01Arrival Day.Reclining Bhudha, Shwedagon Pagoda; 1 hour, easy walking.
After arriving at Yangon International Airport and transferring to our lovely hotel, we get acquainted and unwind over lunch. We then set out on foot to explore the colonial heritage of one of Southeast Asia's most impressive capitals, basking in its unique spiritual atmosphere. With its broad, tree lined avenues, bustling waterfront and teeming markets, Yangon is a treat to explore. We start with a visit to Reclining Buddha.
From the reclining Buddha, we continue on foot, through a local community, reaching the top of the Shwedagon Pagoda to enjoy the sunset. Rudyard Kipling called Shwedagon "a Golden mystery…a beautiful twinkling wonder."The 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda is said to be the world's richest golden stupa, or Buddhist spiritual monument. Also considered the most sacred of all Buddhist sites in Myanmar, the golden dome rises 323 feet above its base and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold. As the last rays of the setting sun cast a brilliant light on the domes we observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions. We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. The Savoy Hotel, Yangon
GRAND COLONIAL SPLENDOR
"The Savoy Hotel is a colonial-style boutique hotel, with great decoration which takes us back to the colonial days. The Savoy Hotel fuses the best of east and west decor, which makes it one of the most beautiful and unique hotels in Yangon - not to mention the calm and quite once inside the grounds. It is conveniently located right in the heart of the city and is one of the few hotels with views of the Shwedagon.
02Dallah Village; 1.5 hours, easy walking. Gem Museum and Optional late afternoon walk to InyaLake; 2-3 hours, easy walking
After breakfast, we drive through the colonial heart of the city to the foot-passenger ferry terminal.From there, we catch our 10-minute ferry across the swiftly flowing Yangon River to the peaceful, rural area known as Dallah. In Dallah we walkthrough Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim villages where communities live together in harmony.
Returning to the city by ferry, we have the opportunity to stop and admire the colonial architecture. After lunch at a local restaurant, we choose between a visit to the Gem Museum or an optional walk. The Gem Museum is meant to impress —and does! It is home to the world's largest sapphire, the world's largest natural pearl, the world's largest rough ruby, and much more. The museum also contains three floors of licensed gem stalls selling both precious and semi precious jewelry and loose stones as well as souvenir pieces.
After freshening up at the hotel, we’ll enjoy dinner at Savoy Hotel. Overnight at the savoy Hotel, Yangon
03Fly to Mandalay. Mandalay Hill; 1 hour, easy to moderate walking.
Transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to Mandalay.
Once the capital of Myanmar, Mandalay is still considered the cultural and religious heart of the country and is home to some of the most spectacular pagodas and temples. Upon arrival, we transfer (approximately 1 hour) to our hotel at the foot of Mandalay Hill. We enjoy lunch at the hotel before setting off on our hike to the top of Mandalay Hill approximate 750 ft ascent), the site of fierce fighting in World War II when the British retook the hill from the Japanese in 1945. The summit offers a panoramic view over the palace and the pagoda-studded countryside.
This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay
04Exploration of Ava; 2-3 hours easy walking. Sunset boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River
After breakfast, we drive out of the city through open farmland, reaching the narrow river crossing point to Inwa, also known as Ava (a 45-minute drive).
We cross to the other side by boat and board horse-drawn buggies for a short ride to the old city wall. Here, we pass through the ancient gate and walk through serene countryside, visiting historic sites along the way. There are virtually no cars in Inwa, and the farmland consists of fields of soybeans, rice, and sunflowers. The highlights of Inwa include an ancient monastery made entirely out of teak —and is supported by enormous teak posts, and a crumbling pagoda with large stone statues of Buddha dating back to the 15th century. We return by horse and buggy to a local restaurant located on a quiet spot, where we enjoy lunch.
After lunch, we ride in our horse and buggies again to the local jetty, where we board local river boat for our return to Mandalay. We'll cruise for about 2 1/2 hours up the mighty Ayeyarwaddy the major river that bisects the country (formally known as the Irawaddy) arriving in Mandalay as the sun sets.
Dinner this evening is at another colorful local restaurant.
Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay
05Join the RV Paukan Cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River
After breakfast we transfer to Sagaing jetty to join the overnight river cruise to Bagan. Cast off time is normally 1100 and lunch will be served at 1300 on board. This a magical way of travelling and seeing the villages and people along the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River.
In the afternoon we stop at Yandabo, a village specialize in Pot-Making, where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. The boat moors overnight near the village of ShweNann Tint. Dinner is served on board.
06Arrive in Bagan and check in to hotel.
Arrive in Bagan at around 930 and check in to our hotel located close to the jetty. There are various options for this morning including visiting the local market and exploring some of Bagan’s stunning stupas. We might also visit the laquer-ware workshop.
In the afternoon we will walk through the local farmland and stupas and enjoy a sunset view from the top of one of the stupas. Return to our hotel for a quick freshen up and then dinner out at a local restaurant in old Bagan. Overnight at the Hotel at Tharaba Gate.
07Optional balloon flight over Bagan: Highly recommended ! Visit Paya-thone-zuTemples; Visit Old Bagan; 1.5 hours, easy walking.
Guests who book the balloon flight are picked up early in the morning to enjoy a spectacular sunrise over Bagan and the Ayeyarwaddy River. Gentle winds not exceeding 15 miles per hour guide the balloon, allowing passengers a serene, bird's-eye view of ancient temples drifting by. On average the flight lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. (The cost of $350 USD per person for this flight option is not included in the tour price and must be pre-paid).
We reunite at the hotel for breakfast before embarking on a walk through the Paya-thone-zu group of temples (a short ride to the east of our hotel). Midday we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant situated on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River.
After lunch we can enjoy a short hike through Old Bagan, walking by the oldest stupa and the tallest temple. We admire frescos at the Thamya Temple and climb to the top of the Swegugyi Temple. Our walk concludes at Bagan's ninth-century gateway, which is guarded by brother and sister spirits.
Late afternoon we take a short ride to the jetty and set out for a sunset cruise on the lower Ayarwaddy River before returning to our hotel for dinner. Overnight at the Hotel at Tharaba Gate.
08Fly to Heho. Inle Lake. After breakfast, we fly to Heho (approximate45 minute flight),
Our gateway to Inle Lake. Knownas the most beautiful lake in Myanmar, Inle Lake’scalm waters are surrounded by high hills and dottedwith floating gardens and stilted villages. From Hehowe board our vehicle for a lovely drive (approximately 1hour) which winds though heavily forested hillswhere we see a variety of trees including banyan,jacaranda, acacia, and rubber trees. Monasteries, stupas,and small lakes dot the hills. We descend to the flatplateau where most of the county's rice is grown alongwith a variety of fruits and vegetables and sugarcane.
After arrival at Inle Lake we board our long-tail boats and head out across the lake to our lunch restaurant. En route we maypass local Intha fishermen, known as “leg rowers” andfamous for propelling flat-bottomed boats by standingon one leg and wrapping the other around the oar.
After lunch, we board our boats and head to our hotel passing through the villages and vegetablegardens. We stop to learn about some of thetraditional cottage industries, including lotusflower weaving, pottery, cigar making, andblacksmithing. After checking into our hotel there is the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings or enjoy a walk in the farmland behind the hotel.Dinner is at the hotel. AureumInle Resort.
09Inle Lake boat tour.
After breakfast we head across the lake. There is often a market at a nearby village and depending on the groups interest that may be one of our destinations today. Our journey on the lake takes us through floating gardens ofmulticolored lotus flowers and hyacinths. The lakeis also home to abundant waterfowl, includingegrets and cormorants. We eat lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon return to our hotel and enjoy a spectacular sunset from the restaurant deck. Overnight AureumInle Resort
10Fly to Ngapali Beach, transfer to the hotel.
We transfer across the lake by boat and then take the 1 hour drive back to Heho for the 1 hour flight to Ngapali beach.
The pristine beaches of Ngapali invite guests to extend their Myanmar adventure in repose and relaxation. Just a 60-minute flight from Yangon leads to a 2-mile stretch of sandy coast fringing clear, azure waters. Sea, sand and sun are the only distractions. No buildings are taller than palm-tree level and loud jet skis, souvenir vendors, and beachside bars are blissfully absent.
Opportunities abound to engage with the uniquely charming local culture. Watch fishermen drawing their nets and women carrying baskets of fish to the resort, or simply make the acquaintance of people renowned for their friendliness. Outstanding seafood, a fabulous swimming and snorkeling beach, and a laid-back atmosphere make this an idyllic destination for capping off an unforgettable Myanmar adventure by unwinding in peaceful surroundings.
The resort's stunning location - right on the beach and surrounded by swaying palm trees -- enhances a sense of serenity. The fiery sunsets, for which the Bay of Bengal is renowned, can be watched right from the doorsteps of your beachside lodgings.
Thandwe Beach Resort, Ngapali Beach
Today you can relax, collect shells, stroll to the nearby fishing village, go for a bicycle ride, or take a half-day boat trip for snorkeling. Breakfast included.
Thandwe Beach Resort, Ngapali Beach
You enjoy another relaxing day at Ngapali Beach with another opportunity for bicycling or snorkeling. Breakfast included.
Thandwe Beach Resort, Ngapali Beach
13Transfer to Yangon; visit to Bogyoke Market and departure from Yangon
Today we return to Yangon (approximate 1.5 hour flight).
Depending on the time of your onward bound International flight a vehicle will be available to take you to a restaurant for lunch prior to your international departure or to take you downtown to a destination of your choice or to explore the vibrant Bogyoke Market (formally known as Scott's Market); a fascinating covered market where we find reasonably priced handicrafts, jewels, antiques, and traditional artwork from all over Myanmar.
Afternoon transfer to the airport for your International departure.