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Welcome to Burma, ‘quite unlike any place you know about’. Arrive Yangon with included airport transfer to your hotel where later in the day a Welcome Meeting will be held.
Today we explore the fascinating city of Yangon and its famous religious monuments. Highlights will include the Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park with Independence Monument, the City Hall and the High Court. We also visit the gold, hollow Botahtaung Pagoda, originally built over 2500 years ago. Later this evening we visit the most revered Buddhist temple in Burma, the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, where locals gather to make offerings and prayers.
After breakfast we drive to Twante. Local products such as bamboo, rattans, bamboo-trays, sieves, and bamboo-chairs produced here. As pottery is one of their traditional industries, you can see many potters' workshops. Later we visit the Shwe Sandaw pagoda and the Baung Daw Gyoke Pagoda. After time for lunch break we enjoy a visit to a local market then drive back to Yangon.
This morning we fly to Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital. After hotel check in we head to the jetty for a pleasant boat ride upriver to Mingun to visit the remains of what could have been the world’s largest pagoda. We also visit the huge Mingun Bell and the beautiful white Myatheindan pagoda nearby. Returning by boat to Mandalay the afternoon is spent exploring the Royal Palace, the teak carvings of the historic Shwenandaw Monastery and the world’s largest book at the Kuthodaw Pagoda. Our day concludes with Mandalay Hill and depending on the time, a spectacular sunset with vistas across the city.
As a former capital of Burma, the ancient city of Amarapura is rich in sights and this morning we visit the largest teaching monastery in the country, the Mahagandayon Monastery. We also visit the longest teak bridge in the world, the U Bein Bridge set over the enchanting Taungthaman Lake, and the Mahamuni Temple. The afternoon is spent at the historical city of Inwa where a horse-drawn carriage brings us to the stone Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, a fine example of Burmese masonry, the Mainu brick monastery and the old watchtower.
Today is free at leisure until your transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan. On arrival at Nyaung Oo airport, your guide will welcome you then transfer to the hotel for check in.
Nothing can quite prepare you for the spectacular sight of stupa-upon-stupa that fills the green, dusty plains of Bagan. Our sightseeing today begins with a visit to the town of Nyaung-U to see the local market and Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine, the Shwezigon Pagoda, and the simple Kyansittha Cave Temple with interesting 12th century frescoes. We continue to the Manuha Temple, Nanpaya Temple, and on to the Ananda Temple. After, visit Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive structure famous for its brickwork.
Today is free for you to independently explore more of Bagan’s temples and stupas.
Today we travel to the popular hill station of Kalaw with a stop en route at the extinct volcano of Mount Popa. The mountain is believed to be the abode of legendary Nats (spirit gods) and at the summit are numerous monasteries, pagodas and shrines in various architectural styles. Arriving into Kalaw late afternoon we visit Thein Taung Pay pagoda.
Subject to good weather! An early morning start allows us to enjoy trekking in the Palaung Hills through small ranges of rice paddies and tea plantations bringing us to Painaebin village, home to the indigenous Danu people. Walking back to Kalaw we drive to the quiet town of Pindaya set amidst beautiful countryside and famous for its extensive cave network.
This morning we view the carved Buddha images of the Pindaya caves, the ancient Banyan tree and small local factories producing Mulberry paper and bamboo hats. We then drive to the wonderful watery world of Inle Lake, home to floating gardens, stilted villages and crumbling stupas. Touring the lake by boat we witness the unique rowing techniques of the local fishermen before visiting the unusual Nga Pe Chaung monastery where Buddhist monks have taught cats to jump through hoops and Inle Lake’s largest pagoda, the Paungdaw Oo pagoda.
Today is free for you to enjoy at leisure. You could take advantage of the lush surrounding countryside and partake in canoeing or cycling.
This morning is free at your leisure. In the afternoon you have the option to visit the Orphanage school in Mine Thauk village to do some community service work.
After breakfast we leave the lake and transfer to the Heho airport for our flight back to Yangon. Once back in the capital, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today marks the end of our Burmese adventure with hotel check out and airport departure transfer.