Classic Myanmar with Blended Flavor
Planes, Horse Cart, Bikes, Elephant Camp and Boats
Yangon - Bagan - Heho - Kalaw - Inlay - Heho - Yangon
Note: Itinerary subject to change.
November 8 (Day 01) - Arrive Yangon
- Upon arrival, your guide will greet you at the Yangon International Airport and provide transfer from the airport to your hotel.
- Country orientation by Aye Aye with afternoon high tea.
- Meals are by own arrangement on the first day.
- Overnight at Chatrium Hotel.
November 9 (Day 02) - Yangon (Downtown Tour, Circular Train and Shwedagon Pagoda) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided)
- You will be greeted by your guide at your hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.
- Morning starts in the central districts of downtown, seeing many of the building on the Yangon City Heritage List - 88 man-made structures mainly consisting of religious landmarks and colonial-era buildings.
- Highlights include City Hall, High Court, Mahabandoola Park and the Buddhist Landmarks of Sule Pagoda. Continue to the former Minister's office where General Aung San was assassinated, and various religious sites such as St Mary's Cathedral, built in 1899.
- By walking/driving through the streets, you'll also have a chance to witness the lifestyles of the locals from the busy bus and boat stations to the tea shops and hidden street markets. There are plenty of chances to interact with Yangon residents and learn more about Burmese culture.
- You’ll stop for a cup of tea at a local teashop during our morning tour. Busy from morning until night, tea shops are engrained in the Burmese culture.
- If you are feeling hungry, there are semolina cakes and great noodle dishes (drink only; food not included).
- Transfer to Yangon Railway Station to take a unique ride on the city's circular train ride through the outskirts of town (20-30 minute ride). This slowly traveling train gives you a unique opportunity to observe the lively, colorful lifestyle of the local people. Disembark at the Kyi Min Daing market, where you can peruse the various stalls and interact with the friendly vendors before proceeding to MEDA Myanmar office.
- After the circular train ride, lunch at Padonma Restaurant. (Please note that lunch will be either before or after the train ride).
- Visit to MEDA office for afternoon tea, a country overview and project introduction by MEDA Myanmar team. Around 4:30 pm, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagodas are unclear, local legend states the original structure was built 2,500 years ago, then renovated several times, until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The octagonal stupa in the center is 99 meters tall, gilded with gold leaf plate, surrounded by 64 small stupas. 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.
- Dinner at Golden Duck (Kandawmin Park) with the view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
- Overnight at Chatrium Hotel.
November 10 (Day 3) - Yangon – Bagan (Horse Cart) (B,L,D provided)
- After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for a flight to Bagan (Nyaung Oo). From the 11th to 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river. On arrival, your tour of the site begins with a visit to an elevated temple from which you will have a panoramic view of the magnificent plains of Bagan. Continue to the colorful Nyaung Oo Market, where locals come to buy and sell fresh products and other goods. Then visit the golden stupas of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction into Bagan's rich history, followed by a trip to the nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple, noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
- Lunch at the restaurant located on the river bank.
- This afternoon, begin with a visit to a traditional lacquer ware workshop, where you can observe the production of one of Myanmar's best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan's most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seems to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed. From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and the Sulamani Temple.
- Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
- Dinner at Eden BBB.
- Overnight at Thazin Garden Hotel.
- Distance and journey time: Nyaung Oo aiport to old Bagan (9 km) 20 mins
- Nyaung Oo airport to New Bagan (12 km) 20 mins
November 11 (Day 4) Bagan (Hot Air Balloon, Boat and village) (B,L,D provided)
- Before breakfast, you have the option of a hot air balloon experience at 5am. The balloon ride will finish around 8:45. Back to your hotel for breakfast. By 10:30 in the morning drive toward Kyauk Gu U Min. You will past the Nyaung Oo morning market through back lanes, stopping as often as you like to take photos or visit with the locals.
- You will then arrive at Kyauk Gu U Min, a beautiful temple with exquisite stone carvings depicting religious figures and flowers on the door. The temple itself is built against the side of cliff; behind the main hall of the temple you can enter a cave, which has several small niches where individuals can practice meditation. Legend states that the cave was built during the 13th century for the locals to hide from the invading Mongols.
- You will take the boat for a relaxing cruise back to Bagan (around 1 hour) from the east side of the river. A 5-10 minute walk takes you to the jetty.
- Throughout your Ayeyarwaddy river cruise you will be treated to fabulous scenes of life on the water: fishermen, local ferry boats, riverside villages and views of the Bagan temples. You'll stop at Sae Lan village and go ashore to walk. Sae Lan is typical of the riverside villages along the Ayeyarwaddy. The friendly people work as farmers and fishermen, living a simple but happy life.
- Lunch either in the village or at the restaurant.
- Transfer back to your hotel upon reaching Bagan.
- Dinner at Nanda Restaurant with Puppet Show.
- Overnight at Thazin Garden Hotel
November 12 (Day 5) - Bagan - Heho - Kalaw (Flight, Bus, Trek) (B,L,D provided)
- Transfer to Bagan International airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival, transfer to the Green Hill Elephant Camp, where guests will put on their hiking boots for a short walk through the Green Hill Valley. The camp is a family-owned refuge for elephants that have been rescued from the logging industry. Most elephants at the camp are "senior citizens" and have been retired by the government. The family at Green Hill has adopted the elephants and takes care of them at the refuge. Children are encouraged to feed, bathe, and help take care of the elephants.
- After lunch at the camp, guests can plant a tree and contribute to the reforestation of the Green Hill Valley. Then the guests will continue their journey to Kalaw in the late afternoon, a beautiful hill station in the midst of rolling hills and pine forests that served as a summer resort during the colonial era. After checking into their hotel, evening will be at their own pace.
- Dinner at Four Sisters Restaurant.
- Overnight at Royal Kalaw Hill.
- Distance and journey time: Transfer from Heho to Elephant Camp: up to 1 hour
- Transfer from the Elephant Camp to Klaw: up to 30 mins
- Trekking: up to 2 hours
- Difficulty: Very Easy
November 13 (Day 6) - Kalaw – Aung Ban - Pindaya - Nyaung Shwe (Inlay) (B,L,D provided)
- After breakfast, our guests will start early to visit to MEDA project in the morning. Meet female lead farmers and producers and some new start-up businesses receiving support from the project. After 2-3 hours with the women, the group will drive to Pindaya (48 km from AungBan), where you can see the panoramic view with beautiful vegetation on the plain.
- Lunch at Green Tea Restaurant in Pindaya. After that visit the cave.
- In late afternoon, drive to Nyaung Shwe.
- Overnight at Cherry Queen Inlay.
- Dinner in the Inlay traditional at a local restaurant.
- Distance and journey time: Kalaw to Aung Ban (12 km)
- Aung Ban to Pindaya (48 km)
- Approximate two hours with photo stop by coach.
November 14 (Day 7) - Inlay Lake including Indein (B,L,D provided)
- After breakfast, set off for sightseeing around the lake. We will start our day by visiting one of the five day markets. On market days, the Pa-Oh tribes who live around the lake gather to buy and sell their products and crops, and the market provides a fascinating mix of people and goods. Guests will board a private boat to cross the lake, one of Myanmar's most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. 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, before continuing to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake's main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.
- Stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
- From the middle of the lake, the journey continues up to the weaving villages. Explore the western bank of the lake, which you have a chance to do an easy trek through bamboo forest .
- Dinner and overnight at Golden Island Cottages (Thale Oo) on the lake.
- Distance and journey time: From jetty/hotel to the lake: 60-70 mins
- Visiting hour on board: 8 hours
November 15 (Day 8) - Inlay – Shwe Inn Thu - Kakku - Taunggyi (B,L,D provided)
- After breakfast at the hotel, meet with Shwe Inn Thu, a local MEDA partner, and see the savings activity of a women's saving group. After that drive to Taunggyi, about a 90-minute drive by coach. From Taunggyi drive to Kakku, a temple complex of more than 2,000 stupas that lies hidden in the Pa-Oh region of Southern Shan State.
- Lunch at Kakku.
- On the way back, bike to Taunggyi.
- Overnight at Royal Taunggyi
November 16 (Day 9) - Taunggyi (B,L,D provided)
- A day in the life of a farmer: Farm work in a MEDA project village (An early start: Guests will help with land preparation and harvesting in a project village beginning around 6-7am. Visit a project demonstration farm; tour a local market to buy ingredients, and help to make a local-style lunch with project lead female farmers, finishing by 1pm.
- Overnight at Royal Taunggyi
November 17 (Day 10) - Taunggyi- Heho-Yangon (B,L,D provided)
- This morning is at your leisure until transferring to the Heho Airport for your departure flight.
- Distances and journey time: Taunggyi to Heho airport (28 km): 60 mins
- Farewell dinner with MEDA staff (BBQ dinner)
- Overnight at Chatrium Hotel
November 18 (Day 11) - Yangon Departure (B provided )
After breakfast, the group has a chance to explore Yangon on their own. Today, they have a standby coach with guide. Those who would like can do a Heritage Walk with Yangon Heritage for an additional $30 US.