Expeditions

Myanmar Expedition

11 DAY, 10 NIGHT TOUR
Saturday, January 11, 2014 to Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All meals, hotel accommodations, and in-country travel are included. Flights to and from Myanmar are not included. 

SAMPLE ITINERARY: 

Arrival

Arrive in Yangon and meet your guide at the airport, then transfer to hotel. Settle into the hotel and meet for a group orientation in the afternoon.

Then visit to the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, a breathtaking and colorful sight visited by Buddhists from all over Myanmar. After coming back followed by a slide show lecture and celebratory welcome dinner at Chatrium Hotel.

Overnight at Chatrium Hotel Yangon.

Yangon

After breakfast, we visit the Koehtetgyi pagoda and visit local monastery for morning classes. In the late morning, we visit Sanchaung township and Daw Nyana Sari Nuns Monastery to view the nuns lunch ceremony.

Afterwards, we return to the hotel to freshen up, download and eat lunch at hotel. In the late afternoon enjoy walking around Sule pagoda in the center of the city and for a walk around the Mahabandoola Park to see the colonial courthouse and the city hall. We return to the hotel to freshen up, download and eat dinner at hotel (optional presentation).

Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, Yangon.

Yangon - Bagan

After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Bagan. On arrival check in to the hotel and full day visit to Bagan, we head to Tayokye Pyay for a first overview over the plain of Bagan. We continue to the Shwezigon Pagoda and its magnificent golden stupa, followed by Wetkyi‐In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jatakas murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. Return to hotel for freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel.

In the afternoon, visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece of the early‐style temple and Ananda Okkyaung is one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. Sunset over the site from one of the open upper terraces in Bagan.

Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Treasure Hotel, Bagan.

Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the colorful Nyaung Oo Market before proceeding to Myinkaba village. We go for a walk through the village and have the opportunity to visit the local sites (Gubyaukgi, with some of the oldest mural paintings, Manuha and Nanpaya) as well as look into the production process of lacquer ware, one of the best‐known Myanmar handicrafts in one of the local family workshops. Return to hotel for freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel.

In the afternoon, visit to the countryside village of Minnanthu, the least visited area in Bagan with temples such as Payathonzu, with its unusual architecture and Tantric Buddhism influence, Lemyethna and Nandamannya, before heading to the riverside near Nyaung U Village where we board a local boat for a slow cruise down the Ayeyarwaddy before sunset.

Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Treasure Hotel, Bagan.

Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy some part of Ananda Pagoda Festival. Lunch at local restaurant.

End the day with a horse carriage tour among the temples starting at Ananda and passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork and Sulamani.

Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Treasure Hotel, Bagan.

Bagan - Mandalay

After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Mandalay. On arrival transfer to hotel. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Mandalay, Myanmar’s cultural capital starts with the Mahamuni Pagoda, famous for its venerable statue of Buddha covered with gold leaf. Mandalay also has long been known as a center of skilled craftsmanship and in former times supplied the Royal Court. A tour of traditional workshops includes crafts such as woodcarving, marble masonry, Kalaga tapestry and gold‐leaf making. Return to hotel for freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel.

In the afternoon, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book), Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite woodcarving and the impressive Kyauktawgyi Pagoda with its huge sitting Buddha. Finish the day with a sunset view over town from Mandalay Hill.

Dinner and overnight in Mandalay Hill Resort.

Mandalay

After breakfast at the hotel depart for an excursion to the former capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing. We attend the daily meal of over thousand monks at the country’s largest monastery; Mahagandayon in Amarapura before visiting a silk weaving workshop. We continue to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries and visit by horse and carriage the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and fort. Return to hotel for freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel.

In the afternoon, we cross the bridge over the Irrawaddy River and continue to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white‐painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar and is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. Finish the day with a walk at sunset over the 200 year‐old U Bein Bridge, constructed entirely from teak.

Dinner and overnight in Mandalay Hill Resort.

Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay

After breakfast, transfer to the jetty and board a private local boat for a 1‐hr cruise on the Irrawaddy River towards the site of Mingun. Mingun, famous for its huge unfinished pagoda, is also home to the Mingun Bell, considered as the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell. Also visit the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda. 

Return to Mandalay hotel to freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel. In the afternoon visit again to Mandalay.

Dinner and overnight in Mandalay Hill Resort

Mandalay

After an early breakfast, we drive to Mahamuni Pagoda and the nearby Marble street to photograph laborers creating beautiful white marble Buddha statues by hand. Once the light has hit it’s peak, we visit the Mandalay Jade Market where there are many vendors processing, buying and selling Jade, one of Myanmar’s most sought‐after commodities. Return to hotel for freshen up and download and eat lunch at hotel.

After breaking for lunch, we visit the Mandalay Jetty on the Irrawaddy River where river boats from all over Myanmar are loaded and unloaded by dockworkers who live at the river’s edge. We return to the hotel to freshen up, download and eat dinner at hotel (optional critique).

Overnight in Mandalay Hill Resort.

Mandalay - Heho - Inle Lake

Transfer to the airport for domestic flight to Heho in Shan State. Scenic drive to Heho and continue towards Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar's best‐known sights. The Intha people, a tribe of Mon descent, inhabit the lakeshores and floating villages. See the legrowing fishermen and their floating gardens, built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit the floating villages and the daily market (daily except on new and full moon days) rotating around the villages on the lake in 5‐day rhythm.

Lunch at local restaurant. The tour also includes a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and the jumping cats’ monastery, with beautiful antique Buddha statues. If time allows we go for an improvised walk through one of the villages. Then check in at hotel or for hotel with lake location, transfer by boat to your hotel.

Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Treasure Resort, Inle Lake.

Inle Lake

After breakfast, we head to the morning market on the lake. Rotating around villages on and near the lake in a 5 day rhythm, a colorful market visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes is held daily (except on new and full moon days). Lunch at local restaurant. 

From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Paoh village of In Dein. After a walk around the village, passing a local school, take the covered stairway to the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area where ancient stupas are partly covered by vegetation. From here there is a magnificent view over the lake.

Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Treasure Resort, Inle Lake.

Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to Heho Airport for a flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel to check in and sit down for lunch and an early afternoon editing session. In the evening, we revisit the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda. Afterwards, we return to the hotel to freshen up and download. (optional critique). Farewell dinner at outside Garden hotel.

Overnight at Chatrium Hotel, Yangon.

Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to Mingaladon Airport for your onward flight.

For further information please write to expeditions@stevemccurry.com.