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Overview

This road trip is quite unlike any other: travel from Yangon to Mandalay and every place in-between. Discover a treasure trove of glittering pagodas, vibrant landscapes, charming villages and dynamic cities. Although it would be impossible to see all of Myanmar’s wonders in a month, this trip comes close!

Trip Highlights

The Ultimate Burmese Road Trip

Take a road trip through Myanmar

Journey by car and train through massive Myanmar, covering the highlights and many small, interesting towns in between.

Explore historic sites

Visit vestiges from Yangon’s colonial buildings to ancient temples in Pyay, Mandalay’s former royal cities to modern Nay Pyi Taw.

Enjoy Myanmar’s natural beauty

Explore the Moeyungyi wetlands, trek stunning hills around Hsipaw and take boats on the Irrawaddy River and Inle Lake.

Itinerary

1

Arrive Yangon

Yangon Airport to Yangon city centre (20 km): 30 – 60 mins

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, meet with the guide and driver and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city with an impressive colonial and spiritual heritage. It’s a great starting point for a Myanmar holiday.

After freshening up, set off for a tour of the city’s highlights. First, visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which is home to a 70 metre long reclining Buddha. Continue through the city, stopping periodically to take photos or relax with a drink at a local tea shop. From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the locals believe that the original structure was built 2500 years ago and renovated several times before taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99-meters tall, gilded with gold leaf, and surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. Following the guide’s lead around this massive complex, learn why this temple is so revered among locals.

Overnight in Yangon.

2

Yangon - Bago - Kyaikhtiyo

Yangon-Bago (80 km): 2h Yangon-Kyaikhtiyo (167 km): 4h

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Depart Yangon in the morning for a scenic drive to Bago, the capital of the 16th century Mon Kingdom.

The visit in Bago begins at Shwethalyaung Temple which houses a beautiful 55-meter long reclining Buddha. Continue to the Mon-style Shwemawdaw Pagoda, one of the most venerated in Myanmar and whose 114 meter spire is taller than the one at Shwedagon Pagoda. While in Bago, take time to visit the city’s local sites, including the town market and a traditional Mon neighbourhood for a short stroll around the village.

In the afternoon, arrive at Kyaikhtiyo base camp. Travel by local, open-air truck along a winding road (45 minutes) before being dropped off a short five-minute walk from Golden Rock. For a bit of royal treatment, get carried up to the top by four porters in a specially-made sedan chair which allows one to enjoy the views without any work! (Extra cost not included) 

A huge boulder covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff, Golden Rock is one of Myanmar's most important pilgrimage sites.  The pagoda here is said to hold a hair of the Buddha, and Buddhist from across the country come here to pay homage. 

Overnight near Golden Rock.

3

Kyaikhtiyo - Hpa An

Kyaikhtiyo - Hpa An (147 km): 2h

In the morning there is an option to visit Golden Rock again to see the rising sun casting its rays upon the rock. Starting in the blue hours before dawn, local pilgrims gather by the rock to make offerings in the solitude of the morning, making for a unique cultural experience and photographic opportunity. 

Today the journey continues at 08:00.

Return down to base camp along the same route by open-air truck. In the afternoon, continue on a two-hour drive by road to Hpa An, a small town surrounded by beautiful limestone rock formations which is the capital of the Karen state.  En-route, visit to Bayint Nyi Cave and Kaw Gun Cave. The former has a hot spring lake with beautiful views of a temple complex and cave. Kaw Gun Cave is also fascinating, with over 2000 stone tablets with Mon inscriptions and hundreds of Buddha statues.  Arrive in Hpa An and check in to the hotel. Afterwards, take a leisurely walk on the road along the Thanlyin River for a beautiful photographic backdrop of mountains and boats.

Overnight in Hpa An.

4

Hpa An - Mawlamyaing

Hpa An – Mawlamyine (61 km): 1h

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

Theoday’s first stop is Sadan Cave. Typically only accessible between November to March, this cave brings out the inner Indiana Jones. Sadan starts off as a typical Myanmar cave, full of Buddha images and even a reclining Buddha. While heading to the back of the cave, a natural tunnel comes into view. Follow a row of lights through the tunnel for about 15 minutes to get to the other side. While approaching the end of the tunnel, a magnificent view of a hidden lake and meadow come into sight.

Stop and have tea or coffee at the tea shop at the edge of the lake. From here, hire one of the local boatmen for a tour around the lake (sit on the bamboo floor of the boat, as there are no seats) and through another cave accessible only by boat.

Then return to the car and head off to see Zwe Kapin, one of many bizarre limestone formations in the area.  At the foot of the mountain, head toward Lumbini Gardens to see more than a thousand identical Buddha statues.

Then continue to Kyauk Kalat Pagoda, a small stupa perched on top of a pillar-like rock formation on a small island on the lake.

Continue the drive to Mawlamyine, a drive of about one hour. Arrive in the afternoon at the Mon State capital of Mawlamyaing, formerly known as Moulmein. Situated near the mouth of the Thanlwin River, this attractive town is surrounded by leafy, tropical areas and has a hilly ridge serving as a backdrop.  The town was also the capital of British Burma between 1827 and 1852 and still retains some of the atmosphere of its colonial times. 

Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Mawlamyine.

5

Mawlamyaing

This morning the sightseeing starts at 08:30.

Spend today touring the sites of Mawlamyaing. Start with the colorful Mawlamyaing Central Market, a bustling atmosphere where miscellaneous local items are sold.

Proceed to Mahamuni Pagoda, built in traditional Mon-style, and Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda, the city's tallest and most visible stupa. Continue to the beautiful Seindon Mibaya, a wooden monastery that’s over 100 years old. Walk along the town’s Strand Road for a glimpse of the impressive Kaladan Mosque, which was built during the colonial era when many Indians came to work for the British in Mawlamyaing.

In the afternoon, board a private boat for a visit to Khaung Sae Kyun (Shampoo Island). It is said that Mon Kings once came to this place to make public announcements. Interesting hair-washing ceremonies also take place on the island.

Head back to Mawlamyaing and finish the day up at the local “view point”. From here, get a stunning panoramic view of Mawlamyaing, the Thanlwin River and Bilu Island during sunset.

Overnight in Mawlamyine.

6

Mawlamyaing - Moeyungyi

Today the tour begins at 08:30.

After breakfast, dDepart Mawlamyaing and head towards Yangon. Along the way, stop at Moeyungyi Wetlands, arriving by mid-afternoon. Moeyungyi is a vital habitat for migratory waterfowl. A recent census revealed that 125 species of birds call the area home. Additionally, the wetlands are a stopping point for millions of migratory birds that pass through the area every year. In addition to being a great place for bird-watchers, there’s a fantastic array of other flora and fauna to keep nature-lovers in awe.  

In the afternoon, take a boat excursion through the wetlands.  Watch buffaloes bathe in the shallow waters, see a vast number of birds, and encounter local fisherman.  Afterwards, explore the area around the resort on foot for the opportunity to get additional wildlife spotting. (Those wishing to do more bird watching have the option to do another boat trip early the next morning when the likelihood of spotting rare birds is highest).

Overnight in Moeyungyi.

7

Moeyungyi - Yangon

This morning the journey continues at 08:00.

Head back to Yangon after breakfast in the morning, arriving around lunch time. Transfer to the hotel for a few hours of rest before heading to colonial downtown, where East meets West with a mix of pagodas, monuments and colonial buildings.  Walk around Sule Pagoda, City Hall, Victory Monument and some of the nearby colonial buildings for great insight into some of the area’s local highlights.

Around sunset, begin a trishaw food tour of Yangon. A melting pot of ethnicities and nationalities, Yangon is the perfect place to taste a wide selection of weird and wonderful food. This tour samples traditional Burmese, Shan, and Indian dishes before ending at the lively 19th street for an outdoor barbeque. The entire journey is done by local trishaws, a great way to experience a city caught between the past and future.

Overnight in Yangon.

8

Yangon - Pyay (by train))

Enjoy some leisure time in the morning.

Midday, choose from any number of local restaurants for lunch. We can suggest many great Burmese restaurants in downtown that are great for mingling with the locals and sampling delicious, authentic dishes.

After lunch, transfer to Yangon Railways Station for a trip to Pyay. Enjoy comfortable reclining seats in an air conditioned cabin, with windows on either side of the carriage. Sit back and relax while passing scenic landscapes and observing remote villages alongside the train tracks. The journey takes around 6.5 hours.  Snacks, beer or soft drinks will be on hand should they be of any need.  Upon arrival in Pyay, transfer to hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant, or head to some of the local restaurants that are within walking distance. 

Overnight in Pyay.

9

Pyay

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, today the sightseeing begins at 08:30 with a vvisit to Pyay Jetty and its colourful market. It’s a great place to interact with locals and learn more about daily Burmese life. 

Pyay, also known as Prome, served as the capital of the Pyu Kingdom from the 5th – 9th centuries. The city was circular in shapewith walls encircling it, and stretched some 46 square kilometres across, making it Asia’s largest walled city at the time. These days it is a sleepy riverside town with a unique charm.

As an introduction to the city, visit Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, a pagoda of great religious importance to the Burmese people as it contains twelve relics from the Buddha and is the only temple in the country with two umbrellas at the top of its stupa. Nearby is a massive seated Buddha statue which was recently renovated. From here, enjoy sweeping views of the Irrawaddy River in the distance.

Midday, stop for lunch at a local restaurant. (Client’s account)

After lunch, venture away from the city centre (8 kilometres) for a visit to the ancient city of Srikhetra. Also known as Thayeikhittaya, the city was once known for being one of the largest and most elaborate cities in Myanmar. These days the ruins of the city walls and brick temples are hidden amongst thorny bushes.

End the day with a stroll along Strand Road, Pyay’s main street, and browse the night market. The town is small and easy to get around in on foot. There are many restaurants in the city centre as well.

Overnight in Pyay.

10

Pyay - Magway

Pyay – Magway (201 km): 2h40

After breakfast at the hotel, this morning the tour starts at 08:30.

dDrive north to Magway (200 km/ 4 hours drive). Enjoy the scenery as the road passes through beautiful rural scenery dotted with small towns.

Along the way, stop at Beikthano, another ancient city more than 2000 years old. For those with a keen interest in history and archaeology, Beikthano is a real delight. It is one of the best places to encounter remnants of the early Pyu civilization. There are city walls stretching more than 3 kilometres in each direction. Inside the walls are large, crumbling brick structures whose designs reflects monastic buildings from South India as well as unique burial grounds.

From here, continue on to Magway Division and, on arrival, stop to check in at the hotel. Magway is well known for its production of groundnut and sesame oils, earning itself the nickname, ‘Oil pot of Myanmar’. The town is also known for producing exotic fruits including the unusual, yet delicious, phangar fruit.

After freshening up, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in town.

Then travel to the famous Mya Tha Lun Pagoda. This revered temple is located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, a scenic place ideal for photos. Return to the town centre.

Overnight in Magway.

11

Magway – Minbu – PwintPhyu - Salay

Magway – Pwint Phyu (50 km): 46 mins Pwint Phyu – Salay (118 km): 2 hour 44 mins Salay – Magyeekan village (1 km): 10 mins

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

Spend a full day exploring the surrounding areas of Magway. After breakfast we’ll head to at Nagar Pwet Taung, an unusual pool of bubbling mud. This geological phenomenon is believed by locals to be caused by dragons (Nagas) living deep inside the earth. Then visit a nearby temple, the perfect spot to admire panoramic views of the mighty Irrawaddy River and cool down with the breeze.

Afterwards, it’s off to the northern banks of the Irrawaddy River (20 kilometre drive) to reach Kyaung Taw Yar Pagoda, in the Pwint Phyu Township. The temple is believed to be the site of an ancient monastery built of sandalwood where the Buddha spent some time after achieving enlightenment.

From Pwint Phyu, continue on to the colonial port town of Salay. The first stop is the Salay House. This colonial building, located along the river, has been renovated into a restaurant and museum. Start by taking a tour of the museum for some historical background on Salay.

Next, transfer to Magyeekan, a traditional Burmese village about 10 minutes from Salay. Here, learn about the villager’s lives while wandering through dusty paths leading from house to house. The evening’s accommodation is one of four guesthouses in this charming village. The guesthouses are built in traditional style, and even though the accommodation is basic, each house has western toilets and a shower.

Tonight, the ladies of Magyeekan serve a traditional Burmese meal. The villagers have been educated in sanitation methods, so the food is not only tasty, but safe to eat.

Overnight in Magyeekan Village.

12

Magway - Bagan

Salay – Bagan (56 km): 1 hour 22 mins

After a breakfast in the morning, take a stroll through the village. The atmosphere in the village is quite different in the morning, as villagers take advantage of the cool air to finish any chores they may have. It’s a great time to get a feel for authentic local life in the area.

This morning the journey continues at 09:00.

Take a two-hour drive to Bagan. Upon arrival in Bagan, check in to the hotel and take some time to freshen up. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (client’s account)

Late in the afternoon, take a relaxing horse cart ride through the temple area, starting at the soaring Thatbyinnyu and on to Sulamani, one of Bagan’s best decorated temples. Continue to the massive Dhammayangyi Temple before finishing at one of the elevated viewpoint to watch sunset over the plains. This is a fabulous introduction to Bagan and its 2000 pagodas.

Return to the hotel after sunset for an evening at leisure.

Overnight in Bagan.

13

Bagan

This morning the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

Today’s excursion visits a range of sites, providing a great overview of Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles.

The journey begins at Thagyar Pone Temple, a temple with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. Next, continue to Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan. Enjoy this amazing temple in the peace and quiet of morning before all the tour buses arrive.

Afterwards, head Myinkaba Village and Gubyaukgyi Temple, the latter of which is noted for the beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. Nearby is Manuha Temple and Nan Paya Temple, two smaller temples with nice Buddha statues and stone work.

Then, learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products: lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. Take a break with lunch at a local restaurant. (Client’s account) Return to the hotel for a short rest while escaping the heat of the midday sun.

Continue to Kyauk Gu U Min on the eastern side of the river where a five to ten minute walk leads to the temple. After exploring Kyauk Gu U Min, return to the boat for a relaxing cruise back to Bagan (around 1 hour). Transfer to the hotel after arriving in Bagan.

Overnight in Bagan.

14

Bagan

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Balloon Experience Over Bagan - Experience the majestic landscape of Bagan with a soul-altering hot-air balloon ride over Bagan at sunrise -a thrill that promises to be a highlight of any trip to Myanmar. Dark and early in the morning, enjoy a snack of pastries, croissants and coffee and watch as the balloons are filled -an experience unto itself. Then, after boarding the balloon, gently lift off above the temple-studded plains of Bagan just as the sun begins to rise above the horizon. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that won’t soon be forgotten.  (Note: available only from late- October to late-March; all flights weather permitting)                                                    

Today will be a day of leisure or choose from a handful of optional activities in Bagan.

Overnight in Bagan.

15

Bagan - Mt Popa - Meiktila

Bagan-Popa (68 km): 1h Popa – Meiktila (130 km): 2h20

This morning the tour starts at 08:30.

Depart by road for the drive to Mount Popa. After around 45-60 minutes reach Popa Laan Village, a local village near the base of Mt. Popa that is typical of many villages in the area. Take a short walk through this scenic village and visit with the friendly residents.

Continue on to Mt. Popa and Taung Kalat, a volcanic mount standing 1518 metres high. Mount Popa has played an important role in Burmese culture, religion, and history since earliest times. Its shrine, located at the top of Taung Kalat, is dedicated to the worship of the 37 Nats, or ancient Burmese animist spirits.

Learn about Nats and Nat worship while climbing the stairs to the top with the local guide.  The view over the Myingyan Plain from the top of the volcanic peak is impressive (and the climb is optional!).

Resume the drive to Meikhtila.  (Lunch will either be at a local restaurant near Mt. Popa or later in Meikhtila, depending on time).

Reach Meikhtila in the late afternoon and check in to the hotel.

Overnight in Meikhtila.

16

Meiktila - Nay Pyi Taw

Today the journey continues at 08:00.

Set off from Meiktila after breakfast and head to the capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw. Just a decade ago this area was little more than a vast shrubland. Today it’s Myanmar’s seat of power and one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  The military consulted astrologists to determine the most auspicious place to consolidate its power.

Upon arrival, visit the National Landmarks Garden.  The garden showcases scaled-down versions of the country’s famous attractions, such as the Irrawaddy River, Shwedagon Pagoda, Golden Rock Pagoda, Mount Khakaborazi in Kachin State, Ngapali Beach in Rakhine State, Myeik Archipelago and Inle Lake.

Before transferring to the hotel, visit the Gem Museum, housing precious jewels such as rubies, sapphires, jade and the largest pearl in Myanmar. (Museum is closed on Monday and Public holidays.)

In the evening, visit Uppatasanti Pagoda, a replica of the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. The 99-meter golden pagoda is visible from all major roads leading into the city.

Overnight in Nay Pyi Taw.

17

Nay Pyi Taw - Kalaw

This morning the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

After breakfast, vVisit the Parliament House (Pyi Thu Hlut Taw), comprised of 31 buildings, it blends modern and ancient Burmese architectural styles. Politicians can often be seen rushing into the compound for meetings, making for somewhat of a unique experience.

After having a look around, leave Nay Pyi Taw behind and head to the Shan State and the former British Hill Station of Kalaw. Arrive in time to watch the sunset over this picturesque mountainside town.

Overnight in Kalaw.

18

Kalaw - Elephant Camp - Nyaung Shwe

In the morning,This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Transfer from Kalaw to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp in Magwe Village (the drive takes around 45 minutes). The camp is a refuge for retired elephants from the logging industry. Upon arrival, meet with the guide and transfer to the main camp. Enjoy a welcome drink while receiving a briefing on the day’s activities and learning about background of the camp as well as the history of elephants in Myanmar.

Afterwards, head on a short walk to the river, passing through a reforestation project set up by the camp and local villagers, and be greeted by the elephants .The guide will explain their names, ages, and how they ended up retiring at the camp. Trays of bananas and sugarcane will be brought out and some time will be enjoyed feeding the elephants. Afterwards, get dressed in traditional Shan garments to prepare for the elephant-bathing. Walk to a natural pool, located between two small falls in the stream, and join the elephants for a bath. 

Return to the reforestation area to plant a tree before heading to the main camp for lunch. There is time in the afternoon to explore more on foot with the local trekking guide or interact with the elephants.

Late in the afternoon, say goodbye to the elephants and mahouts and transfer to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake.

Overnight Nyaung Shwe.

19

Inle Lake and Indein

Today the sightseeing starts at 08:00.

Meet with the guide after breakfast to embark on an adventure around Inle Lake. Board a private motorboat and enjoy the comfort of cushioned wooden chairs, umbrellas, life jackets, and blankets (during the winter months).

Start with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a 5-day basis (Note: there are no markets on full moon or dark moon days). This daily market attracts hilltribe people from all over the lake’s shores to buy and sell their wares- on any given day, it’s possible to see Pa-Oh, Inthar and Shan people, all in their traditional outfits. Wander amid the stalls while the guide explains the local produce and goods for sale in the area.

Then continue across the lake, passing through villages with stilted houses and floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Be sure to keep an eye out for the iconic one-legged rowing technique that the boatmen of Inle Lake use -it is said to be the only place in the world where people employ this technique.  

The next stop is at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The lake’s main sanctuary, it contains 5 sacred Buddha images and houses royal barges used during a famous annual festival that takes place on the lake.

Proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk weaving techniques of Inthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for weaving with the stems of lotus flowers, a time consuming process that results in high quality materials famous throughout the country. Then visit a cheroot factory where local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand.

Stop for lunch midday and taste delicious, traditional Inthar dishes while taking in superb views of the lake and its surroundings. (client’s account)

In the afternoon travel to Indein, on the southwestern shores of the lake. The boat will travel down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of Indein.  Stroll around the village and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou, which is filled with picturesque stupas and magnificent views of the lake.

Should time allow, stop at Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included).

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

20

Inle Lake

Today is a day at leisure or choose to do one of our optional activities.

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

21

Inle - Pindaya

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for Pindaya.

This morning the tour begins at 08:00.

En route to Pindaya, stop in the junction town of Aung Ban and visit the ‘Wholesale Market.’ Here, see regional produce such as ginger, onions, chilies, potatoes, cabbage and other seasonal vegetables piled high into giant mounds and watch as locals buzz about trading goods.

Next, turn off the main road and head north toward Pindaya. This scenic route will include several stops for photo-taking. Depending on arrival time in Pindaya, go for lunch at a local restaurant (client’s account) or directly to the hotel for check in (early check-in subject to room availability).

In the afternoon visit the town’s famous Pindaya Caves. Nestled on a hillside, the cave consists of many chambers filled with hundreds of Buddha statues.

While returning to the hotel, stop to visit a local workshop where craftsmen make umbrellas and paper from local materials.

Overnight in Pindaya.

22

Pindaya - Kyauk Se - Mandalay

Today the journey continues at 08:00 after breakfast.

After breakfast in the morning, lLeave the Shan state behind and head to Myanmar’s former capital, Mandalay. Driving northwest, many stops will be made en route for taking photos or visiting villages.

In the afternoon, reach the town of Kyauk Se, most famous for its yearly Elephant Festival in October or November. Visit the town center then continue to Shin Pin Tamoke Shwegu, an incredible excavation site with ruins and carvings dating back to the 11th century. Few tourists venture to this site even though it is just off the main road.

Arrive in Mandalay after another one-hour drive. After checking in to the hotel, head off again for a short introductory tour of the city. Afterwards, head to Mandalay Hill, which rises 240 metres above the city. From this lofty vantage point, enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, the Irrawaddy River, and the city centre and take in one of the most dramatic sunsets to be had in the area.

Overnight in Mandalay.

23

Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin

Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin (69 km): 1h07

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Depart from Mandalay in the morning  on a scenic two-hour drive to the former British Hill Station of Pyin Oo Lwin.  The town is located on a plateau 1000m above sea level and renowned for its cooler temperatures and lush foliage. Many reminders of the colonial era are still present in Pyin Oo Lwin, including brick and timber houses with British names and the Botanical Gardens to the south of town.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring independently or simply relaxing at the hotel.

Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

24

Pyin Oo Lwin - Hsipaw (Train)

Today the tour begins at 08:00.

Departing early in the morning, tTransfer to the Pyin Oo Lwin Train Station and board the local train to Hsipaw. The journey takes around 5 hours, passing through stunning scenery and the Gokhtiek Viaduct.

A lunch box will be prepared and served along the way.

Arrive in Hsipaw mid-afternoon. From the train station, head over to the former palace of the last sky prince of Hsipaw. The modest house is kept up by the prince’s niece and nephew, who will share the tragic history of the last sky prince.

From the palace, visit a few other sights around town such as “Little Bagan” and a very colourful Nat shrine. Then, head to a mountain pagoda for sunset views overlooking the town and the Dokhtawaddy River.

Overnight in Hsipaw.

25

Hsipaw - River trip - Hsipaw

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

After breakfast in the morning, take a boat trip along the Dokhtawady River. Stop at a local village along the way and take a stroll through the various farms there to learn about local agriculture. Then, stop at a local monastery to sip tea with resident monks there.

From the monastery, hop back on the boat and head to a secret spot where a small tributary feeds into the Dokhtawady River. This area is not only a fantastic place to snap a few photos, but the water of the tributary is clean enough to take a quick dip.

On the way back to Hsipaw, stop at another local village for a chance to talk to some of the Shan farmers and walk through their citrus groves.

Arrive in Hsipaw for a late lunch.

Afterwards, visit the former palace of the Last Sky Prince of Hsipaw.  A champion for democracy in the 1950s and 60s, the prince was imprisoned in the military coup of 1962 and never seen again. The property is managed by his niece and nephew who will give a guided tour while explaining the family history and telling the sad story of the Last Sky Prince.

Overnight in Hsipaw.

26

Hsipaw - Mandalay

Mandalay – Hsipaw (210 Km): 6h

This morning the journey continues at 08:00.

Depart for the drive back to Mandalay. The drive takes around 6-7 hours and is along a sealed road in good condition. A stop will be made along the way for lunch (client’s account). .

Overnight in Mandalay.

27

Mandalay – Sagaing – Ava – Amarapura – Mandalay

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Wake up early in the morning (around 04:00) and catch a local taxi to Mahamuni Pagoda. Every morning, before dawn, the monks wash the face of the ‘lumpy’ Buddha image with special fragrant water and brush its teeth. The ritual takes around one hour and is a unique insight into the local take on Buddhism. Return to the hotel around 07:30 for breakfast.

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Sagaing, Ava and Amarapura.

Cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. The Sagaing Hill here is widely regarded to be the religious center of Myanmar. With 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, more than 3,000 monks, and 100 meditation centers, there’s no shortage of things to see and do here. Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae are two of the must-see pagodas every visitor must see.

Afterwards, continue south to the city of Ava, the capital of Myanmar from the 14th to the 18th century. From here, take a short ferry ride across the river to meet with a horse and cart that will be waiting. While using this traditional method of transportation, visit some of Ava’s highlights such as the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace. During the tour of Ava, also stop at some of the many villages located amongst Ava’s ruins. Enjoy lunch in Ava (own account) before returning to the car.

Finally, visit Amarapura, a former capital whose name means “City of Immortality”. Although the ancient city is charming in its own right, the real star is U Bein Bridge. Constructed out of 984 teakwood posts from the deserted Inwa Palace, it is 1.2 kilometres in length, making it the longest teakwood construction in the world. That’s not the real reason it is so iconic, though. Every day, as the sun begins to dip below the horizon, U Bien Bridge is host to what some consider to be one of the world’s most spectacular sunsets. Enjoy a stroll across this famous bridge and be sure to take in the unforgettable sight of it being bathed in golden light late in the afternoon.

Continue back to the hotel and, if timing allows, visit some local craft shops.

Overnight in Mandalay.

28

Mandalay Departure

Transfer to the airport for the onward flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as indicated in the program  (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner) 
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program
  • All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles
  • English-speaking station guides
  • Horse-cart fee in Bagan and Ava
  • Yangon – Pyay Train Ticket (Upper Class,Reclining Chair) & Pyin Oo Lwin – Hsipaw Train ticket (Ordinary class)
  • Boat excursion at Inle Lake, Mawlamyaing & Hsipaw
  • Drinking water while touring

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not indicated in the program (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for the sites not mentioned in the program
  • International and Domestic flights to/from Yangon or Mandalay
  • Visa fees
  • Tips & porters at the hotels 
  • Drinks and Personal expenses
  • Credit card fees (2-3%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments
  • Any other items not mentioned in the included services

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    We’re experts who take pride in tailor-made itineraries that suit any need. Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

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