OVERVIEW

Essential Myanmar

Within 6 days, our Essential Myanmar tour will take you to all fascinating regions of Myanmar and show you unspoiled natures and incredible cultural heritages attracts of this golden land!

ITINERARY

Mandalay | Inle Lake | Yangon

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Day 01

Mandalay Arrival

Meet our guide and driver at Mandalay airport and transfer to your hotel

Accommodation: Hotel in Mandalay

Meals: Not included

Welcome to Mandalay! The second largest city of Myanmar and one of the ancient royal capitals is often perceived and described in literature as Asia at its most traditional, timeless and alluring but those who go meet a booming and vibrant city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. However, despite the energy and thriving business it's where the cultural heart of Myanmar lies and tradition of music, dance and drama are still alive.
 
On arrival, you’ll be transferred (1 hour) to your hotel in Mandalay city for check-in and relax.
Day 02

Mandalay – Amarapura

Discover Amarapura, the "City of Immortality"

Accommodation: Hotel in Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast

Take a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda has 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. 
 
Then drive to Amarapura, Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital. Amarapura means “City of Immortality”, though its period as capital was relatively brief. You will start at Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study and strict religious discipline.
 
Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Directly south of Mandalay Hill stands the Kyauktawgyi 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. 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.
 
There are also many craft workshops in Mandalay and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making gold leaf, tapestries, wood carvings or marionettes if you are interested and if time allows.
 
Late afternoon, drive 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.

As a stunning day comes to an end, head back to Mandalay for the night.
Day 03

Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and sail on Inle Lake

Accommodation: Hotel in Heho

Meals: Breakfast

After enjoying your breakfast you will be transferred to the airport (1 hour) for your domestic flight to Heho.

From Heho, you will experience a lovely scenic one-hour drive (32km – 1 hour) which leads to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to visit rural workshops specialized in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas. Upon reaching the edge of the lake, take a short orientation tour of Nyaung Shwe, a small town of narrow streets dotted with temples, monasteries, tea shops and local houses.

Then you will board on a private motorboat and you will be lead to 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 you will pass several villages that are 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’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles. You will also 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 anymore. 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 origininating 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 in Heho.
Day 04

Indein village

Discover typical villages around Inle Lake

Accommodation: Hotel in Heho

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). The market’s location rotates between the lake’s villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to sell and trade their wares.

A 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, situated on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending 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.

Then it’s time for a 45 minutes trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants.
Day 05

Inle – Yangon

Fly to Yangon and enjoy a day tour of the city

Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast and free time until transfer to Heho Airport to take a morning flight to Yangon.
 
Arrive at Yangon and start the guided tour of this former capital. Yangon remains Myanmar's largest city and continues to be the country’s most important commercial hub. Visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Afterwards, continue uptown in order to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park which is very popular with local residents, especially in the early morning and around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. Start at the eastern staircase where you will find a row of shops at the base of the temple selling various religious items. Here you will find monks robes, alms bowls, offerings, incense and other unique Buddhist objects. As your browse the stalls your guide will explain the use and rituals of Myanmar’s Buddhist people. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese; most visitors report that the trip is extremely memorable and still etched into their minds.
Day 06

Yangon Departure

Say goodbye to our team at Yangon International Airport

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast is served at your hotel. Today, you are free until you're transferred to Yangon International Airport to take your return flight.

Note

 

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 transportation with air-conditioning
  • 02 Domestic flights: Mandalay – Heho (Inle Lake), Heho - Yangon
  • Local station English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Private boat to visit Inle
  • Water and cold towel on sightseeing

Trip Exclusions
  • International flights
  • Meals not mentionned in the itinerary
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
  • New Year Eve Dinner at hotel in Mandalay if required
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Tipping for guides and drivers
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Myanmar Visa fees
  • Others not mentioned

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