This exciting program is most used by first time visitor to Myanmar and gives the traveler fascinating access into highlights of the country’s 4 major destinations – Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake and visits to the nearby ancient cities of Amarapura, Sagaing and Mingun and some smaller towns and villages. Recommend for first time travelers to Myanmar.
Upon your arrival in Yangon, welcome by our tour guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy private tour and drive through downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building, passing by Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way.
Then visit famous Chauk Htat Kyi, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. The feet of the statue carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray. Photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge.
Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon pagoda.
Morning flight to Bagan. Begin our exploration of Bagan by visiting a busy local market and gain an insight into the bustling market atmosphere in Bagan. You will spend the day exploring the architectural masterpieces of this amazing town by visit to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples.
Also visit a local lacquerware workshop and watch men and women ply their craft using traditional methods. In the late afternoon climb to the top of the Temple for sunset views. Sit back relax and be amazed by the beauty of Bagan as you watch the sun slowly set behind the ancient Pagodas.
More than just temples, our tour introduces you to provide a great overview of Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles. Today see the real way of life for most Myanmar people by visiting villages near Bagan to view the local lifestyle.
Then you will explore Bagan from a different perspective as you explore the area by Pony cart. The cart can explore areas that cars are unable to enter giving a different feel of Bagan. In the late afternoon transfer to jetty where a private wooden river boat is waiting.
Sitting under the shade or on the open-deck you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River to Shwezigon Pagoda. A private boat tour on the river during sunset time will hopefully show you a spectacular sunset. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to legendary Mandalay, a city of great cultural importance. This afternoon visit the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda is the Mahamuni Pagoda. Next visit Golden palace Monastery famous for its intricate woodcarvings.
Continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the world largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. Before sunset visit a 200-year-old teak bridge, the most photographic site in Myanmar.
After breakfast you’ll board a private local boat for a trip up the Irrawaddy to Mingun (45 min each way). Visit the Mingun Bell which weighs more than 87 tons and being the world’s largest intact bronze bell, the unfinished Mingun Paya (built with the intention of being the world’s biggest pagoda).
Mingun’s other highlight is the Hisnbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Throughout Mingun there are small neighborhoods crafting traditional basketry and other artistic items and there is plenty of time to stop and interact with the craftsmen and friendly locals. After returning to Mandalay in the afternoon continues sightseeing and visits the ruined remains of the Royal Palace. This evening, enjoy a commanding overview of the city from the Mandalay Hill.
After breakfast, fly to Heho, gateway to Inle Lake. From Heho drive to NyaungShwe and transfer to your hotel for check in. Enjoy the full day tour by private boat in Inle lake. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most holy religious site in southern Shan State. Be amazed by the local handicrafts, silk weaving, wooden handlooms and traditional blacksmith methods along the way.
Visiting Inle Lake is not just about being on the water but also about discovering the Shan and Intha villages on the banks of the river. Pass the endless floating gardens, houses, monasteries built on stilts on the lake. Stop at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery then proceed to Nampan village and see local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made) and canoe carving.
Continue sightseeing in Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat though long, scenic channnels where you can watch the farmers cultivate their produce in “floating gardens”. You will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with it’s complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls.
You’ll visit the “long neck” tribal women, and weaving and craft villages perched on stilts. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. It is a feast for the senses and a photographer’s dream.
Morning flight back to Yangon. Then enjoy a visit to Scott Market, the sprawling 75-year-old Market. At the market you will find a whole variety of interesting Burmese souvenirs, from lacquer ware to gems & jewelry – bargain at the stores to fully experience the Burmese market atmosphere! Drive through the city and observe the influences of other cultures in the region.
Intersperse in the tour are various religious sites such as the St Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1899, and the Buddhist landmarks of Sule Paya and over 100 year old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue. In there you will have the opportunity to meet with Trustee of the Synagogue to learn the Jewish Life in the Pagoda Land.
Then visit Little India and Chinatown – stop to greet the vendors and let them introduce you to their wares – some familiar, some exotic.
After breakfast, day at leisure until transfer to airport for International departure flight.
This private tour can be arranged for single traveler, couple, family and group tour. Prices vary according to hotel standard, when you travel, how many people you travel with, the level of private guiding required and the overall arrangements. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.