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Southeast Asia

8-Day Myanmar Discovery

Myanmar Discovery -- Trip Photo of Southeast Asia tour  Southeast Asia map

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Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in Yangon / Visit Shwedagon Pagoda

Visiting: Yangon

On arrival at Yangon airport meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy guided visit to the remarkable Shwedagon Pagoda.

So what’s behind the golden façade of the Shwedagon Pagoda? During this intriguing half-day tour, we'll take you through the back door and show you the full history of the pagoda, the daily life of all people living in the immediate surroundings of the pagoda, and a deeper insight in the Buddhist religion and how those beliefs became mixed with the local beliefs in nats – the Myanmar spirits. The tour starts from the bottom of the hill and passing the workshops, markets and monasteries which will be useful or even essential to understand more of the country during the rest of your journey. The tour includes offerings to monks and the pagoda, a visit to a fortune teller and a traditional Burmese lunch. After the tour, we'll return to your Yangon hotel for your overnight.

  • Meals: L
  • Standard Lodging: East Hotel – Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Sule Shangri-La Hotel – Superior room

Day 2 : Fly to Mandalay / Mandalay Touring

Visiting: Yangon - Mandalay

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay.

On arrival in Mandalay begin a delightful half-day Mahamuni & Amarapura tour. This tour is the perfect introduction to Mandalay. On arrival at the airport, we'll go to the Mahamuni pagoda and have a look at the centuries-old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. Starting from the early morning (when the Buddha’s face gets washed and his teeth are brushed by monks) this temple compound is very lively. Only men are allowed to stick gold leaves to the Buddha statue while women can watch and pray to TV screens around the compound with live images of the statue. Mahamuni is also an excellent place to shop around for the perfect Buddha statue (bronze or wood). Can’t find what you are looking for? Find a marble statue at the next stop which is the marble carving street. The old capital of Amarapura is a very quiet village where you only hear the sound of the weaving machines. We walk through the famous monastery complex (with hundreds of monks), visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge to the other side of the lake before heading to your hotel.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Ayeyarwaddy Riverview - Superior room
  • Luxury Lodging: Mandalay Hill Resort - Superior room

Day 3 : Mandalay River Cruise

Visiting: Mandalay

Today we'll embark on a day cruise over the Ayeyarwaddy River visiting Mingun and Ava.

Mandalay and the other former royal capitals around it have all been capital cities for a while for one major reason: they are all situated on the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy). Feel the breeze of the river and imagine how it must have been to arrive by boat in Mingun or at the court of Ava. From the jetty in Mandalay we go upstream to Mingun and visit the Mingun Pagoda with the big crack caused by an earthquake and the giant bronze bell. We take a leisurely boat cruise for about 3 hours downstream to Ava. A simple lunch packed in rattan baskets will be served while cruising down. Arriving in Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site with various ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was the capital. Return to Mandalay by car. An ideal excursion if you don’t take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan since the most interesting part of the long boat ride is covered in this shorter cruise.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Ayeyarwaddy Riverview
  • Luxury Lodging: Mandalay Hill Resort

Day 4 : Fly to Bagan / Picnic among the Bagan Temples

Visiting: Mandalay - Bagan

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan. On arrival in Bagan we take you for a picnic amongst the temples in Minnanthu. Minnanthu is probably the favourite temple area amongst frequent Bagan visitors because it’s quiet, it’s a beautiful area and the temples here are often completely deserted. The guide brings you by car to this forgotten part of Bagan and will spread out a blanket and serve you a great picnic lunch in this historical setting before or after visiting 2 or 3 ancient temples ruins in this area. The rest of the day the car and guide are available for additional visits of the temples up to 6 pm if desired. We'll return to your Bagan hotel at the end of your touring today.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Bawga Theidi Hotel – Deluxe
  • Luxury Lodging: Tharaba Gate Hotel - Deluxe

Day 5 : Bagan Touring

Visiting: Bagan

*** Optional: Balloons over Bagan (premium service) / early morning ride: $ 360/person.

The balloon ride is simply considered a “must-do” when visiting Bagan. Early morning, well before sunrise, you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the launch site for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the temple zone in Bagan. The mostly British balloon pilots are operating each balloon under highest UK safety standards and the views you will get are simply spectacular. After floating in the air and following the wind you will land safely and be welcomed back on the ground by a smiling crew serving cold champagne before bringing you to your hotel. Choosing the Premium Service means you will fly in a smaller balloon with a maximum of 8 other passengers, get a personalized tour of the balloon by the pilot during inflation and receive a free CD-Rom of inflight photos. All in all a more boutique experience.

We love Bagan, maybe even more than Angkor Wat, not just because of the beauty of each temple or the relative lack of tourists. What makes Bagan special is it's stunning landscape full of randomly spaced ancient temple ruins in between beautiful toddy palms and bamboo huts. During your bike tour, your guide will show you some of the most spectacular ancient temples and best of all, you can stop any time, any minute, to take incredible photos.

Afternoon is free at leisure to enjoy the pool at the hotel or rest and recuperate from your early morning start.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Bawga Theidi Hotel – Deluxe
  • Luxury Lodging: Tharaba Gate Hotel - Deluxe

Day 6 : Inle Lake Touring

Visiting: Bagan - Heho - Inle

Transfer to the airport for flight to Heho. Fly from Bagan to Heho airport in Shan State. On arrival in Shan State, drive through the mountains in the direction of Inle Lake from where we'll take a private boat to Indein. In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a “pagoda forest”. We will walk about 1 hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake and visit the primary school in Sae Ma village. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house and we continue with a local canoe to Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. From Phaung Daw Oo pagoda we proceed by motorboat to your hotel on the lake.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Paramount Inle Resort– Superior Teak room
  • Luxury Lodging: Shwe Inn Thar Resort - Deluxe room

Day 7 : Inle Lake Touring

Visiting: Inle

Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in village built entirely on stilts on the Lake. Today we will take you by private motorboat around the lake to discover the natural beauty of the lake, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers and have some tea at a local Family’s house. On and around the lake traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule and today we will take you to visit one of those colourful market frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby. We will certainly also visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Intha Heritage house where the Burmese cats are bred and if wanted we visit a weaving factory. Lunch is included

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Paramount Inle Resort – Superior Teak Room
  • Luxury Lodging: Overnight at Shwe Inn Tha Village & Resort - Deluxe

Day 8 : Departure

Visiting: Inle - Heho - Yangon

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer by car to Heho airport for the onward flight to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to Yangon International airport of your departure flight.

  • Meals: B

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