Rustic Pathways began trips into the border areas of Myanmar in the late 1990s and started nationwide tours in 2002. One of the largest organisations bringing students, groups and families to the Golden Land, Rustic Pathways has eight full-time Burmese staff and is deeply committed to sharing the wonders of Myanmar with international visitors.
We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through Myanmar:
Rustic Pathways has developed various long-term partnerships with communities and local organisations in Myanmar.
Some of our service projects that you could support include:
Tribal Issues: Travel with knowledgeable guides as you learn about the complex challenges facing the residents of this fascinating and rugged region. Practice responsible journalistic techniques as you conduct in-depth interviews with these people about their lives, hopes, and dreams.
English tutoring in Bagan: Learn about Burmese culture and Buddhist traditions as you run an English tutoring program for children at a monastic school in Bagan.
Day camps: Run a day camp for the local kids in a remote village in the middle of the Irrawaddy River. Spend your mornings planning and preparing for activities and spend the afternoon running the camp in the village.
Travel by long-tail boat, oxcart, and bicycle as you venture down backcountry roads and lake canals to tiny villages and gorgeous city centres. Experience the welcoming smiles and culture of the Burmese. Float down the Irrawaddy River, marvel at pristine waterfalls, wander through the stone steps and spires of thousands of pagodas, and delve into some of the issues facing tribal groups in remote areas of the country.
You may like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your Journey:
Temples of Bagan: The temples of Bagan are small and wide-open to visitors, and you may often find that the group has a temple to itself. As you wander the dusty plains exploring the hundreds of temples that dot the landscape, you will contemplate the ingenuity and skill of the ancient craftsmen who created these incredible structures.
National League for Democracy: Stop to visit with friends at a local field office for the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NLD is Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party and this is an excellent opportunity to hear how democracy is playing out in rural Myanmar.
Htay Lin & Soe Than’s family: This local family in a remote village along the Irrawaddy will host our group in their home for a traditional Burmese dinner. Having dinner with this family will likely be one of your most memorable experiences; it’s impossible not to notice the hospitality and warmth in this incredible Burmese home.
Photography programs: Be led by professional photographers through Myanmar exploring and tapping into your inner photographer with close instruction and tutorials along the way.
Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however, if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:
Pyin Oo Lwin Village: Visit the old colonial mountain village of the Shan Mountains and explore it’s forest and waterfalls.
Mount Popa: Throw on the backpack and hike to the peak and pay your respects to the Nats, guardian spirits.
Cycling: Spend a day or more travelling through the town of Bagan
Wat Rong Khun: Visit one of the infamous temples of Myanmar like the Wat Rong Khun or ‘White Temple’.
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Myanmar; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your Journey to be.
Hotels: A variety of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels in cities and towns
Homestays: Students can homestay with local families in the villages
Guest Houses: Rustic frequently uses a series of these houses as quaint accommodation for its students in some small towns.
Discover Myanmar while biking and trekking through this beautiful country.
Meet your Program Leaders and the many smiling faces of Team Myanmar. Catch a second quick flight north to Heho, the gateway to the enchanting Shan State (depending on your arrival time). Drive to Kalaw and have an orientation into Burmese culture, language, and history.
Spend the next two days trekking through the stunning mountains, stopping in villages, and learning about life in one of the premier hiking destinations in Southeast Asia. Stay overnight in one of the villages before continuing the trek in the morning.
Switch from trekking to biking as you make the final push to Inle Lake, one of the most-visited natural attractions in Myanmar. Spend five to six hours cruising along dusty roads and visiting villages for snacks and lunch along the way. Reflect on the epic journey you just completed.
Hit the waters of Inle Lake on your way to a bustling morning market and the vibrant villages on the shores of the lake. Hunt in teams to find various handicrafts and learn about the journey many products make from rural villages to reach the market. Visit the homes of some of our staff, learning to cook a few Burmese and Shan dishes before a game of soccer to end your day.
Make the short drive to Heho Airport and fly to Yangon. Explore Myanmar’s majestic and glistening Shwedagon Pagoda. Navigate the bustling stalls of Bogyoke Market as you bargain for souvenirs and gifts for your family. Reflect on your incredible journey thus far and participate in the Rustic Ties closing ceremony to end your program.
Grab your last local snacks before heading to the airport for your flight home.
Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey.
There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start designing your Journey!
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.