|Tour Name||:||Best of Burma|
|Program||:||8 Nights/ 9 Days|
|Destinations||:||Yangon/ Bagan – Mt. Popa/ Mandalay – Amarapura – Mingun – Saggaing/ Heho – Inle Lake|
Day 1: Arrive to Yangon
Arrival at Yangon International Airport where you will be welcomed by one of Tamarind’s staff and transfer to hotel.
- Walking tour in the heart of Yangon, where we will observe various architecture, and have opportunities to take photographs of Burma’s Capital.
Afternoon sightseeing includes:
- Visit to Bogyoke Market where local merchants offer Myanmar traditional silks, cotton, paintings, tapestries, handicrafts, silverware, lacquerware, national dress & ethnic fashions, gems & jewelry.
For your information, Tamarind does not work shopping tour. Our itineraries include visiting to markets, workshops that intend to have an observation of local trading trends, the process of art & craft, the ways how locals survive for their family living. If our guests are not interested in visiting those spots, please kindly skip the venues.
- Evening visit to Shwedagon Pagoda; the world famous golden stupa. Shwedagon at night affords magical views during the cooler temperatures of the evening when the crowds are fewer, and the atmosphere simply amazing.
- Visit to Kandawgyi Park.
Enjoy dinner at Karaweik Palace restaurant where you will enjoy a delightful dinner while you absorb an evening of traditional Myanmar dance and music.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon/ Bagan morning flight – Mt. Popa
A 70 min early morning flight to Bagan; the first and most beautiful capital of Myanmar.
- we will visit to Nyaung Oo Typical market to observe to the village people who live in the dry zone of Central Myanmar how they trade in lively morning to survive their daily life. Then, we will drive for an hour to Mt. Popa (4981 feet), an extinct volcano, with temperate weather and lush green landscape.
Lunch at Popa Mountain Resort restaurant.
- Afternoon, we will visit the villages around the area. Enjoy leisure evening with Mountain View.
Dinner at Popa Mountain Resort restaurant. Overnight in Popa.
Day 3: Mt. Popa – Bagan
On the way back to Bagan, we will observe the agrarian lifestyle of this region farmers extracting palm juice from palm trees and making a local favorite candy with the same palm juice called jaggery.
(Tamarind notes that palm farmers also produce a local alcoholic beverage made from palm juice called hten yay-also known as toddy juice.)
Spend the day visiting Bagan where guests will embark upon seeing the ancient temples that Bagan is renowned for:
- Shwezigon pagoda, an extraordinary example of the early style of the Myanmar stupa. During the construction of the Shwezigon, workers lined up and formed a chain nearly seven miles long from the Ayarwaddy River to the temple, where sandstone was laboriously passed from one worker to the other until it reached its destination. (Tamarind notes that visiting tourists said Shwezigon Pagoda is also interesting for original engineering wells).
- Htilo Minlo – a temple that is famed for its intricate carvings and named after King Nga Daung Mya who became a crown prince even though he was the youngest son among five brothers.
- Wetgyi-In Gu Byauk Gyi possess many fine mural paintings of jataka scenes. These mural paintings depict Buddha’s life.
- After lunch we will proceed to the work place of handmade lacquerware, and observe the detailed process of the making of Myanmar lacquerware & its products.
(Tamarind notes that the quality and craftsmanship of the handmade lacquerware of Bagan is the best in Myanmar.)
- Dhamayangyi temple is a massive temple inlaid with the finest brick work of its king. History states that the bricklayer’s work was tested by their boss, who would attempt to stick a pin through where the bricks conjoined; and if the pin penetrated this area, the laborers were sentenced to death by the order of the king.
- Anada temple is an architectural masterpiece and considered by some as the most beautiful in all of Bagan.
- Thatbyinnyu temple is the tallest of all Bagan temples.
- Shwesandaw Pagoda affording unequaled views of Bagan’s landscape at sunset or an hour boat trip along Ayarwaddy River affords inspiring views of the brick-hued pagodas and temples of sunset.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 4: Bagan/ Mandalay by morning flight
After arrival in Mandalay we will visit Amarapura, an 18th century capital of Myanmar.
- Maha Gandayon Monastery and observe the daily meal of over a thousand monks at the country’s largest Monastery. (Tamarind notes that though it is interesting to observe the monk’s prior to their daily meal-it is just as remarkable to watch the locals prepare the food and cook it in large vessels that sit atop fires stirred by oar sized spoons.)
- Next is a short drive to the famed U Bein Bridge; a 159 year old teak wood bridge-the longest teak bridge in the world.
- Amarapura is also known for its fine silk weaving, and after crossing the U Bein Bridge, we will have the opportunity to view a silk weaving work place; the craft specialty of Amarapura. It is not unusual to find the silk woven in Amarapura donned during many of Myanmar’s special occasions, such as a wedding ceremony or graduation.
Afternoon visit Mandalay:
- Maha Muni Imagethe most sacred Pagoda in Upper Myanmar, with its venerated legend known. After viewing Maha Muni Image.
- Zay Cho Market and see Mandalay’s special design textiles, foodstuff, gems & jewelry, Myanmar trading trends.
- Tapestry workshop where the finest tapestries in Myanmar are laboriously handmade with excellent attention to detail.
- Shwenandaw Monastery that was constructed by the last Myanmar King Thibaw, for the memorial of his late father King Mindon. This building is only one remain from Royal Palace which was relocated with same architecture style to commemorate the father king’s gratitude before British Annexation.
Other buildings inside Royal Palace were destroyed by British when they invaded & occupied to Mandalay city in 1885.
- Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 stone slabs of Buddha’s scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book).
- Mandalay Hill; enjoy the magnificent landscape over the city from this vantage point.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 5: Mandalay – Mingun – Saggaing
Transfer to the jetty for an hour boat excursion to Mingun village. Mingun stands on the bank of Ayarwaddy River and is 11 km away from Mandalay.
This trip will have a leisure moment as we will treat guests to a picnic with various food & drinks while enjoying a relaxing view along the Ayarwaddy River.
- We will observe bamboo rafts, birds, farms, locals fishing on small boats, and see how the people earn a living to support their families, and how they also enjoy their lifestyle.
- In Mingun we will disembark and proceed to the Mya Thein Dan Zedi that was built by the King of Saggaing, as memorial for his beloved wife (and late queen) who passed away one week after giving birth to their son. The views from atop this temple are refreshing and among the best in the region. (Tamarind notes that Mya Thein Dan Zedi is attractive to visitors with its structural combinations.)
- Mingun Bell. This bell weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest ringing bell that was cast in 1805 A.D.
After visiting Mingun, we will go back to Mandalay, on the way having lunch on boat. We will drive to Saggaing.
- Saggaing hill that is regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. Here is where learned teachers and novices take refuge in the Sacred Scriptures, the essence of Buddha’s teachings. Here they also practice what they preach, meditate, and lead a simple & peaceful life.
From this hill you can observe the pleasant panorama of the city and river.
- Next we will journey to the base of Saggaing and see a home for nuns and their life where we will seek permission from the chief nun to observe the daily work of these religious women.
- Then we will be back to Mandalay by car crossing the Bridge of Saggaing that was built over the Ayarwaddy River during the period of British Colonials.
- We will take a nice step at U Bein Bridge and enjoy sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 6: Mandalay/ Heho by morning flight – Inle Lake
After arrival Heho, an hour drive to Nyaung Shwe where is the gate way town to Inle Lake. We will transfer by boat to Inle Lake.
Inle Lake is 22×10 km, with an average depth of 6 meters. There are 64 villages and their inhabitants who reside on the lake in their homes that rest high above the water. It is not uncommon to see curious family members greet you with a wave of their hand and a smile as you pass by.
Inle is also called the “Venice of East” by visiting tourists.
- We will observe floating gardens at Inle as well as the lifestyle of these inhabitants who support their families by farming and fishing. If you observe carefully you will see the skilled boatmen paddle their craft with an oar by using their foot.
- Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and its 5 holy Buddha images. Every full moon day of October, the Pagoda Festival is celebrated here for 15 days and homage is paid to 19 villages at Inle Lake.
- Nga Phe Chaung Monastery; well-known for its 250 year old wooden architectural work of the among 100 monasteries on the lake, this Nga Phe Chaung Monastery is the most celebrated with its 150 to 200 pillars elaborated with wooden carving. This Monastery is also known as the “jumping cat monastery” where visitors are treated to a show that involves well trained felines.
Overnight at Inle Lake.
Day 7: Inle Lake
Our day will start at 8:00 AM to visit the village where colorful market day opens.
- The market day is set by the locals. We will see hill tribes trading their farm products of vegetables, fruits, sun dried tea leaves, art, works of wooden sculpture with their unique style in a bustling atmosphere.
We will proceed our visit to;
- Ywama village, floating gardens, a traditional weaving mill for Intha-textiles, silk weaving workshops; excellent work of shawls and robes with natural fibers produced from lotus flowers stems in natural color.
- Nampan village we will observe how Burmese Cheroots are produced primarily by young ladies using traditional methods. We will also visit a work place of Shan paper that is made from mulberry bark and transformed into Shan umbrellas and other beautiful products.
After lunch, we will go back to hotel relaxing and enjoy sunset from balcony at hotel.
Overnight at Inle Lake.
Day 8: Inle Lake – Heho/ Yangon
Transfer to Heho airport for an hour flight to Yangon. Free time before dinner where guests can relax and choose their activities such as swimming at the hotel pool, shopping, or seeing more of this wonderful city. A private car is available for guests if needed.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 9: Depart from Yangon
Transfer to airport.