This two-week tour will take you first southwards to historic and laid-back Mawlamyine and the sacred Mount Kyaiktiyo, and then up north to the tranquil and cool waters of Inle Lake. After you have explored the magnificent plains of Bagan and historic Mandalay, head to Monywa, where you will find a bustling riverside town rarely visited by tourists and its surrounding temples and caves.
Deluxe Hotel Supplement:
$46 per day
Drive east to Mawlamyine, the tropical capital of Mon state and one-time administrative centre of British Burma. This quiet city has many colonial buildings lining its streets and a magnificent pagoda with views of the surrounding area – it was a short visit here that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his famous poem Mandalay. Visit the gigantic reclining Buddha at Mudon and (time permitting) check out the rustic Bilu Island, located across the water from Mawlamyine and home to a variety of local shops offering fine handicrafts.
Drive back towards Yangon and discover the Golden Rock at Mount Kyaiktiyo, one of the three most sacred sites in Myanmar. The rock appears to defy gravity by delicately balancing on the edge of the 1,100m mountain; you will stay at a hotel at its summit, offering magnificent views of the area.
The next day, continue to Yangon via the town of Bago, home to many large pagodas and Buddha images.
Fly from Yangon to Heho airport and transfer via car to the characterful town of Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. If you go for the superior hotel option, a boat will take you to your hotel on the lake (standard hotels are in Nyaung Shwe). There will be plenty of time in the afternoon to relax or for sightseeing around the lake to see the local Intha fishermen employing their traditional one-leg rowing technique.
After breakfast the next day, visit the ancient lakeside stupas at Indein and see handicrafts in Nampan village. If the time is right, see the floating markets that are a photographer’s dream. Finish up your day with sunset wine tasting at Red Mountain Estate vineyard and then dinner on the lakeshore.
In the morning, fly westwards to Bagan and begin your visit by exploring the Ananda pagoda, dating from the 12th century and famed for its gilded sikhara tower at its peak; choose from bicycle, car or horse and cart to explore the thousands of temples on the plain. The area is renowned for its lacquerware and artisan crafts, which make perfect souvenirs or gifts. Later in the day, climb the Gawdawpalin or Bupaya pagodas for perfect sunset panorama views of the temples and plain.
On your second day, we can arrange hot-air balloon rides that will give you spectacular sunrise views (additional charge). Head south east of Bagan to explore the spectacular monastery at Mount Popa, which sits precariously on top of a volcanic plug. In the evening, enjoy some Myanmar wine over dinner by the pagodas.
Fly to Mandalay and visit the last royal palace of the Konbaung dynasty, recalling the days of Thibaw and his queen, Supayalat, before they were expelled to India by the British. Just to the south of Mandalay, take a stroll down the longest teak bridge in the world, the iconic U Bein bridge in Amarapura. The town of Amarapura is full of textiles stores and small metal works factories, where you can watch master craftsmen cast Buddha statues in bronze or visit a weaving factory to see how fabrics are made.
Take a horse and cart around the quiet meandering roads of Inwa, which was once a powerful kingdom’s capital city. Across the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay, the Mingun Bell is reputed to be the heaviest and largest working bell in the world. If you’ve worked up a hunger wandering around Mingun and its massive unfinished stupa, reward yourself by purchasing some freshly steamed corn on one of the many roadside stalls – it’ll be the sweetest you’ve tried.
Take a car westwards from Mandalay to the west bank of the Irrawaddy river, where you will find the beautiful, stupa-studded hills of Sagaing. Have lunch amongst the temples and then head on to Monywa via the Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Sekkya standing Buddha (at 116 metres, it is the second tallest statue in the world) and the Thanboddhay Pagoda, which houses over 500,000 Buddha images and features many hundreds of golden spires. Dinner in Monywa.
The next day enjoy the markets of the bustling trade town of Monywa, situated on the banks of the Chindwin River and visit Hpo Win Daung; the 947 caves that make up the complex were built between the 14th and 18th centuries, and contain ornate mural paintings and hundreds of Buddha statues.
Return to Mandalay in the evening.
Time for breakfast by the palace walls ahead of your international flight departure.
Would you like to extend your tour to the beautiful and relaxing Ngapali Beach? Our travel advisors will be able to arrange this for you, along with any other travel, accommodation or activity requirements you may have. Just fill out the ‘Any further queries’ box after you have clicked on the ‘Book Tour’ button.
|Standard hotels for above program||Deluxe hotels for above program|
|Yangon - Clover Hotel||Yangon - Chatrium Hotel|
|Mawlamyine - Attran Hotel||Mawlamyine - Strand Hotel|
|Mount Kyaiktiyo - Mountain Top Hotel||Mount Kyaiktiyo - Mountain Top Hotel|
|Inle Lake (Nyaung Shwe) - Hupin Hotel||Inle Lake - Amata Garden Resort|
|Bagan - Floral Breeze Hotel||Bagan - Bagan Lodge|
|Mandalay - Hotel Rama||Mandalay - Mandalay Hill Resort|
|Monywa - Monywa Hotel||Monywa - Win Unity Resort|
To get prices for this tour with luxury accommodation or basic accommodation, please enter a query in the ‘Any further queries’ field when you submit your tour booking form (link below).
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The above itinerary is indicative and some details may change according to conditions and availability; you will always be informed of such changes.
There may be changes to estimated prices depending on air fuel cost, domestic airfares, US$ exchange rates and festive season surcharge. All supplemental cost to be advised.
 Price per person based on two person tour (twin hotel room sharing basis). Larger groups will pay less per person, single person purchase will mean a higher price.