City Trips and Tours
Arrival in Yangon
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar , on the wide Yangon River . The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering stupas float above the treetops. The city became the capital only in 1885, when the British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay ‘s brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended. Start the day at the SULE PAGODA, a gleaming octagonal pagoda that stands squarely at the centerpoint of the city. Afterwards, visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM to gain an insight into Myanmar . See the eight meter high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by the last Burmese king, and other fascinating artifacts from Burmese history and culture. Enjoy a break at BOGYOKE (SCOTT) MARKET, a pleasant covered market containing crafts from all corners of Myanmar , gems, fabrics and more. (The market is closed on Mondays and public holidays). In the afternoon, visit some of the more well known pagodas, including BOTATAUNG PAGODA, named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from Inda over 2000 years ago, and NGADATKYI PAYA, with a giant seated Buddha image. Finally, continue to the SHWEDAGON PAGODA, the highlight of any visit to Yangon . Towering over the city, this pagoda is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are at their most beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colors of twilight.
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. SHWEZIGON PAYA: King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan . The stupa’s graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas over Myanmar . GUBYAUKHYI TEMPLE at Wetkyi-Inn: This Temple was built in the early 13th Century and repaired in 1468. The great colorful painting about the previous life of Buddha and the distinguished architecture make this temple an interesting site for a visit. This temple is not to be confounded with the Gubyaukgyi Temple in Myinkabe. ANANDA PAHTO: one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period. GUBYAUKGYI TEMPLE at Myinkaba: Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan. MANUHA TEMPLE : The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan. SHWESANDAW PAYA: In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa. This Pagoda is ideal to watch Bagan’s magnificent sunsets. LACQUERWARE WORKSHOP: the villages around Bagan are known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar . Stop by one of the workshops and learn about the painstaking process of laquerware making and decoration. Overnight in Bagan.
The last capital of royal Burma , Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar , and a cultural and spiritual center. Neighboring Sagaing is home to over sixty percent of the country’s monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar . In the morning, head to MAHAMUNI PAYA. The Mahamuni image enshrined here is perhaps the most venerated image in Myanmar , covered in over 15 cm of gold leaf. Worshippers flock daily to the shrine at four in the morning to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. Enroute to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of GOLD-LEAF BEATING, where gold is painstakingly hammered into tissue-thin squares. Before breaking for lunch, visit a CRAFT WORKSHOP specializing in one of the arts for which the city is famous: bronze-casting, marble-carving, wood-carving, or puppetry. The afternoon’s tour includes some of the city’s most interesting temples and palaces. Begin at SHWENANDAW KYAUNG, or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace , used as private apartments by King Mindon and his chief queen. Continue to KYAUKAWGYI PAYA, famous for its monumental seated Buddha, carved from a single block of marble, and the elegant SANDAMANI PAYA. Finally, visit KUTHODAW PAYA, known also as the world s biggest book. Around the central stupa are miniature pavilions, each housing a slab of marble. Numbering altogether 729, these slabs are inscribed with the entire Tripitkata, or Buddhist scriptures.
Flight from Mandalay to Yangon
ransfer to the airport for departure flight to onward destination.