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The Heart of Myanmar (Burma)

Try on a new kind of adventure and immerse yourself in the warm and mysterious culture of Myanmar (Burma). Cruise the mighty Irrawaddy River to the ancient city of Bagan, home to over 2200 beautiful temples and pagodas. Drift to the floating villages on serene Inle Lake. Visit Kyan Sithar Umin monastery to meet a Buddhist monk and climb Mandalay Hill to reflect on lovely views of the surrounding countryside. From its welcoming people to its exceptional sights, the time is right to discover this underexplored destination.

  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ABANG/155162
  • Starts: Yangon, Myanmar
  • Finishes: Yangon, Myanmar
You will Visit
  • Yangon

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Yangon

Arrive any time today. An arrival transfer is included.
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax and explore the city.

02

Day 2: Yangon/Mandalay

Fly to Mandalay and explore this ancient city, including the Golden Palace Monastery, Kuyuk Taw Gyi Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, and Mahamuni Temple. Climb Mandalay Hill for magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

03

Day 3: Mandalay

Take a boat to the village of Mingun to visit the pagodas and local craftspeople. Visit the spiritual centre of Myanmar at Sagaing and the ancient royal capital of Amarapura.
Embark on a boat trip up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to the riverside village of Mingun, enjoying the picturesque scenery of this river and the lifestyles of the local people who live and work on these waters. We continue by road to Sagaing. After lunch we visit Amarapura, a former capital whose name means "city of immortality."

04

Day 4: Mandalay

Continue exploring Mandalay and take some free time on your own.


05

Day 5: Mandalay/Bagan

Relax and watch the sights on a full-day cruise down the Irrawaddy River to ancient Bagan.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty for the boat to Bagan (Nyaung Oo). The journey takes 7-11 hours depending on the time of year and water level. On board there is a small café selling drinks and light meals (sandwiches, snacks and instant noodles usually).

06

Day 6: Bagan

Explore the ancient sites of Bagan including Shwezigon Pagoda, Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-in) cave temple, and Manuha and Nan Paya temples. Also visit Kyan Sithar Umin monastery where we have a talk with a monk on Buddhism and daily life.
Enjoy two days exploring Bagan, the first (and very beautiful) capital of the Burmese and founded in the 11th century. This is one the most important temples and pagoda complexes in Asia. We'll wander local markets, historical pagodas, a handicraft workshop, a local monastery, and ancient temples. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.

07

Day 7: Bagan

Travel to the outskirts of town to a village in the middle of a toddy palm farm. Watch as the locals scale the trees and harvest the juice of the palm fruit and then process it into alcohol or molasses.
You have the option to take a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan.

08

Day 8: Bagan/Inle Lake

Travel by plane, bus, and boat to serene Inle Lake. En route, visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, Nyaung Shwe by cycle rickshaw, and observe floating villages and gardens.
This morning, fly from Bagan to Heho and then travel by road to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Also visit around Nyaung Shwe by cycle rickshaw, passing the many monasteries and cruising along quiet residential streets.

We then board a boat and set off down the canal toward the main part of the lake, passing villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people.

09

Day 9: Inle Lake

Explore the lake by boat and visit the morning market, floating villages, and a cheroot factory, as well as Phaung Daw Oo pagoda and Inthien temple complex. Along the way, visit the home of a local chef and learn the basics of Burmese cooking. Sit back and relax in this charming setting on Inle Lake and enjoy a scrumptious home-cooked meal.
Depending on its location, we start with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a five-day basis. (Note: there are no markets on full-moon or dark-moon days.)

Our boat then takes us down a winding river to Inthien, with its one thousand stupas dotting the hillside. Back out onto the lake we visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake's main pagoda and monastery, 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 typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. Mid-day, we are welcomed into a local chef's home and enjoy a home cooked meal of traditional Burmese dishes. This is a memorable demonstration and meal and a chance to learn more about family life and traditions in Myanmar.

10

Day 10: Inle Lake/Kalaw

Travel by boat and bus to the cooler air of this former British hill station.

11

Day 11: Kalaw/Yangon

Fly back to Yangon and visit the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, then take some free time to explore and shop in the old capital. Tonight, enjoy a lecture and farewell dinner at a G Adventures for Good supported project; LinkAge Restaurant. This social enterprise, trains local youth for careers in the hospitality industry.

12

Day 12: Yangon

Depart any time today.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kyan Sithar Umin Monastery Visit, Bagan National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Burmese Cooking Demonstration, Inle Lake National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Yangon Talk and Dinner, Yangon G Adventures for Good: LinkAge Restaurant, Yangon
    • Arrival transfer
    • Tour of Mandalay
    • Boat trip and tour of Mingun village
    • Visit Sagaing and the ancient city of Amarapura
    • Irrawaddy River boat trip
    • Guided tour of Bagan archaeological zone
    • Visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery
    • Tour Nyaung Shwe by trishaw
    • Boat tour of Inle Lake including floating villages and markets
    • Visit a cheroot factory
    • Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and the Nge Phe Chaung Monastery
    • Tour Shwedagon Pagoda
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (11 nts)
    • 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Transport
    • Private bus/van, plane, boat, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Talk with a monk about Buddhism and daily life
  • Learn the basics of Burmese cuisine with a cooking demonstration from a local chef
  • Travel past floating villages on tranquil Inle Lake
  • Explore the pagodas and monasteries of this ancient land