Find out what Myanmar really is (Burma) by traveling its land along its roads and streams from Mandalay, its last monarchical capital, to the mystical ruins of Bagan. You will climb to the summit of Mount Popa to visit a temple anchored in ancient beliefs, and you will relive the colonial era in the flowery town of Pyin Oo Lwin. You can also taste the best local wines on Inle Lake and watch the sun set on the peaceful white sand beaches in Ngapali.
Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Bagan – Mount Popa – Inle Lake – Ngapali – Rangoon
Once you arrive, this afternoon you will explore the last monarchical capital of Myanmar. The central point of the city is its reconstructed palace, surrounded by a large ditch. In the early evening you will watch the sun set over the city from Mandalay Hill.
You will be driven for about an hour to Pyin Oo Lwin, a former mountain resort formerly known as Maymyo, in honor of the British general who founded it. It is renowned for its beautiful botanical gardens, built by Turkish prisoners during the First World War. Traces of this European heritage can be found in the Purcell Tower and some surviving buildings.
You will dive into the hustle and bustle of the morning market of Pyin Oo Lwin before embarking in a riverboat towards Bagan. You will spend the next three days relaxing at the rhythm of the river and watching the scenery pass. You will benefit from all the comfort on board, with the possibility to stop in the most interesting places.
You will sail to Sagaing, an ancient Shan capital of the 14th century with many impressive stupas scattered on its hill. In the afternoon, you will stop in Yandabo, a small village specializing in pottery. It was here that the Peace Treaty of the First Anglo-Burman War was signed on February 24, 1826.
You will arrive at Bagan, where the river cruise ends, and will be driven to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano. You will climb 777 steps to reach its highest monastery, where it is said that powerful spirits are present … Return to Bagan in the late afternoon.
The best way to get to know this ancient city is undoubtedly to admire it from the sky. You will start early in the morning to climb a hot-air balloon to enjoy a panoramic view at sunrise. You will watch the landscapes drift and enjoy the serene atmosphere aboard the nacelle. True to the traditions, you will celebrate the event with a glass of champagne shortly after landing! Then you will have a nap at the hotel before leaving, later in the afternoon, to discover some of the most spectacular ruins of the country in a horse-drawn carriage.
You will fly from Bagan in the morning to reach Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake. After a short drive, you will win the famous Red Mountain Estate for a wine tasting session. The grapes grown locally are produced from grape varieties imported from Spain and France. The cellar has a wide selection of grape varieties today, from Sauvignon Blanc to Shiraz and Tempranillo. Continue the trip to Inle Lake, to get there in the afternoon.
You will sail in a small boat to go to Indein, village nestled on the shores of the lake. It is famous for its stunning jungle of 16th century stupas as well as for its craftsmen. You will see it in full work, building wooden boats or creating images of Buddha from dried flower powder. You can also watch Burmese cigar rollers!
You will return to Heho in the morning to catch a flight to Ngapali. You will reach this seaside town of the Gulf of Bengal after a short drive, and for three days you will do whatever you want on the beach or its surroundings.
Prepare a picnic lunch and rent a boat to one of the islands scattered offshore. You can practice scuba diving or snorkelling in ideal conditions, or venture into the countryside and meet the locals.
Relax on the beach or rent a bike to visit the surrounding villages and discover their ancient traditions that are perpetuated.
After a fast flight, you will reach Rangoon where your morning will be free to relax. You will then visit the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda. Then in the afternoon, it will be the high class by taking a light meal accompanied by tea at the famous Hotel Strand. Then you will board a boat to make a river cruise in the evening.
You will spend the morning at your leisure, shopping last minute at the Scott Market to bring home local jewelry or trinkets. But you can also continue your discoveries admiring the colonial architecture. Later in the day you will be driven to the airport to take your next flight.