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THE BEST OF MYANMAR (10 days - 09 nights)

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Duration: 10 days Transportation:

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Languages: English (View map)

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1. Tour Category:

Itinerary

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Overview: Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake – Yangon  

Trip planning

TUN TRAVEL

 

Number of guest 

02 – 06 persons (double/twin room)

Traveling style

Leisure pace

Dates of traveling

2015 - 2016

Room Preference

Non smoking, nice view

Meals

TBA

Destinations

Myanmar

Version

Production

Validity

Dec 10th 2015

Tour Code

XT – 1506770509 – V1

Day 1. Yangon Arrival

 

Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! The former capital Yangon, also known as Rangoon, remains Myanmar largest city and continues to be the country's the most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia. You will be met by your guide and driver then you will be transferred to the hotel for check in. The room will be at disposal from 13:30 on. Afternoon is free (no guide no car). Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

 

 

 

Day 2. Yangon – Mandalay sightseeing – Sunset boat trip (B)

 

In the early morning, you will be transferred without guide to the Yangon airport for your flight to Mandalay. Arriving Mandalay airport you will be met by your guide and car to begin the day with an expedition to Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, known as the pagoda of the Great Marble Image. Admire the huge Buddha, carved from a single block of marble. It’s said that the colossal marble block took 10,000 men almost two weeks to transport it from the riverside to its current location. Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

After 13:30, you will be transferred to your hotel for check in the room. Take a short rest and get ready for the afternoon tour.

 

The afternoon’s activities will kick off with a visit to Amarapura, Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital. Amarapura means “City of Immortality”, though its period as capital was relatively brief. First you’ll stop at a silk weaving workshop known for their exquisite merchandise. Continue to Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study and strict religious discipline. Once the sun starts to set, there is a local boat waiting for you to sail along the legendary U Bein Bridge, which was built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal center of attention. It spans 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. As a stunning day comes to an end head back to Mandalay for the night. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

 

 

 

Day 3. Morning in Mandalay by bike – Sagaing – Mandalay (B)

 

After breakfast at the hotel, make your way to a quiet neighbourhood on the eastern side of town where your bikes and local biking guide are waiting. Set off pedalling, leaving the city behind and heading in to the countryside. Traveling by bike you will really get to appreciate the beauty of Mandalay as you pass buffalos lazing in the mud, friendly locals greeting you with giant smiles and farms and villages. During the half day ride you’ll stop at a fresh market, wander through a village and stop in a tea shop for local snacks. A fantastic stop at some cottage industries, bamboo weaving and bean curd production, will give you further insight in to the lifestyles of the Myanmar countryside. Return to the starting point around 12.00. (This biking trip is easy-moderate: total cycling distance is 22 kms on flat, mostly sealed roads; recommended to wear long shorts/quarter length pants and t-shirts and closed shoes.)

 

Afternoon, continue across the Irrawaddy River in to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and claims residence to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. You’ll visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thone Sae and Shin Pin Nan Gyaing. We’ll head over to a small pottery village which is recognized for manufacturing ubiquitous water pots to observe the tradesmen here applying their traditional methods for producing their goods. Return back across the river to the city centre in the early evening and transfer by road to your hotel. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Mandalay.

Day 4. Mandalay – Bagan sightseeing (B) 

 

After breakfast at your hotel, your driver will pick you up to the airport (without guide) to take your flight to Bagan. Be met by your guide and driver at Bagan airport and start your Bagan excursion after that.

 

Discover the best of Bagan today! Not simply a chance to see the splendid Bagan temples, this excursion also introduces you to the Burmese culture. Your fist port of call is an elevated temple with its panoramic views of the Bagan plains. This viewpoint will give you a taste of the sheer number of temples as well as some of their distinctive styles. From here you will have a look around the Ananda Temple – one of the most exalted of Bagan’s temples. We will ensure that our tour reaches this point before the majority of tourist arrive, enabling you to enjoy the splendor of the temple in relative tranquility. Continue to various other temples dotted around the temple plains to experience a variety of architectural styles in the area as well as the artistic wonder of the 9-14th centuries. Traveling amid the temples you will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ setting where farmers and families work amongst the monuments.

 

In the afternoon, visit some more interesting temples in Bagan before driving to the jetty where a private wooden river boat awaits you. Sitting either under the shade or on the open-deck you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River. You’ll cruise past several small villages, fishermen, local boats and of course many of the ubiquitous Myanmar Buddhist temples. The views of Bagan from the river are particularly spectacular and offer a different perspective from the land based tours. As the sun begins to sink slowly from view, you will prepare to disembark before being driven back, greatly relaxed, to your hotel for the evening. The perfect end to a busy day of sightseeing in Bagan! Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Bagan.

 

 

 

Day 5. Bagan half-day biking tour (Back-up car) + Villages (B)

 

Option 1: HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER BAGAN – Standard Service: US$ 295 per person

 

 (Valid from 1st Oct to 3rd Mar – Maximum weight is 280lbs/person)

In the early morning around 5.am, our Balloons over Bagan bus will pick you up at the hotel transfer you to the launch site. As the pilots prepare the balloons for flight, tea and coffee will be served to help you wake up. Then climb into the basket for a remarkable flight. The balloon soars above the temple plains providing birds-eye views of the temples, villages and farms, the Irrawaddy River and distant hills. You’ll fly for around 45-60 minutes (depending upon wind conditions) and then touch-down in a field where a champagne toast and light breakfast is served. Return to your hotel by bus. (Total experience is approximately 2.5-3 hours)

 

 

Start your biking day with a visit to the most noteworthy pagodas and temples in Bagan. Pedal with your bicycle from your hotel to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. Proceed to Old Bagan and visit the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Bike towards Ku Byauk Gyi, a temple with wonderful murals of Jataka scenes, Bu Lei Thee Pagoda celebrated for its all-encompassing view of the region’s various monuments. Head back to your hotel for a midday break or rest at a local restaurant.

 

In the afternoon continue by car until you’ll reach the settlement of Myinkaba village where you will have the chance to examine the village itself as well as the local craftsmen. Learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan's most famous products: lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. You’ll also visit the Gu Byaukgyi Temple with its beautiful frescos before a chance to see Manuha Temple (constructed in 1059!). Investigate Nanbaya Temple, one of the oldest temples in the region. Nanpaya is reputed to have been built in the eleventh century by the Mon King Manuha and has several Buddha images. Your next stop is scheduled to be the Myazedi (Jade) Stupa a pace of worship for Buddhist due to the relics held within. Here you can see the twelfth century inscriptions written in Burmese, Pyu, Pali and Mon, giving rise to the stupa’s sometime nickname of ‘Myanmar’s Rosetta Stone’. The final stop of the tour will be a chance for you to look around the Bamar temple at Sulamani with its marvellous seated Buddha images. If time and weather allows enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of a surrounding temple. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Bagan.

 

 

 

Day 6. Bagan – Heho – Nyang Shwe sightseeing – Inle Lake (B)

 

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and then transfer without guide to the airport for your flight to Heho, in the heart of the Shan State. From Heho, you will experience a lovely scenic one-hour drive (32km – 1 hour) which leads to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake. Although located adjacent to Inle Lake, few travellers take the time to visit this charming Shan town. Get on a local trishaw down to the bustling canal which is a hive of activity in the morning as boats from the lake come in to unload tomatoes and other vegetables for distribution to the markets around the country. Watch as baskets laden with produce are transferred from boats to trucks and bikes. Hop back on the trishaw and wind through quiet streets. Make a stop at the ‘tomato house’, a warehouse-like structure where the tomatoes are sorted and priced for sale. Then continue past some of the many monasteries and nunneries in the town, stopping for photos as you go. Then you will be transferred by boat to the hotel on Inle Lake for check in. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel. 

 

 

 

Day 7. Inle Lake sightseeing (B) 

 

After breakfast you will board your wooden motorized boat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from dark moon and full moon calendar days). The market’s location rotates between the lake’s villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to sell and trade their wares. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles. You will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. In the past this temple was known for its ‘jumping cats’ but these days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Yet the Buddha images are still worth the visit. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many traditional crafts origininating on Inle Lake and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths. If time allows you will also pay a visit to the local silversmith and a pirogue workshop in the village of Nampan. The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay on Inle Lake. 

 

 

 

Day 8. Inle Lake – Free day (B)

 

Today is free at your own leisure. No guide or transfer for this day. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.  

 

Option 2: Inle Lake - Maing Tauk – Inle Lake (L) – Full day hiking – Supplement of 55usd/person

The tour will start at around 9am with a boat ride from your hotel to the village of Maing Tauk. After a look around the village you will be faced by a gentle climb (20-30 minutes) towards a truly inspirational Myanmar orphanage. Witness the great work that the local helpers around U Tet Tun and the headmaster have been doing there. You won’t be asked to give money but any small donation you can make towards its maintenance and running costs will be greatly welcomed. Continue walking (20 minutes) until you reach the Holy Retreat. Upon arrival you will immediately be struck by the peace and stillness surrounding the monastery and meditation centre. You’ll have enough time to explore the centre, watch the monks preparing their last meal of the day and find out more about their monastic life. After a brief period of instruction in the art of meditation you will then have the chance to be left alone with your own thoughts in a private bamboo hut where you can allow the peace of meditation to wash through you. Resume trekking into the Shan Plateau until the village of Dalapin (1 hour). A further 30 minutes walking takes you to the village of King Tal. This relatively short hike may take slightly longer as your eyes will be drawn again and again to the stunning views of the dramatic Shan Mountain range. There will be plenty of time for you to explore the villages on the way that will seem to be virtually untouched by time. The locals go about their daily chores in much the same way as generations of forebears had done before them and as you move around the villages you cannot fail to notice the easy going nature of the locals. With a life lacking many of the facilities more urban communities take for granted, the people here lead a simple existence as they rely on being able to grow anything that they need to survive. The final leg of your trek will take you back to Main Thauk (1 hour). The scenery varies and passes through beautiful farmland and over rolling hills. Return by boat to your hotel and stretch your legs after a wonderful trekking day. Simple lunch at monastery or picnic lunch. Overnight stay on Inle Lake.

 

 

Option 3: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake – Supplement of 44usd/person

A 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. Then it’s time to embark on a 45 minutes trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants. On your boat ride back, should time allow, you'll stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included). As an exciting day comes to close transfer back to your hotel for some well deserved relaxation.

Lunch and dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Inle Lake.

 

Option 4. Kayaking on Inle Lake – Supplement of 78usd/person 

 

Enjoy a scenic boat ride from your hotel until you reach the starting point (around 45 min dependingon your hotel’s location) of your kayaking adventure near Impakhone village. Located right next to a small restaurant you can have a quiet cup of coffee and some snacks and get changed before embarking on your kayaking expedition (around 9AM). Equipped with life jackets you will start kayaking southbound the narrow waterways of the lake. Feel close to nature asyou move on the tranquil waters flanked by high mountains passing by small weaving villages on stilts, vegetable farms, one-hut schools and one leg rowing fishermen that have become the symbol of the local Intha tribe. After around one hour and half paddling stop at a floating village and take a well-deserved break (water and soft drinks provided). The last leg of your journey (about 45 minutes) takes you to the village of Taung Tho from where you will head back by boat and continue your sightseeing program. (Note: 4 Kayaks available for max. 8 persons. We recommend wearing shorts and t-shirts. As you will get wet please bring an extra set of clothes to change and a towel. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat). 

 

Day 9. Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon – Halfday sightseeing (B)

 

After your breakfast you will be transferred without guide to Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Be met by your driver in Yangon airport, you will check in the hotel for your room.

 

We’ll start things off in the afternoon with a trip to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Most countries and cultures have examples of what might be termed “quintessentially……” and the drinking of tea can certainly be describes as “quintessentially Burmese”. To share in this staple of Myanmar living, a visit to a local tea shop is a must. Here, in addition to the obvious “cuppa”, you will also find a wide choice of delicious morsels to sample while you soak up the atmosphere and observe the locals as they use the drinking of tea as a backdrop to both social and professional conversations.

 

No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Ready for an amazing experience? The visual delights present there alone, are worth the trip. Begin at the eastern entrance to find a row of shops at the base of the temple selling various religious items. Here you will find monks robes, alms bowls, offerings, incense and other unique Buddhist objects. As your browse the stalls your guide will explain the use and rituals of Myanmar’s Buddhist people.  Then continue up the stairs to the main platform. Witness the colors transform on the 100-meter chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese; most visitors report that the trip is extremely

memorable and still etched into their minds. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 10. Yangon departure (B) 

 

In the morning, after the breakfast, you will head to Yangon airport without guide for your flight to Yangon. Arriving Yangon airport you will connect directly with your departure flight. Your room in Yangon will be available until noon time.

 

SERVICES END.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Location

Superior Hotel

Deluxe Hotel

Luxury Hotel

Yangon

Hotel War Dan *** (Superior)

Kandawgyi Palace Hotel **** (Superior)

The Strand ***** (Superior Suite)

Mandalay

Yadanarpon Dynasty hotel *** (Superior)

Rupar Mandalar resort **** (Deluxe)

Rupar Mandalar resort **** (Premier Suite)

Bagan

Bawga Theiddhi hotel *** (Superior)

The hotel @Tharabar gate **** (Deluxe)

Aureum palace resort ***** (Deluxe)

Inle Lake

Shwe Inn Tha Floating resort *** (Deluxe)

Pristine Lotus **** (Floating Duplex)

Villa Inle resort & spa ***** (Lake front single villa)

TOUR INCLUSIONS 

Services included

Services excluded

  • Accommodation on shared twin room basis with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Activities and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
  • English speaking guide (station guides)
  • Ground transportation with air conditioned vehicle (where available) with drivers.
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program (except camera fees)
  • 1 bottle of water per day and refreshing towels on touring days
  • Drinks during meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, laundry etc.)
  • Early check in and late check out from hotel
  • Tips for guides, driver and other suppliers
  • Any other services/items not mentioned in inclusions
  • Visa for Myanmar (arranged by clients)
  • International airfare
  • Domestic airfares with either Air Bagan, Yangon Airways, Asian Wings or Air KBZ (please refer to the airfare table)

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