Golden Trails of Myanmar

2016-06-29-09-38-06 

TOURS PROGRAMS | 24 MAY 16

Tour Code PMT/AD – 003 Duration 21 Days/ 20 Nights Destinations Yangon – Mawlamyine – GoldenRock – Bago – Yangon – Bagan – Monywa – Mandaly – Amarapura – Mingun – Ava – Inle – Kyaing Tong – Yangon Recommended Season October to April

Trip Overview: Taking in fascinating sights beyond the classic highlights, this in depth tour of Burma allows you to learn about authentic rural life of the Kalaw hill tribes, explore the fabled city of Mandalay, discover 1000’s of ancient temples, pagodas and stupas in Bagan and soak up the atmosphere at Inle Lake, all in the company of friendly and inviting locals.

Tour Highlights

Featured in the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Holidays in the World’ Visit Burma’s three major cultural centres: Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake A tour perfect for your second visit to Burma, or for someone who likes to go ‘off-the-beaten-track’ Explore little-visited caves and temples Soak up the atmosphere in Mawlamyine, known in Kipling’s day as Moulmein Visit rural villages, fascinating markets, beautiful temples, Buddhist monasteries and old palaces Exploration and trekking around Kyaing Tong ( Eastern Shan state knownas untouched corner of Myanmar ) Day 1: Arrive Rangoon Arrive in Rangoon and transfer to the hotel. The rest of day is free and leisure. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Inya Lake Hotel Included meals: Breakfast Inya Lake Hotel: Situated in 37 acres of lush gardens, the colonial styled hotel with its teakwood floors and oriental feel offers guests a comfortable stay. Rooms have views over the lake or gardens, and there is a pool, bar, tennis court and fitness centre available.

Day 2: Drive to Mawlamyine

Leaving Rangoon behind this morning you transfer to the city of Mawlamyine, situated around 300 km to the south-east, at the mouth of the Thanlwin River. If road conditions allow we travel by way of the Kawkung Natural Cave Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Mawlamyine Strand Hotel Included meals: Breakfast Mawlamyine Strand Hotel: The Mawlamyine Strand Hotel was completed in 2011, situated on the banks of the Thanlwin River with beautiful views of the sunset the western entrance. Rooms have satellite TV, air conditioning and WiFi.

Day 3: Bilu Island

Taking a ferry across to Bilu Gyun, Ogre Island you visit some of the local communities that lie along the Thanlwin River, and explore the villages where you see traditional craftsmen at work. This afternoon, back in Mawlamyine you visit Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery, one of the largest meditation centres in the country, the 100-year old Seindonn Minbaya Kyaung and watch the sun set from the 9th century Kyaikthanlan Phayar, the highest structure in the city. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Mawlamyine Strand Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Drive to Kyaikhtiyo

Departing Mawlamyine you transfer to Kyaikhtiyo, stopping en route at Thanbyuzayat the WWII cemetery. Dedicated to the prisoners of war who died building the infamous ‘Death Railway’, the cemetery contains the graves of over 3,700 Allied POWs. After an emotive visit to this site you continue on your journey to Kin Pun ‘base camp’ where, on arrival, you continue in an open truck up a steep 11km track to Yathetaung. From here you then walk for another 45 minutes to the mystical Mount Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) in time for sunset. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Mountain Top Hotel Included meals: Breakfast Mountain Top Hotel: Mountain Top Hotel provides panoramic views of the lush mountain ranges below. Rooms are simply furnished with hand crafted, solid teak furniture.

Day 5: Drive back to Yangon via Bago

Today you may have the opportunity to watch the sunrise from the pagoda platform, before driving back to Rangoon. You stop in Bago, founded in 573AD, the town is home to a number of sacred shrines and pagodas, including the Shwemawdaw Paya (the Golden God Temple) the tallest pagoda in the country, the Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha, the second largest in the world, and the Kyaik Pun Pagoda. If time allows you may also take a look around Bago’s local market, before continuing on to Rangoon. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Inya Lake Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Fly to Bagan; half-day sightseeing tour

Depart Rangoon and fly to Bagan. This afternoon visit some of Bagan’s most distinctive pagodas, including the Shwezigon Pagoda, the 13th century frescoes and cave temple of Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi, Ananda Pagoda, one of the best preserved monuments in the entire city and Htilominlo Temple which is known to be the last Myanmar style temple built in Bagan. Late in the day, watch the sunset from a panoramic viewpoint on one of the upper terraces overlooking the temple site. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in The Hotel @Tharabar Gate Included meals: Breakfast The Hotel @Tharabar Gate: Offering sophisticated Burmese design and with breath-taking views of Bagan, The Hotel @Tharabar Gate prides itself on personalised service. The hotel has a pool, spa and two restaurants.

Day 7: Sightseeing in Bagan, PM free

This morning you continue your exploration of Bagan with visits to the Sulamani Temple of King Narapatisithu and the finely crafted brickwork of the Dhammayangyi Temple, the largest shrine on the site. This afternoon has then been left free to explore at your leisure. You may wish to take a trip out to Mount Popa, Burma’s sacred abode of the Nats (spirit gods). Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in The Hotel @Tharabar Gate Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Irrawaddy Cruise to Pakkou. PM drive to Monywa

This morning you have a boat ride to Pakkou, a bustling tobacco trading centre on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. From here you continue by road for about three hours to Monywa, in the Chindwin Valley. This afternoon offers the chance to visit the colourful Thanbuddhay Pagoda, home to more than 500,000 images of Buddha, and the Hiaungdawmu Buddha, the second largest reclining Buddha in Burma. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Win Unity Resort Included meals: Breakfast Win Unity Resort: Modern in design with a Burmese touch, the family run Win Unity Resort offers four levels of individually decorated rooms within the landscaped gardens, including garden view and lake view rooms. The hotel also offers a pool and restaurant.

Day 9: Transfer to Mandalay

Crossing the Chindwin River this morning you visit the Po Win Daung Caves and Shwe Ba Daung. A system of 492 sandstone caves, containing around 450,000 paintings, statues and carvings, they represent what many experts believe to be the most comprehensive collection of Buddhist art anywhere in South East Asia. Continuing your journey by road to Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital, you stop en route in Monywee Kayemon village to visit a blacksmith and local cottage industries where they make slippers. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Shwe Inn Gyin Included meals: Breakfast Shwe Inn Gyin: Shwe Inn Gyin is located in the heart of Mandalay near Diamond Plaza and the central market, just a short walking distance to the Royal Palace. Rooms are comfortable and traditional in design and all equipped with air-conditioning, TV and WiFi. The hotel also offers a gym, bar and restaurant.

Day 10: Mingun and Mandalay

This morning you have a short cruise to Mingun village and the ruins of the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, although uncompleted, it would have been the world’s largest pagoda however building stopped with the death of King Bodawpaya in 1790. This afternoon return to Mandalay where you spend the afternoon exploring some of the city’s major highlights, including the world’s largest book at the Kuthodaw Pagoda and the intricate wooden majesty of the Shwenanda Monastery. You can also visit the craft shops where you can observe traditional and skilled goldleaf making, tapestry making and wood carving. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Shwe Inn Gyin Included meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Visit to Amarapura and Inwa

This morning drive to Inwa where you take a horse cart ride around the old city visiting the monasteries of Manu Ok Kaung and Bagaya Kyaung and the ‘Leaning Tower of Inwa’. In the afternoon you visit Amarapura the former royal capital, just to the south of Manadalay, perhaps best known for the 19th century, 1.2km teak footbridge that spans Lake Taungthaman. You also go to the Mahagondayon Monastery, one of the largest and most important religious sites in the city and visit some local cotton and silk weavers. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Shwe Inn Gyin Included meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Transfer to Kalaw

Departing Mandalay you transfer to the British colonial town of Kalaw, arriving late afternoon. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Hill Top Villa Included meals: Breakfast Hill Top Villa: Hill Top Villa covers seven acres of land, and has panoramic mountain views. The bungalow style rooms are cosy, and set within well-maintained gardens.

Day 13: Kalaw trekking to Painebin Palaung hilltribe village trek

Today you trek to Painebin village. Walking at an easy pace, you stop en route to see tea and cheroot cultivation, orange groves and vegetable gardens. Arriving at the village you will meet the traditional Palaung people and learn about their tribal customs. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Hill Top Villa Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Transfer to Inle Lake

This morning you have the opportunity of visiting the morning market and Nee Paya, a gold lacquered bamboo Buddha, before departing for Inle Lake. This afternoon take a long-tailed boat to Phaungdaw U Pagoda and a short visit to Leshae Village where you can see the making of Buddha images from dried flower powder, followed by a visit to Nga Phae Chaung Monastery (‘jumping cats’ monastery) and floating gardens. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Shwe Inn Thar Floating Resort Included meals: Breakfast Shwe Inn Thar Floating Resort: Shwe Inn Thar Floating Resort is located on Inle Lake, with rooms jutting out onto the lake. The main dining room, built in a traditional Burmese design from teak wood, is situated at the center of the resort and has fabulous sunset views. Facilities include a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, bar and restaurant.

Day 15: Sightseeing around Lake Inle Visit Indain

This morning take a boat trip up the small scenic creek that runs into Inle Lake, continuing to Indain on the west side of the lake, where you disembark and explore the 1000 stupas overlooking the lake. This afternoon proceed to Innpawkhone Village where you can see lotus and silk weaving crafts, followed by a visit to Nanpan to see traditional boat making, cheroot making factory and hopefully some local fishermen practicing their uniquely distinctive rowing technique. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Shwe Inn Thar Floating Resort Included meals: Breakfast

Day 16: Fly to Kyaing Tong

Departing Inle Lake you fly to Kyaing Tong. The remotely inhabited mountain valley if one of Burma’s most scenic areas, with colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and ethnic groups. This afternoon you have a visit to the Standing Buddha image, where Kyaing Tong was founded approximately one thousand years ago and arrive for sunset at One Tree Hill where a lone, 245 year old Kanyin-byu tree stands. The tree was planted by Alaungmintaya, the founder of Third Myanmar Empire. Overnight Authentic Level Hotel in Princess Hotel Included meals: Breakfast Princess Hotel: Princess Hotel is centrally located near to the main market and Mahamyatmuni Pagoda. The hotel offers basic, but comfortable rooms.

Day 17: Kyaing Tong – Loi-mwe sightseeing

Today you drive through Akhi village with a short stop to see village life, then continue through forests and terraced rice fields to Loi-mwe, meaning ‘misty mountain’ this small town sits 1600m above sea level. You will have guided walks around the villages and explore the native way of life. Overnight Authentic Level Hotel in Princess Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Kyaing Tong – Yangon

Today you visit PinTauk where you can visit Akha, Lahu and Ann minority groups, with their beautiful costumes, silver decorations and bamboo rings, each group is very different. Overnight Authentic Level Hotel in Princess Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 19: Kaying Tong –Yangon by flight

This morning you will have time to peruse the central market before a visit to Wat Jom Kham pagoda, a tall gilded stupa inlaid with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and jade. This afternoon fly back to Rangoon. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Inya Lake Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 20: Yangon

This afternoon walk down Pansodan Street to see the many colonial era buildings and colourful sidewalk markets. Also visit Chaukhtatgyi, a huge 70m reclining Buddha and Swedigon Pagoda for sunset views. Overnight Comfort Level Hotel in Inya Lake Hotel Included meals: Breakfast

Day 21

Unfortunately, time to leave Myanmar for your country
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