The grand trip to Myanmar in 18 days lives up to its name in every tiny detail: It covers the land’s most outstanding treasures as well as the roughest frontiers. The layered facades of Yangon and Mandalay, the mightiness of Bagan, the poetic contour of Inle Lake and the untamed nature of the southern territory – all make up a diverse travelling experience that is both addictive and unforgettable.
Day 01 : Arrival in Yangon
Day 02 : Yangon, city tour
Day 03 : Yangon – Golden Rock
Day 04 : Golden Rock – Hpa An
Day 05 : Hpa An – Mawlamyine
Day 06 : Visit of Mawlamyine
Day 07 : Mawlamyine – Bago – Yangon
Day 08 : Flight Yangon/ Mandalay, city tour
Day 09 : Mandalay & surroundings
Day 10 : Mandalay – Monywa
Day 11 : Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan
Day 12 : Bagan, discovery of the temples
Day 13 : Bagan, visit of traditional villages
Day 14 : Bagan – Popa – Kalaw
Day 15 : Kalaw, trekking
Day 16 : Kalaw – Inle Lake
Day 17 : Inle Lake, sightseeing cruise
Day 18 : Inle Lake – flight Heho/ Yangon – Departure
|Day 01 : Arrival in Yangon
You will arrive in the former capital city on the first day of 18 day trip to Myanmar.
On arrival in Yangon, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Depending on arrival time, you will take a city tour to discover the former Burmese capital (1862-2005). Visit to National Museum with fine collections, rare coins and cultural exhibitions of Myanmar. Then stroll through the city center to admire its old colonial buildings. In the late afternoon, visit of the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda covered with 60 tons of gold leaf, one of the most spectacular monuments in the world.
Overnight at your hotel in Yangon.
|Day 02 : Yangon, tour around the city
In the morning, continue the exploration to the former Burmese capital. Visit to the Bogyoke Market, formerly Scott Market, where you can find the largest selections of Burmese handicrafts. Turn your way to the Myanmar Gems Museum dedicated to precious Burmese gem stones. Then take the local “circular train” for one hour ride through Yangon and its suburbs. You will have the chance to observe the vibrant and colorful life of local people. In the afternoon, boat transfer to Dalah, a small village on the other side of the Yangon River, explore the town by rickshaw and visit of a candle factory. Back to Yangon by late afternoon, wander around Kandawgyi Park, a lush beautiful garden with variety of fragrant flowers. Overnight in Yangon.
|Day 03 : Yangon – Golden Rock
Departure for Kyaiktiyo located 200 km south of Yangon, in the Mon state. You will enjoy driving through Burmese countryside and admire the peaceful landscapes. On arrival, take a truck on a winding road (about 1 hour to 1h30) to go to the top and then climb to the Golden Rock by a narrow and winding path used by pilgrims. Situated at 1000 meters above sea level, the huge rock, popularly known as the Golden Rock, gleams golden atop a cliff with a stupa on the top. A mystical legend referring the reason why the great rock has not fallen down to the foot of the cliff seems very inspirational to visitors. Overnight at hotel in Kyaiktiyo.
|Day 04 : Golden Rock – Hpa An
Continue trip further south to Hpa-An, the Kayin State’s quaint capital. Scenic drive along the way, several stops at the villages where you will discover houses with thatched roofs, a distinctive view to other Burma tourist attractions. Visit of the well-known caves of Bayinnyi and Kawgun in Kayin state. Get a thrill out of the overwhelming collection of stalactites and its resident bats. As you reach the other end of the cave, be wowed by a natural lake dotted with water lilies and playful ducks swimming around.
Arrival at Hpa An, walking tour around lake Kantharyar to enjoy the stunning scenery on Zwekabin Mountain, the most sacred mountains of the country. Overnight at hotel in Hpa An.
|Day 05 : Hpa An – Mawlamyine
Visit to the local market and cultural museum of the Karen tribe before taking the road to Mawlamyine (also Moulmein), the ancient capital of Mon State, which was a major port for teak transport to the north. Upon arrival, take a pickup to visit colonial imprints in the state of Mon people: due to its being the first capital of British Burma, Mawlamyine happens to host a score of Christianity churches and Muslim mosques. Venture further to the south of the city to the town of Thanbyuzayat and pay respect to the fallen ones in the construction of the notorious Death Railway – the Empire of Japan’s bloody project which connected Thailand and Burma. Enjoy sunset on the hill from Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, known as the Kipling Pagoda. Overnight in Mawlamyine.
|Day 06 : Mawlamyine, city tour
Take a trishaw ride through this once thriving port city and colonial port. Mawlamyine is the most southerly point in Myanmar that is accessible by car and is the ultimate highlight of this 18 day trip to Myanmar. Visit to the lively central market Zyegyi, then board a typical local ferry to Bilu Kyun Island (Ogre Island), a fascinating independent island of Mon ethnic which consists of 64 villages connected by rutted tracks, full of adventures. Depart in a open truck through lush vegetation and picturesque villages, meeting on the way smiling locals. Visit to Ka Hngaw village and Ywa Lut village with beautiful teak wood houses. Enjoy local crafts: making school slates, natural rubber and bricks.
Back to Mawlamyine in the late afternoon and overnight at hotel.
|Day 07 : Mawlamyine – Bago – Yangon
Departure for Yangon, on the way stop at Bago for a short break. Originally located at the edge of the eponymous river, Bago was the capital of the Mon kingdom for centuries and has undergone many vicissitudes. Take time to visit the imposing Shwemawdaw Pagoda whose golden stupa is up to 114m, higher than that of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Then have a watch on the large reclining Buddha Shwethalyaung which dates back to the 10th century. Next, drop in a handicraft village and discover the workshops around with colorful souvenirs if time permits.
Arrive Yangon in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel.
|Day 08 : Flight Yangon/Mandalay – city tour
On the 8th day of your Burma trip, transfer to airport for a morning flight to Mandalay, the cultural capital of Myanmar. Upon arrival, you will explore some enchanting monuments of the last royal city before the arrival of the British: the Royal Palace, the residence of King Mindon and his wives; the Shwenandaw Monastery, the most significant building with the ancient architecture and stunning perfection in every detail; Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most revered pagodas in Myanmar; Kuthodaw Pagoda, the largest book in the world with 729 slab stones.
Overnight in Mandalay.
|Day 09 : Mandalay & surroundings
Brighten this morning by a visit to Jade Market, where the most famous gemstones in the world are found in all forms. Then stop at a gold-leaf hammering workshop before taking a boat to Sagaing. You will mount on the highest hill where the U Ponya Pagoda is located. From there, enjoy the remarkable panorama of hundreds of pagodas and monasteries perched on the hills bordering the Irrawaddy. Late afternoon, transfer to Amarapura, walk on the U Bein Bridge, the world’s oldest and longest teak footbridge across Taungthaman Lake. The bridge is a unique site in Myanmar, where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunset sceneries in the world. Overnight in Mandalay.
|Day 10 : Mandalay – Monywa
This morning comes by a drive to Monywa in the northwest of Mandalay. Upon arrival, visit to Thanbuddhay Pagoda housing more than 500,000 sculptures, relics and other sacred objects. Then head to picturesque Bodi Tataung site where there are over ten thousand Buddha statues, one of them is the second tallest statue of Buddha in the world. There is also a gigantic reclining Buddha in front of it. Boat trip to the fascinating caves of Po Win Taung that were probably inhabited since the pre-human period in Myanmar. These caves are richly decorated with wall paintings and several antique statues of Buddha. End of the day, rickshaw ride in the city center.
Overnight in Monywa.
|Day 11 : Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan
Departure to Pakokku, a small town well-known as the commercial center of cheroot and Thanaka in the Magway. Visit a cheroot factory and a local market where they sell Thanaka. Cheroot is one type of Burmese handmade wrapped cigar, much preferred by the local. Thanaka is widely used as one kind of basic beauty products made from a local tree for Burmese women and children, showing the national culture’s identity. From Pakkoku, embark on a part of Mandalay to Bagan boat trip downstream the Irrawaddy River. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is time at leisure.
Overnight in Bagan.
| Day 12 : Bagan, visit of temples
Dedicated day discovery Bagan, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Asia. About forty kilometers from the left bank of the legendary Irrawaddy River, over 2000 temples, pagodas and stupas of all sizes and shapes emerge here and there, out of sight. Explore the temples zone by a horse-drawn carriage, and among others, visit to the finest and well preserved temple of Ananda, the massive red-brick Dhamayangyi Temple, the Thatbyinny which dominates other temples of Bagan. By late afternoon, Pyathatguy pagoda is the perfect place to watch the sunset over Bagan. Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 13 : Bagan, visit of traditional villages
Get up and greet the dawn with the refreshing air and enjoy the view over the immense place of temples. A hot air balloon ride in the early morning is highly recommended giving you the unforgettable experiences. Today, we begin the exploration with the colorful and lively Nyaung Oo market which remains very authentic with a wide variety of local goods.
Transfer by boat to visit a typical Burmese village, discover their agricultural lifestyle. Then visit Min Nan Thu and Phwa Saw villages, specializing in making lacquer, try creating some products yourself to bring home as souvenirs. Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 14 : Bagan – Popa – Kalaw
In the morning, transfer to Mount Popa 50 km southeast of Bagan. On the way, stop at a toddy palms garden where you will discover the manufacturing of sweets and alcoholic beverages from fruit. The mountain is famous for the monastery named Taungkalat atop a huge rocky basement where 37 major Nats (the revered spirits) reside. Upon arrival, you could make a decision of either climbing 777 steps to the summit of the mount where the monastery is located, enjoying the panorama view over the region or stroll around the mount foot to enjoy the refreshing air and hilly landscapes. Continue the trip to Kalaw across the vast dry plains of Myanmar. Overnight in Kalaw.
|Day 15 : Kalaw, trekking
Visiting Kalaw, the former holiday resort of the British. Located on the Shan plateau, Kalaw is a peaceful place with a reminiscent atmosphere of the colonial era. Hills are covered with trees, mostly pines, with a pleasant smell. Walk in the colonial districts and then hike to discover the beautiful countryside. The trek is soft enough to help you change the atmosphere and renew your energy. from the starting point, you will hike to a village of Palaung ethnic group. The route passes through mountains, terraced rice fields, citrus groves, wild rice, bananas and papayas. Back to Kalaw in late afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Kalaw.
|Day 16 : Kalaw – Inle, train excursion
Immerse into the authentic local culture by a visit to the colorful market of Kalaw frequented by many ethnic groups of the region. You would have the opportunity to see women of different tribes including Pa-o and Palaung in their colorful costumes. Then board 2-hour train ride to Heho. The train is painfully slow, but it gives you the valuable opportunity enjoy spectacular views of the impressive countryside as passing through colorful paddy fields and successive hills. Once arrive at Heho, transfer by car to Inle Lake. Spend the rest of the day relax and contemplate the tranquil setting of this lovely watery world. Overnight in Inle.
|Day 17 : Inle Lake, sightseeing cruise
After the long journey with various activities, it is right time to take a getaway in Inle Lake, a little paradise on Shan plateau. Take a private boat trip to discover the lake, pass through beautiful floating villages whose houses built on stilts and floating gardens where original techniques of early crops namely tomatoes and lettuce is lively presented. Explore the local crafts by a stop at the village of Inpawkhone, famed for the Intha’s traditional weaving technique. We also visit a cheroot factory where Burmese cigars are made by hand.
Overnight at hotel.
|Day 18 : Inle Lake – flight Heho/Yangon – Departure
Free morning to relax. Depending on your schedule, transfer to Heho airport for flight to Yangon and departure flight.
This is the end of your 18 day trip to Myanmar.
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