Upon arrival to the Yangon airport, you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest day is at your leisure and enjoy the welcome dinner in the evening.
After breakfast, enjoy excursion to Twante, a Pottery village, passing through scenic farming lands and rice paddy fields along the way. Twante is known for producing some of Myanmar’s best terracotta works and upon arrival at our destination we will visit local workshops where we can observe the generations old process and meet the local people who produce these famous pots and other traditional handicrafts. During your visit, you can participate in marking your own pots using the local clay. Afterwards, you will travel by local house and cart through the town, passing by the market and Shwesandaw Pagoda. In the afternoon, drive back to Yangon having had a fun day out and about exploring the rural landscape outside of Yangon.
Today we transfer to Yangon airport for the domestic flight to Bagan/Nyaung U. Upon arrival, we visit temple tour with Bullock Or Horse Cart Ride around the Ancient Kingdom of Bagan. We start with a visit to the Nyaung U Market, the largest market in the Bagan region, to get a glimpse into the local life. We also see how cottage industries like brick making are carried out with traditional methods. We continue to the gilded Shwezigon Stupa, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. And then Kyansitha Umin, a cave temple, the long dimly lit corridors are decorated with frescoes, some believed painted by Tartar invaders during the Mongol occupation after 1287.Next, we visit Gubyaukgyi (Wet-Kyi-Inn), this 13th-century ‘cave temple’ has an Indian-style spire like the Mahabodhi Paya in Bagan. It is interesting for the fine frescoes of scenes from the Jatakas. Then to Htilominlo Temple to learn how Burmese sand paintings are created. The day’s temple tour continues 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. Then we visit Dhamayangyi Temple, the largest temple of Bagan with the thickest walls and the Sulamani Temple. And then we transfer to the Ayeyarwaddy River for a Private Sunset Cruise along with views of the temple silhouettes and bustling shore.
Breakfast at hotel followed by an excursion to Mount Popa (50 kilometres – 1 hour drive from Bagan), an extinct volcano with spectacular views. The place is dedicated to animist spirits known as ‘nats’ and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. Then, continue drive to Popa Mountain Resort and start trekking to Yee Nge Natural Spring Water. It is two miles far from Resort and 2650 ft above sea level. The best place for trekking, horse riding, birds and butterflies watching on the way. Come back to Popa Mountain Resort for lunch.
In the afternoon, we drive back to Bagan and stop en-route 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
We begin our cycling journey into the Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan. We learn how Bagan’s famous lacquerware crafts are produced in Myingaba Village, and then go to Myazedi Temple. Closely, the Myingaba Gubyaukgyi Temple is a sight to behold, housing Bagan’s best preserved mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka reincarnations. Manuha Temple, built by the Mon king in the 1300s, represents his time in captivity under the Bagan king.
Then we visit the Dhamayazeka Zedi, providing panoramic views of the temple studded plains of Bagan. It is worth a look around for the bamboo and wooden houses built long ago. Laymyetnat Temple and Payathonzu with Minnanthu village are of a later period than those in Central Bagan.
Nanda-Man-Nya Temple, this single-chambered temple has very fine frescoes and a ruined, seated Buddha image. Tayok Pye Paya is a large temple, built by Narathihapate (1256-1287) who is known as the king who fled from the Mongolian invasion, thus ‘Tayok Pye’ in Myanmar. Finally, proceed to Bupaya Or Shwesandaw Pagoda to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River.
Transfer to Bagan/Nyaung U airport for the domestic flight to 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). On the way 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 fibers of the mulberry tree. Children can work out the traditional way and make different design on Shan paper.
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 visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf. We also make a visit to the Inpawkhon Weaving Village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and crafted.
After breakfast, we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Indein 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 take a boat back to the lake and we stop at a house for Burmese Cats built over the lake, where we see the conservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar.
After breakfast, we transfer to Nyaung Shwe town by boat and 1hr drive to Heho airport for the domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, we visit city tour with Lawka Chanthar world biggest marble Buddha and visit Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color. Afternoon, we will do a walking tour to the quaint Yangon Old Quarters, built during the British colonial era. Many charming historical buildings are still located here. During our stroll through bustling Market Streets full of merchants and food stalls, we visit a local pharmacy and learn about Burmese traditional medicine, stop for a tea and snack in the fashion of locals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Yangon. 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. Legend has it that strands of sacred Buddha’s hair are enshrined here. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of the country, a sight not to be missed. In the evening, we will enjoy the farewell dinner at local restaurant.
*Please note that the market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays*
After breakfast, morning is at your leisure until transfer to Yangon airport for your international departure flight.