Real discovery truly Asia, ancient Myanmar, the land golden pagodas, preserved culture, unspoiled nature, untouched way of local life, delicious tasty local food. Many more await your exploring. This amazing trip reveals the unique beauties of Myanmar.
Day 1: Arrival - Yangon. On arrival at Mingaladon airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon has been the capital city only since 1885 although some settlements in this site date back about 2,500 years. This colorful metropolis features an intriguing mix of the scenes from a bygone era and the modern tempo of bustling streets punctuated by serene temples and impressive colonial edifices. After checking into hotel, we visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, which dominates the skyline of city. This masterpiece houses an intricate complex of smaller pagodas and Buddha images. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon - Mandalay. Today we spend a half day exploring Yangon. The gilded Sule Pagoda, the impressive Karaweik Hall on the Royal Lake and the National Museum with a display of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Burmese culture, are not to be missed. We visit these sights before continuing on the enormous reclining Buddha of Chaukhtatgyi in a quiet, open air pavilion. We also have also time wandering around the lively Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly Scott’s market. Here everything and anything is for sale. In the late afternoon, we board a night train (approx. 15 hours) to Mandalay. The train conditions are basic but this journey is in keeping with the adventurous nature of our trips and allows you to experience a taste of the 'real Myanmar'. Overnight on board. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Mandalay - Mingun. This morning our train journey arrives in Mandalay. After breakfast we transfer to the jetty for a boat trip on the mighty Irrawaddy River. The lively waterfront with working buffaloes offers a spectacular backdrop as we cruise upriver to Mingun, home to the unfinished huge pagoda, the world’s largest bell and the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda are a highlight of our visit towards Mingun. After exploring this site, we drive back to Mandalay City. Here is plenty to see, some of which are the Mahamuni Pagoda, the fabulous Kuthodaw Pagoda often called “the world's largest book“ and the wooden monastery of Shwenandaw Kyaung. This structure is still standing over centuries, despite of all vicissitudes of the city. We include these sights in a half day city tour which also gives us a chance to ascend Mandalay hill for a beautiful sunset view of the surrounding areas. Overnight in Mandalay. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Mandalay – Amarapura – Sagaing – Ava. The great cultural city of Mandalay was a former capital of Burma; however many outlaying towns could lay claim to the same title at some stages in the past. Today we head out of the town to one of these ancient cities, Amarapura. The spectacular teak bridge of U Bein and the famous Mahaganda Monastery a highlight of our visit to Amarapura. We then cross over the mighty Irrawaddy River to the picturesque Sagaing Hill. This lush area is covered in 600 white painted pagodas and monasteries, and is therefore regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar. After seeing Sagaing, we transfer to the ruin of Ava and embark on a horse and carriage to explore the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace. Overnight in Mandalay. Includes: (B)
Day 5: Mandalay – Pyin U Lwin - Mandalay. The famous hill station of Pyin u Lwin, formerly called Maymyo, was established during colonial era, and is now a crossroad for traders coming over from China. After breakfast we make our way by a winding road to Pyin u Lwin. A pleasant way to get around this hill station is on a horse carriage. This local transport will take us to the national garden of Kandawgyi and the botanical garden where vegetables as well as “English” fruits still flourish. We spend our time to walk around the downtown seeing numerous colonial buildings and a colourful local market. Close to the town is the picturesque Pwekauk Waterfalls. We also visit this sight before we setting off on our return trip. Overnight in Mandalay. Includes: (B)
Day 6: Mandalay - Bagan. An early morning transfer to the jetty for a leisurely trip the mighty Irrawaddy River north towards Bagan, one of Asia’s most impressive archaeological wonders. The river trip can take anything from 7 or 9 hours depending on water conditions. No matter how long it takes us, this is still a wonderful experience as we pass by the spectacular landscape and see the rural life close up. Along the way our boat makes several stops allowing passenger to stretch their legs and buy local snack. We arrive in Bagan late afternoon and take a wander to catch our first glimpse of the town. Overnight in Bagan. Includes: (B)
Day 7: Bagan - Exploration. The charming town of Bagan flourished from the 11th till 13th century when religious fervors launched a 200 year building of thousands huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. We visit the vibrant market of Nyaung U before taking a short drive to the archaeological zone. The sightseeing tour enables us to explore many magnificent landmarks including Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilominlo, Ananda, Thatbyinnyu, Sulamani, Dhammyangyi. These temples and pagodas bear statement to a glorious past. After seeing these sights, we visit a lacquerware workshop near Myinkaba village and enjoy a spectacular sunset from the upper terrace of Myaukguni Temple. Overnight in Bagan. Includes: (B)
Day 8: Bagan – Mount Popa – Kulaw. Heading out of the town we commence our overland trip to Kalaw with the first stop being the imposing Mount Popa. This extinct volcano boasts the region’s highest peak, but the main attraction in this place is the smaller one, Popa Taungkalar, which is dedicated to the local legendary "nat" spirits. After a two hour drive, we ascend the Popa Taungkalar for a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area. There are 777 steps which wind around the outcrop, leading to the gilled stupa and monastery at the summit. We continue our journey to the Shan Plateau, traveling through the stunning countryside and rolling hills to Kalaw, a pleasant hill station. Overnight in Kalaw. Includes: (B)
Day 9: Kalaw – Pindaya – Inle Lake. This morning we can soak up the fresh climate as much as we want by spending our time strolling around the hill station of Kalaw and seeing the colorful rural market. Upon leaving Kalaw we drive to Pindaya. This magnificent cave in a tranquil setting of limestone outcrops and scenic lakes, houses thousand Buddha images of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devoted pilgrims over centuries. On arrival we enjoy a walk exploring the sacred cave of Pindaya and seeing the traditional production of local paper and parasols at nearby village. The final destination of today is Inle Lake, a famous wonder of Myanmar. Overnight in Inle Lake. Includes: (B)
Day 10: Inle Lake - Exploration. The picturesque scenery blending with the sky and floating gardens rising from the clear water of the lake is nothing short of spectacular. We board our boat for a leisurely trip on the lake which also gives us a chance to visit some gardens and catch a glimpse of the local Intha fishmen famous for their rowing technique. These people power their narrow boats by twisting their legs around their oars, a remarkable feat of agility and control. Along the way, we anchor to visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the Jumping Cat Monastery with a beautiful collection of antique Buddha statues and the local market. This colourful congregation is held in different villages every five Days, and also attracts numerous ethnic minorities who converge from the surrounding villages to trade their goods. Overnight in Inle Lake. Includes: (B)
Day 11: Inle Lake – Yangon. Today we take a motor boat through the main water body of the lake to In Dein village, a recently opened area in Shan state. Here our boat start venturing into a small canal and pass through the beautiful scenery on the way to a Pa O hill tribe village. After seeing the local market, we enjoy a walk to the very impressive ruins containing hundred ancient pagodas, some of which are hidden in the lush vegetation. The main stupa in this place offers an interesting view over the surrounding mountains to the valley and the quite water of the lake in the far distance. In the late afternoon, we board a short flight back to the capital city. Overnight in Yangon. Includes: (B)
Day 12: Yangon - Departure. There is a free time for your own visit to Bogyoke Market, formerly Scott’s Market or walk along the bustling streets of Indian town and Chinatown. The trip ends after transfer to Mingaladon airport for departure. Includes: (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Myanmar History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey