Tailored from £3,000 per person excl. flights
12 days Yangon, Golden Rock, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Ngapali
12 days Yangon, Golden Rock, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Ngapali
Combining cultural interests with some light adventure, as well as plenty of time to simply relax, Golden Myanmar takes you on a journey to all of the country's most fabled destinations, including fairytale Bagan, the magical Pindaya Caves and tranquil Inle Lake. Add in the contrasting cities of Mandalay and Yangon, as well as a few days on stunning Ngapali Beach - and you have yourself a world class holiday in one of the region's most exciting and untouched destinations. Contact a tailor-made Myanmar specialist to tailor this itinerary to your own personal requirements.
Upon arrival at Yangon international airport you are met by your Wayfairer guide and driven to your hotel. Our journey begins with an afternoon tour through the colonial-style city centre of Yangon. We start to visit Chauk That Gyi pagoda to view its magnificent reclining Buddha figure, and Karaweik Hall to marvel at the uniquely decorated “hamsa-bird-shaped” floating barge on Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake. We visit Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color. Relax back at your hotel this evening.
Today is dedicated to your full city tour of Yangon with your local Wayfairer guide. You will visit the colonial old town with the Sule Pagoda, City Hall and Mahabandoo Park which is a heart of Yangon City surrounded by memorable scenes of numerous Colonial style buildings - making for a memorable photo stop. We continue to one of Asia’s architectural landmarks, the elegant Strand Hotel built by the Sarkies brothers. Inside, we visit the River Art Gallery, where the works of some of the most famous and skilled Burmese artists are on display fitting of the grand surroundings. We complete the day with a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, a gleaming 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!
After breakfast this morning we drive the approx. 2hs to Thanatpin, where we take a stroll through the colourful local market. After an early lunch at a local restaurant in Bago, we continue for 3 hours to Kin Pun base camp to change our mode of transport to an open truck. The ride is shared with local pilgrimage makers for the next 11km to Yathetaung base camp, located 500m below the summit ridge. A further 1hr hike up a partly on steep road and paved trail leads us to the summit. The Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo 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.
If you choose to wake up early you'll be rewarded with lovely sunrise views and a quiet morning stroll. You have breakfast at the hotel before descending back to the Kin Pun base camp. We drive 3 hours to Bago, one of richest archeological sites in Myanmar and the ancient capital of Mon Kingdom. We visit the impressive 55m reclining Buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung and marvel at the 114m high Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Taller than even the famous Swedagon of Yangon, the golden spire of the Shwemawdaw is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees. After lunch we will visit a Mon Weaving Village near Bago. The rest of the 1 1/2 hour drive to Yangon is broken up with visits to a Nat Three Shrine dedicated to a legendary nat spirit, the Kyaik Pun Pagoda with its four giant Buddha images, and the Allied Troops War Cemetery honoring 6,000 war heroes of WWII. The Golden Rock excursion ends at back at your hotel in Yangon ahead of tomorrow's journey to Bagan!
After breakfast, we transfer to Yangon airport for a 1hr flight to Bagan where we begin our journey into the Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan. The Dhamayangyi Temple is our first visit, providing panoramic views of the temple studded plains of Bagan, the gold gilded Shwe Zi Gone Pagoda, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. Not far from the stupa, the Myingabagu Bbyaukgyitemple is a sight to behold, housing Bagan’s best preserved mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka reincarnations. Next, we learn how Bagan’s famous lacquerware 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 SHWE Sandaw Temples offers unparalleled photo opportunities of one of the richest archeological treasures in Southeast Asia as the sun dips behind the temple ruin.
After breakfast, we take a morning visit to the Manuha Temple, built by the Mon King in the 1300s to represent his time in captivity under the Bagan King. We continue to the colorful Nyaung U Market, the largest market in the Bagan region, and a Cigar Work Shop to learn how Burmese “cheroots” are produced. Next, a 1 1/2 hrs drive takes us to Mount Popa, the Burmese spiritual epicenter for those who worship the pantheon of nat spirits and martyrs. After paying respects to the Nat Shrine at the foot of Mount Popa, we climb nearly 800 steps to the pagoda perched at the top of the mountain to admire the views of the surrounding plains and farm lands. Then, we drive back to Bagan and stop enroute at a family-run Toddy Shop to observe the process of making the rich and caramel-like toddy candies from the sap of the toddy palms. In the late evening, we return back to Bagan and rest of the day at your leisure.
This morning we transfer to the Bagan (Nyaung U) airport for your morning flight to Mandalay, the capital of Myanmar culture. Upon arrival to Mandalay Airport, we proceed to AVA (Inwa), ancient capital of Shan and Burmese kingdoms reign over four centuries. After the ferry crossing over MyintNge River we will explore Ava on horse cart. Visit hundreds years old Bagaya Teak Monastery; Nanmyin Watch Tower last standing structure of palace compound also known as the leaning tower of Ava; beautifully shaped Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery building. Tour visit to ancient city; Amarapura, famous for its weaving and textile industry. Visit cottage industry work shop and learn how Myanmar longyis and other handicrafts are made. In Amarapura continue to Ubein Bridge spanning 1.2km over Taungtamanlake. Experience magical sunset by the bridge, or hire a rowboat on lake for classic shots.
After breakfast we embark on a journey to one of the Ancient Kingdoms of Burma. Our day will start with a 1 hour cruise across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy) to Mingun. Mingun is known for its massive unfinished pagoda cracked by earth quake and largest unbroken bronze bell in the world. Return to Mandalay by boat and then half day city tour in Mandalay include Zegyo Market in the heart of the city to experience real Mandalay, Artisan Quarters where some of the oldest jobs, dating back to old kingdoms times can still be seen. Observe how gold leaf is pounded by hand, teakwood carvings and Myanmar tapestry are done, and learn how bronze and marble Buddha’s are crafted. Proceed to Mandalay highlights; the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, covered in tons of gold leaf pasted by continuous stream of pilgrims throughout centuries; visit Golden Palace Monastery, the only surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay; Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing Buddha’s teachings carved on stone slabs, also known as the world’s largest book. End today's sightseeing with fabulous views over Mandalay City skyline from the Mandalay Hill.
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Madalay Airport and fly to Heho. Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. Visit the bustling main Heho Market, the meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only). The second largest lake in Myanmar is situated at an altitude of 900m and is 22km long and 11km wide. Enroute to Inle Lake, we stop at a Local Family Work Shop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibres of the mulberry tree. Arrival to NyaungShwe Jetty, we take a 1 hour drive by private boat 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.
After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Inn Thein Pagoda Complex, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the complex, we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago. We boat back to the lake and visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf by devout followers. We also make a visit to the Inpawkhon Weaving Village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and crafted. As an extra treat, we stop at a house for Burmese Cats built over the lake, where we see the preservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar. At Nampan Village, local craftsmen show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled. We end our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride with boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg.
This morning we transfer by boat to NyaungShwe town and we drive 1hr to Heho airport for flight to Thandie When you arrive to Thandwe airport you are met and driven to your hotel. Enjoy three full days at your leisure on the beach!
Breakfast at the hotel and free your time before transfer to Thandwe Airport. Then you fly to Yangon to connect with your international departure.