In Focus: Bagan Community Experience

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 6 hours
  • tour type Group
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Bagan, Myanmar
  • Ends Bagan, Myanmar
  • Visit a rural community and learn about local community development plans from village leaders
  • Enjoy lunch in a local family’s home and find out what it’s like to live in this part of Myanmar
  • Learn about thanaka, a traditional paste that’s used as a beauty treatment, and visit a market dedicated to it
  • Ride a boat across the Ayeyarwady River, the largest river in Myanmar
The In Focus: Bagan Community Experience tour starts and ends in Bagan. The In Focus: Bagan Community Experience is an adventure tour that takes 6 hours.

Travel to the village of Kyunkalay, an undeveloped town beyond Bagan that you won’t find mentioned in any guidebooks. Learn how locals are working with ActionAid Myanmar and using responsible tourism to improve local infrastructure and living conditions.
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
Mr. Barton's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mr. Barton
  • On Apr 16 2016
“Danny (our tour guide) went above and beyond all expectations. I can't express how great of a guide he was. Over the course of our five day stay in Hong Kong, we went to four of Danny's urban adventures. Every one he came clearly prepared to share all sorts of exciting, intriguing, and interesting information about Hong Kong. It aided us in enjoying Hong Kong even more, and helped us appreciate the culture and history of Hong Kong a lot more as well. Danny is a patient, enthusiastic, and extremely knowledgeable guide, and we were sad to have to leave him at the end of our last trip with him.”
Mr. Kenneth's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mr. Kenneth
  • On Dec 16 2015
“The guide was great! Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I had a great time and came away feeling a bit more connected to Detroit. It's an interesting cit. y with a unique history”
Mr. ED's review for another Urban Adventures tour
4.5 - Excellent
  • Mr. ED
  • On Dec 22 2015
“This tour was very good overall. I had done a previous tour in Hoian with a tour operator recommended by our intrepid tour guide for a 15 day tour which I thought compared very favourably with this one. However the site was outstanding even though i had been to Han lon bay. The guide was excellent but I thought she might have given us a little more of a heads up on the scams being conducted by the rower for our boat. The rower had a scam with one of the other boats selling food and drinks at the far end of the boat ride where we were sort of forced to buy a drink and food for our rower even though we ourselves did not want any. As always this sort of scamming detracts from the experience but I still enjoyed the row. Also on this trip we paid the tip for the rower ($5) which on our other intrepid 15 day tour would have been covered. So I was a little surprised by that. The information we got from our tour guide was excellent and I was happy to give her a tip however I must say that for both trips the (15 day tour and this one) I think it is a little sad that as an Australian company where we generally expect that people get paid enough so that tipping is not required in our country Intrepid/peregrine depend on the traveler to provide a tip to the guide to give them enough to provide reasonable remuneration. Having said that I though both of the tour guides were of exceptional ability overall though I heard of some gides who were not so good.”

From the meeting point, we’ll drive about 45 minutes to reach Pakkoku, about 45 minutes away. Here, we’ll spend roughly an hour at the biggest thanakha market in Myanmar, as well as a local wet market. Thanakha is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark and is an ancient beauty treatment in Myanmar, said to treat wrinkles, sun damage, and acne, and even believed to help with fevers and headaches.

From the markets, we’ll head to a local tea shop and sample some tea and local street foods. Try some treats and get a literal taste for local life here!

We’ll then drive another 45 minutes to reach a small village, called Kyunkalay. This is a tiny place that you won’t find in any guidebooks or on Wikipedia — entirely undeveloped with no electricity, no school for the local children, and not even a monastery. The main form of transportation is by oxen cart and bicycle.

We’ve partnered with ActionAid Myanmar, an organisation working to bring human rights and social justice to neglected communities. ActionAid doesn’t believe in handouts, instead helping communities to find their own sustainable solutions. Urban Adventures has formed a partnership to help introduce tourism to the community of Kyunkalay in a way that is responsible, sustainable, and won’t negatively impact their culture and heritage.

You’ll get to walk around the village and learn about important tasks locals do, such as harvesting beans and vegetables, or growing flowers. We’ll then join a local family for lunch in their home, where you’ll be able to learn more about what life is like in this part of Myanmar.

We’ll finish off the tour with a ride on an ox-driven cart to reach the nearest jetty, where we’ll cross the Ayeyarwady River, the largest and most important waterway in Myanmar. We’ll reach Ayar Jetty on the other side, and from here your guide will help you to arrange for local transportation back to your hotel, or into the city to explore more on your own.

  • Local guide
  • Boat trip
  • Community development fund contribution.&Nbsp;
  • Entrance fees
  • items purchased by the clients
  • tips for local guide or anyone
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

Cancellation for this In Focus: Bagan Community Experience tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 02 December 2020, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 02 December 2020, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

In Focus: Bagan Community Experience tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this In Focus: Bagan Community Experience tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

In front of New Wave Guest House, Wet Kyi Inn, Naung Oo, Baga

Meeting end point :

Ayar Jetty (near Aye Yar River View Resort)

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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