MEET THE LOCALS - LOIKAW

Tour code : BFF006

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 - 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 3Inle 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 4Inle Lake - Sagar - Phe Khon - Loikaw, By Boat

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel. We take a boat trip to Phe Khon which is the way to drive to Loikaw. Enroute, we stop at Sagar (Samkar) – a site of over 100 Buddhist stupas rising from the lake dating back to 17th century. Where we visit to some hidden treasure pagoda such as Samkar Thar Khong pagoda situated. Then, we proceed to Phe Khon and 2 hours’ drive to Loikaw. During driving, enjoying the great scenic beauty of the countryside along the road to Loikaw. Arrive to Loikaw and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Enjoy a magical sunset from the top the impressive Taung Kwe Zedi, a cluster of stupas and walk ways built on the walls and on top of majestic limestone Karst Mountains towering at the edge of the city. Overnight stay in Loikaw.

Day 5Loikaw Sightseeing

Breakfast at the hotel. Your day sightseeing in Loikaw with visits to Demawso market where the tribal folks come trade their produce. And meet with Padaung “long neck Karen” ladies wearing traditional brass rings on their neck and on other parts of their bodies. Next we visit to Shan chieftains, Haw of Loikaw, palace currently used as a Buddhist monastery. We end the day with visits to Kayah State Museum and time allowing explores the recently opened Kyet Limestone Cave 15km outside of Loikaw. (The 2 days weekly market is opened usually on Satursday and Wednesday) Overnight stay in Loikaw.

Day 6Loikaw - Kalaw, By Car

After your breakfast at the hotel, we 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. Enroute to Kalaw, we stop at Myin Ma Hti Limestone Cave which houses various holy shrines and Buddha images. Arrive to Kalaw in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight stay in Kalaw.

Day 7Kalaw - Heho - Mandalay, By Flight

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we take a walk to Kalaw Market where ethnic minority groups gather for trading. Then we transfer to Heho for flight to Mandalay. Arrive to Mandalay and transfer to the hotel for check-in.

In the afternoon we visit to the royal kingdom of Mandalay with a visit 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. We complete the day with visits Mandalay Hill – a vantage point for panoramic views of the city and spectacular sunset. Overnight stay in Mandalay.

Day 8Mandalay - 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. We continue drive to Amarapura – a former royal capital and famous for its textile industries. We end the day in 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 Departure

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