Hiking & Lake Tour Detail

 
Tour Name : Hiking & Lake
Program : 7 Nights/ 8 Days
Destinations : Yangon/ Mandalay – Amarapura – Mingun – Pyin Oo Lwin/ Heho – Kalaw – Inle Lake
Tamarind Code : 04
  Day 1:   Arrive to Yangon
 
Arrival at Yangon International Airport where you will be welcomed by Tamarind’s tour guide and transfer to hotel.

 
We will then go on a walking tour in the heart of Yangon, where we will observe various architecture, and have opportunities to take photographs of Burma’s former Capital.
 
Visit to Chauk Htut Gyi Recling Buddha Image.
 
Afternoon sightseeing includes a 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.
 
China Town.
 
Nathida Jetty.
 
Visit to Royal Lake, a good photo stop of Shwedagon Pagoda from distance.
 
In evening, we will visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the world famous golden stupa that dominates the Yangon skyline.
     

Overnight in Yangon.

  Day 2:   Yangon/ Mandalay – Amarapura by Morning Flight
 
After arrival in Mandalay we will visit Amarapura, an 18th century capital of Myanmar. Amarapura sightseeing includes:

 
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.
   

In the afternoon we will travel to Mandalay. Sightseeing with:

 
the Maha Muni Imagethe most sacred Pagoda in Upper Myanmar, with its venerated legend known far and wide.
 
visit Zay Cho Market and see Mandalay’s special design textiles, foodstuff, gems & jewelry, Myanmar trading trends.
 
a 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.

  the renowned 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 3:   Mandalay – Mingun – Pyin Oo Lwin
 

Transfer to 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.
 
Once 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.)

 
From Mya Thein Dan Zedi we will have a short walk to the Mingun Bell. This bell weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s biggest ringing bell that was cast in 1805 A.D.

En route to Pyin Oo Lwin by car with 2 hours scenic beauty drive.

Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

  Day 4:   Pyin Oo Lwin
 

Pyin Oo Lwin that was originally inhabitant by Shan Danu people; and renamed Maymyo (May-town) in 1896 by British Colonel May as a summer resort town to escape the oft stifling heat and humidity from the lower elevated cities and towns. In 1989 the Myanmar government changed the name from Maymyo to Pyin Oo Lwin. Pyin Oo Lwin is also the home of many Nepalese and Indians.

The town is 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. In fact it is not uncommon to see large poinsettias growing along the side of the road during your drive to Pyin Oo Lwin.

 
Once settled in to Pyin Oo Lwin we will visit the Pwe Kauk Water Falls called Hampshire Falls in British times. Or Anisakan Water Falls for those who want more of a challenge.
 
At Kandawgyi Botanical Garden you will see over 500 kinds of trees, 79 kinds of bamboo, 133 kinds of orchid, and 410 kinds of traditional medicinal plants. One of the most famous and beautiful botanical gardens in Myanmar. This garden was built under the direction of Colonel May utilizing Turkish prisoners of WWII.
 
Visitors can also take a horse drawn cart for a short trip into town where we will visit the market and see Shan style antique shops, sweater knitting, vegetable and flowers of roses & dahlias.
     

Also in town rests the Purcell Tower – a 75 feet high clock tower built in 1936 that still chimes every 15 minutes.

Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin

  Day 5:   Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay/ Heho – Kalaw
 

2 Hours drive to Mandalay airport, take a 30 minute flight to Heho. After arrival, 2 hours scenic drive to Kalaw, 4300 ft (1440 meters) above the sea level, where was once a favorite hill station for British administrative officials and another summer resort for their family during hot season. A peaceful town surrounded by pine woods, home for Palaung, Pa-O, Taung-Yo, Dha Nu hill tribe of Shan ethnic.

 
We will start at the Kalaw market where we can find variety of beautiful flowers, indoor plants, milky avocado, fresh garlic, cauliflowers, cabbage, potatoes, taro, leek root, ginger, and tea leaves grown on the hill by terrace cultivation.
 
Our next visit will be a glorious Buddha Image made by thin bamboo strips lacquered built in over 500 year ago. Young novices & elderly nuns take care of refreshment such as Shan tea served with pickle tea leave, roasted sesame, garlic and peanut when visitors coming. You will feel tranquility of the moment at that compound.
     

Back to hotel, reading, seeing a panorama view of the city.

  Day 6:   Kalaw – Inle Lake
 
In the morning, we will trek to a Palaung village, passing thru unforgettable landscape and mountain-side gardens, where farmers cultivate a variety of vegetables. These hills are harmonious, and the wide trail allows for easy trekking. We will pass villagers who are returning from Kalaw where they sell various food staples at the local market.
 
The roundtrip hike will take about 7 hours which includes lunch, and a stop at the Palaung village. In the village we will visit the home of a Palaung member where long bench-like wooden homes provide refuge.
     

(Tamarind Note: Visiting tourists have remarked that a Palaung village is not dissimilar to the villages found on the Island of Borneo.)

 
All of the Palaung are Buddhists; and you will find at least one Monastery and primary school in every village.
 
After seeing the Palaung Village we will hike about 1 hour to our lunch spot-a secluded Nepalese owned hill-top restaurant that affords the most stunning views. The Nepalese food such as the fresh avocadoes, chapatti, and pumpkin curry with chili will give you the energy needed to finish your trek to Kalaw.
 
We will arrive back to Kalaw about 3 PM. 2 hours scenic drive Nyaung Shwe, the biggest city at Inle Lake. 30 minutes boat takes to the best luxurious hotel at the Lake.

Overnight in Inle Lake.

  Day 7:   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.
 
The colorful five day market-you 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.
 
Sightseeing includes visiting 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.
 
In 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.
 
At Inle Lake, we will then visit the 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.
 
Next on the agenda is the 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 elevarated with wooden caving. This Monastery is also known as the “jumping cat Monastery” where visitors are treated to a show that involves well trained felines.
   

Overnight in Inle Lake.

  Day 8:   Heho/ Yangon, Depart from Yangon
 

Transfer to Heho airport for an hour flight to Yangon. Free time before departure.

Transfer to Airport.

 
 
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