Day 1: Yangon arrival and sightseeing
Upon your arrival, our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel for check-in. From there, an afternoon tour begins with the Karaweik Hall, a royal barge on the Royal Lake for a photo opportunity of the beautiful area. Then a visit to the Chaukhtatgyi (Reclining Buddha) for a chance to see a famous and truly massive statue. Then the tour leads to China Town for a rich and vibrant cultural immersion with the fruit market and the city center of Yangon. Located there is the globally famous Shwedagon Pagoda, with its golden dome and the brilliance of that shine as the sun sets with magnificent beauty. This all leads to your first night spent in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon and Bagan
Following breakfast at the hotel, the group will move to the airport for a quick flight to Bagan. Once there, you can take advantage of many sightseeing stops like the stunningly colorful and vibrant Nyaung U Market, or the Shwezigon Pagoda for the golden stupa upon it. Also of interest are the Kyansittha Umin (Cave Temple) with a humble outside, but brilliant murals and carvings inside. The Wet-kyi-inn Gubyaukgyi temple has magnificient mural paintings of jataka scenes. After the visit to the area, the tour also encourages the sights of the Lacquer Ware workshop to witness local textiles being made as well as moving on to the Manuha temple. Nanphaya is known as the residence of the Kind Manuha is also in the area. Another beautiful spot is the Ananda Temple which is an architectural masterpiece, and also the nearby Oak-Kyaung monastery covered in multi-colored murals and paintings. The day comes to a close with a breathtaking sunset over the Shwesandaw Pagoda and the truly picturesque images it inspires. The night ends with a stay in Bagan.
Day 3: Bagan Sightseeing
Breakfast will be had at the hotel before the tour begins for the day. The first locale will be the Lawkanada Pagoda, A stunning bell-shaped monument gilded in a golden hue. Then to the East and West Phet Leik with clay plaques that depict Jataka scenes. Next are the Thatbyinnyu Temple, Shwegugyi Temple, and both the Palace and Tharaba Gates. This cultural show continues with a tour to the breathtaking Apevadana Temple with paintings of the Mahayana concept, a major sect of the Buddhist way of life. Also includes are the Nagayon and Dhamayangyi temples, the latter being a truly massive temple with some of the finest brickwork to survive lengths of time. The tour will also visit an archeological museum, giving context to the discoveries of local artifacts in a more informative manner. The day will come to a close with a chance to see the sunset over the Ayeyarwaddy River creating some of the most peaceful images imaginable. The night will be spent in Bagan.
Day 4: Bagan, Mandalay, Amarapura, and Mandalay again
An early morning transfer to the airport will return the tour to Yangon before connecting to Mandalay by air. From there, a drive to Amarapura will get tour members to the Mahagandayon Monastery where hundreds of young monks called Sanga are beginning their training to be Buddhist monks. Time spent there is devoted to studying Buddhist literature and strictly following the precepts and regulations of the faith and monastery. All is designed to follow the example of the Buddha. From there, the group will travel along the rustic U Bein Bridge- a long, wooden structure that allows travel across a wide body of water that is truly relaxing. Once at Mandalay, the full day is devoted to sightseeing with a wealth of cultural and beautiful sights to behold. The Mahamuni and Kyauktawgyi Pagodas are home to large Buddha images, the second one home to a massive statue carved from a single block of marble. The Shwenandaw Monastery (Golden Palace) is famous for the exquisite wood carvings. Meanwhile the Kuthodaw Pagoda is home to what is known as the world’s biggest book. There lies a huge stone ‘book’ with slabs of stone for pages, all devoted to Buddah’s scripture. Also available are the Sulamani pagoda and the Mandalay Palace for wonderful photo opportunities. Guests can enjoy the beautiful sunset from the Mandalay Hill area before spending the night there in Mandalay.
Day 5: Mandalay, Mingun, Sagaing, and Mandalay again
After a chance to enjoy breakfast at the hotel, the group will depart Mandalay via a private boat on the Ayeryarwaddy River en route to Mingun. The sights are all around you and beautiful as you approach the village on the west bank. From there, the tour leads you to the Settawaya Pagoda, Mingun Pahtotawgyi, and a world renowned ringing Mingun Bell and Myatheintan Pagoda. This massive bell is awe-inspiring, and has been the heaviest functioning bell multiple times throughout history. In the afternoon, the tour takes a sightseeing drive through Sagaing Hill- quite possibly the living center of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar. All around the area, hillsides are dotted with Pagodas and Monasteries overlooking this vital spot. The group continues through to visit Khaungmudaw Pagoda where you can rest for a short time before enjoying the sunset from Sagaing hill. From there, you will return to Mandalay for an overnight stop.
Day 6: Mandalay, Heho, and Inle Lake
As your day begins, you will transfer to the airport and fly to Heho. Once you land, the group heady by car to Inle Lake to begin sightseeing by boat. The lake offers several unique sights like the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the home to five small golden gilded Buddhas made priceless in both art and gold. Also there are the Floating Gardens and Stilt House villages. The locals are about in unique methods such as leg-rowing boats, and using traditional fishing methods and silk weaving all on the water. Another point of interest is the Nge Pe Chaung (Jamping Cat) Monastery. The tour day ends by spending the night at the Inle lake area.
Day 7: Inle and Indein
After breakfast at the hotel, the tour continues by visiting the Indein Pagaoda near the Indein creek. This waterway is quite narrow, and winds back and forth. The surrounding area is often quite wet, allowing multiple Paddy fields near the creek. This creates picturesque and calm scenery as the group begins to venture up into a small canal and pass through the area toward Pa O Hill tribe’s village. The night will be spend in Inle again.
Day 8: Inle, Heho, and Yangon
Another travel day as the group enjoys breakfast at the hotel before taking a transfer boat to Shwe and driving to Heho for the flight back to Yangon. Once back in the city, the day is free for your leisure and exploration of the city before the night is again spent in Yangon.
Day 9: Yangon City
Breakfast is served at the hotel before taking a morning tour around the city. Places to be visited include the Botahtaung Pagoda, Nanthida jetty and an opportunity to see the traffic on the Yangon River. As a major thoroughfare, the area is quite lively with all levels of travel. Luxury cruise liners stop at the jetty quite often, giving a magnificent view of the level of commerce in the city. Next is a stop at the Sule Pagoda and colonial buildings as well as the National Museum to enjoy the culture and breadth of history this locale has to offer. In the afternoon, the tour will include a visit to the Kaba Yae Pagoda (world’s peace pagoda), Mahapasana Cave, and the White Elephant Camp. Another stop of the day is the Lawka ChantharArbayar Laba Muni Buddha Image, a stunning and awe-inspiring image of the Buddha carved from a single piece of white marble rock that is truly huge and impressive. The day winds down with another overnight stay in Yangon.
Day 10: Departure
After a chance for breakfast, the tour leaves the hotel for a chance to shop at the local market for any souvenirs. Area merchants are ready with Gemstones and handicrafts of all shapes and sizes. Also available is the Bogyoke Aung San (Scott) Market where many tourists find what they are looking for. Afterward, the tour concludes by assisting guests to the airport to make their flights home.