A patchwork tapestry or quilt are apt metaphors for Myanmar given its incredibly diverse peoples and cultures. Unlike China, much of India and other countries of SE Asia, Myanmar’s distinct ethnic groups have not undergone cultural assimilation and dilution.

At least 60 ethnic groups exist, and a British colonial survey determined that 242 separate languages are spoken in Myanmar. At Woodlands we specialize in tours of Myanmar’s tribal groups in ways that allow participants maximum exposure with minimum impact on the culture. Insensitive tourism commodifies and eventually destroys cultural diversity. If undertaken carefully, tourism actually strengthens traditional ways of remote people and cultures.

Our tours of tribal Kachin, Naga, Chin, Pa-O, Akha, Palaung, Shan and other peoples of Myanmar are once in a lifetime experiences. These tribal names may seem foreign to you now, yet take part in this experience and you will come away with a substantive understanding of these people.  Each itinerary is unique and rarely repeated. We visit different villages each time and work directly with the local communities in order to witness events such as shaman rituals, homebuilding, festivals (the Naga Mol festival in Sagaing, the Kachin Manau festival in Myitkyina) that would otherwise be missed. Each of these tours interspaces visits to tribal areas with traditional tours of Myanmar’s most important cultural sites such as Bagan, Popa Mountain and the Pindaya Caves in Kalaw.

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Woodlands also offers cross-border experiencesWe are the only company able to provide day visits to kindred tribes on both the Yunnan (China) and Arunachal Pradesh (India) sides of the Myanmar borders. For those with more time, ask about our extended tours to these kindred tribes in both China and India. 

You, as members of the global community, greatly help to preserve these wonderful cultures by simply showing interest. Woodlands can lead you into the ethnographic wonders of Myanmar. A selection of our tribal tours are briefly outlined here. Below you will find brief day by day outlines of several possible tribal tours. Ask us about customized tours designed to fit your exact interests. For more information on our tribal tours, please contact us.

Please click on the Tour Code to download your interested itinerary.

Tour Code Tour Program Duration
WLT 108 Soft trekking: Yangon – Pindaya – Inlay – Yangon (6 days / 5 nights)
WLT 114 Yangon – Pindaya – Kalaw – Inlay – Yangon (5 days / 4 nights)
WLT 115 Yangon – Heho – Inlay – Kyaing Tong (7 days / 6 nights)
WLT 116 Yangon – Pindaya – Inlay – Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Yangon (7 days / 6 nights)
WLT 117 Yangon – Pindaya – Inlay – Bagan – Popa – Yangon (7 days / 6 nights)
WLT 118 Cultural Tour: Yangon – Putao – Myitkyina – Yangon (7 days / 6 nights)
WLT 119 Trekking and Cultural tour: Yangon – Kanpetlet – Mt. Victoria – Mindut – Bagan – Popa – Yangon (8 days / 7 nights)
WLT 120 Yangon – Bagan – Popa – Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Pindaya – Inlay – Kakku – Taunggyi Yangon (13 days / 12 nights )

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