Ancient Monuments & Culture of Myanmar—A Private Adventure | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Ancient Monuments & Culture of Myanmar—A Private Adventure

Trip Length 10 days

From $3,895

  • Explore the beautiful architectural glories of Myanmar: sacred pagodas, ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries that defy the imagination
  • Visit artisan workshops, stilted villages, colorful markets, and more
  • Discover Inle Lake, where high hills rim calm waters dotted with floating gardens and fishermen ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats

On your adventure to this rich and rare land, you'll discover Myanmar's spectacular glories like gilded Shwedagon Paya (pagoda), the towering reclining Buddha statue of Chaukhtatgyi Paya, and the extraordinary 800-year-old temples at Bagan on the plains of the Irrawaddy River. You'll also enjoy the charm and laid-back atmosphere of Inle Lake, with its stilt villages, floating gardens, and leg-rowing fishermen who ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats. "This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about," wrote Rudyard Kipling more than a century ago, and his words still resonate to this day.

Day 1: Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar

Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar Arrive in Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 2: Yangon

This venerable and well-built city on the wide Yangon River has plenty to offer, and we start off after breakfast today with a visit to its most celebrated attraction: the great Shwedagon Paya. Rising nearly 322 feet and decorated with 60 tons of pure gold, this landmark Buddhist pagoda has been built and rebuilt many times, and its illustrious history is a symbol of Myanmar. This afternoon we’ll explore ethnic diversity of Yangon in Old Rangoon, including a walk through Pansoedan Street to Sule Pagoda meeting Indian, Chinese, and Burmese community and the bustling city waterfront before returning to the hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 3: Bagan

Transfer to the airport and fly to Bagan (formerly spelled Pagan). Gracing the shores of the muddy Irrawaddy, numerous peaceful and scenic Buddhist temples make up the ancient city of Bagan. Though the oldest temples date back 2,000 years, Bagan had only a brief period of grandeur that lasted a mere two centuries before being destroyed by the Mongol hordes in 1287. Hundreds of pagodas, from spectacular structures to simple places of worship, are spread over a range of 40 square kilometers.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 4: Bagan

We begin our visit of this extraordinary region with an optional sunrise view from the steps of Shwesandaw Pagoda. After breakfast back at the hotel, we transfer to the colorful village market at Nyaung Oo where we visit Shwezigon Paya, said to be the prototype of all subsequent Burmese pagodas. We then explore the riches of the Bagan archaeological zone, which numbers at least 2,200 identifiable sites. We'll explore Mimalaung Kyaung, Pahtotharmya, Nat Hlaung Kyaung, Ngakwenadaung, and That Byin Nyu Temple. Also on our itinerary are Shwegugyi and the Tharaba gate, and Ananda Okkyaung. Lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the river. Afternoon tour by horse cart to see Htilominlo and Dammayangyi pagodas, then enjoy sunset from at temple terrace. Overnight at hotel. (You have the option of a balloon ride over the temples at sunrise--weather permitting. This adventure can be booked with the hotel or ahead of time at an additional cost.)

 

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 5: Mandalay

Morning drive to Mandalay via Mt. Popa. This drive takes us through rural Myanmar: toddy palm farms, bullock-carts filled with farm products, peanut and soy farms. We have the option to climb up to Mt. Popa Monastery and fruit market, where we can see a spirit shrine, the center of pre-Buddhist religion.

Upon arrival in the early afternoon, transfer to the hotel and proceed on a city tour of Mandalay that includes a visit to the intricately carved teakwood Shwenandaw monastery, one of the last surviving buildings of its kind, the the Khutodaw pagoda, with the world's largest book.  Just before the sun sets, we will take a walk along the Mandalay city wall and moat.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Mandalay Hill Resort

Day 6: Mandalay

After breakfast, you'll take a one-hour boat trip up the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy), the major river that bisects the country, to Mingun to visit the unfinished Mingun Paya (pagoda), begun in 1790 by King Bodawpaya (which was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 1800s), and the Myatheindaw Paya with its seven circular terraces. You'll also see the huge, 90-ton Mingun Bell, built by King Bodawpaya in 1808.

In the afternoon, we'll drive to Sagaing, mostly known as a religious center that helps support Buddhist monasteries and nunneries as well as a monastic hospital. Here we'll visit Kaunghmudaw Paya and climb the Sagaing Hill for a panoramic view of Mandalay. We'll enjoy the sunset at U Bein's Bridge.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Mandalay Hill Resort

Days 7-8: Inle Lake

Morning flight to Heho, departing around 9:00 am for a half hour flight. Upon arrival, we drive to Inle Lake, stopping at Nyaung Shwe, the "Golden Banyan Tree" town at the northern end of the lake. From here we'll board a boat that will take us across the lake to our hotel.

Inle Lake is very beautiful: high hills rim the calm waters of the lake that are dotted with floating gardens and fishermen who ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats. The lake is famous for its "leg-rowers": the fishermen stand at the stern of the boat on one leg and wrap the other around the oar to propel the boat (relief for the arms and the better to spot obstacles and fish!). After lunch we commence our tour of the lake with a walk around the cotton weaving village of Tha Lay and a visit to the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda. We'll then take a boat to the stilted village of Ywama (there are more than a dozen stilted villages around the lake) to visit its silversmith workshops, and Nga Phe Kyaung village to visit its floating gardens and "Jumping Cat" teak monastery containing 16th- and 17th-century lacquer Buddha images. (It's known as the "Jumping Cat" monastery because its monks had trained a few cats to jump through small hoops.  However, we will not see any cats jumping through hoops.)

The following day we will head to the west bank of the lake to visit Inndein Village and see its hundreds of stupas in ruins on the hill.  We then go for a walk through the paddy, bamboo, and betel leaf plantations, meet the villagers and children at school.  Lunch at a local restaurant. We’ll also visit Inn Paw Khone village where traditional silk weaving is produced, and Nampan village with its cigar factory and blacksmiths. Return to the hotel for overnight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Villa Inle

Day 9: Yangon

Morning drive to Heho for the flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to the hotel.  Rest of the day is at leisure for shopping, exploring or relaxing.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 10: Yangon - Departure

Breakfast at hotel.  The day is at leisure until your transfer to airport for your international departure flight

  • Breakfast

Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

2017 / 2018 Prices
$3,895 (2 or more members)
$1,000 single supplement
$5,395 (solo traveler)
$400 Internal air - subject to change

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Chatrium Hotel — Yangon

The colonial-style Chatrium Royal Lake Yangon is a luxury property committed to excellent service.  The outdoor pool area is a tropical respite from frenetic Yangon.  The hotel's amenities also include a fitness center, Nemita spa and several restaurants (Chinese, Japanese and Continental).  The hotel is centrally located in Yangon, near many attractions including the world's oldest pagoda, the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Mandalay Hill Resort — Mandalay


Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort — Bagan

The Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort is a spectacular property that certainly earns the name “sanctuary.” This accommodation is located beside the Irrawaddy River in a lush landscape of colorful gardens, home to a bounty of tropical trees, plants, and bird life. Since its opening in 1996, the Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort has earned the reputation of Bagan’s premiere place to stay—proudly hosting a variety of travelers (including celebrities!). The dining is highly regarded and guests are able to enjoy delicious meals overlooking the Irrawaddy River. The resort also boasts a spa to relax after long days of exploration. From massages and facial treatment to volcanic stone body treatments, the spa has something for everyone and is sure to provide relaxation and tranquility.

Villa Inle — Inle Lake


"Having never taken a guided private journey before in all our travelled lives, I would recommend it as a perfect way to see and learn the most of a faraway and unknown place, such as Myanmar, where the local writing and signs look like a beautiful necklace.  We would have spent half our time figuring out how to get from here to there and would have seen far fewer sights. Having a local guide on such a trip is the best way to go! Peggy Weymouth            

  • Explore the beautiful architectural glories of Myanmar: sacred pagodas, ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries that defy the imagination
  • Visit artisan workshops, stilted villages, colorful markets, and more
  • Discover Inle Lake, where high hills rim calm waters dotted with floating gardens and fishermen ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats

On your adventure to this rich and rare land, you'll discover Myanmar's spectacular glories like gilded Shwedagon Paya (pagoda), the towering reclining Buddha statue of Chaukhtatgyi Paya, and the extraordinary 800-year-old temples at Bagan on the plains of the Irrawaddy River. You'll also enjoy the charm and laid-back atmosphere of Inle Lake, with its stilt villages, floating gardens, and leg-rowing fishermen who ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats. "This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about," wrote Rudyard Kipling more than a century ago, and his words still resonate to this day.

reviews

"Having never taken a guided private journey before in all our travelled lives, I would recommend it as a perfect way to see and learn the most of a faraway and unknown place, such as Myanmar, where the local writing and signs look like a beautiful necklace.  We would have spent half our time figuring out how to get from here to there and would have seen far fewer sights. Having a local guide on such a trip is the best way to go! Peggy Weymouth            

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar

Arrive in Yangon, Myanmar Arrive in Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 2: Yangon

This venerable and well-built city on the wide Yangon River has plenty to offer, and we start off after breakfast today with a visit to its most celebrated attraction: the great Shwedagon Paya. Rising nearly 322 feet and decorated with 60 tons of pure gold, this landmark Buddhist pagoda has been built and rebuilt many times, and its illustrious history is a symbol of Myanmar. This afternoon we’ll explore ethnic diversity of Yangon in Old Rangoon, including a walk through Pansoedan Street to Sule Pagoda meeting Indian, Chinese, and Burmese community and the bustling city waterfront before returning to the hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 3: Bagan

Transfer to the airport and fly to Bagan (formerly spelled Pagan). Gracing the shores of the muddy Irrawaddy, numerous peaceful and scenic Buddhist temples make up the ancient city of Bagan. Though the oldest temples date back 2,000 years, Bagan had only a brief period of grandeur that lasted a mere two centuries before being destroyed by the Mongol hordes in 1287. Hundreds of pagodas, from spectacular structures to simple places of worship, are spread over a range of 40 square kilometers.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 4: Bagan

We begin our visit of this extraordinary region with an optional sunrise view from the steps of Shwesandaw Pagoda. After breakfast back at the hotel, we transfer to the colorful village market at Nyaung Oo where we visit Shwezigon Paya, said to be the prototype of all subsequent Burmese pagodas. We then explore the riches of the Bagan archaeological zone, which numbers at least 2,200 identifiable sites. We'll explore Mimalaung Kyaung, Pahtotharmya, Nat Hlaung Kyaung, Ngakwenadaung, and That Byin Nyu Temple. Also on our itinerary are Shwegugyi and the Tharaba gate, and Ananda Okkyaung. Lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the river. Afternoon tour by horse cart to see Htilominlo and Dammayangyi pagodas, then enjoy sunset from at temple terrace. Overnight at hotel. (You have the option of a balloon ride over the temples at sunrise--weather permitting. This adventure can be booked with the hotel or ahead of time at an additional cost.)

 

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 5: Mandalay

Morning drive to Mandalay via Mt. Popa. This drive takes us through rural Myanmar: toddy palm farms, bullock-carts filled with farm products, peanut and soy farms. We have the option to climb up to Mt. Popa Monastery and fruit market, where we can see a spirit shrine, the center of pre-Buddhist religion.

Upon arrival in the early afternoon, transfer to the hotel and proceed on a city tour of Mandalay that includes a visit to the intricately carved teakwood Shwenandaw monastery, one of the last surviving buildings of its kind, the the Khutodaw pagoda, with the world's largest book.  Just before the sun sets, we will take a walk along the Mandalay city wall and moat.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Mandalay Hill Resort

Day 6: Mandalay

After breakfast, you'll take a one-hour boat trip up the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy), the major river that bisects the country, to Mingun to visit the unfinished Mingun Paya (pagoda), begun in 1790 by King Bodawpaya (which was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 1800s), and the Myatheindaw Paya with its seven circular terraces. You'll also see the huge, 90-ton Mingun Bell, built by King Bodawpaya in 1808.

In the afternoon, we'll drive to Sagaing, mostly known as a religious center that helps support Buddhist monasteries and nunneries as well as a monastic hospital. Here we'll visit Kaunghmudaw Paya and climb the Sagaing Hill for a panoramic view of Mandalay. We'll enjoy the sunset at U Bein's Bridge.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Mandalay Hill Resort

Days 7-8: Inle Lake

Morning flight to Heho, departing around 9:00 am for a half hour flight. Upon arrival, we drive to Inle Lake, stopping at Nyaung Shwe, the "Golden Banyan Tree" town at the northern end of the lake. From here we'll board a boat that will take us across the lake to our hotel.

Inle Lake is very beautiful: high hills rim the calm waters of the lake that are dotted with floating gardens and fishermen who ply the lake in flat-bottomed boats. The lake is famous for its "leg-rowers": the fishermen stand at the stern of the boat on one leg and wrap the other around the oar to propel the boat (relief for the arms and the better to spot obstacles and fish!). After lunch we commence our tour of the lake with a walk around the cotton weaving village of Tha Lay and a visit to the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda. We'll then take a boat to the stilted village of Ywama (there are more than a dozen stilted villages around the lake) to visit its silversmith workshops, and Nga Phe Kyaung village to visit its floating gardens and "Jumping Cat" teak monastery containing 16th- and 17th-century lacquer Buddha images. (It's known as the "Jumping Cat" monastery because its monks had trained a few cats to jump through small hoops.  However, we will not see any cats jumping through hoops.)

The following day we will head to the west bank of the lake to visit Inndein Village and see its hundreds of stupas in ruins on the hill.  We then go for a walk through the paddy, bamboo, and betel leaf plantations, meet the villagers and children at school.  Lunch at a local restaurant. We’ll also visit Inn Paw Khone village where traditional silk weaving is produced, and Nampan village with its cigar factory and blacksmiths. Return to the hotel for overnight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Villa Inle

Day 9: Yangon

Morning drive to Heho for the flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to the hotel.  Rest of the day is at leisure for shopping, exploring or relaxing.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Chatrium Hotel

Day 10: Yangon - Departure

Breakfast at hotel.  The day is at leisure until your transfer to airport for your international departure flight

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Chatrium Hotel — Yangon

The colonial-style Chatrium Royal Lake Yangon is a luxury property committed to excellent service.  The outdoor pool area is a tropical respite from frenetic Yangon.  The hotel's amenities also include a fitness center, Nemita spa and several restaurants (Chinese, Japanese and Continental).  The hotel is centrally located in Yangon, near many attractions including the world's oldest pagoda, the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Mandalay Hill Resort — Mandalay


Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort — Bagan

The Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort is a spectacular property that certainly earns the name “sanctuary.” This accommodation is located beside the Irrawaddy River in a lush landscape of colorful gardens, home to a bounty of tropical trees, plants, and bird life. Since its opening in 1996, the Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort has earned the reputation of Bagan’s premiere place to stay—proudly hosting a variety of travelers (including celebrities!). The dining is highly regarded and guests are able to enjoy delicious meals overlooking the Irrawaddy River. The resort also boasts a spa to relax after long days of exploration. From massages and facial treatment to volcanic stone body treatments, the spa has something for everyone and is sure to provide relaxation and tranquility.

Villa Inle — Inle Lake


Dates and Pricing

Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

2017 / 2018 Prices
$3,895 (2 or more members)
$1,000 single supplement
$5,395 (solo traveler)
$400 Internal air - subject to change

Activity Level Easy
Trip Length 10 days

From $3,895

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Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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