10 Day: Discover Myanmar

    This programme is ideal for those visiting Myanmar for the first time, and also includes a stop at a beach resort.

    • From: Contact us for details.

    Yangon, Heho, Inle Lake, Sittwe, Mrauk U, Thandwe (Ngapali Beach).


    Discover Myanmar Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive Yangon

    Yangon is a city where contemporary and colonial Myanmar continue to coexist decades after British departure. It is a handsome city with a history of over two millennia, though it has been a capital for a mere 100 years. Rebuilt on a grid plan in the 1850s, the wide tree-lined boulevards are bordered by fine stone buildings. In the 1880s, Yangon was renowned as “the Queen of the East”. Today, Yangon bustles without urgency, high-rise buildings, traffic jams or department stores. Instead, small shops sell everything from antique lacquerware to silver-backed dressing table sets left over from colonial days.

    Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

    This afternoon start your sightseeing with a visit to Botataung Pagoda. This 131 foot stupa is unusual in that it is hollow and visitors are able to walk around inside. The original pagoda was destroyed in 1943 when it took a direct hit from an Allied bomb. During the cleanup a golden casket containing a hair and two other relics of Buddha were found.

    Then continue on to visit the Sule Pagoda. If the Shwedagon is the soul of Yangon, then the Sule is its heart. For centuries it has been the focus of much of the social and religious activity of the city. The British established the pagoda as the centre of the urban area when they structured their grid-street system around it in the mid-19th century. The 157 foot pagoda remains the tallest building in the town area.

    At sunset visit the Shwedagon Pagoda. This architectural masterpiece is a golden fantasy of gilded stupas, serene Buddhas and mythical beasts said to be 2,500 years old. According to legend, eight hairs of the last Buddha are enshrined within. On the outside the stupa is plated with 8,688 solid gold slabs while the tip is set with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, sapphires and topaz. A huge emerald sits in the middle to catch the first and last rays of the sun.

    Overnight: The Strand Hotel

    Day 2: Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake

    In the morning you are transferred to the airport to fly to Heho. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to Inle Lake, surrounded by the Shan Hills.

    Afternoon sightseeing will include a visit to the Phaung Daw U Pagoda. This pagoda enshrines five golden Buddha images carried back to Myanmar by the 12th century King Alaungsithu upon his return from the Malay Peninsula. The images were deposited in a cave near the lake and were not rediscovered until centuries later. Since their relocation to this pagoda, however, they have been covered with so much gold leaf that they look more like balls of gold than Buddha figures.

    Next you will see some Shan handicrafts.

    Inle Lake on the Shan Plateau is an oasis where you will see the unique methods of farming and fishing which sustain the local residents.

    Surrounding the lake is a wide belt of silt and tangled water hyacinths which, over time, creates a thick humus-like layer. The government sells plots of this floating land to be farmed by the villagers. Women tend the plots from boats and grow cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beans and eggplant.

    Fishing is done by means of a conical trap containing a net that the fisherman thrusts to the bottom of the lake when he sees movement. All this is done while the fisherman perches precariously on the boat’s stern with one foot and twists his other leg around a long oar that he uses to propel the boat!

    Visit the Jumping Cat Monastery. This wooden monastery, built on stilts over the lake, got its name from the monks who train their cats to jump through small hoops. Here you will see impressive Buddha images in Shan, Tibetan, Bagan and Inwa styles on a highly ornate wood and mosaic pedestal.

    Overnight: Inle Princess Resort
    Meal Plan: B,L,D

    Day 3: Inle Lake

    Begin your day with a visit to the five day market. This rotating market changes locations every five days and is where the local hill tribes come to buy and sell their goods. Items range from handmade crafts to produce grown on the floating gardens. Take notice of the colourful outfits worn by the different hill tribes as they barter in this lively setting.

    Continue to the Sikat-style silk weaving industry at Inn Paw Khone Village.

    Next visit Nampan Village where you can witness traditional village life on the lake and observe a blacksmith’s and boat builder's workshop. You can also have a go at trying to make a cheroot, the famous Burmese cigar, in a cheroot factory.

    Overnight: Inle Princess Resort
    Meal Plan: B,L,D

    Day 4: Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

    This morning, cruise through a densely forested river to visit Indein which is situated on a hillside in the southwestern corner of Inle Lake. Then wander through this typical lakeside village while observing the lives of the local people. Walk through a bamboo grove and up a beautiful stairway lined with wooden columns to old Shwe Inn Dein, an impressive and thankfully unrestored collection of ancient Shan style stupas. At the top there is a stunning view out across the lake and beyond, to the hills in the east and the rolling countryside to the west.

    After lunch at Golden Island Cottages, you are transferred to the airport to fly back to Yangon. Arriving in the evening you are met and driven to your hotel.

    Overnight: The Strand Hotel
    Meal Plan: B,L

    Day 6: Mrauk U

    After breakfast at the hotel, visit Shittaung Temple which means the temple of 80,000 images and was built by King Min Ba Gree in 1533 AD. Continue to Htutkan Thein, Andaw Thein and Thet Village to meet the Rohinga tribe (ethnic Bangladeshis). Then visit the temple of 90,000 images, Koe Thaung Temple, which was built by King Min Teikkha of the 22nd Mrauk U dynasty.

    This afternoon visit the informative Mrauk U Museum and then climb the Haritaung Pagoda for a breathtaking view of Mrauk U at sunset. The rolling hills, medieval pagodas and simple village life offer the perfect panorama of rural life.

    Overnight: Mrauk U Princess Hotel
    Meal Plan: B,L,D

    Day 7: Mrauk U

    After breakfast, stop at a local market to buy some medication for the Chin village before boarding a boat for the trip to the tattooed village. Sit back and enjoy the tranquil scenery as you potter along the Lemro River en route to the Chin hills. Pass by numerous villages that seemingly have not changed in centuries and witness the traditional river lifestyle.

    Stop en route for a picnic by the river. Enter the wonderful jungle-clad Chin hills rising from the river bank which roll their way across to India and Bangladesh. Arrive at the village of Sin Ge and see the few remaining Chin ladies with their tattooed faces. This is a dying custom in the Chin state as young girls today opt to not tattoo their faces. Give some medication to the village head. Then proceed for a short walk through the jungle to the villages of Kyee Chaung and Kone Chaung for some tea and photo opportunities before heading back to the boat and starting your return journey back to Nam Gya Village. En route there will be ample opportunity for some lovely photographs of the sunset on the river.

    Overnight: Mrauk U Princess Hotel
    Meal Plan: B,L,D

    Day 8: Mrauk U - Sittwe - Thandwe (Ngapali Beach)

    This morning, journey back to Sittwe by boat and upon arrival transfer to the airport to a lunchtime flight to Thandwe.

    Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel.

    Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach.

    Overnight: Sandoway Resort
    Meal Plan: B

    Day 9: Ngapali Beach

    Day at leisure to relax on the beach.

    Overnight: Sandoway Resort
    Meal Plan: B

    Day 10: Depart Yangon

    This morning, you are transferred to the airport to fly back to Yangon.

    Upon arrival in the afternoon, visit the National Museum, the showpiece of which is the Lion’s Throne. The throne, made of wood and inlaid with gold and lacquerwork, is a striking example of the Myanmar art of woodcarving. The throne was taken from Mandalay in 1886 by the English but later returned in 1964 as a goodwill gesture.

    Then stop at the Reclining Buddha Pagoda which is actually not a pagoda, but a pavilion housing a 230 foot statue. Also within the pagoda enclosure is a centre devoted to the study of sacred Buddhist manuscripts. About 600 monks live in the monastery and spend their days studying and meditating.

    Afternoon transfer to the International Airport for your departure flight.

    Meal Plan: B


    To book or customise this itinerary call: 01227 671 154

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