Yangon Myanmar Adventure
12 Days / 11 Nights
Upon arrival in Yangon Airport, our local guide will welcome you and transfer to your hotel to check in. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia. Overnight in Yangon.
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After breakfast at hotel, start your guided city tour of Yangon with the center of Yangon to immerse you into the charming colonial city. Stop near Sule Pagoda, the golden stupa, in the middle of a roundabout and set off a leisurely walk along the streets lined with impressive buildings of City Hall, High Court, General Post Office, Customs House and the colonial landmark Strand Hotel while passing religious pagodas and well maintained parks. Then, visit Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, the 70-meter long reclining Buddha that provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha. In the afternoon, visit National Museum (closed on Monday, Tuesday and public holidays), which is home to priceless ancient artifacts, monument and art-works. Then you will head for Kandawgyi Lake, the central Yangon’s greenest spot where you will see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge and the vast lake with scenic views of Shwedagon in the background. Take in the relaxing atmosphere and appreciate the lush green environment of the beautiful royal lake. End the day with a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda, the country’s holiest temple dating back to 2,500 years, perhaps the most beautiful pagoda complex in all of Asia that no visitor to Myanmar should miss. The 8-sided central stupa of 99 meter in height, surrounded by 64 auxiliary stupas, is fully gilded with gold leaf. Your guide will show you around the massive complex and explain why this temple is so revered. Overnight in Yangon.
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Yangon – Bagan
This morning, you will be transferred to Yangon domestic airport to catch your flight to Bagan, formerly known as Pagan that serves the capital of several ancient Burmese Kingdoms and has today become Asia’s most popular archeological destination. Approximately 2,200 of the originally 4,400 temples of 11th to 13th centuries remain standing in Bagan. Upon arrival, start your day with a visit to the colorful Nyaung U market. Then, start your archeological tour with a visit to the most famous temples of Bagan: Shwezigon pagoda, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas; Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi, a 13th century’s cave temple with interesting fine frescoes; Htilominlo pagoda, famed for its original fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations which are remarkably well preserved; Ananda Temple, one of the finest, largest and best persevered in Old Bagan; and next to it, Ananda Ok Kyaung, one of the few surviving brick monastery buildings from the early Bagan period; Thatbyinnyu, the tallest in height in Bagan; Dhammayangyi Pahto, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork. In the late afternoon, you are going to visit Myinkaba, a serene village, under huge lots of green and shady trees, well noted for its traditional lacquarware home industry, one of the best-known handicrafts of Myanmar. You will stop at a family run lacquarware workshop to watch their production process. Be welcomed by the craftsman’s family, have a friendly chat with the local artisans creating striking items. Continue to a bamboo-mapping workshop where villagers of Myikaba weave the plaited matting, which is widely used as the walls of houses all over Myanmar. The process of mapping is an intricate process: first splitting the bamboo into strands, and then neatly weave it into large squares. Then proceed to visit Myin Kabar Gubyaukgyi Temple, which is noted for its beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. Watch the beautiful sunset of Bagan from one of the scenic spots in town before return to your hotel. Overnight in Bagan.
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After breakfast, take about an hour drive to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano that is considered the sacred home of the spirits, rising 1,518 meters from the plains of the Bagan’s surroundings. Drop by at a palm village en route to gain an insight into the process of making palm sugar or jaggery and try the fresh and tasty palm juice. Popa, visit Taung Kalat, climbing 777 steps to reach the temple that sits atop like a plug in the volcano where you can climb Taung Kalat, the temple, sitting atop like a plug in the volcano where you can enjoy the incredibly beautiful views, perhaps reaching as far as Bagan on a clear day. Return to Bagan. Overnight in Bagan.
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Cruising Bagan to Mandalay
In the early morning, sail upstream to Mandalay. Lunch on board. Enjoy the scenic view of Ayeyarwaddy River. Disembark at Mandalay Jetty and transfer to the city and check in your hotel. Overnight in Mandalay.
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After breakfast, you will drive to Mandalay, the country’s second largest city that is always regarded as the country’s historically important royal capital as well as the center of Myanmar culture. This former royal capital of the last kingdom of Myanmar in the second half on the 19th century, is today is home to about one million people and remains the economic, cultural and religious heart of upper Myanmar. Transfer to the city and check in to your hotel. Then start your city tour with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, have been covered with gold leaf giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. Explore the Mandalay’s famous traditional workshops to meet the skilled craftsmen and learn more about the city’s cottage industries. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court. This afternoon, continue your tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace. This grand teak building is known for its exquisite woodcarving. Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set and enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River from the 230m high summits. Overnight in Mandalay.
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Mandalay (Excursion to Sagaing, Ava, Amarapura)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Ava, Sagaing and Amarapura. Cross a bridge over the Ayeyawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. Continue visiting pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae. We’ll also visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. Here you will find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. We may opt to stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar. Then continue south of the city to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will take you across the river to where our horse and carriage are waiting. Visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins and as you travel by horse and cart you’ll get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside. We’ll stop for lunch in Ava before returning to our car. On the way to the city, stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop, which produces exquisite handmade products, and then visit Mahagandayon monastery, when over one thousand monks reside. After touring this tranquil site, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace and it is 1.2 km in length making it the world’s longest teak span. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams. Overnight in Mandalay.
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Mandalay – Heho – Pindaya – Nyaung Shwe – Inle
Transfer in the morning to the airport of Mandalay for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival in Heho, enjoy a two-hour scenic drive to Pindaya, a town is known for its limestone caves, called the Pindaya Caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage site. Enter and explore the cave housing about 8,000 Buddha statues left by previous pilgrims on display, the earliest statue of whom dating back to the mid 18th century. Allow some time to explore Pindaya town, beautifully situated at a small lake and surrounded by mountains, visiting a Shan umbrella and mulberry paper production home industry. On your return to hotel, photo stop at the picturesque Botaloke Lake and array of century old Banyan trees. Then drive to Kalaw, a former British hill station, located at an altitude of 1,320 metres above sea level. Visit local market and wander through the Kalaw, a calm and quiet hill town with beautiful churches and chapel, which is home to a mix of Myanmar hill tribal minorities of Pa-O, Palaung, Intha and Shan as well as the descendents of Indian and Nepalese soldiers who followed the British here. Visit the colonial Catholic King church and Bamboo strip lacquer Buddhan Image. Overnight in Kalaw.
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Kalaw – Nyaung Shwe – Inle Lake
After breakfast, Drive to Nyaung Shwe where Inle Lake, Myanmar’s second largest lake which measure 70km², is situated. Along the way, a brief stop at Shwe Yan Pay Paya and monastery. Explore the red-painted Shan monastery, a 19th-century style teak building with unique oval-shape windows to see the beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Upon reaching the edges of Inle Lake, board a private motorboat to head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Enjoy a boat trip on the Inle lake, one of the highest lakes in the country located at 880m above sea level. With a cool climate and exceptional flora and fauna, this beautiful lake is famous for its unique leg-rowers. This unusual style of rowing requires remarkable balance and definitely takes some practice. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred small Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages. Take in the tranquil atmosphere of the lake and the exotic beauty of the floating gardens on your return to hotel. Overnight in Inle Lake.
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Inle (Excursion to In-Dein)
After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5-day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily open except on full moon day and new moon day). Then depart for the southwest of the lake to the Pa-oh village of In Dein. Along the way, pass more villages with stilt houses and observe the Inthar ways of life. Upon arrival, explore the area on foot, strolling around the Pa O tribe village and visiting a local school. Take the small covered path from the village to a monastery and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthu area to witness the very impressive ruins of hundreds of ancient pagodas. From the main stupa area on the top of the hill, enjoy breathtaking view over the surroundings and into the valley the pristine lake in far distance. Back to Nyaung Shwe and transfer to airport to catch your flight to Yangon. Overnight in Yangon.
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Inle – Yangon
After breakfast at the hotel, complete your Yangon impressions with a visit to the Kabaaye (World Peace) Pagoda, and the Mahapasana Cave, close to the pagoda, the famous holy place where the sixth Buddhist synod took place in Myanmar. Then take a drive to to Mindama Hill to visit Kyauktawgyi Pagoda also known as Lawka Chanthar Arbayar Laba Muni Buddha Image craved from the one huge piece of white marble stone and forward to the nearby Elephant house to see the three white elephants. In the afternoon, drive to Bogyoke Market or Scott Market, the most popular shopping place and tourist destination in Yangon where all kinds of souvenir, gems, jewelry arts and crafts, silk and cotton fabrics and garments can be shopped. Then head for the Indian quarter for a different view of the city. Enjoy your late evening at China town to enjoy an exciting stroll through the buzzing streets of Yangon and choose to try many seasonal fresh fruits and a large variety of sample authentic Myanmar food at the vendors and mingle at the food stalls with the local people. Back to your hotel. Overnight in Yangon.
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After Breakfast, the whole morning free at leisure until transfer to airport. Bid farewell to your guide and to take your onward flight and depart Yangon.
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