Highlights of Myanmar
DAY 1 SUN/THU: Meet on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transfer to hotel. Today's sightseeing tour includes the old colonial-style city center, the gilded SULE PAGODA, dating back over 2,000 years, BOGYOKE (SCOTT'S) MARKET (closed on Mondays) and a visit to a gem shop. The tour continues to CHAUK HTAT GYI, a huge reclining Buddha image, followed by a photo stop at the KARAWEIK HALL royal floating barge. An extended visit to SHWEDAGON PAGODA, one of the world's most spectacular religious monuments, will conclude the tour of this picturesque Garden City. The golden dome of the Shwedagon Pagoda rises 98 meters above its base and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold. Overnight in Yangon.
DAY 2 TUE: Day at leisure.
Yangon - Mandalay -
DAY 3 WED: In the morning transfer to Yangon Airport for domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival transfer to the "Road To Mandalay", berthed on the Ayeyarwaddy River at Shwe Kyet Yet, opposite the beautiful Sagaing Hills, studded with numerous white pagodas. Passengers are greeted by the ship's captain, the hotel manager and "Road To Mandalay" staff. After lunch, a guided tour includes the key sights of Mandalay. Four hundred miles north of Yangon, the century-old city of Mandalay is the capital of Upper Myanmar and the second largest city in the country. To the local people, Mandalay represents Myanmar's past and present and is regarded as the center of Myanmar culture and Buddhist learning. Visit the MAHAMUNI PAGODA with its spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves and SHWE NAN DAW KYAUNG (or golden PALACE MONASTERY), a superb example of a traditional wooden building. Return to the "Road To Mandalay" visiting the 200-year-old U BEIN teak bridge in AMARAPURA (1.2 kilometers long) and built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was the royal capital. Relaxed dinner, local entertainment and overnight on board.
Cruise from Mandalay towards Bagan
DAY 4 THU: After an early breakfast there is an opportunity to visit the SAGAING HILLS, a retreat for Buddhist devotees, crossing one of the very few bridges that span the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing is considered to be the living center of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar and the hundreds of monasteries reverberate with the echoes of cymbals, gongs and pagoda bells. Sagaing is also famous for its silver and silversmiths that still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. Return to the "Road To Mandalay" mid morning. The ship gets underway and begins its journey downstream towards Bagan. The rest of the day is spent relaxing on board, admiring the many beautiful views from the top deck, observing the local river life or taking part in one of the tanaka and longyi demonstrations. An on-board guide lectures on local places and customs. Dinner and overnight on board.
DAY 5 FRI: The ship arrives in BAGAN mid-morning. Passengers disembark for a first glimpse of this awe-inspiring plain. This is truly one of the world's richest archaeological sites. From the 11th to 13th centuries the kings of Myanmar devoted their resources to building pagodas and temples. Today, over 2,000 temples and pagodas remain on the banks of the river. A guided orientation tour introduces travelers to the highest, biggest most important temples, such as the HTILOMINLO TEMPLE and the SHWEZIGON PAGODA. After lunch on board, opportunity to rejoin the guide and visit some of the more significant pagodas such as ANANDA TEMPLE, considered to be the masterpiece of Mon architecture and the GUBYAUKGYI TEMPLE, home of some of Bagan's finest frescoes of the "Jataka" tales. Alternatively, clients can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart for a few dollars and explore this fascinating area on their own. Late in the afternoon climb the steep exterior slopes of one of the pagodas for the breathtaking vista of the sun setting over the plain, turning the brick-built temples and pagodas fiery red. Dinner, local entertainment and overnight on board.
Optional evening program:
Bagan - Yangon (B/L/-)
DAY 6 SAT: Transfer from the "Road To Mandalay" to Nyaung Oo (Bagan) Airport. Return flight to Yangon. Lunch is served in Yangon before returning to the airport for international departure.
Remark: Every effort will be made to ensure that the published cruise itinerary is followed as closely as possible, however, given uncertain river and other local conditions, all schedules and itineraries are subject to alterations and delays at short notice.
International flights need to be booked as follows:
Arrival in Yangon : morning