Day 1: Australia – – Ho Chi Minh City
Today you will board your flight from Australia to Saigon – the flamboyant city of Vietnam. On arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and taken to the city centre for check in and overnight stay at your hotel in Saigon. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this bustling city.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – – Yangon (B)
This morning take a flight from Saigon to Yangon (Myanmar). On arrival at Yangon International Airport you will be welcomed by our local tour guide before being transferred to your hotel for check in. Enjoy the rest of the day by exploring this incredible city at your own pace.
Day 3: Yangon (B)
Today we drive to visit the old colonial-style city centre including city hall, Mahabandoola Park with Independence Monument, Strand road and Yangon Jetty. Afterwards, continue travelling to Botahtaung Pagoda, inspired by the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. We then head to Scott Market, the most popular market in Yangon. Built in 1962 by the British, the market has a number of stores selling medicine, foodstuffs, garments and foreign goods. In the afternoon, journey to the 65m Chaukhtatgyi (Reclining Buddha). The statue’s placid face is topped by a crown encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones. After Chaukhtatgyi, we make a quick stop at the Karaweik Hall, and incredible floating palace before travelling to one of Yangon’s most photographed sights, the world renowned Shwedagon Pagoda. Witness the golden dome light up as we watch the sunset over this icon.
Day 4: Yangon – – Mandalay – Mingun – Ava – Sagaing – Mandalay (B,L)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mandalay. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Mandalay’s jetty to take a private chartered boat for a cruise on the famous Irrawaddy River towards the former capital of Mingun. On arrival, travel to the gorgeous white Hsinbyume Pagoda which is modelled on the physical description of the Buddhist mythological mountain. At noon, embark on the boat to visit Ava (Innwa) which was once an ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms . If time allows we will visit Ava by horse cart (bullock cart) to Nanmyint Watch Tower, Ma Ha Aung Mye Bonza Monastery and Bagaya Monastery before continuing back by boat to Mandalay.
Day 5: Mandalay – Amarapura – Mandalay (B)
After breakfast we head to the ancient capital Amarapura. Today, visit Mahagandayon monastery and U Bein Teak Bridge. The biggest draw in the area, the unique U Bein Bridge, a beautiful 1.2 kilometre structure built from teak planks and said to be the longest of its type in the world. Afterwards, travel to Bagaya Monastery to view its superb collection of Buddha statues. En-route we will pay a visit to a tradition hand-weaving silk workshop where you can learn how this precious material is made and craft. This afternoon, we head back to Mandalay for a tour of the city. We encompass some of Mandalay’s best sights including the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwe Inbin Monastery, the Old Palace grounds and Shwenandaw Monastery before enjoying a sunset view from Mandalay Hill.
Day 6: Mandalay – – Bagan (B,L)
After breakfast you will be transferred to jetty to take a leisurely boat trip to Bagan. No trip to Myanmar is complete without cruising the life-blood of the country, the Irrawaddy River or Ayeyarwaddy as it is known to the locals. On the way you can enjoy the view of local life and relax as you watch the world go by. This afternoon we will arrive in Bagan, one of the most incredible ancient cities in Myanmar known famously for its thousands of Buddhist monuments and stupa’s. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Day 7: Bagan (B)
After breakfast at hotel we will visit the colorful Naung U Market before journeying to some of Bagan most famous pagodas, including Shwezigon Pagoda, Gupaukgyi: a prototype of later Myanmar stupas, a 13th century cave temple with interesting fine frescoes of scenes from the jatakas and finishing with Anada Pagoda which was built in 1105 AD during the reign of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. Later, pay a visit to Lacquerware factory before travelling to Dhammayangyi Patho. Dhammayangyi Patho is the largest of all the temples in Bagan, the Dhammayan as it is popularly known was built during the reign of King Narathu who came to the throne by assassinating his father Alaungsithu and his elder brother, presumably built this largest temple to atone for his sins. What as the sunsets over this incredible structure. Optional Tour: Morning Hot Air Balloon ride – This early morning tour allows you to discover the ancient city of Bagan from above. Enjoy a magnificent bird’s eye view of thousand year-old pagodas, temples and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River with “BALLOONS OVER BAGAN”. It is a very exiting experience that you will will never forget. Please note, the balloon is guided by gentle winds and operates form 01 Oct 2016 till 31 Mar 2017 only.
Day 8: Bagan – – Heho – Inle Lake (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake. Upon arrival into Heho we head straight to Inle Lake for and incredible day in this enchanting region. Today’s highlights include viewing the local fisherman rowing in the one-legged style characteristic of Inle Lake boatmen and learning about the gardens of grass and earth floating on the surface of this shallow lake used for growing vegetables. Later on, visit the quirky jumping cats monastery before visiting the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda located on the lake.
Day 9: Inle Lake – Indein – Heho – – Yangon (B)
After breakfast, your last day in Inle will begin with visit to Indein village. This mysterious place is at the end of the marvellous Indein creek, on both sides are paddy fields where you can see the farmers ploughing and harrowing using water buffaloes. After, we pass through NyaungOhak Monastery and follow a stair path lined with many hundreds of wooden columns before reaching the impressive ShweIndein. We then enjoy a hillside panoramic view over the lake area. On the way back walk through a romantic bamboo forest on the riverside before visiting the Myaynigone village where there is a traditional Lotus fiber weaving merchant. When then make our way back to the airport to board a flight to Yangon where on arrival the rest of the day afternoon is at leisure to savor your last evening in this incredible country.
Day 10: Yangon – – Australia (B)
After your breakfast at hotel you will be transferred to Yangon international airport for your departure flight home connecting via Ho Chi Minh City. Please note: there is an approximate 5.5 hour transit in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 11: Australia
Today you will arrive home. Thank you for travelling with us!