Typical Myanmar covers Yangon – home to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Discover the world’s largest ringing bell in Mingun and catch the sensational sunset at the nearly 170 year’s old U Bein Bridge. Explore Pho Win Daung, an impressive network of sandstone caves containing, it’s claimed, over 400,000 Buddha images, Witness the incredible sight of 4000 Bagan’s temples and pagodas that will leave any traveler speechless. Behold the timeless charm of silted villages as the boat floats gently around the tranquil Inle Lake.
- Travel across Myanmar’s most fantastic destinations
- Explore impressive ruined temples in Bagan ancient kingdom
- Discover scenic overland drive throughout from Mandalay to Monywa
- Immerse Phowintaung cave of masterpiece in Monywa
- Observe traditional technique to create Shan paper and umbrella
- Capture Yangon street scenes and colorful colonial buildings
Day 01: Arrive Yangon
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 – Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Ava – Mandalay (B,L)
Early breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the Yangon domestic airport for the flight to Mandalay (90mins). Upon arrival, 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 Ayeyarwady 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, a 200-year old U Bein teak bridge, built-in 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.Breakfast included
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 03: 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.Breakfast included
Return back to the hotel and overnight in Mandalay.
Day 04: Mandalay – Monywa (B)
Mandalay – Monywa (130 km): Approx: 3 hours
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a scenic overland drive throughout to Monywa from Mandalay and make a few rest stops along the way for stretching and snapping photos.
Before reaching Monywa, visit Thanboddhay Pagoda filled with over 500,000 Buddha images decorating every niche, wall and archway.
Then stop at the humongous Maha Bodhi Tahtaung Pagoda complex, an excellent photo opportunity for the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar. Also, impressive photo stops for the third tallest Buddha statue in the world. After exploration, head to Monywa and cross the Chindwin River an hour drive to Po Win Taung Caves.
Po Win Taung, a remarkable archaeological complex contains 947 small and large richly decorated sandstone caves. It is carved into s sandstone outcrop and contains numerous carved Buddha statues and murals paintings dating all the way to the 14th century. They represent the largest collection of rock paintings in South East Asia.
From here, venture a few hundred meters away to Shwe Ba Taung, breathtaking “Burma’s Petra”. Explore the interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out of rocky narrow cliffs.
After exploring this fascinating site, drive back to Monwya and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Monywa.Breakfast included
Day 04: Monywa – Pakkoku – Bagan (B)
Monywa –Bagan (150 km): Approx: 3.5 hours
After breakfast at the hotel, morning drive to Bagan bypassing the small beautiful town Pakkoku (2hrs). En route, a short visit to one of the traditional villages for an opportunity to learn the making process for joss or incense sticks that are manufactured here.
Then continue down to Pakkoku, which is a quiet and traditional country town on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. Explore the vibrant local colorful market.
Visit a weaving workshop to see how characteristic Myanmar cotton blankets are made.
Then, resume the journey to Bagan one of Asia’s most popular archaeological destinations as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019.
Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.Breakfast included
Day 05: Bagan (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and after that, 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.
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.
Following a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, 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.
After discovering the masterpiece, stop for photos of the stunning panorama of the Bagan temples site.
Afternoon visit, Damayangyi Pagoda, a massive temple built similar in layout to the Ananda. However, this temple is much larger and was built by King Karathu in 1160.
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.Breakfast included
Return back to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.
Day 06: Bagan (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning and browse the vibrant local market Nyaung-U, explore a vast variety of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale and gain an insight into the bustling market atmosphere and daily life of the local people in Bagan.
The tour begins with views of the magnificent plains of Bagan first visit the Gubyaukgyi Temple, a 13th -century temple with a spire resembling the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in India. This temple is known for its wall paintings depicting scenes from the Jatakas (life stories of the Buddha).
Explore the elegant Htilominlo Temple with old murals and friezes noted for its fine plaster carvings and sandstone decorations inside.
Following this visit, visit the Thabyinyu Temple, the highest temple in Bagan also known as the “temple of omniscience” and dating from 1144.
Aside from its profusion of pagodas, Bagan is also famous for its handicrafts, especially lacquer ware. Next, continue to a Home Industry Center where lacquer ware is produced. There will be time to watch craftsmen employing ancient methods and admire the finished products.
Finally, get a taste of the local transportation in a horse-cart ride to sunset hill and enjoy a panoramic view from the hill lock. This great vantage point allows also a panoramic view over a wide range of ruined temples and stupas.Breakfast included
After a picture-perfect sunset, returning to the hotel. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 07: Bagan – Heho – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Inle Lake (B)
Enjoy the breakfast, transfer to Bagan, Nyaung-U Airport for a short flight to Heho (Approx. 40mins). Once arrived, drive to Nyaung Shwe jetty at the gateway of the Inle Lake famous for its unique leg rower (1 hr drive).
En route, the stop will be at a local family-run workshop to observe paper making for the production of traditional Shan parasols. Then, the visit “Shwe Yan Pyay” is a beautiful red-painted teak building dated back to the 19th century.
Arrive in Nyaung Shwe and start a local boat trip on Inle Lake which is a photographer’s dream because of its natural beauty and landscapes. 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.Breakfast included
After a day of exploring, transfer to the hotel and overnight in Inle.
Day 08: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, morning visit to the local market; it rotates its location around the lake villages 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.
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 continue to visit 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. It’s time to watch the sunset over postcard views of the lake. Overnight in Inle.Breakfast included
Day 09: Inle – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Heho – Yangon (B)
Start the day with a delicious breakfast and transfer to Heho airport to take the flight back to Yangon (Approx. 75 mins).
Arrive in Yangon and 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.
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 10: Depart Yangon (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