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Myanmar Explorer


12 days 11 nights

Code MCT132

Category Myanmar Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-11
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Trip Starts From Yangon
  • Trip Ends At Yangon
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Yangon Kyaikhtiyo Bagan Mt. Popa, Myanmar Amarapura Mingun Kalaw Inle Lake
Dates & Prices

Overview

We appreciate the massive Golden Pagodas of Yangon, hike the Golden Rock at the top of Kyaikhtiyo, follow the footsteps of the Burmese King along the ancient streets of Mandalay and cruise down the Irrawaddy River to the ruins of Mingun.

We take excursion to the volcanic site of Mount Popa- the abode of animistic powers, explore the three royal capitals of Amarapura, Sagaing and Inwa, witness the colonial flairs at the hill resort of  Kalaw and learn the water culture and lifestyles of the ethnic people living in the islands and shores of Inle Lake.

We meet the monks and pious visitors and attend the rituals and rites in the temples and monasteries, stop in the art workshops of gold leaf making, potteries and textiles and mingle with the locals in the floating market.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrival at Yangon

You can book your international flight to Yangon on your own or ask us for help. Upon arrival at Mingaladon airport of Yangon (Previously known as Rangoon), we are met by our local guide and we are transferred to hotel.
Today, we visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda- probably the most prominent attraction in entire Myanmar. Towering 326 ft. high on Singuttara Hill, the pagoda can be spotted from miles away. The 2,500-year old pagoda is built of 30 tons of gold and precious gems such as diamonds and emeralds. As the pagoda contains the relics of Lord Gautama Buddha, it’s the most revered of all the pagodas in Myanmar. At the pagoda, we will witness the rituals and prayers performed by monks and devotees. We will stay at the pagoda till late to enjoy the beautiful sunset view.

Overnight East Hotel or similar

Day 02~Explore Yangon

After breakfast in the hotel, we set out to explore the wonders of Yangon- the city with glistening Pagodas, old colonial buildings, tree-lined streets, bustling local markets and tranquil lakes. We begin from Botataung Pagoda, located in the east Yangon waterfront, which is a 131 ft. high golden spire, containing a sacred relic hair of Buddha. This Pagoda is believed to be the contemporary of Shwedagon Pgadoa. From here, we continue to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda with one of the largest reclining Buddha images in Myanmar. The pagoda is located near the Shwedagon Pagoda and is worth visiting. If you are interested in arts and artifacts and items of historical importance, we will visit the National Museum. Maha Wijaya Pagoda is relatively newer addition and is a symbolic memorial of the first successful congregation of the Shangha (schools) of all orders, when all the sects of the Buddhist monastic orders came under one supervisory body. We conclude the tour of the day at Sule Pagoda who is another remarkable pagoda in Yangon. This 2,000-year old golden image which is 152 feet high makes for an interesting landmark because of its octagonal shape. The pagoda enshrines a sacred hair of Buddha. If you want to know your fortune, see one of the palmist or astrologers who make the pagoda their base.

Overnight in East Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03 ~ Drive from Yangon to Kyaikhtiyo

After breakfast, we check out hotel and head to Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, known as "Golden Rock", perches on the edge of a cliff at the top of Kyaikhto Mountain, part of the Eastern Yoma. A small stupa structure rests on top of a big boulder covered in gold leaf, which balances on the cliff thanks to a sacred hair of the Buddha enshrined or preserved inside the stupa. From Yangon, its 119 miles scenic journey up to the base camp and then we switch to a small truck up to the second camp at Yathedaung and then hike about 45 minutes to reach the top. The ride and hike is tiresome but our efforts are well rewarded with spectacular views of the surroundings.

Overnight Mountain Top Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 04 ~ Return to Yangon with a stop in Bago

We will visit Golden rock again for sunrise view and return to hotel for breakfast and then we descend to the base camp and ride back to Yangon. We stop at Bago for sightseeing. Bago is the ancient capital of Myanmar, dating back to the 6th century. At Bago, we visit the beautiful 55m long reclining Buddha called Shwethalyaung and the Mon style Shwemawdaw Pagoda, one of the most venerated in Myanmar. Its spire stands 114m high and is taller than the Shwedagon Pagoda. Also visit the old Palace of Kambozathadi and the huge four sitting Buddhas. Return by road to Yangon, visiting the Allied War Cemetery near Htaukkyan, the final resting place for over 27,000 allied soldiers, and a local woven bamboo factory. Transfer back to Yangon.

Overnight: East Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 05 ~ Flight from Yangon to Bagan

After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for flight to Bagan. Upon arrival at Bagan airport, we are met by our local guide and then we are transferred to our hotel. Soon we set out to explore the archeological wonders of Bagan town that flourished from the 11th through 13th century and thousands of magnificent stupas and temples were constructed during 200 years; many of which are still standing with all glory along the banks of Irrawady River.

We visit the vibrant market of Nyaung U before and drive to the archaeological zone. We visit the temples and pagodas of Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilominlo, Ananda, Thatbyinnyu Sulamani, Dhammyangyi which speak of their glorious past. In the evening, we enjoy the spectacular sunset from the terrace of Myaukguni Temple and conclude the tour of the day.

Overnight in Bagan River View or Thande or Thazin Garden Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 06 ~ Excursion to Mount Popa

Mount Popa is an extinct volcano which is believed to be home to the "nats", ancient Burmese animist spirits. We climb to the top for stunning views of the surrounding countryside before continuing to the village of Salay, an important Buddhist centre. Visit the ancient wooden monastery before returning to Bagan.
This morning, head southeast 48 km (30 miles) to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano with a height of 1518 m (4,979 ft.). We climb to the top of the volcano ridge and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding. Mount Popa has played an important role in Myanmar culture, religion and history since earliest times as it’s believed to be the abode of the “Nats”, ancient Burmese animist spirits. As we climb the stairs to the top, we will get to learn about the Nats and Nat rituals.

We will have lunch break in a local restaurant (pay on your own) and then we will head to Salay, an important Buddhist center with many active monasteries. Salay created a unique style of Bagan-era architecture and that we can witness in Yok Stone Kyaung Monastery- one of the nicest and the oldest one in the area. Today, time permitting; we will also take sunset boat ride on Ayeyawaddy River.

Overnight in Bagan River View, Thande or Thazin Garden Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 07 ~ Bagan - Mandalay Flight from Bagan to Mandalay and excursion of Amarapura, Sagaing and Inwa

After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for flight to Mandalay- Myanmar’s second largest city after Myanmar. Upon arrival at Mandalay airport, we are met by our local guide and then we are transferred to our hotel.
Today, we visit the three former royal capitals, Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa, each with its own charm and atmosphere. We begin from Amarapura and visit Mahagandayon Monastery where we watch monks and novices lining up to receive their daily alms and food from faithful Buddhists. We continue on to Sagaing, the spiritual center of Myanmar, abundant with hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries.

We cross the river by ferry to the ancient capital of Inwa- situated on the shores of the Irrawaddy River which is now a quiet rural oasis. We enjoy a leisurely horse carriage ride in the peaceful countryside and visit the beautiful teak wood monastery. On the way, we stop at a workshop where locals make the famous alms bowls out of iron. We conclude the day at U Bein‘s Bridge in Amarapura. U Bein’s Bridge is a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometer across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge is swarmed by monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colors of the sunset.

Overnight Mandalay Hill Resort or Ayarwaddy River View Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 08 ~ Excursion to Mingun by boat

This morning, we visit Mahamuni Paya enshrined with the Mahamuni Image- covered in over 6 inches of gold leaf. The image is probably the most revered Buddhist image in entire Myanmar. Devotees flock to the shrine at four in the morning to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. En route to the pagoda, we will stop at a workshop to observe the laborious process of gold leaf making. We may also stop by a craft shop.
We continue on to the Golden Teak Monastery, built entirely of golden teak with intricate carving. The monastery was once the part of Mandalay Palace, used by King Mindon and his chief wife as their private chamber. Next, we will visit Kyaukawgyi Paya- known for a seated Buddha, carved out of a single marble block. The Kuthodaw Paya- a huge walled temple complex at the base of the southeast stairway to Mandalay Hill. Kuthodaw Paya was built by King Mindon at about the same time as the Mandalay Royal Palace.

This afternoon, we take a ferry up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to a laidback riverside village of Mingun and enjoy the serene beauty of the river and the lifestyles of the local people who live and work on these waters. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to arrive at Mingun but we can see the attractions of Mingun luring us from far away.
We will visit the 12 feet high and 87 ton Mingun Bell, which is definitely the world's largest bell. Just south of the bell lies Mingun Pagoda- a giant brick structure which was built in 1700s but was never completed due to economic troubles but it is still an impressive site. Mingun's other attraction that we don’t want to miss is the Hisnbyume Pagoda- a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Mingun is full of small neighborhoods crafting traditional basketry and other artistic items and we will have plenty of opportunity to stop by and interact with the craftsmen and friendly locals.

We take the ferry ride back at dusk enjoying the beautiful colors of the water.

Overnight Mandalay Hill Resort or Ayarwaddy River View Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 09 ~ Drive from Mandalay to Kalaw

After breakfast, we check out hotel and we embark on our overland journey to Kalaw that takes most of the day. We pass by small towns and villages and get glimpses of the rural life away from the cities.

Kalaw, situated at an elevation of 4000 ft. on the western edge of the Shan Plateau, served as a popular retreat during British Era. It is still a peaceful and quiet place with an atmosphere reminiscent of those colonial days. The small population here is a mix of Shan, Indian Muslim, Bamar and Nepalese ethnics.

Overnight Pine Hill Resort

Meals : Breakfast
Day 10 ~ Explore Kalaw and later overland travel to To Inle Lake

After breakfast, we embark on the tour of Kalaw. We begin from Thein Taung Pay, a temple perched on the hill overlooking the main road. There are many Western style building still standing in Kalaw, visit Christ the King Church, founded by an Italian missionary. We will also take a light trek to a nearby hill tribe village. One of the main sources of income is the cultivation of a large leaf used to wrap Burmese cigars.

After your trek, we continue overland to Inle Lake. We stop at Pindaya (28 miles from Kalaw) to visit the lime stone caves with ancient Buddha images made of various materials like teak wood, marble, alabaster, brick and lacquer, and all enshrined in the nooks and corners of the winding caverns. Pindaya is also known for the Shan paper and monk umbrella makers. From Pindaya, we continue on our journey to the Inle Lake. Upon arrival at the lake, we will take a ferry ride to get to the hotel.

Overnight Paradise Inle Resort

Meals : Breakfast
Day 11 ~ Excursion by boat on Inle Lake and flight back to Yangon

Later in the day, we take ferry ride back to the lakeshore and meet our transport and drive to the airport for flight to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon, we are met by our local guide and we are transferred to our hotel.

Rest of the day, you are on your own to pursue your own interests.

Overnight East Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 12 ~ Departure

Transfer to the airport for flight back home or next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing in mix of superior and deluxe category hotels.
  • Daily breakfast in the hotel.
  • All transfers and tours by a private vehicle.
  • English speaking local guides.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • Internal airfares Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay and back to Yangon.
  • All sightseeing, cruise and hikes per itinerary.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Lunch and dinner.
  • International airfare to Yangon and return.
  • Airport taxes.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, illness, accident, civil unrest etc.
  • Travel insurance.

Myanmar Visa

You need Myanmar visa beforehand. You can apply visa at the nearest Myanmar embassy. Since September 2014, you can also apply eVisa online. You will receive your eVisa by email within 5 working days.
Myanmar eVisa Online

Accommodation

We offer choice of superior (3-4 star) and deluxe (4-5 star) properties and the best available where choices are limited. All the hotels provide private bathroom with running hot and cold water. Most hotels provide toiletries such as shampoo, body wash and it's advisable that you bring your own toiletry supplies as well. Hair dryer and iron are available on request. Hotels are staffed with friendly locals.

Meals

The tour includes daily breakfast at your hotel which is usually served in buffet style. Lunch and dinner are not included except the farewell dinner on the last night of the trip. Please budget $10-15 per meal for lunch and dinner. Most hotels have on-site restaurants and they cater Burmese, Chinese, Thai and western style cuisines.

Guide

We will be using station guides for small groups. That means guide change when you fly from one city to the other. But if the group size exceeds 10 persons or more, we will provide one accompanying guide throughout the tour. Our guide will be a local college graduate, fluent in English and certified by local authorities. Your guide will bring necessary vouchers and air ticket copies. They will help you check in the flight and coordinate with the driver and porters.

Transportation

Depending on group size, we will use Sedan Car (for 2 persons), Japanese Toyota Hiace minivan for 3-8 persons and Toyota Coaster or luxury coach for group 9 persons and above. Vehicles are air conditioned all the time.

Moneys

Please note that traveler checks cannot be used in Myanmar yet, credit card is acceptable at some upscale restaurants and some hotels with certain surcharge of 3-8%. ATM is also available at major cities like Yangon & Mandalay and can withdraw the cash local currency Kyats (Not USD). Master logo card (like Metro Master Card, Cirrus Master Card) can withdraw from CB Bank’s ATM machine and Visa & Master Card can withdraw from KBZ Bank’s ATM. 24 hrs. service, service charges Kyat 5000/ transaction, maximum Kyat 300,000/ transaction, maximum Kyat 1,000,000 within 24 hours.

We still recommend visitors bring sufficient cash (best in US Dollars, but Euros also increasingly accepted) to exchange to local currency (kyat) and make any purchases or additional payments as Internet Connection can be poor at sometimes.  Please bring new US Dollar bills (featuring "big heads" instead of "small heads") that are not creased, torn and not marked upon. The series numbers starting with CB are not accepted in Myanmar due to rumors these series are counterfeit. Note that larger notes get a better exchange rate but smaller notes are useful for some purchases.

Booking Deposit and Payment Schedule

US$ 300 deposit is requested along with the completed trip registration and normally balance payment is due 90 days prior departure but we may also request you second payment if need be. Payment by credit card except the initial deposit will attract additional 3.5% fee. We reserve the right to refuse certain form of payment.

Cancellation and refund

Notice of cancellation and refund request must be received in written form.

Cancellation charges
•    180 days prior departure: No penalty unless stated as non-refundable.
•    90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person
•    60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 300 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
•    45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
•    30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
•    Less than 30 days: 100%.

Cancellation and refund of air tickets cost will be as per rules and regulations of the concerned airlines plus a service charge of US$ 25 per segment will be levied. Cancellation terms and conditions of certain services may vary which will be informed per case to case basis.

No refund or adjustment to other services will be made for any unused land or air services for any reason whatsoever, once tour begin. We highly recommend that all travelers purchase trip cancellation insurance.

We reserve the right to cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup or logistical problems that may impede trip operations. We also reserve the right to refuse your participation in the tour with or without any reason. So, please do not purchase your international airfare until your participation on the tour is confirmed by us.

Final trip dossier

A comprehensive trip dossier will be sent to you about 2 months before the trip date. The trip dossier includes the final itinerary, list of confirmed hotels and flights and service details. The document will also include the travel notes including weather, packing suggestions, currency information etc.

Travel Insurance

While we plan and do our best that your trip goes smoothly as planned but there are always chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather conditions, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It's also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High's tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

Accomodation

Superior

Yangon: Jasmine Palace or Sedona Hotel

Kyakhtyo: Moutain Top Hotel

Bagan: Bawga Theiddhi Hotel

Mandalay:Hotel Amazing Mandalay or Bagan King

Kalaw: Hill Top Villa Resort

Inle Lake:Pristine Lotus or Myanmar Treasure

Deluxe

Yangon: Chatrium Hotel or Sule Shangrila

Kyakhtyo: Moutain Top Hotel

Bagan: Mandalay Hill Resort or Rupar Mandalay Resort

Mandalay:Hotel Amazing Mandalay or Bagan King

Kalaw: Hill Top Villa Resort

Inle Lake:Sanctum Inle Resort or Inle Resort or Spa

Note: Hotels listed above are our preferred properties and are subject to availability.

Add Ons

Inthar Home Cooking in Inle Lake

US$ 95

inthar cookingLearn traditional cooking in an Inthar family in Inle Lake. After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to a local home of Inthar and meet with the family in Pauk Par Village.

First, your host will lead you to one of rotational local markets around Inle Lake. Explore around the local market, where greenish vegetables, fresh meats, colorful fruits, local products and others. Buy some ingredients which are required for your cooking class and transfer back to the local Inthar home. Now, it's about time to learn and cook like an Inthar, the local family will explain about the cuisines you are about to cook and show you how to cook step by step. Discover and enjoy how local Inthar people prepare their meals. Enjoy the food that you cooked before you are transferred back to the hotel or continue sightseeing of the day.

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1 866 838 5818
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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

United States

8030 Old Cedar Ave S, Suite 123
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

Nepal

Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369

Bhutan

KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004

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No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619


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