02 December 2016
7 nights fr £2545ppIncludes flights
Awe-inspiring temples, pagodas, marketplaces & enticing scenery
Myanmar is famous for its natural beauty and spectacular architecture, with an enormous number of awe-inspiring temples and pagodas. This eight-day tour takes in all the country's most stunning sights, from the diamond-encrusted Shwedagon Pagoda to charming gardens and beautiful Inle Lake.
Your tour begins today as you're met on arrival at Yangon Airport and transferred to your hotel. Once you've checked in, you have the rest of the day at leisure to explore Myanmar's former capital. You may like to visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most striking religious monuments in South-East Asia. If time permits, you'll take a guided walk through Yangon’s Chinatown and visit some of the city's colonial buildings, as well as Bogyoke Aung San Market, which sells a huge range of handicrafts. In the early evening, you'll visit the truly spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, covered with hundreds of gold plates and encrusted with 4,531 diamonds.
Early this morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Bagan boasts more than 2,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries – today you'll have the chance to explore some of the most spectacular. Your first stop will be the bustling Nyaung Oo market, before visits to Gubyauknge Temple, with its excellent stucco carvings, the impressive Htilominlo Pahto and Ananda Pahto, one the area's best-preserved temples. Bagan is also famous for its handicrafts and lacquerware, so after lunch you'll have the chance to visit a local workshop. As the sun begins to set, you'll climb to the top of one of the temples to take in the magnificent views.
This morning you'll travel 50km from Bagan to stunning Mount Popa, an important place of worship within Popa Mountain Park. You'll climb the 777 steps to explore the fascinating monasteries, stupas and shrine, as well as to enjoy the dramatic view back across the Myingyan Plain. There will also be the chance to visit the Mother Spirit of Popa Nat Shrine, located at the base of the mountain, and if the climb to the top sounds a little daunting you can instead visit the nearby sandalwood forest and medical herb garden. You'll end your day watching the sunset from the banks of the Irrawaddy River before returning to your hotel.
This morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city, known as the country's cultural capital. Your first stop here will be Amarapura township, formerly Myanmar's capital, where you'll visit the iconic U Bien's Bridge, which spans Taungthaman Lake and is the longest teak footbridge in the world. This afternoon you'll visit the spiritually important Mahamuni Pagoda, which houses one of Myanmar's most famous seated Buddha images, and the Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), before continuing to Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is said to house the world's largest book: 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist scriptures. You'll end the day with a drive to the top of Mandalay Hill to watch the sun set over the city.
This morning you'll transfer to Mandalay airport for your flight to Heho. From here you'll drive to Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda at Pindaya, along the way enjoying the lush scenery and rural scenes including buffalo-drawn carts and farmers in traditional dress. At Pindaya there will be time to admire the impressive cave temples and 8,000 Buddha statues before continuing on to Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake, stopping en route at a local workshop to watch Shan paper and umbrella making.
This morning you'll explore the local market and perhaps pick up some handicrafts before continuing on to the ruined stupas and temples at the lakeside village of Inndein. Here you can take the covered walkway to the main Shwe Inn Thein Paya, to admire the views across the lake. Next you'll visit the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung, which houses an impressive collection of ancient Buddha images. You'll also visit a floating garden and have the chance to watch the local fisherman perform their unique leg-rowing technique.
This morning you'll transfer back to Heho for your return flight to Yangon, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch in a local restaurant, you'll visit the impressive National Museum, where highlights include the Lion Throne belonging to the last King of Myanmar and a stunning collection of ceremonial clothing. Next you'll visit the huge reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Kyi before heading on to Kandawgyi Lake. As the sun begins to set, you'll stroll through picturesque Kandawgyi Park and visit the Karaweik, a replica of a traditional royal barge.
This morning you'll visit Kalaywa Monastery, home to 1,000 monks and nuns, to learn more about monastic life. You then have the rest of the day at leisure for some last-minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping before it's time to transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
Standard fr £1814pp
Superior fr £2011pp
Deluxe fr £2689pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated