Arrive Yangon, the hustling & bustling capital of Myanmar, the city today still maintains its colonial charm and gracious turn of the century old architecture.
Fly to Bagan, situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, covers more than 42 square kilometers. More popularly known as the “city of four million pagodas”.
Continue to Mandalay, the last capital of royal Burma, which is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual center.
Fly to Heho and drive to Inle lake, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The lake itself sits at a pleasant 4,260 ft./ 1300 meters above sea level and is famous for its leg rowers, floating markets and prolific birdlife. Colorful hill tribes, inhabit fertile valleys and forested mountaintops and friendly people make this one of the must see in Myanmar.
Return to Yangon, and enjoy the rest of the day visiting Sule and Shwedagon Pagoda before takign a flight back home.
Day 01 Arrive Yangon, transfer to hotel
Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure or just explore around the down town.
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city is filled with shaded boulevards, while shimmering Stupas float above the treetops. The city became the capital only in 1885, when the British completed their conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay's brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended.
Day 02 Fly Yangon-Bagan. Tour of Bagan.
Transfer to airport and fly to Bagan. Sightseeing in Bagan.
Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD.
SHWEZIGON PAYA: King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas over Myanmar.
GUBYAUKHYI TEMPLE at Wetkyi-Inn: This Temple was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colorful painting about the previous life of Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. This temple is not to be confounded with the Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myinkabe.
ANANDA PAHTO: one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period.
GUBYAUKGYI TEMPLE at Myinkaba: Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.
MANUHA TEMPLE: The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan.
SHWESANDAW PAYA: In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa. This Pagoda is ideal to watch Bagan's magnificent sunsets.
LACQUERWARE WORKSHOP: the villages around Bagan are known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar. Stop by one of the workshops and learn about the painstaking process of laquerware making and decoration.
Enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the pagoda platforms.
Day 03 Bagan-Pokakku -Bagan
Drive to Pokaku town, central Myanmar (Burma), an un-spoiled small town famous as a tobacco trading centre and for its weaving shops. Visit the local market and see genuine indigenous regional open-air market with a vast array of things for sale including local’s snacks, fresh vegetables, ingredient, textiles, handy crafts, etc. If time allows, continue to see the small Thanaka vendor, cheroots factory and slippers workshop and wood carving sculpture and Thihoshin Pagoda.
THIHOSHIN PAGODA : The Thiho Shin is one of the most famous pagodas in Pakokku. It was built by King Alaungsithu. The pagoda contains an image presented by the King of Ceylon some 800 years ago and the image is one of the most revered in Myanmar. The festival of the Thiho Shin Pagoda is held from 8th waxing to the 10th waning day of Nayon (June), with traditional plays and zat pews (although not, for the last few years, puppet shows). This is a typical a-nyar (Upper Myanmar) festival.
Back to Bagan and Overnight in Bagan.
Day 04 Fly Bagan-Mandalay
Transfer to airport and fly to Mandalay. Meet your guide and tour of Mandalay.
The last capital of royal Burma, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual center. Neighboring Sagaing is home to over sixty percent of the country's monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar.
In the morning, head to AMARAPURA, also a former royal capital, and visit MAHAGANDAYON MONASTERY; in the morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists.
Enjoy the atmosphere of U BEIN'S BRIDGE, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometer across Taungthaman Lake, and the highlight of any visit to Amarapura.
Continue to Mandalay, stopping first at MAHAMUNI PAYA. The Mahamuni image enshrined here is perhaps the most venerated image in Myanmar, covered in over 15 cm of gold leaf. Worshippers flock daily to the shrine at four in the morning to observe the unique face-washing ceremony.
En- route to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of GOLD-LEAF BEATING, where gold is painstakingly hammered out into tissue-thin squares. Continue to SHWENANDAW KYAUNG, or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace, used as private apartments by King Mindon and his chief queen. Afterwards visit KYAUKAWGYI PAYA, famous for its monumental seated Buddha, carved from a single block of marble, and the elegant SANDAMANI PAYA. The final stop is at KUTHODAW PAYA, known also as "the world's biggest book". Around the central stupa are miniature pavilions, each housing a slab of marble. Numbering altogether 729, these slabs are inscribed with the entire Tripitkata, or Buddhist scriptures.
Visit Mandalay Hill at sunset.
Day 05 Fly Mandalay -Heho, transfer to Inle Lake
Transfer to airport and fly to Heho. By vehicle from Heho to Inle Lake.
Excursion by boat on Inle Lake through the canals to visit various villages on the lake
INLE LAKE: Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is beautiful, with very calm waters dotted with patches of floating vegetation and fishing canoes. High hills rim the lake on all sides. The lake's shore and islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and observe the skilled fisherman using their leg-rowing technique to propel themselves around the lake.
Taking a boat trip along the lake to see local life with opportunity to see the way that fisherman row their boats while standing on one leg. Enjoy visiting various villages.
Overnight Inle Lake.
Day 06 Boat in and around Inle Lake
Visit the floating gardens, a market and a Intha village around the lake (please note that no markets take place on full moon or new moon days).
The day sightseeing also includes a visit to the PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA, INN PAW KHON VILLAGE (Lotus and silk weaving) and the NGA PHE KYAUNG MONASTERY.
Overnight Inle Lake.
Day 07 Inle Lake - Helo, fly to Yangon
Return to airport at Heho, and fly to Yangon.
Sightseeing tour of Yangon.
Start the tour at the SULE PAGODA, a gleaming octagonal pagoda that stands squarely at the center point of the city. Afterwards, visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM to gain an insight into Myanmar. See the eight meter high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by the last Burmese king, and other fascinating artifacts from Burmese history and culture.
Finally, continue to the SHWEDAGON PAGODA, the highlight of any visit to Yangon. Towering over the city, this pagoda is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are at their most beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden Stupa reflects the changing colors of twilight.
Day 08 Yangon-U.S. or an extension
Trasnfer to airport and fly back home, or extend your trip to Laos, Cambodia or Bhutan.