Amazing World of Golden Temples5 5 (1 reviews)
Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Sagaing - Inle
Myanmar is renowned for its thousands of golden pagodas and temples. Everywhere in this country, you can find pagodas in mound-like structures and covered by golden leaves. Besides that, this country attracts more travelers thanks to its friendly people, skillful handicrafts, simple but typical lifestyle and untouchable beauty. We suggest you to visit Myanmar now and before it is widely discovered by mass tourism, where the pristine hidden beauty still remains.
Arrival at Yangon International Airport, you’re welcomed by our guide and transferred to hotel for checking in. You will be free for refreshment after a long-haul flight. Overnight in Yangon.
After breakfast, you will visit beautiful Kandawgyi Lake with the huge mythical birds of the Karaweik Barge in prominent view. On to the Botataung Pagoda, located on Yangon harbor, where you will see many ancient Buddhist relics and artifacts. Then continue to the downtown district and its many old colonial buildings still in use. There is also the Independence Monument in Mahabandoola Gardens, dedicated to Burma’s independence Great Britain in 1948. The streets are filled with colorful sidewalk markets selling various items both old and new. After our downtown ‘walkabout’, if time allows, we may go to Wahdan jetty on the Yangon River to see the hustle and bustle of local life as goods and people transfer on and off the ships.
Afternoon sightseeing includes the colossal reclining Buddha Chaukhtatkyi, and the Scot Market (Note: the market is closed on Mondays and public holidays), filled with cultural exhibits of Myanmar. The day ends with a visit to the awe inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda, perhaps the most beautiful pagoda complex in all of Asia. Overnight in Yangon.
After breakfast, fly to Bagan with a morning flight. Upon arrival, you begin your visit to one of Asia’s most stunning archeological destinations with its more than 2,000 pagodas dotting the plains along the legendary Ayerwaddy River. See the bustling NyaungOo local market and then some of Bagan’s most distinctive pagodas including Shwezigon, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas and Wetkyi-in- Gubyaukgyi, a 13th century ‘cave temple with fine wall paintings. One of the most outstanding is the magnificent Ananda Pagoda, one of the most revered pagodas in all Myanmar and containing four tall standing Buddhas within.
Afternoon sightseeing highlights include Sulamani Temple built by King Narapatisithu, Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan, and Thatbyinnyu Temple which towers above other monuments of Bagan. Visitors can learn how to make and apply the Thanaka paste. As the sun goes down we will be at one of the ideal temple top viewing sites selected by our guide. Overnight in Bagan.
Wake up early today and take a balloon ride over the amazing land of temples (only operated in dry season November to March). And back to your hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, take a leisurely drive (about one hour) through the Bagan countryside to Mt. Popa, which supposedly rose the ground in a massive earthquake in 442 BC. Mt. Popa is famous as the abode of the Nats (Spirit Gods) and for its panoramic view of the local tropical region. There is a volcanic plug with a temple on top that you can walk up to if you like (777 steps!) On the way to Mt. Popa, you will visit a local toddy palm farmer at his hut and see how he collects the toddy palm the palm trees to make the strong alcoholic toddy palm drink and also the toddy palm sugar candy. Return back to Bagan and the rest of the day is for your leisure—maybe you would like to rent a bicycle to ride around the town. Overnight in Bagan.
Take a morning flight to Mandalay and, after our arrival, transfer the airport toward Mandalay, the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom and a city rich in history and culture. On the way we stop at the ancient royal capital of Amarapura (a capital twice during the Konbaung period), and enjoy a walk on U Bein Bridge which stretches 1.2 kilometers over Lake Taungtaman. Built around 1850, it is the oldest and longest teakwood span in the world. As we stroll in the vicinity of U Bein Bridge, you can also see traditional silk and cotton weaving for which Mandalay is noted.
Afternoon sightseeing highlights include the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda; a gold leaf hammering craftshop, Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings; Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the World's largest book for its 729 stone slabs containing the entire Buddhist scriptures, and if time permits, climb up to Mandalay Hill for a view over the city and Ayeyarwaddy River. Overnight in Mandalay.
After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay jetty where you board a private boat for a short and pleasant ride up the Ayerwaddy River to the ruins of the Mingun pagoda, the site of what would have been the world's largest pagoda if King Bodawpaya had not died in 1819 thus halting all further work. Later, an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial rubble. Nonetheless, the mammoth base of the unfinished pagoda is still a very impressive sight as you approach the river. Nearby, you can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved the pagoda after the earthquake and now hung in a new shrine building. It is said to be the largest hanging un-cracked bell in the world. Return by the boat to Mandalay.
And then continue to Sagaing, a former capital of the Shan kingdom in the 14th century, laying across and slightly downriver Mandalay and there are many interesting stupas scattered over Sagaing Hill. Overnight in Mandalay.
Today, you will take an early flight to Heho. After arrival at Heho airport, drive to magical Inle Lake. Situated 900 meters above sea level and 22 km long by 11 km wide, this large shallow lake is in an idyllic setting surrounded by mountains and is home to the Intha people, renowned for their floating gardens and the unique one-legged rowing style of their fishermen. You travel by small private boat on the lake, visiting the famous PaungDawOo pagoda, with its five famous Buddha images (four of which are carried in great ceremony around the lake during the PaungDawOo festival) and also nearby Inpawkhone Village where, in houses on stilts, we see traditional silk weaving with hand looms and the processing of lotus blossoms as they are made beautiful fabric.
After your lunch time break on the lake, visit traditional crafts-making such as blacksmithing, cheroot (local cigar) rolling, and boat making. And enjoy a boat ride through the Kaylar village observing the many houses on stilts and the ways of life. We will see the floating gardens up close, then on to the ‘NgaphaeChaung Monastery’ which is an interesting old traditional monastery on the lake.
Overnight at Inle Lake.
Fly to Yangon with morning flight. Arrive at Yangon, with some free time for leisure and individual interest at the airport until connecting to your departure flight or another flight to your next destination.
Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
The services of an experienced English-speaking guide throughout the tour (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination)
Where necessary, entry fees and permission to enter border areas for all visits mentioned in the program
Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available
Domestic flights from Yangon to Bagan, Bagan to Mandalay, Mandalay to Heho, Heho to Yangon, including airport taxes, economy class, local airlines
VAT and other taxes
International flight tickets and airport tax
Visa handling and stamp fee
Dinners, except as specified above
Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
Camera fees (if any)
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