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|Itinerary at a Glance
|4||Yangon & Bagan|
|6||Bagan & Mandalay|
|7||Mandalay, Mingun & Ava|
|8||Mandalay, Heho & Inle Lake|
|11||Inle Lake, Heho & Yangon|
|Bangkok Post-Tour Extension|
|Style||Escorted or Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Yangon, the Temples of Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, and Temples of Inndein. Bangkok optional extensions|
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip.|
|As Seen in|
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a land of timeless beauty, where visitors can still experience what Asia was like before modern times encroached on ancient cultures. Having been isolated from the world for many years, Myanmar has remained a lush, tropical garden of a country, where amazing natural beauty, Buddhist spirituality, warm, gentle people, and a unique culture make it among the most remarkable of destinations. If truly exotic is your type of trip, join us in Myanmar. And don't wait too long to reserve your spot. Our groups are small, our prices are exceptional, and space is definitely limited.
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Day 2: En route. Cross the International Dateline and lose a day. (You'll recover this day on your return trip).
Day 3: Yangon. Arrive this morning in Yangon, the main gateway and capital city of Myanmar. After completing immigration and customs formalities, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. This evening join your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner at your hotel. Accommodations: Chatrium Hotel or similar. Dinner provided.
Day 4: Yangon & Bagan. After an early breakfast transfer to Yangon airport for the morning flight to Bagan. Known as the city of four million pagodas, Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Upon arrival in Bagan, you will visit the most significant and well preserved Pagodas including Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilo Minlo and the amazing Ananda Temple. Later, visit a local village school to donate lunch to approximately 300 children.
After lunch in a local restaurant, proceed to the hotel to check-in. Later, explore Bagan from a different perspective—by pony cart. The carts can gain access to areas unreachable by cars and buses and you will be able to see some of the more remote temples up close and personal.
This evening, enjoy a beautiful sunset from the top of a pagoda with the panoramic view of the temples surrounding you. Sit back, relax, and be amazed by the beauty of Bagan as you watch the sun slowly set behind these ancient lands. Accommodations: Ayeyar Resort or similar. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Optional Excursion: Dinner with traditional marionette show at Nandar restaurant. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($20).
Day 5: Bagan. Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore Bagan, perhaps venture out to one of the local markets.
Later this afternoon, continue to Phwar Saw Village. This village is a perfect example of how the locals live. Bagan is also famous for its artistic handicrafts and master craftsmanship of lacquer-ware. Visit a local lacquer-ware store where the process of making each piece can be seen.
This evening take a relaxing sunset cruise along the Ayeyarwady River, watching life on the river as the sun slowly sets in the background. Have dinner at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel for the night. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Optional Excursion: This morning, take part in an optional tour to Mt Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. Along the way, see plantations of palm trees, and the remains of a petrified forest. Observe the Nat Shrine with its display of mannequin-like figures which is also a popular pilgrimage site. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally and will operate with a minimum of 5 persons ($65).
Day 6: Bagan & Mandalay. Transfer to the Bagan airport for your morning flight to Mandalay. The last capital of the third Myanmar Empire, Mandalay is located in the center of the country due north of Yangon. It is the largest city after Yangon and is both a bustling commercial centre and a repository of ancient culture. The city is a showcase for Myanmar art and architecture, as well as woodcarving and tapestries and other traditional crafts. Upon arrival, visit U Bein’s Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar, crossing the Taungthaman Lake and curved to withstand the wind and waves. Next, visit the Mahagandayone Monastery and learn about a monk’s way of life, and observe the morning procession of monks collecting alms. Later, there will be time to visit a silk weaving and arts & crafts store.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue your tour of Mandalay at the Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most sacred statues of Buddha in Myanmar. The statue is said to have been brought to life after seven embraces by the Gautama Buddha. Consequently, devout Buddhists hold it to be alive and refer to it as the Maha Muni Sacred Living Image. Proceed to the Shwe Kyaung, the Golden Palace Monastery, famous for its intricate woodcarvings. Next, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the world’s largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 massive marble slabs. Complete your day on the top of Mandalay Hill and witness another beautiful sunset in this mystical land. Accommodations: Mandalay Hill Resort or similar. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 7: Mandalay, Mingun & Ava. This morning transfer to pier for your morning boat excursion to Mingun. Located on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Mingun lies approximately 7 miles north of Mandalay. It is famous for its many Buddhist shrines, monasteries, and meditation centers. Upon arrival in Mingun, visit the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, begun in 1790 by King Bodawpaya; it is one of the most famous buildings in the world. After exploring Mingun, return to Mandalay.
This afternoon continue your journey to the ancient village of Ava (Innwa). Visit picturesque ruins and villages by pony cart through the peaceful countryside. Proceed to Sagaing Hills, crossing one of the very few bridges that span the mighty Ayeyarwady River. Sagaing is considered to be the living center of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar and the hundreds of monasteries reverberate with the echoes of cymbals, gongs and pagoda bells. Your tour concludes in Amarapura, situated just south of Mandalay, it is one of the capitals of the third Myanmar Empire. Return to Mandalay. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Mandalay, Heho & Inle Lake. After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay airport for your flight to Heho. Upon arrival, drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, prime attraction of the Shan State, a vast, picturesque lake surrounded by hazy blue mountains. Inle Lake is famous for its native lake-dwellers, the Inthas, and their unique way of rowing their boats balanced upon one leg.
Visit the Shwe Yan Payae monastery and later, ride through the town on a trishaw, the best way to see the sites!
After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the five Buddha images of Phaung Daw U Pagoda. The images have been covered in so much gold they look like balls of solid gold. Then proceed to Nampan Village where locals make the boats that can be seen traveling on the lake. Continue to the silk-weaving village of Inn Paw Khone, and see the manufacture of their intricate silk products. Return to the hotel for dinner. Accommodations: Inle Resort or similar. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 9: Inle Lake. This morning, visit one of the most interesting markets in Myanmar, one of the Shan "5-Day Markets," so called because the Shan people rotate between 5 different locations over a 5 day period. Life in the Shan State remains very traditional, and these markets are a great way to experience the life of the Shan tribes, who still wear their customary tribal garb. Next, visit the beautiful temples of Inndein. Situated through a covered passage overlooking the lake, this area is a peaceful and relaxing place. The temples of Inndein have been left in their natural state and the views are enough to take your breath away.
Later, return to your hotel, stopping to watch the fishermen on the lake skillfully row their boats balanced on one leg, while fishing at the same time. Tonight, dinner will be at your hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 10: Inle Lake. Enjoy the day at leisure to enjoy your surroundings. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Optional Excursion: Today’s optional excursion will take you to a local home by private boat, where you will learn about traditional food preparation. Meet with a local family and watch the preparations of the midday meal. Then sit-down to enjoy this lunch Burmese style around a low table, and become part of the family. ($80)
Day 11: Inle Lake, Heho & Yangon. In the morning return to Nyaung Shwe by boat, then drive to Heho for the return flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, explore the downtown area where the British colonial influence still remains. Begin at the Sule Pagoda that marks the center of the city and continue through the streets of the downtown area, passing by the Jewish Synagogue. Continue to your hotel for check-in, and relax for the remainder of the day, or take part in optional excursions.
This evening, as the sun begins to fall over the city, your exploration will take you to the Shwedagon Pagoda towering above the green cityscape of Yangon. One of the wonders of the religious world, the Shwedagon Pagoda is believed to have been built more than 2,500 years ago. A testament to the faith of the Myanma, the Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates, and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, the largest of which is 76 carats. Accommodations: Chatrium Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon, enjoy High Tea at the famous historic Strand Hotel, and be transported back to colonial times with the lavish spread. ($30)
Optional Excursion: This evening, take a sunset cruise along the Yangon River, and see the city from a different vantage point. ($65)Day 12: Yangon. This morning, stop for a photo-opportunity at Kandawgyi Park and the Karaweik Royal Barge. Continue on to the Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha, said to be one of the largest statues of its kind in the world, followed by a visit to the National Museum to gain further insight into Myanmar’s history. See the 8-meter high Lion Throne, used by King Thibaw, the last Burnese King. Next, visit the famous Scott Market (Bogyokr Aung San Market). This 70 year-old market has the largest selection of Burmese handicrafts you will find in one place. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 13: Yangon/USA. After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to the Mystical lands of Myanmar as you transfer to the airport in Yangon to board your flight to the USA via Taipei. Arrive in the USA later today. Or take advantage of your already included airfare, and extend your stay to Bangkok, Thailand. Breakfast provided.
Why not take advantage of your already included international airfare and add three days in exotic Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand? You'll return to the U.S. three days after the return dates shown.
Day 13: Yangon/Bangkok. This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight from Yangon to Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand, situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Upon arrival, you'll be escorted to your deluxe, centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to take in your new surroundings and explore the city independently. Your hotel boasts a prime location within walking distance of many attractions. And with a metro stop located right outside the hotel's front door, you can travel easily and quickly to many other areas of the city. Accommodations: Dusit Thani. Breakfast provided.
Day 14-15: Bangkok. Enjoy two full days at leisure to discover Thailand's vibrant capital at your own pace. Bangkok offers no shortage of shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Your hotel concierge will gladly offer suggestions for independent exploration.
We recommend a visit to the Grand Palace, which for 150 years functioned as the home of the King and his court as well as the entire administrative seat of government. Within its grounds, you'll also visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) built to house a large Buddha image carved from a solid piece of green jadite (jasper).
Often called the "Venice of the East" for its network of canals (klongs), Bangkok can also be explored by boat. From this vantage point, you can gain close-up views of traditional Thai life. And of course, no visit to Bangkok would be complete without a visit to the colorful Damneon Saduak floating market, held daily. It is an experience not to be missed! Breakfast provided.
Day 16: Bangkok/USA. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA, via Taipei.
$160 per person if pre-booked
To take full advantage of your visit to Myamnar, we offer a discounted package of the most popular optional excursions featured on our tour. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers in various hotels. All the optional excursions are operated for Friendly Planet groups only. (A minimum of 4 passengers is required for optional excursions to operate).
Optional Excursions Package includes:
The special package price of $160 per person is available when booked and prepaid prior to departure. If you don't want to book the entire package, individual optional excursions will be available once you arrive in Myanmar. (When booked individually in Myanmar, these excursions cost $175).
We cannot accept bookings for the pre-paid optional excursions package within 75 days from departure or after final payment has been received.
Want more? Extend your stay with our Optional Bangkok Post-Tour Extension
This...was a terrific and inexpensive way to see the beauty and history of Southeast Asia. There was a very good balance of group and leisure time, and the accommodations were excellent.
Jennifer Rumain, Philadelphia, PA