The Golden land Off-the-Beaten-Track
Lavish 2 weeks in Myanmar‘s eastern Shan State, renowned for its exotic cultures, antiqued ruins and unspoiled venturous trekking trails – and never regret your decision.
Upon arrival at Mandalay – one of the only two places among Burma tourist attractions to receive international flights. Be heartily greeted by your guide and check in at your hotel. Considering your time budget, pay a visit to landmarks of Mandalay: the Royal Palace where King Mindon and his many wives resides; the Shwenandaw Monastery which dodged bombing destruction and survived as the building of paramount historic important in Mandalay. Ready your cameras and make sure you return home with photos of the largest book in the world in Kuthodaw Pagoda. After coming home, tell your acquaintances that the book is printed on 729 carved marble headstones, not paper. Spend the night at your hotel in Mandalay.
Brighten this morning by a visit to Mandalay Jade Market then a gold leaf hammering workshop before taking a boat uptream the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Here you visit the largest working bell in the world, the beautiful in white Hsinbyume Paya and the unfinished Mingun Paya then move to Sagaing. Climb up the highest hill where the U Ponya Pagoda is located. From above enjoy a remarkable panorama of hundreds of pagodas and monasteries perched on the hills bordering the Irrawaddy. Late afternoon, transfer to Amarapura, walk on the U Bein Bridge, the oldest and the longest teak bridge in the world, watch magnificent sunset. Overnight in Mandalay.
Transfer in the morning to Hsipaw by local private car or bus for a journey of about 5 hours on a picturesque road. The road winds northwards towards China and gradually rises through the towering mountains of Shan State. Hsipaw is a high-altitude village which is nearly 200 km from Mandalay, still untouched by tourism. Upon arrival, take a short visit to this little town in the rustic atmosphere and discover the different architectural styles: colonial, Burmese and Chinese.
Night at the guesthouse in Hsipaw.
After breakfast, transfer by local pickup/ motorcycle to the starting point of the trek through landscapes of the region dotted by rice fields and mountains. Stop along the way to go to local markets and tea-producing families to experience traditional tea-drying technique. You can pass a “View Point” to admire the breathtaking view of the surroundings. On arrival at the village, embark on your hiking (about 3 hours walk). There are many hiking trails around Hsipaw that can be tailored to your interests, your sporting level and the political situation in the region. Back to Hsipaw in the afternoon. Night at the guesthouse.
Pay a morning visit to the local market Hsipaw which attracts many nearby residents and traders in the region. Then board the train for a trip to reach Pyin Oo Lwin, a former resort of the British. The train itself is an adventure: it passes through charming villages and the famous Gokteik Viaduct. It was built in the 1900s when Burma was still part of India. You will go through magnificent landscapes and enjoy an extraordinary experience by sharing the lives of Burmese and observing the shipment of goods through the windows. Arrive in Pyin Oo Lwin at late afternoon and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Take a morning ride in a traditional carriage. You can admirer the brick-and-wood houses with their gables, turrets and chimneys in the British style so that you feel like returning to the past. Go on the trip to a local market where some regional products are widely sold like wine, strawberry jam, coffee and woolen clothes. Move on the tour to National Botanical Garden, most preferred as an ideal picnic spot with the live collection of flora, many unique fruits and big shady trees on the shore of lakes as well as the three museums of biology. Continue by road to Mandalay (2 hours) and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Mandalay.
Morning flight to Bagan. A whole day dedicated to uncover the legendary beauty of Bagan, the most impressive archaeological site in Asia. About forty kilometers from the left bank of the legendary Irrawaddy River, over 2000 temples, pagodas and stupas of all sizes and shapes emerge here and there, out of sight. Visit some of significant temples by a horse-drawn carriage: the finest and well-preserved Ananda Temple, the highest Thatbyinnyu dominating other temples of Bagan, the massive red-bricked Htilomino Temple. By late afternoon, Shwesandaw Temple is the perfect place to enjoy breathtaking view of the whole plain sunk into the sunset. Overnight in Bagan.
During the second half of your 2 weeks in Myanmar you will have a chance to get a real taste of Burmese local life. The day begins with the discovery to the colorful and lively Nyaung Oo market, still very authentic with its wide variety of goods to discover the daily lifestyle of the residents here. Then visit of Min Nan Thu and Phwa Saw villages, specialized in making oxcart-wheels and lacquer ware, here you could possibly make some lacquer by yourself as souvenirs for the memorable trip. At the end of the day, embark on boat tour on the Irrawaddy River to enjoy the sunset. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Bagan.
Transfer to Mount Popa 50 km southeast of Bagan, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar, well known as the abode of Nats (Burmese spirits which still exert great power with the population). Stop-over in a garden of toddy palms where you will discover the manufacture of sweets and fruit-based alcoholic beverages. Upon arrival, climb up 777 steps leading to the monastery on top of the hill. From there, you will have a stunning view of the surrounding plains of the Bagan area. Continuation of the road to Kalaw across the vast dry plains of Myanmar and to the height of Shan Plateau. Overnight in Kalaw.
Visiting Kalaw, the former holiday resort of under the British colonial time, an ideal destination for trekking in Myanmar. Sitting atop the mist of mighty mountain ranges of Shan State, Kalaw is a peaceful place with a reminiscent atmosphere of the colonial era. Hills are covered with trees, mostly pines, with a pleasant smell. Walk in the colonial districts and then hike for discovering the beautiful countryside. The route passes through mountains, plantations, tribal villages, vegetable gardens, traditional houses along the road. Visit a village of the Palaung ethnic group.
Back to Kalaw in late afternoon. Overnight in Kalaw.
In the morning visit, the colorful market of Kalaw frequented by many ethnic groups of the region. Transfer by car to Inle Lake, the turquoise watery world of Shan highland by boat, home to the Intha people. Take a motor boat ride to discover the wonderful lakeside villages with their various traditional crafts. Navigate through the charming stilt houses rise above the water and green floating gardens that are all the charm of the lake. You will catch Intha fishermen with their unique fishing techniques: they row standing by winding one leg around a paddle while holding their basketry fish trap. Overnight at hotel in Inle.
A day dedicated to discover Sagar, the ancient royal city of the Shan ethnic group. Located in the southern part of Inle Lake, this little-known archaeological site was flooded in the middle of the 20th century. The transfer to Sagar is done by motor boat (6 hours round trip) through small rivers and many lakeside villages, including those of ethnic Shan, Pa-oh and Intha. Upon arrival in Sagar, visit its must-see places. The city of Sagar is rich in history that was special and made it a sacred place. The remains are nestled in the woodlands around or buried under water: stupas, temples and pagodas are back from the wild, having suffered the ravages of time and vegetation. Overnight in Inle.
Transfer to Heho airport for the flight to Yangon, the former Burmese capital (1862-2005). Stroll around the city center packed with colonial-faded buildings. Then you have chance to admire 70-meter long Reclining Buddha, one of world’s largest Buddhist image in Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda. Stop at National Museum, where you are expected to gain greater knowledge and understanding of Burmese art, history and culture. By the end of the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred religious site in Myanmar, the ‘can’t-miss’ number one of any trip to Myanmar. Walk around the site on bare foot, enjoy the magical sunset view. Overnight in Yangon.
Free day for relaxation and shopping.
Depending on your schedule, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
End of your extraordinary 2 weeks in Myanmar.
|Number of people||6 pax||4 pax||2 pax|
|Price per person||$1210||$1360||$1830|