After years of isolation, Myanmar's treasures cultural, historical, and natural remain intact, offering everyone a unique charm of how the rest of the region looked years before: untouched, unspoiled and awe-inspiring. You may not just having a chance to dream of seeing the country, but also to experience the Myanmar way of life, a chance to experience a unique Buddhist culture and meet some of the warmest people in the world. With cultural exchange and authenticity in mind.
Day 1: Arrival - Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon airport, welcome by local guide and transferred to your hotel. Your journey begins with an afternoon tour through Yangon’s colonial-style city center. Visit Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years ago; the magnificent reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi and after a photo stop at the Karaweik Hall, a 'hamsa-bird-shaped' floating barge on Kandawgyi, Royal Lake; stroll through the Bogyoke, the Scotts Market with hundreds of food, clothes, handicrafts and gems stores. Complete your first day in Myanmar with an extended visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon - Mandalay. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay airport, transfer to your hotel. Experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay including one of the most revered religious monuments in Myanmar, the Mahamuni Pagoda; the Shwe Inbin Monastery; the golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building and Kuthodaw Pagoda the world’s largest book, made of marble. Mandalay is also a major crafts center. Visit a Kalaga tapestries craftsmen’s shop before proceeding to Mandalay Hill for sunset. Overnight in Mandalay. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Anarapura – Ava – Sagaing. After breakfast, excursion to Amarapura, 15 km from Mandalay. Visit Mahagandayon, a famous Buddhist monastery, where more than a thousand monks live and study; continue to 200-year-old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was Royal capital. Since then it is noted for silk and cotton weaving. Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop before proceeding to Bagaya Monastery, with a superb collection of Buddha statues. After a short rest, we excursion to the former Royal Capital of Inwa (Ava), reached by a short boat trip. Visits by horse-drawn carriage to Nanmyint Watch Tower, the remains of the palace building nicknamed “the leaning tower of Ava“; Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, built of brick and stucco; Bargayar Monastery, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts. Continue to Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees for sunset. Overnight in Sagaing. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Mandalay - Monywa. After breakfast, proceed to Monywa (150 km - 4 hours). Visit en route the Thanboddhay Pagoda; 845 small stupas are rising up to the richly decorated central stupa, which is reminding a bit of Borobudur in Java. Take a walk through the nearby banyan tree grove Boddhi-Tataung with the thousand Buddha images sitting at the foot of each tree and enjoy the panoramic view from Aung Setkaya Pagoda, standing 130 meter high on the Po Khaung hills. After a short break, we cross the Chindwin River by ferry boat and proceed by pick-up or jeep (40 km - 1 hour) to Hpo Win Daung, a system of impressive sandstone caves containing Buddha statues, wood carvings and fine mural paintings mainly in Inwa-style, some dating back to 15th century. Dozens of large and small caves with about 450,000 images are hidden in the area of the Hpo Win Hills. Overnight in Monywa. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Monyawa – Pakkoku – Bagan. After breakfast, drive to Pakkoku (110 km – 4 hours), a port city set south of the Chindwin confluence. On the way you will stop in Pakhan Gyi to visit one of the oldest ornate teak monasteries of the country. We continue our exploring the wonder land. You will visit the typical local market by traditional trishaws (if available). There is also the possibility to see the weaving of the characteristic Myanmar cotton blankets. Proceed by boat on the Aye Yarawaddy River to Bagan where you will arrive in time for sunset. This down river trip takes about 2 hours, depending on river conditions it might take longer. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Bagan. Includes: (B)
Day 6: Bagan - Exploration. After breakfast, stroll through the colorful local market and continue the day with visits to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan including Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Ku Byanuk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes; Khay Min Ga temple, observing for its panoramic view of the area’s numerous monuments and Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images. After lunch at local restaurant, visit one of Myanmar’s most treasured handicrafts, a lacquer ware craftsmen’s workshop in nearby Myinkaba village. You will continue to Manyha Temple, built in the Mon style in 1059 and follow on to Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said to have been the palace of King Manuha. Proceed to Bupaya Pagoda or Mingala Zedi Stupa to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River. Overnight in Bagan. Includes: (B)
Day 7: Bagan - Exploration. After breakfast, visit the site of Tayokepyay Temple in Min Nan Thu Village; Phaya Thone Zu and Nandamanya Temples to note for exquisite murals of 13th century and Kyat Kan Cave monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan. After lunch at local restaurant, explore the Myingaba Gu Byauk Gyi Temple, a temple noteworthy for its mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO and visit the Archaeological Museum to view the beautiful Buddha images of bronze, stone and lacquer. Overnight in Bagan. Includes: (B)
Day 8: Bagan – Mount Popa – Kalaw. After early breakfast, a 300 km drive (8 hours) will take you to Kalaw. En route you will visit Mount Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. Its shrine is dedicated to animist spirits known as “nats” and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. After lunch at simple local restaurant en route, the journey continues on a narrow, winding and bumpy road through the Shan Hills. In the late afternoon you will reach Kalaw, a fresh and delightful hill station, on the rim of the Shan Plateau, which is a market center for ethnic minorities from surrounding regions. Overnight in Kalaw. Includes: (B)
Day 9: Kalaw – Nyaung Shwe – Inle Lake. After breakfast, set out for an excursion on foot (about 6 hours walk) to the Tar Yaw village of the Palaung tribe. The animist Palaungs were amongst the earliest inhabitants in Myanmar and have kept to their traditions living with several families in ‘long-houses’, cultivating cash crops and tanapet for Burmese cheroot cigars. Take a walk to their plantations and visit the village before returning to Kalaw. After lunch, transfer to Nyaung Shwe (66 km – 1h 30 hours) and proceed by boat to your hotel. Overnight in Inle Lake. Includes: (B)
Day 10: Inle Lake. After breakfast, full day excursion by boat on Inle Lake to see the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and magnificent scenery. You will visit the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar, dating back to the 18th century; the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, famous for its jumping cats trained by monks; the weaving village of Inpawkhon and one of the local markets in the Inle Lake region (on market days only). Overnight in Inle Lake. Includes: (B)
Day 11: Inle Lake – Heho - Yangon. After breakfast, you will be transferred by boat to Nyaung Shwe and proceed to Heho Airport (25km – 1 hour) for domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon airport, transfer to your hotel. Complete your Yangon impressions with a visit to the Kaba Aya or a World Peace Pagoda and the Mahapasana Cave, where the sixth Buddhist synod took place. Proceed to Yangon’s oldest Chinese temple and at the riverside located Botataung Pagoda. Last but not least, see the 8 meter high Golden Lion Throne as well as the Mandalay Royal Regalia at the National Museum. Overnight in Yangon. Includes: (B)
Day 12: Yangon - Departure. Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for your departure flight.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Myanmar History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey