Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Inle Lake
DAY 01: YANGON - BAGAN (-, Lunch, -)
Early morning your AAE Myanmar guide will pick you up at your hotel in Yangon and transfer to the airport for domestic flight to BAGAN. Upon arrival, drive to the colorful local market and stroll through the vendors shops. 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 and ANANDA TEMPLE, with four standing Buddha images; 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 lacquerware 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; next you will explore the MYINGABA GU BYAUKGYI TEMPLE, a temple noteworthy for its mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO. The ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is also visited to view beautiful Buddha images of bronze, stone and lacquer. 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 on own account and overnight stay in Bagan.
DAY 02 BAGAN (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
Optional: Experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon, for the first time ever. ‘Balloons over Bagan’ offer visitors exclusive sunrise champagne flights over the ancient pagodas of Bagan from late October to April. (Details see ‘Balloons over Bagan’)
After breakfast, visit the site of SULAMANI, one of Bagan’s great two-storied Bamar style Temple that has 4 seated Buddha images; LEMYETHNA TEMPLE, topped by an Indian-style spire similar to ANANDA. Then the three shrines of PAYATHONZU (if open), which are connected by passages adorned with Mahayanist or Tantric mural paintings and NANDAMANYA TEMPLES noted for exquisite murals of 13th century. Bagan is not only the site of thousand year old temples and pagodas, but also of many quaint villages scattered throughout the temple plain. Visit the village of MINNANTHU to see how the local people live. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon get on a horse cart and venture out to some of the more off-the-beaten track temples and pagodas. We don’t follow the trotted trails but take you over dusty roads and small paths through one thousand years of history. See 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 to have been the palace of King Manuha and MYAZEDI STUPA to see Myanmar’s “Rosetta Stone”, bearing inscriptions written in four languages. Return to hotel by horse cart.
Dinner is on own account and overnight stay in Bagan.
DAY 03 BAGAN – R.V PAUKAN/PANDAW (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure until transfer to the jetty. Board the river cruise ship R.V Paukan/Pandaw which will be your home for the next three days and your river journey to Mandalay. The embarkation is 11.30 hrs at Bagan Aye Yar jetty. Welcome cocktail in the Saloon. The cast of time is at 12 noon. Lunch will be served at 13.00. In the afternoon stop in a typical river village. Enjoy dinner and overnight on board of RV Paukan/ Pandaw.
Note: Itinerary and stops during the cruise are subject to changes depending on river conditions and local circumstances.
DAY 04 R.V PAUKAN/PANDAW (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast on board. Cruise all day with stop en route in the morning to visit YANDABO, a typical river village specialized in Pot-Making, where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed on Feb. 24 1826. Moor overnight nearby a village (Ywar Thit Gyi or Pauk Myaing Pauk Taw) few miles away from Ava Bridge. Enjoy lunch, dinner and overnight on board of RV Paukan/ Pandaw.
DAY 05 R.V PAUKAN/PANDAW – MANDALAY (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
Enjoy the sunrise. After an early breakfast, the passengers will disembark at Sagaing Jetty (Thursday only) or Gawein Jetty (Sunday only) at around 09.30 hrs. After disembarkation, meet your AAE Myanmar guide and transfer to your hotel. Lunch is taken at hotel.
In the afternoon you will 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 gold-leaf manufacturing workshop before proceeding to MANDALAY HILL for sunset. Enjoy a traditional Myanmar Puppet Show at the Mandalay puppet theatre. Dinner is on own account and overnight stay in Mandalay.
DAY 06 MANDALAY – HEHO – INLE LAKE (Breakfast, Lunch, -)
Transfer to airport for domestic flight to HEHO. Upon arrival, proceed by road through the Shan Hills to NYAUNG SHWE (30 km – approximately 1 hour) and visit RED MOUNTAIN ESTATE to taste the Wine of Myanmar and enjoy the serene landscape across the valley and Inle Lake with a backdrop of the hazy mountains. Later, you will proceed by boat to your hotel. After lunch, you will take an excursion by boat on Inle Lake to see 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 dating back to the 18th century; the weaving village of INPAWKHON and to one of the local markets in the Inle Lake region (on market days only). Dinner is on own account and overnight stay at hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 07 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. A visit is also made to Inthar Heritage House, a sanctuary for the endemic specie of cats, known as Burmese cats and lunch is served there. Continue to a weaving factory to witness how the lotus fabric is painstakingly created by hands. 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 TEIN PAGODA COMPLEX. Dinner is taken on own account and overnight stay at hotel on Inle Lake.
DAY 08 INLE LAKE – HEHO (Breakfast, -, -)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Heho Airport (25km – 1 hour) for your onward domestic flight.
Our Ngapali Beach Extension is the ideal option for guests who wish to spend some relaxing days at one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. See our Ngapali Beach Extension program for further information.
Itinerary is subject to changes depending on confirmed flights, availability of rooms, road conditions and river conditions.