Day 1 Arrive Yangon
On arrival in Yangon you will need to make you own way to your hotel. Your afternoon sightseeing in Yangon includes Shwedagon Pagoda: the highlight of any visit to Yangon, this pagoda towers over the city and is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are particularly beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colours of twilight. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2 Yangon
Today continue sightseeing in Yangon to Sule Pagoda: this 48 metre high golden dome was used by the British as the nucleus of their grid pattern for the city when it was rebuilt in the 1880s. The pagoda's peculiarity is its octagonal-shaped stupa, which retains its shape as it tapers to the spire. Botataung Pagoda: this paya was named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2000 years ago. This ancient monument was completely destroyed during WWII. It was then rebuilt in a very similar style to its predecessor, but the zedi is hollow and one can walk through it. Kyaukhtatkyi Pagoda: the temple contains a gaudy, modern, 70 metre long reclining Buddha, built in 1966 and housed in an iron pavilion. The temple doubles as a monastery and a centre for the study of Buddhist manuscripts. National Museum: a museum with several interesting exhibits, especially the 8 metre high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by King Thibaw Min, the last Burmese king, and returned to Burma in 1908 by Lord Mountbatten. The main floor contains jewellery, old black and white photos of Mandalay Palace and Yangon, royal relics, Hintha opium weights and inscribed tablets. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 3 Flight from Yangon to Bagan
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bagn. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD. Begin your sightseeing in Bagan at Shwezigon Paya: King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas over Myanmar. Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn: This Temple was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colourful painting about the previous life of Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. This temple is not to be confounded with the Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myinkabe. Aanada Pahto: one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period. Gubyaukgyi Temple at Myinkaba: Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan. Manuha Temple: The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan. Shwesandaw Paya: In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa. This Pagoda is ideal to watch Bagan's magnificent sunsets. Lacquerware workshop: the villages around Bagan are known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar. Stop by one of the workshops and learn about the process of laquerware making and decoration. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 4 Flight from Bagan to Mandalay
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mandalay. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 5 In Mandalay
Today start your sightseeing in Mandalay at Kuthodaw Paya: the central stupa here was modeled on the Shwezigon Paya at Nyaung U near Bagan. Building commenced in 1857, at the same time as the royal palace. The paya has been dubbed 'the world's biggest book', for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka. Mahamuni Paya: originally built by King Bodawpaya in 1784 when a road paved with bricks was constructed from his palace to the paya's eastern gate. The centre piece of the shrine is the highly venerated Mahamuni image that was transported to Myanmar from Mrauk U in Rakhaing in 1784. Mandalay Hill: an easy climb up the sheltered steps brings you to a panoramic view over the palace, Mandalay and the paya-studded countryside. The famous hermit monk, U Khanti, is credited with inspiring the construction of many of the buildings on and around the hill in the years after the founding of the city. Shwendandaw Kyaung: a monastery of great interest, not only as a fine example of a traditional Burmese wooden monastery, but as a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Fort. At one time this building was part of the palace complex, and was used as an apartment by King Mindon and his chief queen, and it was here that he died. After Mindon's death, King Thibaw Min had the building dismantled and reassembled on its present site in 1880 as a monastery. Overnight in Mandalay
Day 6 In Mandalay
Today's tour visits three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to Amarapura, and visit Mahagandayon Monastery; every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, visit Sagaing, the spiritual centre of Myanmar. Hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, sometimes known as a living Bagan. Thousands of monks and nuns retreat here for meditation and contemplation. Stop at some of the most famous temples, such as Tupayon Paya and Hsinmyashin Paya (the Pagoda of Many Elephants). Cross the river by ferry to INWA, situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely horsecart ride around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a beautiful teak wood monastery, Maha Aungme Bozan Kyang, and Nan Myint Tower. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make the famous alms bowls out of iron. Finally, return to Aamarapura, to end the day at U Bein's Bridge, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometre across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colours of the sunset. Overnight in Mandalay
Day 7 Flight from Mandalay to Heho then by vehicle to Kalaw
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Heho. From Heho you will be transferred to your hotel in Kalaw. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Kalaw.
Day 8 By vehicle from Kalaw to Pindaya then Inle Lake
Today you will travel by vehicle from Kalaw to Pindaya and visit the Pindaya Caves: these caves are ensconced in a limestone ridge overlooking the lake. Inside the cavern there are more than 8000 Buddha images - made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement - and are arranged in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers. Continue to Shwe U Min Paya: this is a cluster of low stupas just below the ridge near the Pindaya Caves. Beginning on the full moon of Tabaung (February/March), Pindaya hosts a colourful pagoda festival at Shwe U Min. Also visit a local market and paper umbrella factory. Continue by vehicle from Pindaya to Inle Lake and transfer by boat to your hotel. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 9 By vehicle from Inle Lake to Heho then flight to Yangon
This morning you will take a boat ride on Inle Lake: Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is beautiful, with very calm waters dotted with patches of floating vegetation and fishing canoes. High hills rim the lake on all sides. The lake's shore and islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and observe the skilled fisherman using their leg-rowing technique to propel themselves around the lake. Visit the floating gardens, a floating market and a Intha village around the lake (please note that no markets take place on full moon or new moon days). The day's sightseeing also includes a visit to the Phaung Daw OO Pagoda and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. After this you will be transferred to Heho for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 10 Exit Yangon
Check out of the hotel and end of arrangements. No departure transfer is included.