ESSENTIAL MYANMAR & OPTIONAL NGAPALI BEACH EXTENTION

YANGON – BAGAN – MANDALAY – INLE- (NGAPALI BEACH)
12 DAYS & 11 NIGHTS (+ 3 DAYS & 2NIGHTS)

DAY 1: WELCOME TO MYANMAR!

Good Morning – we hope you had a pleasant flight to the Golden Land!
You will be met on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transferred to your hotel where you may spend the remainder of your day relaxing and enjoying the facilities.

 

YANGON
‘Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar (formerly Burma). A mix of British colonial architecture, modern high-rises, and gilded Buddhist pagodas define its skyline making it visually intriguing. Its famed Shwedagon Pagoda, a huge shimmering pagoda complex, draws thousands of pilgrims annually. Despite not being the capital of Myanmar, this moved to Nay Pyi Taw in 2005, Yangon remains the cultural and commercial heart of Myanmar. The city has an eclectic range of museums, art galleries, and markets, in which you can take in Myanmar culture.’’

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

YANGON
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DAY 2: YANGON CITY TOUR – BOGOKE MARKET – SULE PAGODA – SHWEDAGON PAGODA

There is nothing quite like waking up on your first morning in a new country and after breakfast at your hotel, we keep the momentum going with your morning sightseeing tour of Yangon!

 

8am: Pick up from the hotel. This introductory half-day tour takes you to the colonial-historical centre of Yangon, a photo stop to the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge; and the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years. Proceed to Bogyoke (Scott) Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) followed by an extended visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide! Its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ for all Buddhists in Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. Firstly drive to the Eastern entrance of the Shwedagon pagoda and walk through the small shops where monk accessories, Buddha statues, flowers etc. are sold. The entrance is always very busy with sellers and local pilgrims.

 

You’ll learn about the daily life of the local people who reside in the immediate surroundings and gain a deeper insight into the Buddhist religion as you provide offerings to the monks. Then, walk up the staircase where many vendors sell artifacts for peoples own shrine at home. Continue to walk along the pagoda platform clockwise, as is tradition, around the main Pagoda. During this interactive walking tour of the pagoda, explore walkways and hidden gems that are unknown to most visitors. Stopping in one of the pavilions to pray, you might get a chance to meet a Buddhist monk and talk about Buddhism and meditation or simply contemplate. Continue through the back door of Shwedagon Pagoda and discover its fascinating history. Return back to your hotel around Midday.
Rest of the afternoon & evening is at leisure.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 3: YANGON – BAGAN

It’s an early start this morning as after breakfast you transfer to Yangon Airport for a flight to Bagan.
Flight times TBC

 

BAGAN
‘Standing on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan is most famous for the Bagan Archaeological Area, where more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plains. Every one of the temples, stupas, and pagodas has its own unique story to tell, and many can be freely explored – inside and out. To get a bit more background and history when you are in Bagan, as well as see an impressive collection of artifacts from the region, you may want to pay a visit to the Bagan Archaeological Museum’

 

Upon arrival we hit the ground running as there is so much to see, commencing with the busy local market at Nyaung Oo. Continue with visits to a selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as Shwezigon, Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine – lookout for images of the 37 ‘nats’ (spirits) housed in a small hall – and Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-Inn village), a ‘cave’ temple with fine frescoes of the ‘Jataka Tales’. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar-style temple built in Bagan, which boasts old murals and friezes. Your visit continues to Ananda Temple, a masterpiece of Mon-style architecture with four huge standing Buddhas and an adjacent brick monastery with well-preserved 18th-century murals. Stop for a photo of Bagan’s tallest temple; 61 meter-high Thatbyinnyu, known as the ‘temple of omniscience’ and dating from 1144.

 

Lunch is at your own expenses in a local restaurant.

 

Next, visit Moe Moe Lacquer ware factory where you will learn how this delicate art is made. Sightseeing continues with visits to Manuha Temple, built in the Mon style in 1059; Nanpaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said to have been the palace of King Manuha, and Gubyaukgyi (Myingaba) under the protection of UNESCO and noted for its ancient mural paintings. Enjoy sunset at one of the monuments along Ayeyarwady River before returning back to your hotel around 6pm.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 4: DAY AT LEISURE IN BAGAN

Today you may enjoy a full day at leisure to indulge in the hotel facilities or explore the locality.

 

You may choose to hire a bicycle and explore some off-the-beaten-track pagodas or alternatively, hire a horse cart for the morning to visit local markets and buy authentic handmade crafts. Or you can take our option tour.

 

Optional tour: After breakfast, we will keep on exploring Bagan, we will head towards Myinkaba Village. Here, the techniques used for many generations remain in the present with the painstaking process of lacquerware making and decoration. Close to the village, we visit another two remarkable temples in the history of Bagan. Sulamani Pahto: its brickwork throughout is considered some of the best in Bagan and Dhammayangyi Pahto: it is said that king Narathu built the temple to redeem his sins: he smothered his father and brother to death and executed one of his wife’s (for practicing Hindu rituals). After having lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Minnanthu village, where we will learn about local people daily activities and customs. We will end up the day enjoying a boat outing on the Ayeyarwaddy River.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 5: BAGAN – POPA – SALAY – BAGAN

The choice is yours this morning…but we would highly recommend an early start…
Take an optional early morning balloon flight over the Bagan temples. (From October to March, cost not included) If you choose to partake in this ‘once in a lifetime experience’ you will overfly Bagan for about one hour, and enjoy spectacular views of the ancient Kingdom of Bagan in your hot air balloon! The tour ends wherever the winds take you. A glass of sparkling wine ends this magical event! The shuttle bus then takes you back to your hotel in time for breakfast.

 

Enjoy a full day exploring the countryside around Bagan (exact itinerary is subject to road conditions). Visit Mount Popa, home to Myanmar’s intriguing ‘nats’ (spirits). The steps and path climb steeply up Mount Popa – an energetic climb rewarded by fabulous views from the top (this climb may not be suitable for everyone). Continue on to Kyaukpadaung, visiting a local market and stopping at a local village. In the afternoon, drive to Salay to visit Yokesone Monastery which is the oldest surviving wooden monastery hall built on 154 teak posts with beautiful wood carvings decorating the outer walls. Continue to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya – a large lacquer Buddha image said to date from the 13th century. Return to Bagan through Chauk, stopping at the colourful local market before continuing past the old Burma Oil installations are known as the ‘nodding donkeys’, at the end of the day we head back to Bagan.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 6: BAGAN – MANDALAY – MINGUN – MANDALAY

After breakfast, take an early morning transfer to Bagan Airport for a flight to Mandalay
Flight times TBC

 

MANDALAY
‘Made famous for many by the writings of Rudyard Kipling (who actually only spent 2 days in Myanmar and never even visited Mandalay!) this is perhaps the most evocative destination in Myanmar. The second largest city in Myanmar after Yangon this is the economic and religious hub of upper Myanmar and is centered around the Royal Palace. With hidden charms and much to explore including temples, monasteries, and markets, as well as great street food and panoramic views from Mandalay Hill this is a city well worth spending time in.’

 

On arrival in Mandalay you will transfer to the jetty to take a boat trip to Mingun, site of a brick pagoda towering 50 metres above the Ayeyarwady River, and home to the world’s largest intact bell. In the afternoon, visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to Mandalay’s holiest Buddha statue then on to Shwenandaw Monastery (Golden Palace Monastery), an ancient wooden building with intricate carvings, which was once King Mindon’s home.

 

Continue to see the ‘world’s largest book’, being the Buddhist Scriptures inscribed on marble slabs, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Visit Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda to see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Enjoy spectacular views at sunset from Mandalay Hill, where there are interesting glass-studded temples.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 7: DAY AT LEISURE IN MANDALAY

Enjoy a full day at leisure. You may wish to experience the daily almsgiving to the Buddhist monks – this will involve an early rise. (Please ask for more details)

 

On the other hands you can enjoy this interesting optional tour to the ancient capitals of Myanmar: After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Amarapura, and witness the long procession of monks and novices lining up for daily alms. We will then enjoy a stroll across the world’s longest teak bridge at U Bein Bridge. Before heading to Sagaing we will stop in a silk workshop where we can meet the skillful craftsmen renown for weaving traditional silk clothes. Then it’s a transfer to Sagaing, the ancient capital of Sagaing Dynasty, which lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay, on the west bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. It is also home to 500 stupas and multiple monasteries and nunneries in which live more than 6,000 monk and nuns. We will take time to stroll around the local market and discover local products. Lunch will be served at local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will cross over the river and take a horse carriage ride through the ancient teak temples in Ava where we will have the opportunity to visit Maha monastery and the beautiful wooden Monastery of Bagaya Kyaung. We will be back in Mandalay for the evening.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 8: MANDALAY – HEHO – INLE LAKE

After an early breakfast transfer to Mandalay airport for a flight to Heho.
Flight times TBC.

 

INLE
‘Located in the remote mountainous region of Shan State, a cool 900 meters above sea level, gorgeous Inle Lake is one of the ‘must see ’sights of Myanmar. As Myanmar’s’ second largest lake its enchanting tranquil waters stretch over 220sq meters and are boarded by the 2,000-meter-high Shan Mountains. Home to a rich diversity of ethnic groups and cultures the lakes festivals, unique floating gardens, markets, temples and stilt houses are a wonderful attraction and definitely should be visited by all.’

 

Drive from Heho airport down into the valley to Nyaungshwe on the edge of Inle Lake, stopping on the way to visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Board your own local boat to take you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

 

Make sure you have your camera handy to capture the stunning views!

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 9: INLE LAKE – LOCAL MARKET – FLOATING GARDENS – NGA PHE KYAUNG MONASTERY

After breakfast at the hotel, we enjoy a day of exploration on the lake…

 

We start with a visit to one of the ‘five-day markets’ (on market days only), gaining an insight into the lifestyle of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha inhabitants who came to these markets to sell their goods.

 

During today’s excursion by boat on picturesque Inle Lake, see the famous leg rowers, the typical floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown, local methods of fishing and village life. A highlight is often a visit to the traditional village of Pauk Par, with its neat rows of bamboo houses, with the possibility of a visit to a local family to share some Shan tea.

 

In the afternoon, visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Stop to see some traditional handicrafts – silk weaving on wooden handlooms in Inpawkon village, a cheroot workshop and a blacksmith shop.

 

Continue by boat to visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake with its large wooden meditation hall and 200-year-old Buddha statues. At the hotel, watch the sunset over enchanting Inle Lake.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 10: INDAING – INLE LAKE

After your hotel breakfast, you set off to see another aspect of this wonderful area….

 

Travel by long-tailed boat across the lake to Indaing, at the western end of Inle, for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Passing through the busy village of Ywama, the largest on the Lake, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts; enter a long, often tree-lined canal, either side of which farmers cultivate their land against the backdrop of the Shan Hills. Disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes through Indaing village to reach the 14th – 18th-century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th – 18th-century zedi; some newly reconstructed. Returning to the river and continue by boat downstream past Yethar village, watching local life on the banks and birds in the trees until rejoining the Lake near Phaung Daw Oo Paya.

 

You will return to your hotel to enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 11: INLE LAKE – YANGON

After breakfast, leave your hotel by boat and then transfer to Heho Airport for a flight to Yangon.
Flights times TBC

 

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel where you may relax until the afternoon.
PM: Drive to the famous Strand Road for a walking tour.

 

Start at the Yangon River around the busy harbour area then cross into Chinatown, stopping to see Chinese medicine shops, a Chinese Temple, and the colourful market. Pass the old Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue before entering the Indian Quarter with small side-roads full of shops selling Indian spices.

 

Turn into Shwe Bontha, perhaps the most photogenic of all streets, with its leafy sidewalks, pavement tea-shops, and magnificent colonial buildings. Here is where all the merchants buy and sell gold. Walking through Mahabandoola Garden, you glimpse Sule Pagoda, City Hall, the impressive High Court and the Myanmar Port Authority building before arriving at the Strand Hotel, itself a stunning colonial building, concluding your walk and enjoying a well-deserved refreshment. Transfer back to your hotel.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 12: GOODBYE MYANMAR

After breakfast, transfer to Yangon International Airport for your departure flight.

 

We hope to welcome you back soon!

OPTIONAL EXTENSION : NGAPALI BEACH

YANGON – NGAPALI – YANGON
3 DAYS & 2 NIGHTS

DAY 1: NGAPALI BEACH

After an early breakfast, we will transfer to airport for a flight to Ngapali. A few days on the shores of the Indian Ocean are waiting for you.

 

Hotel representatives will be waiting for you upon arrival and will take you to your hotel. After check-in, you will have plenty of free time for sunbathing and swimming on the beach.

Time to enjoy the beach and the surrounding area at your leisure. (i.e. Water sports, snorkeling, mountain, biking…).

 

Accommodation: As Requested

 

DAY 2: NGAPALI BEACH

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a lazy day on the glorious beach.

 

Accommodation: As Requested

DAY 3: NGAPALI BEACH

After Breakfast, hotel staff will pick you up and transfer you to the airport and you will take a domestic flight to Yangon. After arriving at the Yangon Airport our guide will transfer to your hotel or on to Int. Departures Terminal.

 

We look forward to your return.

Accomodation

This destination experience is offered with your choice of either quality 4-star or carefully selected 5-star hotels for the majority of the itinerary. In some locations best available may be used, but this will be highlighted in your personal proposal.

Price of Tour

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