- Wander through the colonial charm of Yangon.
- Enjoy meals at local tea shops in Myanmar.
- Witness the sunset from the top of Mandalay Hill.
- Attend a morning alms collection at a monastery outside Mandalay.
- Discover one of the finest collections of temples in South East Asia at Bagan.
- Visit the bustling local markets and stilted villages in Inle Lake.
Day 1 – Yangon Arrival
Day 2 – Yangon – Bagan
Day 3 – Bagan
Day 4 – Bagan – Mandalay
Day 5 – Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake
Day 6 – Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon
Day 7 – Yangon – Departure
Upon arrival, meet your guide who will transfer you to your hotel. Free your time at leisure.
Lunch will be at a local tea shop, Shwe Yi. The British introduced the practice of drinking strong tea with condensed milk and sugar over a century ago. Green tea is still drunk, often after the strong tea in order to wash it down. Try an assortment of snacks and noodles here, including rice pancakes, golden sticky rice and ‘Mohingar’, Myanmar’s national dish, rice noodles in a fish soup. Shwe Yi tea shop is famous for its Kyauk Pa Daung Palartar, which should be tried while you’re here.
After your lunch, head to the Yangon River to see riverside life by the busy Mawtin Jetty. Next we’ll go to Chinatown; a great place to try out some other local foods, including meat and vegetable satays and draught Myanmar beer.
Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Yangon.
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport for the flight to Bagan (Nyaung Oo). Upon arrival, you are welcome and transfer to your hotel.
Start your tour at the glittering Shwezigon Pagoda, before visiting the cave temple filled with exquisite murals at Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi. Next is more interesting craftsmanship with the fine plaster carvings of Htilominlo Temple.
You will have your lunch at La Min Thit Burmese restaurant, which is a great place to try a local style curry lunch.
In the afternoon, visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece of the early-style temple and Ananda Okkyaung is one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period.
From Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan at 61 meters, depart for a horse and carriage tour among the temples passing through the traditional village of Taungbi, Sulamani Temple and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Enjoy the sunset over the site from one of the open upper terraces of a temple.
Enjoy your dinner at The Beach Bagan where you can sample Burmese cuisine served in traditional daung-laan style.
Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Bagan.
Just before the day totally breaks as a faint light beginning to appear in the far eastern horizon, Bagan stands still and awaits the early riser to reward with its magical vista. Imagine! You are the one watching Bagan plain with its endless temples and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River in the rising sun, floating over it, as the gentle wind guides you and enjoying the champagne served on board with balloons over Bagan (October through March – The flight takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes).
Return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll go to lively Nyaung Oo Market where your guide will help you to explore the many herbs and vegetables used in Myanmar cuisine. You will have a chance to learn how to make Bagan’s most famous food, ‘Pone Yay Gyi’ at a local shop. This black paste is made from soy beans and you’ll get to see how it’s made, from the raw soy beans through to the finished product. Try out the popular dish of Pone Yay Gyi salad here, where onion, dry shrimp, green chilli and peanut oil are added to the paste. Many pilgrims buy the famous paste in Bagan as a treat to take home to their families.
For lunch we head out of town to a palm garden and visit the family of toddy palm climber. It is a good opportunity for you to observe simple ways of life of toddy climbers and their daily routine in the palm garden. Watch as they collect the juice from the toddy fruit and process it into molasses, alcohol and other items. From August to February there are also other plantations (a variety of beans, peanuts, sesame and cotton) grown in the toddy garden. Enjoy your village local lunch, which is prepared by the family.
Visit a workshop next producing lacquer ware. Board a local boat next for a cruise down the Irrawaddy River. See the sun set from the river as you pass riverside villages and temples.
Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Bagan.
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Nyaung Oo Airport for the flight to Mandalay, Myanmar’s cultural capital.
You are welcome at the airport and start your tour at Mahumani Pagoda. Learn more about the craftwork for which Mandalay is famous by visiting workshops and cottage industries. You’ll see gold-leaf techniques, wood carving and kalaga tapestry weaving.
Try another Burmese food now; La Phat Toke. This is a salad made from fermented tea leaves which have been mixed with salt, garlic, lime juice and green chilli. Beans, peanuts and sesame are added, along with other ingredients depending on taste, and the dish is eaten as a snack, a dessert, or even with rice as part of a main meal.
For lunch we will stop at Min Thiha tea shop, which is a popular tea house in Mandalay serving two of the city’s most famous dishes: Mandalay Monte and Khotaung Monte. Tea houses in Mandalay are always full with local people, it is a place not only for having tea, but also for socializing as well as doing business. Enjoy this typical Mandalay atmosphere while you are having lunch.
After lunch, see the ‘World’s Biggest Book’; the 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scripture at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set.
Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Mandalay.
This morning, transfer airport for domestic flight to Heho. Proceed by road to Nyaung Shwe (25 km – 1 hour) – a gateway tonle Lake, a freshwater lake in the heart of Shan Highlands. Proceed by boat (approx. 30 mins) to your hotel on the lake. You’ll head to the center of Inle Lake in your private vessel, passing floating garden houses built on stilts, and the famous ‘leg-rowing’ fishermen who make their living from the lake’s plentiful supply of fish.
Visit a floating tomato garden. Meet the farmers and learn how they grow tomatoes and other plants on the lake.
Make lunch with a local Inthar family at their house next. Join them in their kitchen and learn about the ingredients and cooking of Inthar cuisine, before joining them at a traditional round table to enjoy the food.
This afternoon, visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.
Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Inle Lake.
After breakfast, see the lake’s lively morning market; where the community of the lake, including local hill tribes, all come to trade with each other. It’s a bustling centre of activity with many interesting sights.
From the market, we continue by boat to Khaung Daing village on the northwest coast of the lake. This village is famous for its traditional Shan tofu – fried tofu crackers and folded, triangular tofu treats. We’ll be able to watch (and perhaps participate!) as they sift the soy beans, boil them, mash them into balls then form tofu cakes to dry in the sun. This is a fabulous taste of local life on Inle Lake.
Proceed to Nyaung Shwe and visit Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery, which is located at the north eastern part of Inle Lake. Enjoy magnificent view of Inle Lake and its stilt villages while you taste Red Mountain Estate wines. You will also observe the grape varieties grown in the estate.
After the drive back to Nyaung Shwe, enjoy lunch at Viewpoint Restaurant, which serves some of the best Shan food in the country.
After lunch, you will visit 150 years old Shwe Yan Pyay monastery with its unusual oval shaped windows. Near by Shwe Yan Pyay pagoda has a cave like corridor, which is decorated with impressive glass mosaic. Transfer to Heho airport for your flight back to Yangon.
You are welcome at the airport and transfer to your hotel for check in. Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Yangon.
Meet an experienced local chef this morning. They will take you to a local market and help you to select ingredients to be used in cooking. After the market, head to Monsoon Restaurant where your chef will teach you how to make several Myanmar dishes. Once you’ve made your dishes, you can try them out for lunch.
Visit Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, where locals come to pay respect to the 70 meter reclining Buddha. There are some interesting murals here depicting the life of Buddha, which your guide will be happy to tell you about. Next, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered site in Myanmar. Walk around the huge complex and its 65 stupas. (Depend on your departure flight).
Free at leisure until you transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
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