At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.
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Our Best of Myanmar Tour provides you with the chance to visit significant highlights of Myanmar. Explore the magnificent culture and beautiful natural heritages of Myanmar; discover the colorful cities with a close look at the local life of the historical cities. Along the journey, besides the top 4 cities that almost normal Myanmar tour packages introduce, you also have chance to visit the magnificent natural caves in Pintaya as well as immerse deeply into the colonial atmosphere of Kalaw, a former British cool retreat.
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DAY 01: YANGON ARRIVAL
Upon arrival in YANGON, you will be welcomed by our experienced guide then transferred to the hotel for check in. Free to relax at your hotel or discover Yangon by your own.
In the evening, stroll with your guide around Yangon Chinatown where you’ll find vendor after vendor of charcoal grills, cooking all sorts of meats, vegetables and marinades from shop house barbecue restaurants. Enjoy the our welcomed dinner, tasting the best street food of Myanmar cuisine.
Your Yangon tour today begins with a tour through Yangon’s colonial styled city centre. Visit Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda which is built in 1966 and houses a striking reclining Buddha image that measures an impressive 65 metres long and 16-metre high Sule Pagoda - known in Burmese as the Kyaik Athok Zedi, is surrounded by busy streets, a market and colonial era buildings.
After that, go on a tour of Yangon's remaining British colonial buildings, led by an award-winning architect and historical scholar now based here. Highlights include the former diplomatic quarter, the majestic Strand Hotel, the Post and Telegraph office, and the Yangon Port Authority and the Customs Department.
Your lunch will be severed at local restaurant near Kandawgyi Lake. After lunch, stop for photos at the Kandawgyi Garden, which houses Karaweik Hall also known as Karaweik Palace, one of Yangon’s many landmarks. From a distance, the Karaweik Hall looks like a huge golden barge floating on Kandawgyi Lake, glittering in the sun. Then proceed to Botataung Pagoda - Yangon’s oldest Chinese temple which is located at the riverside.
In the late afternoon, we will visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda - Yangon’s most famous landmark. The massive 99 meter high gold plated pagoda with the diamond studded spire set on top of a small hill in downtown Yangon. Its massive bell-shaped golden spires are plated with 60 tons of gold, while the tip of the stupa is inset with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topaz.
Wander through this magnificent structure and its courtyards, stupas, bells, temples, and Buddha images, and see religious and secular visitors from all parts of the globe.
Today, you will catch a domestic flight to BAGAN. On arrival in Nyaung U Airport, you will be welcomed by our local guide and transferred to the hotel for check in (if rooms are ready).
NOTE: Depend your preference, we can arrange air-conditioned bus or bicycle for the activities today.
We begin our sightseeing tour by visiting Nyaung U Morning Market which offers a colourful display of fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and textiles. Morning time is the best time to visit market, you would see it at its liveliest and ways of life of local people.
After that, we visit pagodas and temples including Shwezigon Pagoda, served as a prototype for later stupas built throughout the country, Ananda Temple which is considered to be one of the most surviving masterpiece of the Mon architecture. Also known as the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples.
Then, we move to visit Thatbyinnyu Temple - the tallest temples of all monuments in Bagan; 61m high overlooking the Bagan scene. Afterwards, take a break at the local coffee shop to have cold drink under the shade or return to hotel to relax.
In the afternoon, we will drive to Myingabar Village to visit a Lacquer Ware Workshop - one of Myanmar's most treasured handicrafts. We continue to visit Dhammayangyi Temple - one of massive temples in Bagan. It was built in 12th century by Narathu King. It is infamous for its mysterious, bricked-up inner passageways and cruel history.
To finish our today’s tour, experience by local horse cart way to Shwesandaw Pagoda, a perfect spot to enjoy a magnificent sunset. Enjoy sunset from the temple then transfer back to the hotel.
OPTIONAL: Wake up early this morning for a 45-minute Hot Air Balloon ride to watch the stunning sunrise over the temples of Bagan. Seeing hot-air balloons flying over Bagan is one of the most iconic images of Myanmar.
This morning, we will take a short transfer to Mount Popa, a volcano 1518 metres above sea level, and located in central Myanmar about 50 km southeast of Bagan in the Pegu Range. Mount Popa is known as the home of the “Nats” spirits among the locals. The Popa Taungkalat shrine is the favoured home of 37 Mahagiri Nats or aminist spirit entities. To reach the top, you need to remove shoes and socks and climb the 777 steps to the summit.
Along the way, we will stop to visit a village and watch the collection of juice from palm trees and its conversion into palm sugar. Then, we drive back to Bagan and take a relaxation at hotel to avoid the heat in Bagan.
In the afternoon, we will ride through villages which are located in outer Bagan. Stroll around villages to have a better understand of locals’ daily life. Then take a visit Nat Hlaung Kyaung Temple and take a local boat at the Bu Pagoda to enjoy the sunset. Return to hotel then relax.
After breakfast in the morning, transfer to the airport for a flight to MANDALAY, the second-largest city in Myanmar.
Upon arrival, begin a sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with so much gold leaf by revellers that it has attained a unique and iconic ‘lumpy’ texture. Get a good look at this famous Buddha image and walk around the temple grounds for a feel of its unique spiritual vibes.
Mandalay is well-known for its skilled craftsmen and, while touring traditional workshops, learn more about the city’s cottage industries. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf, where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.
OPTIONAL: Make a marionette - Visit a local craft shop, choose a marionette’s design (clothes, face, body) and make a unique personalised souvenir. The entire process takes around 1 hour and is suitable for adults and children.
After lunch, continue the tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’.
Nearby, Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace. This grand teak wood building is known for its exquisite woodcarving. Then head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River from the highest vantage point in the area.
OPTIONAL:Mahamuni Face Washing - Wake up early in the morning (around 04:00) and catch a local taxi to Mahamuni Pagoda (without guide). Every morning before dawn, monks wash the face of the ‘lumpy’ Buddha image with special fragrant water and brush its teeth. The ritual takes around an hour and is a unique insight into Buddhism. Return to the hotel around 07:30 for breakfast.
After the delicious breakfast at the hotel, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar. It is home to more than 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centres. You’ll visit the beautiful Sagaing Temples, a collection of gilded stupas on the nearby hills. Then, visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. Here, one can find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. We will also stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Continue south of the city to Inwa (Ava), the Burmese capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will head across the river to a waiting horse and carriage. While taking this charming form of transportation, visit the old wooden Bagayar Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Inwa’s ruins and, while travelling by horse and cart, get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside.
We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Inwa before continuing the afternoon sightseeing program. Return toward the city and stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products.
After touring this tranquil site, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak wood bridge. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak wood posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. At 1.2 kilometres in length, it’s the world’s longest teak wood construction. That’s not what the bridge is most famous for, though. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, get ready for a truly unforgettable experience. The entire area becomes bathed in a vivid golden light. As traditionally-dressed locals pass over the bridge, be sure to snap some photos of the bridge’s iconic silhouette -widely considered to be one of Asia’s best photo opportunities.
Afterwards, head back to the hotel in Mandalay.
OPTIONAL: For some extra entertainment in the evening, why not catch a traditional show by the Mandalay Marionettes, or a non-conformist comedy show by the Moustache Brothers?
Early checkout at your hotel and being transferred back to the Mandalay Airport for a short flight to Heho Airport.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our guide and driver then take a short transfer to PINDAYA, passing through lush forest and mountain landscapes. Pindaya is a small quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Botoloke Lake. Visit magnificent Pindaya Caves - a Buddhist pilgrimage site and a tourist attraction located on a limestone ridge in the Myelat region.
Afterwards, we visit some local houses and observe how traditional Shan paper and parasols are produced by locals.
Then we take another one and half hours transfer to KALAW, a former British cool retreat. It was a very popular hill station during British colonial time in Myanmar and is located 1,320 meters above sea level, with very cool and pleasant climate. Enjoy cozy scenes along the way. On arrival in Kalaw, check in to your hotel and free at leisure.
This morning, take a soft trek around Kalaw Morning Market to get a great insight into daily life of local. After that, we take a visit Christ the King Church, an attractive, historic church that dates back to the colonial era. Then visit Hnee Pagoda - home to a 500-year-old, gold-lacquered bamboo Buddha.
From Kalaw, a scenic 45-minute drive leads to NYAUNGSHWE, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. We will also stop in Nyaungshwe town for a short walk around town and visit to the colourful market if it is being held that day.
Have lunch at a local restaurant before beginning the exploration with your guide on Inle Lake.
Upon reaching the edges of Inle Lake, board a private motorboat to head out to INLE LAKE, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the famous leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. The highlight of the day is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda the holiest religious site in Southern Shan State, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.
Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where traditional Burmese cigars are made by hand. If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages.
Take a visit to the lake’s five-day market for unique insight into the local cultures of the area. The market is called “five-day market” because the local people rotate between 5 different locations over a 5-day-period. Villagers from the surrounding hill tribes come to the market to sell and trade tomatoes, eggplants, scallions, peppers, betel, beans, garlic to cheroots. There are some people selling lacquerware, Buddha statues, carvings, longyis, Shan bags, textiles, ornamental objects and other hand-made goods for both local use and trading.
NOTE: The market is daily open except on dark moon day and full moon day.
From the market, we continue broad down a small canal leading to Indein Village. On arrival at village, we will visit Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein, two groups of ancient pagodas. Explore the area on foot and wander through the beautiful pagodas. Then, climb up to the top of a hill which is covered with picturesque ancient stupas. Enjoy magnificent views of the lake below from this vantage point.
After enjoying the visit to Indein, return to the boat. Continue along the lake for additional sightseeing before returning to the hotel in the afternoon.