Charms of Myanmar

10 Days - 9 Nights Amarapura, Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Mt. Popa, Nyaung Shwe, Pindaya, Sagaing Division, Yangon Division Big Group Journey

Tour Overview

From classic colonial buildings and icon, religious monuments to the mesmerizing landscapes, quaint countryside, fascinating ethnic tribes, Myanmar is as diverse as it is charming. Discover the very best of Myanmar with unique experiences in each destination in this 10-day engaging tour.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive Yangon

    Meet our experienced guide at Yangon International Airport and transfer to hotel and orientation tour around the city before check-in at the hotel. (If time permits)

    In the later afternoon, visit Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, 217 feet long a huge reclining Buddha and is one of the largest Buddha images in Myanmar. Complete first day in Myanmarby visiting to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda known to be the largest pagoda in the world, it stands on top of a hill, overhanging the city and is believed to be over 2,600 years old.  Enjoy the breathtaking view of the sunset with the background of Shwedagon Pagoda. Transfer to hotel and overnight in Yangon.

    Optional Activity: Traditional Light Oil Lamps Ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda

    The highlight of this evening, a special oil lamp lighting ceremony is a unique and highly symbolic Buddhist ritual where they believe more than 1000 special oil lamps lighting will bless their life with wisdom and enlightenmentThis is a special arrangement to provide unique memories for a once in a lifetime experience. 

    Optional Activity: Welcome evening at Karaweik Palace

    Immerse yourself in your great evening at glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge to discover authentic traditional performances, arts and crafts, great food in a majestic setting. Karaweik Palace presents the Basic Myanmar Dance performance to continue preserving and passing on the unique tradition of Myanmar, dances, and culture. Enjoy a buffet with a great variety of cuisine with an Asian flavor.

  • Day 02: Yangon – Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay (B,L)

    Morning transfer to Yangon Airport departs for Mandalay by flight (Approx.: 1:30 mins). Upon arrival,take panoramic drive to Mandalay city passing through various agricultural landscapes and villages along the way. Start the day with the visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most revered religious images in Myanmar. Admire the beautiful gold leaf covered statues on display.

    From here, visit to the Shwenandaw Monastery that is the last original wooden structure of the Mandalay Royal Palace. This precious carved teak building was one of the King’s rooms and became a monastery.

    Next, Kuthodaw (Maha Lawkamarazein Pagoda) which is famous as the world’s largest book, composed with hundreds of stone slabs on which inscribed the whole Buddhist Literature.

    After lunch, transfer to the hotel and check-in.

    Late afternoon, the journey continues to the jetty to join a local private boat trip to Mingun (11 km, about one hour) enjoying the picturesque scenery of this river and the lifestyles of the local people, small long tail boats, bamboo rafts, and ferries carry goods up and down the river. Enjoy beyond normal lunch onboard while enjoying this scenic stretch of the Ayeyarwady River.

    Arrive in Mingun and start to visit the Mingun Bell, Mingun Bell which weighs more than 87 tons and is more than 3.7 meters tall. This is the world’s largest uncracked bell. Head to the beautiful Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. And the unfinished, mighty Mingun Pagoda (built to be the world’s biggest. Cruise along the river, sail back to Mandalay and savor sunset vistas over the scenic beauty of River Ayeyarwady. Return back to the hotel and overnight in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 03: Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Mandalay (B,L)

    Start explorations of Mandalay after breakfast. Visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a specular Buddha image covered with thick layers of the beautiful gold leaf.

    Afterward, discover the former ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, cross the bridge over the Ayeyarwady River to Sagaing Hill covered with white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries that are decorated along the riverside.

    After reaching the bottom of Sagaing Hill, drive to the summit for sweeping panoramic views, a noteworthy Pagoda on the hill is Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda; it was originally built in 1312. The temple offers spectacular panoramas of pagoda-decorated hills with the Ayeyarwady River flowing beyond.

    Continue visit, Umin Thonze Pagoda also known as 30 Caves Pagoda filled with 45 beautiful gilded Buddha images which are unique in a different size. The golden statues, set in turquoise colored tiled mosaic hall, form an impressive sight. These thirty caves make for some excellent photo opportunities.

    From here, admire an amazing view of the beautiful green valley below and many stupas around.

    It’s time to explore one of the monasteries which are home to many monks. In his lifetime, a Myanmar male is expected to spend some of his life serving as a monk to learn the ways of Buddhism. Upon time permitting, observe lunch offering time at the monastery their last meal in a day.

    Head out to Ava (Inwa) (approx..: 30 mins), the ancient capital city, required to cross the river and ride in a horse cart for a few minutes to reach an incredible teakwood monastery (Bagaya Monastery). Admire the impressive woodwork and the 267 carved pillars. Not far from here, stand the ruins of another monastery, built with bricks and stucco, the Maenu Okyaung.

    The last in a day, drive to Amarapura, visit U Bein bridge a 200-year old, builtin 1782 and reputed to be the world’s longest teak footbridge. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.

    Following the sightseeing, return to Mandalay and take the rest evening for leisure.
    Overnight in Mandalay.

    Optional Activity: Traditional Culture Show at Mintha Theater

    Before the end of the day, be introduced with Myanmar traditional dance which is essentially postures in movements of the feet, hips, head and hands, each detailing a different aspect of Myanmar culture. At Mintha Theater, it is organized by the Inwa School of performing arts and all the performers are students at the school. The school is run as a charitable project and an hour-long show composed of a series of short dance pieces in lavish traditional costumes. It will be a remarkable evening experience with a local traditional dancing in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 04: Mandalay – Bagan by boat (B,L) – Picnic Lunch

    Mandalay to Bagan by boat – 239 km (8- 9 hrs)

    Transferring to the jetty this morning, gets experience travelling with riverboat that plies the Ayeyarwady River from Mandalay to Bagan. The journey takes (approx.: 9 hrs) where Idyllic view, mightiest wind, tranquil surrounding & the normal routine of people alongside the Ayeyarwady River will be in creation of peaceful vibe.

    Short visit to a small local village at a riverbank and it’s a perfect opportunity to learn about local life along Ayeyarwady River. After exploring the village, the cruise continues to sail down to Bagan.

    Enjoy Picnic Lunch on board and relax for the whole day.

    In the evening, arrival to Bagan, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, ranking in importance with Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur in Indonesia. The evening in Bagan is at leisure and overnight the hotel in Bagan.

    Please note: Between 01 April and 31 July each year, the water level of the river is at its lowest which prevents cruises from operating. These dates do vary depending upon rainfall and the amount of water coming down the river. If travelling with us during this time a flight between Mandalay – Bagan replaces the cruise.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 05: Bagan (B,L)

    The day begins with the vibrant morning market at Nyaung-U. Join the local residents pursuing a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing. It is also an opportunity to learn about the local ways of life in Bagan.

    Start the exploration of the archaeological site with Bagan’s most treasured temples and pagodas including Shwezigon Pagoda, known for its glittering golden stupa and visit to Shwegugyi Pagoda.

    Ananda Temple is believed to be the most beautiful temple which has thousands of terracotta, mural paintings and sandstone statues that depict the life of Buddha and previous lives of Buddha.

    Transfer to the hotel and leisure as the temperature rises.

    Bagan is one of the last remaining locations in the world where quality lacquer-ware items are produced. In the late afternoon, visit a lacquer-ware workshop to observe the skilled craftsman produce and decorate lacquer ware items.

    The final temple for the day will be Damayangyi Temple which is the most massive temple ever constructed in Bagan. From here, join a local horse cart for a leisurely ride along the back roads of Bagan and enjoy Sunset at one of the hillocks over the Bagan plains and admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery.

    After enjoying the setting sun of Bagan, return to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 06: Bagan – Mt. Popa – Bagan (B/L)

    After enjoying leisurely breakfast, theday begins with a visit to a little complex including Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples, with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. This is the perfect introduction to the grandeur and scope of Bagan’s architecture. Walking tour around these beautiful Temples complex and take some excellent photo opportunities.

    Afterward, drive to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano, iconic Myanmar postcard sight which is believed to be the sacred home of the Nats (spirits of the animists), being now a national park. On top of a rocky crag, lay the shrines and pagodas shine on this narrow piece of rock. It will offers a majestic view after climbing up 777 steps and after passing through a plethora of market stalls and cheeky monkeys.

    Along the drive from Bagan to Mt. Popa, explore the village life of the local people along the way.  Water fetching, animal tending, farming and the production of edible oils are a part of daily life for those living in this area. Some of the villages are known for the making of toddy or palm sugar. The opportunity to see how the palm sap is gathered in small pots hung high in the trees and then is heated in large pots to produce a smokey tasting and sweet palm sugar. After visiting, return back to Bagan.

    In the evening time, head to the riverside pier to board a local boat for a slow cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.
    Return back to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.

    Optional Activity: Ayeyarwady Sandbank Dinner

    Prepare for an amazing dinner experience that you will never forget in Myanmar. Transfer by a local boat that will take you to a mid-river sandbank where a private gala-style dinner will be served under an open sky, surrounded by Bagan’s resplendent temples mirrored on the leisurely river. Look forward to exquisite local dishes in a stunning surrounding. Light entertainment will perform during your dinner time for the romantic atmosphere.

    Launch included
  • Day 07: Bagan – Heho – Pindaya – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Inle Lake (B,L)

    Heho Airport to Pindaya – 36 km (1hr)

    Enjoy breakfastat hotel and then transfer to Bagan, Nyaung-U airport departs for Heho by flight (Approx.: 45 mins).

    Once, the drive up to Pindaya is also interesting and eye-catching into the hills and across the Shan Plateau through fields of mountain rice and tea leaf planation. Visit magnificent Pindaya Cave located on a limestone ridge in the Myelat region, over 6000 thousands of Buddha Images placed there by pilgrims over many centuries.

    Continue visit a local family-run workshop where local craftspeople make incredible handmade umbrellas and traditional paper.

    The last in Pindaya, stop at Banyan trees complex, the beautiful centuries-old trees at a cave complex create the perfect stop for excellent photos before down to Nyaung Shwe valley.

    Once arrive at Nyaung Shwe on the edge of Inle Lake, home to floating gardens, stilted villages, stupas and transfer to hotel. The evening is free for relaxing or exploring around and overnight in Inle Lake.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 08: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B,L)

    Morning visit to the local market, it rotates its location around the lake village’s in a 5 days rhythm. The typical market offers an insight into the life of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people who come to these markets to sell and buy goods.

    Explore the lake’s only ‘leg rowers’, Intha fishermen who stand up with one leg around a single paddle, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Marvel at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State which contains five sacred gold-covered Buddha images.

    Stop to see traditional handicrafts silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics with the fibers of the lotus flower.

    After lunch, take a long-tailed boat across the lake to Indein at the western end of Inle for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Disembark at the jetty and walk for a few minutes through Indein village to reach the 14th – 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Oak. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stall holders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th – 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed.

    Return to Inle Lake and pass endless floating gardens where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables on the way back to hotel.

    After a day of exploring, transfer to the hotel and overnight in Inle.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 09: Inle Lake – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Heho – Yangon (B,L) – Tea House Lunch

    Start the day with a delicious breakfast and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Yangon (Approx: 75 mins).

    Arrive Yangon, panoramic drive through downtown Yangon where the British colonial influence remains in force.

    Local Tri Shaw Experience – A truly Yangon experience by the traditional mode of transport (Trishaw) is commonly used by the locals. These open-air, pedal-powered vehicles are a combination of a bicycle and sidecar which has two back to back seats for two passengers on the left side of the driver. Myanmar trishaw is quite different from others in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia.

    There is no better way to explore the city’s downtown colonial site, some of which are on the Yangon City Heritage List. City Hall is a fine example of Myanmar design with its tiered turrets. Pass through religious sites as well, including the Dutch-designed St. Mary’s Cathedral and Sule Pagoda, a Buddhist temple that sits gracefully in the center of the city. Watch as the locals go about their daily life and experience with local street shops which are selling local products, book stores, vegetables, fruits.

    From here, enjoy a respite and refreshment at one of the local tea houses for a chance to experience Myanmar tea culture, another throwback to the influential British rule in the colonial era.

    The last visit is the famous Bogyoke Market (Scott Market), a mind boggling shopping place that is popular with both residents and tourists. Hundreds of shops and stalls offer a wide array of handicrafts, paintings, textiles, gems and jewellery.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 10: Depart Yangon (B)

    Enjoy an abundant breakfast at the hotel this morning and relax at the hotel. All too soon, it will be time to transfer to Yangon international airport, at the end of the amazing discovery though Myanmar will be truly memorable trip in life time!

    Breakfast included

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