10 days / 9 nights
Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Heho – Kalaw - Inle Lake – Yangon
Day 1 Yangon
Arrive Yangon where you will meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 Yangon
Explore the downtown area of Yangon. Starting at Sule Pagoda. Stroll the bazaar at Scott Market (Bogyoke Market amid shops filled with antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and handicrafts. Visit the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-footlong statue with an expressive enamel face. View the story of the Buddha’s life embossed on the soles of the statue’s staggered feet. At sunset, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar. Tradition holds it has stood for 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in the world. Marvel as its round, gilded stupa captures the rays of the warm afternoon sun, lending a crowning moment to your Burmese adventure.
Day 3 Bagan
Fly to Bagan. Bagan known as the city of “four million pagodas” is one of the richest and greatest sites in Asia. The temples at Bagan can only be described as amazing and enchanting, you will explore the temples and the surrounding area, visit local artisans known for their lacquerware famous for using techniques handed down for generations. The only way to truly appreciate the beauty of Bagan is at sunset from the top of a Pagoda to see the panoramic view of the temples surrounding you.
Day 4 Bagan
Ballooning over Bagan You may wish to rise early for a wondrous balloon ride over Bagan as the rising sun illuminates the gold and sand colored stupas.
Choose one of the following activities:
Temple visit by horse cart
Visit the temples by Horse Cart to explore some of the lesser visited areas which cannot be reached by today’s vehicles.
Jeep tour of the west bank of the Irrawaddy
In a traditional, wooden motor boat cross the Irrawaddy River to begin exploring the west bank of the Irrawaddy by jeep! You will visit rural villages specializing in various cottage industries. Continue on to Taunt Kyi Taung pagoda perched on a hill, with great views of the Irrawaddy River.
Biking in Bagan Continue to visit the temples to explore some of the lesser visited areas which cannot be reached by today’s vehicle by bicycle.
Mt. Popa A day tour to Mt Popa, en route you will visit some villages and watch the collection of juice from palm trees. Mt. Popa and its shrine is dedicated to the worship of the 37 Nats, the Burmese ancient animist spirits. Learn about nats as you climb the stairs to the top. The view over the Myingyan Plain from the top of the volcanic peak is impressive (the climb is optional!).
Day 5 Mandalay
Fly to Mandalay and visit the royal ancient capital Amarapura, with its beautiful pagodas and textile workshops. Visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a golden Buddha statue and Shwenandaw Monastery noted for its fine teak carvings and Kuthodaw Pagoda with 729 marble slabs inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon. We end the day at the top of Mandalay Hill for a spectacular sunset.
Day 5 Mandalay - Kalaw
Fly to Heho and continue to Kalaw. Originally founded as a hill station by the British, Kalaw still retains an air of colonial charm and the surrounding countryside offers some of the best trekking in the country. Explore this delightful town with Aug Chan Tha Zedi, a glittering stupa, and the interesting central market where occasionally traders from nearby hill-tribe villages come to trade their wares.
Day 6 Kalaw
Palaung Village Trekking
Trek to Palaung minority village (approximately 5 hours) through rice paddies and tea plantations.
Elephant Camp Excursion
The Green Valley Elephant Camp is a ‘retirement’ home for elephants that have worked most of their lives in the timber industry. The camp is a great place to get close to these magnificent animals and their natural habitat. It’s a short hike to the river where you can assist in the feeding and bathing of the elephants followed by a short elephant ride.
Day 7 Kalaw - Inle Lake
Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you travel to Pindaya, passing through lush scenery dotted with buffalo-drawn carts and groups of farmers wearing traditional dresses. Visit Pindaya with its complex of multi-chambered caves filled with hundreds of Buddha relics. Continue to Inle Lake with a visit to Shwe Yaung Pyay Kyaung Monastery.
Day 8 Inle Lake
This morning travel by boat to the lake-side village of Indein, a 16th century temple site. Explore the group of stupas which house iconic Buddha figures covered in gold leaf and then watch the masterful skills on display at a traditional silk-weaving workshop.
Visit Nampan village to see the makings of the local cigar (cheroot) and the silk weavers in the village of Inn Paw Khone.
Day 9 Inle Lake
Visit a local tribal market which rotates through the area. It is fascinating to see regional hill tribe-people in traditional dress bartering for goods and produce. The 5-day market rotates through the region and the schedule is not set in advance, on some occasions there may not be a market at all.
The afternoon will be spent aboard a boat exploring the beautiful lake, watching the famous Intha fishermen row their fishing boats with a swirling move of their leg and the floating gardens.
Day 10 Inle Lake - Yangon
Fly to Yangon to visit General Aung San’s Museum to learn about the political history of Burma. After lunch, if time permits, visit the fresh fruit market and stroll through the China town.