Overview

A trip around the most soul-stirring places of this unique country, especially designed for those who don’t count on much time but still would like to visit the most emblematic sites in Myanmar.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Mandalay Arrival and Discovering

Day 2: Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Bagan

Day 3: Bagan Sightseeing

Day 4: Bagan – Heho – Inle Lake – Indein

Day 5: Inle Lake Sightseeing

Day 6: Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon Sightseeing

Day 7: Yangon Departure

Discovering Mandalay

Day 1 Discovering Mandalay

Meals: not included | Accommodation: The Home Hotel, Superior room (Mandalay)

We will be welcomed by our guide and driver upon our arrival at Mandalay international airport, from where we will head directly to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. 

Afterwards, we will stop at some local workshops to see how Kalaga tapestries are made, how the gold leaves are transformed into paper-thin pieces, or how the craftsmen work on stone carving and bronze casting. 

From there, we will go to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where we will find some Theravada Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 marble slabs, deserving therefore its nickname 'the world's largest book'. Next we will visit the beautiful teak-carved Shwenandaw Monastery, the only Royal Palace building that survived to World War II bombing.  The final touch to our day will take place on the top of Mandalay Hill, where a glittering glass-studded temple will reflect the evening glow as we will witness the sunset.

Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Flight to Bagan

Day 2 Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Flight to Bagan

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Thazin Garden Hotel, Deluxe room (Bagan)

 

After breakfast, we will visit the Ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. From the Sagaing Hills, we will enjoy a view over countless pagodas and pay a special visit to a monastery to learn about the life of Buddhist devotees. 

 

We will head afterwards to another beautiful ancient capital, Amarapura, famous for its textile industries. There, we will visit a cottage industry workshop to learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are woven. Continuing to the 150-year-old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1851, when Amarapura was the royal capital, by staking 1060 teak posts over the wide Taungthaman Lake to connect two villages. One of the most photographed spots in Myanmar which well worth a walk along the bridge.

In the afternoon, we will transfer to the airport for our domestic flight to Bagan. 

Exploring Bagan

Day 3 Exploring Bagan

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Thazin Garden Hotel, Deluxe room (Bagan)

Our guide will pick us up from our hotel to start our exploration by the busy local market, heading afterwards directly to the awe-inspiring architectural ensemble to visit a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples in Bagan such as the Shwezigon Pagoda, a huge gilded temple built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century; Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-Inn), a 13th century temple with exquisite murals of the 'Jataka Tales' (scenes from the life of the Buddha); the eminent Ananda Temple, one of the finest and largest pagodas with a 51-metre shimmering gold tip plus four huge standing-Buddha images and numerous seated figures arranged around the interior gallery. 

In the afternoon, we will visit Moe Moe Lacquer ware factory where we will learn about this delicate art. We will continue later with our temple exploration with Manuha Temple, built in Mon style in 1059; Nanpaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument that is said to have been the palace of King Manuha; and Gubyaukgyi (Myingaba) under the protection of UNESCO because of its ancient mural paintings. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan's ancient monuments.

Note: If you see any temple that captures your attention, just tell your guide so that you can stop and explore it. In case any of them is closed, we can just kindly ask the villagers around if they can open its doors for us. Just pick your favorite temples; this is the best way to enjoy Bagan!
 

Bagan – Heho – Inle Lake – Indein

Day 4 Bagan – Heho – Inle Lake – Indein

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Mount Inle Hotel, Superior room (Nyaung Shwe)

In the morning we will head to Bagan Airport for our domestic flight to Heho, from where we will drive down into the valley to Nyaung Shwe on the edge of Inle Lake and board a local boat that will take us to our hotel to leave our luggage and start with our adventure around this matchless watery scenery.  

We will travel by long-tail boat across the lake to Indein, at the western edge of Inle, so that we can enjoy one most scenic routes on the Lake. We will be passing through the busy village of Ywama, the largest on the Lake, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts and see how the farmers cultivate their land against the backdrop of the Shan Hills. 

Upon our arrival, we will disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes through Indein village to reach the 14th - 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrestored, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway with souvenir stallholders will lead us up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex from the 17th-18th century. 

We will get back to the river to continue by boat downstream direction Yethar village, observing the local life on the banks, floating gardens and houses on stilts and birds in the trees until reaching the Lake again near Phaung Daw Oo Paya.

Inle lake Expedition (by boat)

Day 5 Inle lake Expedition (by boat)

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Mount Inle Hotel, Superior room (Nyaung Shwe)

 

Today we will enjoy a full day trip on the lake, a photographer’s dream! Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation, fishing canoes, long-tail boats, scenic hills, floating houses on stilts and lots of hidden corners that are home to beautiful temples and colorful villages. 

 

We will get started by exploring a 5-day rotating market (if our visit coincides with the schedule) which offers an insight into the life of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people, who gather here to sell and buy goods. We will also stop at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State.

 

At some point we will also run into real Intha fishermen, whose leg-rowing allows them to have their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. 

 

In the afternoon, a traditional silk-weaving workshop and a blacksmith forge will be awaiting us. We will sail through endless fruit and vegetables floating gardens and continue by boat till the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest on the lake, where exquisite Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old can be found. We will return to our hotel by boat as the sun goes down and the light over the lake turns into a very special orange color.
 

Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon Impressions

Day 6 Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon Impressions

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Hotel Shwe Yee, Deluxe room (Yangon)

We will leave in the morning by car to Heho Airport for our domestic flight to Yangon, the last stage of our trip in Myanmar. 

Upon arrival, we will drive to the famous Strand Road and visit the bustling Yangon harbour and visit the Botathaung Pagoda, located close to Yangon River and said to contain Buddha relics. We will then drive through the colonial district, Chinatown and the Indian quarter, stopping as many times as we wish to make photos or explore around.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Bogyoke Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays), where if we need, we can choose some souvenirs among the wide range of handicrafts that we will find from all around the country. We will stop by the Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake to take some stunning photos over the lake towards Karaweik Hall and the Shwedagon. 

We will enjoy our last sunset in Myanmar at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the 'heart' of Buddhism in Myanmar and famous worldwide because of its golden stupa. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa is surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. It is always full of people praying and making offerings, and it is a fascinating place to spend time just observing. 

Day 7 Yangon Departure

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included
 

We will bid farewell to Myanmar before being transferred to the airport for our onward flight.  

PRICE

*This is sample itinerary with no selection of accommodation and/or domestic air tickets. Please contact our travel consultant at info@handspan.com to tailor this itinerary to your personal specifications.
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