The Hsipaw & The Gokehteik Viaduct (16 Days/ 15 Nights)
Yangon – Bagan – Mt. Popa – Kalaw – Inle – Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Hsipaw – Mandalay – Departure
Welcome at Yangon International Airport. Meet with our guide, head to hotel for check in and refreshment. [official check in time 14:00].
Yangon, formerly Rangoon - the Garden city of the east, quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage make it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.
Afternoon visit to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, a 70-meter-long reclining Buddha, the feet of the Buddha statue is curved with traditional symbols as its center piece to introduce Myanmar’s unique brand of Buddhism.
Then visit Kandawgyi Park and visit Local Tea Shop for a chance to experience a basic part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Enjoy a coffee or tea with variety of snacks while sitting amongst businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business.
Finally visit to Shwedagon Pagoda – one of the wonders of the world and the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The local believe that it was built 2500 years ago. The 8-sided central stupa is 99-meters tall, gilded with gold leaf, and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. Visit around the massive complex and learn why this temple is so revered among locals.
Then back to hotel and overnight in Yangon.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Yangon Railway Station to take the local Circular Train journey to the outskirts of town (20-30 minutes ride), to observe the lively and colorful life of the rural Burmese people. Disembark to visit Kyi Myin Daing Market where a variety of street vendors sell colorful wares. Enjoy exploring the market and meeting friendly locals before returning by road to Yangon.
After that visit to Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott’s Market) – the major bazaar of Yangon. It is well known for its colonial architecture and inner cobblestone streets, dominated by antique, Burmese handicraft and jewellery shops, art galleries, and clothing stores. (Note: the market is closed on Mondays and public holidays).
Back to hotel and leisure. Overnight in Yangon.
Breakfast at hotel. We start our journey begins at an elevated viewpoint with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. This is the perfect introduction of Bagan with grandeur and scope of Bagan’s architecture.
Next visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, the glorious golden stupa, Ananda Temple – the masterpiece of Bagan, proceed to Myingaba Gubyaukgyi Temple to observe the best mural paintings of 11th century, nearby visit to Manuha Temple – Huge Buddha Image and Nan Paya Temple- nice Buddha statues and stone work.
After lunch, visit to Dhamayangyi Temple - the biggest temple in Bagan, Sulamani Temple - the 12th century temple the lacquerware workshop – the most Bagan’s famous product. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. Then take a horse cart along the temples to the viewpoint to enjoy the sunset over the plains. Afterwards, return back to hotel and overnight in Bagan.
After breakfast, visit of Bagan by cycling tour. First visit to Nyaung Oo Local market to explore ways of native peoples’ life, then explore unknown temples as addition to Tour Sightseeing in Bagan. Then back to hotel and refreshment. In the afternoon transfer to jetty and take private local boat along Ayeyarwaddy River. Then sailing down and stop at little village in the river. Cruise back to Bagan, transfer to hotel and free. Overnight in Bagan.
After breakfast at hotel, visit colourful local market Nyaung Oo. Then drive 45 minutes to Mt. Popa - an extinct volcano which is believed to be home to ‘Nats’, or ancient Burmese animist spirits.
On the way, observe the life of rural area on the way such as producing the palm sweets. We may stop at several places for making the photos and knowing the countryside. Check in at hotel and refreshment.
Then stepping 777 steps to the top for stunning views of the surrounding countryside Enjoy the panoramic view of extinct volcano and the plain to Bagan and then drive back to Bagan. Rest of the day at leisure and overnight at Popa Mountain Resort.
Drive to Kalaw and on the way enjoying scenery of tropical area. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and leisure. Overnight in Kalaw.
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Pindaya by enjoying the marvellous landscapes of hilly region with vegetables plantation, terrace landing cultivation, etc. On the way to Pindaya, stop in the junction town of Aung Ban and visit the ‘Wholesale Market.’ – selling the 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.
Upon arrival, visit to the Pindaya Market, a typical rural market selling an array of food and dry goods. After that, visit to Pindaya Caves to explore this incredible complex, houses of 8094 Buddha Images. Then, transfer to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, and on to the hotel for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle Lake.
After breakfast, we will star our tour around 08:00 am. Visit the bustling morning five-day market (the market rotates its location every day in 5-day cycles, daily except on full moon and dark moon days) to explore the local cultural. Villagers from surrounding village tribes come to the market to sell and trade and so, you can see the various tribes in one place.
Observe the famous leg-rowing fishermen and floating gardens, visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda which contains five sacred Buddha images and the lake’s main sanctuary. Visit Ngaphechaung Monastery [which is also known as Jumping Cats Monastery even though the cats are not allowed to jump anymore].
After lunch, visit to Inpawkhone Village to see the hand weaving loom and a cheroot factory, where traditional Burmese cigars are made by hand. Then transfer to hotel, check in and leisure. Overnight in Inle lake.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit the bustling morning five-day market (the market rotates its location every day in 5-day cycles, daily except on full moon and dark moon days) to explore the local cultural. Villagers from surrounding village tribes come to the market to sell and trade and so, you can see the various tribes in one place.
Excursion to the Indein along a small canal. Walking along to explore through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Claim the stairway to the top of the hill to visit picturesque ancient stupas, magnificent views of the lake below from this vantage point.
After enjoying the visit to Indein, continue visit floating gardens, floating villages and etc. Then back to hotel and leisure. Overnight at Inle Lake.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport and flight to Mandalay. On arrival, drive to Amarapura - an ancient capital of Myanmar, where we can observe the life of over 1000 monks at Mahagandaryon Monastery & silk weaving factory. The U Bein footbridge stretches almost three-quarters of a mile over Thaungthaman Lake, and is heavily utilized by the local monks in maroon robes who carry alms bowls back and forth to monasteries.
We cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar, explore pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.
Continue to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries and visit by horse carts to Maenu Okkyaung Monastery – built by the chief queen in 1818, Nan Myint Tower – 27-meter high, Bargayar Monastery – well known for its wood carving with 267 teak pillars.
Return toward the city and stop at Amarapura, another former capital. Enjoy the sunset by crossing over U Bein bridge, 200-year-old teak bridge. Back to hotel and leisure. Overnight in Mandalay.
After breakfast, meet with our guide at 08:00 to visit Mingun. Transfer to Jetty and embark on a boat trip up the Ayeyarwaddy River, enjoying the picturesque scenery of this river and the lifestyles of the local people who live and work on these waters.
Visit Mingun Bell which weighs of 90 tons and is more than 3.7 metres tall, the world largest un-cracked bell and unfinished Mingun Pagoda. Walking along the village, crafting traditional basketry and other artistic items and there is plenty of time to stop and interact with the craftsmen and friendly locals and then visit Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru, one of the main attractions of Mingun.
Then boat back to Mandalay, visit to the marble workshop, Shwe Nandaw Kyaung- or Golden Palace Monastery- which is noted for its intricate wood carvings and Kyauktawgyi Pagoda to view the huge marble Buddha. Enjoy the sunset on top of Mandalay Hill and enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River. Back to hotel and overnight Mandalay.
Breakfast at hotel and we start our journey to Pyin Oo Lwin, a former British hill station. On arrival, check in to hotel and then start full day trip by traditional horse carriage to the local market, nearby plantations and villages, visit to the 90 years old beautiful Botanical Garden Kandawgyi. Then proceed by car to Pwe Kauk waterfall & Paik Chin Myaung Cave Temple and etc. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
After breakfast at hotel, we will drive to a small town Naung Cho where we will catch the train to pass the Goteik Viaduct, 300-meter deep high in Shan Mountains which was built in 1899 by American company Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge Construction. It was the 2nd tallest Viaduct in the world. The train will pass through and arrival to Hsipaw, transfer to hotel and check in. In the evening walking around Hsipaw if time permits. Overnight in Hsipaw.
This morning, we will enjoy our boat trip along Dokthawaddy River through amazing scenery of mountains, plantations along the river and general village life in this interesting part of Myanmar.
We will take an hour walk to visit a 150 years old Shan monastery in the forest, visit the river confluence and on the way back in the direction of Hsipaw we visit a charming traditional Shan village. Then back to Hsipaw and leisure. Overnight in Hsipaw.
After breakfast, we will drive back to Mandalay and on the way visit to Baw Gyo pagoda. Along the way you will have photo stop at Kyauk Mae at Goke Twin valley where you will have the chance again to take picture of Goke Htaik Viaduct. On arrival Mandalay, transfer to hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Mandalay.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for International Departure.