Start From: Yangon
Trip Route: Yangon – Bagan – Inle Lake – Yangon
Duration: 7 days / 6nights
DAY 1: ARRIVE YANGON
Arrive Yangon airport. Your English speaking tour guide will welcome you at the airport. Transfer to your hotel and check in. Program for the day depending on flight arrival time.
DAY 2: YANGON
Yangon is a city of 5 million people, but the downtown area is relatively small and can easily be covered on foot. A morning stroll with your guide through Yangon’s colonial architecture to the Strand Hotel, once one of the most renowned hotels in Asia in line with the Oriental in Bangkok, Raffels in Singapore and the Peninsula in Hong Kong and during the last fifteen years restored to some of its former glory. At the Bogyoke Aung San market you will find everything of locally produced items, from Mandalay silk, ethnic minority products, silver and wood carvings to precious stones, garments and cheroots. In the heart of the city is the Sule Pagoda, the nucleus from where the city centre where were laid out in its Victorian grid pattern by the British about 150 years ago. Even if it is a predominantly Buddhist community, Yangon is still home to many other faiths, and strolling about you will see Hindu and Chinese temples, Islamic mosques, Anglican cathedrals and various Christian churches. There is even a small Jewish synagogue.
While Yangon until the 18th century was still an insignificant fishing village, its prominent and famous landmark, the Shwedagon Pagoda has stood there for more than 1000 years, mesmerizing visitors and residents alike with its glistening gold covered stupa where it is said that eight hairs of the last (Gautama) Buddha are enshrined at the base. The tip of the stupa is covered with 1800 carats gold and studded with thousands of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topaz. A huge emerald sits in the middle to catch the first and last rays of the sun. You should go there in the late afternoon before sunset, remove you shoes and slowly wander the lower terraces together with the friendly local population of very devout Buddhists.
DAY 3: YANGON – BAGAN
Transfer to airport for the morning flight to Bagan, where your guide will be waiting at the airport.
In its heydays, in the two centuries from 1057 and until the Mongol forces of Kublai Khan overran and destroyed most of it in 1287, more than 13,000 temples and other religious structures had been built around Bagan. You will not be able to cover even a small percentage of what is left, but during your stay you will be able to visit some of the best and most famous ones. Among pagodas and temples worth visiting are Shwezigon Pagoda, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas, Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi Temple with fine mural paintings of Jataka scenes, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi, a massive temple with the finest brickwork, Manuha Temple with gigantic Buddha images, a captive king’s impression of life in prison, Nanpaya, with the finest stone carvings, Thatbyinnyu, the highest of Bagan temples, and Bupaya Pagoda on the brink of majestic Ayeyarwaddy River, Lawkahteikpan temple with mural paintings and ink inscriptions; and in the evening, sunset from your riverbank hotel.
DAY 4: BAGAN
Further exploration of Bagan. In the morning visit to the local market in Nyaung U and one of the many workshop that make the famous Bagan laquerware and if time permits before lunch, a few pagodas and temples left over from the day before.
DAY 5: BAGAN – HEHO
Morning flight to Heho in southern Shan state. Transfer to the jetty in Nyaung Shwe and by boat out on Inle Lake and to your hotel. Sightseeing is by boat and includes visit to the Phaungdawoo Pagoda – famous for its richly gilded five small Buddha images and the Ngaphechaung monastery with its collection of ancient Buddha images. But most of the time will be spent touring the villages on stilts and observe daily life with leg-rowing fishermen, floating vegetable gardens and visit to traditional handicraft workshops.
DAY 6: INLE LAKE – INDEIN VILLAGE
After breakfast a visit by boat to a local market and from there to the western shore of Inle Lake, where you will find the beginning of a stair path leading to the well hidden Indein Pagoda complex, famous for its ruined clusters of more than 1000 pagodas dating back to 15th century. Enjoy the tranquility and peaceful ambience around the weathered ruins, as well as a short walk through the bamboo forest along the creek. Afternoon on the lake.
DAY 7: NYAUNG SHWE – YANGON
Transfer to Heho airport for the flight back to Yangon. Transfer to international airport for departure.