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The Shan Explorer

​12 Days

The Shan Explorer

Yangon - Pindaya - Inle Lake - Kengtung

Illustrated Patch 2
& Challenging

The adventure begins with a full day exploring the eclectic, golden city of Yangon, before jetting north to the picturesque rolling hills of Shan State and the rustic country town of Pindaya. Spending your nights in a picturesque and cozy farm-stay, while exploring the area by day on foot. Be in touch with what life on the land is like for local farmers, as they welcome you into their homes along the trail. After, spend some R&R time on Myanmar's iconic Inle Lake, exploring 'The Venice of the East' in a traditional long-tail boat.


It's a short flight to the remote hillside town, and culturally fascinating district, of Kengtung. One of Myanmar's hidden trekking gems, Kengtung is near the borders of Thailand, Laos, and China. You'll spend your days here trekking the hills with your local guide. Visiting traditional villages left largely untouched for centuries, that are hidden in tea plantation valleys and behind hills of layered rice paddies. Experience one-on-one interaction with hill tribe communities, enjoying a cup of tea together while you all share stories about your lives as your guide translates. At night? Return to town each afternoon to dinner at a choice of local restaurants and sleep in a comfortable bed.


HOLIDAY TYPE:  Private Guided Tour

DEPARTS: Five times weekly September thru March

(Other times of the year on application)



  • Visit small ethnic communities of the Danu and Pa-O around Pindaya that are rarely visited by tourists.

  • Glide in a traditional boat passed the stilted villages of the Intha, the traditional fishermen of the Inle Lake waterways.

  • Trek to Pan Lea in Kengtung. Home of the Eng People with their blackened teeth stained from ashen tree bark and wearing clothing hand dyed rich indigo color.

  • Visit the home of an Akha lady. Over a cup of tea, learn the meaning behind the ornate headdress style of beads, baubles and ancient coins that make them visually unique.

  • Hike to a remote Lahu Shi Village that rests precariously upon flat earthen layers carved into the side of the mountain. A place rarely visited by foreign travelers, this Buddhist village has not let go of its Animist past and still has a resident Shaman or 'witch doctor'. Spend time and share a cup of tea with the village chief's family while they share stories about village life and how they survive in their isolated location.


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  • Private Hotel / Airport transfers

  • Domestic flights as listed 

  • 11 Breakfasts

  • 4 Lunches (Pindaya Day 2 & 3 Days Kengtung Trek)

  • 2 Dinners (Pindaya Farmhouse)

  • Genuine 3 to 4 star accommodation

  • Private and air-conditioned transportation throughout, except when alternative is stated

  • The accompaniment of an English speaking, professional guide indigenous to each area of travel

  • Entrance Fees

  • In-country itinerary manager just a phone call away 24 hours a day

  • International flights

  • Visas

  • Travel insurance

  • Other meals & Drinks

​There are so many unique tribal influences in the rarely visited Shan State area of Kengtung. The dominant Shan, the Eng, the Akha, the Lahu, the Loi, Palaung and Wa ethnic groups all call it home. Each have their own beliefs, unique traditions and different language. Many still live traditional lives, as they have done for centuries.

The Akha woman (pictured) is well known for her traditional head-dress. Steeped in Animist traditions, she even fears removing it for sleep, believing that spirits could steal her soul though the top of her head without its protection.

Learn More about the
Hill Tribes of Kengtung
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