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Burma Hilltribe Trek

Burma Trek CHALLENGING
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About the Challenge

Isolated from modern tourism until very recently, Burma is a captivating land rich in natural beauty and culture. Our rewarding trek takes us through the unspoilt tribal highlands of the Shan hills to Lake Inle, one of Burma’s most memorable sights.

Our hilly route takes us through jungle, farmland and quiet villageswhere oxen pull wooden ploughs. Our trek ends at Lake Inle, where boats take us past the remarkable lake villages and floating gardens, and we can witness Inle’s unique leg-rowing fishermen, before returning to Yangon and the incredible golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

This is a trip packed with cultural discovery and exceptional trekking, but the main highlight is the chance to experience a country where tourism is still so new.


Burma Hilltribe Trek

10 DAYS
  • We arrive in Yangon and transfer to our hotel in the centre. You can check in and relax, or explore the streets of this historic city, formerly known as Rangoon, before meeting again for dinner and a briefing. Night hotel.

  • An early flight takes us north to He Ho, near the shores of Lake Inle, where we transfer to the small town of Pindaya, where our trek starts. We have time to visit the amazing Pindaya Caves, where for centuries thousands of Buddha images have been placed inside the hill, forming a labyrinth of Buddha figures; this amazing shrine is an historic pilgrimage site. We start trekking after lunch, a wonderful half-day trek which takes us into the hills through lush jungle. Although it’s cooler in the hills, the heat is still the main challenge, so this shorter day acts as good acclimatisation. Towards the end of the afternoon we come to small plots of farmland, where mandarin trees are grown alongside tea and coffee plants. Night monastery.


    Trek approx. 3 hours / 6-7 miles

  • Our first full day of trekking is very varied, as we set off through dense bamboo forest. Our route undulates gently and the trails can be muddy if it’s rained, which makes the going harder. The landscape becomes flatter, trees thinning out to more cultivated farmland and villages. We are likely to see the local people drying tea and working the land, where potatoes and vegetables grow alongside chilli and peanuts, and huge green jackfruit hang from the trees. It’s a wonderful insight to the local way of life here in these remote villages. Our afternoon is hillier again, with an incline up to a hilltop stupa; we can enjoy the wonderful 360° view, includes the few remaining low hills and the monastery where our day ends. Night monastery.


    Trek approx. 8-9 hours / 10-11 miles

  • Our morning sees undulating trekking (unusually, more down than up!) as we trek through the villages of the Palaung people. Many still wear traditional dress, with distinctive red and black woven cloth, and the farming methods are very traditional; we are likely to see oxen pulling old carts and wooden ploughs. The afternoon takes us over steeper hills as we pass through verdant patches of jungle. The natural beauty of our surroundings combined with such a rich cultural experience provides a fascinating and wonderful day’s trekking. Our day ends at a hilltop monastery with fabulous views across the hills. Night monastery.


    Trek approx. 7-9 hours / 8-9 miles

  • Leaving the serene monastery behind, we trek to the small village of Mynka and then have a short drive to Kalaw, where we can experience the bustling and colourful market, full of the produce we have seen growing as well as much, much more. It’s a great contrast to the quite villages and allows us to see a little of the town, a former British hill-station. From here we continue trekking through more a populated, agricultural area, where there is always something interesting to take in as we walk. Our route becomes hillier and more remote, taking us through a pass in a range of limestone mountains; we then continue on undulating paths through villages and rice terraces. Night monastery.


    Trek approx. 6-7 hours / 8-9 miles

  • After an early breakfast we head off on our last day of trekking, taking a wide track passing through villages. We see rice paddies on the hill terraces and descend towards the lake, which we only see when we are quite close. The flat plain by the lake is dotted with houses lining the waterways, and it feels very populated after the remote hills. Coming to the shores which mark the end of our trek, we have time to explore the wonderful temple complex of Indein, where the temples are overgrown by acacia trees and other plants; a very atmospheric place to explore. We then take to motorised canoes, and cruise through the canal system, passing houses on stilts and the innovative floating gardens where countless tomatoes are grown, among other crops. The boat finally brings us to our hotel on the lake, a wonderful place to mark the end of our trek. In the evening we enjoy a slap-up dinner to celebrate our achievements this week. Night hotel.

     

    (Dinner not included)


    Trek approx. 6–7 hours / 11-12 miles

  • A free day to enjoy the sights on and around the lake. You can take a boat trip to explore the creeks and waterways, discovering the craft workshops, temples and houses built on the lake. One of the highlights will no doubt be to watch the leg-rowing fishermen, an unique way of fishing that the local people have developed, which allows them to use two hands to cast their nets. Night hotel.


    (Lunch and Dinner not included)

  • An early morning boat ride takes us to the north of the lake, through more open water, seeing early morning fishermen on the way. The early light is beautiful and it’s a wonderful journey, though can be a little chilly! At Nyaung Shwe we transfer to He Ho for our short flight to Yangon, where we have time to wander round the fascinating golden Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. We then return to the airport for our international flight home.


    (Lunch and Dinner not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED 

    • All return transport from London to Yangon and internal flights
    • All meals except where specified, and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda and any sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Five meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax
    • Burma entry visa
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED 

    • All return transport from London to Yangon and internal flights
    • All meals except where specified, and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda and any sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Five meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax
    • Burma entry visa
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED 

    • All return transport from London to Yangon and internal flights
    • All meals except where specified, and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda and any sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Five meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax
    • Burma entry visa
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Some accommodation (in hotels or camp) will be twin-share. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

    On some nights we are likely to sleep in more communal accommodation such as dormitories, huts, local homestays or monasteries, depending on the trip, and you may be sharing with a larger number of participants or the whole group; this type of accommodation cannot always be single-sex.

  • We sleep in local Buddhist monasteries; this is a great privilege and a wonderful insight to authentic monastery life, though conditions are necessarily quite basic; we sleep on mattresses on the floor in communal rooms, and toilets and showers are spartan. At the start and end of the trek we stay in good, international-style hotels (2-3* or equivalent).

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. The more training that you do the more you will enjoy the experience! Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

Extension

Discover Bagan

Burma’s answer to Cambodia’s Angkor temples, Bagan is one of the most unforgettable sights in Burma. The remains of an ancient kingdom on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, at its height in the 11th – 13th Centuries, Bagan was home to over 10,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas. Though many of them were destroyed, over 2000 remain, presenting an inspiring vista of a plain of spires – especially impressive at sunset.

We take time to explore some of the main temples, which can be climbed to appreciate the views, and then have time to simply wander and enjoy, marvelling at the sheer scale of the ancient site. Close-up, many have impressive architecture, carvings and murals. We then have time to fly on to Yangon and finishing our experience with the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda.


Testimonials

Louisa


The Burma Hilltribe Trek was a marvellous and life changing experience - trekking in such an interesting country at a seminal moment in it's political history. The glimpses of rural life were fascinating. The countryside was beautiful. The food was divine - just cooked
Read more +
by locals over a fire. Staying overnight in monasteries was a great experience. Visiting the temples of Bagan and taking a boat journey over Lake Inle were highlights of the trip. Attending the local 'water festival' which we happened to pass, and spending an evening talking with a monk were unexpected bonuses. DA organised a tremendous trip, all I could have hoped for and more.
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Louise


Great challenge, great destination, great team.

Karen


This was my third DA adventure and I have always felt that the holiday was very special. I have been fortunate to have Helen as my leader twice now and each time she has been motivating and encouraging. The lcoal teams have been extraordinary. What more could one ask?
Read more +
Thank you again DA.
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Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

grade | CHALLENGING (1)

This trip is designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, but is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!

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