Highlights of this safari:
- Visit the mystic Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon
- Discover Bago, the ancient Mon capital
- Enjoy several cruises on Inle Lake and other lakes and rivers
- See pitoresque villages such as Lakkana and Muku
- Enrich yourself culturally in Mandalay
- Enjoy the impressive temples of Bagan
- Day 1: Yangon
- Day 2: Yangon
- Day 3: Kyaiktiyo
- Day 4: Mawlamyine
- Day 5: Mawlamyine
- Day 6: Yangon
- Day 7: Mandalay
- Day 8: Mandalay
- Day 9: Bagan
- Day 10: Bagan
- Day 11: Inle Lake
- Day 12: Inle Lake
- Day 13: Inle Lake
- Day 14: Depart fromYangon
Program & Route:
Day 1: Yangon
Upon arrival, meet with the guide and transfer to your hotel.
Yangon after sunset including Shwedagon – Evening
At the end of the day many Yangonites leave their office and on the way back home they stop for some shopping, catch up with friends at a teashop, visit a pagoda or go to a beer station. This is exactly what you are going to do as well this evening. Highlight of the tour will be the evening visit to the illuminated Shwedagon pagoda – a magic and mystical moment at a time it’s not very busy on the main platform. After the pagoda visit there will be local snacks to be tasted as well as a local draft beer or a fresh lime juice. The tour includes drinks, a walk over the night market in downtown, tea and snacks as well as a tasty bowl of noodles shared with some locals.
Day 2: Yangon
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a full day Yangon city tour.
Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. During this full day tour we show you the different faces of Yangon. During the day you visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbour, The Strand for a drink, and one of the colourful local markets. The reclining Buddha will be visited just before taking a tasteful lunch of typical dishes from tribes from all over the country like Kachin, Shan and Rakhine. A local market will lead us to a small station where we take the famous circular train to bring us right behind Bogyoke Aung San market before heading back to your hotel.
Day 3 : Kyaiktiyo
Breakfast at the hotel.
The more remote areas of Mon State and Kayin State are undiscovered areas of Myanmar offering spectacular nature and intriguing tribal culture dating back for many, many centuries in the history of South East Asia. The Mon are believed to be one of the first civilisations in this part of the world.
Leave around 08:30 from your hotel in Yangon by private car and guide and visit the war cemetery in Taukkyan where thousands of prisoners of war who worked on the death railway in Kayin and Mon State are commemorated.
We continue to Bago where we visit the Kha Khat Wain monastery – one of the biggest in the country. Bago used to be the capital of Mon kingdom in the former days.
On arrival in Kyaiktiyo basecamp we leave the main luggage behind in the car and take bag for the night to go up the hill by trucks serving mainly local pilgrims.
One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Myanmar Buddhist is the Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda). A big rock with a small pagoda built on top of it, is balancing on the edge of a mountain and looks as if it could tumble into the ravine below at any moment. Surrounding the Golden Rock are numerous local teashops, rest places and monasteries as well as local souvenir shops. Overnight stay in the mountains, built at walking distance of the pagoda.
Day 4: Mawlamyine
Early morning visit to the golden rock for sunrise, breakfast at the hotel and around 08:00 we go downhill to the basecamp where we meet our driver.
Driving through Mon State towards Mawlamyine we pass the area which was the last capital of the Mon kingdom: the city called Suvannabhumi. We also pass the ancient city Thaton which is famous for its durian and betel nut.
On arrival in the colonial city Mawlamyine we visit a local house where a home cooked lunch of Mon specialities is served.
In the afternoon we visit the Mon Museum and walk around the area with impressive buildings from the colonial times when writers like Orwell and Kipling where living in this city and visit the first Baptist church.
We continue to visit the nearby village of Hpa Ouk which is famous for its weaving of the traditional Mon style sarongs for men and women.
Day 5: Mawlamyine
Breakfast at the hotel and visit the Seindon Mibaya Monastery.
The Seindon Mibaya Monastery in Mawlamyine is a very fine example of ancient Myanmar architecture in the original Mandalay palace and has magnificent woodcarvings and other decorations. It’s a monastery so beautiful that one could actually call it a museum.
Continue to the Ni Paya to have a view over the city and river before heading to the jetty and board a private motor boat that will bring us to Hpa An.
After about an hour we arrive at a small jetty in U Na Auk village from where we take a tuk-tuk to visit the amazing carvings and decorations or the temples and ordination hall donated to the village by Na Auk.
Na Auk was a Mon trader, living in this area in the British period and he was famous for his intelligence to trade and win from the big British companies and has been a symbol of being patriotic, have a good trading sense and be kind to his fellow country man.
We continue the boat trip over the Thanlwin River with spectacular sights on Zwekabin and other limestone mountains rising from the rice fields. A highlight of the trip through this part of Myanmar. A lunch is served on boat.
We stop on the way in Pa Lin village for a walk around this local community with Kayin, Shan, Mon, Bamar and PaO people.
Arrive around 17:00 in Hpa An and transfer by car to the hotel which is situated at the bottom of one of the limestone mountains.
In the evening we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with typical Kayin “Talabaw” soup which is made of bamboo shoots, rice and jackfruit.
Day 6: Yangon
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning you will enjoy a trip through tranquil rural scenery on a kayak while a Kayin man is peddling from the charming village of Lakkana till Muku village. On the way you will see rice fields, limestone mountains in the distance and tranquil traditional Kayin villages. We stop for fresh fruit served in one of the wooden Kayin houses in a local village and arrive after about 2 hours at our end destination.
As Kayin state is bordering with Thailand there is some very tasty Thai food available in the local restaurants along the road leading through the jungle towards Thailand.
We return to the hotel for a shower and continue to Kawgun cave on the way to Yangon. The artwork of clay Buddha statues dates back from the 7th century, the period of the Mon kingdom.
We continue driving back to Yangon in about four and a half hours leaving two very interesting states in Myanmar behind us. Arrival in Yangon around dinner time.
Day 7: Mandalay
Breakfast at the hotel, then you are transfered to the airport for the flight to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, meet with the guide and start the Mandalay Orientation Tour of half a day.
After this tour follows another tour to get to know the real Mandalay, starting with a visit to a viewpoint near the Ayeyarwaddy river as well as the lively fish market. Continue to the busy Yadanar night market to have some traditional snacks and a walk around before heading to one of the most famous beer stations and BBQ restaurants in Mandalay. Continue to the excellent Mandalay marionettes theatre for a show performed by a mix of traditional dancers, musicians and puppeteers in the evening.
Day 8: Mandalay
Breakfast at the hotel.
Next up is a full day cruise to Visit Sagaing, Ava & Amarapura.
From the jetty in Mandalay we take a leisurely boat cruise for about 2 hours downstream to Sagaing passing the temple dotted hills where we stop and visit the Setkyar Thida nunnery. We continue by boat to Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site past ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings. Lunch will be taken in Ava before we continue to Amarapura by car. The old capital of Amarapura is a very quiet village nowadays where you only hear the sound of the weaving machines. We visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge.
Day 9: Bagan
Breakfast at the hotel, then you are transfered to the airport for the flight to Bagan.
Upon arrival at Nyaung U airport, meet with the guide and start the full day Bagan sightseeing tour by car, with an experienced guide. We start the day climbing a pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant.
Sundowners on a Sandbank in the evening.
A stay at Bagan is incomplete until you have seen the sun go down from the top of an ancient temple, and have taken a boat ride on the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River followed by sundowners on a sandbank in the middle of the river. A private boat tour on the river during sunset time will hopefully show you a spectacular sunset while your guide will be serving cocktails and some snacks.
Day 10 : Bagan
Breakfast at the hotel.
Optional – Half day excursion: balloons over Bagan.
One of the many highlights when visiting Myanmar. Early morning before sunrise you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the launch site for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the temple zone in Bagan. You will be welcomed back on the ground with cold champagne being served before bringing you to your hotel.
Following is a visit to local villages. An early start in a fourwheel drive out of Bagan. Nyaung Gyi is the first village visit and we stop to see a black smith work shop. In Se Ywa village we visit several local workshops (Plum purifying, cooking oil producing and wooden slipper maker). We continue to Taung Kong village where the majority of the people are farmers. A great trip for photographers and anyone interested in daily life of local people.
Day 11: Inle Lake
Breakfast at the hotel, then you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival at Heho airport, meet with the guide and transfer to Inle Lake.
In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a pagoda forest. We walk about an hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake and visit a school in Tha Ley village. A home-made cooked lunch is served by a local family in their house. We continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired peddling yourself we continue by motorboat back to your hotel.
Day 12 : Inle Lake
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a full day on the Inle Lake.
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts.
Today you ride a private motorboat around the lake. Discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers, and have a cup of tea at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are found. Today we take you to visit one of these colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people. We certainly also visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Intha Heritage house – where the Burmese cats are bred and visit a weaving factory.
Day 13 : Inle Lake
Breakfast at the hote, followed by a Shan afternoon, ending with wine tasting.
As described in many books, the Shan have a very interesting and rich culture. We start with a visit of the Buddha Museum. Afterwards, we enjoy a Shan lunch and continue our tour to the local market, traditional Shan cotton and Shan traditional dresses make this a very colourful sight. A visit to the ancient teak wooden Shwe Yan Pyay monastery follows as you are being peddled around small canals and pass floating gardens in a small wooden boat to see more of the local Shan life from the water. End the tour with a visit and some wine tasting of the excellent wines at the Red Mountain Winery.
Day 14: Depart from Yangon
Breakfast at the hotel, then transferred to the airport for the flight to Heho.
Upon arrival at Yangon airport, car and guide is available for your transfer to the airport for the flight back home.