15 - Day Myanmar Tour

Yangon - Bago - Kyaiktiyo - Bagan - Mandalay - Monywa - Maymy 
- Pindaya - Inle Lake - Yangon

Yangon (-/-/-)

DAY 1: 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. If arriving on a late afternoon flight, transfer to hotel only. Dinner to your own account and overnight in Yangon.

Yangon - Bago - Kyaikhtiyo (B/L/D) 

DAY 2: After an early breakfast, drive via Bago to KIN PUN "base camp" (194 km - 5 hours). Lunch at a simple local restaurant en route or at the camp. Continue to KYAIKHTIYO (the golden Rock), a huge boulder completely covered by gold leaves and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. From Kin Pun, a steep and rough 11-km dirt road leads to the upper staging point, a journey made in open trucks, which can be very crowded. From the "upper area" travelers must walk the final stage (approximately 4 kilometers) up steep paths, which ascend some 500 meters to the golden ROCK. As an easier alternative to walking, visitors can be carried in sedan chairs by four porters at an extra cost of approximately US$ 10 per person. On arrival, watch the beauty of a sunset at this important pilgrimage site. Dinner and overnight near Kyaikhtiyo.

Kyaikhtiyo - Bago - Yangon (B/L/-)

DAY 3: Return to BAGO (110 km - 31/2 hours). Sightseeing includes the SHWEMAWDAW PAGODA, which is over a thousand years old. Its spire is even taller than the one of Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda. The 55-meter-long reclining SHWETHALYAUNG Buddha image is among the country's most revered. Lunch at a local restaurant in Bago. Continue to YANGON (84 km - 11/2 hours). En route visit the Allied War Graves Cemetery near HTAUK KYAN and a tree shrine dedicated to legendary animist spirits known as "Nats". Dinner to your own account and overnight in Yangon.

Yangon - Bagan (B/L/D)

DAY 4: Transfer to Yangon Airport for domestic flight to BAGAN. Upon arrival in Bagan, transfer to the hotel and proceed on a sightseeing tour, starting with a busy local market and continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as SHWEZIGON PAGODA, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century, KU BYANUK GYI, a temple with exquisite murals of Jataka scenes, KHAY MIN GA TEMPLE, noted for its spectacular panoramic view of the area's many monuments, and ANANDA TEMPLE with four huge standing-Buddha images and numerous seated figures arranged around the interior gallery.
Lunch is followed by a visit to a lacquer craftsmen's workshop in nearby MYINKABA village. Sightseeing continues with visits to MANUHA TEMPLE, built in Mon style in 1059, NANBAYA TEMPLE, a unique sandstone monument that is said to have been the palace of King Manuha, and MYINGABA GU BYAUKGYI TEMPLE (under the protection of UNESCO), noted for its ancient mural paintings. The ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM and its collection of bronze, stone and lacquer Buddha images, clothes and gems, may also be visited. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan's ancient monuments. Dinner at a riverside restaurant and overnight in Bagan.

Bagan (B/L/D)

DAY 5: Visit TAYOKEPYAY TEMPLE in Min Nan Thu Village, PHAYA THONE ZU and NANDAMANYA TEMPLES (noted for exquisite 13th century murals) and KYAT KAN CAVE monastery, a famous meditation center in Bagan. Visit farming villages around Bagan. Sightseeing continues after lunch with an excursion by boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River to the nostalgic NAT HTAUNG KYAUNG, a monastery famous for woodcarvings, built in 1781 by a group of monks. Admire the monastery's collection of ancient Buddha statues and lacquer boxes. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Bagan.

Bagan - Mount Popa - Meikhtila - Mandalay (B/L/D)

DAY 6: Overland drive (300 km - 8 hours) to MANDALAY. En route visit of MOUNT POPA, an extinct volcano with a shrine dedicated to animist spirits, known as "Nats". For the energetic, time to climb 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the volcanic plug. Continue to MEIKHTILA, with a stop for lunch at a local restaurant en route. Continue to MANDALAY, a scenic journey of varied agricultural landscapes and small villages. Late afternoon arrival in Mandalay. Dinner and overnight in Mandalay

Mandalay - Amarapura - Monywa (B/L/D )

DAY 7: Drive to Amarapura, 15 km from Mandalay. Visit MAHAGANDAYON, a famous Buddhist monastery where more than a thousand monks live and study. Continue to the 200-year-old U BEIN teak bridge, built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was the royal capital. Visit BAGAYA MONASTERY and its superb collection of Buddha statues. After lunch, drive to MONYWA (150 km - 4 hours). Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at a simple hotel with basic facilities.

Monywa - Phowin Taung - Mandalay (B/L/D)

DAY 8: Cross the CHINDWIN RIVER by ferry and proceed 45 km to PHOWIN TAUNG, a seldom-visited complex of cave temples and shrines (some dating back to the 15th century) that contain an abundance of Buddha images and some very fine mural paintings. Return to MONYWA. After lunch visit the incredibly ornate THAMBUDDHE TEMPLE, built from the dream designs of a noted monk. Drive back to MANDALAY. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Mandalay.

Mandalay, Ava & Sagaing (B/L/D )

DAY 9: Today's comprehensive sightseeing tour includes a panoramic view from MANDALAY HILL, MAHAMUNI PAGODA and its spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves, SHWE NAN DAW KYAUNG (or golden PALACE MONASTERY), a superb example of a traditional wooden building and KUTHODAW PAGODA (known as the world's largest book), consisting of 729 marble slabs engraved with Buddhist scriptures. A visit is also made to a jetty to observe daily life along the river and to a craftsmen's workshop to see Kalaga tapestries being created.
After lunch, take an excursion to the former royal capital of INWA (AVA), reached by a short boat trip. Visits by horse-drawn carriage include NANMYINT WATCH TOWER, the remains of a palace building nicknamed the "leaning tower of Ava", MAHA AUNGMYE BONZAN MONASTERY (built of brick and stucco) and BARGAYAR MONASTERY, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts. Continue to SAGAING HILLS, a retreat for Buddhist devotees, for a scenic sunset. Dinner and overnight in Mandalay.

Mandalay - Mingun - Maymyo (B/L/D)

DAY 10: Boat trip on the AYEYARWADDY RIVER to MINGUN about 11 km (one hour each way) upriver from Mandalay. Visit the MINGUN BELL, weighing 87 tons and being the world's largest intact bronze bell, the beautiful HSINBYUME PAYA and the unfinished MINGUN PAYA (built with the intention of being the world's biggest pagoda). After lunch, drive (80 km - 2 hours) on a scenic route to the cool hill station of PYIN OO LWIN (MAYMYO) with its lovely lake, waterfalls, botanical garden and colonial era buildings. Dinner and overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

Maymyo - Mandalay (B/L/D )

DAY 11: Be taken to the local market by the famous horse-drawn carriages (if available) and then proceed to PEIK KHYIN MYAUNG CAVES, since ancient times a Buddhist shrine. After lunch, return to MANDALAY. Dinner and overnight in Mandalay.

Mandalay - Heho - Pindaya (B/L/D )

DAY 12: Transfer to Mandalay Airport for domestic flight to HEHO. Upon arrival, drive (60 km - 11/2 hours) to PINDAYA. Lunch is followed by a visit of the PINDAYA CAVES, unique for the thousands of Buddha images placed there by pilgrims over the span of many centuries. Dinner and overnight in Pindaya.

Pindaya - Inle Lake (B/L/D )

DAY 13: Drive to NYAUNG SHWE (90 km - 21/2 hours). An excursion by boat on Inle Lake will include seeing the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and village life. Lunch is served at a local restaurant on the lake. Further visits are made to PHAUNGDAW OO PAGODA, the weaving village of INPAWKHON and other sights. Dinner and overnight on the lake.

Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (B/L/-) 

DAY 14: Take an excursion by boat to the western shore of Inle Lake to visit the INN THEIN PAGODA complex. Follow a stair path lined up with magnificent columns to the top. After lunch, transfer by road to Heho Airport for domestic flight to YANGON, visiting a cheroot factory en route and a wish-fulfilling pagoda. Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to the hotel. Dinner to your own account and overnight in Yangon

Yangon - Departure (B/-/-)

DAY 15: Travelers having arrived mid-day on Day 1 will transfer to Yangon International Airport for departure. For those having arrived in the afternoon, a morning of sightseeing will include city highlights as shown on Day 1 of the itinerary, then transfer to Yangon International Airport for departure.

International flights need to be booked as follows:

Arrival in Yangon : any flight
Departure from Yangon : see Day 15 of itinerary

Services Included: 

Accommodation with breakfast at hotels.
Meals on table d'hote basis as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) in the itinerary (breakfast only in Yangon, full board upcountry).
All entrance fees.
All domestic airfares (Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Heho-Yangon).
Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally- stationed guides.
Service charges, room tax and baggage handling.
One (1) tour leader FOC for every 15 full-paying participants.

Services Excluded: 

Lunch and dinner in Yangon.
Visa fee for Myanmar.
Meals other than those specified in the itinerary.
International air tickets to/from Yangon.
International airport departure tax of US$ 10 per person.
Expenditure of personal nature such as drinks, tips, souvenirs, laundry, etc.