How beautiful can two weeks be? This 15 day trip takes in many of the highlights of a holiday to Myanmar and then heads to the remote south of the country. Spend the second week exploring the Mergui Archipelego – referred to as Asia’s lost world, aboard a classic two- masted yacht, equipped with crew.
Whilst visiting the cultural sites of Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake we have worked hard to present you hidden Burma- a holistic approach, balancing temple visits with community involvement - watching blacksmiths and potters at work, sampling home cooking, observing the classroom and bartering at markets. Flying south to Kawthuang, just across the Thai border, board your yacht, meet your crew and make yourself at home for the next 5 nights. Cruise towards the 800 islands, so many some don’t have a name. Live life as an explorer, finding new beaches, with the only foot prints those behind you. There is an indulgent rhythm to the day which by the end of the voyage you will be sad to leave behind – walk through pristine rainforest, snorkel in azure waters, kayak through mangroves, catch your own fish of the day, or if unsuccessful, barter with the local Moken people for a squid dinner! Barbeque your catch or take a gourmet picnic on the deserted shores of any beach you fancy. At the end of the day put your feet up on the helm, sundowner in hand before drifting off to sleep with the sounds of the waters of Mergui lapping at the boat. Wake up the following day and repeat! After brunch on your final day, depart Kawthuang homeward bound via Bangkok or return back toYangon.
The Mergui Archipelago 6 day cruise is available as a standalone holiday, arriving from Myanmar or Thailand, and is easily combinable with Phuket. Cruise only prices start from £1635 for a twin share cabin, including zone fees in Mergui Archipelago.
The best time for sailing in the Mergui is between November and April. December to February is perfect, with warm sunny weather, steady winds and calm seas. March and April, with less wind, is ideal for diving and snorkelling.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.
what is included
what is excluded
PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.
Fly London to Bangkok
Fly Bangkok to Yangon
No longer the capital but still Myanmar's largest city, Yangon remains one of the country's most important commercial hubs. International isolation over the last five decades has left the city with an enduring colonial charm. Architecture from a bygone era lines the streets of the old centre, whilst the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda - a dazzling Buddhist temple attracting pilgrims from all over the world - dominates the skyline.
Time to Yourself to Acclimitise
You will be staying at Strand Hotel, Yangon, Breakfast
Shwedagon PagodaThe Shwedagon Pagoda which dominates Yangon and can be seen from many parts of the city. Dating back more than 2,600 years it is one of the holiest places in the entire country. Originally built to house eight holy hairs of the Buddha it has been added to and re-built almost continuously. Its temples and shrines throng with the thousands of pilgrims and worshippers that come daily.
Fly Yangon to Heho
Drive from Heho to Inle Lake (Road Journey)
Nestling in a valley of the Shan Plateau, Inle Lake is a spectacular freshwater lake at an altitude of almost 1000 feet. It is notable for its inhabitants, known as the Intha people or 'leg rowers', who developed a culture that has survived for centuries. Floating markets and the surrounding villages make this a fascinating place to visit during a trip to Myanmar.
Time to Yourself
You will be staying at Inle Lake View Resort, Half board
Full day sightseeingSpend a day sightseeing by boat around the beautiful lake and see the leg-rowing fishermen, one of the iconic images of Myanmar. The lake, situated on the high Shan Plateau, is fairly shallow thus allowing for a floating market garden where the locals grow vegetables, particularly tomatoes. You will see the unusual 'leg' rower today which is likely to be one of your lVillages have grown up around and in the lake, many built on stilts. Visit a silk weaving village where many of the processes are still carried out by hand. Cloth is also made from locally grown lotus fibre. At the end of the school day you can see the children returning home, not on the bus but in small wooden canoes. There are a number of temples and monasteries too, including the famous Phaung Daw U Pagoda which houses five 12th century Buddha images whose shape has been lost by the layers of gold leaf placed upon them by worshippers.
Lunch onboard the Rice Carrier Boat on Inle LakeLunch is served on a rice carrier boat in the middle of Inle Lake. The boat has been transformed into a wonderful restaurant. An exclusive experience and catered for you by a service boat and a kitchen boat!
Half Day Tour of IndeinIn the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a 'pagoda forest'. Walk for about one hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house. Continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired paddling yourself, continue by motorboat back to your hotel.
Fly Inle Lake to Bagan
You will be staying at Bagan Lodge, Half board
Full Day Exploring the Temples of BaganTouring by car with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. Start the day climbing a pagoda to get an impression and sense of the scale of the temple complex. From here visit some of the amazing temples such as Ananda,Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu.Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and at around 4pm continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset with a sundowner.The ancient, lost city of Bagan in Myanmar is a truly extraordinary sight. Set in a 70 square kilometre expanse of open countryside and farmland, framed by a backdrop of distant mountains, the 4000 or so temples scattered across the plain are all that remain of a once important capital.
Evening Sundowners on the IrrawaddyThis evening what better way to see the sun go down than from the top of an ancient temple or on board a boat on the Irrawaddy. We will arrange sun downers for you this evening.
4WD Safari in Villages near BaganAn early start this morning as you head out of Bagan in 4WD jeeps to explore the surrounding countryside and villages, such as Nyaung Gyi with its blacksmith workshop This is a great excursion if you are interested in life away from the tourist sites and photography. We can also weave in some time spent learning about local farming methods.
Fly Bagan to Yangon
Half Day Yangon Heritage WalkYangon downtown is unique with much of its colonial era architecture still standing. This relaxed tempo walking tour follows a route through downtown Yangon focusing on the old colonial buildings. At the end enjoy a well-earned gin and tonic at Gekko.
Fly Yangon to Kawthaung
On arrival at Kawthaung transfer to the harbour to board your cruise.
Day 1 of CruiseOn arrival at the jetty board the Meta IV or Raja Laut. Today the yacht will cruise towards Hastings Island. Relax on deck with a welcome drink while exploring the Mergui. Spend the rest of the day on the beach at Hasting Island.
Day 2 of CruiseEarly this morning we will arrive at Lampi Island, the largest in the region. Brunch will be served on board and a visit to the Moken Sea nomads will allow time to buy local squid for the dinners BBQ. Sail northwest to the gorgeous Clara Island. The water is exceptionally clear here.
Day 3 of CruiseIt's a beautiful cruise to Pila Island and an opportunity to try tuna fishing. Once there, a BBQ on the long beach will be organised, and plenty fo time to go for jungle walks. Hear the monkeys and hornbills? Before a relaxed sundowner, cool down by snorkelling in the azure waters.
Day 4 of CruisePick up the east winds and speed towards the Mid Group. The Mid Group is made up of small islands, hidden coves and beaches and the prettiest by far are Frost and Potter Islands. Spectacular white beaches and huge fig trees.
Day 5 of CruiseSpending most of the day on the water, only stopping for a dip in the open ocean. Get busy sailing, lie on the deck and watch dolphins jump. It's dinner on the beach at Zadetkyi Island.
Day 6 of CruiseAfter a long and leisurely brunch today, sail back into Kawthaung. Bid farewell to your crew before transferring to the airport for your flight to Yangon.
Fly Kawthaung to Bangkok
Fly Bangkok to London
Phone: +44(0) 1285 651 010
+44(0) 1285 651 010
Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas
expert led group tour
Myanmar - Shan Kingdoms to Mandalay
16 days from £2,995pp
View Group Tour
Highlights of Myanmar including Inle Lake
13 days from £2,995pp
View Holiday Idea
Irrawaddy River Cruise - The Sanctuary Ananda
10 days from £2,595pp
Myanmar Hot Air Balloon Honeymoon -Skies the Limit
9 days from £4,495pp
Rivers, Lakes and Coast of Myanmar- Strand Cruise
14 days from £3,395pp
The Top Gear Adventure - 4WD Through Eastern Shan
5 days from £1,495pp
Can’t find what you’re looking for?
Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom