Great Myanmar (27n/28d)

The Shwedagon Pagoda complex is an incredible site to explore and visit

The Shwedagon Pagoda complex is an incredible site to explore and visit

Day 01: Arrival Yangon sightseeing
Sightseeing in Yangon featuring Chaukhtatkyi; a colossal reclining Buddha, the National Museum; filled with artifact and cultural exhibits of Myanmar a scenic photo stops on beautiful Kandawgyi Lake and the Shwedagon Pagoda; arguably the world’s most impressive golden stupa. Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel (Superior room)

Day 02: Excursion to Twante and Yangon sightseeing
Early morning transfer to Yangon jetty to take a ferryboat RV Mahaythi (08:00/15:00) to the pottery making village of Twante. At Twante, visit to the fishing villages, and see pottery being hand made at the village. Lunch will be served on board. Arrives back to Yangon and go to famous Scott Market; a sprawling 75 year old complex noted for its variety of handicrafts and other items which provide an excellent opportunity for a shopping spree before a visit in China town. We will also visit Botataung Pagoda, which is hollow and through which you can walk and see many ancient relics and artifacts.Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel (Superior room)

Day 03: Yangon – Kyeikhtiyo (Car)
Breakfast at the hotel before an early morning drive to Kyaiktiyo (about 5 hours), site of the famous ‘Golden Rock’. It is a large boulder that appears delicately balanced, supposedly by the assistance of a hair of the Buddha, on the edge of a cliff near the top of a mountain and it is one of the most revered Buddhist shrines. We can either go by foot or truck from the base camp to the beginning of the trail where it is a 45 minute walk to the top. Enjoy Golden Rock sightseeing. Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel (Superior room)

Day 04: Kyeikhtiyo – Bago – Yangon (Car)
Breakfast at the hotel. Viewing the morning sunrise at Kyaikhtiyo is a memorable sight. Descend the mountain to base camp and drive back to Yangon. On the way to Yangon, we will visit some interesting pagodas in Bago. Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel (Superior room)

Day 05:Yangon/ Heho (Flight), Pindaya sightseeing
Transfer to the airport to fly to Heho. Drive to Pindaya and is noted for its extensive limestone caves filled with Buddha images.  Driving there we will be passing through the PaO and Danu villages of Pwehla and Ji Chanzi and endless fields of dry cultivated mountain rice and potato. Inside the Pindaya Caves are nearly 8,000 Buddha images that have been placed there over the centuries as a form of merit making. Made of various materials and of different sizes, the statues are situated in every nook and cranny throughout the many cave chambers. Overnight at Inle Inn Pindaya (Superior room)

Day 06: Pindaya – Inle
After breakfast driving to unique and magical Inle Lake, located about 1000 meters above sea level and 22 km long by 11 km wide. Highlights include the fisherman rowing in the one-legged style that is characteristic of Inle Lake boatmen, and gardens of grass and earth floating on the surface of this shallow lake, floating strips of ‘land’ for growing vegetables. Another attraction besides the enjoyment of the scenery is a visit to the ‘jumping cats’ monastery, Phaungdaw U Pagoda and silk weaving. Overnight at Golden Island Cottages (Standard room)

Day 07: Indain sightseeing
We continue our Inle Lake sightseeing with a visit to Indain and its enchanting 16th century pagodas. To reach Indain and the nearby village we will take a boat ride up a small scenic creek that runs into Inle lake. Overnight at Golden Island Cottages (Standard room)

Day 08: Heho/ Kyaing Tong (Flight)
Morning breakfast and leisure until transfer to the airport to fly to Khaing Tong. On arrival we transfer to the hotel. After check in, sightseeing in Kyaing Tong starts with Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, housing Mandalay Style Buddha image. Then visit Standing Buddha image, (the place where Kyaing Tong was founded about one thousand years ago), Hot spa, Akha centre village and R.C.M church. Sunset on the One Tree Hill where a lone, 245 years old Kanyin-byu(Diptero carpus Spp) tree stands. The tree was planted by Alaungmintaya, the founder of Third Myanmar Empire. And then come back to the pottery village “Yan Gone” to observe the handicraft earthern pots of Shan tribe. Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel (Standard room).

Day 09: Excursion to Wan Nyut village
Breakfast at the hotel.  Full-day excursion to Lwe tribe villages. Drive appr.2 hrs on the road to Maila, a border town at the Chinese Border.  From there it will take a ½  hours hike to Wan Nyut village, one of the Loi tribe villages. The Loi preferring to live in a huge long houses, including at least 5 families. Before visiting the Loi there is an old monastery, a very beautiful one and very different from the other monasteries. One hour from there is another Loi village (Wan Seng). Scenery is beautiful and hiking is not difficult. Return to Kyaing Tong appr. at 17:00. Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel (Standard room).

Day 10: Loimwe village
After Breakfast at the hotel, drive to Akhu village (appr.35 minutes) 9km northeast of Kyaing Tong. The costume of the ladies of this tribe is simple: a wide sleeved short black jacket over a sarong of horizontal red stripes on black. Then proceed to Loimwe (app, 2 hours drive) 33 km away from Kyaing Tong. Loimwe, which literally translated means “misty mountain”, is at an altitude of over 1600 miters above sea-level. It commands a magnificent view of the surrounding area and enjoys a temperate climate. Once an outpost of the British there remain many Colonial buildings and also a Catholic Church. The main attraction along the way is the scenery on the ascent to Loimwe, which passes through forests, terraced rice fields. On the way to Loemwe you will have several stops to visit different villages. Wan Lun Shan villages, walk and explore the native village life; Ho Lup Akha village where you can see the traditional Akha tribes with their colourful dresses; Nang Cho Wa village and Panwai Lahu village; on the left and right side of the road. Late afternoon you will be back in Kyaing Tong. Overnight at New Kyaing Tong Hotel (standard room)

Day 11: Kyaing Tong/ Mandalay (Flight)
Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning visit to central Market which bustles daily from 6 to 11:00 in the morning. The market offers products from China & Thailand, and also it has local traditional clothing, antique coins and other implements for sale making good souvenirs. Then proceed to Naung Tong lake and the Wat Jom Kham dates to a visit by Gautama Buddha. It features a tall gilded stupa topped by a gold umbrella inlaid with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and jade and hung with gold tinny bells. Then transfer to Kyaing Tong airport and fly to Mandalay. Arrives and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Mandalay City Hotel (Superior room)

Day 12: Amarapura and Inwa sightseeing
Travel to the former royal capital of Amarapura. The tour highlights Mahagandayon monastery which is a school for young monks, and we will visit the U Bein bridge as well. It is more than two centuries old and at 1.2 km is the longest teakwood span in the world. Visit Inwa, which was founded in 1364 and lasted nearly 400 years as a royal capital. Highlights include the ‘leaning tower of Ava’, Maha Aungmye Bonzan, a brick-and-stucco monastery; and the elegant teakwood monastery Bagaya Kyaung. Overnight at Mandalay City Hotel (Superior room)

Day 13: Mingun and Mandalay sightseeing
We will go to Mandalay jetty where we take a short and pleasant ride upriver to Mingun, the site of what would have been the world’s largest zedi had not King Bodawpaya died in 1819 thus halting all further work. Later an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial rubble. Nonetheless, it is still a very impressive sight as we approach from the river. Nearby we can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved from the zedi after the earthquake and now hung in a new shrine building. It is said to be the largest hanging uncracked bell in the world. Return to Mandalay. Afternoon visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, gold leaf hammering, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and Mandalay Hill. Overnight at Mandalay City Hotel (Superior room)

Day 14: Mandalay/ Myitkyina (Train)
Breakfast and free at leisure at the hotel till transfer to the station before noon. Take overnight train to Myitkyina. Dinner box will be served and overnight on train.

Day 15: Myeikyina sightseeing
Arrives Myeikyina in the mid morning and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit Balaminhtin bridge, Sutaungpyay Pagoda, beautiful scenery around the river Ayeyarwaddy and Myintson (Confluence of Maykha & Malikha river). Overnight at Sumpra Hotel.

Day 16: Indawgyi excursion  
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Indawgyi (5hrs driving). Lunch can be taken on the way. Arrive at Indawgyi and sightseeing boat trip to lake Indawgyi include visit Shwemyintzu Pagoda and bird watching. (you can study water birds) Stay at a Guest House.

Day 17: Indawgyi – Myeikyina
After B’fast at a local restaurant. Drive back to Myintkyina. Overnight at Sumpra Hotel.

Day 18: Myitkyina/ Mandalay (Flight), Pyin Oo Lwin transfer (Tue)
Transfer to the airport to fly to Mandalay. Drive straight to Maymyo which is 42 miles away from Mandalay (about a one and a half hours drive) and was a former British Hill Station. The town was renamed Maymyo after British Colonel May who established the towns beautiful botanical garderns. Now officially renamed Pin Oo Lwin, it is on the way to Lashio and to the Chinese border town of Muse. Overnight at Kandawghyi Hill Resort (Superior room)

Day 19: Pyin Oo Lwin – Gokhteik Train
Early morning breakfast and transfer to the station to take a train to Naung Pain Village station through famous Gokhteik Viaduct. Our car will follow and we may transfer back to it at any station where the train stops. (The train is most scenic for the early part of the trip). Drive back to Pyin Oo Lwyin (Maymyo). The sightseeing highlights in Pin U Lwin include Purcell Tower, which was a present from Queen Victoria; the morning vegetable market; the Church of the Immaculate Conception; the Botanical Garden; Naung Kan Gyi Paya where you can see the panorama of the town; B.E waterfall and of course the many charming horse drawn carriages used as local ‘taxis’. Overnight at Kandawgyi Hill Resort (Superior room)

Day 20: Mandalay to Bagan (Pandaw IFC) * Thursday departure.
After breakfast transfer to Mandalay in time to board the RV Pandaw before noon. After lunch depart down river for Bagan cruising throughout dinner and stay overnight on board RV Pandaw (Upper Deck Cabin).

Day 21: Sail to Bagan
Absorb the countryside and local life of the river. Along the way the RV Pandaw will make two shore excursions Theingone and Yandabo. Stay overnight on board the RV Pandaw Cruise (Upper Deck Cabin). Meals: Lunch and dinner will be served on board.

Day 22: Arrival Bagan sightseeing
After breakfast (if time permits) visit another typical river village. Enjoy the sunrise near Bagan. Disembark near Wetkyi-Inn Village 4kms North of Old Bagan at around 1015 hours. You’ll be met on arrival your guide and transfer to the hotel. After check in at the hotel we are off on our sightseeing tour of one of Asia’s most popular archeological destinations. Highlights include visits many of Bagan’s distinctive pagodas such as Shwezigon, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas; Wetkyi-in- Gubyaukgyi, a 13th century ‘cave temple with interesting fine frescoes; Ananda Pagoda, one of the finest, largest and best preserved in Old Bagan; and next to it Ananda Ok Kyaung, one of the few surviving brick monastery buildings from the Early Bagan period. Our afternoon visit to a lacquerware factory and also visit Dhammayangyi Pahto, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan. Then as the sun goes down we will be at one of the ideal viewing sites selected by our tour guide. Overnight at Thiripyitsa a Sakura Hotel (Superior room)

Day 23: Popa excursion and Bagan sightseeing
Morning drive to Mt.Popa which rose from the ground in a massive earthquake in 442 BC. Mt. Popa is famous as the abode of the Nats (Spirit Gods) and for its panoramic view of the local tropical region. On the way back to Bagan we visit a toddy palm juice production plant. Our afternoon sightseeing includes Nagayon, an elegant and well preserved temple containing many Buddhas, the main one which is twice life size and shelters under the hood of a huge serpent; Abeyadana Pahto, of which the primary interest is the fine frescos; Gubyankgyi, in the old Bagan village of Myinkaba, is an early period temple with well preserved paintings inside; and Mingalazedi, the very last of the Late period monuments built before the kingdom’s decline. As the day wanes we will be at Bupaya, a Pyu-style stupa which is located right on the banks of the Ayeyawady river and from where we commence a scenic boat ride to the mid-river where we can see the Shwezigon,  a prototype of later Myanmar stupas, then come back to Ayeyar jetty to disembark. Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel (Superior room)

Day 24: Nyaung U/ Thandwe (Flight)
Transfer to the airport to fly to Thandwe. Meet and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Bayview Beach Resort (Deluxe room)

Day 25: Ngapali Beach
Breakfast at the hotel. Free at leisure and overnight at Bayview Beach Resort (Deluxe room).

Day 26: Ngapali Beach
Breakfast at the hotel. Free at leisure and overnight at Bayview Beach Resort (Deluxe room).

Day 27: Ngapali Beach
Breakfast at the hotel. Free at leisure and overnight at Bayview Beach Resort (Deluxe room).

Day 28: Thandwe/ Yangon (Flight), Departure    
Transfer to the airport to fly to Yangon and take your departure connection flight home.

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