Treasures of Myanmar (SIC)

13 Days - 12 Nights Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Kalaw, Loikaw, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Mt. Popa, Nyaung Shwe, Pan Pet, Pekon, Pindaya, Sagaing Division, Sagar, Yangon Division SIC Tours

Tour Overview

Discover a country of fascinating landscapes, ancient treasures, cultural heritage, and some of the friendliest people on earth. Crowned by the golden Shwedagon pagoda, the downtown Yangon is an experience in itself. See the most beautiful ancient architectures in Mandalay before moving onward to Bagan – the land of glittering stupas and temples. Discover Indein and its enchanting ruins of 17th century pagodas in the midst of Inle Lake. Get off the beaten track in the picturesque natural beauty of Loikaw and meet its ethnic minority and visit their village.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Yangon Arrival

    Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, be warmly welcomed by our experienced guide. Orientation tour on the way to the hotel.

    Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon is a place where people from different parts of Myanmar gather. Yangon has a mix of cultural taste where you will see more British Colonial Buildings than anywhere in Southeast Asia, a beautiful mosque, Hindu temples, and a world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda. With so many different people living in Yangon with harmony is what makes this city special.

    Transfer to the hotel and the rest of the day for leisure. OR select one of our unique collection tours that offer different experiences than others. (Additional charge will be applied). Here are some great options to glance at Yangon and its life.

    Optional Excursion: Rural Life of Dala

    Experience a taste of local village life in Yangon during this picturesque and interactive half-day excursion to Dala Village. There is a chance to stroll through a lively marketplace, take a trishaw ride and interact with the locals, all of which will offer you a genuine glimpse of times gone by. A visit to Dala is perfect for those who want to observe the Burmese’s suburban life which is different from the cosmopolitan city of Yangon.

    Optional Excursion: Yangon by Circular Train

    Venture outside the bustle of Yangon and board the local circle train. The loop around Yangon affords an intimate look at the different lives in Myanmar, from the busyness of the city to the suburbs and quiet rural outskirts.

    Optional Excursion: Yangon Colonial Walk

    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. British rule introduced and proliferated colonial architecture throughout the city, and many of those stately buildings remain in use today. Walkthrough downtown and visit some of those buildings as well as a tea shop, market, and boathouse.

  • Day 02: Yangon – Bagan (B)

    Early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the domestic airport for a short flight to Bagan, Nyaung-U airport (Approx: 75 mins).

    Bagan, one of Asia’s most popular archaeological destinations as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

    Upon arrival, start the exploration of the visit with the vibrant morning market at Nyaung-U. Join the local residents pursuing a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing.

    From here, visit Shwezigon Pagoda, one of Bagan’s most important religious sites. Built by King Anawrahta in 1044, the grand, golden edifice features four shrines, each with a 13 ft – 3.9 m bronze statue of Buddha. Continue to Ananda Temple, one of the finest and best-preserved of all Bagan’s Buddhist shrines. Built in 1091 during the reign of King Kyansittha, its shimmering gold hti (pinnacle ornament) tops a perfectly-proportioned landmark visible all around town.

    Transfer to hotel for check in and leisure at hotel.

    In the late afternoon, visit a lacquerware workshop to observe the skilled craftsman produce and decorate lacquer ware items. Bagan is one of the last remaining locations in the world where quality lacquer ware items are produced. Before sunset, the final temple for the day will be the Damayangyi Temple which is the most massive temple ever constructed in Bagan.

    Enjoy the 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 over the hillock of Bagan, return to the hotel. Overnight in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 03: Bagan (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and the journey 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 tours around these beautiful Temples complex make for some excellent photo opportunities. Continue leisure drive to one of the local authentic villages to explore real Bagan typical villages.

    Once at the village explore the daily life of the local inhabitants with a walking tour. After the visit, proceed to one of the local family business makings of toddy or palm sugar. Grab this 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 smoky-tasting and sweet palm sugar.

    Drive back to Bagan and enjoy the hotel atmosphere for this afternoon.

    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.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Bagan – Mt. Popa – Mandalay (B)

    Bagan to Mandalay – 174 km (4 hrs)

    Morning breakfast at the hotel. Discover a local life excursion to Mt. Popa (59 km) away from the Bagan.

    Mt. Popa 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. The climb takes about 20mins amongst the shops and the monkeys and offers a majestic view on the valley.

    After visiting, resume the journey to Mandalay with a short stop to rest and see a little more of the local lifestyle. Upon arrival in Mandalay, transfer to the hotel and relax for the evening .Overnight in Mandalday.

    (Remark: The Mt Olympus of Myanmar, Mt Popa is the stupa-studded centre of nat worship in the country. This 1520m-high monastery-topped hill is visible from Bagan on a clear day and offers breathtaking views of the plain. A visitor has to climb 777 steps to reach the top. The Mahagiri shrine, at the foot of the mountain, features a display of the 37 nat.)

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

    Following breakfast at the hotel, start exploring some of the most hallowed attractions in Mandalay visit to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) – an excellent example of a traditional wooden building. Continue to visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to ‘the world’s largest book’, a collection of more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

    Carry on and explore Mandalay’s impressive marble carving and handicrafts workshops followed by a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, which was named after the holy Maha Muni image housed therein. This is the second most sacred image in Myanmar after the Shwedagon Pagoda.

    In the afternoon time, 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 longtail boats, bamboo rafts, and ferries carry goods up and down the river. Upon arrival, 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 out 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
  • Day 06: Mandalay – Sagaing – Ava – Amarapura – Mandalay (B)

    After breakfast , drive to Sagaing discover the former ancient Kingdom, 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, driving to the summit for sweeping panoramic views, a 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 that 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), the ancient capital city (30 mins), 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, heat to U Bein bridge a 200-year old, built-in 1782 and reputed to be the world’s longest teakwood bridge. 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.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Mandalay – Heho – Pindaya – Kalaw (B)

    In the morning, transfer to Mandalay Airport for a short flight to Heho (Approx.30 mins). Once, leisurely drive to Pindaya through varied agricultural landscapes, villages, and panoramic views of Shan Plateau.

    Pindaya is a charming town inhabited by the Pa Oh, Danu, and Shan ethnic groups, famous for its limestone caves, traditional Shan paper umbrellas that are manufactured here.

    Visit Pindaya Caves, a unique site housing 6000 various sizes of bronze, marble and coated with gold leaf placed there by pilgrims and devotees over the centuries. Continue exploration to Hsin Khaung Taung Kyaung, a gorgeous temple with its carved teak panels dating back to the 19th century.

    The last in Pindaya, stop at Banyan trees complex, the beautiful centuries-old trees at a cave complex in Pindaya create the perfect stop for excellent photos.

    The journey continues on a narrow, winding and bumpy road through the Shan Hills. In the late afternoon reach Kalaw, a fresh and delightful hill station, on the rim of the Shan Plateau which is a market center for ethnic minorities from surrounding regions.

    After the check-in, the rest of the day is leisure. Overnight in Kalaw.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Kalaw – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Inle Lake (B)

    In the morning exploring the beautiful town Kalaw, drive to the viewpoint from the top, a beautiful view of the city of Kalaw and the hills surrounding it can be enjoyed.

    Explore the local market before down into Nyaung Shwe valley on the edge of Inle Lake, famous for its unique leg rower (approx. 1hr 30 mins).

    On the way, visit “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 on the way to the hotel.

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

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, 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.

    Continue visit to cheroot –maker’s workshop where typical Burmese cigars are made by hand and pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge.

    Once back to the hotel, time at leisure for the rest of the evening. Now it’s time to watch the sunset over postcard views of the lake.
    Overnight in Inle Lake.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 10: Inle Lake – Sankar – Phekhon – Loikaw (B)

    After breakfast, set off on a memorable journey to the hidden gem of Myanmar “Loikaw” and firstly discover the delights of beautiful Sagar (Sankar). The boat journey takes 2.5 hrs to pass through many local villages and will witness different views of their daily life including rice noodles dry in the sun and cotton hung out to dry. Arrive in Sagar and explore the Sunken ancient stupas, a collection of 108 stupas dating back to the 16th – 17th centuries that are partially submerged for part of each year when the water level rises. Explore local life including monastery visits in the village.

    After lunch, relax and panoramic boat ride to Phaekon another an hour again but is full of scenic views and the Shan mountain range, home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. The fresh, cool breeze will invigorate in spite of a long journey boat trip. Capture the stunning natural scene; enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the setting.

    Arrive in Phaekon and travel the last part of the journey by road an hour to reach Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, one of the least visited areas of the country but the one with the greatest ethnic diversity. These picturesque hills are home to many of Myanmar’s indigenous hill tribes.

    Transfer to the hotel and evening time to relax at the hotel. Overnight in Loikaw.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 11: Loikaw – Pan Pet – Loikaw (B,L)

    After breakfast at the hotel, first drive to Pan Pet village, native land for Kayah long neck women also are known as the Padaung tribe. Along the way to the village, stop at colorful Demawso market (depending on the day of travel, open Mon, Wed, and Sat) where different ethnic groups from the surrounding area are selling traditional outfits, local wine also is known as “Khaung–yay”. There is a chance to taste local wine as a sample of people who are interested in buying local ones.

    Drive continues to the countryside and a short trek of about an hour to Pan Pet village passes through the scenic beauty of the hills, farmland and admire the landscape. Reach the Pan Pat village, is a naturally beautiful area surrounded by spectacular rice fields. The Padaung women with elongated necks and still wear the traditional brass golden rings on their neck depends on their ages. It is rare to see a traditional style in the younger generation nowadays but Pan Pet village remains of the women in traditional customs.

    Stroll along the village to interact with Paduang women and observe artisans making Kayan bracelets, the traditional way of making Kayah dress, carving wooden statues and some kinds of handwork. So there will be a few chances to pick up some local products as souvenirs for the help of the local community village.

    You may have a unique chance to explore typical songs with their traditional musical instruments at beautiful Padaung village.

    Return to Loikaw after village immersion; enjoy the panoramic view and the sunset from the top of the most famous point in the region, the Taungkwe Zeti, a set of stupas and paths built in majestic karst. Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Loikaw.

    Breakfast included
    Launch included
  • Day 12: Loikaw – Yangon (B)

    Start the day with a delicious breakfast and transfer to Heho airport to take the flight back to Yangon (Approx. 60 mins).

    Arrive in Yangon and start to explore the city tour, first visit Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, it is a huge reclining Buddha 217 feet long and is one of the largest in Myanmar.

    Head to downtown for a walking experience tour, Yangon is known for the highest number of colonial period buildings in Southeast Asia. A walk around the city tour will offer many photo opportunities of locals enjoying at local tea shops as well as a chance to view some of the historic buildings in the area and the impressive British-Colonial City Hall a fine example of syncretism Burmese architecture.

    Next, visit the famous Bogyoke Market (Scott Market), with hundreds of shops for food, clothing, crafts, and precious stones.

    In the evening, the trip to Myanmar is completed with a visit 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.

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

    Breakfast included
  • Day 13: Yangon Departure (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Free and leisure until the departure time. Then, transfer to Yangon International airport and depart for onward flight.

    Breakfast included

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