Day 1. January 13 - Arrive Yangon
Arrive in Yangon where you will be welcomed by your local tour guide and transferred to your hotel to drop off you luggage. (flight routes to Yangon are easiest through Bankok, Thailand.) This afternoon, visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda of Rudyard Kipling fame and one of Myanmar’s most sacred places. The massive bell shaped stupa is plated with gold and the tip of the stupa is set with diamonds and rubies, sapphires and topaz a stunning sight as the sun sets and a most fitting place to begin our trip in this “Golden Land”.
Day 2. January 14 - Yangon Bagan by flight B
This morning we take an early flight to Bagan. Here, we enjoy sightseeing around the Bagan Archaeological Zone World Heritage Area. A comprehensive exploration of Bagan includes Nyaung Oo market; Shwezigon Pagoda, the prototype of later Myanmar stupas; Kyansittha Umin; Wet-kyi-inn Gubyaukgyi Temple with exquisite mural painting of 13th century and Htilominlo Temple.
In the afternoon, after a visit to lacquer ware workshops; Manuha Temple; Ananda Temple, architectural masterpiece and Oak-Kyaung monastery decorated with multi colour mural paintings. Enjoy the breathtaking sunset from one of the temple of Bagan. Overnight at the hotel in Bagan.
Day 3 - January 15 - Eclipse Viewing - Bagan B
Today, we are free to explore Old Bagan at leisure, with eclipse viewing anywhere we please. Rent a private horse-cart cab for about $12 a day for private transfers for yourself and your equipment. Eclipse is at local 3:02 - 3:10pm. You will have time to frame your sunrise and sunset photos over any of the 2200 temples in breathtaking Bagan valley.
Day 4. January 16 - Bagan Mt. Popa Bagan B L
This morning, you may choose to watch sunrise over Bagan from one of the many scenic spots. After breakfast at hotel, we head to Mt. Popa. Mt. Popa, known as the abode of Nats (spirits) - a collection of 37 magical spirits both feared and honoured by some Myanmar people and the nat museum, which houses 37 life-size nat statues sculpted from teak. We have time to climb for 777 steps to the summit. Proceed to Popa Mountain Resort for our lunch with a great view to the Popa summit. After lunch, return drive back to Bagan. Enroute, we stop at village cottage industry to learn the regional product.
Day 5. January 17 - Bagan Mandalay by flight B, L
After breakfast at hotel, transfer for flight to Mandalay. We then drive to ancient capital of Amarapura, the city of Immortality for a visit to Bagaya Monastery with a famous collection of Buddha images; weaving industries, 200 year-old U-Bein teak bridge on the Taungtaman Lake. We are priviledged to observe the lunch process of thousand of monks who take their last meal of the day at 10:00 am in total silence. After refreshment, we tour Mandalay including all the traditional arts and crafts. Start visiting gold leaf making work-place and see how the gold leaf is being made by hand in a traditional way. Continue visit the Old Palace grounds; Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world's largest book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha's Doctrine; Golden Palace Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from Mandalay Hill.
Day 6. January 18 - Mandalay Mingun - Inwa(Ava) Mandalay B L
This morning, board a Jetty for a private boat across the river Ayeywarwaddy to visit Mingun. The dedications of King Bodawpaya such as the unfinished Pathodawgyi Pagoda a brick counterpart of pyramid in Egypt and the Mingun Bell. Then visiting the Myatheintan Pagoda, considered as a representation of the Universe, it is known to 'lift spirits'. Return to Mandalay. After lunch, drive to Ava, was known in the west as the Kingdom of Ava. Travel by pony-cart around Ava to Nanmyint leaning tower which gives a birds' eye view of the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River; Bagaya wooden monastery; Aungmyaybonza Monastery made of brick and stucco. Though the Royal Palace has gone, the Pagodas, Temples and Monasteries still remain. Return drive to Mandalay and see the silversmith work place on our way back to hotel.
Day 7. January 19. Mandalay Heho Pindaya by flight & car B
Morning departure for flight to Heho on the Shan plateau. Upon arrival, transfer by road to Pindaya. After check in at hotel, make an excursion to the caves which houses over 8,000 Buddha Images of various sizes, made from teak, lacquer, marble, alabaster and cement. In the afternoon, explore the district for it's famous traditional paper & umbrella making home base cottage industry.
Day 8. January 20 - Pindaya Inle Lake B
This morningl, we are transferred to Inle Lake. We have a leisurely morning to make our way down into the Inle basin and by “long-tail” boat out across the lake to our Hotel right on the Inle Lake. In the afternoon, we plan to spend the day visiting villages and sampling the spectacular array of traditional handicrafts. You will see the unique method locals use to row their boats, fishermen with their own style of fishing, floating farms and gardens and a handloom weaving cottage with its own showroom. You will visit Phaungdawoo Pagoda which houses the five most revered Buddha Images in the southern Shan State. Overnight in overwater bungalows at the hotel on Inle Lake.
Day 9. January 22 - Inle Lake boat excursions B
After breakfast, visit floating market which is a 5-day rotation market most fascinating to watch the daily life of the local tribes people. Continue our excursion by motorized boat to Indein pagoda complex, in the south-west of the lake. The boat leaves the lake and enters a narrow canal with a beautiful natural environment to continue to a small Pa O tribe village. From the village, follow an old covered path to a 13th century monastery and the very impressive ruins of hundreds of ancient pagodas, some hidden in the vegetation. The main stupa-area on the top of the hill offers breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains and down to the valley and the lake in the far distance.
Day 10. January 22 - Inle Lake Heho Yangon by flight
We are heading back down country today to return to the airport at Heho for our flight to Yangon. Our route takes us back to Heho and down the escarpment to Nyaung-Shwe for a busy local market. Check in at airport and fly back to Yangon. In the afternoon, we visit a royal barge for fantastic photo shot along the “pilgrims” causeway across the Royal Lake with stunning views of Schwedagon Pagoda and visit the Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) for souvenir shopping.
Day 11. January 23 - Departure Yangon
After breakfast at hotel, you will be transferred to Yangon International airport for your return international departure flight.
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