14 days Impressive Gorges of Myanmar

Yangon - Inle Lake - Bagan - Mandalay - Katha - Shwe Paw Kyun - Thagara - Mandalay

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Our featured tour offers an exciting cruise through various attractions and beautiful scenery in Myanmar. From the ancient royal capital Mandalay to the religious land of Bagan, you will experience the utmost beauty during a cruise on Myanmar Rivers. Time to disembark and explore Burma on a luxurious vessel.

Day 01 YANGON ARRIVAL

Greeting and welcome to Yangon! Also known under the name Rangoon, this former capital of Myanmar is now still the largest city and also the most significant commercial center of Myanmar. This city is the main gateway for most international visitors coming to Myanmar. Yangon city is famous for its religious legacy and colonial background which make this city a charming and authentic destination in Southeast Asia. When you arrive at Yangon Airport, you will receive the warmest welcome from our tour guides and drivers and then they will take you to your hotel to check-in and enjoy relaxation. (The check-in time is 14:00. However, if you arrive early, you may request an early check-in)

  • Meal: None 
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Yangon
Day 02 YANGON SIGHTSEEING – AFTERNOON FLY TO HEHO – INLE LAKE (B)

On the second day, we will pay a visit to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to admire a 70-meter long reclining Buddha image with the size comparable to a blue whale. Next, we will continue going uptown and stop for a while at the Royal Lake locating in Kandawgyi Park which is the sightseeing place of choice for local residents, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. Afterward, we will have a glance at Karaweik Hall, a replica of the royal barge and get stunned before the majestic of Shwedagon – the Golden pagoda. If you travel to Myanmar without visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, you cannot be considered having visited Myanmar at all. The experience that you will have there is totally worthy of the visit. Going along the eastern stairway, you will find a range of shops at the pedestal of the pagoda selling various religious items. Here you can buy monk robes, alms bowls, incense, offerings and other exclusive Buddhist items. When you spend time browsing the stall, your guide will explain the usage of the items and rites of Burmese Buddhists. Then we will have a look at the platform forming the foundation of the majestic pagoda. When the sun starts going below the horizon, you will witness the transformation in color of the structure laminated with over 40 tons of gold. Shwedagon Pagoda is widely known as the most significant religious site for Myanmar people and many visitors admit that the memory of the pagoda still lingers in their mind after the trip.

In the afternoon, we will take the flight to Heho. When arriving, you will be taken to your hotel in Inle to check-in and have a rest. 

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Inle
Day 03 INLE FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING (B)

After the breakfast, we will take a wooden motorized boat and head to Inle Lake which is one of the most alluring and famous destinations in Myanmar. Dotted with fishing boats and floating vegetation, the calm surface of the lake in combination with the scenic hills in the background creates a spectacular scenery.  Then we will stop by lake’s morning market (open every day except for dark moon and full moon days in the calendar). The market’s meeting spot rotates among the villages around Inle Lake with the schedule of five days. The people living around the lake and those coming from nearby localities come to the market to buy and sell their items. Going around the lake, we will pass by several villages of the native Intha people which are built on stilts over the lake. Take the opportunity to observe the daily life of the local leg-rowing fishermen and have a look at their “floating gardens” formed by strips of earth and water hyacinth and is connected to the bed of the lake by bamboo poles.  We will also pay a visit to Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery where loads of early Shan Buddha Images are enshrined. Previously, this place was also known with the name the “jumping cats” monastery, but nowadays there only a few cat left and they are not jumping anymore. However, the Buddha image is still worth seeing. Subsequently, we will go to Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, a must-visit destination around Inle Lake. The pagoda is home to five sacred statues of Buddha embellished by gold leaf. Many traditional crafts can also be found around the Inle Lake region. If you want, we can visit the workshop making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat building workshop (subject to availability during the year), cigar producing workshop, workshops of blacksmiths or even silversmiths.  If there’s still time to spare, we will come to Nampan village to visit the local silversmith workshop and a pirogue workshop. At the end of the day, we will return to the hotel by boat.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Inle
Day 04 INLE – FLY TO BAGAN – SIGHTSEEING (B)

In the morning, we will go to Heho Airport to take a short flight to Bagan which is one of the greatest sites of architectural structure in Asia. Between the 11th and 13th century, when Bagan used to be the heart of Myanmar, the monarchs constructed thousands of massive pagodas and temples whose trace can be found on the shore of the Irrawaddy River. The mystical plain of Bagan, with the size of Manhattan Island, is home to more than 200 temples made of red bricks. This plain is one of the most appealing destinations in a Myanmar holiday tour that will satisfy the eyes of all travelers. When arriving at the airport, you will receive the warmest welcome and be taken to Bagan for sightseeing.

Let’s explore Bagan today! This is an opportunity to not only admire the majestic Bagan temples but also learn about the culture of Myanmar. You will see traditional craftsmen doing their job and then we will temporarily say good bye to Irrawaddy River and go ashore to visit the temples. We will first visit Bagan Tower which offers a panoramic view of the Bagan plain. From this spot, you can see the great number of temples and pagodas as well as their unique styles. Next, we will move to Ananda Temple which is one of superb temples in Bagan. We will make sure that our tourists reach this site before it gets crowded with visitors, allowing you to enjoy the magnificence of the temple in a quiet atmosphere. Afterward, we will visit different other temples scattered around the Bagan plain to observe a diversity of styles in architecture in the region and also the artistic wonders built in the period from the 9th to 14th century.

Then we will drive across the countryside of Bagan to Minnanthu village which is little known by visitors. Also, we will visit Kyat kan Cave monastery, which is an up most significant meditation retreat. If you desire to learn about the daily life of local people, there are a lot of farming villages for you to visit. Continue the trip, we will drive to Myinkaba village where you will have the opportunity to see around the village and observe the local craftsmen.  To explore the local culture, we will visit families who are producing Bagan’s most famous products: lacquer ware and wood crafts. Grasp the chance to observe the skillful craftsmen using technique inherited from their ancestors to create graceful items.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Bagan
Day 05 BAGAN EXPLORING (B)

OPTION: HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES OVER BAGAN – US$ 295 per person 

Awaiting you in the early morning is an electrifying hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will have the chance to admire a spectacular view when the sun starts to rise above Irrawaddy River and numerous temples in the plain. This opportunity can be found nowhere else in the world. (Due to weather condition, the rides are only available from October to March).

ALL PASSENGERS RECEIVE

  • Complimentary pick up from your hotel or guest house in one of our converted antique buses.
  • Pre flight coffee tea and refreshments while our dedicated crew inflate your balloon
  • Detailed passenger safety briefing by your pilot
  • Light Champagne breakfast, fruits and pastries upon landing
  • Flight certificate award before we return you to your hotel or guest house

BALLOON SCHEDULE: The following itinerary is an example of what you may experience with ballooning, but times and locations will be confirmed the night before your flight.

05.30 – 06.00: Balloon Company will collect you from your hotel in a comfortable car or minibus

06.00 – 06.15: You’ll meet your pilot, and enjoy pre-flight tea, coffee and pastries. You’ll be given a safety briefing.

06.15 – 06.30: Watch as the balloons are prepared by the trained crew and inflated by the experienced British pilots.

06.30 – 06.45: All aboard! Climb into the basket and prepare for take-off!

After the breakfast at hotel, the tour guide and driver will pick you up to your Bagan exploring trip. First, we will head to the lifeful Nyaung Ooo Market, where local residents come to buy and sell fresh products and other daily goods. After visiting the market, we will wander around the Old Bagan, setting out with a visit to the famous Shwezigon Pagoda which was built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious monument. Then, we will travel through dusty paths and tree shaded roads, pass by temples and pagodas to a small village. We will walk around the village and learn about the way of life of Bagan local residents. If you are interested, we will have a short walk through the smaller and lesser-known temples for the remaining time in the morning.

Afterward, we will continue with an exploring journey on horse cart that will pass by Thatbyinnyu - the highest temple in Bagan, the massive Dhammayangyi Temple which is famous for its extraordinary brickwork. At the end of the day, enjoy an amazing sunset from the top of one of the temples.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Bagan
Day 06 BAGAN – FLY TO MANDALAY – SIGHTSEEING (B)

In the morning, we will take the flight to Mandalay, which is the second largest city in Myanmar. This city used to be a royal capital and is often represented in Asian literature for its tradition and timeless, alluring characteristics. Yet those who go there will meet a bustling and lifeful city on the bank of Irrawaddy River. Regardless of a hustle and bustle of a dynamic city, Mandalay is still a cultural hub of Myanmar where traditional music, dance, and drama still live on.

Firstly, we will pay a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda which is home to one of the most sacred Buddha images in Myanmar. The pagoda is entirely gilded and everyday male devotees will stick gold leaves to the statues in the pagoda.  Continue the trip, we will go to Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as “The World’s Largest Book” for a huge collection of 729 marble slabs with the inscription of Gautama Buddha’s teachings. Right to the south of Mandalay Hill is Kyauktawgyi Pagoda which is famous for its Great Marble Buddha Image carved from a single marble block.  The gigantic marble block was said to take 10,00 man nearly two weeks to move it from the riverside to the present location. Then we will head to Shwenandaw Monastery – the Golden Monastery which is the only building of the Royal Palace in the 19th century exists until the present day. This imposing structure is renowned for its extraordinary wood carvings.

In Mandalay, there are many craft workshops producing various types of product such as gold leaf, tapestry, wood carving and marionette. If we still have time to spare and you are interested, we will pay a visit to those workshops.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Mandalay
Day 07 MANDALAY – EMBARKATION CRUISE - NWE NYEIN (B, L, D)

Embarkation time: 12:00 at GAW WEIN JETTY (Near Mandalay Karaweik Mobile Hotel) Mandalay, Myanmar; 7 km away from city center; approx. 20min land transfer.

In the morning, we will depart from Mandalay and sail northward, through the Dolphin Sanctuary. There will be a morning talk on the topic of Myanmar culture with the title “Myanmar Ways of Life” and a demonstration of Burmese traditional costumes in the early afternoon. In the late afternoon, when the atmosphere has cooled down, we will pay a visit to the pottery village of New Nyein. Here, you can see people using old-school techniques to produce many types of decorative pots. In the evening, a longyi Cocktail Party will be held to break the ice amongst the guests.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 08 CRUISE DAGUANG (B, L, D)

Every morning, a yoga and meditation session will be organized on the sun deck. On the eighth day, we will sail through the rolling hills of the Third Defile and pass by bamboo village and even modest fishing habitations. You will be amazed by the tranquility of the life here. In the morning, our Chef will present a Cookery Demonstration and in the afternoon we will offer a lesson of informal Burmese language. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Dagaung town where you will be shown the life on the river bank and introduced to its ancient defenses, archeological areas and famed shrines for worshipping nats or spirits.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 09 KATHA (B, L, D)

In the early afternoon, we will arrive at the charming colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell’s Burmese Days. The town has not changed much since then. One interesting attraction of this town is the collection in the fire station exhibiting ship bells taken from the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s ships sunken in the Second World War. Katha was the grave for many old flotilla ships as hundreds of them were wrecked here in 1942 – an act of Denial before the conquering Japanese. You will be taken to all the place that appears in the travel brochure and offer you the chance to visualize how life was in this far-off corner of the British Empire.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight onboard
Day 10 KATHA AND SHWE GU (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will make a disembarkation to visit the lifeful, dynamic and noisy market of Katha before continuing the trip by visiting an elephant logging camp in the hardwood forests of the hills that encircle the town. Afterward, we will head to the old Gold Club before coming back for the lunch on board. In the afternoon, you may enjoy relaxation as we sail upstream to Shwe Gu. Tea will be served in advance of a talk on the topic of Myanmar history and current affairs.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 11 PAW KYUN AND THE SECOND DEFILE (B, L, D)

On the eleventh day, we will make an early start. You will be taken on a tranquil walk all the way through Shwe Paw Kyun, an island which is little known by visitors. Afterward, we will sail across the spectacular Second Defile. Depending on the current’s force, this may take up to two hours. Once having reached the other side, we will make a turn at the Sinkan Bridge and start our return journey by heading again into the fast-running water flow of the Defile. It may take at least 25 minutes to reach the other end. Then, we will continue our sail, passing Katha before anchoring for the night.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 12 THAGARA (B, L, D)

After sailing for a while, we will arrive at Thagara, where we go on a shore excursion and climb the hill to visit a magnificent Reclining Buddha looking calmly southwards, taking in the scenery of the Third Defile. You can get another relaxing afternoon by enjoying the facilities in our roomy Spa (with the only sauna in Swedish style on the Irrawaddy River) or lying relaxed in our 8-meter-long swimming pool and admiring the scenery passing by. For those who want to enrich their knowledge, there will be a talk on “Religion in Myanmar” and another lesson of Burmese language. At night, we will anchor near Tabbeikyin. This is the closest port to the famous ruby mines of Mogok.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 13 MANDALAY (B, L, D)

In the morning, if the water level and local conditions allow, we will visit Thiha Taw Island in the mouth of the Third Defile. Around 100 years ago, all of a sudden, a beautiful monastery here was mysteriously left deserted. This monastery was home to monks who were capable of taming fish and placing gold leaf on them during special rites. As we continue sailing southwards in the afternoon, there will be a talk about “History of Mandalay”. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Mandalay where you will step off board in time to admire sunset at the “U Bein’s Bridge”, which is the famous longest teak bridge in Myanmar.

  • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Overnight on board
Day 14 MANDALAY AND CHECK-OUT – DEPARTURE (B)

Make your farewell to the crew as you check-out after breakfast. 

Check out cruise at 9 am, GAW WEIN JETTY (Near Mandalay Karaweik Mobile Hotel) Mandalay, Myanmar; 7 kilometers away from the heart of the city; approximately 20 minutes of land transfer.

After you have checked out cruise, our driver and tour guide will pick you up and then take you to Mandalay International Airport so that you can take your departure flight.

Ends of tour services. 

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Overnight onboard

 

What's Included

LAND TOUR INCLUSION 

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • Private tours and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transportation with air-conditioning
  • 03 Domestic flights: Yangon – Heho, Heho - Bagan, Bagan – Mandalay
  • Local station English speaking guides (Note: Supplement for a through-out Russian/French/Spanish/etc speaking guide please contact our consultant for further detail)
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Water and cold towel on sightseeing

CRUISE INCLUSION

  • Accommodation
  • Port taxes
  • Daily (group) shore-excursions as mentioned in the program, entrance fees, transportation as mentioned in the program, transfers to/from the meeting point/ship (if applicable)
  • Tour guide services (English speaking),
  • Taxes, fuel, river pilots, local anchorage fees
  • Daily Yoga class, onboard entertainment, sauna as mentioned in program
  • Welcome drink, breakfast – lunch - dinner (as indicated in program)
  • Free flow of beverages - mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee - at all times, free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner 
  • Drinking water in cabin and during excursions, insurance (passenger liability)
  • Internet access in public areas (subject to cellular network signal)

 

 

What's Not Included

LAND TOUR EXCLUSION

  • International flights
  • Other meals which do not mention in the itinerary
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Tipping for guides and drivers
  • Compulsory personal travel insurance
  • Myanmar Visa fees (contact our travel consultant for further information)

CRUISE EXCLUSION

  • Crew and guide gratuities
  • Any visa fees
  • Private transfers and any other transfer not stated in the program
  • Personal expenses and purchases, all further beverages, premium spirits and other services not mentioned under inclusions or in the program
  • Fuel surcharges if any (please refer to the general terms and conditions)
  • Medical services, spa treatments (please see special cabin inclusions)
  • Telephone 

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