Departing: Daily - starts Yangon / ends Yangon
Witness: The amazing leg-rowers of Inle Lake and the incomparable temples of Bagan
Be inspired: By the warmth and creativity of the people as they re-engage with the modern world
Rejoice: In having sole access to your driver / guide, ensuring you enjoy a rich and cultural experience
You will be met on arrival and transferred to the Summit Park Hotel (STD) / Chatrium Hotel (SUP) for a stay of 1 night, then undertake city sightseeing. Highlights will include visits to the 107 metre tall (gold-leaf encrusted) Shwe Dagon Pagoda, the 70 metre long reclining Buddha and views of river-life along the Yangon River.
Early morning flight to Bagan where you stay 2 nights at the Thazin Garden Hotel (STD) / Tharabar Gate Hotel (SUP). Situated on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy, Bagan became a centre of power from the 9th Century and, in its heyday, had around 13,000 temples and stupas covering 42 square kms. Its golden age came to an end in 1287AD when it was ransacked by the Mongols. More than 2,000 temples and stupas still remain (in varying stages of disrepair) and bear testimony to the fact that this was once one of the world’s great civilizations. You will be provided with a leisurely programme of visits (so as not to dull your senses). (B/L)
You head out some 50kms to Mt Popa (Olympus for the Nats – celestial spirits of Burmese mythology). You can, if you wish, undertake the 20 minute (or so) climb to the peak for a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside, or just view the picturesque Taungkalat monastery from below. Then, late this afternoon (after returning to Bagan), you take a horse-cart ride through the temples to view the sunset. (B/D)
Optional: If you would like to undertake a hot-air balloon ride over the temples (including a light breakfast and a glass of bubbly), you will need to pre-book as balloon numbers are limited.
This morning, you depart by air for Mandalay, the last Burmese ‘royal” city (from which the royal family was forced to abdicate at the end of the 19th Century). You visit the gold leaf-encrusted Mahamuni Buddha Image, the ancient Shwe Nandaw Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda (with its 729 marble slabs displaying the entire Buddhist canon. This afternoon, you board a vessel for a 1 hour cruise along the mighty Ayeyarwaddy (Elephant) River to Mingun where you view the remains of the world’s largest pagoda. Your journey will take you through wonderful scenery and will introduce you to rural activities. On your return, you will be accommodated for 2 nights at the Mandalay Swan Hotel (STD) / Mandalay Hill Resort (SUP). (B/D)
This morning you visit the temples and small pagodas of the former ancient capital of Amarapura and stroll across the world´s longest teakwood bridge - U Bein. You then travel on to visit the Sagaing Hills meditation centre, with a stunning view over temples, pagodas and the Ayeyarwaddy River. (B/D)
You fly to Heho, located on the Shan Plateau, then make your way to Lake Inle where you board a long-tailed boat and undertake a 30 minute ride through fascinating scenery. You will pass houses on stilts and meander through vegetable gardens which have been created on tiny “islands.” After a most interesting journey, you will be accommodated for 2 nights at the Inle Resort (STD / Inle Princess Resort (SUP). You can relax here and soak up the lakeside atmosphere. (B/D)
Today you enter the world of the Intha people, widely known as “leg-rowers,” whose lives revolve entirely around the 22km long (11km wide) lake. You will see them on the lake, leg-rowing as they fish amongst the shallow waters, or take their children to floating schools. Visits will be made to Phaung Daw Oo Paya (a holy site which houses 5 Buddha images), floating villages and gardens, Nge Phe Chaung monastery and silk and lotus weaving factories. You will also visit a village market to view handicrafts and produce brought in by the hilltribe villagers who populate this part of the Shan Plateau. After a most interesting day, you make your way, by boat, back to your hotel. (B/L)
This morning, you will return by boat and car to Heho where you board your flight to Yangon. On arrival, you will be accommodated for a further night at the Summit Park Hotel (STD) / Chatrium Hotel (SUP). This afternoon, you will visit Bogyoke market and Chinatown with its Tao temple. (B/D)
At leisure until you’re transferred to the airport where arrangements end. (B)