Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport you'll be met and taken to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure to rest up from long flight.
Overnight at Traders Hotel
Day 3 YANGON
Sightseeing in Yangon
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering stupas float above the treetops. The city became the capital only in 1885, when the British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay's brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended.
Start the day at the SULE PAGODA, a gleaming octagonal pagoda that stands squarely at the centerpoint of the city. Afterwards, visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM to gain an insight into Myanmar. See the eight meter high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by the last Burmese king, and other fascinating artifacts from Burmese history and culture. Enjoy a break at BOGYOKE (SCOTT) MARKET, a pleasant covered market containing crafts from all corners of Myanmar, gems, fabrics and more. (The market is closed on Mondays and public holidays).
In the afternoon, visit some of the more well known pagodas, including BOTATAUNG PAGODA, named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from Inda over 2000 years ago, and NGADATKYI PAYA, with a giant seated Buddha image. Finally, continue to the SHWEDAGON PAGODA, the highlight of any visit to Yangon. Towering over the city, this pagoda is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are at their most beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colors of twilight.
Tonight dine at Karaweik Hall, a floating restaurant on Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake. One of the landmarks of Yangon, the structure is shaped like a mythical creature. Constructed in 1972, it was gilded with gold about 20 years ago.
Overnight at Traders Hotel B L D
Day 4 BAGAN
Transfer - Flight from Yangon to Bagan. - Transfer - Sightseeing in Bagan
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, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD.
SHWEZIGON PAYA: King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas over Myanmar.
GUBYAUKHYI TEMPLE at Wetkyi-Inn: This Temple was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colorful painting about the previous life of Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. This temple is not to be confounded with the Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myinkabe.
ANANDA PAHTO: one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period.
GUBYAUKGYI TEMPLE at Myinkaba: Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.
MANUHA TEMPLE: The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan.
SHWESANDAW PAYA: In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa. This Pagoda is ideal to watch Bagan's magnificent sunsets.
MYINKABA: this tiny village, only two kilometers from Bagan, is known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar. Stop by one of the workshops and learn about the painstaking process of lacquerware making and decoration.
Enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the pagoda platforms.
Dinner tonight at Nanda Restaurant, featuring a puppet show.
Overnight at Myanmar Treasure Resort B L D
Day 5 BAGAN/MOUNT POPA
Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, dine on your own.
Excursion to Mount Popa
MOUNT POPA: A curiously cylindrical hill rising sharply from the surrounding plain, Mount Popa is considered to be the home of Myanmar's most important nats (spirits). Visitors ascend up a winding covered staircase encircling the mountain, observed by the curious monkeys that populate the area. At the top is a monastery and temple complex, with shrines to the 37 nats and a spectacular view over the region.
Overnight at Myanmar Treasure Resort B L
Day 6 BAGAN/MANDALAY
Fly to Mandalay.
Overnight at Sedona Hotel B L
Day 7 MANDALAY
Excursion to Monywa
MONYWA: situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, Monywa is now the second biggest town in Upper Myanmar and serves as a major trade center for agricultural produce from the surrounding Chindwin Valley, especially beans, pulses and palm sugar.
THANBODDHAY PAYA: Every spare surface of this temple, inside and out, is covered with thousands of miniature Buddha images (almost 600,000 altogether); the cumulative effect is spectacularly colorful.
SHWE GU NI PAYA: Shwe Gu Ni Paya is one of the most important pilgrimage site in Myanmar, due to its main zedi, which reportedly has the ability to grant wishes.
RECLINING BUDDHA: Perched atop a hill, with spectacular views across the plain, this giant reclining Buddha is one of the largest in the country.
BODDHI TATAUNG: A grove of banyan trees with a Buddha image at the base of each one.
Overnight at Sedona Hotel B L D
Day 8 MANDALAY
Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa (Ava)
This day's tour visits three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to AMARAPURA, and visit MAHAGANDAYON MONASTERY; every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, head to SAGAING, the spiritual center of Myanmar. Hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, sometimes known as a living Bagan. Thousands of monks and nuns retreat here for meditation and contemplation. Stop at some of the most famous temples, such as TUPAYON PAYA and HSINMYASHIN PAYA (the Pagoda of Many Elephants).
Cross the river by ferry to INWA, situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely HORSECART RIDE around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting BAGAYA KYAUNG, a beautiful teak wood monastery, MAHA AUNGME BOZAN KYANG, and NAN MYINT TOWER. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make the famous alms bowls out of iron. Finally, return to AMARAPURA, to end the day at U BEIN’S BRIDGE, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometer across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colors of the sunset.
Overnight at Sedona Hotel B L D
Day 9 MANDALAY/HEHO/INLE LAKE
Fly to Heho and travel by coach Inle Lake; then by boat to hotel.
Overnight at Inle Lake View Resort B L D
Day 10 INLE LAKE
Excursion by boat on Inle Lake to Indein, Sae Ma Village and the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
Travel by boat to the western shore of the lake to a stairway leading to the hidden INDEIN temple complex. Located on the shore of the lake, this site consists of hundreds of small stupas overgrown by moss and greens. Continue on foot past rice fields to the village of Sae Ma, stopping to explore the village and the local school. Continue by canoe down a narrow creek or by boat on the main stream to the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda and continue to the weaving village of Tha Lay. In the afternoon meet the people in the villages on the lake and travel to one of the monasteries to observe the monastic activities. Return by boat to hotel.
Overnight at Inle Lake View Resort B L D
Day 11 INLE LAKE/HEHO/YANGON
Transfer by boat and vehicle to Heho from a flight back to Yangon. Met upon arrival and taken to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure to shop at nearby Scott Market or explore city sites on your own.
Overnight at Traders Hotel B
Day 12 YANGON/HOME
Transfer to the airport for flight home, or extend your stay in Myanmar with a visit to Sittwe. See Burma Extended Tour.