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Treasures of Burma

(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Mandalay, Bagan, Mount Popa, Inle Lake, Kalaw, Yangon

 

This leisurely-paced tour of Myanmar takes in the major highlights whilst allowing time enough to explore each region in greater depth. Starting in the cultural capital of Mandalay, take a boat ride down the mighty Irrawaddy to the awe-inspiring temple ruins of Bagan. Later exploring hill villages and the vibrant culture of Inle Lake, and then conclude at the capital Yangon with an extended trip to the immense Shwedagon Pagoda. For those seeking an active tour there is the option of an overnight trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake, staying overnight at a remote monastery in the Shan Hills.

 

** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests **

 

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Day 1: Welcome to Mandalay

Fly to Mandalay, MYANMAR 

 

Welcome to Myanmar. Upon arrival in Mandalay Airport, obtain your Myanmar visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

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. The 1 km U Bein Bridge spans Taungthaman Lake and during the evening becomes a focal point for monks and locals as they linger to enjoy the sunset.

 

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.  Visit Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda to see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Enjoy spectacular views at sunset from Mandalay Hill, where there are interesting glass-studded temples.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Mandalay

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Triumph Hotel, Hotel by the Red Canal Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Mandalay Hill Resort, Rupar Mandalar

 

Day 2: Mandalay & around

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day guided tour to Amanpura, Ava & Sagaing: 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. Time permitting; visit some village homes to see local handicrafts, such as silk weaving, cane mats and alms bowls.

 

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 over a kilometre long and made entirely of teak. Return to Mandalay.   

 

Day 3: Fly to Bagan to explore a wonderland of temples

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Bagan.

 

Fly Mandalay to Bagan on Air Bagan W9 405, departing 07:30, arriving 08:00

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Bagan. Upon arrival at Bagan Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

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.

 

Full day guided tour of Bagan: 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.

 

After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to 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. Enjoy sunset at one of the monuments along Ayeyarwady River.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Bagan

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Amazing Bagan Resort, Areindmar Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Bagan Lodge, Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort

 

Day 4: Balloons at sunrise and the treasures of Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

You may wish to rise early this morning to experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon, for the first time ever. ‘Balloons over Bagan' will take you on a sunrise champagne flight over the ancient pagodas of Bagan (please note this will be a shared trip with other passengers).

 

Full day guided tour 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.

 

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.

 

Day 5: Bagan – Mount Popa – Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day guided tour of Bagan & Mount Popa: 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.

 

Day 6: Bagan / Heho / Kalaw

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for the domestic flight to Heho.

 

Fly Bagan to Heho on Air Bagan W9 141, departing 07:55, arriving 08:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Kalaw. Upon arrival at Heho Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

Guide tour of Kalaw: From the airport, meet your personal guide and driver, and drive to Kalaw (50 km – 1½ hrs), which was formerly a British Hill Station. Start walking from Kalaw about 3½ hours to Myinmahti village, mostly inhabited by the ethnic Danu minority.  The route takes you first through the pine forest, which opens out after to 1 hour to potato farms, mountain rice paddies and huge vegetable plantations. In this traditional rural environment farmers still work with oxen and buffalo rather than machines. Enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Continue to the Myinmahti limestone cave (312 metres deep from entrance to exit).  This natural cave has existed for thousands of years, and there are many small caves on either side of the entrance and exit.  The main cavern contains numerous pagodas and statues, brought here over the last 2300 years since the reign of King Thiri Dhamar Asawka. Their artistic details are intricate and unique. According to the archaeological research, some of the statues were built earlier than 17 AD or 18 AD. At the entrance to the cave, there are many stalactites where cool water is dripping steadily.  At the end of your visit you meet your car here, and return by road to your hotel.

 

Accommodation: Stay 1 night at the Pine Hill Resort (Superior Room)

 

Day 7: Kalaw / Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Road & boat journey to Inle Lake: In the morning, visit the local market, the tiny railway station and perhaps walk up the hill to see the Catholic Church. From Kalaw, drive down to Nyaung Shwe (48 km, about 2 hours) on the edge of Inle Lake, stopping on the way to visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Board your private local boat to take you to your lovely hotel. The Inle Lake View Resort is a charming boutique hideaway; there are just 38 rooms, set in lush gardens in a peaceful location overlooking the western shore of Inle Lake. The resort is just 40 minutes drive from the Heho airport, and there is direct access to the lake from both hotels’ jetty or by road from Nyaungshwe town. The tastefully decorated rooms are located in 2-storey buildings, with balconies facing the Lake. Throughout the resort the interior design is an earthy mix of Burmese, colonial and modern tropical touches. Facilities here include a cosy bar and restaurant supplied with organic vegetables and salads from the hotel's private garden. There is also a Spa with individual rooms offering a range of treatments.

 

Guide tour of Inle Lake: In the afternoon, enjoy a boat trip on the lake.  Inle Lake is a photographer's dream.  Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop.  See the lake's unique leg rowers – the Intha people who row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar – and the floating gardens, where vegetables and flowers are cultivated by the lake-dwelling Intha people. Continue by boat to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake, containing exquisite 200-year-old Buddha statues.  Stop to see silk weaving on wooden handlooms. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, which is home to five gold leaf-covered Buddha images.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Inle Lake

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Inle Resort & Spa, Myanmar Treasure Resort Inle Lake

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake View Resort & Spa, Aureum Palace Resort

 

Day 8: Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Guide tour of Inle Lake: After breakfast you will enjoy a day's excursion by long-tailed boat across the lake to Indaing, at the western end of Inle, for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake.   Passing through the busy village of Ywama, the largest on the Lake, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts; enter a long, often tree-lined canal, either side of which farmers  cultivate their land against the backdrop of the Shan Hills. Disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes through Indaing village to reach the 14th - 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak.  Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th - 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed. Returning to the river you have the possibility of walking along a lovely shady path for 30 minutes to the Intha village of Sema. From here continue by boat downstream past Yethar village, watching local life on the banks and birds in the trees until rejoining the Lake near Phaung Daw Oo Paya.

 

Day 9: Inle Lake – Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Yangon.

 

Fly Heho to Yangon on Air Bagan W9 201, departing 09:25, arriving 10:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar once known as Rangoon. This Myanmar travel experience will open your eyes to sights long isolated from the Western world for decades as you view golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and jazz-age mansions stitched together by busy tree-lined streets and a riverfront boulevard. In the words of Rudyard Kipling, “This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”

 

After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide 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.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Yangon

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Chatrium Royal Lake Hotel, Savoy Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Belmond Governor’s Residence, The Strand

 

Day 10: Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning guide tour of Yangon: 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 harbour 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 some 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.

 

This afternoon is at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, or explore more of Yangon.

 

Day 11: Depart Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today free at leisure until your guide and driver transfer to the Yangon airport in time for your flight to next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

The above tour costs from $1,685*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Domestic flight tickets: Mandalay – Bagan – Heho – Yangon on Economy Class.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com