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.
Early this morning transfer to the 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.
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.
Return to Mandalay and transfer to the airport for a late afternoon flight to Bagan. Overnight in Bagan.
OPTION: Start your morning with a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. Enjoy 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, visit the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods. Continue on to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history.
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.
After breakfast, visit Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple, noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
This afternoon, take a walk through Myinkaba village and have the opportunity to observe the village’s sites as well as observe local craftsman with a visit to a lacquer ware workshop. Here you can watch the detailed production of one of the best-known Myanmar handicrafts.
Later, transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to Yangon. Overnight in 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)