Magic of Myanmar

9 Days - 8 Nights Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Mt. Popa, Nyaung Shwe, Sagaing Division, Yangon Division Small Group Experiences

Tour Overview

Explore the best of Myanmar on this week-long trip crafted for the most intrepid travelers. The spectacular, jewel-encrusted Shwedagon Pagoda presides over Yangon, famous Bagan, considered the richest archaeological site in Asia with more than 3000 religious monuments an unforgettable vision.  Visit the legendary city of Mandalay and see its remarkable sights. Discover Inle Lake, one of the many wonders of Myanmar. Connect with the locals to take a peek into their everyday life. This is a great introductory experience to history and cultural aspects of Myanmar.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Yangon Arrival

    On arrival at Yangon International Airport, be welcomed by an English speaking guide and then transferred to the hotel and orientation tour around the city before check-in at the hotel. (If time permits)

    Formerly the capital city of Myanmar, Yangon’s history includes shifts in power from Eastern to Western and back, and its landscape reflects that diversity.

    After a relaxing break, walk through downtown. The city tour will offer many photo opportunities in Yangon’s colonial buildings, some of which are on the Yangon City Heritage List. City Hall is a fine example of syncretic Burmese architecture. See local sights and experience with local street shops which are selling local products, book stores, vegetables, fruits etc.

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

    This evening, the first introduction to Myanmar’s leading city visit the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda. Sheathed in gold, the magnificent monument is believed to be 2,600 years old and it’s one of Yangon’s premier attractions and the pagoda’s spire soars a massive 326 feet into the air. This stunning stupa attracts pilgrims from all over the world. After enjoying the breathtaking view of the sunset with the background of Shwedagon Pagoda, drive back to the hotel. Overnight in Yangon.

  • Day 02: Yangon –Heho – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Inle Lake (B)

    An early breakfast this morning, proceed to Yangon domestic airport for 80 mins flight to Heho airport. Upon arrival at Heho airport, an hour drives to Nyaung Shwe jetty at the gateway of the Inle Lake famous for its unique leg rower. On a route to Inle Lake, stop at a local family-run workshop to observe paper making for the production of traditional Shan parasols.

    Stop at “Shwe Yan Pyay” is a beautiful red-painted teak building dated back to the 19th century.

    Start a local boat trip on Inle Lake which is a photographer’s dream because of its natural beauty. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes to which picturesque hills provide the perfect backdrop.

    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.

    Afterward, visit a traditional boat building workshop, and the longboats used to traverse Inle Lake take four weeks to build and are made of local teak. Stop to see traditional handicrafts silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics with the fibers of the lotus flower.
    Pass endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables. After a day of exploring, transfer to the hotel and overnight in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 03: Inle – Bike and Kayaking Experience (B,L)

    Following breakfast at the hotel, escape from the tourist site and see Inle Lake differently with this adventurous day tour.

    Head to Nyaung Shwe and after introductions comes a bike fitting, safety briefing and starts cycling out to the small town of Khaung Daing. Pass red dirt roads open up to expansive views of the countryside that circles the lake with authentic surroundings and local activity dictated by the season. Get into narrower trails through bamboo forests and along the edges of fields full of crops and flowers. There is always a lot going on in these villages including molasses production, rice milling, planting, and harvesting. Some special stops along the ride to check out highlights and snap some great pictures. Pause in the village, to explore some small local industries for tofu production, rice wine making, rice cracker drying there will also be a chance to sample some of these specialties along the way.

    After exploring Khaung Daing and refueling on local snacks, join into a long-tail boat along with the bikes for the first trip on the water. This boat ride takes us through the maze of floating gardens unique to Inle Lake.

    A marvelous private lunch in a typical Shan house on the lake and enjoy a truly ‘home-cooked’ lunch.

    After a short rest at the local house and begin a kayaking experience through the picturesque views across the lake, passing by villages, floating tomato gardens and lakeside monasteries and pagodas. The long tail boat will accompany along the way and complete freedom of choice for a convenient way. The experience with bike & kayak will be the reward for this day and return to the hotel and rest for this evening. It’s time to watch the sunset over postcard views of the lake.
    Overnight in Inle Lake.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 04: Inle Lake –Indein – Inle Lake – Heho – Mandalay (B)

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, explore a 5-day rotating market (if the visit coincides with the schedule) which 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.

    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. Afterward, return to Inle Lake.

    Optional Activity : Heritage Lunch Experience

    A great place to stop for a traditional lunch, the best restaurant in Inle lake “Inle Heritage” Non-Profit Organization is involved in several activities aimed at preserving the culture of the local people in the lake. Under the tree of Inle Heritage, there is a vocational training restaurant, an organic garden, and a breeding house of Burmese cats recorded as royal pets in ancient days. The restaurant will serve “Traditional Food” with its organic garden vegetables with homemade Shan recipes. A family can observe all activities at the Heritage house before enjoying the canoe experience.

    Following lunch, transfer by boat to the Nyaung Shwe Jetty and drive to Heho Airport for 30 minutes flight to Mandalay.

    Upon arrival in Mandalay, drive to Amarapura, head to U Bein bridge a 200-year old, built-in 1782 and reputed to be the world’s longest teak footbridge. Enjoy a picture-perfect sunset. (Upon flight time permitting) Following sunset enjoy the panoramic drive back to Mandalay and transfer to the hotel.
    Overnight in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 05: Mandalay – Sagaing – Mandalay (B)

    Optional Activity : Traditional Ritual Mahamuni Face Washing

    Mandalay is also well known for the traditional ritual of a daily face-washing ceremony at the Mahamuni Pagoda in the early morning before dawn. This ritual commences every morning at 4 am, which is an elaborate ritual performed by the monk and the local devotees. When the drums strike, the monks wash the face with special fragrant flower water with fresh towels offered by devotees and brush its teeth with a large brush. Soon after the ceremony, people lined up for sacred water that was used to wash the Mahamuni was returned to devotees who believed that the towel is holy and can bring good deeds to the person.

    This is a perfect opportunity to learn about Buddhist culture. An hour ceremony will be a unique experience and Inspiring atmosphere to share with the local devotees.

    After that, enjoy local Authentic Breakfast at one of the famous local Tea shops in Mandalay. Transfer to the hotel and continue the day’s activities.

    After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, discover the former ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, an important religious and monastic center, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. 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, noteworthy Pagoda on the hill is Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda was originally built in 1312. The temple offers spectacular panoramas of pagoda-decorated hills, with the Ayeyarwaddy River flowing beyond.

    Continued 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.

    Afterward, time to explore before visiting one of the monasteries which is 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, to observe lunch offering time at the monastery their last meal in a day.

    Carry on and explore Mandalay’s impressive marble carving and handicraft workshops. Followed by a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda named after the holy image “Maha Muni” housed therein. Enjoy the beautiful gold leaf covered statues on display including Erawan, the three-headed elephant.

    Return to the hotel escape from the midday heat and leisure for this afternoon.

    Next, begin exploring some of the most hallowed attractions in Mandalay starting with a visit to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) – an excellent example of a traditional wooden building. Also, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda which houses the world’s largest book. It consists of 1,460 pages, each measuring three and a half feet wide, five feet long and five inches thick. Each page is made of marble and is placed upright on a stand of its own. Combined, the book’s pages cover 13 acres.

    Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay – Bagan (B)

    Following breakfast at hotel,  the journey begins to 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. Once arrived, 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 and sail back to Mandalay.

    Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Bagan (30 mins). Upon arrival, orientation tour on the way to the hotel (upon flight time permitting).
    Overnight in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Bagan (B)

    Bagan, one of Asia’s most popular archaeological destinations as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019 Discover the highlights of Bagan, first reach to the vibrant morning market at Nyaung-U, Join the residents pursuing a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing.

    Visit the splendid Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anaweahta in the 11th century, the bell-shaped, gilded structure became the prototype for virtually all later pagodas in Myanmar. This is an important shrine and the main center of pilgrimage in Bagan. Note the golden mass and peaceful stability it seems to exude.

    Follow a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda. And then head to the masterpiece of early architectural style, the Ananda Temple, one of the finest, largest and best-preserved of the Bagan temples, the Ananda was built in 1091 by Kyansittha and is said to represent the endless wisdom of the Buddha.

    Optional Activity: Bagan Village Lunch Experience

    Experience with a typical Bagan village, live close to nature, and drive through to one of the traditional villages where you can witness country life. This typical village is a perfect way to discover traditional ways of life and interact with friendly local villagers. This is a tranquil and isolated village where you will have the opportunity to have lunch at the village home. Enjoy a Typical Myanmar style lunch catered by one of the restaurants from Bagan.

    After having lunch, take a relaxing afternoon for a break at the hotel.

    In the early evening, enjoy a great way to explore old Bagan and see majestic Temples by horse cart OR E-bike in the Archaeological zone before reaching the sunset place. 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. Transfer to the hotel overnight in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Bagan – Mt. Popa – Bagan (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning and discover a local life excursion to Mt. Popa (59 km) away from the Bagan. Stop off en route to observe the toddy farmers’ life and process of jaggery making (That is worth to observe ways of local people living along the way).

    Mt. Popa, rising 1,518 meters above sea level is an extinct volcano covered in forests and now a national park. Mt. Popa is believed to be the sacred home of the Nats (spirit gods) and 777 steps of Mount Popa are a pilgrimage site first and also famous for the nature monkeys adorn the passageways.

    On top of a rocky crag is a picturesque complex of monasteries, pagodas, and shrines that can climb via a winding, covered walkway (777 steps). The setting is quirky, with hundreds of wild monkeys lazing on the stairs, seeking food handouts.

    After returning to Bagan, relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.

    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. At the end of the tour, drive back to the hotel.  Overnight in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Bagan – Yangon Departure (B)

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to transfer Nyaung-U Airport flight back to Yangon (80 mins). From the airport, start to explore the city tour, first visit Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda and it is a huge reclining Buddha 217 feet long and is one of the largest in Myanmar.

    The last visit before the departure stop is the famous Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) with hundreds of shops for food, clothing, crafts, and precious stones.

    At the conclusion of the day, travel to Yangon international airport for a departure flight home.
    The End of Myanmar Magic trip with a full of memories that will stay in your memory forever for sure.

    Important Notice: The Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) will be closed every Monday and public holidays.

    • Please ask your travel consultant for extra stay and recommendations to ensure you spend your time here in the best way.
    Breakfast included

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