Up, Up & Away

Luxury Burma by Balloon & Boat

Inle Lake, Mandalay, The Irrawaddy, Yangon

Duration: 12 nights

Price: From £7,750 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, private transfers, experiences as stated and taxes

Take to the skies in transcendental Burma. A scatter of stupas, orange-hued sunsets and green and yellow-patched fields can look surreal when you are floating 100 feet up inside a hot air balloon, which is why this mystical land is one of the best places in the world to explore from above – and because we don’t want you to miss out on anything, we’ve thrown in a cruise and the best luxury hotels that Burma has to offer. What more could you want?

Your jam-packed itinerary includes an overnight balloon safari experience from Inle Lake, a cruise on the Irrawaddy onboard luxurious cruise boat the Anawrahta and a hot air balloon flight over the temples of Bagan at sunrise.  
Perfect forThose seeking to explore Burma in unique style, with deluxe adventures in mid-air, on land and on water.
In the knowMake your holiday even more special with a stay in the beautiful Burmese countryside and the chance to meet elephants, or enjoy a luxurious and leisurely sailing trip around the Mergui Archipelago. 

Best for

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Adventure
  • Off the Beaten Track
  • History & Heritage

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

Call 020 7337 9010 or Make an enquiry

Itinerary details

Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)

2 NIGHTS YANGON

Your first stop is Burma’s largest city and commercial hub – Yangon. With a colonial and religious background, it is a fascinating place to see, boasting a series of temples and pagodas, their glittering facades dotting the skyline.

Stay at the luxurious Strand Hotel which showcases Victorian architecture and is only a short 20-minute walk from must-see attractions like the historic and impressive Sule Pagoda, which was constructed over 2,000 years ago and houses significant Buddhist relics.
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Inle, Burma (Myanmar)

2 NIGHTSINLE LAKE


After a scenic, hour-long drive through Heho, you’ll arrive at an almost otherworldly location: Inle Lake. Home to numerous floating villages and fascinating tribes, you’ll be in awe after seeing the bamboo-stilt houses and lush vegetation grown by local farmers that fringe this beautiful lake. A real treat is seeing the one-legged-rowing of the fishermen, whose traditional propelling fishing style, handed down the generations, is one of the most unique in the world.

You'll head out on the water to sail down a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein. The views from the top of this hilly town are incomparable: linger a while and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the stupa-sprinkled landscape of white and gold. Relax in the evening at the Sanctum Inle Resort, which has a peaceful setting right on the waterfront on the eastern bank of the lake.
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Balloon experience, Burma (Myanmar)

1 NIGHTBALLOON EXPERIENCE (INLE LAKE)

Your balloon adventure starts on the edges of the stunning Inle Lake; watch the sun rise over the lake and its villages and water gardens, and see the fishermen heading out for their first catch of the day. Get swept up over some of the most beautiful, unspoilt areas in Burma. After a ride to remember, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast on the lake or in a village (depending on where you land, of course).

Back on terra firma, you'll mingle with the locals and shop for your own lunch – you’ll be let in on the traditional culinary secrets of Burmese cuisine, cooking with an Intha family and sharing a delicious meal with them. Dinner will also be a special, open-air affair with a bonfire under swaying Banyan trees. Fully sated, tonight you'll retire to a luxury bed in a monastery, with the soothing hum of distant chanting lulling you to sleep.
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Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar)

1 NIGHTMANDALAY

Wake up to another scenic balloon ride over Pindaya’s green and yellow-patched fields, vibrant against the bright blue skies, rising high up past the Shan Mountains and hilltop pagodas, and swooping low over villages. 

You will then catch a flight from Heho to Mandalay. This former royal capital is every bit as regal as you’d expect it to be, with a restored palace (which also has a moat) and hundreds of marble slabs inscribed by Buddhist scriptures. It is truly the stuff fairytales are made of.

You’ll spend the evening at the oriental-style Hotel by the Red Canal with its quirky tribal-themed suites. Relax by the palm tree-lined pool or in the spa, and sip cocktails at the bar. The Anawrahta awaits nearby on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, ready for your cruise tomorrow.
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Irrawaddy River, Burma (Myanmar)

4 NIGHTSIRRAWADDY RIVER

The Anawrahta cruise boat will be your home for the next few days, as you sail from Mandalay to Bagan in style. Built to resemble a colonial paddle-vessel, the Anawrahta exudes elegance and class, and has the largest cabin space on the Irrawaddy as well as the highest crew to passenger ratio – so you’ll be well looked after. Travel along the river past local villages and temples peeking above the treetops, and spot Irrawaddy dolphins and water buffaloes. 

Wake up to a delicious breakfast and yoga and meditation on deck, before stopping off to explore some spectacular locations along the way as you take in five former capitals in five days, spanning 900 years of history. Visit ancient Awa, an ancient imperial capital and home to the Bagaya Kyaung monastery, which you can explore by a horse-drawn carriage, see the unfinished pagoda of King Bodawpaya at Mingun, and walk in the sacred hills of Sagaing. You'll also visit the charming pottery village of Yanderbo and the trading town of Pakkoku, which sits on a bend in the river. Before you arrive, you'll see the longest bridge in Burma, the Pakkoku Bridge, and in the town, watch the handicraft vendors at work and visit a cheroot-rolling factory, and see the Shwegu Temple, made of rare Yemeni wood, which showcases intricate carvings. You'll also get to experience the views over thousands of temples from the summit of a pagoda. 

A highlight of day 4 is one of the quintessential Burmese experiences - a magical sunrise hot air balloon flight over the thousands of temples and stupas of Bagan. 

Back onboard, enjoy presentations and demonstrations on Burmese culture, including traditional dance performances, over cocktails at the Kipling’s bar, followed by a romantic and memorable open-air cinematic experience under the stars. At the end of your cruise, you will disembark in Bagan and fly back to Yangon for the final leg of your adventure.
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Yangon, Burma

1 night YANGON

You'll spend one more night back at the regal Strand Hotel, where you can unwind after your cruise and tuck into a hearty lunch before taking in the sights and sounds of this bustling city during your final afternoon in Burma. Enjoy a gourmet dinner on your last night at the Strand Grill, accompanied by the sounds of classic guitar. The next morning, you’ll be transferred to Yangon International Airport for your return flight home.
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Best time to go

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Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
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