We visit a number of small villages and towns and see local agriculture and manufacturing at first hand. These places are remote from the modern world and offer a glimpse of a timeless, lost Myanmar far from the usual tourist track. We also visit a number of old monasteries and temples of art historical interest in this the cultural heartland of old Myanmar.
Day 1: Rangoon. International arrivals in Rangoon and transfer to the 4 star Dusit Inya Lake Hotel; afternoon orientation tour by coach followed by visit to the Shwedagon pagoda.
Day 2: Rangoon - Mandalay. Early morning flight from Yangon to Mandalay. In the afternoon we tour central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe-im-bin teak carved monastery and Mandalay Hill for sunset. We stop to see tapestry making and other traditional crafts.
Day 3: Ava and Amarapura. Morning visit by boat and walk in the beautiful hills with over 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in wood carving and religious art. Return to ship for lunch. In afternoon we explore these ancient capitals by coach or sampan visiting the teak Bagaya Kyaung, Menu Ok-kyaung and crossing the U Bein Bridge to see the paintings in a temple.
Day 4: Sagaing and Sail Downstream. Explorations Sagaing Hill and area with its many hermitages; we cast off at lunchtime and proceed downstream with a brief pilot stop at Myinmu.
Day 5: Yandabo Potteries and Oh Ne Kyaung Village. Yandabo is a very small rural village that specializes in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School and the new dispensary both built with past donations from Pandaw passengers. In the evening we cross the river to visit Oh Ne Kyaung, a very different village where we hope to build another school attached to the local monastery.
Day 6: Pagan Monuments. We tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments in this important World Heritage Site. Afternoon further explorations of Pagan and visit lacquer workshops.
Day 7: Tan Kyi Taung Mountain and Sale. Ascend Tan-chi-taung mountain by foot or by WWII jeep for the spectacular sunrise over Pagan. Sail downstream to Sale. In afternoon we here visit a number of teak monasteries including the Yout-saun-kyaung with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses.
Day 8: Taung Ba Lu School and Magwe Gold Bricks. If river conditions permit, morning visit to Taung Ba Lu School. Afternoon we climb the river bank and wend our way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda. This pagoda is constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.
Day 9: Minhla Forts. Minhla and Gwechaung - we visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. We climb the Gwechaung hill for the view. These were captured by the British in the 3rd Anglo Myanma War. The fight for the Minhla redoubt was the only serious action in the war and the death of a young subaltern inspired Kipling to write a poem. Gwechaung, the more impressive of the forts was captured from the rear before the Myanma could turn the guns around.
Day 10: Thayetmyo Frontier Post. This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanma War of 1855, many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar said by the locals to be reciprocally clubbed with the Royal and Ancient St Andrews. Outside the town is an extensive war cemetery where Turkish prisoners of war were laid to rest. Captured in Iraq, the Turks were transported to labor camps in Myanmar where they died in their hundreds of malaria. In the town itself we visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to see the countryside and golf links.
Day 11: Prome and the Ancient Pyu. Visit the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, former center of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculpture.
Day 12: Prome to Rangoon. Disembark and drive to Rangoon; transfer to the Inya Lake Hotel and afternoon coach trip to the Scot Market.
Day 13: Rangoon. Early morning visit to war graves at Htaukchan; transfers for international departures.
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Asia Myanmar Local Culture Cultural Journey Boating and Sailing