Our driver and guide will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for check in. We then start sightseeing of the Yangon downtown area where you can explore a range of colonial buildings on foot. We then continue to Yangon City Hall which is centrally located in downtown Yangon and considered a fine example of Burmese architecture with its traditional roof. It is next to several important landmarks such as Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandula Park (a public park), High Court, and the Main Post Office. We will have lunch at an authentic Myanmar food restaurant. Next, we will explore the Bogyoke Aung San Market known as Scott Market. Its building is recognized as one of the “blue plagues” of the Yangon Heritage Buildings. We then proceed to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda with its 72 metres long reclining Buddha – one of the largest in Myanmar. Afterwards, we visit temples such as the Shri Kali Hindu temple and the Chinese Guanyin temple. Our day will end at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar surrounded by an array of temples, shrines and pavilions. You then transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Yangon – Pyay – Sri Ksetra
Leaving the hotel early in the morning to drive (280 km, 5 hours) to Pyay (Prome), situated near the ancient capital of Sri Kestra (UNESCO Heritage Site), where extensive archaeological excavations have taken place. An optional visit is included at the British War Cemetery near Htauk Kyan. Just short of Pyay, visit Shwemyetmhan Pagoda (Shwedaung) which is home to a most unusual Buddha image – one who wears gold-rimmed spectacles. In the afternoon, visit the busy central market, a cheroot making factory, and the Buddhist Shwesandaw Pagoda. This Pagoda is similar in design to Shwezigon in Bagan, and is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage spots in Myanmar. An enormous seated Buddha figure rises up from the tree-line adjacent to Shwesandaw Pagoda. Afterwards, transfer to the hotel in Pyay for overnight.
Day 3 Pyay – Akauk Taung sightseeing
Early morning we drive to the outskirts of Pyay and cross the new bridge to Htone Bo Village and then continue by local boat to Akauk Taung to see Buddha images carved into rocks overlooking the Irrawaddy River. Hundreds of niches in the cliff face are filled with Buddha images of all shapes and sizes – many of them have been carved out of the rocks. We will also explore villages and typical rural life in the area. Return to Pyay. In the afternoon, drive out of Pyay to visit the site of the ancient Pyu Kingdom of Sri Ksetra (by bullock ox carts if available) and the tiny museum which houses artifacts unearthed in Sri Ksetra. There are two huge conical stupas, Payagyi and Payama, close to the museum and it is nearly always possible to reach them because the road is sealed. We will visit Bawbawgyi Pagoda, a special site to visit in this region because of its ancient history.Afterwards, transfer you to the hotel in Pyay for overnight.
Day 4 Pyay – Magway – Yenangyaung
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Yeanangyaung (250 km, 6 hours). En route, pass the fields and small towns of Aung Lan and Magway, well known for their production of groundnut and sesame oils, earning itself the nickname of ‘Oil pot of Myanmar’. We stop for lunch and then visit the famous MyaThaLun Pagoda on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. From there we continue to Yenangyaung. On arrival, check into the hotel in Yenangyaung for overnight.
Day 5 Yenangyaung – Salay -Bagan
After breakfast at your hotel, we will walk down the road from your guest house to visit the Light of Love Private High School (LOL). We will meet the children (mostly orphans) and village people, get local exposure, and also encourage and empower them. We then set out to explore a few very authentic places in Yenangyaung. We will visit the local market, brick factory, and see the famous oil industry with its hand-dug wells, oil rigs and gas fields which are still operating since the colonial period (Yenangyaung is also known for richness in oil manufacturing). We then go to Salay where you can learn more about monastic lives at the Yoke Sone Kyaung Monastery which is famous for its fine wood curves. Next, we will continue to visit Shinpinsarkyo Paya, about 5 km southwest of town. Shinpinsarkyo Paya is known for its original wood carvings. After discovering the ancient culture, we will drive back to Bagan and stay overnight.
Day 6 Bagan sightseeing
Our driver will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to visit the colourful market where villagers gather every day to buy and sell their products. We then continue with a visit to the golden stupa of the Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction to Bagan’s rich history. We will visit the nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi Temple with its exquisite Jataka mural paintings and also the elegant Htilominlo temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. After lunch at a local restaurant, we head back to the hotel to refesh. The afternoon starts with a visit to the Ananda temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon-Myanmar style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed. Proceed to visit Thatbyinnyuthe, the highest temple in Bagan and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of Shwe San Daw Pagoda. Afterwards, back to the hotel.
Day 7 Bagan – Mt.Popa – Mandalay
After breakfast, we will drive from Bagan to Mandalay. On the way, we will visit Mount Popa where you can visit the Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the “Nats” (spirits) at the top with a wonderful panoramic view and fresh air. We then continue to the hotel in Mandalay for overnight.
Day 8 Amarapura-Mandalay sightseeing and departure
After breakfast, our guide and driver will pick you up and start sightseeing at Maha Muni Pagoda, famous for its life-like Buddha image. We continue sightseeing at Ku Tho Daw Pagoda, known as the world’s biggest book and then enjoy the panoramic views of Mandalay City from Mandalay Hill. We then visit Mahargandayone Monastery and then drive to U Bein Bridge, made of teak logs and planks over 200 years ago by then Mayor U Bein. Afterwards, we transfer you to the airport for the departure flight.