Embrace fascinating 3 weeks in Myanmar to get the insightful look at this once-close-off nation: from the imposing religious monuments in the main destinations to the little known sites and unspoiled beach of Bay of Bengal.
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Day 01 : Arrival in Yangon
Day 02 : Yangon, tour around the city
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, tour around the city
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 : Flight Inle/ Ngapali
Day 19 : Ngapali, free time
Day 20 : Ngapali, free time
Day 21 : Flight Ngapali/ Yangon- Departure
|Day 01 : Arrival in Yangon
Start your long excursion of 3 weeks in Myanmar at the captivating former capital Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, our guide will be ready welcome you, then transfer to hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we will arrange a city tour to discover the former Burmese capital (1862-2005). Start your excursion by visiting the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda with the largest reclining Buddhist image (70 meters). Then visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most splendid and revered pagoda covered with 60 tons of gold leaf. Turn to enjoy the romantic scene of Lake Kandawgyi nearby. Stop on the wooden bridge over the south of the lake’s edge to watch the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda reflect in the calm water. Overnight at hotel in Yangon.
|Day 02 : Yangon, tour around the city
In the morning, visit Bogyoke market (Scott market) which is full of thousand shops with the largest selection of Myanmar handicrafts and souvenirs ranging from lacquer ware, Shan shoulder bags to puppets and jeweleries. Then board the local “circular train” that goes around the city, crossing neighborhoods and surrounding country, a great opportunity to observe the vibrant and colorful life of Yangonnais.
Afternoon, transfer to Dalah, a small village on the other side of the Yangon River, take a rickshaw ride and visit a candle factory. Back to Yangon, then take a stroll around the colonial complex in the downtown. It is surprising to contemplate the large shaded alleys where the houses are decorated in the unique style of the Burmese colonial times – the bygone era.
Free night. Street food around the city is highly recommended. Overnight in Yangon.
|Day 03 : Yangon – Golden Rock
This morning comes by a drive to Kyaiktiyo, located 200 km south of Yangon in the Mon State. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites when travelling to Burma, which is worth a look for being unique. 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. On arrival, it would be better for you to get on a truck for around 1 hour to 1h30 to approach the top climb to the site rather than follow a narrow and winding path used by pilgrims which is time-consuming and hard. Overnight at hotel in Kyaiktiyo.
|Day 04 : Golden Rock – Hpa An
Contemplate the panoramic view of the surroundings from Kinpun base which turn green and grey, covered by mist that hangs around. The magic light has faded under the surging pressure of the sunlight and the natural settings take its place to overwhelm the foreign tourists. From Kinpun, turn to the south where the picturesque Hpa-An is crouching among scenic mountains. On the way, stop to visit a local village with thatched roofs, then explore the caves of Bayinnyi and Kawgun, both are famous for the rock walls carved with hundreds of Buddha images dating back to 7th century. Upon arrival, free time to relax at hotel. Itis higly recommended to take a short walk around Kantharyar Lake to the stunning view of Zwekabin Mountain or get some beer in a riverside restaurant. Overnight at Hpa An.
|Day 05 : Hpa An – Mawlamyine
Start the morning tour by a visit to Hpa An’s local market and Cultural Museum of Karen people. Afternoon, transfer to Mawlamyine (also called Moulmein) – the charming capital of Mon State, which is considered one of the biggest port cities for teak wood cargo to the north. When arriving at city center, start our sightseeing at the First Baptist Church and Kyaikthanlan Pagoda. Turn our way to the West Terminal, 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. Stroll along the Strand road to enjoy the sunset over the Thanlyin River. Overnight at hotel in Mawlamyine.
|Day 06 : Mawlamyine
Refreshing this day by a visit to the lively central market of Zyegyi, then board a local ferry to Bilu Gyun Island (Ogre island), where we will have a getaway from the hustle and bustle life in big cities. Not a hideaway for the giant monsters as rumor, it is a beautiful tropical island to the west of Mawlamyine city, lined with green lush paddy fields surrounded by palms and fruit gardens. Tour around some local villages nearby to explore the traditions of some ethnic minorities, mainly are the Mon. The villages are treasured with beautiful houses from teak wood and some local crafts like black boards for schools, rubber bands, cane products, wooden pipes, pencils, pens and tobacco. Back to Mawlamyine in the late afternoon. Overnight at hotel.
|Day 07 : Mawlamyine – Bago – Yangon
This morning, we will drive back to Yangon, on the way stop at Bago for a short break. The city was the capital of the Mon kingdom for centuries and has witnessed many vicissitudes. Take time to visit the imposing Shwemawdaw Pagoda whose golden stupa is up to 114m, higher than 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 if time permits.
Arrive Yangon in the late afternoon. Overnight at hotel.
|Day 08 : Flight Yangon/Mandalay – city tour
Enjoy delightful breakfast at hotel, then transfer to airport for domestic flight to Mandalay, the cultural center and the second biggest cities in Myanmar. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel before starting a half day sightseeing tour of the city.Explore some enchanting monuments of the last royal city before the British conquest: the Royal Palace, a symbol of the formerly prosperous dynasty under the reign of the last two kings; Mahamuni Pagoda, the second most revered pagoda of Burma; Kuthodaw Pagoda – the largest book in the world comprising a total of 729 marble slabs and Shwenandaw Monastery – one of the best religious building in teak wood with the ancient architecture and stunning perfection in every detail.
Back to your hotel in the late afternoon. Overnight at the hotel 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 Mingun. Enjoy the peaceful sceneries along the Irrawaddy River before visit Pahtodawgyi ruins, widely known as the largest pagoda built in red bricks – if it had been accomplished. Leave Mingun, drive to Sagaing, one of the Buddhism centers in Myanmar with over 600 pagodas Mount on the highest hill to enjoy a remarkable panorama of hundreds of pagodas and monasteries perched on the hills bordering the Irrawaddy. Late afternoon, turn our way to Amarapura. Walk on the U Bein Bridge, the oldest and the longest teak bridge in the world, and admire the glorious sunset.
Overnight at hotel in Mandalay
|Day 10 : Mandalay – Monywa
Transfer to Monywa, located in the northwest of Mandalay. Pay a visit to Thanbuddhay Pagoda where conserves more than 500,000 sculptures, relics and other sacred objects; the picturesque Bodhi Tataung Monastery where the gigantic reclining Buddha and standing Buddha are located. Afterward, start a boat trip to the fascinating caves of Po Win Taung to explore the perfect combination of hundreds of paintings and antique Buddhas with the mysterious natural features. There is an option to discover the magnificent beauty of Twin Taung volcano with a crystal lake in its crater if it is not too late. End of the day, back to Monywa. A rickshaw ride in the center of the city in the evening is highly suggested. Overnight at hotel.
|Day 11 : Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan
Start the trip to Pakokku at about 8 am. Known as the commercial center of tobacco and thanaka in the Magway region, Pakokku has conserved typically traditional lifestyle. 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, especially the men. Thanaka is widely used as one kind of basic beauty product made from a local tree for Burmese women and children, showing the national culture’s identity. After that, cruise downtream the Irrawaddy River by to Bagan, enjoy the lovely view of riverbanks. Free evening to relax. Overnight at hotel in Bagan.
| Day 12 : Bagan, visit temples
Dedicated day to explore Bagan, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Asia. Expanding 40 kilometers from left bank of the Irrawaddy, Bagan’s plain of 2000 monuments, which date back centuries, give you an impression of being in the past!
Visit to some remarkable monuments of the temples zone by horse cart, including the finest and well preserved Ananda Temple, the massive red-bricked Htilominlo, the highest Thatbyinnyu, the largest Dhammayangyi…. By late afternoon, stop at Pyathatgyi Temple to enjoy the breathtaking view of whole Bagan sunk into the sunset.
Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 13 : Bagan, visit 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 may be considered if you like. Begin the exploration with the colorful and lively Nyaung Oo market which remains very authentic with a wide variety of local goods. Transfer to visit Min Nan Thu and Phwa Saw village, specializing in making lacquer, here you can observe how local artisans making this famous Burmese handicrafts or try creating some by your own. If time permits, discover the agriculture activities of a local village nearby to have a real experience of Burmese farming techniques. The remainder of the day is free time. Overnight in Bagan
|Day 14 : Bagan – Popa – Kalaw
Transfer from Bagan to Kalaw, en route visit Mount Popa 50 km to the southeast of Bagan which is known as the abode of Nats (spirits worshiped in Burma). On the way to the Mount, stop in toddy palms where you will discover the manufacturing of sweets and alcoholic beverages from fruit. Upon arrival, climb 777 steps to the summit of the extinct volcano where a monastery is located. Learn about nats and nats worship as you climb pass many shrines and meet local pilgrims, enjoying the panorama view over the region. Move on the trip to Kalaw across the vast dry plains of Myanmar and gradual ascent to Shan Plateau. Overnight at hotel in Kalaw.
|Day 15 : Kalaw, trekking
Take a full day trekking tour around Kalaw, one of the best trekking in Myanmar. Being the former holiday resort of the British on Shan plateau, this place offers laid back atmosphere, refreshing climate and scenic view over the hill of pines and flower-lined streets. At 8 am, start walking in the colonial districts including the Christ King Church then hiking along the trekking road to the west. The route passes through mountains, plantations, vegetable gardens and traditional houses located alongside it. Stop for a short camping lunch, then visit a village of the Palaung ethnic group. Head up to Hnee Pagoda with a 500-year old bamboo Buddha and Shwe U Min pagoda – a cave filled with golden Buddhas on the way back to the main town if you are keen on. Back to Kalaw town in late afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Kalaw.
|Day 16 : Kalaw – Inle, train excursion
Morning 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 4- hour train ride to Shwenyaung. 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.
Overnight at hotel in Nyaungshwe or at Inle Lake.
|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 : Flight Heho/ Ngapali
Morning flight to Thandwe, then transfer from airport to hotel on Ngapali, 20 minutes drive to the south, the last destination on your trip to Myanmar. This is dreamy beach with 7 kilometers of white sand fringed with palm trees. The turquoise sea is crystal clear.
The remainder of the day is leisure time to relax and enjoy the natural and unspotted beauty.
Overnight in Ngapali.
|Day 19 – 20 : Ngapali, free time
Free day to relax.
(*) Some recommendations activities to have a fascinating Myanmar beach holiday:
– Take part in some outdoor sea sports like kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving to discover the underwater world
– Go cycling to explore the local life including small fishing village named Jate Taw and Thandwe town where there are colorful markets, dried fish shops and beautiful shells
– Board a boat tour to visit some islands along the beach
– Take a hot air balloon tour over the beach to enjoy mesmerizing scenery
|Day 21 : Flight Ngapali/ Yangon – Departure
Free time to relax. Transfer to the airport for flight to Yangon and your departure flight.
End the tour of 3 weeks in Myanmar.
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