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Yangon - Bago - Golden Rock (Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda) - Bago - Yangon-Bagan-Mount Popa-Bagan-Mandalay-Amarapura-Mingun-Mandalay-Heho-Kalaw-Pnidaya-Nyaung Shwe-Inle Lake-Indein-Inle Lake-Heho-Thandwe-Ngapali Beach-Sittwe-Mrauk U-Sittwe-Yangon
Day 1: Yangon Arrival & Sight seeing
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, welcome by our local tour guide and then transfer to your hotel for check-in. After a short break, visit the downtown Area with the Old City Hall and take a stroll along Colonial Buildings ending at the old Strand Hotel, the adjacent Australian Embassy, Her Majesty British Embassy, and Red-bricked General Post Office. And then drive to Mawtin Jetty to enjoy the riverside activities.
In the afternoon visit Kandawgyi Park to take a stroll in the relaxation zone, Chaukhtetgyi Reclining Buddha image which is the biggest one in Yangon, and then drive to the most significant pagoda, Shwedagon, which the global scholars describe as One of Wonders in The World. Shwedagon plays very important role in the Old Burmese History not only standing as the holiest structure for the Buddhist all over the world. Enjoy the sunset over the pagoda.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 2: Yangon - Bago - Golden Rock
After breakfast, drive to Bago, approx; 2 hours, the ancient Mon Kingdom as well as the seat of second Myanmar Dynasty. On the way, you can stop and visit Htauk Kyant Allied War Cemetery, the biggest war cemetery in the country maintained by the Commomwealth War Grave Commission.
Then continue to Kyaik Hto via Bago, the junction town to go up the Golden Rock. Upon arrival at Kin Pun Base Camp, transfer by open-truck up to Hermit Hill. From there, walk about one hour to reach the Golden Rock. The trekking from Hermit Hill to the top is not very difficult meeting with Myanmar pilgrims on the way, encouraging each other.
After check-in at the hotel, walk to Golden Rock. Enjoy the marvel of the situation of the Rock and view the evening activities of many Myanmar Buddhist pilgrims. After sunset on the Golden Rock, walk back to your hotel.
Overnight at Golden Rock.
Day 3: Golden Rock - Bago - Yangon
After breakfast, walk down to Hermit Hill and by open truck transfer to Kin Pun Base Camp. From there, drive to Kyaik Hto. You can visit Kyaik Hto Morning market where you can see a lot of local foods, seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish and prawns. Walk around in the market and take pictures. Talk to the vendors who are very friendly and not accustomed to the visits of foreigners. Then, proceed to Bago. On the way, you may stop from time to time to take the photo opportunities at some villages.
In Bago, visit Shwe Maw Daw pagoda, the biggest and tallest Pagoda in Southern Myanmar, Bago Central Market, Shwe Thar Lyaung(Reclining Buddha) which dates back to centuries and which has the astounding history of its recovery from the bushes, and finally visit Kyaik Pun pagoda with four Giant Buddhas sitting in back-to-back position. Then, proceed your drive to Yangon.
Upon arrival at Yangon, transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 4: Yangon-Bagan(by morning flight + boat for sunset in Bagan) (B)
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 111 Etd 06:00 Eta 07:20
In the early morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan(Picnic breakfast can be arranged from your hotel!). Hundreds of Ancient Stupas, Temples, Monestaries, Libraries and Buddhist Universities welcome you to the then Heart of Buddhism. On arrival, drive to a temple to have a glimpse of Bird's eye view tasting a bit of its marvel. Then you may visit Nyaung U morning market which is known as Market On The Floor with a variety of local vegetables and products such as typical snacks, food, Handicrafts, Thanakha the most adorned Burmese Make-up, and so on. Then, visit the most sacred stupa Shwe Zi Gon built in 11 Century by the most outstanding Buddhist King, Anawrahta, Gu Byauk Gyi Temple to see the mural from 12 Century, the massive red-colored Htilominlo Temple, and lastly before check-in at the hotel, visit most beautiful Ananda Temple built in late 11 Century housing giant Standing Buddhas which give the viewers illusion of Smiling-or-Serious facial expression of the Enlightened One.
In the afternoon, a visit to famous Lacquer Wares Workshop is worth enough to see its hand-made black products that come in a variety of household items from the smallest one of tea-cup to the Giant Sun Oak, the food container to be sent to the Buddhist monasteries in the yester years. Then, drive to the jetty of Mighty Ayeyawaddy river to enjoy sunset by boat.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 5: Bagan(by horse-cart+Bicycle)
After breakfast, mount a bicycle touring around in the monument zone taking the snap-shots here and there among the ruined temples occasionally climbing some climbable pagodas to have the different panoramic views. Meet with local Sand Paintings sellers, Lacquered Items hawkers, etc and learn the local culture.
Afternoon visit by horse-cart to a small village of Taung Phi in which a dilapidated teak-wood monastery awaits the visit of few lost tourists. The horse-cart will wind around more temples when the sun is sinking on the western horizon providing the century-old temples with its shade; the unforgettable memory of a visit to Ancient Bagan. Make some stops on the way to take your private National Geographic shots. Finally the horse will make an end at a temple for sunset. Enjoy peace and tranquility on the vast scope of temples scattered among the tropical palm trees, white-barked acacia, neems.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 6: Bagan-Mount Popa-Bagan
After breakfast, drive (approx) one and a half hour to Mt. Popa, the extinguished million-year-old volcano. Also Popa is the abode of Myanmar Nats, the Spirits worshipped by some weak Buddhists. No wonder that the poor mind may seek the shelter under which one can feel certain of high-yield harvest, safe life. The name Popa represents the abundance of flowers and you can see seasonal flowers and fruits once you enter the small town at the foot of the extinct volcano. On the way to Mt. Popa, you may stop at a palm tree collection workshop to see the ways of living of AnyarThar people. Visit central Nat Shrine at the foothill of Mt. Popa. Going up 777 steps is optional but the view from the top makes tired-feet quite relaxing. Mount Popa houses not only Nats but also Asian monkeys along its steps uphill. Feeding the poor Gibbons, Baboons costs not much money and you may gain some merits to add a step towards Nirvana. In the afternoon, drive back to Bagan
Overnight at Bagan.
Day 7: Bagan-Mandalay-Amarapura-Mandalay
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 151 Etd 07:55 Eta 08:25
After breakfast, drive to the Bagan Nyaung U airport for the flight to Mandalay, the last Capital City of the 3rd Myanmar Dynasty. On arrival at Mandalay International Airport, drive to Amarapura aka the Southern City, the ancient Royal Capital before Mandalay. In Amarapura, visit one of the biggest monasteries with more than 1200 Buddhist monks where under the strict tight-scheduled Rules the monks study very hard the Buddhist Canons day and night in order to be able to carry on the Budda’s teachings verbally like the Noble Theras did after the Buddha’s demise in the 6th Century B.C. Then visit the Silk-Weaving workshop. Here, Amarapura hand-weaving silk Designs are very famous as Lun Yar Kyaw Cheik, More-than-hundred Loom Design, in which many small colorful silk thread looms wave through the weft creating the unique Myanmar Ceremonial silk longyis. Depending on the designs, to finish a longyi with a hundred or so looms, it can take at least a month! Then drive to U Bein Bridge believed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world that spans Taung Thaman Lake. Take a walk on the bridge and enjoy a photo opp!
Then drive to Mandalay, upon arrival check-in at the hotel and take a rest for a while. In the afternoon, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda which is known as the world biggest book of the world, Golden Palace Monastery where you can see the best wood-carvings. The monastery was at first in the Palace City wall and 5 years before the British Annexation, it was dismantled and reassembled to the present site to be donated to the venerable monks. The Golden Palace so called because the interior and exterior surfaces of wood structure have been gilt with millions of Gold Leaves that are fabricated in Mandalay. Finally, go up Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the city with sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 8: Mandalay-Mingun-Mandalay
After breakfast, drive to Kywe Sun Jetty on the western bank of River Ayeyawaddy. Walk a little along the bank for photos. Then, take a private boat to visit a small village of Mingun . Visit Migun Stupa unfinished due to the mysterious beliefs of its builder. Then, visit Mingun Bell weighing over 90 Metric Tons that is believed to be the world heaviest hanging bell in the world. Just in front is the very first Home for Aged founded purely by a Burmese Lady. Meeting with the long-term nurse who speaks fair English at the Center of Old Age pays a lot. Finally visit Mya Thein Dan Pagoda which represents famous Mt. Meru according to Buddhist Cosmology. Getting on Mingun Taxis, that is, the Oxen-drawn Carts makes a visit to Minguy memorable! After that take the boat back to Mandalay.
In the afternoon, visit the Handicrafts Workshops such as Gold Leaf Beating, Stone Carvings, Bronze Casting, Marionette and Wood Carvings and so on. Mandalay having built as new Royal Capital City, the king gave plots for the Arts and Craftsmanship around the Palace City and so Mandalay has become the center of all of Myanmar Traditional Handicrafts.
Overnight in Mandalay
Day 9: Mandalay-Ava-Sagaing-Mandalay
In the morning, visit Mahamuni Buddha Image situated on the outskirts of Mandalay City highly venerated and adored by Mandalay Citizens. The Image is believed to have been here from Arakan State, another Kingdom in 18th Century situated at Western Coastal Line as a war trophy. As if all the gold leaves beaten in Mandalay came upon the image, Gold leaves offered by the worshippers form the lumps on the robe of Buddha.
Then, drive to Ava. Cross the Small River or Myit Nge to visit Ava in a Horse-drawn cart. In Ava, visit Bagayar Wooden Monastery, the oldest monastery in the region with more than 300 teak pillars, the continue to the Leaning Tower of Ava which is inside the palace wall where you can see the finest masonry, and visit Maha Aung Myay Bon San Brick Monastery. Then cross the Ayeyawaddy river to visit Sagaing Hills. Enjoy the panoramic view from Sun Oo Punnya Shin Pagoda, the over the terrain of Mandalay and surroundings with the Longest River of Myanmar, then visit U Min Thon Sei or 30-Cave Temple, and if the time permits, visit one of the Buddhist Convents. Then drive back to Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay
Day 10: Mandalay-Heho-Kalaw (Half-day Tribe Village Trekking)
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 151 Etd 08:40 Eta 09:10
After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay International Airport for the flight to Heho, Shan State. Upon arrival at Heho airport, drive to Kalaw (approx 1 and a hlaf) on the way stop at Aung Ban, stop at a local Market selling typical foods, wines, traditional handcrafts, and you may try Shan Noodles there at one of Myanmar Traditional Teashops. Besides those items, the small street market has Myanmar Orchids Selling stalls and fruits. Shan Dried Tea there is the best of Myanmar. Then, continue to Kalaw, a British Hill Station, a small town with ethnic minorities, such as Pa-O, Palaung, besides the Shan People. In the town, you can still feel the colonial atmosphere with the colonial buildings and the houses with the chimney indicate the weather of the lovely town which is over 1300 meters above sea-level. After check-in at the hotel and lunch, in the afternoon drive to the west of the town where you start your half-day Trekking to Palaung village of Pain Hgne Pin. Before, this tribal minority used to live in Wooden long houses for a big family. And now with the growing wealth on farming they demolished their typical long houses and use cement and Adobe bricks to construct the houses and for the roofing, corrugated iron instead of thatch grass. Visit a household in the village and your local trekking guide will introduce you to the tribe. In the afternoon, walk back to another meeting point where you will see your car and then transfer back to your hotel.
Overnight in Kalaw
Day 11: Kalaw-Pindaya-Nyaung Shwe-Inle Lake
After breakfast, drive to Pindaya(approx; 2 hours), a small peaceful town situated at the base of Shan Mountains and the end of very fertail plains. On the way to Pindaya from Aung Ban is really picturesque and you can make many stops for photographing and introducing to the local farmers working in their fields cultivating a variety of crops such as Sesame, Cabbage, Coliflower, Mustard Oil, Wheat and so on besides the perennial orchards like Mandarin Oranges and Tea. Upon arrival visit Paper Umbrella Cottage industry where you can see the Shan Paper production, Process of Umbrella Making only by hands. Then, drive up to Pindaya Lime-stone Natural Caves with more than 8000 Buddha Images. Get lost yourself in the cave taking pictures of most beautiful Shan Style Buddhas.
In the afternoon, drive to Nyaung Shwe (approx; 3 hours) another Shan town bordering famous Inle Lake on the northern end. On the way, you can visit Shwe Yan Pyay monastery built mainly of teak wood in 1882 and itâ€™s pagoda with colorful mosaics decorated on the interior walls around the central pagoda constructed 2 years before its adjacent monastery. Then continue to Nyaung Shwe where you embark on the long boat to reach your hotel at Inle Lake.
Overnight at Inle Lake
Day 12: Inle Lake-Indein-Inle Lake
Full-day Sight-seeings of Inle Lake, start with a morning 5-day traditional market at a village on the lake or on the shore of the lake. Here at Inle Lake, the markets come on 5-day basis. Besides the Inthars, some tribal ladies such as Pa-O, Pa Laung can also be seen at the market selling their farm produce and afterwards they go back to their villages on the mountain with the purchase of what they need for the household, a photo opportunity, Phaung Daw Oo pagoda which is the Holiest Religious Stupa housing 5 buddha images, Silk Weaving village (lotus fabrics weaving technique can also be seen unique only in here!), Blacksmith, Cheroot or Myanmar Cigar factory, the nature of Inthars, Lake Residents with their Floating Gardens and finally visit the Nga Phe Chaung monastery which is the oldest one with antique Shan-style Buddhas and Buddhas alters. In the afternoon, continue by boat to Indein Ruined Pagoda Complex along a small river that sustains Inle Lake by flowing into it. Passing the Large green Myanmar Bamboo forests on the way, you will reach the Ruined Indein pagodas that stand on the hill slope providing a panoramic view to the lake.
Overnight at Inle Lake
Day 13: Inle-Heho-Thandwe-Ngapali Beach
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 161 Etd 09:10 Eta 10:10
After breakfast, transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe. Then from there by car to Heho airport for the flight to Thandwe, Ngepali Beach, the most beautiful beach in Myanmar. White Sand and Clear Water are the attributes of Ngepali in addition to the fresh sea-foods and little amount of Tourist Visit compare to the other beaches in South East Asia. Ngepali beach is believed to be discovered firstly by the Italians who worked for the British Government during the colonial era and the beach seemed to them so fascinating that they gave the name, Napoli, and the time passed and now it is called Ngepali. Enjoy the first-day sunset at the beach.
Overnight at Ngepali Beach
Day 14: Ngapali Beach
Relax at the beach enjoying the sea-foods to your heart content. Grasp a bicycle to explore nearby fishing villages along the motorway to a little far end of the beach line introducing you yourself to the very friendly natives. Sometimes, you may enjoy Serendipity such as taking part in pulling the fishing nets together with the cheerful fishermen, seeing how they prepare in the process of drying fish, and so on! Your hotel can arrange short-time boat trip to nearby lonely island visit. A-few-hour Snorkelling Trips can be arranged with your hotel for those who like to have a look at the sea creatures and underwater weeds at the nearby lagoons.
Overnight at Ngepali Beach.
Day 15: Ngepali Beach
Keep on enjoying yourself at the Unspoiled Bathing Rendezvous. You will really find that the beach is almost for you experiencing the same atmosphere like the other places to relax. If you are tired of the food at the hotel, get outside on the main street and there are many a restaurant providing you with plentiful of sea-foods. If you are golfer or just a amateur, there is Ngepali Golf Course to relieve your thirst for pastime activity. If you can team up, why not trying Myanmar Traditional Cane-ball in the afternoon with the locals?
Overnight at Ngepali Beach.
Day 16: Ngepali Beach-Thandwe-Sittwe
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 417 Etd 12:35 Eta 13:20
End of Leisure at the beach. After breakfast, the car from your hotel will transfer you back to the Thandwe Airport for the flight to Sittwe, the capital city of the Western Myanmar, Rakkhine State. Visit Rakkhine State Cultural Museum. You will see the old Muslim Mosque next to the State Museum. Visit another mini museum opened at the old Monastery. Right across from the mosque on the Main Road lies the Sittwe University where you will see the trees filled with the Bat Fruits. Enjoy the sunset with a bottle of local beer at View Point sitting on the bench feeling the breeze on the face coming from the sea.
Overnight at Sittwe
Day 17: Sittwe-Mrauk U
In the early morning around 6 o’clock, walk to the Sittwe Main Fish Market where you will see the returned fishing boats with many lots of sea fish. Then, drive to the Sittwe-Mrauk U Jetty to embark the private boat to head for the Ancient city of Mrauk U(approx; 5 hours). Upon arrival at Mrauk U jetty, transfer to hotel and check-in.
In the afternoon visit Shit Thaung Temple. Then, walk to Htukkant Thein Temple where you can see the Mrauk U period Hairdos of the then Ladies all in sandstone. Then visit the Ann Daw Thein Pagoda, Yadanapon Pagoda, Lin Ban Brauk Pagoda and finally ascend the Hari Taung Hill to have a panoramic view and sunset.
Overnight at Mrauk U.
Day 18: Mrauk U (Temple and Local Daily Life Visits)
In the morning after breakfast, visit Mrauk U Market where you can see the local vegetables and Rakkhine Traditional snacks, foods and mix with the local people in order to learn the culture. Visit fish market and then visit the Nipa Plam Leaves Roof Makersâ€™ Workshop and start Mrauk U temples exploration with the Bandoola Monastery where you will see one of Mahakyan Sandamuni Buddha Image whose metal alloy was the leftover of the Mahamuni Buddha Image now seen in Mandalay. In the monastery, there is another Monastic Museum with artifacts and antuque Buddhas. Then visit Let Sei Kan, the Moat and Water Reservior of the Last Palace of Mrauk U and explore the 16th to 17th century sandstone Pagodas; Koe Thaung Temple which has 90,000 Buddha Images and also known as Borobudur of Myanmar, Sakya Man Aung, Yadana Man Aung.
In the afternoon visit U Mra Wah Hill to see the sunset.
Overnight in Mrauk U.
Day 19: Mrauk U-Chin Tribes Village-Mrauk U
In the early morning, drive by car to the south of the city approximately 45 minutes to the village where you embark on a small private boat to go upstream Lay Myo River. After nearly 3 hours of upstream, your boat will reach the first Chin Village where only a few Chin Ladies with the Tattooed Faces remain bearing their custom with the big earplugs. After the first village, your boat will float down a few kilometers to visit another village. Afterwards, moor to a certain farm house on the bank of the river to enjoy picnic lunch in it. In the afternoon, drive by boat back down to the same village where your car is waiting for you to transport back to Mrauk U.
Overnight in Mrauk U.
Day 20: Mrauk U-Sittwe-Yangon
Possible Domestic Flight = Mann Yadanarpon Airlines 7Y 417 Etd 13:35 Eta 14:55
Early morning transfer to the Mrauk U jetty to embark the boat back to Sittwe. If you still have the time in Sittwe, visiting fish crackers workshops, pork sausages making home industry are also another option for leisure as well as photographing spree.
Then, transfer to the Sittwe Airport for the flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon, transfer to your hotel for check-in.
If the time permits, in the evening, take a walk along the Mahabandoola Road in the China Town with many shops, and markets on the way enjoying the night life.
Overnight in yangon
Day 21: Yangon(Departure Day)
Depending on your International Departure Flight time, you can still visit in Yangon such as Bogyoke Market or formerly known as the Scott Market which sells many Myanmar Traditional Handicrafts, namely, Pan Sai Myo, 10 kinds of flowers; Blacksmith, Goldsmith, Coppersmith, Stone Carvings, Wood Carvings, Lacquer Wares, and so on (Scott Market is off every Monday!). Visit the Colonial British Built Train Station and can enjoy the train ride on one of City Circling train (one-hour clockwise ride from the station to Insein Station is recommendable!)
Then, transfer to Yangon International Airport for the flight back.
End of program organized by Ayuda Myanmar Travel Tour Agency!
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Ayuda Myanmar Travel Tour Agency