FEP-011 ( Cultural + Trekking Trip )

Day 1.ARRIVAL  YANGON

Upon arrival at Yangon International airport, welcomed by our tour guide, transferred to and check-in at the hotel. Afternoon visit to the most important Shwedagon Pagoda, almost 100-m high towering the sky line of Yangon, heavily gilt with 60 tons of pure gold, its 2 top most parts encrusted with over 4,000 pieces of diamonds, the biggest one weighing 76 carat and over 4,000 pieces of such very precious and semi-precious stones as ruby, sapphire, spinel, period, amethyst, etc., the best place to see the way of life of Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, then dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Yangon.

Remark: Shwedagon visit can be done on the next day based on your international flight time.

Day 2. 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 a street market in China Town, walk in & around the 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 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 Chaukhtatkyi Reclining Buddha Image, Scott or Bogyoke Market named after the then British Municipal commissioner Gavin Scott and later Burma national hero Aung San, Aung San Market, the night market on the strand street selling mainly food, dinner time and overnight at the hotel. B= Breakfast

Day 3.YANGON-BAGAN- SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, transfer to the Yangon Airport to take a morning flight to Bagan, morning visit there 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 lacquerware cottage industry to observe the process of making lacquerwares 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 4. BAGAN-SALE-BAGAN (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer from the hotel to the jetty to take a 4-hr leisure cruise down the Mighty Irrawaddy River to "Sale", a lovely city located on the shore of the Irrawaddy, well-known for its historic religious edifices together with some remaining colonial buildings. Explore Sale by having a stroll before or after lunch at the typical local Burmese Food restaurant there, to see Yoke-Son-kyaung, famous for its beautiful wood carvings, a complex of religious monuments, majority of them dating back to 13th centuries including one huge hollow Buddha Image made of Bamboo, several wooden monasteries in ruined state,and then back to Bagan by car for 2 hours or so, enjoying the scenery, time for dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bagan. B=Breakfast

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

Enjoy the balloon flight over ancient Bagan for the sunrise, 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, Remark; Ballooning for sunrise is optional

Day 6. BAGAN-MANDALAY-AMARAPURA SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, transfer to the Naung U Airport to take a morning flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival there, direct 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, such unique cottage industries as silk weaving , 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 7.MANDALAY -MINGUN-AVA SIGHTSEEING (B)

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 8.MANDALAY-HEHO-PINDAYA SIGHTSEEING (B)

Breakfast at hotel, transfer to the Mandalay 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 9. PINDAYA-ELEPHANT CAMP- KALAW 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. Then drive to Kalaw, which is also one of the hill stations designated by the British in their colonial days and many Nepalese who came to Burma with the British can still be seen there. Kalaw is also called the Pine Hill named after its thick forest of pine trees and it's 1,320 m above sea level and the weather is as nice as Pindaya. A nice walk starting from TheinTaung monastic compound, which is a view point overlooking the city, to the British built train station through the downtown of Kalaw is recommended, time for dinner and overnight in Kalaw. B=Breakfast

Day 10. KALAW-INLE TREKKING (B,L,D)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, a visit to the Kalaw central market, start our 1-night-2-day- Kalaw-Inle trek, after about 45-minute drive by car to the starting point to trek. Depending on paces, the trek will take 5 hours more or less for cir 20 km-trek-route, passing through the villages of Pa-O, Danu, Intha tribes, where one can observe their traditional ways of life enjoying the idyllic scenery of Shan Plateau where a great deal of plots of land are beautifully decorated with such seasonal vegetables as yellow sesame, rice plants, ginger, cauliflower, cabbages, chayote, gourds, pumpkin, etc., simple nutritious Lunch is on the way at one village and dinner is either at one village house or at a village monastery where we are staying for a night. B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 11. 1/2 DAY TREKKING- INLE (B,L)

After simple breakfast, start to trek for 4 hours in maximum, enjoying the ways of life of the villagers of the similar tribes, peaceful colourful beautiful scenery, lunch will be at our last village which will be either Thandaung or Taungbogyi, located on the west bank of the Inle Lake, from there by private boat to the hotel on the bank of the lake in Nyaungshwe, the gateway to the Inle Lake and leisure for the rest of the day at the hotel at Inle. B=Breakfast, L=Lunch

Day 12. INLE SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, by boat,  visit every-5-day market of the tribal people living in & around the lake to observe their ways of life before proceeding to 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 13. INLE-INDEIN- RED MOUNTAIN WINERY SIGHTSEEING (B)

 

After breakfast at hotel, about 1-hour boat drive to Indein Pa-O tribal village dotted with almost 2,000 pagodas in different sizes, dating  back to 17th , 18th  centuries, then time for lunch, after that visit Silversmiths’ village, arts & crafts shop where Padaung ladies dubbed  as long-necked,  can be seen/taken pictures together, then boat drive through the villages in the lake, watching the  traditional / modern way of fishing with 2-m-long-cone-shaped-bamboo fishing traps & with just a long net, also enjoying  the farmers taking the weeds from the lake bed, to be used as natural fertilizers for the farming on the floating gardens, to Minethuak village, where our car is waiting for us to visit the Red Mountain Winery  to observe the process of making wine plus for wine tasting enjoying the nice view there then back to hotel  before it’s too dark, dinner time and overnight at the hotel in Inle Lake. B=Breakfast

Day 14. HEHO-YANGON DEPATURE (B)

After breakfast & check-out at the hotel, transfer to the Heho airport to take a morning flight to Yangon to be in time there for your international flight to your next destination. B=Breakfast