myanmar12This big program takes you to the four big destinations of Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan - and also to less travelled places like Hpa-An and Mawlamyine in the southern part and a swing to Kyaing Tong in the eastern Shan State, ending on the beach of Ngapali for a beach holiday.

Route: Yangon, Bago, Kyaiktiyo, Thaton, Hpa An, Zwegabin Hikes, Mawlamyine, Bilu, Kyun (Ogre Island), Nwa La Bo, Heho, Inle Lake, Indein, Sakar, Pindaya, Kalaw, Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung), Mandalay, Amarapura, Sagaing, Mingun, Bagan, Mt. Popa, Salay, Thandwe and Ngapali Beach

 

check16Inclusive:

• 27 nights in stated hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
• Transfers & transportation by private a/con saloon, except the truck up/down Mt Kyaikhtiyo
• 1 lunch & 3 dinners
• Boat fare for Mandalay-Bagan ( if there is no boat operating on that day, will take a flight)
• Boat fares for Inle, Indein, Sagar, Mingun
• Open truck fare for Kyaikhtiyo up/down (join with other passengers)
• Horse-cart fare for Bagan
• Sightseeing with station English speaking guide
• All entrance fees
• Domestic airfares for Yangon-Heho-Kyaing Tong-Mandalay // Bagan-Thandwe-Yangon

stop16Exclusive:

• Meals of other lunches & dinners
• Yangon international airport departure tax USD10/pax
• Personal expenses & travel insurance
• Services not mentioned in the itinerary
• Drinks
• Tips to guide & driver

 

noteItinerary:

Day 1: Yangon Arrival

Arrive at Yangon airport by flight. Welcome by your tour guide and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at East Hotel, Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon Sightseeing (Breakfast/Dinner)

Breakfast at hotel. Start to visit Nan Thida (The Strand) jetty where can be observed the Yangon River life that offers a remarkable atmosphere with spectacular colors; Yangon city center surrounded by various colonial style buildings of World War II period; City Hall & Independence Monument for photo shots; local markets to witness the daily life of the local people. Then visit Chaukhtat Kyi - a colossal reclining Buddha with a great history. Visit to Kandawgyi Nature Park - a scenic park with a lovely view of the famous Kandawgyi Lake & Karaweik Royal Barge. Early evening visit to Shwedagon Pagoda - over 2500 years old, and the world famous stupa in the dome shape rising 98 meters above its base and covered with 60 tons of pure gold. Go for dinner at the Karaweik "floating" restaurant of Burmese cuisine and see a marvelous show. Overnight at East Hotel, Yangon.

Day 3: Yangon – Bago – Kyaiktiyo by car (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kyaikhtiyo - the largest domestic tourism center located about 168 km from Yangon to visit the miracle pagoda named Golden Rock Pagoda which enshrines a hair relic of Buddha. It is set on top of a gold-gilded boulder which itself is perfectly balanced on the edge of a cliff. The Kyaikhtiyo mountain range is over 1100 km above sea level. There are many legends about the pagoda and Nats (spirit gods) shrines along the 11 km uphill. Coaches reach only at Kinpun base camp and pilgrims proceed to Yathe Taung base camp by local open trucks (no roof, no air-con), which is located half-way up the hill and about 45 minutes' drive from Kinpun base camp and is a 2-km uphill trek to the summit. You can hire a sedan chair to carry you up the mountain by 2 or 4 stalwart young Burmese for US$20 (negotiable). Devotees believe that a pilgrimage to this pagoda brings them good health & great wealth. Overnight at Mountain Top Hotel, Mt Kyaikhtiyo.

Day 4: Kyaiktiyo – Thaton – Hpa An by car (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Descend from Kyaikhtiyo and drive to Thaton, the ancient capital of the Mon kingdom of Thaton which ancient texts referred to as the "Golden Land". Thaton played major roles in the history of Buddhism in Myanmar until conquered by King Anawratha of Bagan in the mid-11th century. See the Shwe Zayan Paya where is housed the famous 10th-century standing Buddha sculpted in the classic Mon style. Visit historical places in Thaton & proceed to Hpa An - the capital of Kayin State. It is Myanmar at its finest. The surrounding countryside is the real draw of Hpa-an, containing cave-dwelling art galleries, sacred mountains, the gates of hell and cloud-scraping islands. Visit surreal Kyauk Kalap Pagoda standing proud in the middle of a man-made lake; Kaw Gun Cave - the natural limestone cave with carvings of many Buddha images. Overnight at Hotel Zwegabin in Hpa An.

Day 5 : Hpa An – Zwegabin Hikes (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Visit Hpa-an local market. Then off to Hpan Pu and Zwegabin mountain (2372ft asl) 11km south of Hpa An for hiking up to the summit where ancient Myanmar spirits live – takes about 2 hours. But first do a ride around the base of Mt Zwegabin on pillion motorbikes with riders to enjoy the fantastic countryside. A village at the base of the mountain has more than a thousand identical Buddha images lined up in rows. Quite a sight! Return to Hpa An. Overnight at Hotel Zwegabin in Hpa An.

Day 6 : Hpa An - Mawlamyine (Moulmein) (Breakfast)

After breakfast at the hotel, check-out to drive to the jetty to board the ferry to Mawlamyine (Moulmein), departing at 5.45AM. (Bring your own food and drinks.) At the Hpa An jetty in Mawlamyine meet your driver for sightseeing in Mawlamyine. An air of melancholy hangs over the town hemmed in by a ridge of stupa-capped hills on one side, the sea on the other and the centre clustered with mildewed mosques and Buddhist shrines with a Christian church or two in their midst. Moulmein as it was then called served as the capital of British Burma 1827-1852. It was a major teak port in colonial time. Rudyard Kipling stayed here for three days. He romanticized Moulmein with his poem, Mandalay:
For the Temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be ---
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea.
See the impressive Kyaikmaraw Pagoda built by Queen Shin Saw Pu in 1455. The faces of the Buddhas are white and serene. The main huge Buddha statue does not sit cross-legged in the usual pose but seems to be sitting on a chair. A side room has images depicting the Buddha in various stages of illness and death emphasizing his physical mortality.
George Orwell who wrote "Burmese Days" lived here for years and his descendents are still living here now. Proceed to Kyaikkami (Amherst) Beach. The main attraction is Yele Paya, a complex of shrines perched over the sea and reached by a two-level causeway. At high tide the lower level is submerged in the sea and the upper level is used. On the way visit the 560ft-long biggest Reclining Buddha image in Win Sein Meditation Centre. Then drive to Setse Beach lined with waving casuarinas trees. Back to Mawlamyine.
Overnight at Attran Hotel in Mawlamyine.

Day 7 : Mawlamyine - Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island) – Nwa La Bo (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Then drive to the jetty to board the local ferry to Bilu Kyun, to visit a cluster of Mon settlements in a big island producing hand-made utensils from coconut fronds, coconut palms, coconut shells. Spend an interesting few hours moving among the villages linked by dirt tracks. By 3pm we have to be at Nut-Maw village to catch the last ferry back to Mawlamyine. If time allows (by leaving the island earlier for example), visit Nwa La Bo pagoda where you can see three sausage-shaped gold boulders precariously stacked one on another with a shrine on the top boulder in like manner of the Kyaikthiyo Golden Rock you havevisited.
Overnight at Attran Hotel in Mawlamyine.

Day 8 : Mawlamyine – Yangon by car (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. The ferry to Hpa An does not run today. (This ferry runs presently on Mondays and Fridays at 6AM, going up the Thanlwin River to Hpa An on the river's eastern bank. People have to bring their own food and drinks.) Drive by road to Yangon, a long drive of about 7 hours. Upon arrival check into hotel.
Overnight at East Hotel, Yangon.

Day 9 : Yangon – Heho by flight, Inle Lake (Breakfast)

Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport for Heho by domestic flight, K7 828, dep.1030/arr.1115. On arrival in Heho, drive 1hour to Nyaungshwe, the gateway of famous Inle Lake. Take a boat trip to Inle Lake - stretching 18km long and being 889m above sea level, it is the second biggest lake in Myanmar and famous for its unique leg-rower Intha fishermen. Tour highlights includes Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda - the holiest religious site in the southern Shan State; Inpawkhone village - famous for its silk weaving handlooms; Ngaphechaung Monastery – one of the oldest monastery on the lake & well known because of its jumping cats; traditional ways of fishing; floating gardens; silk weaving workshops; cheroot making workshops; silverware workshop; sacred robe woven from lotus fibre workshops. Overnight at Paradise Inle Resort, Inle Lake.

Day 10 : Inle Lake – Indein Sightseeing (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Boat trip to Indein on the western bank of the lake to see the ancient ruins of Shan style pagodas of the 17th century, including beautifully carved mythical & celestial beings of stone. On the way passing beautiful scenery. Take a walk to a Shan village and meet the Intha, Pa-O, and Shan ethnic groups living there. Then visit Nyaung Oak Ancient Monastery built by many teak piles. Return to hotel.
Overnight at Paradise Inle Resort, Inle Lake.

Day 11 : Inle – Sakar – Inle (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel.boat trip to Sagar (Samkar) - the territory ruled by Shan chiefs in former days. Visit a family making special monk robes produced from threads of thousands of lotus stems. Local production of high degree of alcoholic wine by fermenting rice-bran. See unspoiled culture and traditional life-styles of the ethnic groups of Pa-O and Intha inhabiting the Sagar area. On the way back to Inle see beautiful landscapes, flowering trees and settlements dotted on both sides of the canal. There are floating gardens upon which the Intha grow vegetables.
Overnight at Paradise Inle Resort, Inle Lake.

Day 12 : Inle – Pindaya – Kalaw (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Pindaya (70km, two-and-a-half hours' drive) – a small quiet town famous for its thousands of Buddha images deposited inside the caves centuries of years ago. Visit to Pindaya caves; traditional Shan paper-making village; pottery and umbrella making villages. Proceed to Kalaw - a small hill station with numbers of old colonial style British built buildings. Passing through the panoramic mountain ranges and hill tribe villages where can be observed their ways of life. Overnight at Green Haven Hotel in Kalaw.

Day 13 : Day Return Trip to Painnebin Village (Breakfast)

After breakfast, morning (08:00) am depart from hotel to the junction of a trekking route which is located about 10 minute's drive by car (5 km). Then, walk to the Painnebin (Palaung hill tribe) village which may take about 2 hours downhill trek. On the way you will pass pine tree forests, plantation of cheroot leaf plants and orange gardens of the Danu hill tribe. Painnebin village is located 1300 meter above sea level. Once you approach the village you need to climb up around 50' slope. The village is well-known for its longhouse of old style Palaung races which has six or eight Palaung families staying together. After Lunch, take a rest for a while before starting to trek up back to the junction of the same way. Back to hotel in Kalaw by car. Overnight at Green Haven Hotel in Kalaw.

Day 14 : Kalaw - Heho – Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung) (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Visit Kalaw Market. Bamboo Stupa. Proceed to Heho airport for flight to Kyaing Tong by K7 822, dep.1400/arr.1545. Upon arrival in Kyaing Tong airport, meet and transfer to hotel. Be at leisure to walk to the lake and about town. Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel, Kyaing Tong.

Day 15 : Kyaing Tong (Breakfast/Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. City tour to include the One-Tree Hill for panoramic views of Kyaing Tong. This tree was planted by King Alaungpaya in a campaign to subdue Lanna Thai in the mid-18th century. After visiting a local Shan lacquer-ware factory producing a unique style of lacquer-ware different and more expensive than that in Bagan, visit Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, the holiest temple in Kyaing Tong. View the memorial monument of the last Shan ruler of Kyaing Tong. Dinner at the Golden Banyan Tree restaurant of Shan food.
Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel, Kyaing Tong.

Day 16 : Kyaing Tong (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day excursion to explore the many and still very traditional ethnic minority communities of the Golden Triangle area. A 45-minute drive from Kyaing Tong is Wan Pauk, the home of the red-clothed Palaung tribe. An easy trek of 15 minutes leads to Hwe Lon, a village of the Akha people. Continue walking to Koum Ma, a Wa tribe village. Stop for a rest at Pin Tauk Waterfall near a Lahu village. In the afternoon go to Bo Lang to meet with the elusive Eng minority hill tribe, everyone with two rows of black teeth. Return to Kyaing Tong.
Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel, Kyaing Tong.

Day 17 : Kyaing Tong (Breakfast/Lunch)

Breakfast at the hotel. Leave the hotel after breakfast to visit the Mong Kwan area by pick-up truck. After a picnic lunch, drive up the hill of Loi Mwe, a former British colonial station enveloped in dense tropical forests. A Burmese battalion is now stationed there. Return to Kyaing Tong in the late afternoon.
Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel, Kyaing Tong.

Day 18 : Kyaing Tong – Mandalay (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Leave the hotel after breakfast for a walk in the Kyaing Tong central market, a busy sprawling place displaying for sale an awesome variety of local produce. Visit the water-buffalo market (held only twice a week), the meeting point for many hill tribe people and see farmers selling and buying buffaloes. In the afternoon transfer to Kyaing Tong Airport for the flight to Mandalay by W9 120, dep.1445/arr.1625. Upon arrival at Mandalay airport, meet your guide to transfer to hotel.
Overnight at Great Wall Hotel, Mandalay.

Day 19 : Mandalay – Sightseeing (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up at your hotel at 8.30AM to go on a tour of Mandalay - full-day sightseeing to include Mahamuni Paya containing the famous bronze Buddha image reputedly cast during the lifetime of Buddha himself. We see local artisans doing the unique Mandalay tapestry weaving (kalaga); wood carving and bronze casting; marble carving and gold leaf beating. Continue the tour to Mandalay Palace; Shwenandaw Monastery - noted for its exquisite wood carvings; Atumashi Monastery; Kuthodaw Pagoda - known as the largest book in the world because the whole of the Buddhist canons are carved on 724 marble slabs by order of good King Mindon for the First Buddhist in Myanmar; and finish the tour by visiting Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset and the panoramic view of the city. Return to hotel and be free for the evening. Overnight at Great Wall Hotel, Mandalay.

Day 20 : Mandalay – Amarapura – Sagaing - Mingun Sightseeing (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Amarapura - an ancient capital built on the advice of astrologers. Tour highlights are: Mahagandaryone Monastery - where one may observe the daily life of the monks studying Buddha's scriptures; and U Bein Bridge - 1.2 km long 200-year-old wooden bridge across the Taung Thaman Lake; Sagaing Hill - known as the center for meditation with hundreds of pagodas, monasteries & nunneries tucked into the surrounding valleys and hills. Visit Kaungmudaw Pagoda - an enormous dome-shaped pagoda built in the 16th century. Drive to Inwa (Ava) - another ancient capital, known as the Kingdom of In-wa during the Second Myanmar Empire and visit by horse-cart ride to Nanmyint Watch Tower, Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Monastery; Maenu Oakk Kyaung, lacquer-ware industry. In the afternoon, boat trip up the Ayeyarwaddy River to Mingun where the world's largest ringing bell exists. See the mammoth unfinished Mingun Pagoda started by King Bodawpaya, Settawya Pagoda and the beautiful Hsinbyume Pagoda, Mingun village and environs. Back to Mandalay by sunset.
Overnight at Great Wall Hotel, Mandalay.

Day 21 : Mandalay – Bagan by Boat (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the jetty to board the Malikha boat to cruise downriver to Bagan, departing at about 6.30AM. At about 4-5pm arrive in Bagan and be transferred to your hotel. Have a short tour of the nearer temples in Bagan like the massive Gawdawpalin Pahto and the Mahabodi Paya, and if time permits go to the Bupaya to watch the sun sets over the Ayeyarwaddy River. See a puppet performance in Sithu Restaurant by the river as you have dinner under the stars. Overnight at Bagan Hotel, Bagan.

Day 22 : Bagan Sightseeing (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel, Bagan full-day sightseeing: Nyaung Oo Market; Shwezigone Pagoda - built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi – a temple with exquisite murals of Jataka scene; the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations; Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork; Ananda Temple, the most beautiful monastery in Bagan with four huge standing Buddha images and numerous seated figures in niches around the galleried interior; Ananda Oakkyaung; Thatbyinnyu Temple – the tallest temple in Bagan built by King Alaung Sithu in the mid-11th century. Drive through New Bagan to visit the Manuha Paya built by the captive Mon king of Thaton as a prisoner of King Anawrahta of Bagan, and Myinkaba village well-known for its fine lacquer-ware, but more interesting is the village life in the late afternoon. Overnight at Bagan Hotel, Bagan.

Day 23 : Bagan – Mt. Popa – Salay – Bagan by Car (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Salay – a small town about 15km south of Bagan. Tour highlight:
U Pone Nya Museum - formerly the Yoke Sone Monastery, exhibits antiques, lacquer wares, wooden reliefs and a large standing glided Buddha image. The figures carved outside the front of the building are worth seeing. Another place worth visiting is Thar Tha Na Yaung Chi Monastery (Keythar Monastery) where Tripitaka texts are housed in a large red lacquered cabinet. Then drive to Mount Popa, the abode of the nat of ancient Myanmar, situated 60km southeast of Bagan. Walking up the many steps of the volcanic plug of Mt Popa to the top will give you breathlessness compensated by a lovely panoramic view of the plain below. The view from the top is refreshing. On top of the mountain there are monasteries, pagodas and shrines in different styles. See the locals gather the palmyra palm juice for making toddy and jaggery. Overnight at Bagan Hotel, Bagan.

Day 24 : Bagan – Thandwe by flight, Ngapali Beach (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for the flight to Thandwe airport where your hotel's staff will meet you and drive you to the hotel. (Flight K7 242, dep.0820/arr.1020.) Free to enjoy the beach and the cheap but fresh seafood in the small restaurants near your hotel. Overnight at Pleasant View Resort, Ngapali.

Day 25 : Ngapali Beach (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure. Overnight at Pleasant View Resort, Ngapali.

Day 26 : Ngapali Beach (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure. Overnight at Pleasant View Resort, Ngapali.

Day 27 : Thandwe – Yangon by Flight (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, transfer to Thandwe airport for the flight to Yangon by
K7 421, dep.0755/arr.1050. Upon arrival in Yangon airport, meet & transfer to hotel.
Free at leisure to walk around in downtown Yangon. Overnight in East Hotel, Yangon.

Day 28 : Yangon Departure by CI 7916, RGN-TPE, 1110/1635. (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Free until time to transfer to airport for departure flight.

End of Myanmar Tour