Meet on arrival at Mandalay International Airport.
1225 hours arrive Mandalay, drive to drive towards the former royal capital of Innwa (Ava) located on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. A local ferry carries you to the island where your horse cart and driver await you. Pass through the ancient city walls to visit the brick and stucco monastery of MahaAungmyeBonzan (also known as Ok Kyaung) before continuing to the impressive wooden monastery of BagayaKyaung. If time permits, visit some village homes to see local handicrafts such as silk weaving, cane mats and alms bowls.
Then, transfer to visit picturesque Sagaing, perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. The hills here are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Return across the Ayeyarwady River to the former royal capital of Amarapura, via the Ava Bridge, built by British engineers. Take a sunset stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. Return to Mandalay.
Take a boat trip on the Ayeyarwady River upriver from Mandalay to Mingun (11 Km, about one hour). The river is always busy – small longtail boats, bamboo rafts and ferries carry goods up and down the river. Visit the Mingun Bell, which at 87 tons is the world’s largest intact bronze bell. Continue to the beautiful Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Paya and the unfinished, mighty Mingun Pagoda (built to be the world’s biggest).Return back to Mandalay.
Enjoy a comprehensive tour of Mandalay, a highlight of which is the MahamuniPagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Near the river lies visit Shwe-im-bin, a wooden monastery over 100 years’ old which is known for its lovely carving. Stop at local workshops to see kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces, and Burmese sweets being made. Then, drive to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the Theravada Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 729 marble slabs, giving rise to its nickname ‘the world’s largest book’. Next visit beautiful teak-carved Shwenandaw Monastery, the only Royal Palace building to survive World War II bombing. At Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda you’ll see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset.(If time permit) Afterwards, visit ShweKyin Monastery to observe student monks start their evening prayers.
Transfer to Mandalay Airport for Air KBZ flight.
Scattered on a large plain beside the Ayeyarwady River are the magnificent red brick temples and pagodas that are the great legacy of the kings of Bagan.Built from 1057 to 1287 AD in honour of the royal Buddhist faith, the pagodas display impressive architecture and interiors of colourful murals and exquisite Buddha statues. From the top, the visitor can enjoy awesome views of the immense, temple-dotted plain.
Pick up from the airport from where you start your tour to the busy local market, continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples in Bagan. These include the Shwezigon Pagoda, a huge gilded temple built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century and Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-Inn), a 13th century temple with exquisite murals of the ‘Jataka Tales’ (scenes from the life of the Buddha). Continue to the eminent Ananda Temple; one of the finest and largest pagodas, with a 51-metre (170-foot) shimmering gold tip plus four huge Standing-Buddha images and numerous seated figures arranged around the interior gallery. Later, visit Moe MoeLacquer ware factory where you’ll learn how this delicate art is made. Sightseeing continues with visits to Manuha Temple, built in Mon style in 1059; Nanpaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument that is said to have been the palace of King Manuha; and Gubyaukgyi (Myingaba) under the protection of UNESCO because of its ancient mural paintings. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan’s ancient monuments.
Accommodation atFamous Hotel, Bagan – Deluxe
Meals included: Breakfast
Dinner at Sarabha II with Puppet show
Full day to explore the countryside around Bagan. From your hotel drive to Mount Popa(46km, about 1hour), home to Myanmar’s intriguing ‘nats’ (spirits). The 777 steps to the top of Mount Popa provide an energetic climb rewarded by fabulous views from the top. In the afternoon, drive to the town of Kyaukpadaung and visit the local market before continuing to Salay. Visit Yokesone Monastery, built on 154 teak posts and known for its 130-year-old beautiful wooden carvings of the ‘Jataka Tales’ (stories from the Buddha’s life) which decorate the outer walls. (The monastery is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and public holidays). Continue to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya – a large lacquer Buddha image, said to date from the 13th century. Return to Bagan through Chauk(53km, about 1hour), where you will see old Burma Oil installations (‘nodding donkeys’), and the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. Arrive back to Bagan at sunset time.
Accommodation at Famous Hotel, Bagan – Deluxe
Transfer to Bagan Airport for Air KBZ flight.
Transfer from Heho airport to Pindaya in your private vehicle (approximately 45 minutes), an attractive drive up into the hills and across the Shan Plateau, through fields of mountain rice. Visit magnificent PindayaCaves, set in a limestone ridge overlooking a picturesque lake, where thousands of different types of Buddha images are on display in the various cave chambers. Afterwards, continue to local workshopwhere Shan paper and parasols are made.
From Pindaya, drive to the former British hill station of Kalaw (approximately 1 hour 15 minutes) a charming town featuring British-style bungalows set in leafy surroundings. En joy strolling through Kalaw, visiting the local market, the tiny railway station and perhaps walking up the hill to see the old Catholic church (if open).
Transfer back to hotel in Kalaw
Enjoy a full day boat trip on Inle Lake – a photographer’s dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. See the lake’s unique ‘leg rowers’ – Intha fishermen who row standing up with one leg wrapped around a single oar, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Continue by boat to visit Nga PheKyaungMonastery, one of the oldest on the lake, where you can see exquisite Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old. Return to your hotel by boat as the sun lowers and the light softens over the lake.Visit Cheroot making factory in Nampan village. Pass endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables. Stop at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State.
Continue from your hotel and travel by long-tailed boat across the lake to Indaing, at the western end of Inle, for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Passing through the busy village of Ywama, the largest on the Lake, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts; enter a long, often tree-lined canal, either side of which farmers cultivate their land against the backdrop of the Shan Hills. Disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes throughIndaing village to reach the 14th – 18th century pagoda ruins of NyaungOhak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th – 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed. Returning to the river you have the possibility of walking along a lovely shady path for 30 minutes to the Intha village of Sema. From here continue by boat downstream past Yethar village, watching local life on the banks and birds in the trees until re-joining the Lake near Phaung Daw Oo Paya.
Transfer back to hotel.
Visit a 5-day rotating marketin NyaungShwe.Transfer to Heho Airport (25 km – 1 hour). Return Air KBZ flight K7 267 at 1105/1215 hours to Yangon and transfer to enjoy half day Yangon tour.
Visit ChaukHtatGyiPagoda to see a huge reclining Buddha image. Proceed to Bogyoke (Scott) Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) followed by an extended visit for a photo stops to the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge; and the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years.
Continue to the Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide! Its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ for all Buddhists in Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues.
Firstly, drive to the Eastern entrance of the Shwedagon pagoda and walk along the small shops where monk accessories, Buddha statues, flowers etc. are sold. The entrance is always very busy with sellers and local pilgrims. You’ll learn about the daily life of the local people who reside in the immediate surroundingsand gain a deeper insight into the Buddhist religion as you provide offerings to the monks. Then, walk up the staircase where many vendors sell artefacts for peoples own shrine at home. Continue to walk along the pagoda platform clockwise, as is tradition, around the main Pagoda. During this interactive walking tour of the pagoda, explore walkways and hidden gems that are unknown to most visitors. Stopping in one of the pavilions to prayer, you might get a chance to meet a Buddhist monk and talk about Buddhism and meditation or simply contemplate. Continue through the back door of Shwedagon Pagoda and discover its fascinating history.
Car and guide will be at your disposal for further sightseeing to Synagogue and souvenir shopping until your international departure flight time to Bangkokby FD 254 at 1735 hours. End of service.Book Now