Land of Temples & Pagodas - 12 Days
A Private Tour visiting Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Sale, Mount Popa, Bagan, Kalaw, Inle & Yangon
Day 1 - Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon airport, your Guide will assist you with a transfer to hotel.
Later in the afternoon, you will visit Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the fairest place and most spectacular religious monuments in the world, surrounded by an array of temples, shrines and pavilions. Take your time to be at this truly spectacular and remarkable highlight.
Stay overnight at hotel in Yangon.
Day 2 - Yangon - Mandalay
Your Guide will pick you up from your hotel in YANGON and your journey begins with a morning tour of Yangon.
Travel through Yangon’s colonial-style city center and visit SULE PAGODA, dating back over 2,000 years ago.
Continue to see the 8 meter high Golden Lion Throne as well as the Mandalay Royal Regalia at the National Museum. Drop into the Yangon Glass Factory to watch the production of mouth-blown glass in the old-fashioned way.
Lunch will be served at local restaurant.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for the domestic flight to MANDALAY.
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Dinner is to own account. Stay overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
Day 3 - Mandalay - Inwa - Amarapura - Mandalay
After breakfast, 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. Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop as well as a golf-leaf manufacturing workshop.
After lunch at local restaurant, you will continue on an 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.
On the way back to Mandalay, stop at 200-year-old U BEIN teak bridge, built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was Royal capital.
Dinner is to own account. Stay overnight at a hotel in Mandalay.
Day 4 - Mingun - Sagaing - Mandalay
After breakfast, board your private boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River and travel upriver to Mingun. Visits will start with the Mingun Bell, a magnificent sight of the world's largest un-cracked bell weighing 90 tons, and will continue with Hsinbyume Paya as well as the unfinished Mingun Paya, built as one of the world's largest Chedi by King Bodaw Paya.
Continue downriver by boat (about 2 hours) until you reach SAGAING, a retreat for Buddhist devotees. Lunch box will be provided. Visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, with its huge egg-shaped dome in Ceylonese style.
Return to Mandalay and stop at the busy ZEGYO market on the way. Dinner is to own account. Stay overnight at a hotel in Mandalay.
Day 5 - Mandalay - Bagan
After early breakfast, transfer to the jetty and board the Chinese-built ferry for your journey on the Ayeyarwaddy River to BAGAN. The trip takes approx. 8 hours downriver, depending on river conditions and water level. Boxed lunch will be provided.
Upon arrival in Bagan, transfer to your hotel. Dinner is to own account.
Stay overnight at hotel in Bagan.
Note: The boat trip is subject to confirmation at the time of booking and/or might be cancelled at short notice. During the months of February to April when the water level is at its lowest, navigation on the Irrawaddy River becomes difficult. In case of cancellation of boat at short notice and/or, during the months of February to April, we would offer the option to travel overland or by flight at a minimal supplement.
Day 6 - Bagan
OPTIONAL: Early morning, pick up at hotel for ‘Balloons-Over-Bagan’ flight and you get a magnificent birds-eye view of thousand year-old pagodas, temples and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 24 km/h. Eight passengers plus a pilot fit into the balloon’s basket.
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; see 12th century frescoes adorning the corridors of Kyansittha Cave Temple; Ku Byauk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes; HTILOMINLO, the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes; Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images and Thatbyinnyu Temple, known as ‘temple of omniscience’ and dating from 1144.
After lunch at local restaurant, learn about one of Myanmar’s most treasured handicrafts at a lacquer ware craftsmen’s workshop in nearby Myinkaba village.
Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. Proceed to Bupaya Pagoda or Shwesandaw Pagoda to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River.
Dinner is to own account and overnight at a hotel in Bagan.
Day 6 - Bagan - Sale - Mount Popa
After breakfast, drive to SALE (2 hours drive), a town which developed during the late BAGAN era.
Visit some typical local Myanmar villages on the way. Worth a visit is the Yoke Sone Monastery with its exceptional woodcarvings on the outside of the building.
Continue to 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.
Transfer to the Popa Mountain Resort. Lunch will be served at local restaurant.
Dinner is on own account. Stay overnight at Popa Mountain Resort).
Day 7 - Mount Popa - Bagan
Time this morning to relax at your hotel and you will return to Bagan, visiting one of the toddy palm orchards en route to witness the rural life of the region.
Upon arrival check-in at your hotel and then leave from your hotel and bike over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to Taung Bi village. Visit the noodle makers, a Myanmar-style movie theatre, the village hairdresser and the local tea shop. Bike to the Irrawaddy River and along the way pay a visit to some of the family businesses including blacksmiths, brick makers, dry snack ‘factories’ and bamboo roof producers. They pursue their trade since generations in the same traditional way.
Return to your hotel by bike. Distance from Old Bagan - 15 to 20 km Cycling hours - 1½ to 2h Distance from New Bagan - 25 to 30 km Cycling hours - 2 to 2½ h.
After lunch at local restaurant in Bagan, visit to Abeyadana Temple with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian mythology; Manuha Temple, built in the Mon-style in 1059; Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said, Myazedi Stupa Myanmar’s “Rosetta Stone”, bearing inscriptions written in four languages and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple, a temple noteworthy for its mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO.
Sunset cruise on a small private boat includes local snacks and a cocktail.
Dinner is to own account and overnight stay at a hotel in Bagan.
Day 8 - Bagan - Heho - Kalaw
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to HEHO.
Upon arrival, overland drive to 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.
Lunch is taken at simple local restaurant.
Dinner is to your own account and overnight stay at a hotel in Kalaw.
Day 9 - Kalaw - Inle Lake
After breakfast, you will enjoy a trekking tour to one or several of the Palaung villages.
The animist Palaung were amongst the earliest inhabitants in Myanmar and have kept the tradition to live with several families in 'long-houses', cultivating cash crops and Thanapet (Cordia tree) for Burmese cheroot cigars. Total Walking time: 2 to 4 hours, depending on which village guests wish to visit, partly up hill on un-paved paths, altitude difference about 150 to 300 m, average physical condition required.
After lunch at local restaurant, drive to NYAUNG SHWE and proceed by boat to your hotel.
Dinner is to your own account and overnight stay on Inle Lake.
DAY 10 - Inle Lake
After breakfast, a full day excursion by boat on Inle Lake will include the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and magnificent scenery.
Visit the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar and dating back to the 18th century; the Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, famous for its over two hundred years old Buddha images; the weaving village of Inpawkhon and one of the local markets in the Inle Lake region (on market days only).
Lunch is taken at a local restaurant on the lake itself. Dinner is on your own account.
Stay overnight at a hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 11 - Inle Lake
After breakfast, transfer by boat to Maing Thauk village located on the eastern shore of the lake.
Walk through the village and continue up hill (walking time approximately 1 hour) under the shade of the trees to a stupa and the adjacent monastery which is also a meditation center. The moment you arrive you will feel a sense of serenity and peacefulness. If you wish a monk will introduce you into the world of meditation and give you a lecture on the way body and mind flows together as one.
Descend back to the village with the possibility to visit an orphanage on the way. Total walking time: about 2 hours, partly up-hill (not steep), altitude difference less than 100 m.
Continue by boat to a local restaurant built on stilts over the lake for lunch. In the afternoon travel by boat to the Western shore of Inle Lake, where you will find the beginning of a stair path leading to the hidden and unknown Inn Dein Pagoda Complex.
Dinner is to your own account. Stay overnight at a hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 12 - Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon OR Ngapali Beach
After breakfast the morning is at leisure until departure to Heho airport for the domestic flight to YANGON or THANDWE.
Itinerary is subject to changes depending on confirmed flights, road conditions and availability of rooms.