DAY-2, YANGON SIGHTSEEING (B)
After breakfast, today sightseeing in Yangon City, founded by King Alaungphaya in 1755, symbolizing " the Peace ", includes a street market in China Town, Synagogue, a walk around downtown near Sule Pagoda dotted with such remaining British colonial buildings as Yangon city hall, High Court, Mahabandula park, Telegraph Office, Post Office, etc., explore the scenic Yangon River shore around Sintoutan Jetty and observe the grass-roots level people there before lunch. Afternoon visit to the Bogyoke Aung San Market aka Scott's Market, 68m-long Chaukhtatkyi Reclining Buddha Image, 100-m-high Shwedagon Pagoda, heavily gilt, decorated with pure gold plates, precious, semi –precious stones, dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Yangon.
Day-3, YANGON-AMARAPURA-MANDALAY (B)
After breakfast & check-out, transfer to the Yangon Airport for a morning flight to Mandalay, direct visit en route in the Immortal Amarapura city, to Mahagandayon Monastery of cir 1,500 Buddhist monks in their preparation for the last meal of the day in long lines, a silk weaving cottage industry, then Gold Leaf Beaters‘, the only manufacturing place in the world of the thinnest handmade Burma’s gold leaf before lunch. Afternoon visit in Mandalay to the Shwekyaung teak wood monastery, the only remaining building from the Mandalay Palace with beautiful woodcarvings, UNESCO’s-world-memory Kuthodaw Pagoda aka the world’s biggest book, the Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view, check in & overnight at the hotel in Mandalay.
Day-4, MANDALAY-MINGUN-U PEIN BRIDGE-MANDALAY (B)
After breakfast, morning visit to Mingun Village. It’s 10-minute-car drive from the hotel to Mandalay jetty, take a private chartered boat there for 1-hr cruise up the Irrawady River, then on foot to visit such sites as Mingun Unfinished Pagoda, 90-ton-weighed Mingun Bronze Bell, Myantheindan aka Hsinphyume Pagoda with nice view up there, an Ox & cart drive for fun, then cruise back to Mandalay for 45-minutes, lunch time. Afternoon visit to Mahamuni Bronze Buddha Image before enjoying the sunset by boat at U Pein Bridge in Amarapura city then back to Mandalay, dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Mandalay.
DAY-5, MANDALAY-BAGAN (DAY CRUISE) (B,L)
After breakfast & check-out, enjoy the Mandalay-Bagan stately cruise which takes about 10 hours, it’s a relaxing voyage to enjoy the beautiful scenery on both sides of the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Taking such a voyage, one can understand how important & useful the river is for the people living off it. The holy River, which begins & ends in Burma, plays a very important role in the civilizations of Burmese people. After reaching Bagan, the renowned archaeological site in Southeast Asia for its late 11th, 12th and 13th centuries religious monuments, drive to check-in at the hotel in Bagan, dinner time and overnight stop there.
Remark: One riverside village at off-the-beaten-track is to be explored. B=Breakfast, L=Lunch on board the boat,
DAY-6, BAGAN SIGHTSEEING (B)
After breakfast, morning visit in Bagan includes Shwesandaw Pagoda to enjoy the panoramic view, the 11th century Shwezigon Stupa, Nyaung-U farmers’ market, the most beautiful Ananda Temple, Myingaba Gupyaukgyi Temple with early 12th century murals, lunch time. Afternoon visit to Bagan’s unique lacquerware cottage industry to observe the hand-made lacquer-wares process, horse & cart drive for an hour in the ancient archaeological site through a local village to one temple to enjoy the sun down from its upper terrace, then back to the hotel, dinner time and overnight in Bagan.
Remark: For conservation reason, if going up to the upper terraces of the pagodas in Bagan isn’t permitted, man-made earth- mounds must be used for panoramic view & sunset. B=Breakfast
DAY-7, BAGAN-POPA-BAGAN (B)
After breakfast, a morning country 1-hour-car-drive to the extinct volcano “ Mt.Popa “, 45-km to the south-east of Bagan, the oasis in the dry zone & the home for the pantheon of 37 Nats. Stop en route at a toddy-palm climber's hut to see how to tap sap from the toddy palm's fronds, how palm sugar, liquor are made from the sap collected, how to make ox-pressed sesame, peanut cooking oil, making toys from toddy leaves, at Mt.Popa, walk up and down the wine-glass shape Popa Taungkalap , lunch at Popa Mountain Resort enjoying the fantastic panoramic view before driving back to Bagan to enjoy a private local sunset cruise with light refreshments on the Irrawaddy River, dinner time and overnight at the hotel.
DAY-8, BAGAN-INLE LAKE (B)
After breakfast & check-out, transfer to the Bagan Airport for a morning flight to Heho in Shan State, 1-hour-car drive to the Inle Lake of 45 square miles, noted for its floating gardens of mainly tomatoes with other seasonal vegetables plus flowers, unique leg rowers, fishermen fishing by traditional way, etc.,. On the way, visit Shwe Yanpyay wooden monastery & pagoda of glass mosaic, built to commemorate the 1st meeting venue between the British Officials and the Saopha of Nyaungshwe in 1886. Visit by boat the villages of weavers well-known for lotus-fabrics, blacksmiths, cheroot rollers, boat-makers, then drive to the hotel through the floating garden, dinner time and overnight at the hotel.
Day-9, INLE-INDEIN SIGHTSEEING (B,D)
After breakfast, by boat, visit the tribal people’s every-5-day market before proceeding for 1-hour-boat drive to explore on foot the Indein Pa-O tribal village dotted with almost 2,000 pagodas of 17th, 18th centuries in different sizes, lunch time, explore Silversmiths’ village, arts & crafts shop where there are long-necked Padaung women, the well-known Phaungdawu Pagoda, then a boat drive through the stilt Inthas’ villages in the lake, watching the traditional / modern way of fishing, enjoying the farmers taking the weeds from the lake bed, to be used as natural fertilizers for farming on the floating gardens, visit 200-year-old-ancient-Ngaphechaung-wooden monastery housing a beautiful collection of Buddhist shrines decorated with wood-carvings & glass mosaic, drive back to hotel, dinner time and overnight in Inle Lake.
Day-10, INLE-SAMKA-PHEKHON-LOIKAW (B)
After breakfast & check-out, 4-hour-boat drive southward to Phekhon in the enchanting waters of the Inle Lake enjoying the authentic jaw-dropping scenery. After 2-hour drive or so, visit Samka village , Tharkong village respectively on the east & west bank of the Inle Lake, dotted with lots of mostly 16th, 17th century pagodas in different sizes, some of them are in the water, local brewery, lunch time, then proceed to Phekhon City , on the way, stop at one village monastic school to observe how our education system is related to the Buddhist monastic life since time immemorial, then 45- minute Phekhon-Loikaw car drive and enjoy sunset at Taungkwe Zedi offering 360 degree bird's eye view of Loikaw, dinner time and overnight in Loikaw.
Day-11, LOIKAW-PANPET SIGHTSEEING (B)
Morning sightseeing in Loikaw after breakfast, includes the central Loikaw market, Taguntaing/ Banner or Totem Posts of animism, the ancient Haw or the remaining palace of the former Kayah Saopha, which is nowadays used as a Buddhist monastery, the Kayah cultural museum, weaving cottage industry, time for lunch, then 1-hour- or-so-car-drive from Loikaw to Pan-pet village of Kayan Padaung tribe, where there are quite a number of Kayan - Padaung women in their traditional dress & brass rings around their necks, legs and wrists, have a stroll there for an hour or so to observe their way of life before driving back to Loikaw, dinner time and overnight there.
Day-12, LOIKAW-YANGON-GOLDEN ROCK (B)
After breakfast & check-out , transfer to the Loikaw Airport for a morning flight to Yangon, thence-from about 4-hr-countryside-car-drive to (a) the Kinpun base camp of the worldwide-known Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda with its precarious balancing position on the the base cliff edge connected with the main pagoda platform with the iron bridge, to take 45-minute-public-open-hill-truck to (b) the hill-truck station near the Golden Rock Pagoda. Then 3-minute-walk to the hotel for check-in, which is 10-minutes-walk away from (c) the Kyaikhtiyoe pagoda. En route to Golden Rock, visit the Golden Banyan Tree, the Htaukkyan War Cemetery well-maintained by the British Common Wealth, Kyaikpun Phaya with 9.5-m- high-4-seated-Buddha images, lunch is on the way to Kyaikhto, dinner at the hotel and overnight at the Golden Rock.
Remark: The main thing today is the sunset at Golden Rock.
Day-13, GOLDEN ROCK-BAGO-YANGON (B)
After breakfast & check-out, 5-minute walk from the hotel to the public-hill truck station for the 45-m-truck drive to the base camp, leave for Bago in our waiting car down there__ about 105-km, 2-hr drive__, along the Kyaikhto-Waw-Bago route, visit en route the rubber plantation to see how the rubber sap is collected to make the rubber sheets, photo stop at the dry fish village at Waw City. In Bagao, before or after lunch, a photo stop at Shwehmawdaw Pagoda, visit the reconstructed partially finished Kambawzathadi Palace, the symbol of the broadest 16th century 2nd Burmese empire, Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha, then 2-hour drive to Yangon along the Bago-Helgu-Yangon route of 80-km, time for dinner and check-in & overnight at the hotel in Yangon.