Upon arrival, meet your Mandalay guide at the train station. Proceed with him to a local tea-shop for breakfast. The main culinary dish of the city is “Nan Gyi Tok,“ an exceptional noodle salad. You will experience the lively and active atmosphere and authentic local food that you will miss in tourist restaurants.
Now, transfer to the hotel for check-in. After wash up and change, proceed for the exploration of Mandalay and the former capitals. We first visit the Mahamuni Pagoda- a highly revered temple of Myanmar. This 13 ft high image is believed to be the exact likeness of Buddha as it was cast during Buddha's lifetime, and Buddha himself is believed to have breathed life upon it!
Now, we drive up the Sagaing Hill and visit U Min Thonzeh Pagoda. This pagoda contains 45 beautiful gilded Buddha images in a crescent-shaped colonnade, partly built into the side of the Sagaing Hill. Each statue is different in size and facial expression! The number 45 relates to the number of years Gautam Buddha lived after getting enlightened!
Today, we possibly visit a nunnery and meet the nuns, an opportunity to learn about monastic life.
Our next destination is the former royal capital of Innwa (Ava) located on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. It was the capital of Burma from the 14th century until 1839 A.D. We explore the remains of the ancient city that includes the old watchtowers, city walls, monasteries, and temples.
The final stop of the day will be at Amarapura- a former capital. We tour the ancient city, and when it's sunset time, we visit the U Bein Bridge- Burma's one of the most photographed attraction! U Bein- a teak bridge stretches close to 3936 ft. or 1200 m across Taungthaman Lake. While the bridge remains busy throughout the day, it creates the most captivating scenery at dusk: fishermen in the still waters, monks streaming crimson from one end to the other and the locals biking from shore to shore on their way home from work. You will love standing at the side and watching the world go by, leaving you awe-stricken, wide-eyed and smiling.
A small canoe will be at your disposal if you wish to watch the sun fade over the water.
Optional: Mandalay by Nights
Not a part of the tour but if you wish, you can experience the night in the city by motorbike! You will ride through the busy streets of Mandalay, as you experience what its nightlife has to offer. Enjoy the warm breeze as you journey back seat with your local driver.
With prior arrangement, your motorbike driver will pick you up at your hotel, and you will speed off into frantic streets of Mandalay until you reach the vibrant vegetable market. After exploring the colorful vendor spreads, hop back onto your private motorbike to grab some of Mandalay's most infamous street food. Savor some of the best crispy duck the city has to offer and wash it down with a chilled Myanmar beer or soft drink.
After satisfying your appetite, head off to enjoy a performance, a traditional Daw Ma Ma Naing Marionette show. Finally, before being transferred back to your hotel, stop at a district beer station to sip on some cold drinks, enjoy snacks, and dance to the roaring music.