Journey to Burma and discover the exciting sights, sounds and smells of this quiet corner of South East Asia.
Stroll bustling markets bursting with colour and explore temples steeped in history, resplendent in their gold leaf finery.
Cruise the waterways of Inle Lake watching iconic leg-rowing fishermen tending their nets and experience life on the water, from the daily 'school run' to the cottage industries producing cheroots and woven produce.
Walk the busy streets of Yangon passing crumbling colonial buildings and watch the sun set over the golden spires of Shwedagon Pagoda.
Land Mandalay. Transfer to the hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.
The morning is free. This afternoon start your sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda which is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images. From here tour traditional workshops to learn more about the city’s cottage industries which the city is famed for. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.
End the day onMandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River. (B)
Optional activity: Balloon Experience Over Mandalay – As the hot-air balloon rises against the backdrop of Mandalay Hill, the first sight will be of 729 white pitaka pagodas housing the world’s largest book. Drifting above the vibrant city you’ll witness barefoot monks collecting alms, bustling morning markets, boats coming alive on the Irrawaddy River and U Bein Bridge in Amarapura.
Depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Sagaing and Amarapura. Cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing which is covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries and the religious centre of Myanmar. Visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few visitors know about and discover a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. Thee is also a stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Back to Mandalay and continue your afternoon tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as the ‘World’s Biggest Book’. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace known for its exquisite woodcarving. At the end of the day, take a walk along the 200-year old U Bein Bridge which was constructed of 984 teak posts and at 1.2 kilometres long makes it the world’s longest teak span. (B)
After an early breakfast you will be met and taken to the small ferry port of Mandalay. Cast off from Mandalay and enjoy breakfast onboard while cruising down the majestic Ayeyarwaddy. En-route visit a typical village on the Ayeyarwaddy riverbank and learn a little about Burmese village life.
After your village visit enjoy lunch onboard followed by a demonstration and discussion on Myanmar culture & tradition.
Late afternoon arrive into Bagan: as you approach on the horizon the first pagodas can be seen. (B/L)
Optional Activitiy: Balloons Over Bagan. Start the morning with an incredible hot-air balloon flight over Bagan’s temple-studded plains. Enjoy a morning snack of pastries and hot drinks as the balloon is inflated. Climb aboard before gently rising above thousands of gilded stupas and earthen temples all back-dropped by the impressive Irrawaddy River. A truly unforgettable and unique experience.
After breakfast, visit the colourful Nyaung Oo Market where villagers gather every day to buy and sell their produce and other goods. Visit an elevated temple for a panoramic view of the magnificent plains of Bagan. Discover the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction into Bagan’s rich history and visit nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings. Ths visit to a traditional lacquer ware workshop to observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda Temple, one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples and home to two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.
From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and Sulamani Temple. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples. (B)
Day at leisure in Bagan. Why not hire a bicycle from the hotel and head off on your own voyage of discovery?(B)
Fly to HeHo and drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Also stop in Nyaung Shwe for a short walk around town and visit to the colourful market if it is being held that day.
Head to Red Mountain Winery for a tasting of locally produced reds and whites. Reach the edges of the lake and board a private motorboat to head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people, observe leg-rowing fishermen and see the floating gardens. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages. (B)
This morning embark on an Inle Lake day trip. The guide will have a pair of Intha trousers and hat to prepare for your morning ‘as a local.’ Board a private motorboat and visit the morning market. This daily market attracts people from all over the lake’s shores who gather to buy and sell their wares. Continue to Khaung Daing village which is famous for its traditional Shan tofu - fried tofu crackers and folded, triangular tofu treats. Watch (and perhaps participate!) as the villagers prepare tofu cakes to dry in the sun. There is also a chance to visit the village monastery for a tea break and snacks. This is a fabulous taste of local life on Inle Lake.
Return to the main part of the lake and venture through small ‘streets’ towards a neighbourhood of stilted houses whose residents craft wooden boats. See traditional methods of boat building in various stages, from the initial framework all the way to the final coat of paint. Return to Inle Lake and if time allows explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory. Continue along the lake for additional sightseeing before returning to the hotel this afternoon. (B)
Fly to Yangon. Land and visit Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where there is time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops. This is Yangon’s best market for handicrafts and other goods. This afternoon, visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-metre long reclining Buddha followed by a visit to Kandawgyi Park, one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. See the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge, and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon in the background.
Continue to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Burma. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point. (B)
Today is free at leisure to explore or simply relax. Why not take in the small Chinatown area of the city or take a trip on the Yangon circle train which takes you to the Yangon suburbs to discover local life. (B)
Today return to Yangon airport for the flight home. (B)
12 day tour, from £1985 per person
(Single person supplement + £200)
- Economy class international flights with Thai Airways from London Heathrow via Bangkok
- All airport taxes and security charges
- Hotel accommodation on a full board basis (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Internal flights within Myanmar as stated
- Sightseeing with English-speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees and boat trips on sightseeing tours
- Ferry from Mandalay to Bagan
- Horse cart tour in Ava & Bagan
- Private local boat for Inle Lake excursions
- Porter fees at airports and jetty
- Myanmar Visa
- Visits not mentioned in the program
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Optional excursions as per the programme (please ask for details)
- Tips for guides/drivers
- Travel insurance
Please speak to a Regent Holidays Travel Specialist for information on a Ngapali beach extension
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