Summary : Cruise the legendary Irrawaddy River in luxury on a newly launched, all-balcony stylish riverboat. Spend two nights on Inle Lake and enjoy a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race. Capture stunning aerial photographs on a magical hot air balloon ride, soaring above Bagan's 2,000 pagodas and temples. Explore Shwedagon Pagoda just before sunset - a fantasy of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and mythical beasts. Travel off the beaten path on a tour of Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar, and enjoy a horse cart ride in Bagan.
Activities : Birding, Culture
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
The next day enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a Buddhist country where many ancient traditions still flourish. Its artisans are accomplished craftsmen and the atmosphere here is uncrowded and authentic. Begin with a walking tour of streets filled with wooden shuttered houses, shops and food stalls. Explore Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar. Stroll the bazaar at Bogyoke Market amid shops filled with antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and handicrafts. Savor lunch in a local restaurant followed by a visit to the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-footlong statue with an expressive enamel face. View the story of the Buddha’s life embossed on the soles of the statue’s staggered feet. Experience Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar. Tradition holds it has stood for 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in the world.
Fly to Heho and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before you transfer to scenic Inle Lake and travel by private boat to the resort. View Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which houses iconic Buddha figures covered in gold leaf. Watch masterful skills on display at a traditional silk-weaving workshop.
After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Five-Day Market to see regional hill tribe-people bartering for goods and produce. Stop at a blacksmith’s workshop before trying your hand at making a cheroot (cigar). Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, serving authentic Intha dishes from recipes handed down through generations. Admire the floating gardens of Inle Lake en route to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, renowned for its beautiful Buddha images. Then, head out onto the lake to witness an Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that some local fishermen still employ when working on the lake.
Fly to Mandalay and visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a golden statue that tradition holds was cast in the presence of the Gautama Buddha and is said to present his one true likeness. Stop at Shwenandaw Monastery and marvel at the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts, referred to by some as the biggest book in the world.
Board the riverboat Ananda, your home for a four-night cruise upon the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch, disembark to visit Amarapura, with its textile workshops, and Sagaing, renowned for its monasteries and pagodas. Travel by local boat to the U Bein Bridge for a spectacular Scenic Sundowner.
Enjoy early morning meditation or yoga on deck before breakfast. Then, journey to Mingun to view the monumental Mingun Temple, a colossal unfinished stupa that towers above the surrounding landscape, and the 90-ton Mingun Bell, one of the world’s heaviest ringing bells. Return to the ship and cruise southward to Bagan.
Rise early to partake in morning yoga and meditation on deck, or enjoy breakfast at leisure before disembarking to ride a trishaw to the Pakokku Village. Visit the local market as well as a traditional shoe and cheroot factory. After lunch on board, go ashore to tour Bagan and Myinkaba village, famous for its lacquerware created by local artisans using techniques handed down for generations. Stop at the beautifully symmetric Pyathatgyi Temple as its red brick architecture captures the afternoon sun. Return to the ship for dinner and a traditional musical performance.
Rise early for a wondrous balloon ride over Bagan as the rising sun illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. Disembark at Sale for an up-close look at the beautifully crafted reliefs at a local monastery and view the revered bamboo Buddha image at Thartana Yaunggyi Temple. After lunch on board, cruise back to Bagan to visit a monastery inside Ananda Temple, adorned with murals depicting medieval Burmese life. Drive to the cave temple in Gubyaukgyi, to behold its pyramidal spire. Ride by horse cart en route to the ship for a traditional Shan dinner with your captain.
Disembark and fly to Yangon to discover the National Museum of Myanmar, a treasure trove of arts and culture. Visit the golden Sule Pagoda, which is some 2,500 years old. Gather to toast your journey at a farewell lunch. Tonight, transfer to the airport to depart or, if you prefer, stay the night at your hotel for no additional cost.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departing flight.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Accommodations, meals and fully guided sightseeing (including park and entrance fees) as noted in the itinerary; airport transfers to/from hotel in the first/last city; coffee/tea/soft drinks/water at included meals; local bottled water during sightseeing; porterage of two (2) pieces of baggage; hotel taxes; and gratuities except for your Tour Director and any extension guides. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; additional expenses incurred due to a change, delay or cancellation of any flight; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; travel insurance; passport and visa fees; any optional activities and extensions; gratuities for your Tour Director and any extension guides; meals, beverages and sightseeing not included in the itinerary or mentioned above as included; personal expenses such as communication charges, Internet/WiFi and laundry; fuel surcharge may apply.