DAY 1: YANGON NAY PYI TAW
Upon arrival, you’ll greet by your guide who will accompany and transfer you to your hotel. You will leave from your hotel in Yangon and travel overland about five hours on the first national highway to new capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw. On the way, make a brief stop at half-way 115 Miles Rest Camp for coffee & snack. Arrive in Nay Pyi Taw in the evening. Enjoy the dinner on your own account.
Stay overnight at hotel in Nay Pyi Taw.
DAY 2: NAY PYI TAW – MT. POPA
After breakfast, orientation tours of Nay Pyi Taw including Gemstones Museum (closed on Public Holidays. Later, you will pass by the parliament building which is probably the largest building in the world). Continue to Uppatasanti Pagoda built in the style of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Complete your visit at revered abode of white elephants. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant. Then continue overland drive on the highway passing through traditional villages with the unadulterated country life. Arrive at night to Mt. POPA, an extinct volcano with a shrine dedicated to animist spirits known as “Nats”. Enjoy the dinner on your own account.
Stay overnight at hotel at Mount Popa.
DAY 3: MT. POPA – BAGAN
After breakfast, you can be enjoyed with a view of the cone of the revered Mt. Popa volcano billowing out of the plane. After breakfast, there is time for the energetic to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the volcanic plug. On the way, you may encounter in unkempt condition and populated by monkeys. Continue by road to Bagan, visiting one of the toddy palm orchards en route to witness the rural life of the region and discover the production of palm sugar which the local spirit is distilled from. Upon arrival in Bagan, you will check-in at your hotel. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant own account.
If time permits, orientation tour of Bagan. Finish the day of sightseeing by watching sunset over Myanmar’s longest river, Ayeyarwaddy from the one of the more off the beaten track pagodas to climb on top and view the sunset over the plain of Bagan dotted with more than 2,000 temples. Enjoy the dinner on your own account. Stay overnight at hotel in Bagan.
DAY 4: BAGAN FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING
Bagan is not only the site of thousand-year-old temples and pagodas, but also of many quaint villages scattered throughout the temple plain. We bring you with visiting the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan by bicycle: including Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Wetkyi Inn Gubyauk Gyi Temple, noted for its panoramic view of the area’s numerous monuments and Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images.
In the afternoon, you will leave from your hotel by horse-carts and travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to Taung Bi village. Continue to Nat Htaung Monastery, an ancient wooden monastery from 18th Century with decorated columns and ceiling. Continue to the Ayarwaddy River and pay a visit to some of the family businesses including blacksmiths, hairdresser and dry snack ‘factories’. They pursue their trade since generations in the same traditional way. Return to your hotel. Enjoy the dinner on your own account.
Stay overnight at hotel in Bagan.
DAY 5: BAGAN – PAKOKKU – MONYWA
After breakfast, leave Bagan over the longest bridge in the country to Pakokku, an un-spoiled small town famous as a tobacco trading center, weaving shops and Thanaka. Stroll through the main street of this quiet town and visit Thanaka Market (only on market days) to learn more about the secret beauty of Burmese women.
Also, visit a cigar manufacturing where dried tobacco leaves are carefully rolled by the workers which will makes you fascinating. Continue drive to visit a sandstone cave system in the Po Win Daung Hills, named after a famous ‘zawgyi’ (alchemist) who once lived here. The Caves of Po Win Daung, numbering more than one hundred, are full of Buddhist statues and murals.
Most exhibit the Innwa style but some may date from the 14th Century. Nearby, visit Shweba Daung which features unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with Buddha images. Arrive in Monywa in the evening. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant. Enjoy the dinner on your own account.
Stay overnight at hotel in Monywa.
DAY 6: MONYWA – SAGAING – MANDALAY
After breakfast, visit local market and then drive to Mandalay. On the way, visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, which is about 20 kilo-meters from Monywa.
The richly decorated central stupa has no less than 845 smaller stupas around it. Inside the patio, you will see thousands of Buddha images (reportedly over 500,000) decorating every wall, archway and niche. The buildings in the compound have interesting jataka reliefs and there are huge Reclining and Standing Buddha Images nearby.
Continue driving to Sagaing, visit picturesque Sagaing Hill, where hillsides are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. This is perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. Continue to Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, which has a huge egg-shaped dome in Ceylonese style. From Sagaing, drive across the bridge to Mandalay.
Stay overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
DAY 7: MANDALAY – AMARAPURA – MANDALAY
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to a traditional Mandalay neighborhood to participate in “Soon” Offering. “Soon” offering is practiced throughout the country when monks line up along to streets to receive food donations from local people. Return to hotel for breakfast. Experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay including the Shwe Inbin Monastery; the Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building and Kuthodaw Pagoda the world’s largest book made of marble.
Visit also one of the most revered religious monuments of Myanmar, the Mahamuni Pagoda. Mandalay is also a major arts and crafts center. Visit a gold-leaf manufacturing workshop and a Kalaga tapestry craftsmen’s shop. Continue drive to Amarapura to observe the beautiful sunset by the 200-year-old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1782 during the period when Amarapura was the Royal capital. You may encounter a fortune teller on the bridge to find out what the future hold for you. Return to Mandalay. Stay overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
DAY 8: MANDALAY – HEHO – INLE LAKE
After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay Airport for a flight to Heho.
From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which is an elegant ancient monastery with its oval-shaped windows. We will also stop in Nyaung Shwe for a short walk around town and visit to the colorful market if it is being held that day.
Upon reaching the edges of Inle Lake, board a private motorboat to head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, famous for the 800 years old Five Buddha statues which are covered in gold leaf.
Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.
If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages.
Overnight on Inle Lake.
DAY 9: INLE LAKE – RED MOUNTAIN – INLE LAKE
After breakfast, transfer by boat to Maing Thauk village located on the eastern shore of the lake. Walk through the village and continue up hill (walking time approximately 1 hour) under the shade of the trees to a stupa and the adjacent monastery which is also a meditation center. The moment you arrive you will feel a sense of serenity and peacefulness. If you wish a monk will introduce you into the world of meditation and give you a lecture on the way body and mind flows together as one. Descend back to the village with the possibility to visit an orphanage on the way. Total walking time: about 2 hours, partly up-hill (not steep), altitude difference less than 100 m.
Continue by road to Red Mountain Vineyard to taste the Red Mountain Wine of Myanmar and a lunch while enjoying the serene landscape across the valley and Inle Lake with a backdrop of the hazy mountains. Return to your hotel for overnight stay at Inle Lake.
Stay overnight at hotel in Inle Lake.
DAY 10: HEHO – YANGON
After breakfast, transfer to Heho airport for the domestic flight to Yangon or the next destination.