Chance to wandering Yangon’s wide, tree-lined avenues and sunset at splendid Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, also to discover the temples and palaces of legendary Mandalay and enjoy cruising down the famed Ayeyarwaddy (Irawaddy) river.
Day 1 – ARRIVE YANGON
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your our Guide who will accompany you as you transfer to the hotel.
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.
This afternoon, your journey begins with a visit around the city and its highlights. Stop at the National Museum where a tour of the priceless ancient artifacts, works of art and historic memorabilia will help you gain insight in to the country’s history. Of particular note are the three halls on the ground floor, which hold exhibits on the evolution the Myanmar alphabet, the Lion Throne Room, and artifacts from the Yatanabon Period. Continue to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which houses a 70-meter reclining Buddha.
Late this afternoon, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa is 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf. As the sun begins to set enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pagoda and surrounding skyline before transferring back to your hotel.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 2 – YANGON – MANDALAY
After an early breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport for the flight to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, begin your sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with gold leaf giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. Mandalay is well known for its skilled craftsmen and as you tour traditional workshops, you will 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 to enjoy magnificent views of the the city and Irrawaddy River.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 3 – MANDALAY – AMARAPURA – AVA – SAGAING – MANDALAY
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.
Begin your tour in Amarapura, where you will attend a special ceremony. Witness the alms collection at Mahagandayon monastery, when over one-thousand monks gather to collect their daily meal from the local Buddhists. After this beautiful spectacle, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams. Before leaving Amarapura, stop at a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products.
Continue to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries and travel by horse and carriage through the area stopping to visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort.
This afternoon, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers and you will visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thone Sae, and Shin Pin Nan Gyaing.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 4 – MANDALAY – BAGAN
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty for a boat trip to Bagan on the local public ferry boat. As it sails southwards, the riverboat passes many villages offering a glimpse into the way of life, picturesque sceneries along the Irrawaddy River.
Arrive in Bagan late in the afternoon. On the dry plain of central Myanmar by the banks of the Irrawaddy River stands Bagan, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. The 230 years, from 11th to 13th century, in Bagan thousands of stupas and temples many of which are still standing today.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 5 – BAGAN
OPTION: Start your morning with a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. Enjoy the fabulous views as the sun rises over the stupas and Irrawaddy River. This is truly an unforgettable and unique experience! (Note: available only from October to March)
After breakfast, begin your visit with a stop at the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods. Continue to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history. Then, visit to nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
This afternoon begin with a visit to a traditional lacquer ware workshop where you can observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.
From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and Sulamani Temple. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 6 – BAGAN
After breakfast, travel to Myinkaba village and take a short walking tour to explore Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka murals paintings and the temples of Manuha and Nan Paya. Also visit a workshop where you can observe the detailed production of lacquer ware, one of Myanmar’s best known and most traditional handicrafts.
This afternoon, continue to the rural village of Minnanthu, one of Bagan’s least visited areas. Here you will explore temples such as Payathonzu, Lemyentha and Nandamannya as well as observing the farmer’s way of life.
Enjoy spectacular views from the top of Tayoke Pyay temple as the sun sets over the plains.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 7 – BAGAN – HEHO – INLE LAKE
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Nyaung U Airport for the flight to Heho. From Heho a 1-hour scenic drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery on the way. Then, board a private motorboat to head out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. We pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by Intha people, the leg-rowing fishermen of the lake and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles.
Your sightseeing begins with a visit to the Nga Hpe Chaung (jumping cats) Monastery and its Shan Buddha Images, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and the lake’s main sanctuary. Moreover, your visits include the weaving village of Inpawkhone, a cheroot factory where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. If the time permitted, we go for an improvised walk through one of the villages.
Overnight on Inle Lake.
Day 8 – INLE LAKE – IN DEIN – HEHO – YANGON
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 except on dark moon day and full moon day).
From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of In Dein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Climb the covered stair way to the top which is filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.
After today’s tour, drive to the Heho Airport for the flight to Yangon and upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 9 – DEPART YANGON
Depending on flight time, there is an option to take a ride on Yangon’s Circle Train in the morning.
This morning transfer to Yangon Railways station to take a unique ride on the city’s circular train ride through the outskirts of town (45 minutes ride). This slowly traveling train gives you unique opportunity to observe the lively, colorful lifestyle of the local people. Disembark at the Insein market where you can peruse the various stalls and interact with the friendly vendors before transferring back to Yagnon.
This afternoon, visit Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where you can browse through the wide selection of Myanmar handicrafts and other goods before transferring to Yangon International Airport for your onward flight. (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays)
Cost in US$ per person in the party (valid 30 Sep’13)
PEOPLE & HERITAGE TOUR
3 – 4 pax
5 – 6 pax
7 – 10 pax
7 – 10 pax
15 – 19 Paxs
20 – Upwards
Full board supplement
NOTE: Package based on service of 1 English speaking guide throughout trip, except for base 1 pax (different guide at each place). Supplements can also apply for guides speaking other languages such as French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.. Surcharges may apply for FESTIVE periods like Inle Lake Festival, X’mas, New Year, Water Festival, etc.. date on request.
– 8 nights accommodation on half-twin room basis with daily breakfast
– English-speaking guide throughout the trip (from Yangon to Yangon) except for 1 pax (station guides – different guide at each place)
– 3 domestic flights RGN-MDL//NYU-HEH-RGN on Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways or Air Bagan including insurance surcharge & current fuel surcharge
– Porter fees at airport
– All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles with drivers
– Private boat in Inle Lake
– Local public ferry boat from Mandalay to Bagan
– Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program
– Domestic flights (rate: pls be referred the airfare table)
– International ticket to/from Yangon
– Meals other than mentioned (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
– Visa arrangements for Myanmar
– Visits not mentioned in the program
– Drinks and personal expenses
– Tips and porters at the hotels
– International departure Airport Tax Yangon (USD 10/pax at present)
– Any other items not mentioned
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the constant fluctuations of the world oil prices, local suppliers are liable to raise their contract rates without notice due to fuel increases. We always do everything we can to absorb such increases, however in some cases it can be impossible for us to operate the file without incurring a loss. In such cases we reserve the right to increase our price if necessary. This will always be with a minimum advance notice of 30 days.
We apologize for any inconvenience that may arise from these conditions. However we hope your clients understand that in this increasingly uncertain world, such measures are necessary and that by guaranteeing the price with full payment in advance, they at least have some control over the cost of their holiday.