Myanmar Classic

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Destinations you will be visiting during this tour

9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS

YANGON – BAGAN – MANDALAY – INLE LAKE – YANGON

You will not miss any major site of interest with the Myanmar Classic Tour. This 9 days program will bring you to the magic archeological site of Bagan Temples, but also to Mandalay considered as the religious center of the country, the peaceful Lake Inle and Yangon with its old colonial buildings, the major economical city of Myanmar.

YOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: YANGON ARRIVAL

You will meet with your guide at the Arrival Hall of Yangon Mingaladon International airport. Transfer to your hotel and time to rest till lunch time.

In the afternoon, start an introduction tour to get familiar with Yangon. Former Capital till 2005, Yangon remains the most important economical centre of Myanmar. Despite the fast changes and new building under construction, Yangon and its diversity of population remains a vibrant and charming city. Yangon most famous religious monument is the Shwedagon Padoga, the biggest and most venerated Pagoda in the country with its 100 meters high Stupa. You will be fascinating by the diversity and the architecture, with many colonial buildings still remaining and the whole atmosphere of the city. Yangon is changing fast to modernize its infrastructures but it remains a green city with many parks and large avenues lined up by big trees.

The tour will bring you to Sule Pagoda at the heart of the city, Mahabandoola Park and its obelisk to celebrate the independence of the country in 1948. You will continue to China Town and the Indian quarters. If time permitted, visit Konzedan market, the colorful spices market in the Indian quarters. You will notice many massive old colonial buildings in the centre, in different stage of preservation housing the main administrations of the country.

Yangon remains a pleasant city because of its parks and two major lakes, Inya Lake and Kandawgyi Lake. You will enjoy a short walk on the wooden bridge to line up along the lake, giving you a stunning view on the Shwedagon pagoda, but also on the royal barge, standing at the side of the lake, Karaweik. Continue your visit to Kyauk Hta Gyi Pagoda, famous for its impressive reclining Buddha. End the tour at The Shwedagon pagoda for a unique experience to discover the most venerated religious place of Myanmar. It will leave you a memorable experience.

Return at the hotel

Night in Yangon

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Day 2: YANGON – BAGAN

Early morning departure to Bagan; transfer to Yangon domestic airport for your flight. Arrive Bagan and start your tour by visiting the busy and colorful local market of Nyaung Oo, the little town in the archeological site of Bagan.

Pagan is one of the most archeological and cultural sites in South East Asia with the temples complex of Angkor Wat, and probably the most important cultural site in Myanmar. You will be amazed by the view of the 2200 temples in an area of 40 kilometer squares. Most of the temples were built during the 11th and 13th centuries initiated under King Anawratha when he ascended to the throne in 1044.

Along the multitude of Pagodas, your visit will bring you to some of them of a special note.

Ananda Temple

The Ananda Patho or Paya remains one of the finest and most beautiful of all Bagan’s architectural complex. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1975 and carefully restored. The temple was completed during the reign of King Kyanzittha (1084-1113). The perfectly proportioned masterpiece contains 4 massive standing Buddha facing the 4 cardinal directions.

Htilominlo Temple

The Htilominlo Pahto was built by King Nandaungmya from 1211 to 1230 early in his reign to commemorate his selection on this spot as crown prince from among five sons of the king. The white umbrella had tilted toward him, and he became his father’s successor. The Htilominlo is a large three story red brick temple on a low platform. Some of its exquisite finely detailed plaster still remains.

Dhammayangyi

The Dhammayangyi (or Dhamma-yan-gyi) Pahto is Bagan’s most massive shrine. It probably was built by King Narathu between 1167 and 1170. Yet some have attributed it to Narathu’s father and predecessor, Sithu I, who also built Thatbyinnyu. The Dhammayangyi, similar in its ground plan similar to the Greek Cross of the earlier Ananda Pahto, is a very large square single story pyramidal temple with six monumental ascending exterior terraces. The brickwork is finely craft, perhaps it is the finest in Bagan.

Upali Thein

Named after Upali, a well-known monk, this ordination hall was built in the mid-13th century. Most buildings of this type were made of wood and disappeared long time ago. Inside there are some brightly painted frescoes on the walls and ceilings from the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The building is usually kept locked in order to protect the paintings. The Upali Thein was renovated during the reign of the Konbaung Dynasty in 1794 and 1795.

Mingalazedi

Mingalazedi marks both the highpoint and the end of major temple construction at Bagan. It was completed just ten years before the kingdom’s collapse at the hands of the Mongols in 1287. The temple is the first and only temple built with a full set of Jakata plaques since the Dhammayazika in 1196. The temple was sponsored by King Narathihapati (1255/6-1287), known to later ages as Tayokpyemin. Mingalarzedi’s uppermost terrace is one of the highest points now accessible to visitors offering a good spot for a panoramic sunset view of all the monuments lying to the east.

Shwezigon Pagoda

The Shwezigon Paya is one of the Bagan areas, and Myanmar’s, most significant religious structures. Located at the edge of the most important regional town of Nyaung Oo, it served as a prototype for many later stupas built throughout Myanmar. The Shwezigon is also a major national center of worship. Pilgrims come from many parts of Myanmar for its festival held during the Burmese month of Nadaw (November/December). The Shwezigon was also the first pagoda to allow ‘nat’ images (pre-Buddhist spirits who had the power to do good or evil) within its walls. Its original builder, King Anawrahta (1044-1077) converted to Theravada Buddhism in the mid-11th century had a profound influence on Bagan’s religious and cultural life and was first of the great builders of Bagan.

Thatbyinnyu Temple

It is the tallest building in Pagan raising 61 meters. It was built by King Alaungsithu in the middle 12th century and its monumental scale helps it to stand out from older temples. Thatbyinnyu consists of two clearly separate blocks with two rows of windows to make it brighter and airier.

Gawdawpalin Temple

The Gawdawpalin Temple was built by King Narapatisithu after building the Sulamani Temple at the 11th century. But the king did not complete the construction. It was completed by his son Htilominlo with a structure common to the Sulamani temple.

Gawdawpalin is counted as one of the largest shrines of Bagan. The temple is a double-storey temple in the late style. Its platform is square with porticoes on all four sides, but with the eastern portico projecting further than the others. In the ground storey, a corridor runs around a central block against whose four sides are placed images of the Buddha.

Sulamani

Sulamani was built in 1181 by Narapatisithu (1174-1211). This temple was known as “crowing jewel”, a more sophisticated temple than the Htilominlo and Gawdawpalin. Combining the horizontal planes of the early period with the vertical lines of the middle, the temple features two storeys

to create a pyramid effect. The brickwork throughout is considered some of the best in Pagan. Pagodas stand at the corners of each terrace, and elaborate gateways at each cardinal point, encloses the entire complex. The interior was lined with a hundred monastic cells, a feature unique among Bagan’s ancient monasteries.

Sulamani represents some of Bagan’s finest ornamental carved stucco on moldings, pediments and pilasters, still today in fairly good condition. Buddha images face the four directions from the ground floor.

Tharabar Gate

Tharabar Gate is the main gate of the east wall and the only structure left of the old city built by King Pyinbya in 849. The western and northern parts of the city wall were washed away by the river. There were originally twelve gates. Tharabar is derived from the Pali term “Sarabhanga” meaning “shielded against arrows”.

Although most of the structure is ruined, stucco carvings of the ogres can still be found. The gate is known to be guarded by spiritual beings. On the left side of the gate is the brother “Lord of the Great Mountain” and on the right side is the sister “Golden face”.

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night in Bagan

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Day 3: BAGAN – MONT POPA – BAGAN

Today, you will visit one of the most particular sites of interest of Myanmar, the mythical Mount Popa, 50 kilometers distance from Bagan. The volcanic peak of Popa Taung Kalat lies at 737 meter high and it is said to be the house of the Nat spirits. A covered staircase leads up to the top with a fine view over the plain and Mont Popa. On your way to the top, you will not avoid to meet with monkeys begging for nuts and sweets. The 37 seven nats or spirits of natures are presented as figures in a shrine in the pilgrim village. After lunch, return to Bagan and visit a lacquer ware workshop. Bagan is also famous for its fine lacquer handicraft tradition. You will discover the process and see the refined motifs on the lacquers.

End the day by enjoying the sunset on top on the temples over Bagan

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night in Bagan

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Day 4: BAGAN – AMARAPURA – MANDALAY

This morning, Transfer to Bagan airport and board your flight to Mandalay. Arrival at Mandalay International airport after a 40 minutes flight.

On the way to Mandalay, stop at Amarapura, one of the ancient capital of the Burmese Kingdom from 1783 to 1841. Amarapura is famous for its workshops where are produced the best longyies, silk, but also woodcarving devotional objects, bronze items. Visit Mahagandayon Monastery, founded in 1914, it is one of the biggest monasteries in Burma. More than 3000 monks are leaving and studying there. Depending on your flight arrival in Mandalay, assist to the lunch of the hundreds of monks at 1030am. Continue your visit by a walk on the famous U Bein Bridge over the lake of Taungthaman. The 1.2 Kilometer Bridge is the longest teak wood bridge in the world. It provides a popular image for photographers at sunrises and sunsets.

Continue to Mandalay and check-in at your hotel

Mandalay, the 2nd largest city is considered as the cultural heart of Myanmar. Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindom, and a year later, it replaced Amarapura as the capital. The city has a great historical importance with buildings as the Royal Palace, the Mahamuni pagoda but also well known for its craft industry like wood, marble, bronze carving or production of Marionettes. With an accessible access on the Irrawaddy and close to China, Mandalay has become an economic trade centre.

In the afternoon, visit some of the great monuments of the city.

Mahamuni Pagoda,

It is one of the most important pagodas with Shwedagon pagoda and Kyaiktiyo build by King Bodawpaya in 1794. The famous Mahamuni Buddha stands in the centre of the shrine and over the years, the pilgrims have covered it with gold leaf which makes now difficult to recognize some parts of the body. Every morning at 4am, monks wash the face of the Mahamuni Buddha and even brush its teeth.

Royal Palace

The Royal palace is another main site of interest in Mandalay. It was built by King Mindom in 1897. Covering an area of 4 square kilometers, it is situated in the centre of Mandalay and stands as a witness of the final years of the Burmese Kingdom. The palace was destroyed by fire during the Second World War and was rebuilt with modern material instead of teak wood as it was originally built. Many people look at this renovation as not properly done.

Kuthodaw Pagoda,

The Kuthodaw Paya contains what often is called the world’s largest book. It is a large walled complex built by King Mindon. The stupa is set in the middle of a thirteen acre field of 729 pagodas. Each shrine contains a marble slab, inscribed on both sides with the Pali script text of a portion the Tipitaka, Theravada Buddhism’s sacred texts. Taken together, they contain the entire text of the Tipitaka and thus form “the world’s largest book.” The work of carving began in October 1860 and carvers completed their task in May 1869.

End the day at Mandalay Hill,

Mandalay Hill offers a superb panoramic view over the city, the Irrawaddy, Mingun and the pagoda-covered hills of Sagaing. The top of the 236 meter high hill can be reached by the 1729 steps of the covered southern stairway with its magnificent guardian chinthe (half-lion, half-dragon). Before to reach the top, a standing Buddha is pointing his arm towards the palace, the Mandalay’s foundation as per the fulfillment of the Buddha prophecy according to the legend.

Transfer back to hotel

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night in Mandalay

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Day 5: MANDALAY – MINGUN – AVA – SAGAIN – MANDALAY

This morning, discover Mingun, located on the western bank of the river Ayeyarwaddy, approximately 7 miles north of Mandalay. It is reached by ferryboats across the river and takes around one hour. A boat trip to Mingun is pleasant to observe the busy life on the river.

Mantara Gyi Pagoda, visible from the Irrawaddy River is the biggest pagoda in the world and was originally supposed to reach 150 meters. 20 years later after the start of the construction in 1790, an earthquake badly damaged the construction and the pagoda’s height remained at 50 meters which makes the monument still spectacular. It is possible to climb up till the top and enjoy a magnificent view over the Irrawaddy and Mandalay.

The Mingun Bell with a height of nearly 4 meters and a diameter of 5 meters is said to be the largest hanging belt in the world. Weighing 90 tons, the Mingun bell was cast in bronze in 1808.

Hsinbyume Pagoda

End your visit by the impressive pagoda of Hsinbyume Pagoda, built by King Bagyidaw, a grandson of Bodawpaya in 1816 in memory of his favorite wife. The unusual architecture is based on the Sulamani Pagoda on the top of the mythical golden mount Meru, the centre of the universe in Buddhist-Hindu cosmology.

Return to Mandalay and visit some craft workshops. Many of them are dedicated to the curving of devoted objects, gold leaf, marble and wood carving.

After lunch continue to Ava also called Inwa in the outskirts of Mandalay. Ava was the capital of the Burmese Kingdom for more than 400 years between the 14th and the 18th century. Due to the earthquake in 1838, very little remains from the royal buildings. A horse cart ride will bring you to Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery, also known as Ok Kyaung  (Brick Monastery), built in 1822, one of the finest specimens of Myanmar architecture during the Konbaung Period (19th century). You will also pass by the 30 meters Watch Tower called Nan Myint and built in 1822.

You will then continue your visit to Sagaing. Located on the Ayeyarwady River, 20 km to the southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river, Sagaing with numerous Buddhist monasteries is an important religious and monastic center. The pagodas and monasteries crowd the numerous hills along the ridge running parallel to the river. Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom (1315–1364), one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan dynasty.

Soon Oo Ponya Shin Pagoda, perched on the highest hill of Sagaing offers a panoramic view on the Irrawaddy, Inwa bridge and Mandalay in distance.

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with a huge dome rises 46 m (151 feet) in the shape of a perfect hemisphere and was built to commemorate Inwa’s establishment as the royal capital of Myanmar. Around the base of the pagoda are stone pillars, each of which is 1.5 m high. The details of the pagoda’s construction are recorded on them.

Transfer back to Mandalay in the late afternoon.

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night in Mandalay

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Day 6: MANDALAY – HEHO – NYAUNG SHWE – INLE LAKE

Morning transfer to Mandalay International Airport for your flight to Heho, the gateway to Lake Inle in the Shan Plateau. On arrival, 45 minutes transfer by road to Nyaung Shwe, small city on the edge of Inle Lake. Before to take your boat, visit the fascinating wooden monastery of Shwe Yan Pyay Kyaung built in early 19th century. The architecture has traditional motifs such oval windows and the interior conserves glass mosaic work and panels gilded with gold leaf.

Continue your visit by boat and have a stop for lunch on the lake. In the afternoon, discover the fascinating atmosphere of Inya Lake which is the second largest lake in Myanmar, 22 kilometers long and 11 kilometer wide located in the Shan State. Intha people to mean “sons of the lake” are estimated to 100 00 people. Their way of leaving is very adapted to the environment. The fisher men have made themselves very famous with their particular way to row, one leg on the stern and the other leg to row. One of the singular interests is the floating gardens, a form of aquaculture. The Intha have developed over the years sort of terraces made with humus attached with bamboo sticks planted with tomatoes, aubergines and flowers.

Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This pagoda is the most famous one on the lake with 5 statues of the Buddha covers by layers of gold. The layer is so thick that they look more like balls than images of Buddha. The highlight of Inle Lake is the Phaung Daw Oo Festival during the full moon festival of Thadingyut in September-October. Dragon boat races across the lake carry the Buddha statues in solemn procession from one village to another one in order to drive away evil spirits. Continue your boat trip to Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery also called “Jumping Cat Monastery”. The monastery is a kind of refuge for cats. Monks pay particular care of those cats and have trained cats to jump through rings which the monks high hold up high.

Late afternoon transfer to your hotel and check-in.

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night at hotel on the lake or in Nyaung Shwe

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Day 7: INLE LAKE

Today, your full day excursion will bring you to Indein complex. On the way, you will visit a local market or 5 days rotating market. The 5 Days market as its name suggest takes place every 5 days making a round in different villages. This is not to be missed providing the chance to see different ethnic communities to sell their products such as Danu, Pa O and Palang.

Continue your visit to the complex of Indein temples. The site features around 1000 pagodas from the 17th century decorated with fine figured. Many are in very bad conditions and some have been badly restored with concrete.

On the way back to the hotel, visit some workshops which make famous the lake for the variety and quality of its handcrafts, woven products, silversmith, cheroots cigars workshops.

Return in the late afternoon to the hotel.

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night at hotel on the lake or in Nyaung Shwe

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Day 8: INLE LAKE – NYAUNG SHWE – HEHO – YANGON

This morning, transfer to Nyaung Shwe with your private boat and continue to Heho airport by road. The whole transfer takes approximately one and half hours.

Board your flight Heho-Yangon and arrive Yangon in the late morning.

On arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in.

In the afternoon, visit the famous Bogyoke Market or Scott market (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays), in 1926 by Municipal Commissioner Gavin Scott. The market was renamed following the independence in 1948 in honor of Bogyoke  Aung San. The complex houses hundreds of small stalls where local people use to buy jewelry, tailor made clothes, eat noodles. It is also a good place for tourists to find Burmese handicrafts. Later in the afternoon, visit Bothataung Pagoda. The original ancient pagoda was destroyed during the 2nd worldwide war. A replica was rebuilt in place and relics from the treasure chamber re-enshrined. It is the only pagoda where to walk along a spiraling corridor into the innermost part of the spire and see the relic chamber inside. Corridors are lined with glass mosaic.

Continue your tour by passing by Yangon River jetties and see the activities of loading, unloading goods to cargo river boats. It is also the place for local passenger to board ferries to the Irrawaddy Delta and to reach the opposite site of Yangon, Dala, part of Yangon metropolis suburbs.

If time permitted, enjoy a late afternoon short walk at China town at the evening market between Lhata and Lanmadaw streets and experience this colorful and lively market with a large variety of street stalls.

Meals – Breakfast at hotel

Night in Yangon

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Day 9: YANGON DEPARTURE

Time at leisure until airport transfer,

Transfer to Mingaladorn International Yangon airport for your onward flight to Bangkok or Singapore

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SUGGESTED HOTELS

COMFORT

SUPERIOR

YANGON

East Hotel(Deluxe Room) Kandawgyi Palace Hotel(Deluxe)

BAGAN

Bawgga Theiddi Hotel(Superior Room) Tharabargate Hotel(Deluxe)

MANDALAY

Yadanabon Dynasty Hotel(Deluxe Room) The Hotel By Red Canal(Shan Suite)

INLE LAKE

Golden Island Cottages(Standard Bungalow) Pristine Lotus Spa Resort(Lotus Villa)

PRICES and VALIDITY

Standard Category

Price starting at USD 2130 per person based on Twin sharing occupancy.

Superior Category

Price staring at USD 2730 per person based on Twin sharing occupancy
Rates valid from April 1st to September 30th, 2014

Our prices are subject to immediate change in case of increases in airfares, airfare fuel surcharge, ground transportation costs, entrance fees, etc…

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