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Yangon and the Ancient Temples of Bagan
- Visit the grand Shwedagon Pagoda, the heart of Yangon.
- Explore the colonial time architecture in Yangon.
- Sunsets from the ancient pagodas of Bagan and from the Ayeyarwaddy River.
- Learn about rural local lives in the Bagan area and their beliefs in the spirits
Yangon is a lovely city where motorbikes have been banned for many years. A city with a great vibe where locals will welcome you with their charming smiles. The downtown area has many beautiful British colonial buildings such as the Yangon City Hall, High Court, Central Post Office, Ministers Office (Secretariat building), Strand Hotel, Central Telephone & Telegraph building, Myanmar Port Authority, Custom House, Bogyoke Aung San Museum, the beautiful Yangon Central Railway Station with its greenish roof, and many others. Not to be missed it the Sula Pagoda, which according to legend, dates from before the Shwedagon Pagoda making it well over 2,600 years old.
Enjoy sunset at the Shwedagon Pagoda with its spectacular massive golden stupa surrounded by hundreds of small stupas.
The ancient city of Bagan, with over 2,000 pagodas and temples, is famous since the time of the Kingdom of Pagan’s 250-year rule over the Ayeyarwady valley. The intricate brickwork of the temples, the countless stupas, and the detailed mural paintings inside the temples can easily occupy visitors for days on end. Riding a mountain bike, electric bike (e-bike), or on a horse cart around Bagan’s temples is an experience never to forget. Add to that some bird watching, hiking, boating, and just lazying around the local restaurants and “drinking stations” make Bagan the ideal place for both adventure and relaxation.
Conclude the day by photographing a beautiful sunset from Nyaung Lat Phet Hill or from a boat on the Ayeyarwady River. Outside Bagan, we won’t forget to hike the many stairs to the monastery at the top of Mount Popa, an ancient volcano (1,518 meters), for panoramic views over the valleys and mountains.
Day 1 : Arrival and Yangon sightseeing
We start our day of exploring downtown Yangon on foot by visiting the beautiful colonial buildings. Among the buildings we will visit is the Yangon City Hall which is centrally located in downtown Yangon and is considered a fine example of Burmese architecture, featuring a traditional roof. City Hall is close to several important landmarks such as Sule Pagoda, Maha-Bandula Park, the High Court, and the Main Post Office – all impressive colonial-style buildings. We will have lunch at an authentic Myanmar restaurant, and then visit the famous Bogyoke Aung San Market (known as Scott Market) with its 2,000 sprawling shops for clothing, gemstones, jewellery, traditional arts & crafts and souvenirs. Its building is recognized as one of the “blue plagues” of the Yangon Heritage Buildings. We then proceed to Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue which is the last remaining Jewish house of worship in downtown Yangon, and Burma’s only synagogue. Time permitted we will also visit Botahtaung Pagoda and temples such as the Shri Kali Hindu temple, the Chinese Guanyin Temple, and the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda with its 66 meters long reclining Buddha – one of the largest in Myanmar. Our day will end at Shwedagon Pagoda, which is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar and surrounded by an array of temples, shrines, and pavilions. Afterwards, we return to the hotel to relax.
Day 2 : Yangon to Bagan by morning flight and Bagan sightseeing
We will fly to Bagan today. On arrival, our journey begins with a visit to a colourful market where villagers gather every day to buy and sell their products. We continue our journey with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction to Bagan’s rich history. We will visit nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi Temple with exquisite Jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. Lunch at a restaurant and then back to our hotel to take a rest of 1-2 hours. In the afternoon, our adventure continues with a visit to the Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece which is one of the Bagan’s most beautiful temples built in the early Mon-Myanmar style. Ananda contains two unique Buddha images and their expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statues are viewed. From here we travel by horse cart to Thatbyinnyu Temple, the highest temple in Bagan and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from Nyaung Lat Phet Hill. Back to the hotel for overnight.
Day 3 : Bagan city explore and sunset cruise on the Ayeyarwady River
Today we will visit the rural village of Minnanthu, one of the places where you can see cotton weaving and harvesting of the crops. This will be our starting point to explore Bagan’s famous temples such as the Laymyathnar Monastery Complex, Phayathonsu Temple, and Nandamannya with its mural paintings from the 13th century. We will bring you to one of the best local restaurants in Bagan for lunch and back to the hotel for a break of about 1-2 hours. Later this afternoon, we start with a visit to Myinkabar village where you can observe a traditional lacquerware workshop for the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicraft. Our journey continues to Manuha Temple with its huge Buddha images, Nanpaya Temple built with sandstone, and Gubyauk Gyi Temple (Myinkaba) where you can see colorful mural paintings. In the late afternoon, to catch the sunset, we will make our journey to the jetty for a slow boat cruise down the Ayeyarwaddy River. As we cruise downstream, we will see fishermen and riverside villages as well as a different view of Bagan’s temples. Later we return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 4 : Excursion to Mt. Popa and fly back to Yangon with evening flight
After breakfast we take a one hour drive from Bagan to Mount Popa, located on the road to Mandalay. The top of Mt. Popa is 1,518 meters above sea-level. Hiking the stairs to the top takes about 45 minutes where we will visit the Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the “Nats” (spirits). The panoramic view from the top is stunning! We then return to Bagan. En route, we stop to see how locals make jaggery, an alcoholic drink made from the toddy palm juice. In the evening we fly back to Yangon where we overnight.
Day 5 : Departure
Transfer to the Yangon airport for departure.
Inclusion And Exclusion
- 4 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
- 2 ways domestic flights (Yangon-Bagan, Bagan-Yangon)
- English speaking station guides for sightseeing
- Air conditioning car with driver for sightseeing
- Sunset boat in Bagan
- Entrance fees and zone fees
- Water and refreshment towel on tour
- Toll fee and fuel charges for car
- Government tax and service charges
- Tourist visa
- Personal expenses
- Food and beverages (Except breakfast where mentioned)
- Travel insurance
- Items not mentioned in “services included”