Inle Lake Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 328

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Saigon

Welcome to Saigon! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 2: Saigon - Can Tho

This morning we travel overland into the beautiful countryside of the northeastern Mekong Delta and Vinh Long province. On arrival, we take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the famous Cai Be floating market. Many boats loaded to the gunnels with fruit, vegetables and other local produce anchor or moor along the banks of the river every day waiting to offload their goods to wholesale traders or local customers. Everybody here buys, sells and barters their goods only from their boats. Leaving Cai Be, we visit a local family producing coconut candy, a regional delicacy. After a lunch of local delights, drive on to Can Tho, the hub of the Mekong Delta and its largest city.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 3: Can Tho - Saigon

After breakfast, we cruise some of the narrow and picturesque canals and waterways by small boat. We visit the Cai Rang floating market with its hordes of small vendor boats. Take in the sultry scenery and witness the daily activities of the locals who live along these Mekong canals. After lunch, drive back to Saigon.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 4: Saigon

After breakfast and hotel check out, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

A street trader in Saigon by William Cho

Day 5: Saigon

Days at leisure in Saigon.

Food prepared at a Saigon Cooking School

Day 6: Saigon - Yangon

After breakfast and hotel check out, transfer to the airport for your onward flight (flight not included). Upon arrival into Yangon Airport we are met by our guide. Your sightseeing begins with visiting Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda. Housing the fourth largest colossal reclining Buddha, Kabar Aye Pagoda, which is significant for its Sixth Synod, Mahapasana Cave. We stop for a phot at the heart of Yangon. This evening we visit the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda, the landmark of Myanmar and one of the greatest wonders of the world. Overnight - Kandawgyi Palace Hotel

Day 7: Yangon

After breakfast we drive to Kyaikhtiyo. Enroute we stop to explore the Allied War Cemetery at Htaukkyant near Yangon. Continue onto Kyaikhtiyo (also known as Golden Rock), standing on a gilded boulder precariously perched on the edge of a hill. Stopping at Kinpun Base camp, we transfer to our open truck, used for acess to the hilly track up to the hermit “Yathae Hill”. On arrival at the hermit “Yathae Hill”, we trek the final leg, aprox one hour up hill. Overnight - Mt Kyikhtiyo - Mountain Top Hotel

Day 8: Yangon

After breakfast, we return to Yangon. En route we visit Bago, the ancient Mon Capital, 80 Kilometers northeast of Yangon. The highlights include: Bago, a colorful market to observe the ways of life of the local people, Shwemawdaw Pagoda, one of the most venerated pagodas in Myanmar, Kanbawzathadi Palace and Museum, Shwethalyaung, the world’s most beautiful Reclining Buddha; Mahazedi Pagoda, Wood curving and cheroot making industry, Kyaikpun Pagoda, four huge Buddha Image sitting back to back and Chinese temple. Overnight - Kandawgyi Palace Hotel

Day 9: Yangon - Bagan

Tranferring to the airport for our flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel. We enjoy a full days sightseeing, visiting: Nyaung-U local market, Shwezigon pagoda, which is Pagan's most important reliquary shrine. The 12th century frescoes adorning the corridors of Kyansitta "Cave" temple. Continue to Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo. We pass through Tharaba Gateway into Old Bagan to visit Manuha, Nanpaya and Ananda temples. We stop for a photo at the tallest temple - temple of omniscience. We'll explore Dhamayangyi, then Mingalarzedi the last of the large pagodas built in the 13th century. Lastly today, the local lacquer workshop to watch craftsmen skillfully making handicrafts, before watching the sunset enjoying the views over Pagan's temples and the Ayeyarwady River.

Day 10: Bagan

After breakfast, we drive to Salay. Stoping enroute at Toddy farmer's where we see how they make wine, molasses, and handmade oil. At Salay we see Yoke-son Monastery, decorated with wood-carvings depicting scenes for moral lessons. We then enjoy a short walk through the old ruined monastery to Laquerware Buddha Image. We the explore Mount Popa, an extinct volcano, which is the abode of Nats (Spirits). On top of the mountain, there are monasteries, pagodas and shrines in different style. Return to Bagan, enrote we stop at Toddy, and learn how to make Jaggery, Toddy Juice and Peanut Oil.

Day 11: Bagan

Meditation Pavilion at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort for meditation practice is our first stop for the day. You will meditated under the guidance of a reserved Buddhist Monk, surrounded by serene nature and utter quiet. Discover yourself through meditation, achieve inner peace and balance. Overcome your stress and transform your mind from negative to positive from unhappy to happy, from tired to energized. You will be encouraged to cultivate constructive thoughts, conquer discouragement and find hope. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 12: Bagan - Mandalay

Morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Mandalay. Today’s visits include the ancient city of Amarapura, founded in 1783 AD. The Mahagandaryone monastery, the largest teaching monastery in Myanmar, daily at 10:30a.m about 700 monks queue up for their last meal of the day. U Bein wooden Bridge, Taung- ta-man Lake, Mahar Myat Muni Buddha the most ancient Buddha image castled in bronze in Myanmar. Then the handicraft workshops - bronze sculptures, gold leaf beating and marble stone carvings. This afternoon we explore Mya Nan San Kyaw Palace, this golden palace represents Myanmar Sovereignty and independence. Shwenandaw Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagod. Lastly today Mandalay Hill, the natural watch-tower where we enjoy the sunset over the city plains. Overnight - Rupar Mandalar Resort

Day 13: Mandalay - Inle Lake

After breakfast, transfer to airport for our flight to Heho. Upon arrival, we drive about one hour to the small quiet town of Pindaya. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside on our drive, we visit Pindaya Caves, well known for its Buddha statues carved out of limestone. Then a short stop at the 250 years old Banyan trees, the Mulberry papermaking factory, the Bamboo hat making factory. We then board our boat to transfer to our hotel for the evening. Overnight - Villa Inle Resort

Day 14: Inle Lake

A morning visit to the 5 day market (if open), you experience the hill tribes trading their farm products - vegetables, fruits, sun dried tea leaves, art, works of wooden sculpture and bustling atmosphere. Our excursion on the lake by leg-rowers (the most famous attraction in the region), we see the floating gardens, Phaungdawoo Pagoda, Ngaphaechaung Monastery (Jumping Cats'), blacksmiths, silk and cotton weaving factories, silver smiths and boat making factory’s. Overnight - Villa Inle Resort

Day 15: Inle Lake - Yangon

We return to the markets (if open), before our stop at Indein village, located at the western side of the lake. Passing Nyaung Ohak Monastery and follow a stair path lined with many hundreds of wooden columns, our destination the impressive Shwe Indein Pa-O complex. From the hillside you have great view over the lake area. On the way back to the boat, we walk through a romantic bamboo forest at the riverside, where you may observe local people bathing. On the way you can visit the Myaynigone village and Lotus fibre weaving factory. This afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival we transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight - Kandawgyi Palace Hotel

Day 16: Yangon

This morning we explore Kandawgyi Lake and surrounding area which offers numerous photo opportunities. Botahtaung pagoda is located close to Yangon River and said to contain Buddha relics. Shopping in the Bogyoke market you can get a wide range of Myanmar handicraft, jewelleries, fabrics, lacquer wares and more. We then bid you farewell with a transfer to the airport to meet you onward flight.