|Tour Name||:||Colorful Myanmar|
|Program||:||12 Nights/ 13 Days|
Yangon/ Bagan – Mt. Popa/ Mandalay – Amarapura – Mingun – Pyin Oo Lwin/ Heho- Pindaya – Inle Lake
Day 1: Arrive to Yangon
Arrival at Yangon International Airport where you will be welcomed by Tamarind’s tour guide 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.
- Visit to Chauk Htut Kyi Reclining Buddha Image where we can observe the 108 Noble signs of Buddha’s foot print which are shown only on the feet of enlighten one.
- Evening visit to Shwedagon Pagoda the world famous golden stupa.
Enjoy dinner at Karaweik Palace restaurant where you will enjoy a delightful dinner while you absorb an evening of traditional Myanmar dance and Myanmar saing (a circle of Myanmar drums).
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon/ Bagan by morning flight – Mt.Popa
A 70 min early morning flight to Bagan; the first and most beautiful capital of Myanmar. Bagan is one of the Asia’s most amazing and richest archaeological sites. Situated on the eastern bank of the Ayarwaddy River in the dry zone of Central Myanmar, covering an area of 42 sq. km.
- After arrival to Nyaung Oo Airport, we will visit to Nyaung Oo Typical Market: the morning market is lively with tropical products trading of variety of beans, sesame, vegetables, flowers, bamboo wares and colorful emotions of vendors which is really attractive to visitors.
- Then, we proceed to Mt. Popa (4981 feet), an extinct volcano, with temperate weather and lush green landscape. At the base of Mt. Popa rests the stunning Taung Ka Lat (2417 feet) where the Popa Temple sits atop. There is an iron staircase that ascends to the Popa temple where you will encounter shops of flowers, refreshment sellers, local goods as well as some local wildlife along the way.
- (Please kindly be aware that there are many monkeys playing on the stairs way – if you would like not being teased by monkey, please skip this ascent!)
- The scenery from the apex is truly fascinating where you can view the stunning Mount Popa and the enormous flat plains that lead to Bagan.
- Afternoon, we will visit the villages around the area and observation to a garden of medicinal plants. Enjoy an evening of leisure with amazing Mountain Views from your balcony.
Overnight in Popa.
Day 3: Mt. Popa – Bagan
En route to Bagan, we will observe the agrarian lifestyle of this regional farmers extracting palm juice from palm trees and making a local favorite candy with the same palm juice called jaggery.
Bagan is well preserved with its ancient pagodas and temples of 11th to 13th century A.D. when over two thousand stupas and temples were built during the great dynasty according to Burma’s Archeological Department.
Among the numerous monuments, we will visit to the most remarkable of these temples and stupas.
We will visit to Ananda Temple: It is one of the most impressive and exquisite monuments of Bagan. It was built by King Kyansittha in 1091 A.D.
- Ananda is the best preserved example of Bagan architecture. Both on the exterior and interior, you can see finely carved stones, plaster and wood, witnessing the superb craftsmanship of the masters of Bagan.
- Dhamayangyi Temple: It is the biggest temple in Bagan built by King Narathu.
After lunch we will proceed to the work place where lacquerware is hand-made, and observe the detailed process of the making of Myanmar lacquerware-which is some of the finest produced in the world. (this venue is optional)
We will check-in at hotel and take a rest in the afternoon.
- Htilominlo Temple: It was named after its builder, King Nadaungmya. According to the chronicles, the king built this temple on the spot where he was chosen as the crown prince out of five sons of King Narapatisithu.
- Thabyinnyu Temple: Thabyinnyu was built in 1144 AD by King Alaungsithu, the noted sea-traveler of the dynasty. It is about 201 feet (61 meters) high and the tallest in Bagan.
- Thanyinnyu Temple was one of the good points to watch sunset of Bagan Plain. Due to her preservation, it has recently been prohibited to climb to the top of this wonder.Shwesandaw Pagoda: This pagoda is the first architecturally developed Bagan stupa. Popular belief is that it was built by King Anawrahta to enshrine the “Sacred hair Relic” brought back to Bagan after the raid on Thaton, which had been presented to him by the king of Pegu. The Shwesandaw is not only a giant reliquary, built to hold a prize, but a monument to a successfully completed military campaign and symbols of Bagan’s transition from the parochial to the imperial.
- The Shwesandaw is the first stupa in Burma, shaped like a pyramid, with tall and steep terraces, that have medial stairways. After observing Thabyinnyu, we will take a horse cart to the Shwesandaw Pagoda affording unequaled views of Bagan’s landscape. We will climb up the brick stairs where we will enjoy the most magnificent sunset in Bagan-providing you with an unforgettable memory.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 4: Bagan – visiting to villages seeing rural life
If you are early riser, we will enjoy the sunrise from one of the significant temples offering panorama view of magnificent Bagan. We should be there by 0545AM. You will be amazed of the contrast between the sunset and sunrise in Bagan-the soft light morning rays are amazingly beautiful as the colors reflect and change over the vast landscape.
We will go back to hotel, have breakfast and have some time to refresh.
We will visit to Shwezigon Pagoda; originally name “Land of Victory”. In Bagan, most of the monuments were built of brick, but Shwezigon Pagoda was built using sandstone from the quarry at Turintaung Ranges which is seven miles away from Shwezigon. This was done utilizing the old-fashioned human chain as this was handed from one person to the other until it reached its final destination.
- Wetgyi-in Gyubyaukgyi Temple: it was built in early 13th century by a son of King Kyansittha. There is large shrine room attached to a smaller antechamber. This temple is known for its well preserved colorful wall paintings depicting scenes from the 550 jatak life stories of Buddha. Many of the scenes, however, were stolen in 1899.
- Kyansittha Umin or Kyansittha cave tunnel: it is low-lying and dark in the interior. The cave tunnel was used as residence for monks or as retreat for recluse hermits. Fading sketch of a Mongol solider who invaded and conquered Bagan can still be seen on the wall of the cave.After lunch, we will visit to the villages around to see the rural life of tropical people.
- Myinkabar village – There are over 500 lacquareware artists in Bagan. The way of living of Myinkabar village people is mainly home to the production of lacquareware – a true Burmese tradition whose historical techniques are passed from generation to generation.
- Minanthu village – We will continue visit to Minanthu village for an extra day after Bagan visiting. It is a 20 minute drive from Bagan.
- We can observe the lifestyle of this Dry Zone and see how they survive for daily life, workplaces of spin, oil-press with ox driven from peanuts, sunflowers seeds, sesame seeds, heat iron tire and fit on the cart wheel, the feature of upcountry village homes, how they get drinking water as there is very dry zone. The visit will take us for half day.
- We will come back to Bagan, and transfer to Ayar Jetty. We will take an hour-long boat excursion along the Ayarwaddy River affording you inspiring views of the brick-hued pagodas and temples of sunset.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 5: Bagan / Mandalay by morning flight
After arrival in Mandalay we will visit Amarapura, an 18th century capital of Myanmar.
- We will visit to Maha Gandayon Monastery and observe the preparation and serving a daily meal for over a thousand monks at the country’s largest Monastery.
- Observation to Silk weaving; 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.
Lunch in Mandalay. Afternoon visit in Mandalay includes:
- Maha Muni Image; the most sacred Pagoda in Upper Myanmar,
- Gold leaf workshop that we can see only in Mandalay,
- Tapestry workshop where we can observe the finest tapestries in Myanmar, we can see only in Mandalay,
- Shwenandaw Monastery, a masterpiece of historic wood carvings from the era of the last Burmese King,
- Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 stone slabs of Buddha’s scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book). Then, we will drive to Mandalay Hill; enjoy the magnificent landscape from this vantage point.
Day 6: Mandalay – Mingun by boat
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.
- We will observe bamboo rafts, birds, farms, locals fishing on small boats, and see how the people who live adjacent the river earn a living to support their families, and how they also enjoy their lifestyle.
Mingun sightseeing includes;
- Pa Hto Daw Gyi Pagoda, 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.
- Mingun Bell – this bell weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest ringing bell that was cast in 1805 A.D.
- After lunch in Mandalay, we will go back to hotel and take a rest in the afternoon. We walk along the U Bein Bridge; a 158 year old teak wood bridge-the longest teak bridge in the world, to enjoy a stunning sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 7: Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin
We will take a 2 hours scenic drive to Pyin Oo Lwin – over 2000 feet above sea level-and because of its temperate climate you will see the variety of plants, fruits and vegetables grown in this region.
- It was originally called May Myo (May-town), after Colonel May of the 5th Bengal Infantry. The town was founded in 1896, as a hill station where the colonial government could come to escape from the heat of lower and upper Burma. After the construction of the railroad from Mandalay, May Myo became the summer resort for the British colonial administration, to the end of British rule in 1948.
- The name was changed after British departed to Pyin Oo Lwin means City of Flowers. Colonial buildings remain, the families of decendents of the Indian and Nepali workers who came here to lay the railway line and construct the road to Lashio still live in the peaceful town.
- Pwe Kauk Water Falls called Hampshire Falls in British times. We will enjoy lunch at local Restaurant provides Southern Indian Style cuisine.
- A visit to the market and see Shan style antique shops, sweater knitting, vegetables, and flowers of roses & dahlias. Purcell Tower-a 75 feet high clock tower built in 1936 that still chimes every 15 minutes.
- Taking a horse cart to Cadacraige House built in 1904, accommodating for the British Officers who worked for Bombay Burma Timber Company during their summer holiday.
- And proceed to Botanical Garden – was built under the direction of Colonel May utilizing Turkish prisoners of WWII. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Day 8: Pyin Oo Lwin – Goak Htake Bridge by train
Visit to Goak Htake Bridge by train. The Goke Htake Bridge is erected in 1901 by an American company know as the Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge and Construction Company, completed in 1913. It is 2260 feet long and 320 feet high above a natural limestone rock with a huge cavern under it.
The Rock itself is 550 feet high above the stream that flows under the rock. It could be considered as an masterpiece of British and American engineer’s joint work. When we passed through the bridge, it will offer us amazing surprise of over 109 years old technical work.
The vehicle will wait for us at Nyaung Paing Station.
- En route back to Pyin Oo Lwin by car, observe beekeepers working their trade roadside-and sample the raw pure honey here while stretching your legs.
Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Day 9: Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay/ Heho by morning flight – Pindaya
2 Hours drive to Mandalay airport, take a 30 minute flight to Heho.
- After arrival to Heho Airport, we will take a 2 hour scenic drive to Pindaya where 5200 ft above sea level, a small town with its tranquility.
- The road to Pindaya is colorful with red soil, plantation of sunflowers, potatoes, seeing the people who works at their fields on side of the road, pine forests, it will be pleasure driving to passing thru the villages of Dhanu, Taung yo, Pa-O hill tribes.
We will check-in at hotel, enjoy lunch at hotel restaurant, take a few leisure time.
- Pindaya Cave which is natural cave made of limestone, there is over 8000 collection of Buddha images made from teak, brick, lacquer, alabaster which have been placed there over the centuries.
- Botaloke Lake, Shwe Umin Pagoda, hill tribe home observing the lifestyle of Dhanu, Taung Yo, Pa-O people.
Overnight in Pindaya.
Day 10: Pyindaya – Inle Lake
We will visit to Pyindaya morning market.
Proceed to Nyaung Shwe (approximately 2 hour drive). Upon arrival in Nyaung Shwe we will board a boat that will take us to a stunning hotel that has a great vantage point for some of the best sunsets in the region.
- 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.
- We will observe the lifestyle of these inhabitants who support their families by farming and fishing.
- Afternoon sightseeing 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.
- We will visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and its 5 holy Buddha images. Every full moon day of September or October, the Pagoda Festival is celebrated there for 15 days and homage is paid to 19 villages at Inle Lake. The pagoda festival date is set by locals according to Myanmar calendar.
- Then, proceed to Nga Phe Chaung Monastery; well-known for its 250 year old wooden architectural work among 100 monasteries on the lake.
OR go back to hotel earlier at guest’s advice.
Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 11: Inle Lake – 5 Days Market – Indein Village
We will start from Hotel by 830AM, morning visit to Market Day where every 5 day market is at Mine Thout village the lake.
- Visit to Indein village where thousands of pagodas are clustered in the same complex, supposed built by one of the kings from the Bagan era.
Afternoon sightseeing includes;
- 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.
Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 12: Inle Lake – Heho/ Yangon by morning flight
Transfer to Heho airport for an hour flight to Yangon.
- Visit to Bogyoke Aung San Market formerly known as Scott Market.
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.
- Afternoon, visit to China Town, Botataung Pagoda.
- We will take a ferry boat for 10 min crossing Yangon River. It is good to see Yangon from the distance of other side of Yangon in the evening before your departure day.
Overnignt in Yangon.
Day 13: Yangon to Home
Transfer to Yangon International Airport.