|: 27 Days|
|: START |YANGON . BAGO . MAWLAMYINE . HPA-AN . KYAIKHTIYO . NAYPYITAW . KALAW . PINDAYA . INLE LAKE . MANDALAY . PYIN OO LWIN . HSIPAW . MONYWA . BAGAN . YANGON | FINISH|
|: The best way to see a country is by driving overland. You can stop in every village and discovery the daily life of the people. Travelling through spectacular landscapes, this captivating tour reveals the innate beauty of Myanmar's landscapes and its people.|
Day 1 Yangon arrival
On arrival, transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Yangon – 2 nights
Day 2 Yangon discovery with your local guide
Your first leg of Yangon will begin by walking through the city center, taking in colonial buildings and the bustling markets offer an insight into local life ,contemporary art galleries, over 100 year old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue to hear the brief history of Burmese Jewish Community and some interesting stories.
Later visit to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to an enormous reclining Buddha whose crown is encrusted with diamonds and precious gems followed by Shwedagon pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in all of Burma.
Day 3 Yangon to Mawlamyine via Bago
Some visits in Bago on the way such as Kyaung Kha Khat Wain Monastery to assist the last meal of the day of monks at 1000 am, Reclining Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha and observe the vendors selling local products around the pagoda.
Continue to Mawlamyine (another 3.5 hours drive) by passing Mon style houses and rubber plantations.
Take a stroll at riverfront strand road later in the evening. It has a number of outdoor places for drinking spots and places to eat where food and beer are served till late.
Arrive Mawlamyine & overnight – 3 nights
Day 4 Mawlamyine
Continue to see some local cottage industries in the afternoon such as traditional loom located at Yoe Go Gyi Village, pottery at Ta Yat Gone village Visit Kyaik Thanlan, a spectacular hillside temple with fabulous views of the countryside. This grand pagoda made famous in Rudyard Kipling's poem 'Mandalay'.
Finish your day of sightseeing Mawlamyine with a visit to Queen Sein Don Monastery, U Zina Pagoda and sunset over the Than Lwin River from View point
Day 5 Day trip to Mudon, Thanbyuzayat & Kyaikkami
Continue to Death Railway,built by the empire of Japan in World World II about 40 miles (64km) south of Mawlamyine, formerly known as 'Death Railway' on which Allied Prisoners of War were forced to work by the Japanese military. An estimated 16000 Prisoners died, of which 3771 have graves in immaculately maintained Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery.
Arrive at Kyaikkami known as Amherst during the British era in time for lunch.
Visit Ye-le Pagoda, which is perched over the sea and reached by a two level 'bridge' (the lower level is submerged at high tide). This shrine is said to house a Buddha image which floated on a raft from Sri Lanka and landed at this spot near Kyaikkami. Return to Mawlamyine.
Day 6 Drive Mawlamyine to Hpa An by passing Hpa An-Thanlwin bridge
Visit religiously significant caves such as Saddan cave which is the most impressive limestone cave in the region we also pass through an entire limestone mountain range with views to small lake and fields , Kawgun Cave, hidden away in the hills the cave was discovered in 1975 and contains thousands of 7th century tiny clay Buddha images and carvings, hidden precariously over the walls and roof of the main cave , the picturesque Kyauk Kalat, a standalone rock islet in the middle of a small lake; the Lumbini Garden, a park housing one thousand Buddha images with the majestic Mount Zwekabin as its backdrop.
Overnight in Hpa An – 1 night
Day 7 Drive Hpa An to Kyaikhto and explore Golden Rock
Arrive Kimpun based camp and hotel check in. After refreshing up, a visit to Golden Rock. Take the open truck for adventurous journey to the summit or leave the truck at Ya Thae Taung and 45 mins trek to the summit. The view from the mountain ridge is fantastic, overlooking the jungle below.
At the summit is a small Pagoda insignificant in size but unique for its position. Explore some local attractions at summit such as shops selling hand made products making with bamboo and medicinal oil from the animals. Return to base camp .
Overnight in Kyaikhto, Kimpun based camp – 1 night.
Day 8 Golden Rock to Taungoo
Overnight in Taungoo – 1 night
Day 9 Taungoo to Kalaw (approx. 6 hours)
Arrive Kalaw, a former British hill station tucked amid the Shan Hills. Enjoy the cool, refreshing air and relaxed atmosphere of this charming town.
Overnight in Kalaw – 2 nights
Day 10 Explore Kalaw. Trekking to nearby tribes
After breakfast, met up with your trekking guide at hotel for a full day trek in the hills beyond Kalaw, hiking amidst beautiful landscapes and remote hilltribes - a special experience of culture and nature. Traverse gentle rolling green hills peppered with farms and villages. Stop in hill tribe villages, where the way of life has remained untouched by time. Along the way, enjoy lunch in a local house, before heading back to Kalaw for the night (lunch included)
Trekking grade : easy to moderate
Day 11 Kalaw to Nyaung Shwe, gate way to Inle Lake via a stop at Pindaya cave
The drive passes through rolling hills used as farms and a lot of activity planting or harvesting the crops depending on the time. Visit Pindaya with its complex of multi-chambered caves filled with hundreds of Buddha relics.. A stop is made at a small workshop to see how traditional Shan paper and umbrellas are made using the bark of the mulberry tree. Continue overland to Nyaung Shwe,gate way to Inle Lake.
Arrive Nyaung Shwe check in at hotel, on the edge of beautiful canal.
Overnight in Nyaung Shwe – 3 nights
Day 12 Discover floating garden , Intha fisherman & villages with your local guide
Wonder the region’s morning market if available,Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, then visit some villages known for their local crafts including those which specialize in the production of handmade ‘cheroot’ (typical Burmese cigars).
Cruise along foliage cloaked canals to the lakeside village of In Dein in the afternoon. Here you will explore the ancient stupas of Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein Paya. The structures date from the 17th and 18th centuries and while some have been restored.
You will also have time to take a stroll around this enchanting village before cruising back to the shore.
Day 13 Nyaung Shwe - free at leisure day
Today free at leisure to do numbers of things in and around Inle Lake. Why not hire a bike to explore Khaing Daing Hot Spring , a visit to Red Mountain Vineyard to see wine making process and tasty , take a Shan cooking lesson or visit a local orphanage , sunrise balloon over Lake & Mountain, a trek to Pa O tribes ?
Please note : some of these options should be booked in advance.
Day 14 Nyaung Shwe to Mandalay
Depart Nyaung Shwe on your 6 hour drive to Mandalay following a narrow hilly road through the evergreen Shan Hills offering picturesque vistas of local villages and farmlands.
The views are pleasant – a mixture of palm trees, villages and paddy fields dominate the landscape.
On arrival at Mandalay,make a stop at Amarapura to take a stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.
Transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Mandalay – 3 nights
Day 15 Mandalay explorer with your local guide
Begin your sightseeing tour of Mandalay in the morning with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda., second most sacred image in Myanmar and a lively Jade market where you will learn how to purchase the green stones. Business is conducted here in tiny picnic tables where buyers, sellers and experts examine the stones and negotiate the prices over a cup of tea.
Then, continue to Mandalay local workshops to see Kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces.
Visit Mandalay Royal Palace in the afternoon and end the day with a sunset view from Mandalay Hill.
Day 16 Mandalay. Irrwaddy River trip to Mingun with your local guide
Transfer to simple wooden jetty in the afternoon for boarding to Cruise to the village of Mingun.. There are o fishing boats and locals washing and drying their clothes along the jetty. The views from the boat is impressive; hilltop pagodas, bustling harbours and unique riverside living. and visit the world’s largest uncracked bell, and marvel at the impressive sight of the unfinished Mingun Pagoda. Continue to the Hisnbyume Pagoda before getting back to Mandalay.
Balance of the day at leisure
Day 17 Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin (approx. 1.5 hour drive)
Depart Mandalay on drive through beautiful countryside to the former British hill station of Maymyo, now called Pyin U Lwin. Situated 1000m above sea level, this was a popular retreat for the British residents of Mandalay, looking to escape the stifling summer heat.
Today, this delightful town still has a pleasant atmosphere and some great colonial era architecture. Take an orientation tour of the town by car and horse-drawn carriage (own expense), including a visit to the beautiful botanical gardens.
The remainder of the day and the evening is free for you to explore on your own.
Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin – 1 night
Day 18 Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw via a train ride over amazing viaduct
Depart this morning on a local train to Naung Pein Village, passing over the staggering Gokthiek Viaduct. The train is very simple and the ride is rather bumpy, but it’s well worth forgoing a little comfort for this wonderful insight into local life and the wonderful scenery along the way.
On arrival at Naung Pein, continue by road to the charming market town of Hsipaw.
Visit Nine Buddha Hill, 2 kilometres from town centre, to watch the sunset over Hsipaw and the Dokhtawdy later in the afternoon.
Overnight in Hsipaw – 2 nights
Day 19 Hsipaw - trekking to nearby tribes
The trek passes over gently rolling hills that are home to many hilltribes, such as Palaung and Shan. You will pass paddy fields, seasonal cultivations, green mountains and stop in several villages along the way.
Learn about the villages, seasonal cultivations, their religious with Nat spirits, traditional houses, rail road and even you may have chance to see big colorful spiders bigger than the size of your hand (if you visit there in November and December)
Enjoy a Shan noodle soup and a cup of green tea at a Shan traditional house. It is also a good idea to try some fried beans and homemade rice wine.
Day 20 Hsipaw to Mandalay
After breakfast, depart for the 6-7 hour drive through the scenic Shan Hills back to Mandalay.
If you wish, a visit the Shan Palace (although please note that this is not an official ‘site’ and opening/closing times cannot be guaranteed) before leaving fro Mandalay.
The road is narrow and busy with heavy lorries trading between China boarder town and Myanmar.
Overnight in Mandalay – 1 night
Day 21 Mandalay to Monywa
Continue to Monywa.
On arrival at Monywa, visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, about 20 Km from Monywa. The richly decorated central stupa has no less than 845 smaller stupas around it. Inside the pagoda compound are thousands of Buddha images (reportedly over 500,000) decorating every wall, archway and niche. Also see beautiful wooden carvings of the ‘Jataka Tales’ (stories from the Buddha’s life) and a huge Reclining Buddha nearby.
Overnight in Monywa – 2 nights
Day 22 Monywa – visit to Po Win and Shwe Ba Hills
This morning, take a driver by passing over the bridge on the Chindwin river to visit a sandstone cave system in the Po Win Hills and Shwe Ba Taung, which features unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with Buddha images.
Spend time exploring this interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out rocky narrow cliffs. Enjoy overview from the top of the mountain. Also visit a village whose main business is the extraction of copper.
Day 23 Monywa to Bagan via Pakokku
Visit a local market and a cheroot maker’s where skilled young women can make hundreds of cheroots in a day.
Stop at a small Thanaka market (traditional makeup and sunscreen for Myanmar people) and a workshop where traditional slippers and incredible wood carvings are made.
Continue to Bagan by crossing the new bridge. Arrive at Bagan in time for sunset.
Overnight in Bagan – 3 nights
Day 24 Bagan explore temples with your local guide
Continue to Thatbyinnyu Temple standing within the city walls, rises to a height of 201 feet above the ground and overtops all the other monuments, Gubyaukgyi Temple which dates back to the 13th century AD and Sulamani Guphaya Temple.
You will return to your hotel for a couple of hours to escape the hottest part of the day.
Later this afternoon, end the day atop a pagoda which affords a magnificent sunset view of Bagan's temple studded plains.
Day 25 Bagan villages & Ayeyarwaddy river cruise accompanied by local guide
Morning exploration of local villages.
Start with an excursion to village market in Nyaung Oo and nearby villages to learn agriculture production and village life. Meet the people in the farming to share practices of seasonal plantations such as sesame and various kinds of beans and local products from plantations.
Back to hotel after lunch to escape the heat.
Later in the afternoon,take a boat ride on the significant Irrawaddy River to see intricate carvings at Kyauk Gu U Min. Return to Bagan by boat as the sun sets over the Irrawaddy.
Day 26 Bagan to Yangon via a stop at Mt. Popa
Your authentic local life trip concludes today. Make a stop at Mt. Popa,a 1,518m high extinct volcano to enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding area before transfer to Yangon. Arrive Yangon and transfer to down town to spend your last night accommodation in Myanmar.
Overnight in Yangon – 1 night
Day 27 Depart Yangon
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