Day 1: Arrive Yangon
Arrive in Yangon and transfer to hotel. Dinner and rest.
Overnight at the Jasmine Palace Hotel – Yangon.
Day 2: Discover Yangon, formerly Rangoon
After breakfast visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda to see the giant reclining Buddha, robed in gold and decoratively painted with a white face, red lips, blue eye shadow and red finger nails; its feet depict, in red and gold, the 108 lucky characteristics of the Buddha. Drive to the jetty along Strand Road and walk along Yangon River to see the busy harbor area, from where ferries leave for Pathein in the Delta and for upcountry towns along the Ayeyarwady River. Visit Botathaung Pagoda, located close to Yangon River and said to contain Buddha relics. We wander through the 2,000 stalls of Bogyoke Aung San Market. Also known by its old British moniker, Scott Market, Bogyoke is a great place to interact with locals while haggling for all manner of Burmese handcraft items.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Sule Pagoda, which serves as the heart of the city both geographically and metaphorically. According to legend, this large golden pagoda was built more than 2,500 years ago during the time of the Buddha. Since then, a number of important political events and rallies have unfolded at the base of the pagoda, including the 8888 uprisings and the 2007 Saffron Revolution. A photo stops at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Next, visit the most sacred Buddhist site in all of Burma Shwedagon Pagoda. Also known as the Golden Pagoda, the 2,000-year-old hilltop temple complex covers more than twelve acres and dominates the Rangoon skyline. We’ll view the gold-draped, gem-studded pagoda at sunset, when the fading light shimmers off its 326-foot-high spire. Few places in the world radiate such a palpable sense of beauty and serenity as Shwedagon Pagoda. Overnight at the Jasmine Palace Hotel – Yangon.
Day 3: Yangon – Bago – Yangon
After breakfast, drive to Bago (84 km, about 2 hours). Arrive in Bago, formerly called Pegu, and founded in the year 825 by two Mon princes. The town, a former river port and royal Mon capital, is situated about 84 km from Yangon. The highlights include the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is over a thousand years old, and whose tip is even taller than that of Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda. Lunch at Royal Taste Restaurant.
Also visit Hinthargone Pagoda, where you can see the ‘Nat’ Shrine. Continue to the 55-metre-long reclining Shwe Thalyaung Buddha image, one of the country’s most revered objects. Visit the Mahazedi (Great Stupa), a bell-shaped stupa offering panoramic views. Just outside Bago, visit Kyaikpun Pagoda with four 30-metre-high Buddha figures seated back to back. On the way back to the capital, visit the impressive and moving Allied War Graves cemetery near Htauk Kyant, the last resting place of over 6300 Allied soldiers and home to a memorial to 27,000 more. After that, return back to your hotel. Overnight at the Jasmine Palace Hotel – Yangon.
Day 4: Yangon – Golden Rock – Yangon
After breakfast, enjoy a full day trip to The Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Myanmar Buddhists. The gold leaf-covered boulder is said to maintain its balance thanks to a single hair of the Buddha being enshrined inside the pagoda. To reach the top of the mountain (500 meters in elevation), one can either walk up (13 Km) from the valley floor (which will take around 7 hours or more), or board open trucks that drive passengers up a steep and winding mountain road to the top. From the pagoda, one can observe the pilgrims devout in prayer or applying gold leaf to the boulder, and enjoy a spectacular view of the valley below. Overnight at the Jasmine Palace Hotel – Yangon.
Day 5: Yangon to Mandalay
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Mandalay. Welcome to Myanmar. Upon arrival in Mandalay Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet our local Guide.
From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Mandalay’s proud declaration is that it is the country’s last royal capital and the center of Burmese culture. In contrast to the colonial feel of Yangon, Mandalay embodies all that is traditional about Burma. Every morning, monks and novice monks line up at the Mahagadayon Monastery in the former capital and township of Amarapura to receive their daily offerings of alms and food from devout Buddhists. Lunch at Mingalabar Restaurant.
After getting settled, you’ll head out with your guide and spend the late afternoon visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to Mandalay’s holiest Buddha statue. Next, visit Shwenandaw Monastery, an ancient wooden building with intricate carvings, which was once King Mindon’s home. Continue to see the
‘world’s largest book’, being the Buddhist Scriptures inscribed on marble slabs, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. At Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda you’ll see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset. Afterwards, visit Shwe Kyin Monastery to observe student monks start their evening prayers. Overnight at the Ayarwaddy River View Hotel (Deluxe River View Rooms) – Mandalay.
Day 6: Mandalay & Around
In the morning, take the local ferry to visit Innwa (Ava), located on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. You will visit Innwa by horse cart and pass through the ancient city walls to visit a brick and stucco monastery called Maha Aungmye Bonzan (also known as Ok Kyaung). Make a photo stop at the Nanmyin Watch Tower (due to safety reasons you are not allowed to climb up the tower). See also the impressive wooden monastery of Bagaya Kyaung. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit picturesque Sagaing Hill which is perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. Hillsides are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Return to Amarapura via the Ava Bridge, built by British engineers. Walk over U Bein Bridge, which is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. Return to Mandalay. Overnight at the Ayarwaddy River View Hotel – Mandalay.
Day 7: Fly to Bagan to explore a wonderland of temples
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Bagan. Welcome to Bagan. Bagan is a landscape blessed with over 2,000 shrines, against a mystical backdrop of the legendary Irrawaddy River. It is also one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia with 42 square kilometers of ruins dating back thousands of years. It became a central powerbase in the mid-9th century during the reign of King Anawratha who unified Burma under Theravada Buddhism. It is estimated that as many as 13,000 temples once stood on the plains in central Burma. From the airport, meet your personal guide and driver, proceed on a sightseeing tour, starting with the busy local market and continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as Shwezi Gon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. See 13th Century frescoes adorning the corridors of Kyansittha ‘Cave’ Temple. Continue to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In village), another cave temple with fine frescoes of the Jataka Tales. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes. Overnight at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate – Bagan.
Day 8: The treasures of Bagan
After breakfast, visit Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals. Make a photo stop at the tallest temple measuring 61 meters – Thatbyinnyu known as temple of omniscience and dating from 1144. Continue to Mingalazedi, the last of the large Pagodas built in the 13th Century, representing the pinnacle of Bamar pagoda architecture.
In the afternoon, visit to Abeyadana Temple with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian mythology. Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. Next, visit Sulamani, one of Bagan’s great two storied Bamar style temples, which has 4-seated Buddha images. Visit the Shwesandaw Pagoda was built by King Anawrahta during the late 11th Century. This monument has five terraces with terracotta plaques showing the scenes from the jatakas. The zedi bell rises from two octagonal bases which top the five square terraces. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan’s ancient monuments. Overnight at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate – Bagan.
Day 9: The treasures of Bagan
After breakfast explore the Myinkaba village area by horse cart. First we visit Nagayon, was built at the end of the 11th century by Kyansitthar, according to the plan of Ananda; even roof, same terraces, very stupas, even Sikkhara of Môn style, it resembles the Indian temples of the area of Orissa. Next, visit Gubyaukgyi Temple admiring the fine stuccowork. We continue to Nanpaya temple, built in the Mon style with intricate stone carvings, and said once to have been Manuha’s residence. See the four Buddha images in Manuha Pagoda and later stop at Myazedi stupa to see Myanmar’s Rosetta Stone, bearing inscriptions written in four languages. Overnight at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate – Bagan.
Day 10: Bagan – Mount Popa – Bagan
After breakfast, you will drive for around 2 hours to visit Mount Popa which is an extinct volcano offering spectacular views over the surrounding countryside from its summit. Its shrine is dedicated to animist spirits known as nats and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. After time to explore you will have lunch in a local restaurant and then drive back to Bagan and head to the city of Nyaung U in the northeastern section of the Bagan complex to explore the Nyaung U Tropical Market; the main shopping spot for locals in the region, this open-air market offers fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs from nearby villages, along with various other goods including the distinctive Bagan lacquerware. Fashioned from bamboo, wood and horsehair, sealed with sap from a lacquer tree, then decorated with designs etched in the lacquer with an iron stylus, lacquerware items such as plates, bowls, boxes, trays, urns, canisters and other vessels have been locally produced in this manner for about 300 years, and are popular as gifts and souvenirs throughout the area. Continue on to the Bagan Archaeological Museum for a guided tour of this institution, originally founded over a century ago to display and interpret artifacts from Bagan’s archaeological sites. The modern museum complex, opened in 1998, features galleries dedicated to various aspects of the Bagan Period, including its pagodas, monuments and other architecture, arts and crafts, Buddhist art and imagery, literature and social life. Return to your hotel for a free evening and dinner at leisure. Overnight at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate – Bagan.
Day 11: Bagan – Ngapali Beach
After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport in time for the domestic flight to Thandwe. Welcome to Ngapali. Upon arrival at Thandwe Airport. From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely beach resort. Ngapali Beach in the Bay of Bengal is Myanmar’s most prestigious seaside resort and is a true undiscovered paradise far away from tourist crowds. There are no noisy beach bars, no discos and no jet-skis. White sand, the natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, swaying palm trees and privacy are the order of the day. You will have these days just to relax or for the more active there is the option to hire a boat locally to explore offshore islands, rent bicycles for a trip to nearby fishing villages or visit the local market in Thandwe. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Overnight at the Amazing Ngapali Resort (Seaview Deluxe Rooms) – Ngapali.
Day 12: Ngapali Beach
Spend the day relaxing by the pool or take a stroll along the beach.
Overnight at the Amazing Ngapali Resort – Ngapali
Day 13: Ngapali Beach
Another day to catch up on your rest and enjoy your surroundings.
Overnight at the Amazing Ngapali Resort – Ngapali
Day 14: Ngapali Beach – Yangon
Say goodbye to Ngapali Beach this morning and travel to Thandwe Airport for a flight to Yangon and connecting with International flight to next destination.