MYANMAR HISTORY
AND ETHNIC MINORITIES

Length

16 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

The itinerary Myanmar history and ethnic minorities develops on a path rich in cultural visits, combining the most important attractions of the country with excursions to remote areas of the Shan State to meet the ethnic minorities.

Explore Shwedangon Pagoda in Yangon, the most sacred monument in Myanmar, Bagan, the legendary capital of the Kingdom of Burma, the ancient cities Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.

Visit the Golden Rock among the must-see monuments in Myanmar, and enjoy three days trekking in Kalaw area immersed in a suggestive natural landscape in contact with the ethnic minorities.

Hop on a private boat at Inle Lake and learn about the daily life of local fishermen, the floating artisan farms, the famous “one-legged” rowers and discover the suggestive archaeological sites of Indein and Kakku Pagoda Complex.

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

Itineraries-Gran-tour-in-Uzbekistan © In Asia Travel

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Length : 16G 15N
From : YANGON
To :YANGON
Destinations : Yangon, Bago, Golden Rock, Bagan, Mandalay, Amarapura, Ava, Sagaing, Pindaya, Kalaw, Inle, Indein, Kakku, Taunggyi

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN YANGON

Shwedagon Pagoda © Gabriele StoiaShwedagon Pagoda

Arrive in Yangon and accommodation in Hotel.

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

After checking in at the hotel we continue to Kandawgyi Park where we enjoy the beautiful view of the Karaweik barge, the sumptuous palace built in the 70s on a royal barge.

We end the day at 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. An unmissable show and the most suitable place to end your journey.

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

02. Transfer TO GOLDEN ROCK

Golden RockGolden Rock

After breakfast transfer to the famous Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, at about 1100 mt above sea level, among the most sacred places in Myanmar, a fundamental pilgrimage destination for Buddhist faithful after Schwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and Mahamuni temple in Mandalay.

Along the way we take a short break at the Htauk Kyant War World II Museum and at a craft workshop. We continue to the Kyakhat Wine Monastery, the religious site where over 1000 monks learn the monastic lifestyle and study Buddhist scriptures.

Once in Kinpun we continue on the Mountain Road to Yatetaung base camp. To reach the top of the mountain given the considerable slope of the route we hop on a truck equipped for the transport of visitors.

The most striking detail is undoubtedly the huge granite boulder covered with thin gold leaves that seems to be in evident precarious balance. On it stands the small Buddhist pagoda which is only 7 meters high. From this point you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama and enchanting sunsets.

The sacredness of the place derives from ancient legends. The best known is that the Siddhartha Gautama personally delivered his lock of hair to a hermit who in turn gave it to the king with the specific request to keep it under a huge round rock that had the appearance of the hermit’s head. The king identified the boulder suitable for the purpose on the seabed and had it transported to the top of the mountain. Since then, the lock of hair of Buddha Gauthama is kept under the rock and guarantees its precarious balance.

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

03. GOLDEN ROCK - BAGO - YANGON

After breakfast we return to the base camp by truck and continue to Yangon by private transportation.

On the way we stop at Bago, formerly known as the Hanthawaddy city, and visit Shwemawdaw Pagoda and Kanbawazathardi Palace

Later we continue to Shwetharlyaung, one of the largest reclining Buddha images. We conclude with the visit of the Kyaik Pun Pagoda, particularly known for the shrine with 4 large Buddha statues (Kakusandha, Konagamana, Kassapa and Gautama) each in a different direction and mudra. At the end transfer to Yangon.

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

04. BAGAN

Htilo-Minlo TempleHtilo Minlo – Bagan

In the early morning we catch the domestic flight to 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.

Upon arrival 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.

Enjoy the romantic sunset from Nyaung The het Hill.

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

05. VISIT BAGAN BY BICYCLE

Lady at Minnanthu village © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelLady at Minnanthu village

After breakfast we continue the visits to the rural village Minnanthu, one of the places where you can see the collection and processing of cotton.

We proceed to Laymyathnar monastery complex, Phaya Thone Tzu temple and Nandamannya temple, the latter particularly known for the murals depicting “The Temptation of Mara” dating back to the 13th century. 

In the afternoon we visit Manuha Temple, Nan-Paya Temple and Gu-Byauk-Kyi (Myinkaba), known for its murals of Jataka narrative (previous lives of the Buddha). 

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 

06. AMARAPURA - AVA - SAGAING

U-Bein-bridge © Gabriele StoiaU Bein bridge

In the morning transfer to the airport for the domestic flight Bagan – Mandalay.

Upon arrival visit to the Mahar Gandar Yon Monastery to deepen understanding of the Buddhist religion and learn about the daily life of the monks.

We continue to Ava (Inwa) and visit the 27 mt high Inwa Watch Tower, Nan Myint, and Bagaya Monastery, built with 276 teak wood columns.

In the afternoon we visit Sagaing Hill and continue 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.

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.

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

07. MANDALAY

In the morning visit Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the major pilgrimage sites, known for the revered images that express the representation of the life of the Buddha.

We continue to Shwe Nandaw Monastery (Golden Monastry) known for its exquisite wood carvings; Shwe Inn Bin MonasteryKu-Tho-Daw Pagoda – UNESCO World Heritage Site – considered the “largest book” in the world of the Buddha’s doctrine engraved on 729 marble slabs;

The day ends with an exciting sunset from Mandalay Hill.

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

08. PINDAYA CAVES - KALAW

Pindaya Mountains © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelPindaya Mountains

After breakfast transfer to Heho by domestic flight. Upon arrival transfer to Pindaya (about 2h) by following a path through the beautiful scenery of Shan mountain range, where we will have opportunity to observe the daily life of rural residents.

In the afternoon we visit the impressive Pindaya Caves, known for the over 8,000 Buddha images of different sizes, made of teak, marble, alabaster and cement.

We continue to the district for the construction of traditional and characteristic colourful paper umbrellas and lake.

After we proceed to Kalaw.

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

09. 1˚PART - TREKKING KALAW - YIN PYAR

Kalaw landscapeKalaw

We begin the three days trekking in the Shan State to complement the trip with naturalist and an intense cultural experience with ethnic minorities.

After breakfast drive to Nyaung Shwe, the beginning point of the excursion. We proceed to the lower village of Htat Eain, known for caves in limestone, to the agricultural village Lwe Kin, which is home to many typical farms in the region, and to the upper village of Htat Eain.

In ate afternoon we continue the trekking to Nar Nwet village and conclude the day at Yin Pyar village, where we will spend the night.

Included : Local house, breakfast, lunch, dinner, trekking permit, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. 2˚PART - TREKKING YIN PYAR - LWE KHAUK

After breakfast we continue the trekking towards the tribal village Hsin Mee where we will have the opportunity to meet ethnic minority Pa O, the seventh ethnicity in Myanmar with about 2.5 million inhabitants, and the second ethnicity in Shan State. As a Tibetan-Burmese lineage the presence of this tribe in the area dates back to 1000 years BC.

Later we continue to Kone Son village for a panoramic view of Inle lake and to meet minorities Pa O and Taung Yoe.

In the afternoon we continue to Taungbu village crossing the Red Mountain vineyard, the area known for its wine production. We reach Nyaun Phyu village inhabited by Intha tribe, continue to Dalapin village, and conclude the day at Lwe Khauk village where we stop for the night.

Included : Local house, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide, tickets, private transportation

11. 3˚PART - TREKKING LWE KHAUK - NYANG SHWE

We conclude the third and last day of trekking visiting other typical villages such as Hpon Tal, Bawlwtbath, Mine Thauk.

At the end transfer to Nyaung Shwe on Inle Lake and accomodation at the hotel.

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

12. BOAT TRIP INLE LAKE - INDEIN

One leg rower © Lauda D'AddioOne leg rower – Inle Lake

In the morning we board 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 Heya Ywana village and Phaung Daw OoPhaya village where we meet “long-neck women” of Padaung tribe

We continue to Phaung Daw Oo-Phaya Pagoda, the most sacred in the state Shan, to the weaving workshops in Inpawkhon and to one of the markets on Inle Lake (vary by day of week).

In the afternoon we continue the boat trip to the south of Lake Inle through the lush vegetation to Indein, the village known for the amazing archaeological site that houses hundreds of ancient Buddhist pagodas dated XIV-XVIII century, hidden by vegetation.

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

13. BICYCLE TRIP AT NYAUNG SHWE

We spend the morning to bike ride to the local villages, to Nyaung Shwe market and to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery.

In the afternoon we continue to explore other surrounding villages and Red Mountain vinery to enjoy and the amazing sunset and followed, for those who wish, by a tasting of the local wine.

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

14. KAKKU PAGODA COMPLEX

Kakku ComplexKakku Complex

After breakfast we continue the trip to Taunggyi (about 2.5h) to visit the archaeological site of Kakku, among the largest complex of pagodas in Asia with 2400 stupa dating back several centuries ago.

The legend has it that the site was built during the reign of King Alaungsithu, in the 12th century, while some researchers, despite the absence of written artefacts, have placed the primary buildings from the 16th to the 18th century. However, some facilities are without a doubt much older.

During the transfer, visit to Htan Pya Ya Village and Aye Tharyar Vinery

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

15. HEHO - YANGON - FREE DAY

After breakfast free time available to walk around Nyaung Shwe or to relax a lovely morning on Inle Lake.

Later transfer to Yangon by domestic flight.

Included : Hotel, breakfast and private transportation

16. YANGON - DEPARTURE

Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Included : Hotel, breakfast and private transfer to the airport

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