You'll be met by an English-speaking guide at Yangon airport and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after your journey.
After breakfast you'll be collected for your guided tour of the city. This starts at the colonial quarter where you'll see several examples of the architecture of the time plus Sule Paya stupa, dating back over 2,000 years and still much used today. Next you'll see the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake, with its glistening, gilded royal barge, in fact a 20th reconstruction which houses a restaurant. On to the lively Bogyoke market, where everything from gemstones to clothes is traded. The day culminates in a visit to the famous hill-top Swedagon pagoda, gleaming gold in the light.
Yangon To Bagan
Leaving Yangon behind you'll fly to the temple city of Bagan. Your tour will take in several temples including Swezigon stupa, reputed to contain a tooth of the Buddha, the 13th century cave temple of Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo where you'll learn about the art of Burmese sand painting. You'll also see the 4 standing Buddhas at Ananda temple. Finally you'll be taken to Shwesandaw pagoda to observe the sunset over the Irrawaddy River.
You'll have more time today to learn about the cultural and historical heritage of the area. At Myingaba village you'll see the production of the lacquer ware items that are so popular throughout the country. In a local temple you'll observe some of Bagan's best preserved religious murals. Other temple visits will show you different architectural styles and are all a testament to the importance of the Buddhist religion in Burmese life.
Bagan To Mandalay
You'll board a domestic flight bound for Mandalay this morning. On arrival you'll have a tour of the city's highlights including Mahamuni pagoda, which has one of the most valued Buddha images in the country which has been much fought over in past centuries between opposing Burmese kingdoms. You'll see the golden palace monastery, the only royal palace building still standing in Mandalay. The tour concludes with panoramic views over the city from Mandalay Hill as the sun sets.
Mandalay To Mingun And Pyin Oo Lwin
Today you'll see the sites of some of the ancient kingdoms of Burma and Mandalay. Starting with a one hour cruise on the Irrawaddy River, you'll arrive in Mingun, where there's a huge pagoda which shows a dramatic crack caused by an earthquake in the 19th century. You'll also see the famous bronze bell, believed to the largest, un-cracked bell in the world. You'll then cruise back to Mandalay, where you driver will take you the 65 km to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, also known as Maymyo.
Pyin Oo Lwin
You'll have a full day in and around this lovely hilltop town. Your first stop is the bustling morning market where local farmers gather to trade their produce. It's fascinating to watch the bartering taking place. There's a change of pace as you take a gentle walk around the botanical gardens, modelled on the famous gardens at Kew. You'll then head out of town to the Peik Chin Myaing cave and the picturesque waterfall at Pwe Kauk, before returning to your hotel.
Pyin Oo Lwin To Sagaing And Amarapura
You'll be driven back to Mandalay and over the river to Sagaing, a former kingdom where there are innumerable pagodas. You'll also visit a monastery for an insight into monastic life. The journey continues to Amarapura, another ancient capital these days better for its thriving textile industries. You'll have the chance to witness weaving first hand. Your last destination is the beautiful teak bridge at U Bein, over Taungtaman Lake, where you can opt for a boat ride, and will see the sunset.
Mandalay To Inle Lake
You'll fly to Heho and be driven on to the lovely lake at Inle, passing photogenic rice paddies and views of the Shan mountains. Having checked in to the hotel, you'll be collected for a tour of the lake, taking in Phaungdaw Oo pagoda with a beautiful golden Buddha, and on to a weaving village to see gorgeous linens and silks. At Nampan village you'll see the packing and rolling of Burmese cheroots, and will then return to your hotel.
This morning you'll take to the water with a boat ride along a narrow river to the impressive pagoda complex at Indein. It's like stepping back in time as you follow a trail though bamboo groves which suddenly give way opening onto a stunning vista of countless pagodas, stretching out before you. Many of these date back over 1,000 years. You'll then board the boat back to your hotel at Inle Lake.
Inle Lake To Yangon
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before your driver collects you for the one hour ride to Heho airport, where you'll board a flight to Yangon. On arrival you'll visit White Elephant Park and Kyauk Taw Gyi pagoda. The white elephants symbolise peace and prosperity and were brought to this park to be protected. You'll then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
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