Best of Myanmar - Ciconia Travel

Dive straight into a land of untouched natural beauty, captivating stories from recent history, welcoming locals, and an abundance of awe-inspiring temples! This 8-day circular route through Myanmar – formerly known as Burma – ticks off the unmissable villages, countryside, ancient ruins, and charming cities through a unique style of grassroots tourism. Walk the iconic wooden pathway of the winding U Bein Bridge as monks, workers, and vendors pick their way through the local crowds. Explore the world’s largest and densest concentration of Buddist monuments in Bagan and enjoy an optional Hot Air Balloon ride at sunset. Trek through lush forest to mountain resorts with unparalleled views across the horizon. Travel by horse and carriage through ancient city ruins and, immerse yourself in the unique way of life as you discover the floating markets of Inle Lake. If you’re looking for an extraordinary adventure that’s definitely off the well-worn path, Myanmar is calling!

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Welcome to Myanmar - a country quite unlike any other before it! Meet your guide and new tour mates in the hotel lobby at 6.00pm for an informal welcome meeting. Afterwards, get amongst the hustle of Yangon for an optional tour group dinner or explore the night markets and busy streets as they come to life after dark!
  • Accommodation
    Rose Garden Hotel – 5 Star
  • Included Activities
    Welcome Meeting
  • Optional Activities
    Group Dinner

This morning we'll take to the skies with a domestic flight from Yangon to Mandalay! On arrival, visit the neighbouring 18th-century capital of Amarapura to explore the country's largest monastery; Mahagandayon and witness the daily meal of over one thousand monks. Then, attend a silk weaving workshop to learn of Amarapura's craft specialty before a short ferry across the river towards Ava! This former capital of the 14th to 18th century is a great introduction to local life in the Burmese countryside. Ava is is best explored on horse and carriage, so hop on board and keep your eyes peeled for the old wooden Bagaya Monastery, ruins of the Royal Palace, and many small villages amid ruins. In the afternoon, head towards Sagaing to see the 600 white pagodas and monasteries surrounding Sagaing Hill. This place is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar with over 3,000 monks calling Sagaing home! Visit the Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae pagodas before heading back to Amparapura to take a wander along the picturesque U Bein Bridge. The iconic bridge surrounded by lush countryside has to be up there with Myanmar's most photographed sites. After a big day exploring, rest up in the evening back at your hotel in Mandalay.
  • Accommodation
    Rupar Mandalar – 4 Star
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Mahagandayon Monastery
    Silk Weaving Workshop visit
    Sagaing Hill
    U Bein Bridge

Fill up on breakfast before a big day exploring Mingun and Mandalay! First up, head across the river to Mingun - home to sereval unique sites, as well as the foundations for what could have been the largest temple in the world! Then check out the picture-perfect Myatheindan Pagoda - famous for its distinctively white arches and architectural charm. In the afternoon, return to Mandalay for a half-day city tour to the unmissable spots across the city including Mahamuni Pagoda, a gold-leaf making workshop, the Old Palace grounds, Kuthodaw Pagoda, and Golden Palace Monastery. Finish up the day with an easy climb to the nearby Mandalay Hill. Soak up the views as sunset falls across the city below or even chat with a young monk as they practice their English!
  • Accommodation
    Rupar Mandalar - 4 Star
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Mingun Visit
    Mandalay City Tour
  • Entrance Fees
    Mingun & Mandalay - 15 USD

Start the day at the Jade Markets in Mandalay where you'll find a mass of traders handling, hawking and polishing their prized Jade stones. You don't have to want or even like the stone to appreciate the timelessness of these markets that echo trading from another era. Then, we'll hit the road for Mt Popa with a visit to villages along the way. On arrival in Mt Popa, check out the Toddy Palm Groves, Jaggery Cottage Industry, Kyaukapaduang Market, Popa Village, and the famous Popa Taung Kalat - a tower-like volcanic plug lying on the south-western slope of Mt. Popa. This fascinating volcano last erupted some 250,000 years ago! Tonight, you'll stay in the exclusive Popa Mountain Resort. This naturally-designed resort lays a short 25-minute walk deep within the lush forest of Mt Popa and showcases blinding views across the horizon and valleys below. Not to mention, the infinity pool and spar are nothing short of spectacular! Time to rest up, relax, and take in the epic mountain scenery.

Load up on breakfast in the mountains before making tracks to Bagan! Often compared to Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat in terms of scale and significance, The Bagan Archaeological Zone was the first Burmese kingdom and is home to more than 2,500 Buddhist stupas, temples, and monasteries - making it the largest and densest concentration of Buddist monuments in the world! We'll explore the Nyaung Oo Market, Shwezigon Pagoda, Kyansittha Umin, Wet-kyi-inn Gubyaukgyi Temple, Htilominlo Temple and plenty more. In the afternoon, after a visit to lacquer ware workshops; continue on to the Manuha Temple and Ananda Temple with your guide, before ending the day with a horse and carriage tour of the traditional Taungbi village. Complete a jam-packed day with an optional Hot Air Balloon ride over the majestic stupas and Irrawaddy river as dusk falls over Bagan (available October to March). This is truly an unforgettable and unique experience!
  • Accommodation
    Ananta Bagan Hotel - 4 Star
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Bagan Sightseeing
    Traditional Taungbi Village
  • Optional Activities
    Hot-air Ballooning at sunset over Bagan - 305 USD
  • Entrance Fees
    Bagan Archaeological Zone - 15 USD

Take an included flight from Bagan to Heho as we get set to explore the glorious Inle Lake! The most popular way to experience Inle Lake is by boat - we'll take a private motorboat through Inle Lake's unique watery world - passing wooden homes perched above the water on ticket stilts and watch on as the kicak fisherman row their canoes with one leg. In the afternoon, visit the local villages and wander through the markets filled with a spectacular array of traditional handicrafts. Check out the famed Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, home to dozens of Shan Buddha Images, but is more famous for its unique ‘jumping cats’ who jump through hoops in the air! Continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.
  • Accommodation
    Novotel Inle Lake Hotel - 4 Star
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Inle Lake Boat Ride
    Local Village Visit
    Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery
  • Entrance Fees
    Inle Lake Zone - 10 USD

Start the day with a visit the Inle Lake's local morning market! The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5-day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: the market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day). From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of In Dein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Alaung Sitthou is filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below. In the late afternoon transfer to Heho airport for a domestic flight back to Yangon.
  • Accommodation
    Rose Garden Hotel - 5 Star
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Inle Lake Morning Market Visit
    Boat Ride to In Dein
    Alaung Sitthou Sightseeing

Today is our last day together in magical Myanmar! Let's make the most of it with an included city tour to Yangon's most impressive sights. First up, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. A visit to Chauk Htat Gyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha. The feet of the statue is carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray. Then, visit Shwedagon Pagoda of Rudyard Kipling fame and one of Myanmar's most sacred places. The massive bell-shaped stupa is plated with gold and the tip of the stupa is intricately decorated with diamonds and rubies, sapphires, and topaz - a stunning sight as the sunsets for our final days in this unique country! Savour those final moments with your new travel mates before we bid our farewells and head to the airport via included transfer. We would recommend to arrange your departure flight later than 2pm.
  • Meals Included
    Breakfast
  • Included Activities
    Yangon City Tour
  • Entrance Fees
    Shwedagon Pagoda - 10 USD

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