Burma or Myanmar is steeped in traditions where animal beliefs co-exist with the teachings of Buddha. We cover the key sites in this short tour – the capital Yangon has a strong colonial character where a surprisingly large number of people speak English; Bagan has pagodas sprinkled liberally along the banks of the Irawadi (or Ayeryarwaddy); Mandalay, made famous by Kipling is the most Burmese of Burmese cities and gives access to the ancient cities of Ava, Amarapura and Sagaing; Inle with its unique leg rovers on the lake had a wooden monastery built on stilts over the lake.

Days 1, 2 Yangon
Arrive in Yangon and transfer to the first class Governor's Residence for two nights. Walk through the Bogyoke Aung San Market, see the gilded Sule Pagoda, visit the serene Kandawgyi Lake and the landmark of the city, the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Days 2, 4 Bagan
Fly to Bagan and stay at the Thiripyitsaya for two nights. Visit some of the local pagodas, see lacquer work and ancient murals, enjoy an excursion to Mount Popa, where Nat spirits exist.

Days 5, 6 Mandalay
Another flight, to Mandalay, for two nights at Sedona Hotel. Visit the Golden Palace, Kuthadow Pagoda and the revered Mahamuni Pagoda to see the bronze image of Buddha covered in thick gold. Also see U Bein's teak bridge, the unfinished pagoda at Mingun, take a pony cart to Ava, see monks going to breakfast, their only meal of the day, at Amarapura.

Days 7, 8 Inle
Fly to Heho, drive to Nyaung Shwe to take a boat to Inle Princess Resort. See the leg rowers, the floating markets and the village life around the idyllic lake. Visit some pagodas including a wooden one built on stilts on the lake.

Day 9 Yangon
Time permitting, visit the Pindaya limestone caves with thousands of Buddha images; fly back to Yangon for a night; at leisure.

Day 10 return
Transfer to the airport for the return flight.

Price indication: $2200 to $2500 per person for a private tour for two.