15 Days Culture Quest Tour

15 Culture Quest Tour (PHT-015C) Yangon - Pyay - Bagan - Popa - Bagan - Mandalay - Monywa - Mandalay - Pindaya - Inle Lake Yangon

DAY (01) Arrival Yangon

Arrive at Yangon International Airport in the afternoon. After passing through the immigration and custom controls, our English-speaking tour guide will welcome and escort you to your hotel. Rest of the afternoon is free to relax at hotel. Dinner with Myanmar Cultural Show at Karaweik Palace Restaurant. Accommodation at hotel, Yangon.
Meals included: Dinner

DAY (02) Yangon

sule-pagoda-01Breakfast at hotel. Start an orientation tour of downtown Yangon. You will drive through Yangon’s busy roads and take a glimpse of the hustle downtown, Indian and China towns. See the magnificent colonial buildings of Victorian & Edwardian era architecture. This introductory drive will end with a stop near Sule Pagoda – the centre mark of Yangon, for brief photo taking. Lunch at Green Elephant Restaurant. Continue sightseeing to Yangon’s highlights, including Chauk Htat Gyi – a huge reclining Buddha and the picturesque Kandawgyi Lake. Photo stop at Karaweik Hall – a mystic floating barge. Today’s Yangon tour will be ending with a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the finest of Yangon and perhaps the most stunning religious edifice in the world. Take your time to enjoy seeing this impressive feature and watching local people. Stroll on its platform surrounded by set of smaller temples, shrines and pavilions, and observe numerous shops along the stairways selling various colorful items, flowers and books. As the sun sets, the reddish golden rays of Shwedagon reflect on everything around and turning into a magical arena. Great photo time & a moment to take away with you. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Yangon.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

DAY (03) Yangon – Pyay

shwesandaw-01BThis morning, drive to Pyay (Prome), approx. 280 km – 6 hrs. Pyay is located on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River and home to the revered Shwesandaw Pagoda. The 7th century ancient capital of Sri Kestra is situated near Pyay, where extensive archaeological excavations have taken place. Lunch at a local restaurant en route (or) in Pyay. After check-in to your hotel, proceed sightseeing of the town and local market. Today’s tour will be concluded with a visit of Shwesandaw Pagoda. The widely spread pagoda platform is a nice spot to enjoy the sunset with panoramic view over the town and Ayeyarwaddy River. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, pyay.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

DAY (04) Pyay – Bagan

This morning, drive out of Pyay to briefly visit the site of Sri Kestra – an ancient Pyu Kingdon with its tiny museum housing artifacts unearthed in the old city. Proceed driving to Bagan (approx. 350 km – 9 hrs). Lunch at a simple local restaurant en route (or) packed lunch. Arrive Bagan in the late afternoon. Check-into your hotel. Dinner and accommodation hotel, Bagan.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

DAY (05) Bagan

shwezigon-pagoda-01Breakfast at hotel. Bagan morning tour starts with Nyaung U Market and continues with visit to significant pagodas and temples. First, you will visit Shwezigon Pagoda built by the great King Anawrahta in 11th century. It serves as a prototype of later Myanmar pagodas. Then, continue to Ananda Temple known for its finest artistic value and is perhaps the most beautiful monuments in Bagan. A brief stop is made for photo at Tharabar Gate. Lunch at River View Restaurant. This afternoon, we take you to Manuha Temple built by a captive Mon King. Here, one sees a huge sitting Buddha image housed in a relatively small chamber. As gloom and odd one would discern seeing as it is widely said that the captive king explained his despair through this image; it surely serves its purpose. Take a break from the temples and observe intricate steps of crafting Bagan’s famous lacquer ware and to stroll in a typical Myanmar farming village. Then, proceed to enjoy the enchanting sunset over Bagan’s plain as the conclusion of today’s tour. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Bagan. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (06) Bagan – Popa – Bagan

mount-popa-01Breakfast at hotel. This morning, take a scenic drive (50 km – 1½ hours) to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano and an oasis of this dry central plain. Visit the Taung Kalat, a 737-metre volcanic peak with shrines dedicated to “Nats”, the animist spirit still worshiped by many locals. It is said that the mountain is their abode. The energetic, after climbing 777 steps, will be rewarded with a greatly refreshing panorama. A Buddhist monastery on the summit can also be visited. Lunch at Popa Mountain Resort with scenic view of the canyon and lush forest. In the afternoon, return to Bagan with a brief stop at palm plantation en route. We will take you directly back to your hotel, this afternoon is at leisure to pursue individual interest.

(OPTIONAL TOUR): LATE AFTERNOON PROGRAM

Upon request, travel on the lanes of old Bagan villages in a horse cart (or) cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River in a small local boat can be arranged, at prevailing cost.
Dinner with cultural show at Nandar Restaurant. Accommodation at hotel, Bagan.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (07) Bagan – Mandalay

maha-myat-muni-01Breakfast at hotel. This morning, transfer to Nyaung U Airport for flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay Airport, proceed directly to Amarapura; an ancient royal capital founded before Mandalay. First, we take you to Mahagandayon, one of the most prominent monasteries where nearly a thousand monks live and study. It’s a chance to observe unique Myanmar monkshood. Then, proceed to U Bein Teak Bridge originally built in 1851. Take a leisurely walk over the bridge and enjoy the panoramic view of Taungthaman Lake and surrounding. If time permits, a brief stop is possible at traditional silk & cotton weaving. Lunch at Ko’s Kitchen Restaurant. This afternoon, visit the Maha Myat Muni, the most revered Buddha statue in entire Myanmar. The whole image, except, the face is covered with thick layers of gold foils; a token of the devotees’ intense faith to Buddha. Continue to Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), a delicately carved wooden building and Kuthodaw Pagoda (the world’s largest book), consisting of 729 marble slabs engraved with Buddhist scriptures. If time permits, you may visit one of the tapestry workshops. A visit to 230 meter high Mandalay Hill will conclude today’s tour. Up here, you find a scenic view of the city, the plains surrounding it, the Shan Mountain, as well as the Ayeyarwaddy River, especially great at sunset. Dinner at Green Elephant Restaurant in Mandalay. Afterwards, we take you to a marionette show of professional puppeteers. The performance is highly traditional and amusing. The show starts at 2000 hrs. Accommodation at hotel, Mandalay.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (08) Mandalay – Mingun – Ava – Mandalay

mingum-02Breakfast at hotel. This morning, you will take a locally built private boat to Mingun, on the legendary Ayeyarwaddy River. This 1-hour up-river journey will introduce the life along Myanmar’s lifeline river, the panorama view, the scenery of local villages and firms on the fertilized shore. Upon arrival, you will visit the unfinished Mingun Phato, the famous Mingun Bell – famous as the world’s largest bell, Mya Thein Dan Zedi with its artistically designed stairways to heaven etc. Return to Mandalay by boat – the down river journey takes approx. 45 mins. Enjoy lunch at Myanandar Riverside Restaurant. This afternoon, you will drive out of Mandalay, to visit Innwa (Ava), on the confluence of Myit-Nge River and Ayeyarwaddy River, reached after a short ferry ride. You will visit the area with horse cart; the trip could be a little bumpy and dusty. The visit is worth, however, as you are traveling through grass covered shady lanes, to see the highlights that scattered in & around the ancient wall. Major sights include, Nanmyint Watch Tower also known as the leaning tower; Bagayar wooden monastery with large teak poles; and the beautiful Mei Nu Okkyaung built in brick. If time permits, you may visit the alms bowl making village. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Mandalay.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (09) Mandalay – Monywa

po-win-hill-01Breakfast at hotel. Today, you will start a little earlier as you drive northwest to Monywa (140 km, 3 ½ hrs), an important trading city of upper Myanmar on the bank of Chindwin River. En route, you will visit the Thanboddhay Temple, said to be built according to the dream design of the Chief Abode. The temple is richly decorated both inside and outside of the central stupa. Then, proceed to Monywa (20 km, 30 min). Enjoy lunch either at a hotel or a simple local restaurant. This afternoon, take a local ferry across the Chindwin River and proceed with open-air pick up trucks or jeeps to visitPo Win Hills with numerous sandstone caves full of Buddhist statues and murals. Most displays are arguably from the 14th century. Nearby, visit Shwe Ba Hills featuring unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with Bubddha images. Take a local ferry across the Chindwin River to return to Monywa. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Monywa.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (10) Monywa – Sagaing Hills – Mandalay

kaungmudaw-01Breakfast at hotel. This morning, you will visit the local market to observe life at this typical trading town. Then drive back to Mandalay. En route, stop at Kaungmudaw Pagoda, a huge white dome shaped stupa. Enjoy lunch at a simple local restaurant. After lunch, continue to Sagaing Hills, where hillsides are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. You may stop at the silver craft workshop and a prominent monastery to discuss about the life of Buddhist Monks etc. Enjoy sunset at Sagaing Hills, a perfect place with its panoramic view of the mountains, temples and the Ayeyarwaddy River. Drive back to Mandalay. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Mandalay.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (11) Mandalay – Heho – Pindaya

pindaya-cave-01Breakfast. This morning, transfer to Mandalay Airport for domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival, proceed with a scenic drive passing through plantations and villages to Pindaya (65 km, 1 ½ hrs). Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel. Lunch at Memento Restaurant. This afternoon, you will visit the Pindaya Caves, where numerous Buddha images are placed in the limestone caves over many centuries back. Also visit the Shan paper and parasol making workshop. Time to photo stop may be added to your program, at the picturesque Botaloke Lake and array of century old Banyan trees. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Pindaya.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (12) Pindaya – Inle Lake

inle-05Breakfast at hotel. Proceed by road to Nyaung Shwe (90 km – 2 ½ hrs) – a gateway to Inle Lake, a freshwater lake in the heart of Shan Highlands. Stop at a local 5-day market at Pindaya or at a village en route (on market day only), where colorful local tribes gather for daily trade. Lunch at River View Restaurant. Proceed by boat (approx. 30 mins) to your hotel on the lake. After a brief refreshment stop, start an excursion by boat on Inle Lake admiring the view of famous leg-rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and village life. Don’t miss it; it’s a great photo time! Further visits are made toPhaung Daw Oo Pagoda , the weaving village of Inpawkhon and Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Inle Lake.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (13) Inle Lake – Inndein Temple Complex

temple-complex-01Breakfast at hotel. This morning, visit a local market (on market day only) and then, proceed toNampan Village and see the small traditional work places producing hand-made goods for local use and trading. Lunch at Nampan Restaurant. After lunch, enjoy a boat tour to Inndein Village at the western end of the lake. As you travel past the villages, the boat takes you through a long and narrow waterway with both shores covered by reeds and bamboo forest. This is probably one of the most scenic boat rides on the lake. Upon arrival, head to the ruined temple complex, following a stair path lined up with magnificent columns to the top. Return to jetty with leisurely nature walk and proceed by boat to your hotel. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Inle Lake.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (14) Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon

bogyoke-market-02Breakfast at hotel. This morning, transfer by boat and by road to Heho Airport. If time permits, visit a colorful local market en route (on market day only). Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer you to the local restaurant. En route, stopping at National Museum famous for the 8-meter-high Golden Lion Throne and Mandalay Royal Regalia (closed on public holidays). Lunch Padonmar Restaurant. This afternoon, the guide and car will be at your entire disposal for further sightseeing or shopping. As a free and easy tour for today, you may opt for taking a stroll at Bogyoke (Scott’s) Market with numerous shops (closed on Mondays), or, a brief walking tour at downtown area where various stalls are set on the platform to later turn to the night market. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Yangon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY (15) Yangon departure

Breakfast at hotel. You will be escorted to Yangon International Airport and assisted as required, for your morning international departure flight.
Meals included: Breakfast

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