4 - DAY GOLDEN ROCK, HPA AN & MAWLAMYINE
Yangon – Bago – Kyaikhtiyo – Hpa An – Mawlamyine – Yangon
DAY 01: YANGON – BAGO – KYAIKHTIYO (-, Lunch, -)
Pick-up at your hotel for the drive to BAGO (84 km - 1½ hours). Sightseeing starts with the charming and characteristic monastery of Kya Khet Wai, an eminent teaching center for hundreds of monks from neighbouring regions to study Buddhism. You will have ample time to observe when the monks walk mindfully in procession for their last meal of the day. After the visit of a thousand years old SHWEMAWDAW PAGODA with its spire taller than the Shwedagon Pagoda, you will proceed to the KIN PUN 'base camp' (110 km - 3 ½ hours). Lunch is served at a local restaurant en route. The tour will continue to one of Myanmar's landmarks, which is famous for its precarious position and religious importance: Kyaikhtiyo the 'Golden Rock', a huge boulder completely covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. To reach the pagoda from KIN PUN base camp (http://goo.gl/maps/W2ppk), a steep 14.5 km road leads to the terminal near the summit, from where you will continue on foot for 10 to 15 minutes to the Golden Rock Pagoda. The journey from the base camp to the summit is made in open trucks, which are very crowded. Walk around the Golden Rock and pagoda area and time permitting enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the country. Enjoy dinner on your own account and overnight stay at Kyaikhtiyo.
DAY 02 KYAIKHTIYO – HPA-AN – MAWLAMYINE (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
Early risers may enjoy returning to the Golden Rock for sunrise. After breakfast, depart Kyaikhtiyo for Hpa-An (120 km – 3 ½ hours) the capital of the Kayin State. A visit is made to KAWGON CAVE where Buddha figures are carved out of the wall of the cave. Lunch is served at a simple restaurant en route. Continue to drive on a road passing Kayin villages and visit the SA DAN CAVE, which has a length of 2260 feet with many stalactites / stalagmites and a natural lake at the end of the cave. Take a boat ride in the lake under the cave and through the paddy field and walk back to the main entrance of the cave. Later, you will visit KATOE KOHNUT Village which was formerly a town where timber enterprises flourished and well-developed in this region under the rule of British administration. Famous timber and steamship entrepreneur U Nar Aout donated and built the monasteries, monuments and pagodas which are well preserved. They remind us of this ancient region which is full of traditional Mon style houses and the objects of historical interest. Drive to Mawlamyine (70 km – 2 hours) where you will arrive in the late afternoon. Enjoy dinner on your own account and overnight night stay in Mawlamyine.
DAY 03 MAWLAMYINE (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
This morning, you will have time to browse the local market in Mawlamyine, which was the largest grey market with smuggled goods from Thailand in the 1980’s. Later, take a walk on the upper main road and discover the ancient buildings which date back to the time of Colonial Era when Mawlamyine was the capital of British annexed Myanmar. Continue to drive (20 km) toward Mudon and visit WIN SEIN TAWYA where one will witness the largest reclining Buddha Image in the world. Return to Mawlamyine and a lunch is served at a local restaurant. Continue to visit the ST. AUGUSTINE Roman Catholic Church and later to the CHINESE TEMPLE where you will experience the fortune-telling by bamboo sticks. The next stop is at SEINDONE MIBAYA KYAUNG MONASTERY, which was a donation of one of the late Queen of King Mindon, to witness the fine wooden sculptures on the walls, ceiling and doors depicting the life of Buddha. Enjoy the beautiful sunset from Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, known as the Kipling Pagoda. Enjoy dinner on your own account and overnight night stay in Mawlamyine.
DAY 04 MAWLAMYINE – YANGON (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After early breakfast, experience another colourful way of local transportation. Rise early morning and take the local train (very simple and basic) to Thaton. The train journey takes about 3 hours. Learn about your fellow travellers life and be certain having to answer lots of questions once the conversation got started, meanwhile the train rattles through the countryside. Upon arrival in Thaton your driver awaits you for the journey back to Yangon (approx. 6 hours). Basic packed lunch is included. Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to your hotel.
Trains in Myanmar are not up to international standard and reliability leaves to be desired. However, we will make every effort to provide best available seats on the train. In case of schedule irregularities or delays which are quite normal we will adjust your itinerary in the best possible way. Note also that chairs are often broken, there is no air-condition and toilets should be avoided as much as possible.
Note: The region around Hpa-An and Mawlamyine is still undeveloped for most aspects of tourism. This is essentially an adventure tour. AAE Myanmar will endeavour to obtain the best available accommodations, transport and facilities for guests, but would ask their understanding for any practical aspects which do not come up to expectation, and for delays or changes in itinerary. It is not recommended to travel to this region during the monsoon season (June - September. You will travel to a mountainous region where nights can be cold during the winter season from November to February. Good walking shoes are recommended.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on road conditions and availability of rooms.