Today you’ll fly to Yangon. Upon arrival you will meet your driver who will take you to your hotel downtown. Rest of the day at leisure.
Today discover Yangon with your guide: you’ll embark on the local circular train to Insein and explore its brightly-colored market. Back to the city center, you’ll visit the old British Secretariat, and the more modern Yangon walls where young artists create their art. At the end of the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, with its 100m high stupa covered in gold, most magical at sunset.
This morning, your driver will take you to Hpa An, capital of the Karen province and a town that has opened to visitors not long ago (5.5hrs drive). Upon arrival, you’ll discover the Kaw Gun caves, a galery built in the 11th century in retreat of a war and that now contains hundreds of tiny clay Buddhas. Later, you’ll explore the local villages on foot: people live there in robust wooden houses, in the middle of a luxuriant vegetation. The earth is a bright red color. Discover people’s way of life, and enjoy Kyauk Kalap pagoda view at sunset, in the middle of a small pond.
Discover today the beautiful Sadan caves, its sculpted elephants and golden frescoes. Cross its galeries of stalactites and stalagmites, to reach a hidden temple on the other side of the hill. You’ll reach there a serene lake that you’ll cross on a pirogue. In Eindu village, learn about the art of traditional weaving. Finally, you’ll discover a surprising cave whose natural basin was turned into a swimming pool for the young children.
Today your driver will take you back to Yangon, through the fields, villages and golden pagodas. You’ll board a flight to Mandalay in the afternoon. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel and free time at leisure.
Today you’ll discover Mandalay: its venerable Mahumani pagoda and Buddha covered with gold, Shwenandaw golden monastery, and Kuthawdaw pagoda with its gigantic stone tablet gallery (729 items). In the afternoon, you’ll explore the old capital city of Amarapura (1782-1857), with a walk on U Bein famous teck bridge. If you like, you can navigate under the bridge at sunset in order to capture its best colors.
Today you’ll go back in history, and explore the ancient capital cities of the Burmese kingdoms. First take a boat to Mingun on the Irrawady river (1h ride), visit its unfinished pagoda and biggest bell int the world (90 tons!) Then you’ll reach Ava, a place with a long history of being a capital (13th to 18th century). Discover this pastoral and mysterious site on a horse-drawn carriage. Finally you’ll get to Sagaing, the previous capital city. It is now a very sacred site for Buddhists; meet there a few nuns for a strong spiritual exchange.
This morning, discover the incomparable Ghost Market, with its train running right in between the stalls. After breakfast, your driver will take you to Monywa (2.5hrs drive). You’ll visit Thanboddhay Pagoda where 845 small stupas surround a central stupa, evoking Mount Meru in Indonesia. Then a ferry and pick-up will take you to Hpo Win Thaung magnificent caves. These troglodytes sanctuaries are hidden among the hills and host more than 450 000 Buddhas.
This morning, explore the villages of A Nyeint and A Myint, not well-known by travelers but with a precious historical and cultural heritage. Then your driver will take you to Pakkoku, on the shores of the Irrawady river. This town is famous for its tobacco production, as well as incense: you’ll stop at an incense fabric to learn more about it. Finally, you’ll reach Bagan on a small boat: a great way to approach this amazing site at sunset.
This morning, take the time to enjoy your hotel and swimming pool. If you like (optional), get up early for a very special view on the temples of Bagan, up there in a hot air balloon!
Later in the morning, discover Nyaung U and its authentic market, before reaching Swezigon pagoda and other sites of Bagan by tuktuk. Then you’ll visit an ancestral lacquer fabric, special of Bagan. Finally, see Ananda temple, most refined architectural gem of Myanmar, and watch the sunset from a horse cart.
Today you will fly to Heho and reach Pindaya (1.5hrs drive). You will cross tea and oranges plantations before reaching a Danu village, an ethnic group living there in the Shan county. Discover these Danu villages, before visiting the legendary 8000 Buddha cave, a Buddhist pilgrimage site. You’ll stay in Pindaya for the night, at a local farm surrounded by its organic peanut and ginger fields.
This morning, you’ll drive through the Shah and Kayah provinces to reach Loikaw. At 1200m high, with symmetrical alleys and low houses, this town has the charm of an old colonial city. Its monastery dominates the scenery from the top of a dark rock. The Karenni ethnic group that lives here dresses mostly in red colors: you’ll learn why at their museum. Then you’ll visit a special field that contains some spiritual messages ; finally at sunset reach the top of one the three hills surrounding the city.
This morning, you’ll discover the local market if it is a market day, and drive to the countryside to start an easy hike through the fields and farms, with the Kayah mountains in the background. After an hour, you’ll reach Pan Phet village, where the inhabitants, of the Padaung ethnic group, are well-known for the many golden necklaces women wear in order to make their neck longer. Although this tradition is disappearing, most women over 40 years old are still following it. Later, take some time to relax or visit other sites around Loikaw.
This morning, you’ll be driven for 1.5hrs to Hpe Kon village, departure point of your pirogue expedition to Sagar. You’ll cross the lake for 2hrs, surrounded by the calm water, many birds and green hills, before reaching Sagar village. Discover Takkhaung Mwedaw pagodas complex that evoke Sagar’s glorious past. After visiting a rice alcohol fabric, you’ll follow the river and reach Inle lake. On the way, stop at a local’s house on stilts to enjoy a fresh tea or coffee.
This morning, reach In Dein village and discover its unique covered path lined with a thousand pagodas. Explore Alaung Sitthou Temple and its stupas lost in the vegetation. Discover Phaung Daw Oo sanctuary on the lake, and the one-legged fishing style of the fishermen on their pirogues.
In the afternoon, you’ll take a flight from Heho airport to Yangon.
Today is the end of this cultural trip to Myanmar. Your driver will take you to the airport, where you’ll board a flight to your next destination.