The homeland of the Mon wraps around the eastern Gulf of Martaban from the mouth of Sittang River to the northern end of Tanithayi hills. Once native to a broad region stretching from lower Burma to Cambodia, the Mon have absorbed the cultures of Burmese and Thai civilizations. Eventhough, Mon culture and language survived in both countries. More than that: The Mon civilization in Lower Burma was the origin of Buddhism amongst Burmese. More than 1000 years ago they have called themselves „people of Suvannabhumi“, people of Golden Land“, a region of Buddhism between Burma, Thailand and Cambodia.
Welcome to our World!
Day 01 Arrival Yangon: A one hour morning flight to the Burmese capital. You will be met at the airport with a garland of flowers 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 to 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.
To the Golden Rock
Day 02 Yangon-Bago-Kyaikhtiyo: Start this day tour in the early morning with a 80 minutes drive to Bago, along the countries only one so-called highway. Bago, former capital of the Mon, will be visited on the way back to Yangon (Day 05). From Bago you will travel through the delta and over the Sittang River to Kyaikhtiyo. In the village of Kinpun, the pilgrimage road begins over 10 kilometers to the 1200 meter high pagoda on 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. (Important note: not all rooms have hot running water). First visit to the Golden Rock in the soft light of late afternoon, the best time for taking pictures there. Overnight.
Back into the Past
Day 03 Kyaikhtiyo-Thaton-Moulmein (Mawlamyine): In the morning same way back to Kinpun. Then about 2 hours drive to Thaton. Long before rise of Bagan, Thaton was an important center of Mon-civilization, that stretched from the delta of Ayeyarwaddy River to Thailand and Cambodia, the center of so-called Golden Land „Suvannabhumi“. From here Buddhism came toBagan when Thaton was conquered by King Anawratha, the founder of Bagan dynasty in 1057. You will visit the golden Pagoda Shwe Zayan, supposedly built during the early Mon era; a famous Standing Buddha shows similarity with Dvaravati-period Buddhas in central Thailand. Then you continue the drive through beautiful landscapes further south to Mottama (Martaban), where Thanlwin (Salween) River empties into the Gulf of Martaban. Aboard a double-decker passenger ferry you will cross the river towards Moulmein. Chinese junks, old vessels and small barks offer a journey into the past. Moulmein, now Mawlamyine, served as capital of British Burma from 1827 to 1852. Many colonial style buildings create the atmosphere of a by-gone era and many Buddhist stupas crown the top of hills around the tropical town. Overnight (hotel offers low standards only).
The Gulf of Martaban
Day 04 Excursion Shampoo Island-Mudon: The morning will start with a city tour and continues with an excursion by boat to pitturesque Shampoo Island. In the afternoon you will drive direction Mudon, where you will see a 160 metres long Reclining Buddha under construction. And then: If you like, you can take a swim at Setse beach. Return to Moulmein in late afternoon. Overnight.
Return to Yangon
Day 05 Moulmein-Hpaan-Bago-Yangon: In the morning you will start the day tour back to Yangon. You will cross the Thanlwin River (Salween) using the new bridge close to Hpaan; then you might meet women in traditionel dress on the market. After reaching Bago you will start with sightseeing: Fotostop at the tallest golden pagode of the country, visit to huge Reclining Buddha and to Kaikpun Pagoda with its four Sitting Buddhas facing the cardinal corners of Earth. Arrival in Yangon in the evening. Overnight.
To Shwe Dagon!
Day 06 Yangon-Departure: 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 at leisure. Transfer out for departure.
Price per Person in US$: Prices for 2010 / 2011 on request