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Day 1: Arrive in Rangoon (Yangon)
Upon arrival at Rangoon airport you will be met and transferred to our hotel.
Day 2: Rangoon Sites
We visit one of the world's most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 3: Fly To Kalaw
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Heho. Upon arrival, we drive to Kalaw, a delightful hill station on the rim of the Shan Plateau, which is the market center for hilltribes from surrounding regions. At 1,320 meters, Kalaw has a cool and pleasant climate.
Day 4: The Hill Station of Kalaw
After breakfast, we start our sightseeing in Kalaw. We visit Shwe Oo Min pagoda, a small cave with several Buddha statues, kalaw Train Station and a local market. The town is a market center for ethnic minorities from surrounding regions.
Day 5: Inle Lake
We take a morning drive to Nyaung Shwe for a short walk through the small town. We continue by boat to Nampan and the Golden Island Cottages.Visit the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar dating back to the 18th century. Continue on to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, famous for its jumping cats trained by monks. We finish with a visit to the weaving village of Inpawkhon.
Day 6: One Leg Rowers of Inle Lake
We take a morning journey by boat to view life around the lake where we see the famous one leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and magnificent scenery. After lunch, journey to the western shore of Inle Lake and the beginning of a stair path leading to the hidden Inn Thein Pagoda complex. A large, covered passage, supported by 804 pillars leads into the complex.
Day 7: Fly to Kyaing Tong
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kyaing Tong. On the way to the airport, we visit a parasol workshop. After lunch at a local restaurant, we explore Kyaing Tong, with a visit to One Tree Hill view point, Shan Lacquerware workshop and the scenic Naung Tong Lake.
Day 8: Hill Tribes of Kyaing Tong
Today we explore the colorful Kyaing Tong market and enjoy a full day excursion to the surrounding hill tribe villages. Visit an animist Palaung village whose tribe is amongst the oldest inhabitants of Myanmar. We visit the Akha tribe to see their famous spectacular head dresses that jingle with silver and colored tassels.
Day 9: Mandalay
Enjoy a relaxing morning before our transfer to the airport for the flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, we pay a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda to see the world's largest book made of marble.
Day 10: Former Royal Capitals and Monasteries
After breakfast, we depart for Amarapura outside of Mandalay, to visit the Mahagandayon Monastery, where more than a thousand monks live and study. Time permitting, we will have the opportunity to observe the monks having their last meal of the day in total silence. We continue to U Bein Teak Bridge, built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was the Royal capital. Visit a traditional hand- woven silk workshop as well as a Kalaga tapestries craftsmen's shop.
Days 11 - 12: Begin 3-day Irrawaddy River Cruise
After an early breakfast, we transfer to the jetty for our 3 day / 2 night river journey along the Irrawaddy River. We set sail for Mingun to visit the Pagoda complex. Relax and enjoy lunch, dinner and overnight on board.
Day 13: To Bagan (UNESCO)
In the early morning, we arrive in Bagan and are transferred to our hotel. After a stroll through the colorful local market, we continue with visits to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan. We visit the Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Ku Byanuk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes; and Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images.
Day 14: Ancient sites & temples of Bagan
After breakfast, visit Dhamayarzinka Pagoda, Min Nan Thu Village; Phaya Thone Zu and Nandamanya Temples noted for exquisite murals of 13th century; and Kyat Kan Cave monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan. We continue to farming villages around Bagan to gain an insight into the lives of the local people. We will have a late lunch and enjoy some further temple visits. We complete the day by watching the sunset over the many ancient temples dotting the country-side.
Day 15: Mount Popa
After breakfast, we drive to Mount Popa. On the way, we stop at Palm forest to observe how palm suger, toddy (sky beer) and moonshine are made. We continue to Mt Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. Its shrine is dedicated to animist spirits known as "Nats" and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. The setting and views are spectacular. In the afternoon, we drive back to Bagan for dinner and overnight.
Day 16: Fly To Rangoon, Golden Rock
After breakfast, we fly to Rangoon and drive to Kinpun to visit The Golden Rock, one of the most important religious sites in Myanmar and a dream destination for devout Buddhists. The boulder is painted gold and is balanced on the edge of a cliff. According to myth it is held in place by a strain of Buddha's hair. Spend the rest of the day exploring this site before experiencing the sunset which casts a beautiful glow.
Day 17: Rangoon
After breakfast, we return to Rangoon. Upon arrival, we drive to the Nanthida jetty to cross the Yangan River on a local ferry. We visit Dalla Village, riding in rickshaws through the small village streets which provide an interesting glimpse of local life. Visit the old colonial Strand Hotel, built in 1896 by Aviet and Tigran Sarkie, two of the Sarkie brothers. The hotel was used to quarter Japanese troops during World War II. Tonight we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner.
Day 18: Depart Rangoon (Yangon)
After breakfast, you have free time until your transfer to Rangoon (Yangon) Airport for your departure flight.
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