08444 937 531
Mandalay 2 nights
Bagan 2 nights
Inle Lake 2 nights
Yangon 1 night
Day 1: Fly to Mandalay.
Day 2 Mandalay: On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax in your hotel, alternatively why not pre-book an optional trishaw excursion (additional expense) around Mandalay Hill?
Day 3 Mandalay: Early morning transfer to Mahamuni Temple to see a traditional ceremony (which starts at around 4.30am) with monks, nuns and local people who come to pay homage to the temple’s Buddha image. After the ceremony, you have the chance to watch activities around the temple including monks chanting and locals praying. There is also a covered market which is well worth a browse before you return to your hotel.
Later, you will explore Sagaing and Amarapura, two of the ancient capitals of Myanmar. On the way to Sagaing, stop at Shankalay Kyun, a small village home to talented artisans, where you can stroll through the plantations and village to see craftsmen making furniture, wood carvings and bronze casts.
Cross the Irrawaddy River via Yadanapon Bridge, also known as New Ava Bridge, and enjoy views of the Old Ava Bridge built by the British in 1934. The bridge leads to Sagaing, the spiritual centre of Myanmar where hundreds of white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries dot the hilly landscape. Visit some of the most prominent pagodas before continuing to a small village to discover the unique craft of paper doll making. Continue to Amarapura to see silk weaving workshops and then onwards to the famous U Bein Bridge, built from teak and stretching across Taung Thaman Lake, where you have time to linger and see the breathtaking sunset before returning to Mandalay.
Day 4 Mandalay/Bagan: Transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan, a spectacular plain beside the Ayeyarwady River dotted with thousands of centuries-old temple ruins. Visit some of the most remarkable temples including Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Pahto, Manuha Temple and Shwesandaw Pagoda.
Day 5 Bagan: Travel from Bagan to Mount Popa, stopping en route in the small village of Shwe Hlaing for a Burmesestyle tea party hosted by a local family in their home. Stroll around the village and watch the locals demonstrate how they climb the palm trees and use the sap to make palm sugar and fiery liquor. Continue to Mount Popa, an extinct sheersided volcano that rises out of the plain. Topped by golden stupas it is a famous pilgrimage site for locals who come to worship at the Nat temples. Along the way enjoy the array of flora and fauna including many species of birds and butterflies. Enjoy lunch at the midway point of this legendary summit, taking in the panoramic views across the plains, valleys and mountains before returning to Bagan.
This evening, witness the golden sun setting beyond the mountains as you cruise along the Irrawaddy river on a private boat. The sight of pagodas and temples glinting in the moonlight is incredibly beautiful and won’t disappoint
Day 6 Bagan/Inle Lake: Transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho. On arrival, drive to Pindaya a quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Pone Ta Love Lake. Explore the Pindaya caves ensconced in a limestone ridge cramped with thousands of Buddha images in various styles and sizes. Continue to Inle Lake and transfer by boat to your hotel.
Day 7 Inle Lake: Today you have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the Inthar people to discover their life, culture and cuisine. Travel across the peaceful lake by longtail boat to visit a local farm where tomatoes are grown on an island that floats on the surface of the lake. Next, visit an Inthar village to see typical houses constructed on wooden stilts in the water. Spend some time with a local family who will generously open their home for you to explore, before you sit and chat with them.
Later, enjoy a boat ride on the lake to discover its calm serenity, still waters and colourful floating vegetation, hugged by rolling hills. Enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery and watch the local fishermen who row uniquely with their legs to glide gracefully across the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and a lakeside village before visiting the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, lotus and silk weaving villages and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery.
Day 8 Inle Lake/Yangon: Transfer by boat and onwards by road to Heho for the flight to Yangon. On arrival, embark on a city tour which begins at the Sule Pagoda, a gleaming octagonal pagoda that stands squarely at the centre of the city. Afterwards, visit the National Museum to gain an insight into Myanmar and then continue to the Shwedagon Pagoda, a highlight within the city. Towering over the city, this pagoda is the most sacred spot in the country and is at its most beautiful during the sunset hours, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colours of twilight.
Day 9 Yangon: Your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your journey home.
Optional beach extension: Alternatively, why not extend your stay with time to relax at beautiful Ngapali beach, which is just 50 minutes flight from Yangon.
7 nights privately escorted tour by air-conditioned car from £2199pp
08444 937 531