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Myanmar Highlights – 12 Days

Central Myanmar, Eastern Myanmar
  • 01Inle-&-Sagar-077
  • 01Inn Thar fisherman sorting nets on Inle Lake
  • 01Touring Inle Lake by boat
  • 01Sunset canoe ride with leg rowers
  • 01U Bein Bridge
  • 01Mandalay Hill Monastery
  • 01Shwedagon Pagoda
  • 01Golden Rock
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

This guided tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights and most famous destinations of Myanmar. Your journey to Myanmar highlights begins in British administration constructed capital city, Yangon ( Rangoon ) ; visit the magnificent gold plate and gemstone decorated Shwedagon pagoda; take a stroll through quaint old quarter of Yangon enjoying sights and sounds of this bustling city. From Yangon travel northbound to Ancient Kingdom of Bagan, the greatest archaeological treasure of Myanmar with over 3000 pagodas and temples ruins located on the plains Bagan by Ayeyarwaddy river (Irrawaddy). Bagan was during its heyday one the greatest kingdoms in the World and is truly a magical destination to visit. From Bagan journey to Mandalay for exploring Ancient Capitals of Myanmar (Burma) all situated near the Mandalay City. In Ava we tour by horse carriage the ruins of the kingdom and enjoy sunset by iconic Ubein teak bridge  in Amarapura. From Mandalay continue to rural Shan State and beautiful Inle Lake region inhabited by minority peoples. By Inle we visit markets, floating gardens and cultural highlights on the lake and vicinity. From Shan State we travel to South and finish our tour with a visit to one of Myanmar’s holiest pilgrimage sites the Golden Rock (Kyaikthiyo), a boulder shrine covered in gold leaf that delicately, miraculously balances at the edge of a cliff. No other natural wonder like it exists in the world. Pilgrims from all over Myanmar and Asia dream of coming to Kyaikthiyo at least once in their lifetimes.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda) at dusk with Buddhist worshippers praying, Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma)

DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO YANGON [-/L/-]

On arrival to Yangon airport, you will be welcomed by Discovery DMC guide with a sign board and your name on it. Transfer to your hotel for check-in. After freshening up we will visit some of Yangon’s highlights; Chauk That Gyi pagoda to view its magnificent reclining Buddha, home museum dedicated of national hero Aung San father of Nobel Peace Price laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Next enjoy lunch at the best Bamar / Burmese cuisine restaurant in Yangon and perhaps in all Myanmar. The Feel Restaurant is locals’ favorite and busy from early morning until late evening hours.  Next we drive a few blocks making stop and the exiled Indian Mughal emperor’s tomb and mosque and Ne Win pagoda. From here we walk to the root Singuttara Hill and take a “trishaw” bicycle taxi ride through a local neighborhood off the beaten trails. In the lively market streets you will see local fresh produce, vendors making and selling all kinds of merchandise for Buddhist pilgrims who come here for Shwedagon Pagoda. We complete the day with a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, a gold covered bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline. Legends state that the sacred hairs of the Buddha are enshrined here. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of the country, a sight not to be missed. As the sun dips down you have the opportunity to join candle lighting ceremony at the pagoda.

  • Meals included: Lunch at Feel Restaurant
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

Bagan

Bagan

DAY 2: YANGON WALKING TOUR & FLIGHT TO BAGAN [B/-/-]

After breakfast at hotel we embark on a journey to explore Yangon highlights. Starting from colonial-style city center and one of the landmarks Sule Paya stupa – built over 2,000 years ago and being the focal point of numerous historical events in the city. We continue on foot to the quaint Yangon Old Quarter, built during the British Burma. Many charming historical buildings are still located here. During our walk through bustling market streets full of merchants and food stalls, we visit a local pharmacy and learn about Myanmar traditional medicine, and stop for a tea and snack at the Rangoon Tea House in the fashion of locals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Yangon.

We continue to one of Asia’s architectural landmarks, the elegant Strand Hotel built by the Sarkies brothers. Inside, you can visit the River Art Gallery should you wish, where the works of some of the most famous and skilled Burmese artists are on display fitting of the grand surroundings. travel on to bustling Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color. (Please note that the market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays)

  • Meals included: breakfast, dinner in a local restaurant
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

Bagan

Bagan

DAY 3: BAGAN TEMPLES & HIGHLIGHTS [B/-/-]

After breakfast at hotel we begin our journey into the Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan. The Dhamayazeka Zedi is our first visit, providing panoramic views of the temple studded plains of Bagan. We continue to the Archeological Museum and the gold gilded Swezigon Stupa, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. Not far from the stupa, the Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple is a sight to behold, housing Bagan’s best preserved mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka re-incarnations.

Next, we learn how Bagan’s famous lacquer ware crafts are produced in Myingaba Village, and then visit Htilominlo Temple to learn how Burmese sand paintings are created. The day’s temple tour ends with a visit to the beautifully symmetric and majestic Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha images that seem to gaze at the viewer with fixed serenity wherever the viewer stands. For sunset, a bullock or horse cart ride around the temples offers unparalleled photo opportunities of one of the richest archeological treasures in Southeast Asia as the sun dips behind the temple ruins (weather permitting).

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

Bagan

Biking in Bagan

DAY 4: BAGAN WITH ELECTRIC BIKES & SUNSET CRUISE     [B/-/-]

Today exploration will be with electric bicycles that allow us to travel small back streets and lanes and visit some remote corners in Bagan and local villages. The following are some activities that we can do on this day. Visit the Manuha Temple, built by the Mon king to represent his time in captivity under the Bagan king. Continue to the Nyaung U market, the largest market in the Bagan region, nearby we can see how Burmese cigars “cheroots” are rolled by hand. In the late afternoon, we transfer to the Ayeyarwaddy River for a private sunset cruise where local cocktails can be enjoyed on board along with views of the temple silhouettes and bustling shore. This evening enjoy Bagan’s premier entertainment the Dandaree Cultural Show.  (The show is operated from October to March)

  • Meals included: breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

Mahamuni Pagoda Mandalay

Mahamuni Pagoda,Mandalay.

DAY 5: MANDALAY CITY IMPRESSIONS [B/-/-]

After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to Bagan airport for a 30min flight to Mandalay. Transfer 40km/1hr to Mandalay City where enjoy a morning stroll through the lively Zegyo in the heart of the city and making stops at Burmese snacks and “thanaka” (make up) stalls. We continue to the artisan quarters, where some of the oldest craftsmanship is showcased dating back to last kingdom of Myanmar. Observe the process of pounding gold leaf, detailing teak wood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestry. We also see how bronze and marble Buddha statues are carved, cast and molded.

Next, we proceed to the highlights of Mandalay: the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most significant Buddha images in the country, covered in several tons of gold leaf and the crown prize in long past wars between competing Myanmar kingdoms; the Golden Palace Monastery, the only surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay, offering a glimpse of the original style and architecture of the Myanmar royals; and lastly, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing Buddha’s teachings carved in the sacred Pali script on stone slabs and regarded as the world’s largest book in terms of surface area. We end our day with sunset panoramic views over city skyline on Mandalay Hill, the highest point of the city.

  • Meals included: breakfast, dinner in a local restaurant
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Mandalay

Ubein Bridge Mandalay Myanmar

Ubein Bridge at sunrise, Mandalay, Myanmar.

DAY 6: AVA – SAGAING – AMARAPURA – UBEIN BRIDGE [B/-/-]

After breakfast at the hotel, we discover the ancient kingdoms of Myanmar near Mandalay, a short transfer to river jetty. Where our tour starts with 1-hour cruise across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy) to Mingun village, known for its massive unfinished pagoda cracked by an earthquake in the 1800s; another attraction to see here is Mingun’s massive bronze bell, believed to be largest ringing bell in the world.

Drive through small countryside road takes us to the Ancient Kingdom Of Sagaing enjoy the magnificent views from the Sagaing Hills, overlooking the river and hill side covered with countless pagodas. We continue to Ava (Inwa), the ancient capital of the Shan and Burmese Kingdoms for over four centuries and explore the small roads and ruins of Ava by horse cart. We end the day with a visit to another beautiful ancient capital city, Amarapura, famous for its weaving traditions and the Ubein Bridge, a simple yet strong teak structure that spans 1,2km over Taungtaman Lake. The bridge silhouetted by the setting sun is one of the most magical experiences in Myanmar and a photographer’s dream.  

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Mandalay

Inle Lake Inn Thar

Inn Thar fisherman sorting nets on Inle Lake.

DAY 7: INLE LAKE, FLOATING ISLANDS & LEG ROWERS [B/-/-]

Enjoy breakfast and then transfer to the Mandalay airport for the 30min flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. On the way to Inle Lake, we stop at a local family’s house to see Shan umbrellas and paper making using traditional methods and fibres of the mulberry tree. Next, we take a 1-hour drive to Inle Lake that descends through the valley with views of the Shan mountains and rice paddy fields. After checking into the hotel, we embark on afternoon explorations of Inle Lake, populated with floating islands and gardens made from the naturally tangled roots of water hyacinth plants and reeds. Delight in the picturesque sights of fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority group who do this only on Inle Lake. Visit the centuries old Nga Phe Kyaung monastery with beautiful Buddhas inside.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Inle Lake

Inle Lake Inn Thein

Inle Lake, Inn Thein.

DAY 8 > INLE LAKE & INN THEIN BOAT EXCURSIONS [B/-/-]

After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Inn Thein, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the Inn Thein archaeological site we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago.
Continue by foot or by boat along tree shaded creek to Sae Ma village for a visit to local school. Meet the teachers and students, for a hello before taking a boat back to Inle Lake.
Rest of the day is for lake explorations, learn how the floating islands and cultivation’s are shaped and tended, marvel at lotus thread and garments making in Inn Phaw Khone village, visit the Ywama village known for its silver smith traditions. Time permitting we can visit the Burmese Cats at Inn Thar Heritage House and end the day with scenic canoe ride propelled by leg rowers.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Inle Lake

Ayethayar vineyard

Ayethayar vineyard sunset.

DAY 9: RED MOUNTAIN ESTATE VINEYARD – YANGON [B/-/-]

In the morning we transfer to Nyauang Shwe town and to Mine Thauk village Red Mountain Estate to tour of the lush vineyard situated on the side of mountain. Taste some of Myanmar’s premiere wines, and observe the different aging methods completed in their cellar cave. After lunch break in Nyaung Shwe we drive 1 hour to Heho airport for afternoon flight to Yangon. Upon arrival to Yangon transfer to hotel. Rest of the evening is free for relaxing & own Yangon explorations.  We recommend visiting china town and 19th street, popular local hang outs where many food stalls, and beer stations and BBQ restaurants fill up after dusk.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

Golden Rock

Golden Rock, Myanmar.

DAY 10: YANGON – BAGO – GOLDEN ROCK (Kyaikhtiyo) [B/-/-]

Morning transfer to Yangon railway station for a train ride to Bago. During its heyday Bago (Pegu) was one the great kingdoms in Southeast Asia ruled by lineage of Mon kings and a queen. Enjoy the sights and sounds and mingle with locals during the 2 hour rail journey. The trains are old and facilities basic, but have character and give an insight to local life and standards in Myanmar.

In Bago we take a walk through the Bago Market and can visit a Buddhist monastery for observing monks gather for their last meal of the day before noon. Then it is time for us to head to a local restaurant for a lunch break. After lunch we continue with 2.5 hours/110 km drive to Kin Pun base camp to change our mode of transport to an open truck and travel next 12 km to summit ridge of the mountain range. The Golden Rock, or Kyaikhtiyo as the Burmese call it, is a fascinating sacred boulder covered in gold leaf and balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff. Crowning the boulder is a small shrine believed to contain Buddha’s hair relics, the source of the gravity defying magic. A continual stream of pilgrims from Myanmar and Asia come to witness the wonder at least once in their life time. Enjoy the tranquil sunset, soak in the unique atmosphere and share in wonder with fellow monk, nun, and lay pilgrims.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Overnight stay: Hotel near Golden Rock

Bago

Bago

DAY 11:  GOLDEN ROCK – BAGO SAFARI – YANGON   [B/-/D]

Wake up early for lovely sunrise views and a quiet morning stroll. Breakfast at the hotel before descending back to the Kin Pun base camp. We drive 3.5hrs/110km to BAGO, one of richest archaeological sites in Myanmar and the ancient capital of Mon Kingdom. Where we visit the snake pagoda where giant Burmese python is worshiped, visit pottery village to observe local production methods, at buffalo shrine learn some countryside values and beliefs and find out about Myanmar traditional medicine and its exotic ingredients such as scorpions. Should you wish we can also visit the Kyiak Pun Pagoda with its four giant Buddha images and the reclining Buddha resting near-by. The rest of the 2 hours/80 km drive to Yangon is broken up with visits to a Nat tree shrine dedicated to a legendary nat spirit, and the Allied troops war cemetery honoring 6,000 war heroes of WWII. This evening enjoy farewell dinner in Shwe Sabwe restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Yangon and a hospitality training school for underprivileged youth.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, dinner at local restaurant
  • Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

Yangon

Colonial heritage Yangon.

DAY 12: YANGON DEPARTURE [B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel and free at leisure until transfer out to Yangon airport for your departure flight.

TOUR WITH DELUXE HOTELS

Yangon: Kandawgyi Palace Hotel 4*
Bagan: Tharabar Gate Hotel 4*
Mandalay: Mandalay Hill Hotel  4-5*
Inle Lake: Pristine Lotus Resort 4*
Golden Rock:  Mountain Top Hotel 3*

TOUR WITH SUPERIOR HOTELS

Yangon: Green Hill Hotel 3*+
Bagan:  Thazin Garden Hotel 3*+
Mandalay: Shwe Taung Tarn Hotel 3*
Inle Lake: Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort 3*
Golden Rock:  Mountain Top Hotel 3*

Contact Discovery DMC reservations department for prices! 

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN OUR COSTING

  • Domestic air fares
  • Private tours and transfers with air conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary
  • All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers & tours with English speaking guides (language guides with supplement).
  • 2 bottles of water and 2 refreshing towels per person on full day excursions
  • Lodging with breakfast as specified in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Visa to Myanmar
  • International air fares
  • Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
  • Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
  • Drinks during meals, hotel extras and other expenditure of personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips