FEP-008( Cultural Trip )

(Day 1 ) MANDALAY ARRIVAL

Upon arrival at Mandalay International airport, welcomed by our tour guide, transferred to check in & overnight at the hotel in Mandalay city, the rest of the day is leisure.

(Day 2) MANDALAY-AMARAPURA -MANDALAY SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, morning visit to Amarapura aka the City of Immortality, to observe Mahagandayon Monastery, a home for more or less 1,500 Buddhist monks for their preparation of the last meal of the day in long lines, silk weaving cottage industry, Mahamuni Bronze Buddha Image, marble quarter, Gold Leaf Beaters ‘, the only place in the world where the thinnest handmade gold leaf of Burma is produced and time for lunch. Afternoon visit in Mandalay to the Shwekyaung teak wood monastery with beautiful woodcarvings which is the only remaining building in good shape, from the last royal palace almost totally destroyed by allied bomb during the 2nd world war, Kuthodaw Pagoda (The biggest book in the world, the symbol of the 5th Buddhist Synod recently in the list of UNESCO world memory) and the Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view, time for dinner and overnight at the hotel in Mandalay.  B=Breakfast

(Day 3) MANDALAY -MINGUN-AVA SIGHTSEEING (B)

mingun

After breakfast at the hotel, morning visit to Mingun Village. It is about 10-minute-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, time for lunch. In the afternoon sightseeing, visit Inwa aka Ava village__ from Mandalay, it takes more or less 45-minutes by car to a small river, cross this river by a small ferry for 5 minutes or so, then explore Ava by horse & cart to experience the villagers’ way of life, together with some ruined but preserved 19th century religious monuments, such as Bagaya Teak wood monastery, the leaning watch tower for photo, Menu Brick monastery located in the palace complex in the paddy field, enjoy sunset  by boat at U Pein Bridge in Amarapura city then back to Mandalay and time for dinner and overnight at the hotel in Mandalay. B=Breakfast

(Day 4) MANDALAY-BAGAN- SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, transfer to to the Mandalay international airport to take a morning flight to Bagan, upon arriving there, morning visit in Bagan, starts with Shwesandaw Pagoda to enjoy the panoramic view of Ancient Bagan archaeological site, the massive 11th century Shwezigon Stupa, Nyaung-U farmers’ market, the most beautiful Ananda Temple, Myingaba Gupyaukgyi Temple with early 12th century murals, time for lunch. Afternoon visit to Bagan’s unique lacquer-ware cottage industry to observe the process of making lacquer-wares by hand without using any machines, then horse & cart drive for an hour or so in the ancient archaeological site through a local village to one temple to enjoy the sun down from its upper terrace, then drive back to the hotel, time for dinner and overnight at the hotel. B=Breakfast

Remark: For conservation reason by Archaeological Department, going up to the upper terraces of the pagodas in Bagan may not be permitted & in this case, man-made earth- mounds are to be used for panoramic view & sunset.

(Day 5) BAGAN -POPA-BAGAN -SIGHTSEEING (B)

bagan2

After breakfast at the hotel, a morning country car-drive to Mt.Popa, the oasis in the dry zone in the central Burma & the home for the pantheon of 37 Nats worshipped by most of the animists & Buddhists in Burma. It is 45-km to the south-east of Bagan, at least one hour by car. On the way, stop at a toddy-palm climber's hut to see how to tap sap from the toddy palm's fronds, how jaggery or palm sugar, liquor are made from toddy palm sap, how to make ox-pressed edible oil of sesame & peanut, and making toys from fresh tender toddy leaves, at Mt.Popa, walk up and down Popa Taungkalap, which is in the shape of a wine-glass  caused by a geological formation  during a volcanic eruption & a part of Mt. Popa and time for lunch, before driving all the way back to Bagan to be in time there for enjoying  a private local sunset cruise with light refreshments on the mighty Irrawaddy River and then time for dinner and overnight at the hotel. B=Breakfast

(Day 6) NYAUNG U-HEHO-PINDAYA SIGHTSEEING (B)

Breakfast at hotel, transfer to the Nyaung Oo airport to take the morning flight to Heho in Shan State and drive to Pindaya, from Heho Airport to Pindaya, it's 2-hr drive in maximum, the scenery on the way is breathtakingly beautiful and the whole land is seasonally covered with various kinds of such vegetables as potatoes, sesames, mustards, gingers, wheats, cauliflowers, cabbages, etc. Lunch will be at Pindaya, which is at an altitude of almost 1,200 m above sea level, before visiting Pindaya limestone cave with 8,000 Buddha images in different sizes, most of them are carved out of the natural lime stone cave, Shan paper umbrella making, a grove of huge banyan trees of more or less 500 years old, the idyllic Pone-ta-louk Lake which is part of the beautiful story of the evolution of the Pindaya village & its people, Danu tribe". Then time for dinner and overnight at hotel in Pindaya. B=Breakfast

(Day 7) PINDAYA-ELEPHANT CAMP-INLE LAKE SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, about 2 hours drive to the elephant camp near Kalaw where such activities as planting as a part of campaign for reforestation, feeding elephant, bathing them in a nearby stream, observe the paper making process from elephant's dungs, elephant clinic and a museum where a remaining skeleton of the dead elephant is displayed, etc., welcome drink plus lunch are given as a part of the package of the elephant camp visit. And then drive to the famous Inle Lake, cir 880 m above sea level, 22-km long and 11-km wide, noted for its floating gardens, unique leg rowers, fishermen fishing by traditional way, etc., on the way, make a photo stop at Shwe Yanpyay wooden monastery, built to commemorate the spot of the 1st meeting between the British Officials and the Saopha of Nyaungshwe in 1886, before proceeding to Nyaungshwe on the north bank of the Inle Lake, check-in at the hotel, dinner time and overnight there at the hotel in Inle lake. B=Breakfast

(Day 8) INLE LAKE SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, by boat, explore the villages of weavers (fabric made from lotus fibre thread, can only be seen in Inle Lake), blacksmiths, cheroot makers and boat-builders, then Phaungdawu Pagoda, which is well-known for its 18-day-long pagoda festival held yearly with great pomp and ceremony, in a long procession of beautifully decorated barges plus traditional long-flat-bottom racing boats roaming in the lake to the villages, making overnight stops there,traditional way of fishing can be seen on the way and time for lunch, after that a slow boat drive through the Kaylar village, which is built in the middle of the lake, also through the floating gardens of mainly tomatoes together with seasonal vegetables plus flowers, visit almost 200-year-old-ancient-Ngaphechaung-wooden monastery formerly known as jumping cat monastery (no more jumping cats there) to see the unique beautiful collection of Buddhist shrines made of intricate designs of wood-carvings & glass mosaic before driving  back to hotel, dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Inle Lake. B=Breakfast

(Day 9) INLE-INDEIN SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast at hotel, visit, by boat, every-5-day-tribal market to observe the way of life of the ethnic tribes , then about 1-hour boat drive to Indein tribal Pa-O village dotted with almost 2,000 pagodas in different sizes, which can be dated back to 17th, 18th centuries, then time for lunch, after that visit Silversmiths’ village, arts & crafts shop  where the Shan paper making process can  be observed & where Padaung ladies dubbed as long-necked, can be seen/taken pictures together, then drive all the way back to the hotel through traditional houses of the villages in the lake, which are built on the stilts in the water, arriving back at the hotel, time for dinner and overnight at the hotel. B=Breakfast

(Day 10) INLE -HEHO- YANGON_GOLDEN ROCK (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Heho Airport to take the morning flight to Yangon, from the Yangon airport, about 3 & ½ drive straight away to (a) the base camp of Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda aka Golden Rock, which is worldwide- known for its precarious balancing position on the edge of the base cliff connected with the main pagoda platform with the iron bridge. Then from (a) to Golden Rock Pagoda by a public hill-truck with the other passengers, it is about 45-minutes, if the traffic is clear. Check-in at the hotel, it is just 10-minutes-walk away from the hotel to the pagoda. It's a country drive from Yangon to the Golden Rock and on the sides of motor road, are the broad fields of mainly rice plantations and the scenery is idyllic, lunch will be on the way to Kyaikhto, dinner and overnight at the hotel at the Golden Rock. B=Breakfast

(Day 11) GOLDEN ROCK-BAGO-YANGON (B)

In the morning after breakfast, just 3-minute walk from the hotel to the hill truck station, from there by hill-truck, to the base camp ( 45-minute drive) and then leave for Bago, It's about 105-km, cir-2- hr drive (Kyaikhto-Waw-Bago ), where we have lunch and photo stop at Shwehmawdaw Pagoda, visit the reconstructed partially finished Kambawzathadi Palace originally built in 16th century, the symbol of the broadest 2nd Burmese empire of King Bayinnaung, 15-century Kyaikpun Pagoda with 4 gigantic- Buddha images seated back to back, Htaukkyan War Cemetery maintained by the British Commonwealth, then check-in at the hotel in Yangon, dinner time and overnight at the hotel. B=Breakfast

 

 

 

(Day 12) YANGON SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, start the full-day sightseeing in Yangon City, the name given by the founder of the Third Burmese Empire, King Alaungphaya, in 1755, symbolizing " the Peaceful City ", by paying a visit to China Town, Synagogue, walk in & around the downtown near Sule Pagoda dotted with the remaining British colonial buildings such as Yangon city hall, High Court, Post Office, Telegraph Office, Mahabandula park, etc., explore the Yangon river shore around Sintoutan Jetty by the Yangon River for the scenery & for observing the people at the grassroots level, time for lunch. Afternoon visit to the Bogyoke Aung San Market aka Scott's Market to see the everyday people life, 68m-long Chaukhtatkyi  Reclining  Buddha Image, 100-m-high Shwedagon Pagoda towering the sky line of Yangon, heavily gilt, decorated with pure gold plates, other precious, semi –precious stones & the best sight of Burma, dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Yangon. B=Breakfast

(Day 13) YANGON DEPARTURE (B)

 

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, transfer to the Yangon International Airport to be in time there for the International flight to your next destination. B=Breakfast