Yangon – Heho – Kalaw - Mount Popa – Bagan – Mandalay
DAY 01 YANGON – HEHO – INLE LAKE ( -, Lunch, -)
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Yangon airport for a flight to Heho. Upon arrival, you will provide by road to Nyaung Shwe and visit RED MOUNTAIN ESTATE to taste the Red Mountain Wine of Myanmar and enjoy the serene landscape across the valley and Inle Lake with a backdrop of the hazy mountains. Lunch is also served at the restaurant in the vineyard. Later, continue by road to pier and transfer by a boat to your hotel for check-in. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at Inle Lake.
DAY 02 INLE LAKE (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, a full day excursion by boat on Inle Lake will include the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and magnificent scenery. Visit the PHAUNGDAW OO PAGODA, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar and dating back to the 18th century; the weaving village of INPAWKHON and one of the local markets in the Inle Lake region (on market days only). Lunch is taken at a local restaurant on the lake itself. A visit is also made to INTHAR HERITAGE HOUSE, a sanctuary for the endemic specie of cats, known as Burmese cats and a lunch is served here. Continue to a weaving factory to witness how the lotus fabric is painstakingly created by hands. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 03 INLE LAKE (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, transfer by boat to MAING THAUK village located on the eastern shore of the lake. Walk through the village and continue up hill (walking time approximately 1 hour) under the shade of the trees to a stupa and the adjacent monastery which is also a meditation center. The moment you arrive you will feel a sense of serenity and peacefulness. If you wish a monk will introduce you into the world of meditation and give you a lecture on the way body and mind flows together as one. Descend back to the village with the possibility to visit an orphanage on the way. Total walking time: about 2 hours, partly up-hill (not steep), altitude difference less than 100 m. Continue by boat to a local restaurant built on stilts over the lake for lunch. In the afternoon travel by boat to the Western shore of Inle Lake, where you will find the beginning of a stair path leading to the hidden and unknown INN THEIN PAGODA complex. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 04 INLE LAKE – HEHO – KALAW (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, you will proceed by boat to Nyaung Shwe and proceed by road to Kalaw, a fresh and delightful hill station, on the rim of the Shan Plateau which is a market center for ethnic minorities from surrounding regions. After check in at your hotel, lunch is taken at a simple local restaurant. Later, your trekking guide will pick you up for a trek to Danu hill tribe village. You will have a walk through tea, cheroot leaf and other seasonal vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and potato plantations until you reach the village of Myin Ka. You will interact with the villages during the visits to their homes and village monastery. Later, you will also witness a cottage industry of lime powder. Total walking time lasts approximately 2 – 3 hours. Return to Kalaw by car. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Kalaw.
Note: The trekking can be adapted to the physical conditions of each guest with interesting walks in and around the old town of Kalaw lasting from 1½ to 4 hours. Guests who do not wish to walk extensively can see typical houses in Kalaw that were built at the time when Myanmar was a British colony, the railway station as well as the local market.
DAY 05 KALAW – GREEN VILLAY ELEPHANT CAMP – MOUNT POPA (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, you will drive to Mount Popa, taking approximately 8 hours including a stop at GREEN HILL VALLEY ELEPHANT CAMP which focuses on protecting the local ecology, elephants and traditions of the local people. You will have the opportunity to discover the way mahouts and the gentle beasts communicate and how they coexist in the conserved forest. Lunch is taken at the little restaurant with a view to the Blue Mountains in the horizon. And then you will drive on a journey with varied agricultural landscapes and small villages to MOUNT POPA, an extinct volcano with a shrine dedicated to animist spirits known as “Nats”. Upon arrival, check in at your resort. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnights stay at hotel on Mount Popa.
DAY 06 MT. POPA – BAGAN (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
This morning, there is time for the energetic to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the volcanic plug. Continue by road to BAGAN, visiting one of the toddy palm orchards en route to witness the rural life of the region. Upon arrival in Bagan, you will check-in at your hotel.
After lunch at a local restaurant in Bagan, visit to ABEYADANA TEMPLE with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian mythology; MANUHA TEMPLE, built in the Mon-style in 1059; NANBAYA TEMPLE, a unique sandstone monument said, MYAZEDI STUPA Myanmar’s “Rosetta Stone”, bearing inscriptions written in four languages and MYINGABA GU BYAUKGYI TEMPLE, a temple noteworthy for its mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO. Embark on a sunset cruise by a small private boat including local snacks and a cocktail. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Bagan.
DAY 07 BAGAN (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
OPTIONAL: Early morning, pick up at hotel for ‘BALLOONS-OVER-BAGAN’ flight and you get a magnificent birds-eye view of thousand year-old pagodas, temples and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 24 km/h. Eight passengers plus a pilot fit into the balloon’s basket.
After breakfast, stroll through the colorful local market and continue the day with visits to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan including SHWEZIGON PAGODA, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; see 12th century frescoes adorning the corridors of KYANSITTHA CAVE TEMPLE; KU BYAUK GYI, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes; HTILOMINLO, the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes; ANANDA TEMPLE, with four standing Buddha images and THATBYINNYU TEMPLE, known as ‘temple of omniscience’ and dating from 1144. After lunch at a local restaurant, learn about one of Myanmar’s most treasured handicrafts at a lacquer ware craftsmen’s workshop in nearby MYINKABA village. Continue to DHAMMAYANGYI, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. Continue to NAT HTAUNG Monastery, an ancient wooden monastery from 18th Century with decorated columns and ceiling. Finish the day of sightseeing by watching sunset over Myanmar’s longest river, Ayeyarwaddy from the one of the more off the beaten track pagodas to climb on top and view the sunset over the plain of Bagan dotted with more than 2,000 temples. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Bagan.
DAY 08 BAGAN – MYINGYAN – MANDALAY (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, you will drive to Mandalay via Myingyan Township and partly on the motorway, approximately 4 hours. Upon arrival, you will check in at your hotel. Lunch is taken at local restaurant. After lunch, experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay including one of the most revered religious monuments in Myanmar, the MAHAMUNI PAGODA; the SHWE INBIN MONASTERY; the GOLDEN PALACE MONASTERY, a superb example of a traditional wooden building and KUTHODAW PAGODA the world’s largest book, made of marble. Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop as well as a golf-leaf manufacturing workshop. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Mandalay.
DAY 09 MANDALAY – INWA – AMARAPURA – MANDALAY (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, you will continue on an excursion to the former Royal Capital of INWA (AVA), reached by a short boat trip. Visits by horse-drawn carriage to NANMYINT WATCH TOWER, the remains of the palace building nicknamed “the leaning tower of Ava“; MAHA AUNGMYE BONZAN MONASTERY, built of brick and stucco; BARGAYAR MONASTERY, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts. On the way back to Mandalay, stop at 200-year-old U BEIN teak bridge, built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was Royal capital. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Mandalay.
DAY 10 MINGUN – SAGAING – MANDALAY (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
After breakfast, board your private boat on the AYEYARWADDY RIVER and travel upriver to MINGUN (about 1 ½ hour). Visits will start with the MINGUN BELL, a magnificent sight of the world's largest un-cracked bell weighing 90 tons, and will continue with HSINBYUME PAYA as well as the unfinished MINGUN PAYA, built as one of the world's largest chedis by King Bodaw Paya. Continue downriver by boat (about 2 hours) until you reach SAGAING, a retreat for Buddhist devotees. Lunch box will be provided. Visit KAUNGHMUDAW PAGODA, with its huge egg-shaped dome in Ceylonese style. Return to Mandalay and stop at the busy ZEGYO market on the way. Dinner is taken on your own account and overnight stay at hotel in Mandalay.
DAY 11 MANDALAY DEPARTURE (Breakfast, -, -)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Mandalay airport for your onward flight.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on confirmed flights, road conditions and availability of rooms.
Private Tour: daily departure with English-speaking stationed guides. This tour is also available with French or German-speaking guide throughout the tour.