River cruise, train excursion, boat excursions Inle Lake & Mingun, horse and carriage ride in Mandalay, bullock cart riding and sunset cruise in Bagan
Visit Stupas, Pagodas, Monasteries and Temples, colourful markets, elephant camp, local villages, nature and so much more!
Depart from North America today on an overnight connecting flight to Myanmar.
Welcome to Myanmar! Arriving at 10:50 pm, we will be greeted and escorted to the hotel for check in.
Yangon (B / D)
Drive to see colonial style buildings with photo stops at Sule Pagoda and City Hall.
Continue to Botathaung Pagoda close to the Yangon Wharves. This pagoda has a mirrored maze in the stupa and contains many ancient relics.
Visit Chauk Htat Gyi Temple which contains the 65 meter long reclining Buddha statue.
Welcome dinner with cultural show at Karaweik Palace Restaurant.
Sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, believed to 2600 years old and known as the heart of Buddhist Myanmar.
Yangon – Heho – Kalaw (B / L)
Flight (75 minutes) to Heho and drive (1.5 hours) to Magwe village via Kalaw to visit the Elephant Camp.
Short walk (5 minutes) to river to see elephants bathe. Help bathe and feed elephants. See elephant families in the valley.
Explore the conservation area on elephant back and see butterflies, birds and orchids. Picnic lunch served in the main camp.
After lunch, explore the surrounding area with a local trekking guide or participate in forest recovery program, planting regional trees from the nursery.
Return to hotel in Kalaw.
Kalaw – Pindaya – Inle Lake (B)
Drive (1.5 hours) to Pindaya and enjoy the scenery of the hilly region, vegetable plantations, terrace land cultivation etc.
Visit Pindaya Cave, believed to contain more than 8000 wood, stone, marble and bronze Buddha statues.
Visit to see mulberry bark Shan paper production and the making of oiled paper umbrellas, used by monks and nuns.
Stop at Sin Gaung Kyaung Monastery and drive (3 hours) to Inle Lake.
Inle Lake (B)
Sightseeing by boat on Inle Lake. The lake stretches 11 miles and is home to the Inthar people. Many live in stilted houses built over the water.
You will see the floating villages, floating gardens, silk and lotus stem weaving and the famous Inthar leg rowers.
Visits include the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Nga Phe Kyaung (cat jumping) Monastery and Inn Paw Khone village to see silk and lotus petal hand weaving and the Karen long neck women demonstrate their weaving skills.
Inle Lake - Mandalay (B)
Explore the local 5 day market. The market rotates between 5 villages. You will get insight into the lifestyle of the ethnic Pa-o, Danu and Intha, who come to the market to sell their goods.
We will take an enjoyable boat cruise through the irrigation canals to Indein Pagoda Complex, an archaeological site where hundreds of Shan style ruined pagodas stand on the slope of a hill. Some date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Afternoon transfer (30 minutes) to the airport and fly (35 minutes) to Mandalay.
Today explore the former capitals, Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.
At Amarapura you will see the alms collection at Mahagandayon Monastery where over 1000 monks collect their daily meal from the local Buddhists.
Continue to Ava, the capital from the 14th to 18th centuries. Travel by horse and carriage through the area stopping to visit the old wooden Bagaya Monestery,
Maenu Okkyaung Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort.
Proceed to Sagaing Hills which are covered with 600 pagodas and monasteries.
Visit a local nunnery and return to Mandalay via Amarapura with stops at the 200 year old U Bein Bridge and a traditional silk weaving workshop.
Transfer to the jetty to take a boat cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River. Enjoy the fascinating landscapes and witness the daily life of the people. Visit the unfinished Mingun Pagoda which contains a 90 ton ringing bell and the unusual Myatheindan Pagoda.
Return to Mandalay and after lunch, visit traditional handicraft workshops, such as gold leaf beating, visit the world’s biggest book at Kuthodaw Padoga and ‘Golden Palace’ Shwenandaw Monastery.
In the evening enjoy the sunset and view of Shan Plateau and Mandalay City from the top of Mandalay Hill.
Mandalay – Pyin U Lwin (B)
Drive (1.5 hours) to the former colonial hill station, Pyin U Lwin, at an elevation of 1040 meters.
Check into hotel and then visit the local market, the former Botanical Garden, Kandawgyi National Park, Pwekaku Waterfall and the Chinese Temple.
Pyin U Lwin – Hsipaw (B)
Train (7 hours) to Hsipaw. One of the must do railway journeys of the world, the railway line between Pyin U Lwin and Hsipaw is a masterpiece of engineering.
The train passes over the Gokteik Viaduct, the largest railway trestle in the world at the time of its completion in 1901.
The trestle is 102 meters high and has a span of 37 meters.
Hsipaw was once a Shan royal city. Local historians claim that the 19th century prince,
Sao So Chae, was knighted by Queen Victoria and the last sawba (Shan prince), Sao Kya Seng, became the tragic hero of a book by his Austrian wife.
Hsipaw (B / L)
Enjoy today trekking (4 hours round trip) to Shan farmer villages.
(transportation available for non trekkers) You will see panoramic views of the paddy field, seasonal crops, the river and the lifestyle of the Shan villagers.
At the village you will see cottage industries such as the making of the hand fan, basket weaving with bamboo and cheroot rolling.
Relax at a traditional bungalow at the riverside. Picnic lunch is served.
After lunch we take a boat cruise upstream and pass through plantations of pineapple, papaya and oranges and visit a typical Shan home and small charming garden.
Hsipaw – Mandalay (B)
Drive (3 hours) to Mandalay and enjoy some free time.
Mandalay – Bagan (B / L)
Early morning (6:00 am) transfer to the jetty for the RV Aura boat cruise to Bagan. Breakfast and lunch are served onboard. Enjoy a one hour morning visit to a typical village on the Ayeyarwaddy River.
In the afternoon there is a demonstration and discussion of Myanmar culture and tradition. Transfer to the hotel when the boat arrives (5:00 pm).
After a visit to the colourful morning market, you will see the Golden Stupa, ‘the glory of Bagan’ at Shwezigon Pagoda. Next is Gubyaukgyi Temple which has the best mural paintings of the 11th century and Htilominlo Temple,
noted for its pilaster carving. You will see the ancient wooden Nathtaukkyaung Monastery, Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece resembling a Greek cross, and the biggest temple in Bagan, Sulamani and Dhamayangyi Temple.
In the evening, explore the ancient city with a decorative bullock cart and enjoy the sunset from the top of a temple.
Option for early morning balloon flight at additional cost.
Visit to Tharabar Gate, part of the ancient 9th century wall. There are two niches containing images of the nats (protective spirits) or guardians of the gate. Most of the locals stop here to present small offerings to prevent traffic accidents.
Next is a visit to Shwegugyi Pagoda, was built by King Alaung Sithu during A.D 1141. This pagoda is located near the entrance of the Royal Palace, also known as Nan Oo Paya in Myanmar.
Continue on to Thatbyinnyu 'Omniscient' Temple, one of the highest in Bagan. It rises 61meters and was built by Alaungsithu about the mid-12th Century. You will see Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating to 1170,
and is famous for its interlocking mortar-less brickwork.Next is a visit to Sulamani, a more sophisticated temple style, with better internal lighting. Constructed circa 1181 by Narapatisithu, the temple features two storeys standing on broad terraces assembled to create a pyramid effect.
Continue on to visit to Dhammayazika Temple. The name of the pagoda, Dhammayazika or Dhammarajika in Pali means "Pertaining the King of Law”.
The structure of Dhammayazika Pagoda has pentagonal terraces instead of the usual Bagan pagodas square base.
In the evening, we will transfer to the jetty and take the mini boat cruise to enjoy the sunset from the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River.
Option for early morning balloon flight at additional cost.
Bagan - Yangon (B / D)
Transfer to the airport and fly (1hour) to Yangon. Upon arrival, visit Yangon, China Town area and Kawareik Park for photos and the local tea experience.
Enjoy some free time and do some last minute shopping.
Farewell dinner at Le Planteur Restaurant.
After dinner, transfer to Yangon International Airport for departure flight at 11:50 pm.