Bagan Short Break


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12 people
2 days
Code: TRAB
Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
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Overview of Bagan Short Break

There’s more to Bagan than ancient temples, beautiful as they are. Maximise your time in the city on this action-packed short adventure, which takes you off the beaten track and into surrounding villages. Led by passionate local guides, mix it up with a bike tour around Bagan’s pagodas, a boat trip down the Ayeryarwady River at sunset and guided visits to rural communities, markets and tea houses. Not only will you meet locals and learn about daily life in the Burmese countryside, you’ll also be supporting social enterprise and sustainable community development projects.

Trip Summary for Bagan Short Break

Start Location: Bagan,   End Location: Bagan

Countries Visited: Myanmar, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 1   Lunches: 1   Dinners: 0

    • Cycle to some of the most popular and beautiful temples in Bagan, including Shwe Gu Gyi Paya, Maha Bodi Temple, Bu Paya and Aananda Pahto.
    • Visit the village of Taungbe, where locals still get around by horse-drawn cart. Meet a local family, browse the morning market and wander through a 150-year-old wooden monastery.
    • Tuck into traditional Burmese fare at Sanon Restaurant. Part of the social enterprise network of Friends International, the restaurant trains marginalised kids in hospitality skills.
    • See Bagan from a different perspective and get some great photos as you cruise along the Ayeryarwady River at sunset.
    • Explore Kyunkalay, an undeveloped town outside of Bagan that you won’t find mentioned in any guidebooks. Learn how locals are working with a global justice group and using responsible tourism to improve local infrastructure and living conditions.


Day 1 - Bagan
Welcome to Bagan! At 8am, you'll be picked up from the lobby of your Intrepid hotel, so please be ready on time. The morning will be spent exploring the city and its surrounds by bicycle. You'll visit some of Bagan's most popular temples, including Shwe Gu Gyi Paya, Maha Bodi Temple, Bu Paya and Aananda Pahto. From here, it's about a 15-minute ride to a local village outside the city, where you'll visit a beautiful 150-year-old wooden monastery.

Afterwards, jump back on your bike and pedal to Nyaung U. Enjoy lunch at Sanon Restaurant, an initiative of Friends International – a social enterprise working to rebuild the lives of marginalised youths around the world. Post lunch, cycle back to the hotel, arriving by around 1:30-2pm.

After a few hours of free time, meet your guide at 4pm in front of the hotel for the second activity of the day: an Urban Adventures sunset boat trip. Travel by horse and cart to the Nyuang U Jetty, stopping along the way for some tea at a typical local tea shop. Board a boat on the Ayarwaddy River and enjoy a relaxing 1.5-hour sunset cruise through Bagan. Make sure you bring your camera, as there will be plenty of great photo opportunities! Cold drinks are available for purchase onboard.

At around 6:15pm, head back to the jetty. Your guide can help you find local transport back to your hotel.

Day 2 - Bagan
Be ready for an 8am pick up at the hotel this morning after breakfast. Today you'll be heading out on the Urban Adventures In Focus tour: Bagan Community Experience. Travel by light truck (similar in style to a Thai songthaew) for about an hour to Pakkoku, where you'll visit the biggest thanakha market in Myanmar. Thanakha is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, said to treat wrinkles, sun damage, and acne, and even believed to help with fevers and headaches. Visit another local market and stop in at a tea shop, before continuing on to the small, off-the-map village of Kyunkalay.

Urban Adventures has formed a partnership with ActionAid – an organisation working to bring human rights and social justice to neglected communities – to help introduce tourism to the community of Kyunkalay in a way that is responsible, sustainable, and won’t negatively impact their culture and heritage. A donation of $4 per person will be made to the community development fund as part of the tour.

You'll spend about two hours exploring the village, which includes lunch, learning about the community's development plans via a local presentation, and seeing how thanakha is grown and applied. Afterwards, the group will either walk or take an ox-cart to the river, where we'll board a boat for the 30-minute trip back to Nyuang U jetty, arriving around 2-3pm. Like yesterday, your guide will help you tee up local transport back to the hotel, where your short break adventure comes to an end.

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