Myanmar Highlight Tour 20 Days

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  • We can tailor this trip to suit your specific requirements
  • Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursion to accommodation

Yangon  Hit the streets of Myanmar's most cosmopolitan city on this fascinating journey into Yangon. Packed with pagodas and crammed with colonial relics, Yangon is one of the most enchanting cities in Asia.

Pindaya is a pretty town set amidst the beautiful countryside of Shan State. In April/May, the surrounding rolling hills turn a sunburnt red where you could be mistaken for the olive groves of Andalucia.

Inle Lake The Intha people are the Lake dwellers who are unique for their leg rowing. Leg rowed traditional boats are the main ceremonial attractions of the Inle Lake.

Mandalay  is best known not only for it's rich traditional, cultural and spiritual splendor but also exquisite handicraft such as hand-woven embroidery in silk and cotton, the incredible process of making gold leaves, wood and stone carving and bronze casting etc.

Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era

Salay was the home of famous writer and poet of Bagan era called “Salay U Ponya” whose works are still studied and referred by many modern Myanmar scholars.

Mawlamyine is one of the Orient's most picturesque ports. It is a good place in which to experience Myanmar's spiritual side at various Buddhist shrines.

MYANMAR HIGHLIGHT TOUR
(20 days/ 19 nights)
Yangon - Heho – Pindaya - Inle Lake - Heho – Mandalay - Bagan - Yangon – Kyaikhtiyo - Mawlamyine - Yangon

Day 1: Yangon arrival

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, pick up and transfer to the hotel for check in.

Overnight in Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon (B)

Today we enjoy a full day city tour including the SULE PAGODA which is well-known for its octagonal- shape. The pagoda is said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha. Next, visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM which contains an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, ornaments, works of art, inscriptions and historic memorabilia, related to history, culture and civilization of Burmese people. After that, visit BOGYOKE AUNG SAN MARKET (Scott Market) which is known for its handicrafts, clothing and fabrics.
In the afternoon, visit BOTATAUNG PAGODA which was named after the thousand military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2000 years ago & NGADATKYI PAYA with a giant seated Buddha image. Then visit the SHWEDAGON PAGODA. No visit to Myanmar is complete without a visit to this 2,500 pagoda since it is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of the Union of Myanmar & one of the wonders of the religious world. It is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds. Overnight at hotel in Yangon.

Day 3: Yangon - Heho – Pindaya (B)

In the morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho. On arrival, transfer to Pindaya, a quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Pone Ta Lote Lake. Visit the famous limestone caves called PINDAYA CAVES where thousands of Buddha images have been consecrated for worship over the centuries. Then visit SHWE U MIN PAYA, a cluster of low stupas.

Overnight in Pindaya.

Day 4: Pindaya - Inle Lake (B)

Morning leave Pindaya for Inle Lake. On arrival, enjoy an interesting boat cruise on Inle Lake, the second largest lake in Myanmar which contains a number of endemic species. You will have chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery & see the Intha fishermen rowing flat-ended canoes with one leg while using both hands to fish. Visit the floating gardens bursting with tomatoes, beans and other products. After that, visit a colourful market and an Intha village around the lake. Continue to PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA, an important religious site in the Shan State, INN PAW KHON VILLAGE & NGA PHE KYAUNG MONASTERY.

Overnight in Inle Lake.

Day 5: Inle Lake (B)

Today continue the boat trip to the western bank of the lake, leads to a stairway to the hidden INDEIN temple complex. A Buddha image has enshrined at a whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. Below the stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupas most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet and calm. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet rings of the bells hanging at the umbrella of the stupa. Mesmerizing view from pagoda hill releases the fatigue and refreshes everybody who ascends to the peak. Then pass by the rice fields to the village of SAE MA. Visit a monastery before returning to your hotel.

Overnight in Inle Lake.

Day 6: Inle Lake (B)

Morning drive to KAKKU TEMPLE COMPLEX which lies at a high altitude near Inle Lake, boasts an impressive temple complex of over 2800 individual pagodas, built in the 12th and 13th centuries. This mountainous area is still largely undiscovered by tourism, and in this forest of pagoda peaks you will encounter pilgrims from all of the different mountain tribes, particularly the Pa-O with their colourful headscarves. On festive days, such as the end of the Buddhist Lent, a vibrant market is set up by the pagodas. Then turn back to your hotel.

Overnight in Inle Lake.

Day 7: Inle Lake - Heho – Mandalay (B)

Free at leisure until cruising back to the mainland for the flight from Heho to Mandalay. On arrival, pick up & transfer to hotel for check in.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 8: Mandalay (B)

Today we continue the tour to MAHAMUNI PAYA, the most important Buddhist site in the city. Mahamuni Paya is a large complex south of the centre. At the heart of the pagoda is a 3.8 metre-tall Buddha figure. Male devotees visit to apply gold leaf to the figure; women are not allowed within the inner area and instead hand their gold leaf to a male assistant. The figure itself is said to weigh six tones and the gold leaf covering it adds another two tones. At 4 am each day crowds gather while the face, pretty much the only part not covered in gold leaf, is washed. If you can get up in time then it’s fascinating to witness. After that, visit a CRAFT WORKSHOP specializing in the famous arts such as bronze-casting, marble carving, wood carving & puppetry.
In the afternoon, head to SHWENANDAW KYAUNG Temple, a grand example of 19th century Burmese teak architecture, and the most significant of Mandalay's historic buildings. Next, visit KYAUKAWGYI PAYA, the pagoda of the “Great Marble Image,” situated near the southern entry to Mandalay Hill. Continue to the elegant SANDAMANI PAYA Pagoda. The primary attraction of this place must be the 1774 marble slabs; all inscribed with commentaries on the Tripitaka, which sre the Buddhist religious writings. Then visit KUTHODAW PAYA which is also known as the world’s biggest book.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 9: Mandalay (B)

After breakfast at hotel, drive to AMARAPURA and visit MAHAGANDAYON MONASTERY where you will see the monks and novices lining up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists at mid-morning. Next, head to SAGAING, a religious and monastic center, with numerous Buddhist monasteries. Visit some of the most famous temples including TUPAYON PAYA and HSINMYASHIN PAYA, the Pagoda of many Elephants. Cross the Irrawaddy River by ferry to INWA. Take a leisurely horse-cart ride around the peaceful countryside to visit BAGAYA KYAUNG monastery, MAHA AUNGME BOZAN KYANG and NAN MYINT TOWER. En route, stop and explore how local artisans make the alms bowls out of iron. Then return to AMARAPURA. Visit the U BEIN’S BRIDGE, which is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 10: Mandalay (B)

In the morning, take a boat ride away from Mandalay, along the Ayeyarwady River to the little town of MINGUN. The main attraction of Mingun is the ruined MINGUN PAYA, an functioning Buddhist temple with the remains of a massive stupa begun by King Bodawpaya in 1790. The temple was not completed, due to an astronomer claiming that, once the temple was finished, the King would die. You will also have chance to wander all over the village and explore the daily life of the local people. After visiting some other nearby pagodas, return by boat to Mandalay. Next, visit the main central market named Zeigyo (Zay Cho). Enjoy the sunset on Mandalay Hill.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 11: Mandalay (B)

In the morning, drive to the resort town PYIN OO LWIN located some 67 kilometers east of Mandalay. Pyin Oo Lwin is also known as "Pan Myo Daw", means "The City of Flowers", for its different species and colorful flowers grown intensively. It is also well known for its colonial style houses with large compound and pine trees, unique horse carriages in town. Visit the BOTANICAL GARDEN, a must-see attraction in this town. Continue to PURCELL TOWER standing in the heart of the town. The clock was one of the few made in 1934 by Gillete and Johnson Co. of England in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V of Britain. On the top of the hill enjoy a spectacular view on the idyllic town. After that, visit the CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. Then visit PEIK CHIN MYAUNG CAVE, a limestone stalactite cave situated south of Wetwun village, near Pyin Oo Lwin.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 12: Mandalay - Bagan (B)

Morning leave Mandalay for Bagan, the ancient city with more than 2000 pagodas and temples. On arrival in Bagan, pick up & transfer to hotel for check in.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 13: Bagan (B)

After breakfast at hotel, visit SHWEZIGON PAYA (pagoda, stupa or zedi), one of the most significant religious buildings in Myanmar. It is a prototype for later stupas built throughout the country and marked an important development in the relationship between traditional Burmese religion and Theravada Buddhism. The pagoda is believed to enshrine a bone and tooth of Gautama Buddha. Proceed to GUBYAUKHYI TEMPLE at Wetkyi-Inn. This temple with its impressive architecture was built in the early 13th century and has great colourful painting about the previous life of Buddha. Next, visit ANANDA PAHTO, one of the finest, largest & best preserved of the Bagan temples. Continue to GUBYAUKGYI TEMPLE at Myinkaba. It was built in 1113 by Kyansittha's son Rajakumar, on his father's death. The inner sanctum is decorated with frescoes, which have been restored. Under each painting is an account, in ancient Mon script, of the tale it depicts. After that, visit the MANUHA TEMPLE enshrining the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. Then visit the stunning SHWESANDAW PAYA. It is not only Pyay’s major point of interest, but also one of the country’s biggest Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Just over 3 feet taller than the main zedi at Yangon’s Shwedagon, the Shwesandaw stupa follows the classic Burmese design seen at Bagan’s Shwezigon.
End of the day with a visit to one of the LACQUERWARE WORKSHOP in the villages around Bagan to learn about the painstaking process of lacquer ware making and decoration.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 14: Bagan – Salay (B)

Today enjoy a day trip to Mount Popa which is about 50km away from Bagan. A two to 3 hour hike up to the peak will reward you with a spectacular view. If the weather is clear you might even spot the temples of Bagan. Mt Popa's spiritual importance is expressed by the many golden stupas along the way and on top of the crater rim. The flanks of the volcano are covered by dense vegetation, a paradise for bird watchers and botanists. You can also observe many curious monkeys on the way to the top. The upper third of the climb is bare and it can get very hot even in December / January. On top there is a stunning must-see Buddhist monastery with shrines for the 37 nats and a spectacular view over the region, accessible by taking 777 steps.
Continue and explore the local life in the unspoiled Burmese town Salay, the oldest surviving wooden monastery, with beautiful carvings of court life and scenes from the Ramayana. Then visit the market and the Thar Ta Na Yaung Chi monastery, which also serves as orphanage.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 15: Bagan (B)

Today enjoy a full day tour in Bagan including the MAHABODHI TEMPLE which is modeled after the Mahabodhi Temple located in Bihar, India. The temple is built in an architectural style typical during the Gupta period, and contains a large pyramidal tower with many niches containing over 450 images of Buddha. Then visit the DHAMAYANGYI TEMPLE, the largest temple in Bagan & Thatbyinnyu Temple which is shaped like a cross, but is not symmetrical. It has two primary storeys with the seated Buddha image located on the second storey.

Overnight in Bagan.

Day 16: Bagan – Yangon – Bago – Kyaikhtiyo (B)

After breakfast at hotel, pick up & transfer to the airport for the flight to Yangon. On arrival in Yangon, drive straight to BAGO. Here visit the local monastery to understand more about the daily life of the monks. Next, visit the SHWETHALYAUNG RECLINING BUDDHA, the second largest Buddha in the world & SHWEMAWDAW PAYA which is referred to as the Golden God Temple. Continue to visit KYAIK PUN PAYA, home to the Four Seated Buddha shrine, a 27 m statue depicting the Buddha seated in four positions, sitting back to back. After that, visit MAHA KALYANI SIMA which is also called ‘Sacred Hall or Ordination’. Then drive to Kyaikhtiyo.

Overnight in Kyaikhtiyo.

Day 17: Kyaikhtiyo – Mawlamyine (B)

Morning visit KYAIKHTIYO PAGODA, also known as Golden Rock. It is a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda. A glimpse of the "gravity defying" Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism. After that, proceed to Mawlamyine. En route, stop to visit BAYING NYI NAUNG GU, a natural limestone cave with few open-air hot springs at the base of the hill for the public who wish to dip in the hot water. Drive to HPA AN, a picturesque and laid back town that sits on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin (Salween) river. Visit SHWE YIN MYAW PAYA and have a look at the beautiful, sacred and monolithic Mount Zwegabin (sometimes spelt Zwekabin).

Overnight in Mawlamyine.

Day 18: Mawlamyine (B)

After breakfast at hotel, go by ferry to BILU KYUN, also called ogre island. Visit the local villages and visit home industries making pipes, ballpoint pens, rubber bands, coconut-fiber ropes and other items.

Overnight in Mawlamyine.

Day 19: Mawlamyine - Yangon (B)

In the morning take a boat trip to GAUNGSE KYU which is also known as Shampoo Island as long ago royal hair-washing ceremonies were held there. Then drive from Mawlamyine to Yangon. En route, stop at THATON which was an important centre for the Mon kingdom that stretched from the Irrawaddy River delta to similar deltas in Thailand. Along the highway are colonial mansions and thatched-roof homes and a few older stupas on hillsides surrounding the town.

Overnight in Yangon.

Day 20: Yangon (B)

Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for the departure flight.
End of services.

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Inclusion:

  • Accommodation in twin or double sharing room with daily breakfast
  • Domestic flight tickets with airport taxes
  • Transfer and transportation by private A/C vehicle
  • Entrance fees (except museum)
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Boat trips as mentioned
  • One purified drinking water and one refreshment tissue per person per day

Exclusion:

  • International flights
  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Travel Insurance
  • Christmas & New Year Eve
  • Visa to Myanmar
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tips, camera fees, laundry service, phone charges, etc.
  • We can tailor this trip to suit your specific requirements
  • Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursion to accommodation
  • Please send us your request so we will offer you best price