Myanmar has been stuck in the past for several decades and only recently opened its doors to the world. The wheel of time seems to have been turned back for far too long, in this slow-paced country . The people are friendly, characterized by deep spirituality and a Buddhism rooted in everyday life.
The perfect holy grail for an unknown and untouched Indochinese experience.
Arrive at Yangon, your guide will be welcoming at the airport and bringing to the hotel. Check in time at 14:00 hour in the high season!
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering stupas float above the treetops. The city became the capital only in 1885, when British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay’s brief period as capital of the last Burmese Kingdom ended.
Start your sightseeing of Yangon, visit Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, which is the 65-meter-long reclining huge Buddha image. Finally, climb up the steps to the world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the massive 99-meter-high gold-plated pagoda with the diamond studded spire set on top, landmark of Myanmar. The main stupa enshrines the relics of the four previous Buddha’s including sacred hair relics of the most recent Buddha. Walk barefoot through the magnificent building and visit its courtyards, stupas, bells, temples and Buddha figures. Participate in lighting the many oil lamps on the Shwedagon platform.
This morning we will drive to Nanthida Jetty for a 15-minute local ferry ride across the Yangon River to Dhala (other side of Yangon City). Watch the colorful street market where locals buy and sell their goods. After we reach Dhala, take the local Trishaw through the small village, visit the market and chat with the locals. There is a big gap between life in Yangon and the lives of people in Dhala. The most outstanding thing is that these charming people expand their hospitality with a huge smile. Their lives lack many amenities, but mutual help and cooperation are concepts that underlie many social and religious practices prevalent in the Dhala region.
After arriving back to the Yangon area, enjoy the tasty staples of national dishes from Myanmar, lunch at Rangoon Tea house.
Then, we will visit the famous Bogyoke Market (Scott Market). There are 1,641 shops selling luxury items, handicrafts, foodstuffs, clothing, jewelry, fashion and consumer goods. (Closed on Mondays and public holidays). Finally, we will visit the Kandawgyi area , where the water looks like liquid-gold with depths of red fire at sunset, and visit the Shwedagon Pagoda and its magnificent sunset from a distance.
Overnight in Yangon.
Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching 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.
After checking in at the hotel, sightseeing starts with the Thatbyinnyu Temple, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork. Proceed to the Shwesandaw Pagoda for a first circular view. Our other visits include some of the most important pagodas and temples, such as The Ananda Temple with its statues of Buddha standing in all four directions, and the Manuha Temple from 1059 AD.
Picnic lunch near the temple ruins. (depends on the weather, if it rains we will eat elsewhere).
In the afternoon, sightseeing with e-bike, bike and wind your way to the local workshop – we will exhibit and take part in a lacquerware workshop; Bagan has been the center of the production of varnish for more than 1000 years and another famous local workshop - Pon yay gyi or black bean curd paste, an essential part in most Burmese dishes cooked with pork and served over rice, or as part of a salad on the side.
Enjoy a sunset view from one of the most scenic spots overlooking the plains of Bagan before returning to your hotel in the early evening.
Overnight in Bagan.
Optional – Balloons Over Bagan early in the morning. Once in a lifetime experience.
Breakfast at the hotel and then we will head to Mount Popa. Explore the monastery on the top of the massive volcano, rising 4,980 feet (1,518 m) above sea level. Sometimes, in weather, Mount Popa can be seen all the way from the Irrawaddy River. Take in the view as you drive through picturesque landscapes before you reach the base of a fantastic walking trail.
Next, climb up a winding covered staircase encircling the mountain, observed by the curious monkeys that live in the area. At the top, reach a monastery and temple complex with shrines to the 37 “Nats”, where you can take in a spectacular view over the region.
On the way back to Bagan, make a stop at a village and see their way of using the palm tree to make wine and molasses.
Bagan has a lot of surrounding villages, where you will get an insight into the daily life of the Burmese people. Enjoy an easy bike ride (route depending on the fitness of the customers) to the village of Minnanthu.
Head back to the hotel in Bagan and overnight in Bagan.
After breakfast, we will visit the Nyaung Oo Market and the surrounding villages, where you will get an insight into the daily life of the Burmese people.
Gain a deeper knowledge with a historian about the ancient city of Bagan, which is home to more than 4,000 temples and pagodas were built from the 11th to the 13th century. The tour will begin with a visit at Bagan Archaeological museum then we will continue to some of the beautiful ruins such as: Ananda Pagoda and a visit to the well-known Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta as a religious monument in the early 11th century.
Spend a beautiful evening aboard a one-hour sunset boat ride, with a cocktail in hand as you observe the timeless river scenes slowly gliding on by. You will witness women hand washing clothes on the banks, children playing in the river and fishermen angling for the day’s catch. Watch as the sky changes from pinks, reds, yellows and oranges with shades of deep purple before the sun finally sets on the “’Land of a Thousand Pagodas”.
Overnight in Bagan.
Morning flight to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, drive to Amarapura "City of the Immortals", visit Bagaya Monastery, with a superb collection of Buddha statues. After lunch at a local restaurant, travel by a short boat trip to the former Royal Capital of Inwa (also called Ava).
Explore by horse-drawn carriage to visit Nanmyint WatchTower, the remains of the palace building name “the Leaning Tower of Ava '' Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, built of brick and stucco. We will visit Bargayar Monastery, this place is famous for its impressive ornate wood carvings and teak posts.
Then drive to Sagaing, with 600 ivory pagodas, monasteries and about 3000 monks spiritual center of Myanmar. In the village of Sagaing at the foot of the mountain, markets, shops and restaurants await us. Visit the Aung Myae Oo Monastic Education School, which houses around 1,600 monks.
The charming place for sunset at U Bean Bridge is 200 years old and it is the longest teak wood bridge in the world. The bridge was built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was Royal Capital.
End of the day and return to hotel in Mandalay.
Morning after breakfast, continue sightseeing and a boat trip to Mingun, one of the ancient cities around Mandalay. Visit the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an incomplete temple in Mingun, at the West bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Proceed to the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda and the World Largest Ringing Bell.
In the afternoon, sightseeing Mandalay. Mandalay is pure history! We visit the Mahamuni Pagoda with the gilded Buddha, the oldest statue of Myanmar and some of the famous artisan workshops.
Visit the exquisite wood carvings in the Shwenandaw Monastery and "read" in the "World's Greatest Book", the Kuthodaw Pagoda. “the world’s largest book”, named after the 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.
Sunset from Mandalay Hill if weather is allowed. The large grounds offer good views upwards of Mandalay Hill with its many temples and pagodas.
Enjoy dinner with a puppet show at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Mandalay.
After having breakfast at the hotel, flight to Heho.
Transport from Heho to Pindaya. Our journey takes us up into the hills and past a network of paddy fields as we make our way into the heartland of the Taung Yoe people. Our destination is the magnificent complex of limestone caves that occupy the ridge overlooking Pindaya Lake.
The Pindaya Caves are home to thousands of Buddhist images, made from alabaster, teak, marble, lacquer and even cement, which have been placed here over the centuries to create a labyrinth through the hills. We will have a chance to explore something of this fascinating setting, even taking the time to visit some local houses to watch traditional Shan paper making. Then, drive to Inle lake.
Overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle.
After breakfast, board the motorboats again and cruise along one of the many canals through a landscape of tall grasses and small water holes to the Pa-Oh village of Indein on the western shore of Inle Lake. The first visit to the morning market (depend on the 5 day market schedule) and proceed to Indein village, it is a small village west of Inle Lake, known for its market and two groups of ancient pagodas. An ascent to “bemooster” stairs leads to the top of the hill, from where you have a magnificent view over the surrounding countryside.
The Indein Temple Complex is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sights around the lake. The Bagan and Shan-style pagoda ruins hidden in the bushes seem to grow almost out of the ground, literally taking you back to the 12th-13th centuries. If time permits, we will visit the local workshop – Silk weaving workshop, Ciger workshop, making local snacks such as soybean crackers and tofu crackers at village.
In the afternoon, sunset canoe trip to Mine Thauk Village. This lovely sunset excursion provides a memorable and atmospheric view of the lake and ends at Mine Thauk Bridge.
The trip lasts around 1.5 hours.
Overnight in Inle.
Ready to explore Inle Lake with observations of the daily activities from local fishermen rowing with their feet. We will also see the green floating gardens, resting on water hyacinths and anchored on the lake floor by bamboo poles. Visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf, Nga Phe Chaung Monastery.
Lunch at a local family house.
Again, we will cruise along one of the many canals through a landscape of tall grasses and small waterholes to the Pa-Oh village of Indein on the western shore of Inle Lake.
Return to the pier and proceed to your hotel.
Overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle.
Transfer from hotel to the airport to fly back to Yangon.
In the afternoon, start your sightseeing downtown walking tour around Sule Pagoda, and then along the colorful Konezaytan street. You will see a different vendor who is preparing all kinds of traditional Burmese snacks, Indian style food, Chinese style food and fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers along the way. Before enjoying the dinner, you also have a chance to try delicious street food.
Dinner at the house of memory.
Overnight in Yangon.
Today is free and at your own leisure until transferring you to the airport for your journey home or your next destination.