Glimpses of Myanmar: A Captivating Journey

8 Days - 7 Nights Amarapura, Bagan, Indein, Inle Lake, Mandalay Division, Shan State

Tour Overview

Discover the mystique of ancient temples, delve into history and culture, and let a horse-cart take you on a mesmerizing tour of Bagan – the land of temples. In Mandalay, admire the exquisite art of wood carving at century-old monasteries and explore the teachings of Buddha engraved on over 700 marble slabs at the “world’s largest book”. Take a moment to unwind during a private boat ride on the stunning Inle Lake, renowned for its rare beauty.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive Yangon

    After you arrive at Yangon International Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. If time permits, embark on an orientation tour of the city before checking in to your hotel.

    After settling in and relaxing for the afternoon, head out to the heart of the city center for a walking expedition through Yangon’s lively streets, featuring a mix of pagodas, monuments, and colonial buildings. Along the way, you will come across a variety of street market stalls selling snacks, food, and fruits, with opportunities to sample local cuisine.

    Take a break and enjoy a traditional Myanmar tea experience at one of the local tea houses, which serves as a reminder of the country’s colonial past under British rule.

    In the evening, visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, a spectacular 2,600-year-old monument sheathed in gold that stands at a towering height of 326 feet. This pagoda is one of Yangon’s premier attractions and draws pilgrims from all over the world. Marvel at the stunning view of the sunset with the pagoda as your backdrop.

    Afterward, return to your hotel for an overnight stay in Yangon.

  • Day 02: Yangon – Bagan (B)

    After breakfast, head to the domestic airport for a scheduled flight to Bagan, which takes approximately 75 minutes. Bagan is an archaeological site that served as the capital of the Kingdom where Theravada Buddhism was first introduced. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

    Begin the journey with a visit to a small temple complex that includes Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples. From here, you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding plains, which offer a perfect introduction to the grandeur and scale of Bagan’s architecture. A walking tour of these temples presents excellent photo opportunities.

    Next, head to Ananda Temple, one of the best-preserved and finest Buddhist shrines in Bagan. Built in 1091 during the reign of King Kyansittha, the temple’s shimmering “Shwe Htee” (pinnacle ornament) tops a perfectly proportioned landmark visible from all around town. Then, proceed to Htilominlo Temple, which dates back to the 13th century. This large, two-story temple is renowned for its ornate stucco decoration, particularly the patterns on the interior arches’ ceilings.

    Afterward, check in to your hotel and take a break to escape the midday heat.

    In the late afternoon, visit the splendid Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anaweahta in the 11th century. Almost all pagodas built later in Myanmar were modeled after the gilded, bell-shaped structure that served as the prototype. Finally, take a horse-cart ride to the sunset hillock, where you can enjoy the much-touted sunset and panoramic views of a vast range of ruined temples and stupas.

    After the sunset, return to your hotel and spend the night in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 03: Bagan (B)

    After breakfast, head out to Nyaung-U, a vibrant river town, to visit the bustling local market. Here, witness the colorful display of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing as locals go about their daily business.

    Continue the journey to an authentic local village to experience the typical life of the Bagan region. Take a walking tour and explore the daily routines and traditions of the locals.

    Next, visit a family-owned business that produces toddy or palm sugar. Learn about the process of gathering palm sap from small pots hung high in the trees and see how it is heated in large pots to produce sweet and smoky palm sugar. Take a short break at this serene location away from the crowds before returning to Bagan.

    In the evening, head to the riverside pier and board a local boat for a leisurely cruise down the Ayeyarwady River. As the sun sets, take in a distinctive view of Bagan’s temples while observing the way of life of the villagers living by the riverside.

    At the end of the day, transfer back to the hotel for an overnight stay in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Bagan-Mandalay-Amarapura-Mandalay (B)

    Begin your day with breakfast, then head to Nyaung U airport to catch a scheduled flight to Mandalay, which takes approximately 30 minutes.

    Mandalay was Myanmar’s last royal capital before the colonial era. Upon arrival, take a leisurely drive to Amarapura, the old capital and the site of the first British embassy in Myanmar in 1795. Here, you can visit the famous U Bein teak bridge, the world’s longest footbridge built in 1782, which crosses the shallow Taungthaman Lake. It is considered one of Myanmar’s most photographed attractions.

    Then, move onto a traditional hand-woven silk workshop before heading out to explore Mandalay’s sights and sounds, including the Mahamuni Pagoda, which houses one of the most revered religious images in Myanmar. Be sure to admire the gold-leaf-covered statues on display.

    After a busy morning, check in to your hotel for a relaxing break to get away from the midday heat. In the afternoon, visit the Golden Palace Monastery, also known as the Shwenandaw Monastery, famous for its intricate wood-carvings. This monastery serves as a delicate reminder of the old Mandalay Palace. where you can marvel at the world’s largest book, comprising 1,460 pages, each measuring three and a half feet wide, five feet long, and five inches thick. These incredible pages are made of marble and feature the teachings of Buddha inscribed upon them, creating a truly unique and awe-inspiring sight to behold. Finally, end the tour and return to your hotel for an overnight stay in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 05: Mandalay – Inle Lake (B)

    Start your day with an early breakfast, then proceed to Mandalay domestic airport for a short flight of approximately 30 minutes to Heho airport. Once you arrive, you will take an hour-long drive to Nyaung Shwe jetty, the gateway to Inle Lake, famous for its unique leg rowers. Along the way, make a stop at a local family-run workshop where you can observe the process of paper-making for the production of traditional Shan parasols. Then, visit the beautiful red-painted teak building, “Shwe Yan Pyay,” which dates back to the 19th century.

    Upon arriving at Nyaung Shwe, start a local boat trip on Inle Lake, which is a photographer’s dream due to its natural beauty and stunning landscapes. The tranquil surface of the water is decorated with patches of aquatic plants and traditional fishing boats, creating a stunning contrast against the scenic hills in the distance. Explore the lake’s famous “leg rowers,” Intha fishermen who stand up with one leg around a single paddle, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Gaze in wonder at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which is considered the most sacred place of worship in the southern region of Shan State.

    Later on, visit a conventional workshop where skilled craftsmen build the iconic longboats used to cross Inle Lake. These boats, constructed using locally sourced teak, take around four weeks to complete. You’ll also have the opportunity to see traditional handicrafts like silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics made from the fibers of the lotus flower. Finally, pass by endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables.

    After a day of exploring, transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Inle Lake-Indein- Inle Lake (B)

    Start the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and if the timing is right, take a trip to a rotating market that showcases the daily lives of ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people who gather to buy and sell goods. The five-day market is a charming and renowned attraction in Inle Lake, which moves from one quaint lakeside village to another every five days. The market attracts a diverse crowd of local Shan and Intha people, as well as many Pa-O villagers from the nearby hills, who come to sell their wares and produce.

    Embark on a long-tailed boat for a picturesque trip across the lake to Indein, located on the western end of Inle. Once arriving at the pier, disembark and stroll through the nearby Indein village for a brief period before reaching the remnants of Nyaung Oak, a pagoda that dates back to the 14th-18th century. A covered walkway leading to Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda, a complex of 17th-18th century weather-beaten zedis (small pagodas), some of which have been newly reconstructed.

    After returning to Inle Lake, make a stop at a cheroot maker’s workshop, where you can see the traditional Burmese cigars being hand-rolled. Next, pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge before embarking on a unique canoe boat experience with Inle Canoe Lady. The canoe will be rowed by local women who work at the cigar workshop and are offering this short trip to supplement their family income. Enjoy a leisurely ride through the channels, passing houses built on stilts and the floating gardens of the “Intha” who call the lake home.

    As the day draws to a close, head back to the hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Don’t miss the chance to witness the stunning sunset over the breathtaking views of the lake.

    Overnight in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Inle Lake – Yangon (B)

    After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the airport for your return flight to Yangon (Approx. 75 mins). Upon arrival, start exploring the city with a visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, which houses one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in Myanmar, measuring 217 feet in length. Capture some memorable photos at the Karaweik Royal Barge, a concrete replica of a royal barge located at the eastern edge of the lake. Continue your tour with a visit to the renowned Bogyoke Market (Scott Market), where hundreds of shops sell food, clothing, handicrafts, and precious stones.

    In the evening, you are free to spend your time as you wish. Relax and spend the night in Yangon.

    Note: Please note that the Bogyoke Market (also known as Scott Market) is closed on Mondays and public holidays.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Yangon Departure (B)

    After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Yangon International Airport for your next adventure.

    Breakfast included

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