OVERVIEW

Myanmar Exploring

Explore all the must see regions of Myanmar. Immerse yourself in the culture with visits to Pagodas and other religious monuments. Enjoy few days in Inle Lake to relax and observe the surprising life on the water.

ITINERARY

Yangon | Bagan | Mandalay | Amarapura | Inle Lake

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Day 01

Yangon Arrival

Arrival at Yangon International Airport & transfer to the hotel

Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Not included

Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by your guide who will accompany and transfer you to your hotel for check-in and relax.
Day 02

Yangon

Explore Yangon's highlights

Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Breakfast

Start your guided tour downtown on Mahanbandola Road where the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830, is located. Continue east passing a couple of alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets. Turn right in Pansodan Street with its many stalls selling second-hand and photocopied books. You’ll pass the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanma Port Authority building to finally reach Strand Road.

Your next stop is outside of the majestic Strand Hotel. Walk along Strand Road to reach the Customs House and the Law Court, an impressive-looking colonnaded building. Turn north onto boisterous Bank Street and up onto Sule Pagoda Road, where you can consult one of the many fortune tellers who hang out under the trees. Be sure to make a photo stop at Sule Pagoda and have a glimpse of Independence Monument and Mahabandoola Garden. After a complete rotation seeing the twice rebuilt City Hall, continue west down Mahanbandoola Road through the busy Indian and Chinese quarters. Explore the gold shops of Shwe Bontha Street and have a look from outside at the Moseh Yeshua Synagogue on 26th street. Visit Theingyi Zei market, where you can engage in a little pickled-snake hunting. Exit onto Anawratha Road until you reach into the Sri Kali temple, Yangon’s most colourful Hindu temples. 

Visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Afterwards, continue uptown to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park which is very popular with local residents. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. The best time to visit Shwedagon Pagoda is at sunset when its gilded stupa is bathed in the fading rays of the sun and takes on a magical glow. Ascend the eastern stairway to find a row of shops at the base of the temple selling various religious items. As your browse the stalls your guide will explain the use and rituals of Myanmar’s Buddhist people. Then reach the platform which forms the base of the majestic temple. As the sun begins to dip low in the sky, witness the colors transform on the 100-meter chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf.
Day 03

Yangon – Golden Rock

Take a journey to Golden Rock

Accommodation: Hotel in Golden Rock

Meals: Breakfast

Take a five hours journey to the well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State: Golden Rock. It is built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees.
 
En-route, visit Kyakhat Wine Monastery where many monks live while studying Buddha's literature. This is a great chance for you to learn more about monastic life of young monks.
 
When reaching the base camp, travel by local open-air truck to the junction camp and then to Golden Rock and spend 45 minutes walking to the Golden Rock. You can use a sedan chair for an extra fee.
Day 04

Golden Rock – Bago – Yangon

Head back to Yangon passing by Bago

Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Breakfast

In the morning, head back to Yangon.

On the way, don’t miss the chance to make a stop at Bago (or Pegu) to explore Shwemawdaw pagoda - the tallest pagoda in Myanmar. It always amazes anyone with its stunning architecture and great scale. Take time to visit Kanbawzathardi palace, a reconstruction of the original Royal palace from the second half of the 16th century and Shwethalyaung - one of the largest Buddha images in Burma; and Kyaik Pun pagoda which is known for its four towering images of the Buddha visible from far away; as well as the town market and a Mon neighborhood where the locals once produced woven textiles.
 
Before reaching Yangon for the night, spend some time to visit World War 2 Cemetery and a workshop producing hand-made pots.
Day 05

Yangon – Bagan

Fly to Bagan and visit the city

Accommodation: Hotel in Bagan

Meals: Breakfast

In the morning, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Bagan.
 
Discover the best of Bagan, not simply a chance to see the splendid Bagan temples, this excursion also introduces you to the Burmese culture, allows you to see traditional craftsmen at work and takes you up the mighty Irrawaddy River to a decidedly unusual ‘cave’ temple!

Your fist port of call is an elevated temple with its panoramic views of the Bagan plains. This viewpoint will give you a taste of the sheer number of temples as well as some of their distinctive styles. From here you will have a look around the Ananda Temple – one of the most exalted of Bagan’s temples. Continue to various other temples dotted around the temple plains to experience a variety of architectural styles in the area as well as the artistic wonder of the 9-14th centuries.

Traveling amid the temples you will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ setting where farmers and families work amongst the monuments. Next on the agenda is your chance to learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products - lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch in amazement as the skilled craftsmen use traditional techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items.
Day 06

Bagan Sightseeing

Exploration of Bagan

Accommodation: Hotel in Bagan

Meals: Breakfast

After a breakfast at your hotel, your guide and driver will pick you up to start your Bagan excursion.

It’s off to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh products and other goods daily. From here, have a look around the Old Bagan starting with a visit of the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to a small village. At one of the monasteries you will participate in a traditional Buddhist ceremony.
 
From here you will journey on a horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset from the upper terrace of one of the surrounding temples.
Day 07

Bagan – Mandalay – Amarapura

Take a short flight to Mandalay, drive to Amarapura and visit the "City of Immortality"

Accommodation: Hotel in Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast

In the morning, take a short flight to Mandalay.

Arrive in Mandalay and drive to Amarapura, Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital.

Amarapura means “City of Immortality”, though its period as capital was relatively brief. Start at Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study and strict religious discipline.
After that, visit Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda houses one of the country’s most honored Buddha images, completely covered in gold leaves that are every day applied to the statue by male devotees. ThenKyauktawgyi Pagoda, known as the pagoda of the Great Marble Image. Admire the huge Buddha, carved from a single block of marble. It’s said that the colossal marble block took 10,000 men almost two weeks to transport it from the riverside to its current location. Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Then it’s off to the Shwenandaw Monastery, the Golden Monastery which is the only enduring structure from the Royal Palace of the 19th century. This impressive structure is celebrated for its remarkable woodcarvings.
 
Late afternoon, move to the legendary U Bein Bridge, which was built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal center of attention. It spans 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. Sunset in U Bein Bridge.
Day 08

Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing – Ava – Mandalay

Sail the Irrawaddy River and visit some villages ashore

Accommodation: Hotel in Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast

Head off to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxed 1 hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, starting with the celebrated MingunPaya, which would have been the world’s largest (if King Bodawpaya hadn’t died before it was finished). From the flat top you have a fine view of the HsinbyumePaya, Mingun village and the river. Carry on to the gorgeous alabaster Hsinbyume Pagoda, an unusual stupa with a couple of stories behind it. Afterwards hop on over to the Mingun Bell that weighs 90 tons and is claimed to be the world’s largest hung, uncracked bell still capable of ringing. Before returning to Mandalay by boat there’ll be enough time to explore the small neighbourhoods throughout Mingun crafting traditional basketry and mingle with the friendly craftsmen and vendors.
 
Next, cross the Irrawaddy River in to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and claims residence to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. Vvisit pagodas such as Swan Oo PonNya Shin, U Min ThoneSae and Shin Pin Nan Gyaing. Continue to Sagaing’s local market. Head over to a small pottery village which is recognized for manufacturing ubiquitous water pots to observe the tradesmen here applying their traditional methods for producing their goods.
 
Move to Ava, the standing capital from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Cross the small river by ferry and travel in a traditional horse carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. Be sure to check out the Nanmyint Watch Tower - also called “the leaning tower of Ava“ - which is what’s left from the remnants of the ancient palace and MahaAungmyeBonzan Monastery.
Day 09

Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and navigate on the Inle Lake

Accommodation: Hotel in Inle Lake

Meals: Breakfast

This morning return to the Mandalay airport for the flight to Heho.

Upon arrival at Heho airport, proceed to Nyaung Shwe village. Along the way, visit rural workshops specialized in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas. Also, be sure to stop in at the teak monastery of Shweyanpyay to witness the intricate wood carving artwork and craftsmanship of the monks there.
 
Board on a private motorboat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Along the way pass several villages built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.
 
Visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. In the past this temple was known for its ‘jumping cats’ but these days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Yet the Buddha images are still worth the visit. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf.

There are also many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths.

The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel.
Day 10

Inle Lake – Indein Village

Discover typical villages around Inle Lake

Accommodation: Hotel in Inle Lake

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast you’ll pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from dark moon and full moon calendar days).

A 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery.
Day 11

Inle Lake – Yangon

Fly to Yangon and relax

Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Breakfast

This morning, breakfast at your hotel and free time until check-out and transfer to Heho Airport to takea  flight back to Yangon.

Arrival in Yangon and transfer to hotel for check-in and relax.
Day 12

Yangon - Return

Say goodbye to our team at Yangon International Airport

Accommodation: None

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast at your hotel and free time until transfer to Yangon International Airport to take your departure flight home. Tour ends.

Note

What to pack for the visit of Golden Rock:
- Sturdy shoes as the way up to Golden Rock is very steep.
- A pullover, light weight jacket and/or scarf as it gets quite cold in the evening.
- Backpack: Leave your main luggage in Yangon and just bring a backpack or small overnight back.

TOUR INCLUSIONS

For your peace of mind, our tours are designed to include as much as possible in the price, but also to
give you the freedom to find a special place to eat or to seek out an independent adventure that especially appeals to you.
Trip Inclusions
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • Private tours and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transportation with air-conditioning
  • 04 Domestic flights
  • Local station English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Private boat to visit Mingun and Inle
  • Local ferry boat and Horse cart for Ava visit
  • Open Truck from Base camp to Top of the Hill (shared with local people) in Golden Rock
  • Water and cold towel on sightseeing
Trip Exclusions
  • International flights
  • Other meals which do not mention in the itinerary
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, camera fee, etc.)
  • Tipping for guides and drivers
  • Compulsory personal travel insurance
  • Myanmar Visa fees (contact our travel consultant for further information)
  • Sedan chair Ks.20000 per person in Kyaikhtiyo (Hermit  Camp  to near the platform of Golden Rock Pagoda)
  • Others not mentioned 

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