14 Days Tour Myanmar: A journey to Myanmar means exploring an incredible scenic and cultural diversity; Myanmar’s rich landscapes are home to fabulous archaeological ruins and smiling, friendly people, some of the most breathtaking temple architecture in Asia, the Last Myanmar Kingdom, Mandalay and the fascinating lakeside communities on Lake Inle, whose floating gardens and […]
14 Days Tour Myanmar: A journey to Myanmar means exploring an incredible scenic and cultural diversity; Myanmar’s rich landscapes are home to fabulous archaeological ruins and smiling, friendly people, some of the most breathtaking temple architecture in Asia, the Last Myanmar Kingdom, Mandalay and the fascinating lakeside communities on Lake Inle, whose floating gardens and ageless traditions recall a time long past.
You are warmly welcomed to Myanmar, the Golden Land! Upon arrival at the Yangon International Airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. On the way you will notice how quickly our country is changing. Yangon is still the Green Garden City and the biggest commercial center and city in Myanmar. After check in at your hotel and a brief freshening up we will begin our tour of the city. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a walk in the colonial part of the city that will lead you to the Sule pagoda with Mon architecture adjacent to the Yangon City Hall and the Independence Monument while having a glimpse of the Myanmar culture, traditions and people.
After this downtown tour we will continue with the highlights of the city. We will start by visiting the Chaukhtatgyi 72-meter long reclining Buddha image. Next, you will encounter the Shwedagon Pagoda which will leave you in wonder for a few moments just to impress you even more at sunset when its gold reflections create an unforgettable moment. When you get down to earth you will be ready to enjoy a traditional dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Mandalay airport for your flight to Heho. A pleasant surprise awaits you here because the elevation of the Shan plateau is roughly 1000 meters above sea level and thus the weather is a bit cooler. So you’ll have enough energy for the 2-hour drive to Pindaya that will take you through the scenic countryside of the Shan Hills. Pindaya is a small beautiful town in the Southern Shan State and is home to the Danu, Taungyo, Palaung and Shan people.
The city is rich in banyan trees and beautiful lakes, but the most valuable treasure is its friendly people. The most fascinating destination is the limestone cave of Pindaya where you will find over 8000 Buddha images of all sizes, made from various materials such as: alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement. This trip to the caves will offer you a better understanding of the power of the Buddhist culture. After this we’ll make a visit to a local umbrella and a paper making workshop then proceed to Kalaw, a former British Hill Station, where you’ll also spend the night.
In the morning we’ll visit the colorful Kalaw market, which is the main market of the town and where you’ll see the Palaung people, Indians and other ethnic groups. From the local train station the slowly moving train will take you along a bumping rail through amazing landscapes and green fields, passing a bridge that was built in British time until you reach Shwe Nyaung where you’ll get off and drive to Nyaung Shwe which is the gateway to Inle lake.
On the way we’ll stop at the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which is a remarkable building made of teak wood. Then you’ll board on your long-tail boat trip on the lake. You’ll be surprised both by the scenery and by the unusual one-legged rowing style. Blue sky, mountains, floating gardens and villages, the Nga Phe Chaung monastery – everything’s there for your delight.
Start your morning at the 5-day market and watch the Hill Tribes who come there to sell their products and buy what they need. Then we’ll sail through narrow channels to the Indain village from where you’ll cross the lake along the canal to Shwe Inn Dain while experiencing some montagne russe sensations on the way. Here are a large number of pagodas (some of them dating back to the 17-18 century) built in the unique very slim Shan Style.
Shwe Inn Dain is a historical treasure with more than one thousand pagodas on the small hill lock, including Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda – the most venerable pagoda on the lake. You are now ready to enjoy lunch at a restaurant on the lake. You won’t leave this magical landscape without learning the secrets of lotus fabric and silk weaving as well as cheroot cigar making.
In the morning you’ll be transferred to Nyangshwe and then reach Taunggyi after a 45-minute journey. Taunggyi has an elevation of 1500 meters above sea level and is the capital of the Shan State. You’ll be impressed by its colorful market where different ethnic groups (Pa-Oh, Shan) interact. Your next stop is Kakku – the land of the Pa-Oh tribe.
Here you can admire a temple cluster of more than 2000 pagodas decorated with different plaster carvings and the fairytale-like landscape where the locals cultivate cigar wrapper leaves, garlic and other vegetables. You’ll enjoy the taste of these vegetables later on, right from your plate in a local pooh restaurant.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Nyaung Shwe boat station and then to the Heho airport for the flight to Mandalay. Mandalay is Myanmar’s second largest city and its cultural and religious center. The city was Burms’s capital for a short period until the British occupied the country and forced King Thibaw and Queen Supayalatt into exile in India. For more than a thousand years, Buddha’s disciples considered Mandalay as a holy place and everyone was contented when King Mindon moved the capital there from nearby Amarapura in 1859.
Your journey here will start with a tour of the most revered religious monument in Myanmar, Mahamuni Buddha image, then you’ll get an insight into the fascinating gold leaves, making industry and visit the Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wood work. At the foot of the hill you will discover the “Buddhists Bible” or as many know it the world’s biggest book. Kuthodaw Pagoda has over 700 marble slabs inscribed with the words of Buddha and each slab has its own white Stupa. There’s no better way to end the day than reaching Mandalay hill (246 m) for a panoramic view of the city at sunset, including the magnificent Mandalay Fort.
After breakfast you’ll enjoy a boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River to Mingun about 11 km (1 hour) upriver from Mandalay. Here you’ll visit some superlative buildings: the unfinished Mingun Paya, constructed by King Bodaw Paya, which was meant to become the largest stupa in Myanmar, the 90-ton weighing Mingun Bell and the Hsinbyume Paya which is ecologically unique among the religious monuments in Myanmar.
After a short stop at a major arts and crafts center and at Kalaga tapestry craftsman’s shop and marble stone carving you will admire the most revered religious monument in Myanmar, the Mahamuni Buddha Image. After Lonely Planet chose its image as the iconic symbol of Myanmar the famous U Bein bridge became a must for everyone. Now you can actually walk across this 1.2 km long teak wood bridge built in 1782 and feel suspended between heaven and earth.
The next morning you will be transferred to the Yangon domestic airport for your flight to Bagan where you’ll discover the richest archaeological site in Southeast Asia with over two thousand pagodas, temples and other religious monuments that make this place a center for Buddhist studies.
In order to submerge gradually into a long gone world you’ll start your first day in Bagan with a visit to the local market to see true rural life. As there are so many pagodas and temples in Bagan, it is impossible to see all of them so you’ll be guided to the most outstanding and important temples which are Shwezigon pagoda dating from the 11th century and being the prototype of Myanmar later stupas, Wetgyi Inn Gubyaukgyi with fine mural painting and Sulamuni temple for the beautiful plaster carving.
Your guide will inform you of all the different aspects, architectural styles and history of each temple you visit. In the late afternoon, you’ll visit Nanphaya temple famous for its sandstone, Manuha temple and Myingaba Gubyaukgyi temple with preserved early 12th century mural painting included in the UNESCO World Heritage. For a perfect end of the day, enjoy the sunset from these ancient pagodas.
Your day will start with a visit to Ywa Htaung village where you’ll see the ritual of food offering to a group of monks in the village. From the Dhammarazaka pagoda you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of Bagan and of the different religious monuments. Then you’ll have the chance to visit the local villages to see how common people live and work and to chat with them and take part in their daily life. You will also learn how traditional lacquerwareis made which is the main regional product of Bagan.
In the afternoon you will be amazed by the Ananda temple – an architectural masterpiece with four standing Buddha images in the central core. If you want to have a different perspective of the ancient sites and to get a real feel of the desert landscape than a horse carriage that will take you on narrow dirt roads is the best option. In the evening you can enjoy a river cruise on the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River at sunset. Enjoy the dinner at a local restaurant with Puppet Show entertainment.
After a 45 km (1½ hour) drive you’ll reach Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano which is known as the “Home of the Nats” and on the way you can catch a glimpse of the rural life and learn how Toddy palm sugar candies and home made alcohol are produced.
Climbing those 777 steps to reach the top of Mt. Popa is definitely worth it as the view from the Taungkalat temple is breathtaking. When you get down to earth you can make a short detour to Tuyone Taung Hill and have a panoramic view of the Golden Stupa.
In the morning you’ll be transferred to the airport to catch the flight to Yangon. Here you can visit Botahtaung Pagoda and take a ferry boat across the Yangon river to see how local people live.
Enjoy lunch at the Monsoon restaurant. On this last day you’ll have to think of souvenirs and what better place to buy them than at Bogyoke Market.
Imagine floating over thousand-year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy river, watching the sun rise slowly from the distant mountains. This wonder lasts about one hour and takes off daily from October through to end of March. There are no age restrictions about who is allowed on board. Passengers should be fit enough to climb in and out of the platform and be able to stand for about an hour. Young children, disabled persons and pregnant women may be limited to very calm weather conditions.