- Discover the capital city of Myanmar Last Dynasty, Mandalay
- Learn about the remains of Royal Palace and an ancient wooden monastery
- Experience the nature of Wildlife – Elephants in Shan State
- Enjoy the beautiful hilly sceneries in the foggy little town of Kalaw
Curious about the culture and natural resources in Mandalay, the former royal capital of Burma? Mesmerised by Mingun Bell, one of the largest intact bells in existence? Can’t wait to go trekking in Sagaing Hills, dotted by countless white-washed pagodas and old wooden monasteries in Ava- the ancient imperial capital 14th to 19th centuries?
Feel the lifetime experience with wild life – elephants. Capture the beautiful scenes of hills in foggy little town of Kalaw and Inle Lake- one of the remarkable destinations, popular for the traditional unique leg-rower style and handicraft workshops.
Day 1: Mandalay Arrival
Mangalarbar! Upon arrival to Mandalay International Airport, our experienced guide with a wealth of knowledge on Myanmar will warmly welcome you. Your first day in Myanmar begins with the former Royal Capital of Burma with a visit of Mahamuni Pagoda. The Pagoda with the massive image residing inside is one of the most significant religious sites in Myanmar and the temple was built in 1785 by King Bodawpaya during Konebaung dynasty. The Buddha image was in fact a war trophy grabbed from the Arakan Kingdom. Kuthodaw Pagoda, will be your second destination. Situated at the base of southeast stairways of Mandalay Hill, the pagoda is a great place to get an impression of what the Royal Palace once must have looked like and the 729 marble slabs in the pagoda precincts engraved with Buddhist scriptures are said to be world’s largest books. Go and have a good read! Afterward, a 15 mins drive will take you to Shwenandaw monastery, to learn about the rich culture of teak wood architecture in mid- 19th century. Your guide will lead you to a tasty local restaurant to have the local authentic lunch. After lunch, you will continue to Kyauktawgyi pagoda, built by King Mindon in 1853. The inspiration for the pagoda’s structure came from Ananda Temple, an epitome of 12th century classic architecture in Bagan. The Buddha image at the pagoda was sculpted from one single block of Marble. Then, saunter off to the gold leaf workshop to observe the process of making gold leaf and your evening will conclude with an enchanting panoramic view from Mandalay Hill. Enjoy your night at hotel in Mandalay.
Day 2: Mingun and Inwa (AVA) Sightseeing
After breakfast at your hotel, around 08:00 am, our local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and take you on a boat ride of about an hour to explore the landmark of Mingun: the Mingun Bell. The bell weighs more than 87 tons and is the world’s largest intact bronze bell. A mere minute away, the impressive Mingun Pagoda (Mingun Pathodawgyi) greets you; two large earthquakes did considerable damage to it during the 1838 earthquake, breaking off the heads of the giant lions statue (Chinthes) and rolling them into the Ayeyarwaddy River. Large cracks appeared in the pagoda’s structure. Another famous landmark, Myatheindan Pagoda, stands out from the rest with its stunning white color and you may view the Interesting architecture and enjoy the view from the top. Return to Mandalay by boat. Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, a 45-minute drive will take you to Inwa, 30 km away from Mandalay city. Inwa is famous for its status as an ancient imperial capital from the 14th to the 18th centuries. Tour around Maha Aungmye Bonzan – a brick and stucco monastery, Nanmyin Watchtower and wooden Bagaya Monastery by pony cart. In the evening, drive to U Bein Bridge, which is located 11 km from the south of Mandalay, the longest teak wood bridge in the world. About a thousand teak pillars and thousands of wooden planks still keep the bridge standing proud and tall. You can enjoy the enchanting sunset view walking along the bridge. The tour will end at 18:00. Enjoy your night at hotel in Mandalay.
Day 3: Mandalay – Kalaw (Private Vehicle)
After breakfast, our guide will meet you in the hotel lobby around 8:00 am and start traveling overland to soak up the picturesque countryside of the Shan States. On the way, you can discover the rustic local life and customs while passing through some villages and stop by in a local restaurant to enjoy Shan traditional lunch. After approximately 6 hours’ drive (270km), you will reach the peaceful town of Kalaw, a former British colonial hill station. Enjoy a peaceful walk through this little town with its colonial houses and fragrant pine trees. Enjoy your night at a hotel in Kalaw.
Day 4: Kalaw (Elephant Camp - Green Hill Valley)
After breakfast at a hotel, around 8:00 am, our station guide in Shan State will meet you in the hotel lobby and take you on a tour to Magwe, the Green Hill Valley located 30 km from North-West of the Kalaw. Walk up to the camp center, meet the mahouts and attend a briefing about the project. Then walk down to the river to join the activity of daily bath and feeding of the elephants. Explore the forest area where you will have an opportunity to see butterflies, birds and orchids in the conservation zones. In the afternoon, before returning to Kalaw, explore the area on foot and learn about developments in growing trees in the region. Enjoy your night at a hotel in Kalaw.
Day 5: Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung (Train), Inle Lake
After breakfast, around 8:00 am, our guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and take you to the train station of Kalaw. Board a local train on a trip to the village of Shwe Nyaung. It takes about 3 hours. The scenic route will allow you to witness the daily life of the region’s inhabitants. Go on by car to the village of Nyaung Shwe (35-minute drive), which is the gateway to Inle Lake. Experience a local village market and wander through the small, but charming stalls. Your guide will lead you to a local restaurant for lunch. Jump on a local boat to the hotel on the lake. Enjoy your night at a hotel on Inle Lake.
Note: the train schedules are unpredictable; in case of long delays, the journey will be continued by car.
Day 6: Inle Lake Sightseeing
After breakfast at hotel, around 8:30 am, our guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and an excursion by boat on Inle Lake will include sights of the famous leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and village life. The lake is the second largest in Myanmar providing freshwater, measuring 22km x 10 km. Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the most famous landmark of Inle, is the next stop. Phaungdaw Oo pagoda festival is held every year in Oct when people place the four out of five resident Buddha Images on the barge designed as a Hintha bird, taking them on a tour around Inle Lake for several days to be revered by the devoted and the faithful. It is believed that one image out of five always has to remain at the Pagoda. The legend has it that, in the 1960s, all five Buddha Images were placed on the barge for a tour around Inle Lake. Squalls rose and enormous waves appeared around Inle Lake, overturning the barge and plunging the images into the lake. After an intensive search, only four images were recovered. People were awed to find lost fifth image sitting at its place. So, the image was always left behind on any tour.
You will have lunch at local restaurant and learn about the weaving village of Inpaw Khon, famous for its looms and multi-colored fabrics made from bamboo poles lashed together with rope. Nampan village- famous for cheroot (traditional cigarette) factories and traditional blacksmith workshops located in Se-khong village, produces knives and farming tools. After these places of interest, a trip back to the hotel follows. Enjoy your night on Inle Lake.
Day 7: Samkar (Sagar) Sightseeing
After breakfast at hotel, around 8:30 am, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and take a boat trip to Samkar where sunken stupas, 108 old stupas often flooded by water, greets you with its natural beauty, friendly people, local lifestyles and serene waterways which will no doubt make this day trip an unforgettable adventure. The boat journey will take 2.5 - 3 hours but it is full of fabulous views and it is certainly an opportunity to visit the home of many unique species of birds. Discover villages such as The Shan, Pa-O and Intha and observe the life style of ethnic minority groups. Your lunch will be at local restaurant. After lunch, stop at the Taung Toe Village and visit its old pagodas and pass Kyaing Kan village where they weave monk's robes from fibers pulled from the stems of lotus plants. Spend time to walk around old ruins. Return to your hotel and enjoy your night on Inle Lake.
Day 8: Inle Lake, Heho – Yangon (Flight)
After breakfast at hotel, our guide will meet you in the hotel lobby. After a 30-minute boat ride, you are back to Nyaung Shwe jetty, transferring to Heho airport for a flight to Yangon (approximately 1 hour and 10 min). On arrival in Yangon, be welcomed by our tour guide and head downtown to start a city tour beginning with the extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda. The 2,500 year-old Shwedagon Pagoda enshrines strands of Buddha's hair and other holy relics. It is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of Myanmar. Continue on to Chauk Htet Gyi pagoda, one of the famous reclining Buddha images in Myanmar and the pagoda was donated by Sir Pho Thar Gyi in 1907. Sule Pagoda, located in the heart of downtown Yangon. According to legend, it was built before Shwedagon Pagoda, making it more than 2500 years old. Your tour will end at 17:00. Enjoy your night at hotel in Yangon.
Day 9: Yangon Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, around 8:00 am, our tour guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and take you to Kheng Hock Keong Temple in China-town. It is the largest and oldest temple to Chinese sea-goddess Mazu in Yangon. Explore Yangon, browsing through the Chinese and Indian districts and the colonial building areas with its old houses, post offices, and the famous Strand hotel. Transfer to Yangon international airport for your departure flight.
What is included in the tour
- All sightseeing tour and transfer services with private air conditioned car as detailed in our itinerary
- Accommodation with breakfast at 3* hotels as specified
- Domestic flight tickets and airport taxes
- Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally stationed guides
- All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program
- Boat trip Mingun and Inle Lake
- Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung Public train ticket
- Package fees for Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
- Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
- If there are 16 people and above we will grant 1 FOC for tour leader in single room.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Services not mentioned in our itinerary
- Lunch and dinners for the whole trip
- Myanmar Visa fees
- International flight tickets to and from Yangon
- Expenditure of a personal nature (Such as: uses of mini-bar and refrigerator, laundry service, telephone call and etc...)
- Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness)