Travel to Burma
Depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Burma.
Arrive in Yangon
Upon arrival in Burma you will be greeted at the airport by our local representative before being transferred to your hotel in Yangon, which will be your base for the following two nights.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure while you settle into your hotel and get to know your surroundings.
Yangon City Tour
After breakfast at your hotel, depart with your guide and explore the downtown area of the city of Yangon. Enjoy a stroll through Kandawgyi Park before visiting the former house of General Aung San, who led the country after independence.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, visit the historic Shwedagon Pagoda which towers almost 98 meters above the green cityscape of Yangon. One of the wonders of the religious world, it is believed to have been built more than 2500 years ago and is a testament to the faith of the Burmese. This magnificent building is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the Stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest which is a single 76 carats.
As night falls there will be an opportunity to light candles resembling small oil lamps near the base of the Shwedagon Pagoda before enjoying a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Transfer to Bagan
Depart your hotel in the early morning for your short internal flight to Bagan, the ‘City of Four Million Pagodas’ where you will spend the following two nights.
En route to your hotel you will explore the temples and the surrounding area. Sightseeing will include Gubyaukgyi with its excellent stucco carvings, the impressive Htilominlo Pahto and Ananda Pahto which is one the best preserved temples in the archaeological zone.
Lunch will be included at a local Burmese home so you can enjoy an authentic dining experience, followed by an opportunity to visit a local handicraft & lacquer workshop before checking in to your hotel located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River.
Market and Village Visit
Begin the morning with a visit to nearby Phwar Saw Village, which afford the opportunity to witness rural Burmese life. En route you will be able to stop at the interesting market at Nyaung Oo to see the variety of fresh produce for sale and gain an insight into the bustling market atmosphere in Bagan.
Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before having the remainder of the afternoon an evening at leisure. Relax at the hotel and enjoy the amenities or if you wish to do some independent sightseeing your local expert guide will be on hand to make suggestions to suit your taste.
Today you will depart early for the drive to Mandalay. En route you will visit a local palm tree plantation before arriving at stunning Mt Popa, the spiritual headquarters of the pre-Buddhist and an important place of worship. Mt Popa is an extinct volcano within Popa Mountain Park whereas the temple is located on Popa Taung Kalat which is accessible via 777 steps that lead up via a covered walkway. The view of the temple perched on the top of the hill is most beautiful seen from afar. It is particularly striking from the terrace of Popa Mountain Resort, which will be the location of your lunch today.
Transfer to Mandalay
Later, depart for Mandalay arriving in the late afternoon. The last capital of the third Myanmar Empire, Mandalay is situated in the centre of the country. It is the largest city after Yangon and is both a bustling commercial centre and a repository of ancient culture. Finish the day with a drive to the top of Mandalay Hill for sunset and a panoramic view of the city.
Mandalay Food Tour
This morning, you will travel by classic bicycle rickshaw to enjoy a food tour of the streets of Mandalay. Breakfast and lunch will be included as you take in a variety of simple street stalls and bustling tea houses, enjoying some of the dishes and snacks that Mandalay has to offer. Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world where tea is eaten as well as drunk and no visit is complete without tasting this unique flavor.
Sightseeing this afternoon will include the Shwenandaw Kyaung & Kuthodaw Pagoda, as well as the opportunity to witness local artisans at work. Shwenandaw Kyaung, also known as the Golden Palace Monastery, is an imposing teak monastery-temple that was originally built within the palace complex but subsequently dismantled and rebuilt some years later. Nearby Kuthodaw Pagoda is said to house the world’s largest book on account of the 729 marble slabs that are inscribed with Buddhist scriptures.
Mingun, Ava & Amarapura
Ancient Mingun is located on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and is famous for its huge, unfinished stupa as well as its impressive bronze bell which was commissioned by King Bodawpaya in 1808 and weighs in the region of 90 tons. Reaching the site is part of the enjoyment as you journey by boat and returning via the back lanes passing picturesque villages along the way. You will continue to the former Royal Capital at Ava (Inwa), where exploration is by horse-drawn cart and offers the opportunity to discover the picturesque ruins and surrounding countryside at a relaxed and more tranquil pace. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant. Meaning ‘City of Immortality’, Amarapura was Myanmar’s penultimate Royal Capital and the last stop today before returning to Mandalay. Sights will include the iconic U Bien’s Bridge, which spans Taungthaman Lake and is the longest teak footbridge in the world. It is often busy with locals ‘commuting’ back and forth which makes for an attractive photo opportunity.
Transfer to Heho
This morning you will be transferred to Mandalay airport for your internal flight to Heho. Upon arrival you will drive to the Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda at Pindaya. The area is home to farming communities that have worked the land for centuries and it is not uncommon to see buffalo-drawn carts and groups of farmers wearing the traditional dress of the region. Of all the caves temples in Shan State, those at Pindaya are the most impressive and there are more than 8000 statues of Buddha adorning the many caves in various shapes and sizes and ranging from centuries-old to almost new. There will be time to explore the caves and lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon walk or Plan Bee visit
Enjoy an afternoon through some tea plantation and mangoes trees to visit the Danu Village of Kyae Dwne Kone surrounded by Bamboo forest. Then continue to The Yet Kone Village while enjoying the views of Pindaya Town. Alternatively visit to Plan Bee, a non-for-profit organisation that provides information and skills training in the art of bee keeping. Providing knowledge and equipment across 20 villages in the southern Shan State, Plan Bee make it possible for local farmers to increase agricultural production via pollination. The center’s terrace overlooks the peaceful Pindaya Lake, the ideal place to finish your day of sightseeing. (Excursion dependent on time of the year)
This morning, depart your hotel and drive towards Inle Lake, visting Shwe Yaung Pyay Kyaung Monastery en route, which is famed for its unique oval windows. On arrival at Inle lake, board your private boat for sightseeing on the lake. You will visit the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung, which houses an impressive collection of ancient Buddha images. There will also be the opportunity to visit a floating garden and it goes without saying any visit to the lake would not be complete without witnessing the unique technique of leg rowing which is so synonymous with Intha fisherman.
After lunch in a local restaurant, transfer to your hotel. You will have free time to settle in and enjoy the hotel’s amenities. Your local expert guide will be on hand should you wish to partake in some optional sightseeing of your choice.
The local 5-day market rotates between towns in the Inle Lake region and it’s a great place to observe local life with many different ethnic groups attending to buy and sell their goods. After exploring the market you will continue to the ruined stupas and temples at the lake-side village of Inndein. A covered walkway leads to the main Shwe Inn Thein Paya, from where (weather permitting) there are great views across the lake.
After lunch at a local restaurant, there will be the opportunity to visit Nampan village to see local cigar (cheroot) making and then continue to Inn Paw Khone, a small village that specializes in silk weaving.
Transfer to Yangon
This morning you will return to Yangon, taking an internal flight from Heho. Upon arrival in Yangon, sightseeing will include Bogyoke Aung San Market, still commonly known by its old British name of Scott Market. Undoubtedly offering the largest selection of handicrafts in Myanmar, the market is a great place to discover a bargain and have fun haggling with the local traders. There is also the possibility to enjoy a 1 hour walking tour of the downtown area of Yangon, home to the facades of colonial buildings from the British era.
At Leisure & Return Home
Later, transfer to your hotel, where you will have the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the hotel amenities before your late evening transfer to airport for your overnight flight home to Dublin.
Arrive home in Dublin following your once in a lifetime trip to Burma.