11 Days: Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Pindaya - Inle Lake
Day 1 (Thursday): Arrive Yangon
On arrival in Yangon you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 (Friday): Yangon
Visit Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset
The highlight of any trip to Yangon is a visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, which dates back about 2500 years and was built to house eight sacred hairs of the Buddha. Its bell-shaped superstructure, resting on a terraced base, is covered in about 60 tonnes of gold-leaf, which is constantly being replaced.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 3 (Saturday): Yangon (Breakfast: Hotel)
Sightseeing in Yangon
Visit colonial heart of Yangon
Start the day in the heart of Yangon which features an interesting selection of monuments and colonial buildings. Among others, you will see the Independent Monument, the High Court, the City Hall and the Sule Pagoda (view from the outside only).
Visit Botataung Pagoda
The Botataung Pagoda was named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2000 years ago. This ancient monument was completely destroyed during WWII. It was then rebuilt in a very similar style to its predecessor, however this particular iteration is hollow and one can walk through it.
Visit Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda
The reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda in Yangon which is almost as large as the enormous figure of Shwethalyaung Buddha in Bago. It's housed in a large metal-roofed shed on ShwegondaingLan, only a short distance north-east beyond the ShwedagonPaya. Surprisingly, this huge figure is little known and hardly publicised at all- if the chance to go to Bago to see the Shwethalyaung was missed, then don't pass on this opportunity to witness this colossal image.
Visit National Museum
The National Museum hosts several interesting exhibits, especially the 8 metre high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by King Thibaw Min, the last Burmese king, and returned to Burma in 1908 by Lord Mountbatten. The main floor contains jewellery, old black and white photos of Mandalay Palace and Yangon, royal relics, Hintha opium weights and inscribed tablets.
Visit BogyokeAung San (Scott) Market (Close on Mondays and public holidays)
Explore the BogyokeAung San Market, also known as Scott Market, which contains over 2000 stalls and is the best place in Yangon to browse through the complete range of local handicrafts.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 4 (Sunday): Yangon - Bagan (Breakfast: Hotel )
Flight from Yangon to Bagan
Discover the Beauty of Bagan
Explore the vast and fascinating area of Bagan, and discover temples with unique stories, features and architecture. The spectacular plain of Bagan stretches away from the Ayeyarwaddy River and is dotted with over 2,000 temple structures dating back over 800 years. Spend the day exploring the temples and hearing the fascinating history and stories behind these imposing structures. Have a chance to visit a lacquerware workshop to learn about the intricate process of lacquerware making and decoration. At the end of the tour enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the ancient pagodas. A selection of temples will be visited including: ShwezigonPaya, a beautiful golden pagoda containing relics of Buddha. The site was started by Anawrahta but not completed until the reign of Kyanzittha between 1086 and1090. The pagoda's graceful bell shape served as a prototype for later stupas built throughout the country. Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn, an early 13th century temple with an Indian-style spire. The ceiling is covered with paintings depicting the previous life of Buddha. AnandaPahto, one of the largest, most beautiful and best preserved of the Bagan temples. It was built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha who was inspired by Indian architecture. During the 1975 earthquake Ananda suffered considerable damage but has been totally restored. Gubyaukhyi Temple at Myinkaba, a 12th century Buddhist temple famous for its well-preserved frescoes, considered to be the oldest original paintings to be found in Bagan. Manuha Temple, which was built, according to inscriptions, by the captive Mon King Manuha in 1067. It contains three seated Buddha images along with an image of Buddha entering Nirvana. ShwesandawPaya, a graceful white pyramid-style pagoda dating back to 1057. This 328-foot-high imposing structure is visible from far away rising from the plains of Bagan.
(Shwesandaw Pagoda is not allowed to climb up until further notice due to some old bricks was fallen down)
Watch sunset over Bagan
Enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the pagoda platforms.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 5 (Monday): Bagan (Breakfast: Hotel )
Excursion to Mount Popa
Visit Mount Popa, a cylindrical hill that rises sharply from the surrounding plain, and is considered to be the home of Myanmar's most important nats (spirits). Ascend the mountain via a winding covered staircase watched by the curious monkeys that populate the area. At the top is a monastery and temple complex with shrines to the 37 nats, along with spectacular views.
Continue sightseeing from previous day
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 6 (Tuesday): Bagan - Mandalay (Breakfast: Hotel )
Flight from Bagan to Mandalay
Sightseeing in Mandalay
MahamuniPaya was originally built by King Bodawpaya in 1784 when a road paved with bricks was constructed from his palace to the paya's eastern gate. The centrepiece of the shrine is the highly venerated Mahamuni image that was transported to Myanmar from Mrauk U in Rakhaing in 1784.
ShwenandawKyaung is a monastery of great interest, not only as a fine example of a traditional Burmese wooden monastery, but as a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Fort. At one time this building was part of the palace complex, and was used as an apartment by King Mindon and his chief queen, and it was here that he died. After Mindon's death, King Thibaw Min had the building dismantled and reassembled on its present site in 1880 as a monastery.
The central stupa of the KuthodawPaya was modelled on the ShwezigonPaya at Nyaung U near Bagan. Building commenced in 1857, at the same time as the royal palace. The paya has been dubbed 'the world's biggest book', for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka.
Visit Mandalay Hill
Visit Mandalay Hill and take an easy climb up the sheltered steps to see panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay and the paya-studded countryside. The famous hermit monk, U Khanti, is credited with inspiring the construction of many of the buildings on and around the hill in the years after the founding of the city.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 7 (Wednesday): Mandalay (Breakfast: Hotel )
Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa (Ava)
This day tour visits three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to Amarapura, and visit Mahagandayon Monastery; every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, pay a visit to Sagaing, the spiritual centre of Myanmar. Hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, sometimes known as a living Bagan. Thousands of monks and nuns retreat here for meditation and contemplation. Stop at some of the most famous temples, such as Sun U Ponya Shin Paya, U Min ThonseiPaya and KaungHmuDawPaya.
Cross the river by ferry to Inwa (Ava), situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa (Ava) is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely Horsecart Ride around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting BagayaKyaung, a beautiful teak wood monastery, MahaAungmyayBonzanKyaung, and Nan Myint Tower. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make theit famous alms bowls out of iron. Finally, return to Amarapura, to end the day At U Bein's Bridge, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometre across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colours of the sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 8 (Thursday): Mandalay - Heho - Pindaya (Breakfast: Hotel )
Flight from Mandalay to Heho
By vehicle from Heho to Pindaya
Visit Pindaya Caves
Pindaya Caves are ensconced in a limestone ridge overlooking the lake. Inside the cavern there are more than 8000 Buddha images made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement, and they are arranged in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers. See the Shwe U Min Paya, a cluster of low stupas just below the ridge near the Pindaya Caves. Beginning on the full moon of Tabaung (February/March), Pindaya hosts a colourful pagoda festival at Shwe U Min.
Visit local market and paper umbrella factory
Overnight in Pindaya.
Day 9 (Friday): Pindaya - Inle Lake (Breakfast: Hotel )
By vehicle from Pindaya to Inle Lake
Transfer by boat
Excursion by boat on Inle Lake
Enjoy a boat ride on Inle Lake and discover its calm serenity, still waters and colourful brush strokes of floating vegetation and slow moving fishing canoes. Rolling high hills hug the lake on all sides, as the lake's shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the awe inspiring scenery and meditate on the one of a kind skill of the local fishermen who make use of their legs in a unique rowing technique to glide themselves gracefully around the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and an Intha village around the lake. The day also includes a visit to the PhaungDawOo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village (Lotus and silk weaving villages) and the NgaPheKyaung Monastery.
Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 10 (Saturday): Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (Breakfast: Hotel )
Excursion by boat on Inle Lake to Indein
Travel by boat to the western shore of the lake to a stairway leading to the hidden Indein temple complex. Located on the shore of the lake, this site consists of hundreds of small stupas overgrown by moss and greens.
Transfer by boat
By vehicle from Inle Lake to Heho
Flight from Heho to Yangon
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 11 (Sunday): Depart Yangon
You will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.
Meal plan: included in itinerary