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Yangon/ Mandalay/ Sagaing/ Ava/ Amarapura/ Bagan/ Inle/ Yangon

Duration : 12 days
Type of trip : Classic

Large colorful markets, enchantment of the Inle Lake and Bagan, Shwedagon pagoda, ethnic encounters, magic of Bagan temples and pagodas, Mahamuni Buddha face washing ceremony, river activities, thanaka on the cheeks of women and children, processions of monks in the morning, and of course the Burmese smile!

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Yangon
Day 2 - Yangon tour
Day 3 - Yangon - Mandalay
Day 4 - Mandalay tour
Day 5 - Mandalay - Bagan, 200 km/5h drive
Day 6 - Bagan tour
Day 7 - Bagan by electric motorcycle
Day 8 - Bagan – Pindaya – Inle Lake
Day 9 - Inle Lake boat tour
Day 10 - Inle – Indein – Inle
Day 11 - Inle bike tour
Day 12 - Inle – Heho - Yangon departure

On this journey, you will love

●    Beautiful local markets in Yangon, Inle and Bagan
●    The lakeside villages and floating vegetable gardens at Inle Lake
●    The archaeological sites of Bagan
●    The ancient capitals in Mandalay

Day 1 - Arrival in Yangon

Arrival in Yangon. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival, you‘ll have the possibility to venture into the colonial district, Chinatown and a local market to discover Burmese colors and smells. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 - Yangon tour, discover the daily life of Burmese

Explore Bogyoke Aung San Market, a shoe and clothing market (closed on Mondays and holidays). Beautiful fabrics (batiks, silks, and cotton) are sold by the meter. Antiques and souvenirs are along the central alley. Continue your journey and head to the pagoda Chaukhtut Gyi - the tin roof of this pavilion shelters a colossal reclining Buddha of 70 meters long. The morning will end at the National Museum which displays interesting pieces, such as the lion-shaped Simhasana throne where sat Thibaw Min, the last Burmese king. In the afternoon, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most famous in the country for its 98 meters high stupa covered with gold. The setting sun darting its last rays on the golden dome offers a magical spectacle. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3 - Yangon  -  Mandalay

Leave Rangon early for a short domestic flight to Mandalay, which was the capital of the country until 1885. Transfer to the Monastery of Tha Kya Dita to observe female monks, and a hundred young monks in an interesting ceremony where they pray and sing Buddhist songs before taking their only meal of the day.Then, by local boat, cross an arm of the Irrawaddy River to reach Ava, the former capital of the Burmese Kingdom from 1364 to 1841. A local carriage will take you on a discovery trip: first the Daw Gyan pagoda, the ancient palace with its observation tower Nan -Myint, some religious buildings lost in nature, then Kyaung Bagaya. This wooden monastery is supported by 267 teak pillars - the largest of which is 18 m high and 2.7 m in circumference. In the late afternoon, stroll on the teak bridge of U Bein, built in 1851, the ideal spot to watch the sunset.
1h30 flight

Day 4 - Mandalay tour

After breakfast, start your journey at Zegyo Central Market. A short hike will take you to the banks of the Irrawaddy passing by small pagodas, craft districts and a flower market. Then hop on a boat and sail up the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. The sampan ride is long enough to appreciate fully the life of the river. Discover the site of Mantara Gyi, an unfinished pagoda that measures only one third of the planned height. Then visit Myatheindan pagoda (1817) and its gigantic hanging bell Mingun weighing 90 tons. In the afternoon, explore the former royal palace and Shwe Nan Daw monastery, one of the most refined Burmese wood buildings. At the end of the day, climb Sagaing Hill to admire the sunset. From the top, 230 m above the plain, enjoy a beautiful panorama of the city beyond the crenellated ramparts of the palace, while to the east, in a bluish haze, are outlined Shan hills.

Day 5 - Mandalay -  Bagan, 200 km/5h drive

Before leaving Mandalay, visit Paya Mahamuni (The Great Sage pagoda) southwest of the city center. The main piece of this famous pagoda is a venerated statue of Mahamuni seated. This statue 4m tall statue was originally made in bronze but over the years, thousands of fervent Buddhists have completely covered in layers of gold leaf which currently measures at about 15cm thick. Around Mahamuni, shopping streets will give you the opportunity to find Burmese souvenirs: bronze bells, teak wood statues and jade bracelets. Transfer to Bagan on the national road 2. Stop on the way at Ta Mait Tha village to take a short walk. Learn about the daily life of the Burmese by meeting with welcoming villagers and discovering local craft trades: basketry and a factory of traditional cigarettes. Arrival in Bagan in the late afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6 - Bagan tour

Bagan (Pagan) is the most amazing site in the country, if not all of Southeast Asia. Today, you will have a big day exploring the Old Bagan, the heart of the archeological area. It contains the most important temples, the walls of the ancient city, and a museum. First head to the colorful market of Nyaung U, an essential place in the local life. The journey continues, visit the Shwezigon Pagoda (the most revered in Bagan) and the Ananda Temple (the most beautiful one) originally dedicated to the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, famous for its Indian architecture .
In the afternoon, visit the archaeological museum of Bagan which has on display a large number of religious representations and items found in the temples nearby. Next, a stroll in small villages will allow you to discover a typical rural life and some crafts: wickerwork and manufacture of lacquered products. Return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon.

Day 7 - Bagan by electric motorcycle

An electric motorcycle is the perfect means of transport to explore Bagan area. Riding on paved roads  and sandy paths with little traffic is pleasant and fun. Discover the imposing Dhammayangyi Temples, Htilominlo, Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myingabar with its stunning Jataka murals and create lasting memories. Continue your beautiful journey by venturing into monuments and bring your day to a peaceful end on the terrace of a temple... a perfect spot to admire the sunset.
4-5h electric motorcycle ride

Day 8 - Bagan – Pindaya – Inle  Lake (flight)

After breakfast, head to Bagan airport for a flight to Heho. Upon arrival, transfer by private car to Pindaya to explore its famous caves and the daily life of its community: the Taung-yo ethnic group. Visit the caves by horse and cart and then on foot. Over the centuries, more than 8,000 Buddha statues have been laid there in different ways. Then, meet local artisans to learn about the manufacture of shan paper made from mulberry bark, and the umbrellas they craft with it. Overnight at the hotel.
1h flight and 2h30 drive

Day 9 - Inle Lake boat tour

Hop on a sampan and navigate on the Inle Lake, one of the most important sites of Burma. Located 900 m above sea level, this large lake (15km long by 6-8km wide) has an irresistible charm. Villagers grow many varieties of flowers, vegetables and fruits: tomato, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, garlic, betel, melon, papaya and banana. Visit remarkable floating gardens, and lake villages mainly inhabited by Intha. You will be amazed by the unique method used by the fishermen of the lake, and certainly charmed by the peaceful beauty of the lake itself. Venture into Nga Phye Chaung Monastery and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda (5 golden Buddha statues). Stop to find about some craft trades: a traditional cigar factory, a fishing boat factory and a silver jewelry factory.
4-5h boat ride

Day 10 - Inle – Indein – Inle

Still by local sampan, visit one of the multi-ethnic markets of the region which take place once every 5 days. It could be either Nampan, Indiain, Maingthauk, Phaung Daw Oo or Ywama according to schedule. You will come across vegetables, fresh fish caught in the lake, shan bags, farm implements, embroidered shirts and longis, tapestries, jewelry and all the usual memories. Then stop at Indein, the former Shan capital, to discover this garden of stupas. Get back to Nyaungshwe in the late afternoon.
4-5h boat ride

Day 11 - Inle  bike tour

Spend the day exploring the surroundings of Nyaungshwe. Visit Shwe Yan Pyay, a lively teak monastery inhabited by many monks and novices, then the hot springs of Khaung Daing. Seize the opportunity to swim in the communal pools. While walking in this village, you’ll realize that one family out of two is involved in handicrafts. The afternoon will be spent on a pleasant bike ride to reach the small hill of Taung Che. The path climbs gently up to reach the winery of "Red Mountain". Enjoy a wine tasting of four varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Selection, Syrah and Shiraz-Tempranillo while watching the sun set behind the mountains.
2h bike ride

Day 12 - Inle – Heho    Yangon departure

Transfer to Heho airport for a domestic flight to Yangon. International flight.


This trip is privately organized by iLOTUS TOURS. The price of the trip varies according to the size of the group, the level of services, the season and your reservation deadlines. The price published above is applied for a group of 8 participants, based on double/twin rooms in hotels. Click "Personalize this trip" to get the exact price for your group.

•    Accommodation and breakfasts in hotels on the accommodation list
•    Meals clearly mentioned in the program: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner
•    The entrance fee to the sites
•  Competent English-speaking guides throughout the trip except the free days when it is mentioned clearly: without a guide
•   Private air-conditioned car for all land transport except free days when it is mentioned clearly: without driver
•    One litre of drinking water per person per day
•    All logistic services necessary of the program.

•    International flights and airport taxes from/to your country
•    Visa fees
•    Means of transport not mentioned in the program
•    Meals not mentioned in the program
•    Tipping for services: local guides, crew member, drivers, porters…
•    Drink, telephone, linen or all personal expenses not mentioned in the "price includes" section.





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