Exotic Myanmar

Inside Myanmar Special

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Departure 1

25 April 2017 – 03 May 2017

Departure 2

16 May 2017 – 24 May 2017

Skeletal Itenerary
Day 1Yangon
Day 2Yangon - (Breakfast / Lunch: Padonmar Restaurant)
Day 3Yangon - Bagan (Breakfast)
Day 4Bagan - Mandalay - Sagaing (Breakfast)
Day 5​​Mandalay (Breakfast)
Day 6Mandalay - Heho - Inle Lake (Breakfast)
Day 7Inle Lake (Breakfast)
Day 8Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (Breakfast)
Day 9Yangon (Breakfast)
Detail Itenerary
Day 1
​Yangon

Arrival in Yangon

Transfer (1.5 hours)

Overnight in Yangon

Day 2
Yangon(Breakfast/Lunch: Padonmar Restaurant)

Transfer to/from Restaurant

Cooking class at Padonmar Restaurant with market visit

Walking tour in Yangon (4 Hours)

Transfer to Maha Bandoola Street, the starting point for the tour, and begin strolling through Chinatown. This quarter of the city comes alive during the mornings with fresh markets for vegetables, meat, and flowers. Stop at a typical shop to watch the making of flat rice noodles and rice flour pancakes. Continue into the Indian Quarter, passing Hindu Temples, the Jewish Synagogue and the famous Bogyoke Aung San or Scott'S Market. Continue the tour by rickshaw, passing colonial style municipal and government offices before ending the tour with a drink at the historic Strand Hotel.

Visit Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset (3 Hours)

Shwedagon Pagoda: the highlight of any visit to Yangon, this pagoda towers over the city and is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are particularly beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colours of twilight.

Overnight in Yangon

TIP OF THE DAY: Take a colonial walking tour through downtown Yangon.

Day 3
Yangon - Bagan (Breakfast)

Transfer (1.5 Hours)

Flight from Yangon to Bagan

Transfer (5 kms)

Experience Burmese life at the bustling Nyaung Oo fruit and vegetable market and Phwar Saw Village by horse cart (1 Hour)

Sightseeing in Bagan (6 Hours) (including Shwezigon Paya, Gubyaukhyi Temple, Da Pahto, Gubyaukgyi Temple, Manuha Temple, Shwesandaw Paya, Lacquerware Workshop)

Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 Ad.

Shwezigon Paya: King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of the Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and 1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas throughout Myanmar.

Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn: This Temple was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colourful painting about the previous lives of the Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. This temple is not to be confounded with the Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myinkabe.

AnanDa Pahto: one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period.

Gubyaukgyi Temple at Myinkaba: Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha's son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.

Manuha Temple: The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan.

Shwesandaw Paya: In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa.

Lacquerware Workshop: the villages around Bagan are known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar. Stop by one of the workshops and learn about the painstaking process of laquerware making and decoration.

Overnight in Bagan

TIP OF THE DAY: Sunset & Sunrise in Bagan are the most beautiful and memorable times of day. Be prepared with your camera at any pagoda you visit.

Day 4
Bagan - Mandalay - Sagaing(Breakfast)

Transfer (5 kms)

Flight from Bagan to Mandalay.

Transfer (1 Hour)

Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa (Ava) (7 Hours) (including Amarapura, Mahagandayon Monastery, Sun U Ponya Shin Paya, U Min Thonsei Paya, Kaung Hmu Daw Paya, Inwa, Ava, Horsecart Ride, Bagaya Kyaung, Maha Aungmyay Bonzan Kyaung, Myint Tower, Amarapura, U Bein, S Bridge)

This day tour visits three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to Amarapura, and visit Mahagandayon Monastery; every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, pay a visit to Sagaing, the spiritual centre of Myanmar. Hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, sometimes known as a living Bagan. Thousands of monks and nuns retreat here for meditation and contemplation. Stop at some of the most famous temples, such as Sun U Ponya Shin Paya, U Min Thonsei Paya and Kaung Hmu Daw Paya.

Cross the river by ferry to Inwa (Ava), situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa (Ava) is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely Horsecart Ride around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a beautiful teak wood monastery, Maha Aungmyay Bonzan Kyaung, and Nan Myint Tower. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make theit famous alms bowls out of iron. Finally, return to Amarapura, to end the day at U Bein'S Bridge, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometre across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colours of the sunset.

Visit the That Kya Thida Nunnery

The That Kya Thida Nunnery: Sagaing is known as the religious center of Myanmar. There are hundreds or monasteries and nunneries and its hills are dotted with temples and pagodas. We will visit the That Kya Thida Nunnery, where we will have enough time for a discussion with the nuns about their way of life, Buddhism and any other questions you might have. The nuns are very open for discussions and welcome any visitor, making this a very informative experience for those keen to step off the typical tourist trail.
Visiting youth monastery school during their lunch time, playing and taking pictures with little monks and nuns.

Visit Mandalay Hill at sunset (1 Hour)

Mandalay Hill: an easy climb up the sheltered steps brings one to a panoramic view over the palace, Mandalay and the paya-studded countryside. The famous hermit monk, U Khanti, is credited with inspiring the construction of many of the buildings on and around the hill in the years after the founding of the city.

Overnight in Mandalay

Day 5
Mandalay(Breakfast)

Visit Maha Gandayone Monastery with sunrise at U-Bein Bridge

Leave the hotel at 4am and drive 30 minutes to Mahagandayon Monastery in Amarapura. Arival in Amarapura around 04:30am and look around the monastery. Observe how 1.500 monks have breakfast at 04:45am and talk with some of the monks and have tea together at about 06:30am. After that, walk 5 minutes to U Bein bridge and enjoy the sunrise there.

Sightseeing in Mandalay (8 Hours) (including Mahamuni Paya, Gold, Leaf Beating, Craft Workshop, Shwen, Daw Kyaung, Kyauktawgyi Paya, Kuthodaw Paya, Shwe Kyin Old Monastery)

The last capital of royal Burma, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual centre. Neighboring Sagaing is home to over sixty per cent of the country's monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar. In the morning, head to Mahamuni Paya. The Mahamuni image enshrined here is perhaps the most venerated image in Myanmar, covered in over 15 cm of gold leaf. Worshippers flock daily to the shrine at four in the morning to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. En route to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of Gold-Leaf Beating, where gold is painstakingly hammered into tissue-thin squares. Before breaking for lunch, visit a Craft Workshop specializing in one of the arts for which the city is famous: bronze-casting, marble-carving, wood-carving, or puppetry.

The afternoon's tour includes some of the city's most interesting temples and palaces. Begin at ShwenanDaw Kyaung, or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace, used as private apartments by King Mindon and his chief queen. Continue to Kyauktawgyi Paya, famous for its monumental seated Buddha, carved from a single block of marble. Continue to Kuthodaw Paya, known also as "the world's biggest book". Around the central stupa are miniature pavilions, each housing a slab of marble Numbering altogether 729, these slabs are inscribed with the entire Tripitkata, or Buddhist scriptures. The final stop is at Shwe Kyin Old Monastery, an old monastery at the base of Mandalay Hill which was built during the period of King Mindon.

Overnight in Mandalay

TIP OF THE DAY: Get an informative visit to the Myanmar bronze mould casting workshops.

Day 6
Mandalay - Heho - Inle Lake(Breakfast)

Transfer (1 Hour)

Flight from Mandalay to Heho.

By vehicle from Heho to Inle Lake with sightseeing at Pindaya (7.5 Hours) (including Caves)

Pindaya Caves: these caves are ensconced in a limestone ridge overlooking the lake. Inside the cavern there are more than 8000 Buddha images - made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement - and are arranged in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers.

Overnight in Inle Lake

Day 7
Inle Lake(Breakfast)

Excursion by boat on Inle Lake (including Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery)

Inle Lake: Inle Lake radiates the calm serenity of the Shan state, with persuasive still waters and colourful brush strokes of floating vegetation and slow moving fishing canoes most visitors never want to leave this picturesque haven. Rolling high hills hug the lake on all sides as the lake's shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the awe inspiring scenery and meditate on the one of a kind skill of the local fisherman who make use of their legs in this unique rowing technique to glide themselves peacefully around the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and a peaceful Intha village around the lake. The day also includes a visit to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village (Lotus and silk weaving villages) and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery.

Visit a local village for afternoon tea

Overnight in Inle Lake

TIP OF THE DAY: Go for some delectable wine tasting at the Red Mountain Winery in Nyaung Shwe.

Day 8
Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (Breakfast)

By vehicle from Inle Lake to Heho (1.5 Hours)

Transfer to/from Red Mountain Restaurant and Winery with wine tasting (1.5 Hours)

Flight from Heho to Yangon

Transfer (1.5 Hours)

Overnight in Yangon

TIP OF THE DAY: Take the time to savour a delectable wine tasting at Red Mountain with an unforgettable view over Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe.

Day 9
Yangon (Breakfast)

Transfer (1.5 Hours)

End of Services provided by ICS **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to availability and schedules

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