TOUR CODE: MYTMYR
Discover an enigmatic and deeply spiritual Myanmar and found out why this is one of Southeast Asia’s most intriguing nations. Yangon will greet you with its sparkling golden pagoda topped by a stupa containing over 7,000 diamonds, rubies, topaz and sapphires, the whole capricious concoction offset by a massive emerald positioned to reflect the last rays of the setting sun. In Bagan, you will be enthralled by the sheer majesty of the thousands of pagodas and stupas strewn across the wide expanse of plains. At dawn and dusk, enjoy the glorious hues of crimson and gold reflecting off the many domes and spires as you ride on horse-driven carriages. We will take you to explore Mandalay’s historic treasures before heading to Inle Lake, filled with floating gardens making it one of the most spectacular lakes in Southeast Asia.
Arrive in Yangon. After customs and immigration formalities, our local representative will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel to get acclimatized with your new surroundings. Later in the evening, visit the magical Shwedagon Pagoda.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Start the tour in Bagan by visiting the colorful Nyaung Oo Market, Shwezigon Pagoda, Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi (a cave temple with exquisite jatakas mural paintings), the elegant Htilominlo Temple (noted for its plaster carvings), and the Tharabar Gate. Continue exploring Bagan in the afternoon with visits to Ananda (an architectural masterpiece of early-style temple), Ananda Okkyaung (one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period), Thatbyinnyu Temple (the highest in Bagan, rising to 200 feet), and Dhammayangyi Temple (noted for its remarkable brickwork). Enjoy a fantastic sunset view at one of the famous temples.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Myinkaba village and observe the process of creating traditional lacquer ware, one of the best-known Myanmar handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Visit Myinkaba Gubyaukkyi (an early period Pyu-style temple of Hindu influence). Next, stop at the Manuha and Nanpaya temples. In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the countryside village of Minnanthu. If time permits, visit a number of interesting temples such as Payathonzu, Lemyethnar, Sinbyushin, Nandaminnya, and Minnanthu monastery. Enjoy the sunset over the Ayeyarwaddy River at Bupaya.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay. On the way to the city, visit the Maha Gandayone monastery (home to more than 1,000 monks) in Amarapura and the Mahamuni Pagoda (famous for its venerable statue of Buddha covered with gold leaf). Afternoon sightseeing includes the Shwenandaw Monastery (noted for its exquisite woodcarving), Atumashi Monastery, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda—with its 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book). Enjoy a panoramic view of Mandalay City from the Mandalay Hill.
Transfer to the jetty and travel by boat up the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun. Tour highlights include Pahto-taw-gyi, the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, Mingun Bell (considered the largest ringing bell in the world), the unusual architecture of Myantheintan Pagoda, and the delightful views of the Ayeyarwady River and its surroundings. In the afternoon, drive to visit the Shwe Inn Bin monastery and the U Bein Bridge (the world’s longest Teakwood Bridge 3,963 feet long) with stops at the local workshops that specialize in bronze casting, gold leaf, wood, and marble carving.
MANDALAY/HEHO/PINDAYA/INLE LAKE (B)
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho in Shan State. Upon arrival, continue by car and enjoy a scenic drive to the small quiet town of Pindaya, 30 miles north of Kalaw, to visit Pindaya Lake and Pindaya Cave, well-known for its thousands of Buddha images. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside along the road to Pindaya through picturesque landscapes. Visit bamboo umbrella workshop as well. Drive to Nyaung Shwe for a transfer to your hotel.
INLE LAKE (B)
Take a full day tour of Inle Lake by private boat with opportunities to see surrounding villages, the unique leg-rowers fishermen, and the floating gardens, grown from strips of floating water hyacinths and anchored with bamboo poles. The tour also includes visits to the silver smith factory, the silk weaving village, the Cheroot making factory, the boat making workshop, the jumping cat monastery, and the most famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, where the Buddha images have been covered in so much gold that they look like balls of solid gold.
INLE LAKE/HEHO/YANGON (B)
In the morning transfer to Nyaung Shwe jetty by private boat and enjoy a scenic drive to Heho Airport for your flight to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Take an afternoon shopping excursion to Bogyok Aung San (Scott) Market, the city’s busiest and most lively bazaar. Afterwards visit the Botataung Pagoda, Chinatown, and the fruit market.
YANGON DEPARTURE (B)
Take a morning excursion to visit the Chukhtatkyi Reclining Buddha and Karaweik Royal Barge (a floating barge on the Kandawgyi Royal Lake). Transfer to Yangon Airport for departure.
Meals: B= Breakfast
Per person, based on double occupancy
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