GRAND TOUR MYANMAR

Length

15 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

A Grand Tour in Myanmar to explore the rich culture and enhanced by the mountain resorts visit off the touristic areas framed by unforgettable views.

From the cities Mandalay and Amarapura, to the wonderful temples of Bagan, the ancient Burmese capital, passing by mountains villages of Kampetlet inhabited by authentic ethnic minorities.

Explore Shwedangon Pagoda in Yangon, the most sacred monument in Myanmar, and hop on a private boat at Inle Lake to learn about the daily life of local fishermen, the floating artisan farms and the famous “one-legged rowers“.

Discover the suggestive archaeological sites of Indein and visit the notorious Mount Popa on the core of an extinct volcano  active about 25,000 years ago, home to 37 magical spirits. 

This example itinerary can be customized according to actual travel needs and can be combined with other routes.

Grand-tour-Myanmar - map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 15D 14N
From : MANDALAY
To :YANGON
Destinations : Mandalay, Mingun, Amarapura, Ava, Sagaing, Monywa, Bagan, Kampetlet, Mindat, Mount Popa, Inle Lake, Indein, Yangon

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN MANDALAY - AMARAPURA

U-Bein-bridge © Gabriele StoiaU Bein bridge

Arrive in Mandalay, former capital of Myanmar, the best place in the country where you can appreciate Burmese art and traditions.

Transfer to Amarapura, the “city of immortality”, twice capital of Myanmar in the 18th and 19th centuries, known today for the precious silk and cotton processing. Visit to Bagaya Monastery, built with 276 teak wood columns, to see the famous collection of Buddha images.

Afterwards we proceed to the famous U-Bein teak bridge on Lake Taungtaman, built in 1850, 1.2 Km long and considered the longest wooden bridge in the world.

In the afternoon we continue to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the major pilgrimage sites, known for the revered images that express the representation of the life of the Buddha. Visit a local workshops to learn about the traditional hand made production of gold leaf commonly offered by the faithful to the Buddha statue.

We proceed to Ku-Tho-Daw Pagoda – UNESCO World Heritage Site – considered the “largest book” in the world of the Buddha’s doctrine engraved on 729 marble slabs.

Visit Shwe Nandaw Monastery (Golden Monastry) known for its exquisite wood carvings. The day ends with an exciting sunset from Mandalay Hill.

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

02. MINGUN - AVA

Aung Myay Bonza monastery © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelAung Myay Bonza monastery

In the morning board on a private boat to Mingun, 12 km from Mandalay. Visit the Pon Daw Paya, Set Taw Ya Paya, the vaulted shrine containing a sacred footprint of the Buddha, the unfinished Mingun Pa Hto Taw Phaya Pagoda built in bricks, the famous Mingun Bell, which with 90 tons of weight is considered the second largest bell in the world, and Myatheintan Pagoda, the best representation of the Universe.

Crossing by ferry to a tributary of the river we proceed to Ava (Inwa) and hop on a horse-cart to visit the 27 mt high Inwa Watch TowerNan Myint, and Aung Myay Bonza Monastery built wood, brick and stucco.

Return to the hotel at the end of the visits.

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

03. SAGAING - MONIWA

After breakfast we continue to Sagaing Hill, home to over 700 monasteries, and to Kaungmudaw Pagoda.

Then transfer to Monywa (110 Km – about 2h). On the way visit to the Pagoda Mohnyin Than Buddhay Pagoda, home to 582,357 small Buddha images and the largest Buddha image in the world feet (129 meters).

Following transfer and accommodation in the hotel.

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

04. TRANSFER TO BAGAN

In the morning transfer through the Chindwin River to Phoe Win Taung cave complex to visit the ancient murals dated 17th century.

Later we continue to the pier in Pakokku to board on a local boat and transfer to Bagan. 

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

05. TRANSFER TO KANPETLET

View from Kampetlet © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelView from Kampetlet

We leave Bagan early morning in the direction of Chauk, the seat of the Burma Oil Company during the British occupation. Let us pause to Chauk market, rarely visited by tourists, to procure needed to trek the next few days.

We continue to Kanpetelet, in Chin State, among the most remote areas of Myanmar, known for Mount Victoria, one of the highest mountains in Myanmar, and for Natmataung National Park, home to several ethnic minorities including Dai, Da Yindu, Uppu, Mun and Ng’gha. Weather permitting we conclude the day with a beautiful sunset.

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

06. MOUNT VICTORIA - AYE VILLAGE

Mount Victoria © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelMount Victoria

After breakfast we drive about 30 minutes to the starting point of the trekking in Natmataung National Park on Mount Victoria : an unmissable experience to meet the local minorities in the area.

From the base camp we reach the summit in about 2h30′ walk following a naturalistic path surrounded by incredible landscapes and a rich flora with wild orchids, rhododendron flowers, cherries, many wild flowers and a lush jungle with colourful butterflies.

During the journey we will have the opportunity to meet the local tribes and observe their daily lifestyle. The ethnic minorities in the area have animist roots and many of them still practice ancient ritual ceremonies. We will meet women from some villages with their faces completely covered in tattoos that recall precise references to their clan: an ancient tradition officially abolished by the Burmese government in 1960 but practiced until the late 1990s.

After the packed lunch we continue the trek up to the meeting point with our driver and transfer to Aye village (about 1 hour) where we will spend the night in a local guest house.

Included : Guesthouse, breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner, tour guide, tickets, trekking permit, private transportation

07. MINORITIES VILLAGES - MINDAT

Mon tribes women © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelMon tribes women

Wake up early in the morning to watch the sunrise from Aye village.

After breakfast we transfer by car to Shame village and continue on foot for about 45 minutes. We reach the singular Kyedoe village whose lifestyle is decidedly different from the rest of the Burmese people. Animal sacrifices of bulls and pigs are still practiced today. The animal skulls collected in the surrounding forests are used to decorate for spiritual rituals and to decorate homes as a sign of power, well-being and prestige.

We proceed to the Lote Bell and Pukwan villages and continue the trek for about 30′ to the meeting point with our driver for the transfer to Mindat.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch, tour guide, tickets, trekking permit, private transportation 

08. MINORITIES VILLAGES - BAGAN

Makan village - flute performance © Gabriele StoiaFlute performance at Makan village

In the early morning visit to the Mindat market.

After we proceed to Makaan village to attend the traditional flute performance (played with a nose) by the women of the tribe.

Later we begin the transfer to Bagan (about 6h), passing Kyauk-Htu Pauk Townships, and crossing the Ayeyarwaddy River on the Pakokku bridge, the longest in Myanmar.

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

09. BAGAN

Htilo-Minlo TempleHtilo Minlo – Bagan

Today we visit Bagan, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from IX to XIII, formerly known as the Arimaddanapura. Of the 10,000 temples 2,200 survived over 700 years of history. Bagan was for many decades the center of religious studies since the times of the Khmer Kingdom.

We visit the colorful and crowded local market: a unique opportunity to observe local folklore and learn about the Burmese daily lifestyle. We continue with a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, the prototype of the stupas built subsequently in Myanmar, for an introduction to the rich history of the archaeological Bagan temple complex. 

Afterwards we visit Wetkyi-In Gu-Byauk-Gyi temple, known for the narrative murals of the Jataka (previous life of Buddha) and the two-storey temple Htilo-Minlo, known for the plaster sculptures.

After lunch we continue to Ananda temple, one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in Bagan, built in the early Mon-Myanmar style. We proceed to That-Byin-Nyu temple, built during 12th century, the highest in Bagan, to Dhamma Yangy temple, known for its singular brick construction , and to Gawdawpalin temple.

We end the day with a slow cruise on Irrawady river to enjoy the romantic sunset by observing the unique perspective of Bagan temples, fishing villages and villages on the shore.

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

10. MOUNT POPA

Mount Popa © Laura D'AddioMount Popa

Transfer by car to the notorious Mount Popa, about 50 km southeast of Bagan (1h), the core of an extinct volcano, active about 25,000 years ago.

Is known for the popular belief that the animist recognizes as the abode of Nats: 37 magical spirits both feared and honored by the majority of the Burmese people. The mountain reaches an altitude of 1520 mt. To reach the top it takes about 45 minutes.

Visit the Mahagiri Sanctuary, Mahagiri Shrine, dedicated to the Nats. From the top you can enjoy a spectacular view of the valley.

At the end return to the hotel in Bagan.

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

11. INLE LAKE

Inle Lake © Gabriele StoiaInle Lake

After breakfast transfer to Heho by domestic flight.

Upon arrival transfer to Nyaung Shwe and board on a private boat to explore Inle Lake and discover ethnic and craft villages: an exciting opportunity to closely observe the famous method the Burmese unique style of fishing “one leg rower“, farms, floating gardens and small islands.

Visit Phaungdawoo Pagoda, which houses the 5 most revered Buddha image in southern Shan state.

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

12. INLE LAKE - INDEIN

Indei Pagoda Complex © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelIndein Pagoda Complex

In the morning we continue the visit on the lake aboard a private boat.

Visit the floating market to observe the daily life of the minorities and their activities and continue to the south of the lake through the lush vegetation to Indein Pagoda Complex, the village known for the amazing archaeological site that houses hundreds of ancient Buddhist pagodas dated XIV-XVIII century, hidden by vegetation.

The boat leaves the lake and enters a narrow canal surrounded by a beautiful natural environment and then continue to a small village inhabited by Pa O tribe.

From the village continue along an old covered path to a 13th century monastery and the impressive ruins of hundreds of ancient pagodas half hidden by vegetation. The main stupa on the top of the hill offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains.

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

13. YANGON

Shwedagon Pagoda © Gabriele StoiaShwedagon Pagoda

Transfer to Yangon by domestic flight.

Upon arrival we take a scenic walk amongst magnifecent colonial building and new skyscrapers symbol of recent economic progress.

Visit Sule Pagoda, built in the 3rd century and today part of the economy of the city.

We continue to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred in Myanmar. The massive bell of the stupa is gold-plated and the tip is embellished with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topazes. 

We end the day at Kandawgyi Park where we enjoy the beautiful view of the Karaweik barge, the sumptuous palace built in the 70s on a royal barge.

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

14. YANGON

Chinatown © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelChinatown

In the morning we continue to Bogyoke Aung San Market, or “Scott Market”, one of the largest bazaars in Yangon where over 2000 merchants sell clothes, precious stones, traditional crafts and souvenirs. 

Later we visit Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha Temple, known for the 72 meters reclining Buddha statue, among the largest in Myanmar.

In the late afternoon stroll through the colorful and curious Chinatown.

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

15. YANGON DEPARTURE

Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Included : Hotel, breakfast and private transfer to the airport

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Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh

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