Overview

This tour, Burma Highlights, and Ngapali Beach Extensions start and end in Yangon. It is a cultural and historic site trip that takes seventeen days and takes you through Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon, and four other destinations in Myanmar. On this 17days trip, we explore Myanmar's hot attractions, along with some of its hidden gems. You will be exploring floating gardens, stilted villages and see leg-rowing fishers. Cruise on the Irrawaddy River and visit the famous U-Bein Bridge, and explore the vast plain studded with thousands of ancient temples.

Trip highlights

What's included?

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Transportation

What's excluded?

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance

Itinerary Show all

Day One:

Yangon

On your arrival at Yangon airport, our representative will greet and escort you to your hotel. There is no plan for this day, so you can simply rest at the hotel. Or, you can head out to explore this enchanting city of Myanmar.

Day Two:

Yangon/ fly to Inle Lake

In the morning, we head out to explore Yangon. We visit some of the major attractions of the city, like the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, which is the most worshipped temple in Myanmar. All Burmese Buddhists hope to visit this temple at least once in their lifetime. The temple houses the relics of the past four Buddha. Its central stupa that is 100meter high is covered in gold leaf and 4,531 diamonds and dominates the skyline of the city. From here, we head downtown area to walk along Pansoda Street. Here, you will see much beautiful colonial architecture and move through street markets. Years of Burmese isolation have made Rangoon conserve the largest number of colonial buildings in Southeast Asia. From here, we move to the Chaukhtatgyi Paya, which houses a reclining Buddha that is 70m long. The crown of this serene Buddha contains diamonds and many other precious stones. In the afternoon, we board a flight to Heho from where we head to serene Inle Lake. We will be staying in Nyaung Shwe for a couple of days.

Day Three:

Inle Lake

Inle lake lies on the Shan Plateau and has a scenic setting. The lake is home to many Intha people, as well as a few Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O, and Danu ethnicities. Locals of these villages are devout Buddhists and live in simple houses of wood and woven bamboo raised above the water on stilts. Most of the inhabitants here are fisherman, skilled artisans, and self-sufficient farmers, who grows their vegetables on floating gardens made of grass and seaweed. The fisherman of this region is famous for using a unique one-leg rowing technique where they stand at the stern of their boat on one leg and using another leg to move forward. We spend time exploring these village communities, and visit their workshops, cottage industry, and observe them weaving silk, cotton, as well as doing handicraft works with paper, silver, and many other materials. We will also visit a local market of this region.

Day Four:

Inle Lake, Shwe Indeing Pagoda Complex

After breakfast, we take a boat trip to a small creek in the western part of the lake to Indein village, where we will visit a complex. This complex contains around a thousand stupas of different sizes, built between the 17th and 18th centuries. We will roam around these overgrown relics before heading back to the hotel in the afternoon. You may choose to visit one of Burma's first wineries or pamper yourself with a traditional massage.

Day Five:

Kalaw

Today, we board a train and head on a scenic trip while sitting among the locals to Aung Ban. This train trip should take about a couple of hours; however, it frequently gets delayed causing longer to complete the journey. But, this is also a part of the journey, and the spectacular landscape through the journey pretty much makes up for the wait. After reaching the train station at Aung Ban, we drove to Kalaw, which lay on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and was a summer retreat during the British colonial times. At present, there are no major resorts, but it is still a great destination for tourists visiting Myanmar. After arriving at the town, you will head to the hotel. Then, the rest of the day is free, so you can explore this serene region of Myanmar.

Day Six:

Kalaw/ Shan Highlands

Today, we will go for a leisurely trek through the Kalaw tribal heartlands. We begin the trek from Say Wingabar and climb through pine forest to Lu Pyi village, pass through rural countryside, and we get some beautiful views of the valley and scenic patchwork of rice and vegetable fields. We may also see locals working on their fields and also see various markets on the way. At the end of the trip, we stop at Myinmathi Cave, where we will get to see many Buddha images and tiny stupas. After lunch, we will return to the hotel. Then, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy. For those not interested in treks, you can simply rest in the hotel or explore around the town.

Day Seven:

Drive to Mandalay

Departing from Shan Mountain, we drive through scenic paths to Mandalay. There will be some rough roads on the way, so this 160miles journey might take up to nine hours. along the way, we will make short stops for lunch and toilet breaks. Mandalay is the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom and is one of the historical and culturally-rich regions of the country. here, we will explore its rich and beautiful heritage, many of which are in the form of intricate and skilled local arts and crafts.

Day Eight :

Mandalay/ boat trip to Mingun

The day begins with an exploration tour of Mandalay. Today, you will see the largest book in the world at Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the whole Buddhist scripture sits of 7292 marble blocks. From here, we head to the impressive Shwenandaw Monastery, which was formerly a royal palace and is famous for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths which adorn its walls and roofs. Next, we visit the holiest temple of the city, Mahamuni Paya. Here, we can see the locals praying their respects by applying gold leaf to an ancient Buddha image. We might also visit some craft shops and workshops where you will get to see skilled artisans making gold leaf, ornate tapestries, and intricate wood carvings. After lunch, we sail a boat towards Mingun where lies the largest intended pagoda in the world. king Bodawpaya intended to build this pagoda to be 150meters, but he died, and the whole work stopped in 1819. Now, the only thing that remains is the gigantic core of a brick pagoda towering 50 meters above the Irrawaddy River with a huge crack in the middle due to the earthquake of 1838. Here, we will also visit the largest uncracked bell in the world, Mingun Bell. This bell weighs about 90tons and has a height of 12foot. As the sun starts setting over the surrounding hill, we return to Mandalay on the boat. On the return to Mandalay, you can walk around the evening fish market, a lively hub of activity located close to the jetty and a fascinating place to visit.

Day Nine:

Mandalay/ Inwa

This morning, we drive southwest of Mandalay to the ancient capital of Inwa. This town had the longest period among any royal capital between the 15th and 19th centuries. We will visit this town with a ride of horse cart on the bumpy dirt roads. Here, we make a stop at the yellow stucco monastery of Manu Ok Kaung and Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, which are renowned for its huge teakwood pillars. Today's final stop is the Leaning Tower of Inwa. As its name suggests, this tower has a precarious angle, thanks to the 19th-century earthquake. Exploring the town of Inwa, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we head to Amarapura, which lies south just seven miles of Mandalay. this was Burma's second last royal capital from 1783 to 1863. We walk through the tranquil borders of the huge Mahagandayon Monastery complex, and we may get to see the monks doing their evening rituals. We conclude the day with a visit to the largest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world, U Bein bridge. From here, you can get a beautiful view of the sunset across the lake.

Day Ten:

Bagan

We will begin our full day's cruise early morning down the magnificent Irrawaddy River and get the view and sounds of life in the river. Keep in mind that you may not get to cruise in the river from May to September, sometimes even April, as the water level gets too low, making it impossible for the boat to sail. If this happens, we travel from Mandalay to Bagan on a plane.

By boat, we reach Bagan in the early evening, then spend a couple of days exploring this fascinating site. Many thousand-year-olds stupas scatter around the vast plain of this region. From the 9th to 13th centuries, Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan - a precursor of modern Burma. The region flourished considerably between the 11th and 13th centuries; during this time, more than 10000 buildings were constructed, and still, more than 2000 of them remains.

Day Eleven:

Bagan

After breakfast, we head to the Phya Saw village, where we can get a glimpse of the traditional ways of life of the locals in the village. You may also learn about the techniques of cotton weaving by hand, grinding peanut oil with oxen and caring for various village animals, if you like you can engage in these activities too. After visiting this village, we move on to the temples of Bagan. The region has so many temples that you will not be able to visit all of them in even a month properly. So, we will visit only the most distinctive and iconic ones. We will visit the Shwezigon - a prototype of later Burmese stupas; Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi - a 13th-century cave temple with some fascinating murals and Ananda Pagoda - one of the finest, largest and best-preserved in Old Bagan. We may also visit Ananda ok Kyaung, a former monastery that contains lots of stunning 18th-century walk paintings.

This afternoon, we ride a horse carriage and head to the temple complex, where you can truly see the scale of the site. as we tour among seemingly numerous temples and stupas, we will easily realize why Bagan is also referred to as 'The City of Four Million Pagodas.' We conclude this day with an enchanting sunset view from the terrace of one of the temples.

Day Twelve:

Bagan/ Mt. Popa

Explore more of Bagan today. Today, we will visit other major attractions of this place like Manuha Temple - built by King Manuha to represent his displeasure of captivity; Nanpaya - Bagan's first cave-style shrine and Gubaukgyi Temple - an early period temple with well-preserved paintings. In the afternoon, you can do any activities of your wish. You may go for a bike ride around the ruins, cruise to see a sunset, or simply roam around the temples on your own pace. There is also an option to visit Mt. Popa, which is about thirty miles from Bagan. Mt. Popa is at an elevation of 1518meters and rises majestically over the tropical scenery. From the top of the mountain, you will get stunning views of the valley below.

Day Thirteen:

Rangoon

Departing from Bagan, we fly to Thandwe. From the airport, your driver will transfer you to the hotel on Ngapali Beach. The rest of the day is free.

Day Fourteen:

Ngapali

The day is free for you to relax at the sandy beaches and enjoy your time on your own.

Day Fifteen:

Ngapali

This day is also free. So, you can relax on the beaches of Ngapali, go snorkeling, or visit its attractions.

Day Sixteen:

fly to Yangon

today, we return to Yangon. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this bustling city. You may visit the Bogyoke Market, also known as Scott's Market, or roam around many street markets in the hear of the city. Or, you may choose to visit other temples in the region.

Day Seventeen:

Trip concludes

The trip ends today. After breakfast, we will transport you to the airport for your flight to next destination.

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