A trip that would take you against the flow of time to revisit the century-old glory in 10 days in Myanmar with captivating off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Day 01 : Arrival in Mandalay
Day 02 : Mandalay & its surrounding royal cities
Day 03 : Mandalay – Bagan, cruise on the Irrawaddy River
Day 04 : Bagan, visit temples
Day 05 : Bagan, visit traditional Villages
Day 06 : Flight Bagan/Heho – Pindaya
Day 07 : Pindaya – Inle, boat trips on the lake
Day 08 : Inle – Sagar
Day 09 : Inle – Flight Heho/Yangon, city tour
Day 10 : Yangon – Departure
|Day 01 : Arrival in Mandalay
Arrive in Mandalay, be welcomed by the travel guide and check in at hotel. Take a rest before spending the first of your 10 days in Myanmar studying the last Royal Citadel. Drop by the Royal Palace, the royal residence of the last two sovereigns of Myanmar, a magnificent compound which spans a vast area of four kilometers. Inquire the nearby Shwenandaw Monastery which was relocated twice in its life. Be amused to know that the highly venerated Mahamuni Pagoda was built with a significant share of treasure relocation from other places. Finish the day in a manner recommended by health specialists: reading the biggest book of the world in the Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Overnight in Mandalay.
|Day 02 : Mandalay, visit ancient capitals
Pay a visit to the local famous Jade Market in early morning and then drop by to observe the process of gold leaf production. After a morning walk, take a boat upstream to see Mingun, the ancient villages well-known for its incompleted giant structures. Drift downstream back to Mandalay and explore the nearby Sagaing, a retreat for Buddhist devotees. Proceed to Soon U Ponnya Shin Pagoda to enjoy the panorama over the surrounding area. At dusk, be enchanted by the enigmatic view of sunset from the longest teak bridge of the world – U Bein in Amarapura.
Overnight in Mandalay.
|Day 03 : Mandalay – Bagan, cruise on Irrawaddy River
Wake up early next morning to catch Mandalay to Bagan boat downstream the legendary Irrawaddy River. Spend a day on board and contemplate a change of scenery as the boat crosses several cities and villages on its trajectory, including Ava – another ancient citadel around Mandalay and Yandapo – a pottery village.
Upon arrival at Bagan pier in the late afternoon, transfer to hotel. Have some rest after a long voyage and prepare for the next day full of activities. Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 04 : Bagan, visit temples
In the fourth day of your Burma trip, dedicated day to the thorough discovery one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Asia – Bagan. 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! If possible, scale the highest temple to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. The most recognized monuments you will visit are: Ananda, Thatbinnyu and Dhammayangyi Pagodas. Enjoy a bumping but interesting carriage ride through this forest of temples.
Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 05 : Bagan,visit traditional villages
Welcoming this day by a visit to the bustling Nyaung Oo market, full to the brim with its gorgeous selection of local specialties. It offers a great chance to mingle with local people and see how they conduct their daily life. Then sail along the river to reach a local village and immerse yourself in their rural lifestyle. Drop by Min Nan Thu and Phwa Saw Villages, specializing in making lacquer, to observe their methods of producing lacquer and not mind dirtying your hands making your bespoke products.
Back to your hotel in late afternoon. Overnight in Bagan.
|Day 06 : Flight Bagan/Heho – Pindaya
Board the flight from Bagan to Heho Airport. Transfer by car to Pindaya Town, which lies around sixty kilometers to the northwest of Inle Lake. Pindaya is well- known for its spectacular limestone caves, its attractive lakeside setting, and the famopus traditional Shan paper umbrellas. Upon arrival, visit the famous Pindaya Caves that is only one hour walk from the town. Appreciate a seemingly unlimited number of gilded Buddha statues presented in the cave. They are made of white marble, bronze or plaster, and coated with gold leaf. Go back to your hotel.
Overnight at hotel.
|Day 07 : Pindaya – Inle lake
This morning, transfer to Inle Lake, the next destination in your 10 days in Myanmar. Take a boat trip to discover the lake, a little paradise on Shan plateau. Drift on the lake to catch a glimpse of lakeside villages doing their traditional crafts. Across the lake through many floating garden that adds to the economic life of the inhabitants. Be prepared to catch a local fisherman in his action: the leg-rowing technique that makes its way to featured pages in the most respected tourist guidebooks. We also pay a visit to religious sites on the lake, and villages on the bank.
Overnight in Inle.
|Day 08 : Inle Lake – Sagar
Dedicate the day to moving around Sagar, the flooded ancient royal city of the Shan ethnic group which has made some emergence since the opening of the tourist industry.
Experience a full day on boat, weaving around in six hours through a web of small rivers and encountering people from Shan, Pa-O and Intha ethnic groups. In this sacred land rich in its own history, take notice of the buildings that were blanketed with the inevitable destruction of time, water and plants.
Back to Inle Lake at the end of the afternoon. Overnight in Inle.
|Day 09 : Inle Lake – flight Heho/ Yangon, city tour
Board the flight from Heho Airport to Yangon. Welcome to the youngest former capital of Yangon, which boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Pay a visit to the renowned gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which stands proud in the skyline of the city. Move next to the National Museum to view their comprehensive collection of historical and archaeological artifacts. Take the local ‘circular train’ ride through Yangon and its suburbs, which will introduce you to another facade of the magnificent city: very down-to-earth people in the hive of their daily activities. In late afternoon, walk around the beautiful lush Kandawgyi Park, get some fresh air and admire the spectacular view of the glittering Shwedagon reflect on the calm water of Kandawgyi Lake. Overnight in Yangon.
|Day 10 : Yangon – Departure
The last morning of your 10 days in Myanmar. Depending on the time of your departure flight, have a morning at your leisure or stride around the downtown zone to see some impressive colonial buildings.
Take notice of your time, and leave for the airport to depart.
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Among the four classics, Inle Lake is the only one hosting ethnics other than the prevalent Bamar and the only one situated on a plateau rather than on a delta. The landscape is rugged, segregated by rolling hills and webs of lakes and channels. The natural separation results in pockets of ethnics living in sequestered zones and developing distinct dialects, customs and trades. They become known in different names - Palaung, Danu, Pa-O, Intha while essentially nestling under the Shan category in the national registrar. Each propped up a landmark of their dwelling places, giving rise to a wide spectrum of extraordinary religious structures. You'll see the caves of thousand gilded Buddha statues in Pindaya, the gigantic complex of stupas in Kakku and a small Bagan in the swamp of Sagar.
Pindaya is already neither well-known nor touristic and it doesn't help when it is paired with an even lesser-known Ywangan to establish Danu SAZ. As the name of the Speacial Administration Zone indicates, Pindaya is inhabited by the Danu people. The Danu people are not very distinct in terms of appearance but the heritage they left - the Cave, the temples and possibly the prehistoric dwellings in Ywangan - suggested they may have been crafty artisans.
Pindaya is easily reached by car from Inle Lake and Heho airport, distancing by around 50 kilometers from both locations. The town is visitors' favorite picks for a day trip from Inle Lake. It is also a place where the rotating market is held every 5 days. But not many have gone further to experience trekking here.