A Journey to the Golden Land, Burma - 15 Days / 14 Nights

Tour code : BFF004

Day 1Yangon Arrival

Mingalar-bar! Upon your arrival to Yangon International airport, you will be welcomed by BFF Travel guide and transfer to your hotel.

Your journey begins with a tour through the colonial-style city center of Yangon. At first, we visit to Sule Paya stupa – built over 2,000 years ago and then the beautiful Maha Bandula Park with the Independence Monument. Next we drive to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda which houses a 70m long Reclining Buddha image. We continue to the green Kandawgyi Park and its highlighted Karaweik barge- a replica of the royal barge.

We complete the day with a visit to the 2,500 years old magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda sheathed in 11 tons of pure gold and 4,350 diamonds weighing 1800 carats! At sunset, the Shwedagon offers visitor a spectacular show of lights and shadows. Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 2Yangon - Kyaikhtiyo (By Car)

After your breakfast, we take 6 hours’ drive to Kyaikhtiyo well known as Golden Rock – a gilded boulder perched precariously on the edge of a hill over 3,615 feet about sea level. There are many legends about the pagoda and Nat (Spirit Gods) shrines along the pathway from the base to the peak and also a popular belief that a person gains in wealth every time he climbs the hill. Though a test of one’s endurance, reaching the summit is very exhilarating.

Upon arriving at Kyaikhtiyo, our vehicle can go no further than Kinpun base camp so we will take a truck up the steep track from there toward the “Yathae Hill”. From this point, it is about a 1 hr hike to the summit where the Golden Rock awaits. Those who are unable, or prefer not to walk, can make use of porters and palanquins to get to the top. Overnight stay in Kyaikhtiyo.

Day 3Kyaikhtiyo - Bago - Yangon (By Car)

Enjoy the beautiful Sunrise on the hill top and breakfast at the hotel. After that, we drive to Bago, ancient capital of Mon and its famous pagodas. A visit to the Mon-style Shwemawdaw Pagoda, at 114m tall, is even higher than Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. It is Bago’s most outstanding religious monument. Continue to View the 55m long reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha. In the late afternoon we return back to Yangon. En route stop, visit the cemetery of allies and war graves around Htuk Kyan. Arrive to Yangon and transfer to hotel. Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 4Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake, By Flight

Breakfast at the hotel. We transfer to the airport for flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. After arriving and drive to Inle Lake. Enroute to Inle Lake, we stop at a local family work shop where you will have to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibres of the mulberry tree. Then, we take a drive to Inle Lake that descends through the valley with views of the Shan mountains and rice paddy fields. Arrive to Nyaung Shwe and transfer to Inle Lake by private boat for hotel check-in.

We journey out by boat in Inle Lake with a visit to well-known Nga Pe Chaung monastery and Silver Smith factory. Proceed to Cheroot making factory, Boat making carpentry workshop, Silk weaving factory. We complete a day with a visit to the famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. Overnight stay in Inle Lake.

Day 5Inle Lake Sightseeing

After breakfast, we explore by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Indein village, located at the western side of the lake. Passing Nyaung Ohak Monastery and follow a stair path lined up with many hundreds of wooden columns, you finally will reach the impressive Shwe Indein Pa-O complex. From the hillside you have great view over the lake area. On the way back to the boat, walk through a romantic bamboo forest at the riverside, where you may observe local people having a bath. On the way you can visit Myaynigone village and Lotus fiber weaving factory (Ann's). Overnight stay in Inle Lake.

Day 6Inle Lake - Pindaya - Kalaw, By Car

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we take 1 hour drive to the small quiet town Pindaya. During driving, enjoying the great scenic beauty of the countryside along the road to Pindaya.

Arrive to Pindaya and we visit to Pindaya Caves well known for its Buddha statues carved out of limestone and then Shwe U Min Cave well known for its countless Buddha images. We proceed to over 250 years old Banyan tree. After that, we continue drive to Kalaw - a former British colonial hill station where ambassadors would spend the summers enjoying the crisp mountain air and sipping on gin tonics. Arrive to Kalaw and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight stay in Kalaw.

Day 7Kalaw - Mandalay, By Car

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we take a walk to Kalaw Market where ethnic minority groups gather for trading. We continue visit Myin Ma Hti Limestone Cave which houses various holy shrines and Buddha images. Then we start drive to Mandalay and enjoy the great scenic beauty of the countryside along the road. Arrive to Mandalay in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight stay in Mandalay.

Day 8Mandalay - Amarapura - Mandalay

After your breakfast, we start our journey to the royal kingdom of Mandalay with a visit to Mandalay Hill – a vantage point for panoramic views of the city. We continue drive to the famous Mahamuni Paya which houses one of Myanmar’s most sacred Buddha images covered with thick layers of gold leaf. Next we visit to Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings which are mostly done on teak wood and the renovated Atumashi Monastery which is referred as incomparable monastery and billed as the world’s largest book. We continue to Kuthodaw Pagoda houses the Buddhist Scriptures inscribed on marble slabs.

In the afternoon we continue to Amarapura – a former royal capital and famous for its textile industries. We first visit a cottage industry workshop where we learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are woven. Then we visit Ubein Bridge – a simple yet remarkable teak structure that spans 1.2km over Taungtaman Lake and silhouetted by the setting sun, is a magical experience and a photographer’s dream. Overnight stay in Mandalay.

Day 9Mandalay - Mingun - Sagaing - Mandalay, By Boat

After your breakfast, we embark on morning exploration of Mingun by private boat on Ayeyarwaddy river, 11km upriver from Mandalay where we visit Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and is one of the world’s largest bells. And continue to Hsinbyume Paya well known as Myatheintan Pagoda, was modeled after the mythical Mount Meru. Next we visit to Mingun Paya, intended to be the world’s biggest pagoda, is an overwhelmingly massive structure even though it remains unfinished. If we have time permits, we visit some local handicraft workshops of silk weaving, mats and alms bowls. After that, we return back to Mandalay.

In the afternoon we drive to picturesque Sagaing Hills, 21 km south-east of Mandalay and west bank of Ayeyarwaddy river. Sagaing Hills is a retreat for Buddhist devotees with numerous pagodas and monasteries.

Overnight stay in Mandalay.

Day 10Mandalay - Monywa, By Car

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we journey a 3 hours’ drive to Monywa on the banks of the Chindwin River. After arriving to Monywa, we visit to Thanboddhay Pagoda – a huge Buddhist temple covered with more than 500,000 Buddha images and Boditahtaung Pagoda which houses the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar at 333 ft. long and 90 ft. high, and nearby is the world’s largest standing Buddha. We complete the day with enjoy the great scenic sunset view on the calm riverbanks. Overnight stay in Monywa.

Day 11Monywa - Pakokku - Bagan, By Car

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel. We continue visit to Powintaung, home to 947 sandstone caves which hold one of Southeast Asia’s richest collections of mural paintings and Buddha statues and Shwe Ba Taung which monasteries and temples are carved out of rocky narrow cliffs. Travel through the countryside to stop at Kyet Su Kin village with time to experience the lifestyle and culture of rural Burma.

In the afternoon we journey out by boat on Ayeyarwaddy River to Ancient Kingdom of Bagan from Pakokku.

Arrive to Bagan in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 12Bagan Sightseeing

Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD.

After your breakfast at the hotel, we start our journey to Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan with a visit to Shwezigon Paya, a prototype of the Burma style of stupas and Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn which was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colourful painting about the previous lives of the Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. Next we visit to the refined Htilominlo temple well known for its old mural, fine plaster carving and glazed sandstone decoration. Continue your visit at Ananda temple, a masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas and an adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals. Proceed to the towering Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest in the complex, measuring 61m and take in Dhamayangyi Temple, the largest of all Bagan’s many temples. Enjoy sunset viewing on one of the most magnificent temple terrace. Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 13Bagan Sightseeing

Breakfast at the hotel. We continue visit to the Manuha Temple, built by the Mon king in the 1300s to represent his time in captivity under the Bagan King. Next we visit to the Thanaka Museum and a Cigar Work Shop where we learn respectively about the traditional uses of the fragrant thanaka paste and how Burmese make the local cheroot cigars. Then, we visit to Nyaung U Market – the largest market in the Bagan region, gives us a glimpse into local life. Next, we visit to Minnanthu Village where we learn how Bagan’s famous lacquer ware crafts are produced. Lacquer ware is one of the best possible souvenirs of Myanmar. A pleasant stroll will take you through a village. Explore local cheroot making by using maize leaf, cooking oil production in local method, cotton waving and more… Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 14Bagan - Yangon, By Flight

Breakfast at the hotel. We fly back to Yangon and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Today we have a chance to journey by circular train through Yangon city to experience local travel lifestyle. A ride on the Circular train will give you a unique perspective on daily life in the city and the area around it. And you can also see the scenery change from city to rural, and pass by ponds, villages and scenes of farm life.

After arriving to the Railway station, we take a walk to bustling Bogyoke (Scotts) Market – one of famous markets where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color. (Please note that the market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays.) We proceed to China Town where the Chinese community built their residences, clan associations, temples, offices and shops. Enjoy your nightlife with BBQ in China Town. Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 15Yangon Departure.

Breakfast at the hotel. We transfer to Yangon International Airport for your departure.