Eclectic landscapes ripple across Myanmar as the Himalayan Mountains descend into the lush jungle-clad hills and the tropical hues of the coast. All remain unscarred by modern development to create a natural haven for hundreds of endemic bird species. Myanmar offers excellent birdwatching in destinations that are rarely seen or documented by Western visitors. This 12-day luxury tour provides a sublime exploration of these landscapes.
Yangon – The Delights of the City
Welcome to the Southeast Asian tropics, where palm trees rise higher than colonial buildings and a lush green awning winds along the coast as relatively rare birds flutter across the city. You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to five-star accommodation in the heart of Yangon that overlooks the colonial harbor. On a guided tour, explore the gardens of the city where locals meet and a plethora of life flaps its wings; pheasant-tailed jacanas, oriental darters, coppersmith barbet, a selection of bee-eaters, prinias, and tailorbirds are all to be found. They provide a prime introduction to the Myanmar's variety of colors, along with a chance to absorb the endearing culture of the country. Locals wave as they wander through the parks, young monks come to practice their English, and you will join the line of people visiting Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. As the meditative chants echo across its golden facade, this important Buddhist structure will immerse you in the spirituality of Myanmar.
Yangon – Discovering the Birds of Hlawga Wildlife Park
Bagan – Birdwatching Along the Irrawaddy River
Bagan – Endemic Species and Unique Temples
Natmatuang National Park – Exploring the Forests
Day 6 - 7
Natmatuang National Park – The Birds of the Eastern Himalayas
Kalaw – Returning Through the Temples and Waterways
Kalaw – Journeying Into the Remote Evergreen Forests
Inle Lake – More Endemic Birds in the Forested Hills
Inle Lake – Boat Journeys Across a Serene Lake
Yangon – Departure
- Explore the untouched landscapes of Myanmar and discover more than 350 species of bird, many of them rare and endemic
- Spend a day in Hlawga Wildlife Park, a prime introduction to the vibrant colors of the country
- Cruise along the Irrawaddy River in a comfortable wooden boat to discover the near-endemic birds that flutter beneath the mystical temples of Bagan
- Lose yourself in the lush jungle-clad mountains of Natmatuang National Park (Mount Victoria), where a great assortment of Eastern Himalayan birds congregate
- Discover the rural evergreen forests around Kalaw, home to the delicate and delightful of Myanmar's bird collection
- Cruise around Inle Lake, admiring how rare bird species coexist with stilt villages and local life
- Explore the cultural heritage of Myanmar at every turn, including drinking tea with villagers, visiting exquisite golden temples, and finding a realm untouched by time
Eclectic landscapes are untouched by time in a country still dominated by nature's realm with people who have always sought to protect it. The ingredients mix to create one of the world's most remarkable bird sanctuaries. So much of Myanmar remains wild, from jungle-clad mountains to remote lakes of surreal serenity. Landscapes stretch and emerge from the Himalayas down through the jungle to the savannah-type interior, then onwards to the tropical tones of the Delta. Diverse environments mean various birds, hundreds of near-endemic species flutter around the country. And unlike so many countries in the world, these landscapes haven't been polluted by modern development. They remain as they always have been; raw, rugged, and floating on nature's enchanting carpet.
Best of all from a birdwatching perspective, these realms are mostly undocumented. Discover species that have rarely, if ever, been seen by Western visitors since the middle part of the last century. White-rumped falcons and black-throated prinia cruise across the foothills of Mount Victoria, Burmese yuhina and velvet-fronted nuthatch in the evergreen forests around Kalaw, Sarus crane and blue-eared kingfishers on Inle Lake. Every stop on this itinerary is about the endemic, and near-endemic as their vibrant fluttering is a symbol of Myanmar's mystical world.
It's not just nature that has remained untouched by time as the country's culture has hardly been interrupted by Western influence. Charming lifestyles and smiles envelop you at every turn, a distinct part of the every day as you travel across the country. Villagers welcome you with cups of tea as monks wander through forested foothills, and thousands of grand temples reveal the architectural innovation of history. While birdwatching is the focus, a connection with local culture provides another daily highlight, especially as you visit remote and rural parts of the country, where tribal lifestyles are always enchanting.
This 12-day birdwatching tour takes you across Myanmar to visit four distinctive regions to maximize the variety of species you encounter. Start in the south where the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal provide a humid tropical environment. A day in Hlawga Wildlife Park showcases a very exotic collection of birds that are doused in color. Travel to Bagan and the birdwatching takes you along the Irrawaddy River. With the world's greatest collection of temples as a backdrop, you will find an eclectic range of species that survive in semi-desert conditions. Your next days are spent in the thick forests of the Eastern Himalayas at Natmatuang National Park as the various altitude zones provide contrast in the environment. Finish your birdwatching tour in the evergreen forests and rural landscapes of Shan State, with two nights each in Kalaw and Inle Lake. Exploring by foot and by boat, you find the rare birds that have always lived in harmony with village life.
This birdwatching tour is best from November to May, the dry season for Myanmar. Domestic flights connect many of the destinations, but you will also travel in comfortable saloon vehicles. Expert guides provide the narrative at each destination and use intimate local knowledge to reveal the delights of Myanmar's landscapes. While the country has only recently opened to international tourism, a good hotel infrastructure is in place, and you will stay in four-star accommodation at each destination.
$2,155 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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