A tour along Burmas „magical route“. But in addition, a trip to famous and impressive Golden Rock in Kyaikhtiyo, and to Mingun where a great king intended to build the tallest pagoda on earth. And then: Excursion to the friendly Dragonpeople of the Pa O tribe as well in the cult caves of Pindaya with thousands of Buddha images offered there by pilgrims since centuries, you might be able to catch the spirit of Buddhism. At the end of the tour you will travel to famous and impressive Golden Rock in Kyaikhtiyo. This is our most complete tour along „magical route“.
Optional: Not to forget the opportunity flying in from Heho airport at Shan state to the Golf of Bengal, for a romantic, and relaxing beach holiday at Ngapali Beach!
Welcome to our World
Day 01 Arrival Yangon: Arriaval in the Burmese capital. You will be met at the airport by our local guide, who will take care of everything from now on. Then you will be brought by minibus/bus to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will get to know our capital on a city tour: Drive along scenic Royal Lake to Karaweik Hall, a ship-like construction built in the shape of the mythological bird Karaweik; have a look at the lake with world famous Shwe Dagon Pagoda in the background! Then visit the huge Reclining Buddha and the octogonal Bo-ta-taung Pagoda in the harbour area along Yangon River. Then, shortly before sunset, the 107 metres high golden stupa of Shwe Dagon Pagoda will glitter in the soft light of the early evening. Optional: Classical dances in the evening? Overnight.
A Boat Ride into the Past
Day 02 Excursion to Twante: Beginning in the early morning, you will take the river ship for about 2 hours sailing into the delta of Ayeyarwaddy (= Elephant) River. You will see old junks on the Twante Canal and the everyday activities of fishermen and farmers along the river banks. In Twante, known in Lower Burma for its weaving and pottery, you will take a horse-drawn carriage on bumpy roads to the large pagoda, to weaving mills and brickworks. In this community, time seems to stand still, and the Asia of earlier centuries becomes alive. Return to Yangon in the middle of the afternoon. Overnight.
To the Golden Rock
Day 03 Yangon – Bago - Kyaikhtyio: Directly from airport, you will travel through the delta and over the Sittang River to Kyaikhtiyo. From Kinpun, the pilgrimage road runs 10 kilometers to the 1200 meter high pagoda on the famous Golden Rock. You will be transported on a truck to a camp from which it is only approximately one hour on foot to the Golden Rock. (Note: for guests who are older or weaker there are carriers who, for a fee, will bring them to their destination in bamboo chairs). At the summit, a simple but romantic and beautifully located hotel awaits you. First visit to the Golden Rock in the soft light of late afte-rnoon, the best time for taking pictures there.
The Mon Dynastie
Day 04 Kyaikhtiyo-Bago-Yangon: Start of the return hike in the early morning and then truck transport to Kinpun and overland back to Yangon, where you will arrive in the late afternoon. Underway, noon stop in Bago, where you will visit most important sights of this old capital of the Mon people: You will see the huge Reclining Buddha, then you can stroll through the market, and then fotostop at the foot of the huge golden pagoda. Admire Kyaikphun Pagoda, with four huge sitting Buddhaimages facing the cardinals directions. Return to Yangon in late afternoon. Overnight.
On to Bagan!
Day 05 Yangon-Bagan: A 80 minutes morning flight to Bagan, the first and most beautiful capital of the Burmese, founded in the eleventh century by a great king. Along with Angkor in Cambodia, this is the most important temple and pagoda complex in Asia. An all-day visit to this huge area - a day full of culture. But we will avoid hectic tourism and we will show you only the most beautiful representatives, leisurely but in detail: You will visit Shwezigon Pagoda, the only golden pagoda in Bagan-area built by the great king Kyanzittha. Then visit the caves of Kyanzittha Umin (the oldest murals in Burma, showing the Mongolian invasion under Kubilai Khan). In Gubyaukgyi, a perfect Indian-style temple, you will see hundreds of frescoes illustrating the jataka-stories of the previous lifes of Lord Buddha. This morning ends with a visit to huge Htinlominlo Temple. After lunch, continue your tour with a visit to Manuha Temple erected over huge Buddha-images. Then enjoy the elaborated stone engravings in close-by Nanpaya Temple; on your way further South of Bagan-area, you will be impressed by beautiful Abeyadama Temple; your afternoon tour ends at Lawkananda Pagoda in the very South of Bagan, an old landmark of Ayeyarwaddy-fishermen. Visit traditional manufacture of unique Bagan lacquer ware. Enjoy sunset over Bagan from one of the pagodas. Overnight.
To the Olympia of Deities
Day 06 Excursion Mount Popa: In the morning, you will stroll through the marketplace of Nyaung U, and get a glimpse into the lifestyle of Burmese people. You will then admire the Ananda Temple, whose interior seems almost Gothic and who is considered the most beautiful among all the temples of Bagan. Then you will be impressed by ancient wall murals in the meditation chamber nearby. Later on, a 2 hour drive through the sun-parched plain with Palmyra palms to the Mountain of Deities, Popa. There you will climb the huge volcanic rock on a staircase to see shrines for nats (celestial spirits of Burmese mythology) and small temples for Lord Buddha. It will take you about 20 minutes to reach the top of Mount Popa (Sanscrit word for Flower) and you will pass by many small food stalls and small „drugstrores“ selling herbal medicine. Just in time for sunset you will be back in Bagan: Enjoy the scenic beauty of Bagan plains with 1000 years old red brick temples and white-washed pagodas. Overnight.
On the Elephant River
Day 07 Bagan- Pakokku – Monywa: Board a small river vessel for 3 h upriver boat trip to Pakokku. The Ayearwady river offers some scenic view from Bagan panorama. From Pakokku visit then en route to the famous teakwood monastery from Phakanggyi. Continue to Monywa on the Chindwin River second largest river in our country for your overnight at the hotel.
Day 08 Monywa – Powindaung – Sagaing – Mandalay: Early morning in Monywa - after crossing Chindwin River by a small boat, you start the tour by pick-up to Powindaung Caves (1 hour). This cave temple complex is the largest of Southeast Asia and marks a highlight of Burmese medieval arts. Return drive to Mandalay. Underway stopp at Sagaing hills meditation centre. Close to a hilltop pagoda you will be fascinated by the view over temples and pagodas in Sagaing and over Ayeyarwaddy River. Overnight.
The Gold Buddha
Day 09 Mandalay-Amarapura - Mingun: In the morning only a short 30 minute „hop“ by plane to Mandalay, where the Konbaung kings resided and eventually capitulated to the British, more than 100 years ago. The sightseeing program will start directly after your arrival: A short drive will bring you then to the temples and small pagodas of former ancient capital Amarapura (Sanscrit for „Beautiful town“). There you can take a walk over the world´s longest teakwood bridge U Bein. Continue drive to Mandalay. Visit to Shwe Nandaw, the famous Golden Monastery, the only one building still existing from more than one hundred once standing on the palace grounds of Konbaung kings. From there you will stroll to Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 marble slabs showing the entire Buddhist canon and commemorating the Fifth Buddhist World Council at the end of last century. Then you will admire the huge marble Buddha in a temple nearby. Your tour in the afternoon: Visit to Mahamuni Temple housing the country´s holiest Buddha image, century-old and legendary Arakan Buddha, made of pure gold. Continuatin drive to the jetty. From there you will travel for some hours in a relatively large ship along Burma´s main river, the Ayeyarwaddy, which has its sources in the Himalayas: You will reach Mingun after about 1 hour; here a mighty king wanted to build the tallest pagoda in the world. The ruins marking his failure, however, are impressive enough in themselves; the cast of the largest ringing bell in the world was a success. Return to Mandalay in the late afternoon after another hour boat ride downriver. Overnight.
On the Shan Plateau
Day 10 Mandalay-Heho-Nyaungshwe- Inle Lake: The flight from the plain of Ayeyarwaddy to the Shan Plateau takes only 30 minutes. The Shan are a Thai ethnic group in Myanmar. You will see different styles of Buddhist pagodas.Continuation drive to Nyaungshwe at Lake Inle, which is the biggest village at the lake and capital of former Shan kings. Check in your hotel, wheater in one of many in Nyaundshwe, or out on the lake in one of the unique Ressorts build on stilts. Then the boatexcursion will take place. Through small creeks drive to In Dein a small pictures Pa O village, and visit the huge areal with it“s Hundrets of Shan style pagodas. Overnight.
The “Intha” (Sons of the lake)
Day 11 Inle Lake: The fullday exploration on the Inle Lake, the land of the Intha people, begins in the morning. These people are known as leg-rowers and as architects of floating villages and gardens. The life of the Intha, who originally came from the south of Burma, revolves completely around the lake. Visit the floating market and the great pagoda with five holy Buddha images. Blacksmith and silkweavinf factories buzild on stilts on the lake will fech your interest. Overnight.
Gold Buddha in Pindaya
Day 12 Inle Lake - Pindaya: After Breakfast bootstransfer to Nyaungshwe, for a short exploration. Then the landscape is especially beautiful on the overland route to Pindaya (3 hours). Underway, you will see Pao people, the friendly „dragon people“with turquoise turbans and black native dress. Visit to the famous Buddhist cult caves of Pindaya in which pilgrims have been placing Buddha figures as sacrificial offerings for centuries. A rapturous experience in the circles of light. Overnight.
To Shwe Dagon!
Day 13 Pindaya - Heho-Yangon - Departure: Drive back (2hours) to Heho for your returnflight to Yangon. If you have not been on a city tour yet due to late arrival on Day 01, we will provide this morning: Visit to Shwe Dagon Pagoda, you will be touched by the deep religiosity of Burmese people, walking up to this beautiful pagoda to offer flowers and holy water to images of Lord Buddha. Drive along scenic Royal Lake to Karaweik Hall, a ship-like construction built in the shape of the mythological bird Karaweik; have a look at the lake with world famous Shwe Dagon Pagoda in the background! Then visit the huge Reclining Buddha and the octogonal Bo-ta-taung Pagoda in the harbour area along Yangon River. Rest of day free of leisure. Transfer out for departure.
Optional: Pindaya – Heho – Thandwe (Ngapali Beach): Drive back (2hours) to Heho for your 50 minutes flight to the Golf of Bengal, to the airport of Thandwe (Ngapali Beach). There its only 20 minutes transfer to your small paradise. Several 3-4* very romatic Beach Resorts offer best accommodation and service, all located right under palm trees and on the beach. Ask SunBirdTours!
Person in US$: Prices for 2010 / 2011 on request 3-5
Price per Person in US$: Prices for 2010 / 2011 on request