9 days tour Myanmar: Experience colorful Burma – an undiscovered destination where you’ll feel the mystery and charm of the old Asia. Explore the monasteries and pagodas of Yangon and Mandalay, the extinct volcano of Mount Popa and the thousands of ancient stupas and temples of Bagan. You’ll admire Myanmar’s most famous monuments, you’ll learn […]
9 days tour Myanmar: Experience colorful Burma – an undiscovered destination where you’ll feel the mystery and charm of the old Asia. Explore the monasteries and pagodas of Yangon and Mandalay, the extinct volcano of Mount Popa and the thousands of ancient stupas and temples of Bagan. You’ll admire Myanmar’s most famous monuments, you’ll learn the gold-leaf making and wood carving techniques, you’ll relive history while visiting the three former capitals of Burma and enjoy nature at its best on the spectacular Inle lake with its floating gardens and villages.
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. After check in at your hotel and a brief freshening up we’ll begin our tour of the city. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a walk in the colonial part of the city and visit the 2.000-year old Sule Pagoda, the City Hall and relax for a while in the Mahabandoola Park with its famous Independence Monument.
After this downtown tour we’ll continue with the highlights of the city and we’ll start by visiting the Chaukhtetgyi 72-meter long reclining Buddha image. The perfect end for your first day in Myanmar is a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, Shwedagon Pagoda, which is at its best at sunset. Enjoy a traditional Burmese dinner at a local restaurant.
You’ll arrive by an early flight to Bagan, so you can spend the morning visiting the Nyaung Oo market to see how rural people live. Then you’ll discover one of the most impressive religious monuments in Myanmar i.e. Shwezigon pagoda which is the prototype of later Myanmar stupas since the 11th Century and admire Wetgyi Inn Gubyaukgyi with its fine mural painting and Sulamuni temple with its beautiful plaster carving.
After refreshing at your hotel you’ll visit Nanphaya temple famous for its sand stones, Manuha temple and Myingaba Gubyaukgyi temple where you’ll admire its mural painting preserved from the 12th Century and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Optional: Experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon; for the first time ever, “Balloons Over Bagan” and “Oriental Ballooning” offers visitors exclusive sunrise champagne flights over the ancient pagodas of Bagan from October to March (requires pre-booking).
Your day will start with a visit to an Iowa 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 then 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.
Optional: Experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon; for the first time ever, “Balloons over Bagan” and “Oriental Ballooning” offers visitors exclusive sunrise champagne flights over the ancient pagodas of Bagan from October to March (requires pre-booking).
After breakfast you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Mandalay. From the Mandalay airport you’ll make a short stop at Mahagandayon – a famous Buddhist monastery situated in the former royal capital Amarapura. Since its early days the city has been renowned for its silk and cotton weaving techniques so it’s mandatory to visit a traditional handwoven silk workshop before proceeding to Bagaya Monastery – a compound with a superb collection of Buddha statues.
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 so many new impressions you’ll find it useful to refresh yourself in your hotel room and then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon you’ll visit the Golden Palace Monastery – a superb example of traditional wood work and Kuthodaw pagoda known as the world’s largest book.
There’s no better way to end the day than reaching Mandalay hill for a panoramic view of the city at sunset.
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 archeologically unique among the religious monuments in Myanmar.
After lunch you’ll visit the Shwe Inn Bin monastery, which was built completely of teak wood in the early 20th Century then stop at the Shwe Kyatyat to admire Sagaing Hill.
And those 5oo monasteries and nunneries spread all over the hill as a retreat for Buddhist devotees. The view from the Sagaing Hill with all those religious clusters and the Ayerwaddy river in the background is impressive. If you want to get a deeper insight into the life of devoted Buddhists you can visit a nunnery school and learn more about their teachings. 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.
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 drive to the Inle Lake which takes about 1 hour and takes you through the lush green Shan Hill and fascinating landscapes along the road.
You will enjoy a stop at the family that owns the famous paper umbrella workshop and learn the secrets of this craftsmanship. 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, Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda – the most venerable pagoda on the lake – everything’s there for your wonder.
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 you’ll cross the lake along the canal to Shwe Inn Dain while experiencing some mountain rose sensations on the way. Shwe Inn Dain is a historical treasure with more than one thousand pagodas on the small hill lock.
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.
You won’t be so willing to collect all your luggage early in the morning, but you’ll have to get ready for the transfer to Nyaung Shwe jetty by boat and then for the drive to the Heho airport to catch the Yangon flight. Back in Yangon you’ll have to think of souvenirs and what better place to buy them than at Bogyoke Market. This market will make your head spin with all the offers and temptations.
In the afternoon you will feel once again the colonial atmosphere of the Strand Hotel, built in 1896 (known as Raphael Hotel in Singapore and Oriental in Bangkok) while sipping a tea, having a coffee or drinking a Dagon draught beer.
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.