DAY 1, 23 JANUARY 2021. ARRIVE IN MANDALAY
Arrive in Mandalay, the former royal capital of Burma. The royal era has ended with the British takeover of the country back in 1885. Mandalay is the last of several royal capitals that were located in this region, and was built in 1857 by the order of King Mindon, moving the royal capital from the nearby city of Amarapura. Upon arrival in Mandalay, and after immigration procedures, meet the local guide and drive to the hotel for the night. If time permit, ascend to the top of Mandalay Hill, the city’s namesake, for a view over the city at night. After a welcome dinner in one of the city’s finest restaurants, drive to the hotel for first night in Myanmar.
DAY 2, 24 JANUARY 2021. MANDALAY URBAN TOUR AND ON TO PYIN OO LWIN
Begin a tour of Mandalay with a visit to the Jade Market. Myanmar is famous for its high-quality jade, most of it making its way to neighboring China. If taking the time, one can learn here about the secrets of the trade- looking for clarity, right colors, and the purity of the stone. In the morning hours buyers and sellers are busy trading huge amounts of cash, which forms only a small portion of the estimated annual trade of more than 30 billion US dollars. From here take to the Mahamuni’s Temple, where one of only three images depicting Lord Buddha in his own true form, and blessed by him, are located. Continue to Shwenandaw monastery, the last remaining original structure of the royal palace, known for its beautiful teak wood carvings of Buddhist mythology. Then take a stroll along the Goldbeaters’ District to watch the laborious practice of beating gold nuggets into thin leaves, sold to pilgrims which then stick these leaves onto Buddha figures in temples and shrines. At the afternoon leave Mandalay for the short drive to Amarapura, some 12 km (7.5 miles) south of Mandalay. Arrive in time for a short walk over the 1.2 km (3937 feet) U-bein bridge, and then hop onboard a small local boat for a sunset cross, offering marvelous views over the uniquely designed bridge. At dusk take the one-and-a-half hours’ drive to Pyin Oo Lwin, and set in the hotel for the night.
DAY 3, 25 JANUARY 2021. VISIT SAGAING HILL AND DRIVE TO MONYWA
In the morning hours drive back to Amarapura, commonly known as ‘the City of Immortality’. Here, visit the iconic Mahagandayon Monastery, home to some 1,500 Buddhist monks. In the late morning hours the monks preparing for the last meal of the day, as the rest of it would be dedicated to religious studies and the daily chores of the monastery. After attending the breakfast ceremony drive to Sagaing, an important religious and monastic center. Climb atop Sagaing Hill for a view over the cluster of pagodas covering the hill slopes with the mighty Irrawaddy River at its backdrop. Revert to the vehicle and continue the road trip to Monywa, arriving in time for a visit at Po Win Taung, hand-carved cave which dates back to the 17th century, known for its walls and ceilings which beautifully painted with Buddhist and folk motifs. Little known to most visitors to Burma, this is truly one of the country’s hidden gems. Continue to the hotel for an overnight in Monywa.
DAY 4, 26 JANUARY 2021. CRUISE OVER THE IRRAWADDY TO BAGAN
The day begins with a visit to Monyinthanbudde pagoda which houses 582,375 Buddha figurines of different sizes, and the Boditahtaung pagoda, famous for the 130 meters (426.5 feet) high standing Buddha and the 100 meters (328 foot) long reclining Buddha. Leave Monywa for the three hours’ drive to Pakkoku. En route stop by Ma Oo Le, an abandoned archaeological site usually forgotten by tourists. Upon arrival at Pakkoku, stroll around the local market and visit a workshop manufacturing the famous Burmese cigars- the “Cheroot”. Then take to the pier to embark on a private two hours’ cruise down the Irrawaddy River, all the way to Bagan. Upon arrival in Bagan drive to the hotel for the night. If time permit, stop at Bagan Archeological Zone to climb atop of one of the ancient pagodas for a fantastic view over the vast archeological site at sunset.
DAY 5, 27 JANUARY 2021. ENJOY THE ANANDA PAGODA FESTIVAL
Spend the day exploring the Archeological Zone of Bagan. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bagan was the center for the Bagan Empire. The archeological site comprises of nearly 4,000 pagodas and buildings dating back to the heydays of this mighty ancient empire of the 11th to 13th century.
Begin with the 11th century Shwesandaw Pagoda for a panoramic view over the archaeological site, to get a first impression of the massive site and multitude of these marvelous ancient structures. Continue to Shwezigon Stupa, considered a true marvel of Burmese traditional architecture with its magnificent Burmese golden stupa, an elegant bell-shaped stupa which became the model of all stupas built after it in Myanmar. Take a short break from the archeological site, strolling along Nyaung-U farmers’ market. Then stop by a local lacquerware workshop to observe the traditional process of lacquerware production by hand, without the use of modern machinery. At the afternoon join hundreds of locals as they roll in to celebrate the annual Ananda Pagoda Festival. The Ananda Temple is one of the most prominent structures in the entire Bagan Archeological Zone. Dating back to the early 12th century, the temple features fusion between Indian and traditional Mon architecture, and to date is revered as one of the most sacred temples throughout the country. Hence, the annual festival attracts pilgrims and locals alike. Local vendors gather in their hundreds, while the crowds enjoy traditional music and dances, some camping by the temple for days, taking the time to meet old friends, and catch up on the latest news. In the evening enjoy a very simple yet authentic dinner with the locals, in one of the local improvised restaurants operating during the days of the festival, and stay in the temple’s vicinity in the evening, as more locals walk in to join the celebrations as they retire from the day’s work. Drive back to the hotel at the end of this eventful day for a second night in the city.
Note: For conservation reasons and by decrees issued from time to time by the Archaeological Department, climbing atop the upper terraces of the pagodas in Bagan may not be permitted.
DAY 6, 28 JANUARY 2021. FLY FROM BAGAN TO INLE LAKE
Early in the morning head to Nyaung U, the nearest airport to Bagan, to board a morning flight to Heho. Upon landing and after meeting the local guide, drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. At the pier board a local boat to embark on a cruise, beginning discovering the lake, the breathtaking landscapes surrounding it, the fishermen with their unique fishing techniques, and the lifestyle of its inhabitants - the ‘Inthas’ or ‘Sons of Lake’ who live by the lake on stilt houses. Arrive at the hotel early in the afternoon and enjoy an evening in leisure by the lake.
DAY 7, 29 JANUARY 2021. EXPLORING LAKE INLE BY BOAT
Depart for a full day of discovering the treasures of Inle Lake by boat. First visit the morning market to meet the Inthar people and people of the hill tribes that inhabit the Shan mountains surrounding the lake, all dressed in their traditional clothing. After a stroll through the market, visit the floating gardens of tomato and other seasonal vegetables and flowers, a magnificent display of hydroponic agriculture being utilized here long before it became a hot trend in the west. The lake is known for its leg rowers, local fishermen using traditional fishing techniques with their two-meters long bamboo-made fishing traps. Continue touring the surroundings of the lake, stopping from time to time by local villages to see the lifestyle and the craftsmanship of traditional weavers, blacksmiths, cheroot rollers, and boat makers. Wrap up the day with a visit to Ngaphechaung Monastery, a 200 years old monastery build on stilts over the lake, making it the oldest and biggest monastery in the region. After visiting the temple and enjoying the beautiful mosaics adorning it, hop back aboard the boat, and cruise back to the hotel for second night by the lake.
DAY 8, 30 JANUARY 2021. CRUISE TO INDEIN AND FLY TO YANGON
Today take a full day excursion to the archaeological site of Indein. The Indein pagoda complex and Inle Lake are connected through the winding Indein creek. On the banks along the creek lies a cluster of nearly two-thousand stupas dated back to the 17th and 18th centuries, many of these are ruins overgrown with bushes. The slowly deteriorating pagodas creates a mesmerizing scene and serves as a reminder to the powers of mother nature which seem to undermine manmade structures and reclaim its long-lost grounds. While cruising to and from Indein archeological site, watch local farmers as they plough and harrow their fields with water buffaloes. At the afternoon take a boat ride across the lake, meet the driver and board the vehicle for a drive to the Red Mountain Winery. Here learn about the history of local vineyards and wine production, and enjoy wine tasting with the beautiful view of the lake perched below. From here drive to Heho to board an evening flight to Yangon. Arrive in Yangon late in the evening, and drive to the hotel in the city center. If time permit, stop for a view over the beautifully lit Shwedagon Pagoda before setting in the hotel for the night.
DAY 9, 31 JANUARY 2021. DEPARTURE FROM YANGON
Take the entire day to explore Yangon. The name of the city, literally, “the Peaceful City”, was given by the founder of the Third Burmese Empire, King Alaungphaya, back in 1755. Begin the day with a walk through the bustling street market in China Town, where in the morning hours the trade is at its peak. Continue walking through downtown by the Sule Pagoda, the geographic center of the old city as designed by the British architect that changed Rangoon from a small fishing village into the national capital it turned to be during the time of British rule. Walk past beautiful colonial buildings, a reminder to the time when British ladies and gentlemen roamed the city streets. Pause by Sinoutan jetty on the Yangon River where traders come to sell and buy products from all throughout the country. Early in the afternoon visit the 65-meters-long Chaukhtatkyi Reclining Buddha, and then on to pay a visit to the wonders of Shwedagon Pagoda. The pagoda, rising to almost 100 meters (328 feet) in height is lavishly gilt, decorated with 60-tons of pure gold and other precious and semi-precious stones. In the evening drive to the airport for the departing flight out of Yangon.
Dates & Pricing
Myanmar private tour rates quoted in USD and are valid for two confirmed travelers and above.
[email protected] reserves the right to change Myanmar private tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.
Prices are based on twin share occupancy.
Discounted rates for groups of 4 travelers and above:
4 travelers- US$1555/ person
6 travelers- US$1399/ person
- Applicable only for travel groups of 4 people or more booking their trip together.
23rd January, 2021–31st January, 2021
- $1,842 Per Person (From 2 people)
- $490 Single Room Supplement
- Accommodation at selected hotels
- 2 domestic flight Bagan/Heho/Yangon
- Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle
- English speaking guides
- Private boat for Inle Lake sightseeing
- Entry fees to all sites included in the program
- Meals as indicated in the program
- Drinking Water
- International flights to Mandalay and from Yangon
- Myanmar tourist visa
- Travel/health insurance
- Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
- Anything not clearly mentioned in the program
- Mandalay- Triumph Hotel 4-star
- Pyin Oo Lwin- Aureum Palace Hotel 3-star (best available)
- Monywa- Win Unity Resort 4-star
- Bagan- Ananta Bagan Hotel 4-star
- Inle Lake- Novotel Inle 4-star
- Yangon- Rose Garden Hotel 4-star
Note: the above listed hotels are tentative, and shall be confirmed only upon confirmation of the trip.