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The Great Myanmar Journey

12 Days / 11 nights
  • Inle Lake – Floating Garden & Fishermen
  • Mandalay – Mandalay Hill
  • Bagan – 4000 Pagodas
  • Golden Rock (Kyaikthiyo).
  • Yangon – Gold and Gemstone Covered Pagodas
Map Great Mandalay Journey

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Yangon – City Tour

Upon your arrival, we will welcome you to the Yangon Airport and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

After a short breather, we will visit a few of Yangon’s highlights, including the Chauk That Gyi pagoda with its marvellous reclining Buddha and the Karaweik Hall with its unique decorated hamsa bird-shaped floating barge on the Kandawgyi Lake.

We will conclude day 1 beholding a spectacular monument and iconic symbol of Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda and its gold-covered dome that dominates the city’s skyline.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Included: Accommodation Yangon, City Tour & English Speaking Guide

 


Day 2: Yangon – Bagan

Our quest to explore the highlights of Yangon continues after breakfast. We will start the exploration in the colonial-era city centre and an over 2,000-year-old landmark, the Sule Paya Stupa, the focal point of various historic events in the city’s history.

From here, we will continue on foot to explore the British colonial era Yangon Old Quarter with its charming buildings, going through the bustling market streets with interesting merchants and food stalls. We will also learn about Myanmar’s traditional medicine at a local pharmacy, and then enjoy tea and snacks like the locals while doing some quality people-watching.

Next, we’ll continue onward to the Strand Hotel, a truly Asian landmark built by the Sarkies brothers that’s home to the River Art Gallery. Here, we will get to appreciate the works of famous Burmese artists before continuing to the bustling Bogyoke Market, which is packed with hundreds of gemstones, handicrafts, clothes, art and food stores. However, the market is closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.

After lunch, we will head to the airport for a one-hour flight to Bagan and then be transferred to our Bagan accommodation.

Yangon at Night

Included: Accommodation Bagan, Tours & Flight Ticket Yangon – Bagan

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 3: Bagan Tour

After breakfast, our day in Bagan begins with a journey to the Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan. We first visit the Dhamayazeka Zedi, which provides panoramic views to the plains of Bagan that are dotted with temples.

Next, we will visit the gilded Swezigon Stupa at the Archaeological Museum that is rumoured to contain a holy relic – the tooth of Buddha. A short distance away, we’ll also visit the Myngaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple that showcases the mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka reincarnations.

At the Myingaba Village, we will learn about Bagan’s famous lacquerware crafts, and at the Htilominlo Temple, we will learn about Burmese sand paintings. We will wrap up our day of temple tours with a visit to the symmetric Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddhas that seem to gaze at the viewer with fixed serenity, regardless of the viewer’s position.

Landscape at Bagan with pagados, Irrawady River and green spots

Included: Accommodation Bagan, Bagan Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 4: Bagan Tour & River Cruise

Today, we carry on with an exploration of Bagan, starting with the Manuha Temple’s Mon architectural lines. We will proceed to the Thanaka Museum for insight into the traditional uses of sandalwood paste, and then a visit to a Cigar Workshop to see how local cheroots (cigars) are made.

Bagan’s largest market, Nyaung U Market, follows before we stroll through a local village to see a traditional brick factory. We learn more about Myanmar’s national education system at the Monastic School where disadvantaged children receive free primary education, and then in the late afternoon, we will head to Irrawaddy River for a private sunset cruise with cocktails and views of temple silhouettes on the bustling shores.

Optional Tour: Hot Air Balloon Flight over Bagan
Float over thousand-year-old pagodas next to the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River as the sun sinks slowly behind the mountains. One of the most remarkable sights in Asia, the magic sight of Bagan’s ancient temples dotting the landscape affords visitors a unique opportunity to see this ancient kingdom from a rare perspective. The sunrise and sunset champagne flights take off daily from October to March.

.Boat at Inle Lake in the evening

Included: Accommodation Bagan, Bagan Tour, English Speaking Guide & River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast

 


 

Day 5: Bagan – Mandalay

After breakfast, we are off to the airport for a quick, 30-minute flight to Mandalay. From here, we will head straight to Mandalay city to enjoy the morning at the Zegyo Market, buzzing with local Mandalay life.

Next, we will go to the Artisan Quarters where we’ll find some of the oldest craftsmanship dating back to Myanmar’s last kingdom. We’ll observe gold leaf pounding, teakwood carvings and Myanmar tapestry embroidering along with how Baddha statues are shaped from bronze and marble.

Next, we will take in the highlights of Mandalay including the Mahamuni Pagoda that’s home to the country’s most significant Buddha images, covered with tons of gold leaf, the crown prize in wars between ancient Myanmar kingdoms. The Golden Palace Monastry offers a glimpse of Myanmar’s original royal architecture and last, the Kuthodaw Pagoda houses Buddha’s teachings carved in sacred Pali script from stone slabs considered the world’s largest book in terms of surface area.

We will conclude our day with panoramic sunset views of the city skyline from the highest point in the city, Mandalay Hill.

View from Mandalay Hill in the evening

Included: Accommodation Mandalay, Flight Ticket Bagan – Mandalay, Mandalay Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 6: Mandalay Tour

After breakfast, we will journey outside of Mandalay where we’ll find the Ancient Kingdoms of Myanmar, before heading to Ava (Inwa) that was the accent capital of the Shan and Burmese Kingdoms for over four centuries.

From here, we will then cross the Myint Nge River by ferry for a horse cart exploration of Ava’s small roads and visit a pristine Bagaya Teak Monastery still in use by monks. We’ll also see the Nanmwyin Watch Tower, known as the Leaning Tower of Ava, which is the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace. We will also visit Mah Aungmye Bonzan Monastery with its graceful curves and archways.

Next, we will then continue to the Ancient Kingdom of Sagaing on the other side of the Irrawaddy River, and enjoy beautiful vistas over the river and hillside from Sagaing Hills. At a monastery in Sagaing we learn about the life of Buddhist devotees and visit a famous Silversmith Village nearby. In Amarapura, an ancient capital city famous for weaving and textile industries, we will visit a cottage industry workshop to learn more about longyis and traditional fabrics.

Closer to sunset, we will head to the Taungtaman Lake to experience the impressive Ubein Bridge, a simple, but solid teak bridge that spans 1.2 kilometres over the lake, which also doubles as a beautiful subject for sunset photography.

Ubein Bridge during sunset with people

Included: Accommodation Mandalay, Mandalay Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 7: Mandalay – Inle Lake

After breakfast, we will say goodbye to Mandalay as we travel to the airport for a 30-minute flight to Heho, a quiet transit town that is home to one of the very few airports in hilly Shan State. We’ll drop by the Heho Market, a melting pot of ethnic minorities from the surrounding areas who trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only).

On the way to Inle Lake, we will stop at a local family’s workshop and learn about Shan umbrellas and paper making using traditional methods employing fibres of mulberry trees. An hour’s drive to Inle Lake takes us down a valley fringed by the Shan mountains and rice fields to check in to our hotel.

Our afternoon will take us on an exploration of Inle Lake, known for its floating islands and gardens growing on natural beds of tangled water hyacinth roots. The fishermen in the area use a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority only on Inle Lake, they balance and row with one leg.

Floating Tomato Gardens, Inle Lake

Included: Accommodation Inle Lake area, Inle Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 8: Inle Lake

After breakfast, a down a small river takes us to Inn Thein Pagoda and seemingly back in time. A short walk through verdant bamboo grooves opens up to a field covered with over 1,000-year-old, ancient pagodas. We then take the boat back to visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, home to the sacred gold leaf-covered Buddha statues. We also visit the Inpawkhon Weaving Village for insight into the local crafting of handmade silk, linen and lotus fabrics.

For a bonus treat, we will stop at a Burmese Cat house built over the lake to reintroduce this endemic, rare pure breed feline to Myanmar. Then at Nampan Village, local craftsmen will show us more about the traditional rolling and packing of Burmese cigars called cheroots, before we end our day with the graceful boatmen perched on one leg, rowing our canoes into the sunset.

Fishermen Inle Lake with net on boat

Included: Accommodation Inle Lake area, Inle Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 9: Inle Lake – Yangon

In the morning, we will transfer by boat to the Nyauang Shwe town and visit the nearby Red Mountain Estate to tour the lush vineyard, situated on the side of the mountain.

Here, we will get to taste some of Myanmar’s premier wines and observe the different ageing methods completed in their cellar cave. After lunch in Nyaung Shwe, we will take an hour’s drive to Heho airport for an afternoon flight to Yangon. Upon arrival to Yangon, we will transfer to our hotel. The rest of the evening is free for relaxing.

Young monks running

Included: Accommodation Yangon, Tour, English Speaking Guide & Flight Ticket Heho – Yangon

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 10: The Golden Rock

We kick-start our morning with a pickup from the hotel in Yangon, followed by a two-hour (99 kilometers) drive to Thanatpin, where we take a stroll through the colourful local market.

Next, we will board a local long-tail boat for a ride through rice fields and small Mon Villages scattered along the waterway. After lunch at a local restaurant in Bago, we will continue our journey with a three-and-a-half-hour (110 kilometers) drive to the Kin Pun base camp to change our mode of transport to an open truck.

The open truck ride is shared with local pilgrimage makers for the next 11 kilometres to the Yathetaung base camp, located 500 meters below the summit ridge. A further, one-hour hike up partly on a steep road and paved trail leads us to the summit. The Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo as the Burmese call it, is a fascinating sacred boulder covered in gold leaf and balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff.

Crowning the boulder is a small shrine believed to contain Buddha’s hair relics, the source of the gravity-defying magic. A continual stream of pilgrims from Myanmar and Asia come to witness the wonder at least once in their lifetime. Enjoy the tranquil sunset, soak in the unique atmosphere and share in wonder with a fellow monk, nun and lay pilgrims.

Optional: The Royal Treatment
For those who would prefer relaxation the entire way, they can enjoy views from a bamboo sedan chair carried by four local porters. Arrangements can be made by trip guides at the base of the climb. Prices are determined by season, availability and body weight (typical rates run around 50 USD).

Golden Rock (Kyaikthiyo). during sunset, Myanmar

Included: Accommodation near Golden Rock, Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 11: Golden Rock – Yangon

Wake up early for lovely sunrise views and a quiet morning stroll. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before descending back to the Kin Pun base camp. We’ll take a three-and-a-half-hour (110 kilometres) drive to Bago. After lunch, we will visit a Mon Weaving Village near Bago.

The rest of the one-and-a-half (80 kilometres) drive to Yangon is broken up with visits to a Nat Three Shrine dedicated to a legendary Nat spirit, the Kyaik Pun Pagoda with its four giant Buddha images, and the Allied Troops War Cemetery honouring 6,000 war heroes of WWII. We will reach Yangon in the afternoon and the rest of the day is for relaxing or shopping in Yangon.

Young Monks eating

Included: Accommodation Yangon, Tour & English Speaking Guide

Meals: Breakfast

 


Day 12: Departure Yangon

Breakfast at the hotel and free at leisure until the time to transfer out to Yangon airport for your departure flight.

Myanmar girl with face painting

Included: Transfer

Meals: Breakfast

More Info

Estimated Prices

Luxury – Best Accommodations – Private Tours & Guide.

Date USD per Adult
01 Apr – 30 Sep On Request
01 Oct – 31 Mar On Request

Superior – 3-4 Star Accommodations – Van & Guide sharing

Date USD per Adult
01 Apr – 30 Sep On Request
01 Oct – 31 Mar On Request

*Estimated based on min. 2 travellers.

Tour Include

 English Speaking Guide

 Tours and transfers with air-conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary

 Meals as listed

 2 bottles of water and 2 refreshing towels per person on full-day excursions

 Domestic airfares as per itinerary

 All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary

 Accommodation

Tour Excludes

Meals that is not listed

Drinks

 Personal Expensive

Request Price

The Great Myanmar Journey
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