20 Days / 19 Nights - Tour
Yangon, Ngwe Saung Beach, Pyi, Mt. Popa,
Bagan, Monywa, Mandalay, Kalaw, Pindaya & Inle Lake
Union of Myanmar
Day 1 Arrival Yangon
Arrival at Yangon airport in the morning. Transfer to hotel. Late
afternoon, enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide
- its golden stupa is the 'heart' of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda
is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded
by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. There
are always many Myanmar people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon,
and it's a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go
by. Accommodation at Hotel, Yangon.
Day 2 Yangon
Breakfast. This morning, visit Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda to see a huge
reclining Buddha image. Continue to the newly renovated National
Museum (if open) and see the Lion's Throne. A stop at Bogyoke (Scott)
Market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) gives you the opportunity
to see Myanmar's wide range of handicrafts. This afternoon, visit
Yangon's unique Glass Factory, which has changed very little over
the years. See skilled craftsmen hand-blowing glass and creating
original glassware which is sold to hotels and restaurants all over
Myanmar. Continue to Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda). Later,
take a walk along Yangon River to see the busy harbor area, from
where ferries leave for Pathein in the Delta and for upcountry towns
along the Ayeyarwady River. Accommodation at Hotel, Yangon.
Day 3 Yangon - Delta Queen
Breakfast. Morning at leisure until pick up from Hotel and transfer
to Nan Thida jetty in downtown Yangon where you board the "Delta
Queen" (RV Bha Nyar Latt). Departure at 1500 hrs. Sail through
the Twante Canal in the afternoon. Sail all night. Dinner and overnight
Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 Pathein - Ngwe Saung Beach
Early morning sun rise and breakfast on board. At 0800 hrs, arrival
Sein Gone jetty in Pathein and drive to Ngwe Saung Beach (1 ½
hours drive). Accommodation at Palm Beach Resort.
Day 5 Ngwe Saung Beach
Breakfast. Day at leisure. Accommodation at Palm Beach Resort.
Day 6 Ngwe Saung Beach - Htone Po - Pyi
Breakfast. Early morning, depart the beach and drive via Pathein
north to Pyi. Shortly before arriving in Pyi, visit the small village
of Htone Po, where you board a local boat to go a short way down
the Ayeyarwady past the cliffs of Htone Po. Hundreds of niches in
the cliff face are filled with Buddha images of all shapes and sizes
- many of them have been carved out of the rock face. Arrive Pyi
in the late afternoon. Accommdation at Mingala Garden Hotel.
Day 7 Pyi
Breakfast. Early morning, drive out of Pyi to visit the site of
the ancient Pyu kingdom of Sri Ksetra (Thayekhittaya). Very little
remains of what was once a great kingdom but extensive research
suggests that some pagodas here date back to the beginning of the
Christian era. First, visit the tiny museum that houses artifacts
unearthed in Sri Ksetra. There are two huge conical stupas, Payagyi
and Payama, close to the museum and it is nearly always possible
to reach them because the road is sealed. Less accessible is Bawbawgyi
Pagoda, which has a cylindrical shape. This afternoon, visit the
busy central market, a cheroot making factory and Shwesandaw Pagoda.
This Pagoda is similar in design to Shwezigon in Bagan, and is one
of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage spots in Myanmar. An enormous
seated Buddha figure rises up from the tree line adjacent to Shwesandaw.
Accommodation at Mingala Garden Hotel, Pyi.
Day 8 Pyi - Popa
Breakfast. Depart your hotel early morning for the long drive to
Mt. Popa ( 7 to 8 hours). Late afternoon, arrive at Mt. Popa, home
to Myanmar's intriguing 'nats' (spirits). Check into Mt. Popa Resort,
which enjoys great views on the surroundings. Accommodation at Mt.
Popa Resort, Popa
Day 9 Mt. Popa - Bagan
Breakfast. This morning visit Mt. Popa and the Kaba Aye shrine on
top of the mountain. The steps and path climb steeply up Mount Popa
- an energetic climb rewarded by fabulous views from the top. From
Mt. Popa drive on to Salay. Visit Yokesone Monastery, which is the
oldest surviving wooden monastery hall, built on 154 teak posts
with beautiful woodcarvings decorating the outer walls. Continue
to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings
from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya - a large lacquer Buddha
image, said to date from the 13th century. Arrive to Bagan late
morning. One of the great sights of Asia, Bagan is not to be missed.
Pagoda after pagoda large and small rises up from the green delta
plain; a great deserted royal city. This was the era of the temple
builders, and they left a monument to their art as stunning as the
Pyramids in Egypt. Bagan flowered from 1057 to 1287, when it was
overrun by the west-moving Kublai Khan. This afternoon, visit Abeyadana
Temple with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian
mythology. 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 then stop at Myazedi
Stupa to see Myanmar's "Rosetta Stone", bearing inscriptions
written in four languages. Lastly, admire the fine stuccowork at
Gubyaukgyi Temple (Myinkaba village. Accommodation at Hotel, Bagan.
Day 10 Bagan
OPTIONAL TOUR : 0545 hours pick up from your hotel and report at
Ballons desk in Bagan Hotel to have the unique opportunity to enjoy
spectacular views of the ancient Kingdom of Bagan in a hot air balloon
! The world-famous archeological site of Bagan is known for its
marvelous sunrises, mostly enjoyed from the top of one of the monuments.
A balloon flight gives you the chance to see Bagan with a bird's-eye
view. Then return to hotel for breakfast.
Breakfast. This morning, visit golden stupa of
Shwezigon Pagoda, which is Bagan's most important reliquary shrine
- look out for images of the 37 'nats' housed in a small hall. See
12th 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. Pass through Tharaba Gateway into Old Bagan. Continue to
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. In the afternoon, visit the
Archaeological Museum (if open). Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking
temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortarless
brickwork. Next, visit Mingalazedi, the last of the large Pagodas
built in the 13th Century, representing the pinnacle of Bamar pagoda
architecture. Late afternoon, stop at Moe Moe lacquer ware factory
to watch craftsmen skillfully making this most famous of Bagan handicrafts.
At sunset, climb to the top of one of the monuments to enjoy magnificent
views over Bagan's temples and the Ayeyarwady River. Accommodation
at Hotel, Bagan.
Day 11 Bagan - Monywa
Breakfast. Leave Bagan in the early morning and take a local ferry
across the Ayeyarwady River. Once on the other side, drive to Pakkoku,
an un-spoiled small town famous as a tobacco trading center and
for its weaving shops. Continue from Pakkoku to visit a sandstone
cave system in the Po Win Hills, named after a famous 'zawgyi' (alchemist)
who once lived here. The Caves of Po Win Daung, numbering more than
one hundred, are full of Buddhist statues and murals. Most exhibit
the Innwa style but some may date from the 14th Century. Nearby,
visit Shwe Ba Daung, which features unique pavilions cut from the
surrounding sandstone and filled with Buddha images. Continue from
the caves to catch a local ferry across the Chindwin River to Monywa.
Accommodation at Hotel Monywa.
Day 12 Monywa - Mandalay
Breakfast. Early morning visit of the local market. Later, drive
about 20 kilometers out of Monywa to visit Thanboddhay Pagoda. The
richly decorated central stupa has no less than 845 smaller stupas
around it. Inside the pahto, you will see thousands of Buddha images
(reportedly over 500,000) decorating every wall, archway and niche.
The buildings in the compound have interesting jataka reliefs and
there is a huge Reclining Buddha nearby. Continue driving to Sagaing.
In the afternoon, visit picturesque Sagaing Hill, where hillsides
are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. This is perhaps
the living center of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. Continue to
Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, which is painted white and has a huge egg-shaped
dome in Ceylonese style. From Sagaing, drive across Ava Bridge (built
by British engineers) to Mandalay. Accommodation at Hotel, Mandalay.
Day 13 Mandalay
Breakfast. This morning go into the city for a traditional Myanmar
Mohinghar Breakfast. Start your morning Mandalay sightseeing tour
with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to Mandalay's holiest Buddha
statue. Stop to see stone carving and to see gold leaf being beaten
into wafer thin pieces. In the afternoon, 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. Myanmar Marionette show. Accommodation at Hotel, Mandalay.
Day 14 Mingun - Ava
Breakfast. Morning boat trip to Mingun, site of a brick pagoda towering
50 meters above the Ayeyarwady River, and home to the world's largest
intact bell. The boat trip is interesting because you see all types
of wooden boats and bamboo rafts, carrying goods up and down the
river. Continue by boat to visit Innwa (Ava), located on an island
between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. You will visit Innwa
by horse carts and pass through the ancient city walls to visit
a brick and stucco monastery called Maha Aungmye Bonzan (also known
as Ok Kyaung). Continue to Nanmyin Watch Tower - the climb to the
top offers lovely views over the river. 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. On the way back to Mandalay, stop at U Bein Bridge
(wooden teak bridge) and enjoy the sunset. Return to Mandalay in
the early evening. Accommodation at Hotel, Mandalay. Breakfast
Day 15 Mandalay - Kalaw
Breakfast. Depart Mandalay early morning for a full day's drive
to Kalaw. From Mandalay, drive to the south on the highway to Yangon.
This road takes you through the dry-zone of Myanmar - in summer
brown and deserted - in winter green with rice fields. Before lunch
you enter Meiktila, a town located on the junction of the highways
to Yangon and to Bagan and Shan State. From here, the road takes
you into the Shan Hills. Late afternoon, arrive in Kalaw, which
was formerly a British Hill Station. Accommodation at Hotel, Kalaw.
Day 16 Kalaw - Pindaya
Breakfast. This morning, visit the local market and the tiny train
station. Enjoy a walk through the hills, 2 hours (short way) or
4 hours, to a village of the Palaung tribe. At first a steep track
leads down into a narrow valley where the Palaung cultivate cheroot,
tea, damsons and mangoes on the hillsides. The track crosses the
valley floor before climbing very steeply again to the Palaung village
of Pinnabin, which sits on top of a hill. The village has an interesting
long house for eight families. Observe tribal village life and how
the Palaung people dry cheroot in a specially designed oven. Formerly
animists, the Palaung people have mostly converted to Buddhism.
In the afternoon, drive from Kalaw to Pindaya, an interesting drive
up into the hills and across the Shan Plateau, through fields of
mountain rice. Accommodation at Hotel, Pindaya.
Day 17 Pindaya - Inle Lake
Breakfast. This morning, visit magnificent Pindaya Caves, set in
a limestone ridge overlooking a picturesque lake, where thousands
of different types of Buddha images are on display in the various
cave chambers. Visit some local houses where families produce Shan
paper and parasols. From Pindaya, drive down to Nyaungshwe on the
edge of Inle Lake and board your own local boat to take you to your
hotel. Accommodation at Hotel, Lake Inle.
Day 18 Inle Lake
Breakfast. Full day boat trip on Inle Lake - a photographer's dream,
its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing
canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop.
Pass endless floating gardens, where fruit and vegetables are grown.
A snarl of lake silt and weed produces, after about 50 years, a
thick layer of humus that can then be turned into a floating vegetable
or flower garden buoyant enough to support a human's weight for
a brief time. The Inthas tend their lake gardens from long, banana-shaped
boats, and row standing up, with one leg wrapped around the oar,
leaving both hands free to fish or maneuver the nets. Visit Phaung
Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State.
See traditional handicrafts - silk weaving on wooden handlooms and
stop at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, which is famous for its "jumping
cats". Also visit a blacksmith shop, and other places as time
allows. This afternoon, we enjoy another boat tour to Indaing, at
the western end of the Lake. The boat takes you through a long channel
where you watch the farmers cultivate their produce. This ride is
one of the most scenic boat tours on Lake Inle. Accommodation at
Hotel, Lake Inle
Day 19 Inle Lake - Yangon
Breakfast. Leave your hotel by boat and then drive down into the
valley to Heho Airport. Air Mandalay or Yangon Airways flight from
Heho to Yangon. Transfer from Yangon Airport to Hotel. Afternoon
car & guide at disposal to further explore Yangon. Accommodation
at Hotel, Yangon.
Day 20 Yangon departure
Breakfast. Day at leisure until transfer to Yangon International
airport for departure by
Tour Departure Dates
Every Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday between from
now until 24th April 2003.
Same guide throughout the whole tour, with the
language guide of your choice (English, Italian, French or German
- other language guides available on request)
Accommodation in hotels as specified above
Transportation by air-conditioned cars, minibuses or buses
All domestic flights with Air Mandalay or Yangon Airways as detailed
Boat trips as specified in the itinerary
All entrance fees
International airport tax
Services not mentioned in the itinerary
Meals where not specified
All other expenses of a personal nature
Interational flights to & from Yangon, Myanmar
* Cabins on the Delta Queen are private and have
wash facilities. Toilets and shower room have to be shared with
Queen - River Cruiser
A great way to travel to Ngwe Saung Beach.
A simple cruiseship with adequate accommodation and good service.
Cabins are private and have wash facilities. Toilets
and shower room are shared with other passengers. 16 cabins. Observations
deck and bar. Sailing from Yangon to Pathein. From there on the
transport to Ngwe Saung beach is by car. Tours include meals