CULTURE AND RELAX IN MYANMAR

Length

20 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

  The Culture and Relax in Myanmar is an itinerary designed along a route that combines both natural and cultural sights, allowing us to learn about ancient Burmese traditions, with a beach extension to the stunning Ngapali Beach.

Explore Shwedangon Pagoda in Yangon, the most sacred monument in Myanmar, and Bagan, the legendary capital of the Kingdom of Burma.

Cruise on Irrawaddy River, where you can get an insight into the everyday life in the rural villages. Experience the thrilling train ride via the Goteik Viaduct at Pyin Oo Lwin, the highest in Myanmar, through steep hills and breath-taking gorges.

Explore the ancient traditions of the Shan State villages and cruise around Inle Lake on a private boat to discover the daily lifestyle of fishermen, craft workshops, the iconic ‘one-legged paddling’ fishermen and explore the impressive archaeological site of Indein.

Treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation on the beautiful beaches of NgapaliBeach.

This suggested itinerary can be customised according to your travel needs as well as combined with other routes.

Culture and relax in Myanmar - map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 20D 19N
From : YANGON
To :YANGON
Destinations  : Yangon, Bagan, Mount Popa, Yandabo, Mandalay, Amarapura, Ava, Sagaing, Pyin Oo Lwin, Hsipaw, Lashio, Heho, Kakku, Taunggyi, Inle Lake, Indein, Ngapali Beach, Golden Rock

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN YANGON

Welcome meeting by our staff upon arrival in Yangon and transfer to the hotel.

Included : Private pick up from them airport, private transportation and hotel

02. YANGON CITY TOUR

Nukus_Art_Museum © ChanOJ / CC BY-SAShwedagon Pagoda

After breakfast we start our tour in Myanmar with the most important attractions in Yangon. 

We visit Kaba Aye Pagoda, also known as ‘World Peace Pagoda‘, built in 1952 in preparation for the sixth Buddhist council. We carry on with the visit to the Kalaywa Tawya Monastery to observe the daily life of Buddhist monks.

In the afternoon we continue to Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha Temple, known for its 72 meters long reclining Buddha statue, one of the largest in Myanmar. Next, we go to the Bogyoke Aung San Market, or “Scott Market“, one of the largest bazaars in Yangon where over 2000 merchants sell clothes, precious stones, traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.

We continue to the Kandawgyi Park, from where we enjoy a stunning view of the Karaweik barge, the sumptuous palace built in the 70s on a royal barge.

The day ends with the visit to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred in Myanmar. The massive bell of the stupa is gold-plated while the very top is tipped with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topazes. An absolute must-see and the best spot to start this incredible journey to Myanmar

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

03. BAGAN

Ananda Temple © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelAnanda Temple – Bagan

Early morning transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to Bagan, the ancient capital Arimaddanapura of the Pagan Kingdom between the 9th and 13th centuries.

Bagan was for many decades the centre of religious studies since the time of the Khmer Kingdom. Of the estimated 10,000 temples constructed, the remains of about 2,200 temples have survived over 700 years of history.

We visit the colourful and crowded local market: a unique opportunity to see the local folklore and to learn about the Burmese daily lifestyle. We carry on with the visit to the Shwezigon Pagoda, a prototype of the stupas later built in Myanmar, to get an insight into the rich historical heritage of Bagan’s archaeological complex.

Afterwards we visit the Wetkyi-In Gu-Byauk-Gyi temple, known for its wall paintings telling the story of the Jataka (previous births of Buddha), then on to the two-storey temple Htilo-Minlo, known for its plaster sculptures.

After lunch we continue to the Ananda temple, one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of Bagan, built in the early Mon-Myanmar style. 

Next, we go to the That-Byin-Nyu temple built in the 12th century and the tallest in Bagan, then to the Dhamma Yangy temple known for its unique brick construction and to the Gawdawpalin temple

We end the day with a slow cruise on the Irrawaddy River to enjoy the romantic sunset while observing the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples and villages on the shore.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, domestic flight, boat, tickets and private transportation 

04. MOUNT POPA

Mount Popa © Laura D'AddioMount Popa

Morning car transfer to the notorious Mount Popa, approximately 50 km from Bagan (1 h drive), located in the heart of an extinct volcano that was active approximately 2500 years ago.

It is known for the popular animist belief that recognises Mount Popa as the home of the Nats: 37 god-like spirits feared and venerated by most of the Burmese people. The mountain rises to 1520 meters and to reach the top it takes around 45 minutes.

Visit the Mahagiri Sanctuary, Mahagiri Shrine, dedicated to the Nats. A spectacular view of the valley awaits us at the summit.

Afterwards, return to the hotel in Bagan.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

05. 1˚part BAGAN - MANDALAY CRUISE

After breakfast, transfer to Bagan Aye Yar pier and boarding at approximately 11.30 am.

Welcome cocktail and introduction briefing regarding the 3D2N cruise

Cruise start

Late afternoon stop at some typical local villages along the river

Included : Cruise cabin, breakfast, lunch, dinner, cruise 

06. 2˚PART BAGAN - MANDALAY CRUISE

The cruise runs for the whole day with a few stops along the way as per the travel schedule of the navigation company that we are travelling with.

We stop in the morning at Yandabo, a typical village on the riverside specialized in the production of pots, where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed on 24 February 1826. We visit the workshops and the monastery.

For an overnight stay we moor near a village (Ywar Thit Gyi or Pauk Myaing Pauk Taw).

Included : Cruise cabin, breakfast, lunch, dinner, cruise 

07. AMARAPURA – SAGAING – PYIN Oo LWIN

U-Bein-bridge © Gabriele StoiaU Bein bridge

We begin the last part of the cruise with the beautiful sunrise from the deck. After breakfast on board we disembark at Sagaing pier.

We continue to to Amarapura, the ‘city of immortality’, twice capital of Myanmar in the 18th and 19th centuries, known today for its fine silk and cotton production. 

Next, we visit the Mahar Gandar Yon Monastery to deepen your understanding of the Buddhist religion and learn about the daily life of the monks. 

Afterwards we proceed to the famous U-Bein Bridge over Lake Taungtaman. Built in 1850, its remarkable length of 1200 metres makes it the longest wooden bridge in the world. 

In the afternoon we visit Sagaing Hill, home to over 700 monasteries, and continue to Pyin Oo Lwin.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

08. TRAIN HSIPAW – TREKKING LOCAL VILLAGES

Goteik Viaduct © Laura D'AddioGoteik Viaduct

In the morning we reach Pyin Oo Lwin railway station in time for the train excursion to Hsipaw (approx. 4h) via the Goteik Viaduct, through steep hills and breath-taking gorges.

The bridge, the highest in Myanmar, was built in 1899 during the British colony to carry goods to Shan State, an important British ally after the conquest of Burma. It is considered an extraordinary work of engineering. It has 15 towers with a total length of 689.

On arrival at Nwang Pang station we continue by car to Hsipaw.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, train ticket and private transportation 

09. TREKKING HSIPAW

After breakfast an easy trek through Shan villages awaits us to observe the minority lifestyle and learn about local culture and customs.

Afterwards we continue on a small boat on the river amidst a backdrop of mountains, valleys and crops. 

Continuing on foot for another 45 minutes through the orchards we reach the ancient Tai Monastery, built over 150 years ago.

In the afternoon we continue the excursion by boat. If you wish, you can take a refreshing dip in the river. 

We end the day at a Shan village where we visit some traditional farms.

At the end transfer to the hotel in Hsipaw.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. LASHIO - HEHO - INLE LAKE

After breakfast transfer to Lashio airport for the domestic flight to Heho.

On arrival transfer to the hotel on Inle Lake and check-in.

The afternoon is free at your disposal to explore the area.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

11. KAKKU COMPLEX

Kakku ComplexKakku Complex

After breakfast we continue to Taunggyi for a visit to the Kakku archaeological site, one of the largest in Asia, with over 2400 stupas built over many centuries.

Legend has it that the site was built in the 12th century during the reign of King Alaungsithu, while some researchers, despite the absence of written records, date the primary buildings to between the 16th and 18th centuries. However, some structures are certainly much older.

On the way, visit Htan Pya Ya Village and Aye Tharyar Vinery.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

12. INLE LAKE - INDEIN COMPLEX

Indein Complex © Gabriele StoiaIndein Complex

In the morning we transfer to Nyaung Shwe pier to board on a private boat and we explore Inle Lake where we find ethnic and handicraft villages: a thrilling experience to see up close the iconic ‘one-legged paddling’ fishermen, farms, floating gardens and the islets in the lake.

We continue to Phaung Daw Oo-Phaya Pagoda, the most sacred in the state Shan, then to the Inpawkhon weaving workshop and to one of the markets on Inle Lake (they change according to the day of the week).

In the afternoon we continue the visit to the southern part of Inle Lake

We delve into the narrow canals of the lake, surrounded by a stunning natural environment and we head to the impressive ruins of the Indein Pagoda Complex, the astounding archaeological site housing hundreds of Buddhist Pagodas hidden under vegetation and dating back to the 14th-18th centuries. The main stupa, located on the top of the hill, offers a breath-taking view of the surrounding mountains.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

13. HEHO - THANDWE - NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

After breakfast, transfer to Heho airport in time for your domestic flight to Thandwe.

Upon arrival, welcome meeting by the staff of the structure chosen for the stay and transfer to the hotel at Ngapali Beach.

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, shared transportation

14. NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast

15. NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast

16. NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast

17. NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast

18. NGAPALI BEACH

Ngapali BeachNgapali Beach

Free day at the beach.

Included : Hotel, breakfast

19. NGAPALI BEACH - THANDWE - YANGON

Free day at the beach. 

Later transfer to Thandwe airport for the domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, shared transportations

20. GOLDEN ROCK - DEPARTURE

Golden RockGolden Rock

We end our journey in Myanmar with the visit to the famous Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, at approximately 1100 meters above sea level and among the most sacred places in Myanmar. Furthermore, it is a fundamental pilgrimage destination for Buddhist believers after the Schwedagon pagoda in Yangon and the Mahamuni temple in Mandalay. 

On arrival in Kinpun we continue to the Mountain Road to reach the Yatetaung base camp. Given the steep slope of the path, we continue by truck, which has been adapted for the transport of people, to get to the top of the mountain. 

The most striking detail is certainly the huge granite boulder covered with thin gold leaves that clearly appears to be precariously balanced. On top of it stands the small Buddhist pagoda, which is only 7 metres high. From this spot you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama and enchanting sunsets. 

The sacredness of the place derives from ancient legends. The most famous is that Siddhartha Gautama personally handed over his lock of hair to a hermit who, in turn, handed it over to the king with the specific request to keep it under an enormous round rock that had the appearance of the hermit’s head. The king found a suitable rock at the bottom of the sea and had it transported to the top of the mountain. Since then, Gauthama Buddha’s lock of hair has been kept under the rock and ensures its precarious balance.

At the end transfer to Yangon airport in time for your departure flight.

Included : Breakfast, tour guide, private transportation to airport

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