Highlight Exploring Myanmar
Yangon – Maymyo – Mandalay – Sagaing – Monywa – Bagan – Inle Lake – Yangon(14 days/ 13 nights)
Day 1: Arrival Yangon
Welcome by the Marco Polo representative on arrival at Yangon international airport and transfer to the hotel. After a brief fresh up at hotel, begins the orientation tour of Yangon.Explore the commercial capital city Yangon, the biggest city in Myanmar with a population of 5 millions. Its tree lined wide avenues, its shady green parks, and the beautiful huge lakes give Yangon the reputation of one of the most charming and lively cities in Asia. The orientation tour of Yangon includes Sule Pagoda (landmark in city centre) –is unusual in that its octagonal shape extends right up to the bell and inverted bowl, the City Hall & Colonial buildings, Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda – which includes an enormous reclining Buddha, photo stop at Karaweik Hall & Royal Barge on the Kandawgyi Royal Lake.At sunset, visit the marvellous Shwedagon Pagoda, the glistening golden stupa that towers over the capital and one of the wonders of the world, is the spiritual centre of the country.
Overnight – Yangon
Day 2: Yangon – Mandalay – Maymyo
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Mandalay, take the interesting two hours drive to Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) which was originally a Shan-Danu village; in 1896 it became a hill station that served as a retreat for European civil servants stationed in Mandalay. It is also considered the melting pot of Burma as it still has the largest community of Anglo-Burmese, Anglo-Indian, native Shan, Myanmar and Chinese immigrants especially from Yunnan.During your visit you can visit the colorful market, take an easy stroll in the centre of the town to see the Purcell tower which was a gift from the Queen of England. The main street is a mix of colonial-era buildings and modern Chinese buildings. You can also take a unique horse drawn carriage to the National Botanical gardens. The natural forest was transformed into the botanical garden in 1915. The 436 acre garden includes many species of local and foreign trees, rare indigenous and endangered native orchid species, and seasonal flowers of native and foreign origin, recreational lawns and alluring landscape. A walk through the rain forest and swamp walkway is a real delight.
Overnight – Maymyo
Day 3: Maymyo – Mandalay
This morning drive back to Mandalay, the second largest city boasting its rich cultural heritage, represents a Buddhist city of conservative culture and traditional art. Mandalay was the last capital (1860–1885) of the last independent Burmese Kingdom before annexation by the British after the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885.
Today you may visit famous Mahagandayon monastery at Amarapura, may be the largest Buddhist University in the country where you can witness thousands of monks studying together. In the late afternoon, visit Golden Palace Monastery, the most well known wooden monastery in the country, famous for its intricate carvings. It is the only original building from Mandalay Palace having miraculously survived the bombings of WWII. Kuthodaw Pagoda known as the biggest book in the world with hundreds of marble slabs inscribed with the entire Buddhist Canon. Enjoy the sunset from Mandalay Hill and enjoy the panoramic view of the plain.
Day 4: Mandalay
High light of the day includes a visit to colorful Zegyo market strolling around and experience the daily life of the people. Visit Mahamuni Temple – the most revered pagoda in Mandalay, the Royal Palace (read the Glass Palace), which houses a huge bronze Buddha image covered in thick layers of gold is one of the three holiest places in Myanmar. It is always crowded with pious devotees from all over the country. Mandalay is the center of arts and crafts. Here you will visit the gold leaf making workshop, where 24K gold is transformed into super thin gold leaves using only precise hammer blows, a technique which even hi-tech equipment cannot match. Witness also the marble carving street, where thousands of Buddha images are made. This afternoon before the sunset, you may visit the traditional cotton and silk weavers whose ancestors used to weave beautiful robes for the royalties. The weaving of silk longyis is so intricate and colorful that they can only finish an inch a day and it is truly astounding. At sunset,
visit the most picturesque U Bein Bridge on Taungthaman Lake, a half-mile long teak span also known as the longest teak bridge in the world.
Day 5: Mandalay – Sagaing – Monywa
This morning drive three hours to Monywa, visiting Sagaing en route the peaceful neighboring town on the other side of the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. It is considered the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar and famous among the locals as the retreat. The landscape is dotted with over 600 monasteries and nunneries.
Here, Smile Myanmar will take you to the unique Kaungmhudaw pagoda and to Zayar Theingi Nunnery with hundreds of women scholars. Enjoy misty view of Sagaing and the famous Ayeyarwaddy River from the top of SunOoPonnayashin pagoda. Sagaing is also famous for its silversmiths, whose work follows traditions passed down for centuries creating the most intricate designs using simple tools. Proceed to Monywa.
Overnight – Monywa
Day 6: Monywa
Monywa is a city located 136 km northwest of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the River Chindwin. It is a major centre for trade and commerce and for agricultural produce from the surrounding Chindwin Valley.
Black market goods from India, especially saris and bicycle parts, pass through Monywa on their way to other parts of Myanmar. Monywa is also the hub of Buddhist culture; its famous religious monuments are Thanboday Pagoda and Bodi Tahtaung.The excursion to Hpo Win Daung Caves for its wall paintings & Shwe Ba Hill are also a must in Monywa.
Day 7: Monywa – Bagan
This morning bids farewell to Monywa and proceed your journey to Bagan via Pakkuku, visiting the famous sites such as Thihoshin Temple, market and cheroot making workshop. Arrive Bagan in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel.
Day 8: Bagan
Arrive Bagan, the Bagan Archaeological site is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia and it is the main tourist attraction in Myanmar and considered as one of Asia’s holiest cities along with Varanasi and Jerusalem by archaeologists, historians and photographers thanks to the greatest collection of Buddhist sculptures, lavishly decorated with mural paintings and plaster carvings from the 11th to 13th
Centuries. During its golden age in the 12th century, Bagan was known as “the city of four million pagodas”. While Kublai Khan and several massive earthquakes have reduced that inflated number drastically, what remains is quite incredible.
Over the next days we’ll visit several small villages, the museum and the principal pagodas, including: Shwezigon Pagoda, the first monument built in Myanmar Style, the prototype for later pagodas is one of the oldest and loveliest temples and remains an important place of devotion for the Burmese; Ananda Temple, the masterpiece of the early style temple architecture Built in 1066, the gilded and whitewashed Ananda is among the most elegant temples, with delicate decorations in glazed tiles along its base and terraces; Gubyaukgyi Temple, displays a strong influence of Indian culture; Shwesandaw pagoda- displays a strong influence of Mon influence with a steep stairway directed to the terraces for a superb view from the upper level. Late this afternoon, climb on top of one of the tall temples and watch the sun drop into distant hills and experience peaceful, tranquil moment and indescribable magical power of Bagan.
Day 9: Bagan
This morning after breakfast, visit Nyaung Oo Market, then proceeded to Sulamani temple, Shwegugyi Temple, and Minanthu village.Bagan is also famous as the centre of Myanmar’s thriving lacquer-ware industry. In the afternoon, the tour includes a stop at a local lacquer -ware workshop to watch the skilled artisans at work on the various stages over a period of six months.Then proceed to old Bagan for a pony cart tour among the temples; Tayokpye, Htilominlo and Thatbyinnyu Temple before sunset. Evening enjoy Bagan’s most popular sunset at Bu Paya overlooking view to Ayeyarwaddy River. Enjoy these magical moments.
Overnight – Bagan
Day10 – Bagan – Inle Lake (Flight)
This morning you will be transferred to Bagan Nyaung Oo Airport for flight to Heho, the gateway to the Southern Shan State. Upon arrival, transfer to the Inle Lake – the natural and unpolluted, famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas; the native lake dwellers, the world’s hidden spot of scenic beauty.You have a full day exploration of the lake and environs today by longtail boat. View the traditional inhabitants of the area, the Intha, who are best known for their unique leg-rowing technique and cultivation of floating gardens.Other highlights today, in addition to the beautiful mountain scenery that surrounds you, will include visits to the venerable Phaung Daw U Kyaung. Of all the places you visit in Myanmar, wander around the scenic lake by boat, witness the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas and their unique fishing method, floating gardens, the floating villages the friendly hill tribe people, ancient pagodas, and its colorful festivals will give you a life time memories.
Overnight- Inle Lake
Day 11: Inle Lake
Today, spend a full day aboard a boat exploring the breathtaking lake, which is surrounded on both sides by high hills. You will have an opportunity to visit the market, which is held once in every five days. It is the best opportunity to see hill tribes coming down to sell and buy their products. In the afternoon, exploring based on your interests and your guide’s recommendations.
Overnight- Inle Lake
Day 12: Inle Lake – Excursions to Indein
This morning, you will be transferred to Indein village. Indein Temple is a complex which travelers express as Mini- Angkor. After a short distance walk through the bamboo forest , the exciting vie Indein Temple complex is situated in the western shore of the lake and most of the internal wall of the ruins of 1054 shrines make you say “wow”. In the afternoon, visit Impawkhone silk weaving village, a blacksmith, Cheroot making and surrounding villages. Return to the hotel in the evening.
Overnight – Inle Lake
Day 13: Inle Lake- Yangon (Flight)
Breakfast at the Hotel, enjoy the beauty of the Lake until the time to transfer back to Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Arrive Yangon, visit to one of Yangon’s fabulous bazaars- an endless jumble of color, clamor, heady aromas and contraband goods. Visit Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott) which has an enormous array of consumer goods and has the largest collections of souvenirs from all over Myanmar. This will be a wonderful opportunity to pick up some handicrafts.After shopping, proceed to China Town and walk around in the area. This late afternoon, you can stroll along the Yangon River to end up the day.
Day 14: Yangon (Departure)
Breakfast at the Hotel, enjoy a leisurely morning. You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight back home. Please note that you will be required to pay an international departure tax of $10 USD (per person).
End of Service
- Accommodation on double room with daily breakfast (3*** hotels)
- Domestic flights as per itinerary included airport taxes
- Baggage handling 20kg for person
- English local stationed speaking guide service
- All transfer, transportation, sightseeing & excursion with excellent car & driver
- Entrance fees as per program
- Boat riding for excursion in Inle
- Meals (lunch & dinner)
- Personal expenses including Beverages & Tipping
- Travel insurance
- Visa fees
- Airport departure tax currently at US$ 10 & International Flight Fare
- Other services not listed in above
- Porterage fees
Note: The above programme is subject to change with or without prior notice due to the factors such as weather, domestic flight availability, road transport conditions and etc.