are popular destinations for the Chinese. Early in the morning you travel to the nearby hot water springs.

After a walkabout through the many bubbling and steaming pools we travel on to the Tengchong Museum, which is waiting for you with an informative exhibition on the Old Burma Road.

After that the trip continues through the diverse mountain landscapes of south-west China to Ruili. If you still feel energetic you can have a look at the busy night market of Ruili in the evening.

You stay overnight at the border town of Ruili, Yunnan Province.

The border, located about 12km from Ruili. Border formalities and crossing the border around 8h00 (6h30 in Myanmar) to Muse.
Welcome by our local guide at the border check point,
After a short stop in a quite dusty atmosphere continuation drive for 4 hours to Lashio, once a Shan dominated city, but nowadays a Chinese stronghold. Visit around to Sasana Pagoda and the huge Chinese Temple. Overnight at rather basic, and hopefully clean Lashio Motel.

Early morning, visit of the vegetable market at Lashio Lay.
After visiting we say farewell to the town and start touring a sloppy road downhill to a small city called Hsipaw. En route timeless villages on their route to China.
Hsipaw itself is a pictures village on the footstep of the northeast Shan hills, represented former days the centre of a small Shan State of its own and has become a popular hang-out for travellers, thanks to its cool climate.
Hsipaw made history in the 50/60es when an Austrian woman married the Shan Sawbwa (King) and became the popular Mahadevi from Hsipaw. The story ended sadly because he disappeared in prison in the 60es.
Overnight at famous “Charles Guesthous” and enjoy the quite unique atmosphere of the town.

Today we bring you close to Myanmar railway experience.
Transfer to Naungcho and from there then by an old train over the famous Gokteik Bridge and viaduct (over 100 meter high). It will take 2 hours until Naung Bin where we will take you off the train and bring you by coach to pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)

Visit to Pwe Kauk Waterfall; visit and enjoy the countryside. Explore the town center by horse -drawn carriages Kandawgyi National Botanical Gardens; The beautiful botanical garden of Pyin Oo Lwin. The cooler weather condition allows many flowers and fruits, commonly found in temperate climates, to thrive here.
Continuation drive to Mandalay, where the Konbaung kings resided and eventually capitulated to the British, more than 100 years ago. Visit to Amarapura (Sanscrit for „Beautiful town“). There you can take a sunset by walking over the world´s longest teakwood bridge U Bein.


Journey along the Old Burma Road: The old U-Bein bridge, made entirely of Teakwood

Mandalay is the second biggest city in Myanmar. The city was founded in 1857 by King Mindon and served till 1885 as the seat of the kingdom and as the capital of the country.

Transfer to the pier. You go for a cozy boat trip on the Irrawaddy to Mingun (about 45 minutes). In 1790 King Bodawpaya had the Mingun pagoda built. With a height of 150 meters and a lateral length of 150 meters it was supposed to become the world’s biggest pagoda. But because of the king’s death it was never completed. Right nearby there is the Mingun bell regarded as the world’s biggest intact bell. From Mingun we go downstream at a relaxed pace to Ava.

By horse carriage we take a tour through the impressive ruins of Ava, which served as the capital of the Ava Kingdom from 1364 to 1527. In doing so we go past Nanmyint, the former city watchtower. Because of its leaning stance Nanymint is described as “the leaning tower of Ava”. Trip to Amarapura, where we visit Mahagandayone monastery.

The U-Bein bridge, 1.2 km long, dates from 1851 and is regarded till today as the world’s longest bridge made of teak. Whoever wishes to, can try a mouthful of the well known Mandalay rum which has been produced here since 1886!


The Irrawaddy River is the most important and largest River in Myanmar

Breakfast in a relaxed atmosphere. After that we go in the direction of Bagan at a leisurely pace in a boat on the Irrawaddy.

With a length of 2,170 km the Irrawaddy is the biggest and most important river in Myanmar. The Irrawaddy starts north of Myktyina through the junction of the two rivers Maika and Malika, which for their part have their source in the northern state of Kachin and partly in China.

We take a break in Pakkoku, where you visit the temple caves at Kyauk Gu Ohnmin. We also visit a factory where the well known Burmese slippers are produced.

At about 5 p.m. we reach Bagan. We are met at the pier and transferred to the hotel.

Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 15 Bagan One Day temple complex tour
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy a exciting morning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Bagan.

Ordinarily an average of 45 mins of flight duration is expected. However, the entire experience will last about 2 1/2 hours. On landing, our fully trained Myanmar ground crew will pack the balloon whilst passengers enjoy a glass or two of celebratory champagne.

Balloons over Bagan is a private Myanmar company that is committed to the preservation of Bagan and its environment. A contribution from each flight will be donated to community programmes that directly benefit the local population.
Bagan, where you will be amazed by its thousands of Buddhists pagodas spread in the area of the Ancient City of ‘Bagan’. These pagodas used to own by individual families during its prosperous time.
Your will visit the Nyaung Oo Market where local people buying food in daily life, visit the Shwezigon Pagoda which is the largest pagoda in Bagan painted with real gold. Have a rest in hotel in the hottest time in afternoon. Then enjoy a Horse Cart Ride for the sun set, you will climb up to the top of the Shesandaw Pagoda for sun set then take the horse cart back to hotel. It is a unforgettable feeling of taking the horse cart ride on the off road treks through the pagodas when its quiet in dusk.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 16: Bagan – Inle Lake (B)
After breakfast at hotel, pick up from your hotel and transfer to Nyaung Oo airport for flight to Heho airport. Visit to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery and next to the Red Mountain Estate & Vineyard and Winery, view from the top will see overview to Inle Lake and beautiful mountains. Free and Leisure at the rest of the afternoon and Overnight in Nyaung Shwe Hotel.

Day 17: Inle Lake full day boat tour (B)
Today take a full day tour of Inle Lake by private boat with chances to see villages, the unique leg-rowers fishermen and the floating gardens, built up from the strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored with bamboo poles. The tour also includes visits to the silver smith factory, the silk weaving village, the Cheroot making factory, the boat making workshop, the jumping cat monastery and the most famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda where the Buddha images have been covered in so much gold that they look like balls of solid gold. And visit to Indein Village ancient Ruins pagoda of Nyaung Oaks, Shwe Indein Pagoda. After that transfer back to hotel and check in. Stay overnight at Nyaung Shwe.

Day 18: Inle Lake – Yangon by flight (B)
After breakfast at hotel, check out hotel and transfer to Heho airport and take the morning flight to Yangon.

Today start drive to Kyeet Myin Dine railway station and takes 15 minutes to ride Myanmar Circular Train. Stops at Yangon railway station and visit Scott Market. Then walking tour starts from Sule Pagoda. On the way, you can see Yangon City Hall, Independence Monument, Mahabandoola Park, many colonial buildings and ends at Strand Hotel. Continue to Kandawgyi Park and next stop is Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda with colossal reclining Buddha. Later afternoon, enjoy sunset at magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda.

Day 19 Departure from Yangon
See off.