Delve into Burma on a journey that uncovers the essence of the country at highlights sites, like the thousands of majestic temples filling the Bagan Plains, but also reveals hidden gems such as a light trek to villages beyond Inle Lake. Full of surprises, discover local markets, hill-tribe regions and floating gardens, giant Buddha statues and the 'Worlds Biggest Book'.
Itinerary - 13 days/12 nights
Days 1-2 - Yangon
On arrival in Yangon, transfer to your hotel before meeting your tour leader. Walk through the winding streets and discover the British - colonial architecture and the golden Sule Pagoda. The Indian and Chinese quarters offer an insight into local life in the city. Get a closer look at the Shwedagon Pagoda, seen from much of the city, as the sun sinks in the sky.
Days 3-4 - Bagan
A short flight brings you to Bagan, where a horse-cart ride is a unique way to glimpse the thousands of temples dotting the plains here. A more in-depth exploration is afforded on a two hour bicycle ride, stopping at some of Bagan's finest mountains, some od which allow you to climb to the top for stunning views over the plains. There will be a back up vehicle for non cyclists. Visit the Ananda temple and see the mural paintings and carvings of Gubyaukgyi Temple. Learn more about traditional handicrafts at a local workshop and visit a local school before a boat ride on the Irrawaddy River.
Days 5-7 - Mandalay
An early morning flight brings you to Mandalay. Board a horse and cart for a tour around Ava, the old capital, and see the ancient, wooden Bagaya Monastery. visit the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort and Mandalay Hill which has an abundance of pagodas and monasteries. wonder at the intricate carvings at the golden Palace Monastery and the huge marble Buddha at Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. This is also the home of the 'Worlds Largest Book', a collection of over 700 stone slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Visit Amarapura and walk along a 200-year-old teak bridge, spanning over two kilometres. At Sagaing Hill, see hundreds of pagodas painted white. With over 3000 monks and nuns, this is widely regarded as the religious centre of Burma. Here, visit a local nunnery to offer food bought from a local market and join the nuns for lunch, a heart-warming experience. Board a boat to Mingun to hear the giant Mingun Bell and see the whitewashed Hisnbyume Pagoda. Meet the local craftsmen at a small neighbourhood nearby.
Day 8 - Pindaya Caves and Kalaw Hill Station
Fly to Heho and transfer to the Pindaya caves, filled with Buddha statues from the 18th and 19th century. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Kalaw, a former British hill station with colonial architecture.
Days 9 -11 - Inle Lake and Hill Tribe Trek
Get a taste for life in the region at a morning market, before a fun train ride to Shwe Nyaung, a real local experience. Explore a nearby town before an afternoon to relax. A tour of Inle Lake begins with the morning market which is a chance to meet some of the people who gather here from the surrounding hilltribe villages. See the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake's main sanctuary, then learn about the local crafts at a weaving village, visit a silversmith's workshop and see how typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. In the afternoon, visit the charming village of In Dien, famous for its beautiful ruined ancient stupas. A full day of light trekking takes you to the Pa-O villages in the hills beyond Inle Lake, or if you prefer not to trek you could choose to swim, cycle or even visit a local vineyard.
Days 12-13 - Hill Tribe Trek
A morning flight to Yangon leaves you with most of the day to explore, with the option to visit some of the great markets in town. On the last day, enjoy free time before your departure.
12 Nights accommodation
Breakfast daily and 2 lunches
4 Internal flights
Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
Western tour leader
Local English speaking guides
Prices From £2095
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