You'll be taken in style on voyages of breathtaking beauty and discovery on the mysterious rivers of Myanmar (Burma). Visit temples, pagodas, palaces and monasteries along the Irrawaddy River from Bagan to Mandalay.
Day 1: Arrival in Yangon (D)
Meet on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transfer to hotel for check-in and tour briefing. Balance of the day is at leisure. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Yangon - Bagan (B, L)
Transfer to Yangon Airport for domestic flight to Bagan. Scattered around a 26 square km plain surrounding the Ayeyarwady River are the magnificent red brick temples and pagodas left from the religious fervor of the Kings of Bagan during the period 1057-1287 AD. In addition to the impressive architecture, inside are colorful murals and exquisite Buddha statues, and from the summit, awesome views showing the immense expanse of the Bagan era temples. Upon arrival in Bagan, proceed on a sightseeing tour, starting with the busy local market and continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. See 13th century frescoes adorning the corridors of Kyansittha ‘Cave’ Temple. Continue to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In village), another cave temple with fine frescoes of the 'Jataka Tales'. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes. In the afternoon, visit the Archaeological Museum. Continue to Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals. Make a photo stop at the tallest temple measuring 61 meters - Thatbyinnyu known as Temple of Omniscience and dating from 1144. Enjoy sunset at one of the monuments along the Ayeyarwady River.
Day 3: Bagan (B)
This morning we have time to explore the Myinkaba village area either by bicycle or by horse cart. First we visit Gubyaukgyi Temple admiring the fine stuccowork. We continue to Nanpaya temple, built in the Mon style with intricate stone carvings, and said to have been Manuha's residence. See the four Buddha images in Manuha Pagoda and later stop at Myazedi stupa to see Myanmar's "Rosetta Stone", bearing inscriptions written in four languages. In the afternoon, visit Moe Moe lacquer ware factory to watch craftsmen skillfully making this most famous of Bagan handicrafts. After that a visit to Abeyadana Temple with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian mythology. Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortarless brickwork. Next, visit Sulamani, one of Bagan’s great two-storied Bamar style temples, which has 4-seated Buddha images. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan’s ancient monuments.
Day 4: Cruise Embarkation (B, L, D)
Early start by horse-cart (when available) to a temple to see the sunrise. Return to the hotel for breakfast. The embarkation is 11.30 hours at Bagan Aye Yar jetty. Welcome Cocktail in the Saloon. The Cast off time is at 12 noon. Lunch will be served at 13.00. In the late afternoon, stop in a typical river village.
Day 5: River Cruise (B, L, D)
Cruise all day with stop en route in the morning to visit Yandabo, a typical river village specialize in Pot-Making, where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. Moor overnight nearby a village (Ywar Thit Gyi or Pauk Myaing Pauk Taw) few miles away from Ava Bridge.
Day 6: Mandalay - Sagaing (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast, the passengers will disembark at Sagaing Jetty at around 09.30hrs. Although Mandalay has a few highlights such as Kuthodaw Pagoda and Mandalay Hill, it is the ancient capitals, battered stupas and sights outside of the city which are the main attraction. After disembarking, drive to Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees, to enjoy a magnificent view over the surrounding area. Visit nunnery school for a short chat with the nuns. In the afternoon, proceed to Amarapura, famous for silk weaving, 15 km from Mandalay. Visit Bagaya Monastery with its superb collection of Buddha statues. Continue to 150-year-old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1851 when Amarapura was the royal capital.
Day 7: Mandalay (B)
Our sightseeing tour of Mandalay includes Mahamuni Pagoda, with its spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Stop to see stone carvings and, later, gold leaf being beaten into wafer thin pieces. Next on to a craftsman’s workshop for Kalaga tapestries. In the afternoon, visit the renovated Mandalay Palace to see the old palace walls, the city gates with their crowning wooden pavilions and the surrounding moat which still present an impressive scene. Also visit the Cultural Museum where you will see remains of the last Myanmar throne inside the palace grounds. Continue on to Shwenandaw Monastery, an ancient wooden building with intricate carvings, which was once King Mindon's home. Next visit the 'world’s largest book', the
Buddhist Scriptures inscribed on marble slabs, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Enjoy spectacular views at sunset from Mandalay Hill, from its glass-studded temples.
Day 8: Mandalay – Heho - Inle Lake (B)
Transfer to Mandalay Airport for domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival in Heho, transfer down into the valley to Nyaungshwe on the edge of Inle Lake and board your own local boat to take you to your hotel. Lunch at your hotel. During today's excursion by boat on picturesque Inle Lake we will see the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and village life. Next visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State then on to the boat construction workshop at Nampan village. Pass endless floating gardens, where fruit and vegetables are grown. See traditional handicrafts - silk weaving on wooden handlooms, the umbrella workshop and a blacksmith shop. Continue by boat to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake where we will see ancient Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old. The beauty of sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors.
Day 9: Inle Lake (B)
Full day is at leisure to enjoy your stay at the resort.
Optional program: Inle - Thalee Oo 2.30 hour walk
A short 25 minute boat trip brings us to the village of Thalee Oo, which is similar to several lakeside villages with both water and land-based sections each with its own monastery.
Navigating through the houses on stilts, we disembark at a jetty to being our walk on a flat and shady bullock cart road through the heart of the village. Thalee Oo is an Intha village whose population lives mainly off the land growing peanuts, tomatoes, garlic, sugarcane, rice and vegetables. The walk is extremely pretty with traditional bamboo houses on either side and adjacent to a clean stream used for daily washing. It also has good views across cultivated fields to Inle Lane and the Shan Hills beyond. Stop and chat with some of the friendly Intha families while observing their daily life. After 45 minutes we stop at a local wooden rice mill to see the process of separating grain, husk and bran. Climbing uphill for 30 minutes through a Monastery, we reach the small PaO village of Ywa Thit renowned for its bamboo basket weaving. The PaO ladies still wear traditional black tops and brightly colored checkered towels as turbans. After admiring the stunning view of Inle Lake and the Shan Hills from our vantage point, we descend for 30 minutes before continuing along a flat path through the village of Alae Myaung back to the lakeshore and our boat.
Day 10: Inle Lake - Sagar - Inle Lake (B, L)
Travel from your hotel by boat via Nampan to Sagar (approximately 2h 30m to 3 hrs) and Thakong, an area south of Inle Lake which is rarely visited. Explore the 5-day market (on market day only) at Kyauktaing and a Shan village where earthenware pottery is produced. At Kyainkhan (near Kyauktaing) visit a family, producing robes (Phongyi clothes) made from fabrics of thousands of lotus stems. Observe local methods of producing a highly intoxicating drink fermented and extracted from bran rice. After lunch you will see the unspoiled culture and traditional life-style of the ethnic Pa-O and Intha inhabitants around Sagar and Hmawbi. Enjoy the beautiful landscape, flowering trees and numerous settlements dotting both sides of the canal. Late afternoon return to the hotel at Inle Lake.
Day 11: Inle Lake – Indaing - Heho - Yangon (B, L)
This morning, we enjoy a boat tour to Indaing, at the western end of the Lake. The boat takes you through a long channel where you watch the farmers cultivate their produce. This ride is one of the most scenic boat tours on Lake Inle. To visit the temple complex, follow a stair path lined up with magnificent columns to the top. Return to the boat jetty with a leisurely ‘nature walk’. In the afternoon transfer to Heho Airport for a domestic flight to Yangon. Arrival Yangon and transfer to hotel.
Day 12: Yangon (B)
Morning sightseeing tour includes the old colonial-style city center and the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years. We then drive through the colonial style buildings downtown, the Chinatown area and the Indian quarter. In the afternoon, a visit to Bogyoke Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) gives you the opportunity to see Myanmar's wide range of handicrafts. The tour continues to Chauk Htat Kyi, a huge reclining Buddha image, followed by a photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Then visit to Gem Museum (closed on Monday and public holiday) to see precious stone and jewels. Then we drive to Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular religious monuments, which will conclude the tour of this picturesque Garden City. The golden dome of the Shwedagon Pagoda rises 98 meters above its base and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold.
Day 13: Departure (B)
Free till transfer to the airport for departure flight
- Accommodation of the class quoted
- Land transfer by AC vehicle
- Local English-speaking guide
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- Government tax and service charge
- Supply of bottled water & tissues on car on touring days
- Visa arrangement
- Any flight does not mentioned and international tax
- Travel insurance
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Hotel/Room upgrade
- Festivity surcharge & festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
- Tip, drinks, personal expenses and others