Day 1 Yangon
Arrival in Yangon and transfer to hotel.
Day 2 Yangon
Today we visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, learning its history, the people and Buddhist religion and how spiritual belief is mixed with the nats – the Myanmar spirits. We pass workshops, markets and monasteries and enjoy a traditional Burmese breakfast, make offerings to monks and the pagoda, and visit a fortune teller.
Day 3 Yangon – Mandalay
Fly to Mandalay. In the afternoon, visit the Mahamuni pagoda to view the century’s old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. We continue to Amarapura, a quiet village to hear the sound of weaving machines. Finally visit the famous Mahagandayon Monastery complex and monks and watch the sunset from the charming U-Bein Bridge.
Day 4 Mandalay explored by bike
Riding through the back lanes of town, passing markets and lively neighbourhoods to the true countryside where farmers tend to their fields and villagers go about their daily rituals. We stop at a market, watch bamboo being woven and walk through a central Myanmar village learning their way of life.
Day 5 Mandalay to Bagan
Morning bus and transfer to hotel. An afternoon sightseeing tour with a guide to show you the best-known temples of the area. Climb a pagoda for an impressive view over the whole plain and onto other impressive temples that have been here for hundreds of years.
Day 6 Explore Bagan
Today is a free day in Bagan to discover its delights at your own pace. Rent a horse cart, a bicycle or an electric bike or if you book early enough take a spectacular early morning balloon ride over the Bagan plain.
Day 7 Bagan to Kalaw
Drive to an elephant conservation project near Kalaw. Take a peaceful walk encountering the elephants and their mahouts. The project includes a natural environment for retired working Asian elephants, helps the local population through education and micro finance. Lunch is at the project before continuing on to Kalaw.
Day 8 Kalaw – Loikaw by Train
06:00 for a spectacular train journey from Kalaw through the beautiful landscape of Pa O, arriving at Saung Byaung station around 1600, (prepare for some delays). On arrival we continue by private car to Loikaw to enjoy a traditional, home cooked meal at a local family house.
Day 9 Loikaw
We visit the bustling morning market of Loikaw and Kayah Museum to see the artefacts of this state. In Kasae Kum we see how the rings that some Kayah women wear around their necks are made, an excellent opportunity to learn about the legends of the longneck women. Onto Pemsong village to take a walk where your guide will tell the story of their ancestors and belief in spirits. Enjoy a picnic lunch before continuing the walk to one of the Kayah villages where you will meet more longneck women.
Day 10 Loikaw – Kayah Village Walk
This morning we visit Hta Nee La Leh and meet some members of the community who will explain their shrines where animist traditions are practiced, and enjoy lunch in a local home. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 11 Loikaw – Pekon – Samkar – Inle Lake
Morning drive to Pekon to take a private boat across Pekon Lake towards Samkar village to visit Samkar Monastery. Onward by boat to Inle Lake.
Day 12 Inle Lake
A full day exploring this magical lake by boat. Discover its natural beauty, the floating gardens, the famous leg rowing fishermen, and have a cup of tea at a local home. Traditional markets are held in different villages around the lake. We visit one of these colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people. We also visit a local cheroot factory (where Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Intha Heritage house - where Burmese cats are bred.
Day 13 Inle Lake
Visit the ruins of Indein, which until recently lay undiscovered. Take a short walk to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake and visit a school in Tha Ley village. A home-made cooked lunch will be served in a local house. Nam Pan village follows, for a very interesting trip by small canoe exploring the side channels and village life.
Day 14 Inle Lake via Heho to Yangon
Morning flight back to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. The rest of your day is free in Yangon.
Day 15 Yangon Departure
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
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