Inle – Sagar – Phekhone – Loikaw – Yangon
This community-based tribal tour takes you to the fascinating world of Kayah, Kayaw and Kayan tribe not only to discover their customs and traditions, epitomized by the unique Long Neck Ladies but also to enjoy the stunning landscape.
It is also possible to explore more days in Kayah State. Our itinerary specialists will be more than happy to coordinate this optional extension with your Classic Myanmar Tour.
After breakfast, boat trip to Sagar village (-3 hr). Along the way, enjoy the scenic view of the Inle Lake surrounded by hazy Blue Mountains, the numerous floating villages and gardens. Stop to visit a pottery making village and photo stop at picturesque religious site of Tharkhaung.
Simple lunch will be taken at a local restaurant of the village.
After lunch, visit to the Sagar village and ruins of ancient pagodas complex some in water and some on land. Most of the stupas and religious statues were said to be built from 16 to 18 century.
Then, continue boat ride to Phekhone Town where a car is waiting you to drive to Loikaw City. (-1 hr).
Loikaw is the capital of Kayah state in eastern Myanmar and situated in hilly scenery and among the several unique tribal cultures at an altitude of 884 m. Loikaw and its surroundings offer numerous opportunities to experience one of most breathtaking landscapes in Myanmar and discover the multi-ethnic cultures in this hilly region.
Overnight at hotel in Loikaw.
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Kayah Village (1 hr). Upon arrival, welcome at Community Centre. The community guide will bring you to the site of Kayhtobo (totem poles) a major feature of animist practices, Hunting Shrine, to learn about traditions of ritual hunting, the sacred and scenic site of Lotus Pond and the Water Totem, where the villagers honour the water source and the scenic 7 lakes.
Kayah traditional barbecue lunch at a village home. (Optional)
After that, continue your visit to the home of local artisan who makes the distinctive Kayah lacquer leg rings and to a musician’s home to listen to traditional songs and try to play the bamboo guitar. If you are interested, compete with the local boys in the use of a Kayah traditional slingshot.
Or late lunch at a restaurant on the way back to Loikaw.
Drive back to Loikaw and enjoy sunset at Taung-Gwe Hill (Broken Hill).
Overnight in Loikaw.
Breakfast at the hotel, then drive to Pan Pet, a group of 5 Kayan villages (-1h), and homeland of long neck women who wear heavy brass ring around their neck. Kayan people are a sub-group of red Karen, a Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar. The Kayan practice a mix of animists, Christian or Buddhists beliefs.
Kayan women, almost always wear 16 to 22 rings round their necks. In addition they also wear 12 to 22 similar rings round the legs. The rings that encircle the necks of the Kayan ladies are not separate rings placed one on top of the other. At the village, you can observe a person specially skilled and trained by tradition take a long flexible rod of brass weighing about 25 ticals (400 grams) and with great care as not to hurt the neck, winds it round and round to form the spiral of rings.
First, arriving to Salong Kana Village, meet and greet by the village guide. He then takes you on a tour of homes where local craftsmen are making traditional Kayan crafts as well as hand-woven cotton cloths for their daily use. You can spend time with these artisans and try your hand at making native crafts.
Kayan traditional lunch cooked in bamboo, accompanied by homemade rice wine will be served at a home.
After lunch, continue your visit to Rang Ku hamlet where many Kayan ladies have established small shops, selling arts and crafts. There you can learn a few words of Kayan language and interact with these fun-loving and artistic tribes folks. Naturally, you will have opportunities to buy handicrafts and by doing so, contribute to the potential of small local enterprises.
Return to Loikaw in the afternoon.
Overnight in Loikaw
After breakfast, take the scenic route to Htay Kho village (-3 hr), situated in Hpruso Township. The people in Htay Kho village are from the Kayaw ethnic minority and the total population in the entire region is over 20,000. The majority of Kayaw people have converted to Christian beliefs. Kayaw women wear silver neck rings and have big ear holes adorned with colourful earring. Kayaw men develop good hunting skills while women are good at terrace farming and weaving.
Upon arrival, welcome by a representative of the village (CBT) club. First, the village guide will bring you to the church, the spiritual heart of the community. Next to the church, there is small cottage museum which was established spontaneously by the people of Htay Kho to preserve and showcase the traditional musical instruments, hunting equipments and household objects made of bamboo and wood.
A traditional Kayaw lunch, prepared by community members, will be served at a home. If you are inclined, you can also try the home-made rice wine.
The guide will accompany you to meet with village artisans and learn about their arts, craft and daily life. Kayaw women are skilled weavers, they make stunning and colourful cotton costumes. Try hands-on crafts making as local artisans will teach you how to make special intricately woven braids, a traditional gift to a sweetheart as a sign of love and affection.
In the afternoon, drive back to Loikaw.
Overnight in Loikaw
After breakfast, take the road for 2hrs to the Kayah hill tribe village Dawtamagyi where women still wear traditional costumes and hundreds of cotton lacquered strings around the knees. This costume is said to be an evocation of their ancestor, a mythical bird.
Upon arrival to the village, a quick welcome at Dawtamagyi community center and the village guide will explain the tour itinerary and important “dos and don’ts”.He will take you to visit the shrine “Tagun Dai” dedicated to an ancient god and “Kaehtabo” (Totem poles) which tower high into the sky. These sites are very important for Kayah people to hold their ritual events.
The local guide will then lead you to the “Pokee” shrine, where the community gathers every year to honor the role of women.
Kayah traditional lunch will be served at a home of community members.
After lunch, visit a traditional home built of wood and thatch and meet with fun-loving Kayah folks, taste millet wine, try to play the bamboo guitar; observe their unique culture, way of life, arts and crafts.
On the outskirts of village, see where villagers store their rice in separate barns, outside the village. The villagers’ rice is kept safe from fire and other dangers with the protection of guardian spirits.
If the time permits, visit to the Shaman (spirit medium) of the village and listen the history of the village, their beliefs and the story of Kayah people.
Return to Loikaw and visit the religious hill “Taung Gwe” for sunset. Attend an evening prayer with local Buddhists at the nearby monastery “Pobbayon” while dusk illuminates the surrounding hills.
Overnight in Loikaw
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Yangon.
Upon landing in Yangon, visit the colorful Bogyoke Aung San (Scott’s) Market (closed on every Monday & public holiday) where you will find a wealth of antiques, beautiful craftsmanship and high quality gems and jewelry.
In the evening, take a stroll around China Town to experience this busy part of Yangon with local teashops, restaurants, street sellers, traditional snacks and fruit vendors. Check out the food stalls serving crickets, grubs, worms and other bizarre foodstuff.
Overnight in Yangon.
In the morning, enjoy at leisure until your departure flight. Your guide will accompany you to the airport and bid you farewell!
End of Tour!