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Hidden Secrets of Myanmar


10 days 9 nights

Code MCT133

Category Myanmar Small Group Adventures

  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 4,330ft
  • Trip Starts From Yangon
  • Trip Ends At Yangon
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Classic Circuits
  • Destination Yangon Bagan Mandalay Amarapura Pindaya Inle Lake
Dates & Prices

Overview

Myanmar is the country with authentic Buddhist religion, culture and traditions, the friendliest people on earth and beautiful temples, monasteries and nature.

This 10-day long journey begins from the garden city of Yangon where you can experience the combination of bygone colonial era and the modern bustling streets. From Yangon, we travel to the vast plains of Bagan dotted with more than 2000 ancient temples! Bagan is the ancient capital and during its heydays between 11th to 13th century, there were more than 10 thousand temples! We take horse carriage and explore the ancient temples with rich murals and arts. We will also take an excursion to an extinct volcanic site of Mount Popa-the abode of the animistic spirits and Salay, an important Buddhist center with many active monasteries.

A brief flight whisks us to Mandalay-the second capital of Myanmar.We visit the local markets, watch the monks accepting alms and appreciate the golden Buddha images in the temples. We also visit the ancient capitals of Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura. Now, we fly to Heho in Shan State and visit the Pindaya Caves with 9000 Buddha images! Our final destination of this trip is the Inle Lake where we cruise on boats to visit the villages with bamboo stilt houses in the islands and lakeshores and learn the vibrant lifestyle and culture on the waters!

On this trip, we will have plenty of opportunity to meet the ethnic people, experience the Buddhist monastic life, rituals in the temples and arts and craft workshops.

Trip Cost

High Season: Nov 2017 to Apr 2018| Nov-Dec 2018

US$ 1899 per person on double occupancy basis.

US$ 570 Private Room Supplement.

Low Season: May 2018 to Oct 2018

US$ 1825 per person on double occupancy basis.

US$ 560 Private Room Supplement.

Price is guaranteed with minimum 2 participants.Price includes land and airfares within Myanmar only. International airfare is not included.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Yangon (Formerly Rangoon)

Upon arrival, clear the immigration and custom and meet your guide in the ground transportation area and transfer to the hotel.

Late afternoon, visit Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas and your guide will show you around the massive complex, explaining why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point.

 

Overnight: Jasmine Palace Hotel or similar
Day 02~Sightseeing of Yangon

Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and you’ll venture downtown to explore the attractions of Yangon. The streets are filled with historical buildings many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building- and walk to Sule Paya in the middle of downtown, passing by Strand Road after visiting Nantida Jetty.

We begin the tour visiting Botataung Pagoda first. This ancient pagoda is named after the 1000 military men who brought the relics of Buddha from India 2000 years old and enshrined it here. Rebuilt completely after of second World War, this temple is similar to the original one but is hollow and you can walk through it.

Our next stop will be at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and the main attraction here is the giant reclining image of Buddha. The image is enshrined under a large metal-roofed shed and we are able to see here rituals and worship performed by the devout locals.

We continue on to the National Museum that preserves the several interesting exhibits and the main attraction here is the 8 meter high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by King Thibaw Min, the last Burmese king, and returned to Burma in 1908 by Lord Mountbatten. Other notable exhibits are the jewelries, old pictures of Mandalay Palace, royal artificts ec.

Final stop of the day will be at the vibrant market of Bogyoke, formerly known as Scott’s Market. We take time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops. (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays).

 

Overnight: Jasmine Palace Hotel or similar
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Flight to Bagan

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: Bawga Theiddhi Hotel , Bagan
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Excursion of Mount Popa.

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 retrace our drive to Bagan. We will continue on the sightseeing of the previous day.

 

Overnight: Bawga Theiddhi Hotel , Bagan
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Flight to Mandalay.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for flight to Mandalay. The flight is only 30 minutes. Meet your local transport and then transfer to the hotel in Manalay city. After wash up and change, we proceed for sightseeing.

We begin from Mahamuni Paya of the 18th century. The centerpiece of the temple is the highly revered Mahamuni Buddha image that is believed to have been casted during the lifetime of Buddha and that he breathed upon the image!

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.

During the sunset time, we visit the Mandalay Hill and take an easy climb up the sheltered steps to see panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay and the paya-studded countryside.

 

Overnight: Amazing Hotel Mandalay
Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Excursion of former Royal Capitals of Amarapura, Sagaing and Ava

Today we visit the three former royal capitals, Amarapura, Sagaing, and Ava, 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: Amazing Hotel Mandalay
Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Flight to Heho and transfer to Pindaya

This morning, transfer to airport for a short flight to Heho (30 minutes). Meet your local guide and driver and transfer to Pindaya. Its little more than 20 miles and can take up to 1-hour.

We check into our accommodations and then proceed to visit the incredible Pindaya Caves situated on a limestone ridge overlooking the valley. It's an amazing grotto with more than 9000 Buddha images of various sizes and materials, sponsored by Buddhist devotees from all over the world. They are enshrined in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers.

We spend a good amount of time exploring and appreciating the beauty of the cave. In the afternoon, we go for a leisurely stroll through the market and stop b a paper umbrella workshop.

 

Overnight: The Conquer Hotel Pindaya
Meals : Breakfast
Day 08~Inle Lake

After breakfast, we leave for Inle Lake. We enjoy a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside of Shan State to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway town to the Inle Lake. From here, we switch to our private motor-boat and transfer to our resort in the lakeshore. We pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. After we settle into our accommodations, we set out on boat to explore the lake and its attractions.

We visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day).

Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddha Images. Continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.

Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.

Continue along the lake for additional sightseeing before returning to your accommodations in the afternoon.

 

Overnight: Pristine Lotus Spa Resort
Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~Morning visit the Indein temples and afternoon flight to Yangon

After breakfast at your hotel, down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of In Dein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Here you can climb the covered stairway to the top of a hill which is covered with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.

After today’s tour, drive to the Heho Airport for the flight to Yangon and upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

 

Overnight: Jasmine Palace Hotel or similar
Meals : Breakfast
Day 10~Depart Yangon

Service ends. 

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Arrival transfer.
  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis unless requested a private single room on additional cost.
  • Daily breakfast at your hotel
  • English-speaking local guides. 
  • Porter fees at airports
  • All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Private motorized boat in Inle Lake and sunset boat in Bagan
  • Horse cart tours in Ava
  • Entrance fees for the visits as mentioned in the program
  • Water and refreshing towels
  • In-tour airfare within Myanmar

Trip does not include

  • Return international airfare to Myanmar
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Visa arrangements for Myanmar
  • Visits not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Early check in and late check out for hotels
  • Departure transfer. It can be booked on additonal cost.

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

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 local guides for small groups. That means guide changes when you fly from one city to the other. But if the group size exceeds 10 persons or more, we will provide one acompanying 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.

Monies

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 are 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 CBBank’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 un creased, un 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 begins. 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 on 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. Highland Asia'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

The hotels we use in this itinerary are mix of first class and deluxe properties with adequate amenities and we pick the best available where choices are limited. You will have private bathroom with running hot and cold water. Most hotels provide toiletries such as shampoo, body wash and its advisable that you bring your own toiletry supplies as well. Hair dryer and iron are available on request. Hotels are staffed with friendly locals.

Jasmine Palace Yangon
Jasmine Palace Hotel, Yangon
Amazing Hotel Mandalay
Amazing Hotel, Mandalay
Bawga Theiddhi Hotel, Bagan
Bawga Theiddhi Hotel , Bagan
Pristine Lotus Resort, Inle Lake
Pristine Lotus Spa Resort, Inle Lake
conquer resort pindaya
Conquer Hotel Pindaya

 

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