Temples and Villages of Burma

Temples and Villages of Burma

Day 1 UK - In flight

VIP Outbound1 Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Yangon.

Day 2 Yangon

On arrival at Yangon Airport, our coach transfers us to the Parkroyal Yangon Hotel (4-star) or Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake (4-star). Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a charming and relatively quiet city and its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating in Southeast Asia. Later, we transfer to Yangon Central Railway Station to take a ride on the city’s circular train through the outskirts of town, giving you a unique opportunity to observe the lively, colourful lifestyle of the local people. We visit a local tea shop for a chance to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! This evening we enjoy a guided visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Local legend states that the original structure was built 2,500 years ago. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point and enjoy an oil lighting ceremony.

Day 3 Yangon

After breakfast, we board a ferry to cross the Yangon River to Dala. The boat ride offers great views of the waterways as well as a fun chance to interact with the curious locals as they make their way across the river. On arrival, we take trishaws through the scenic town, remarkably different from nearby Yangon, with many trees and quiet side streets. After visiting the village and market, we proceed to the monastery. Also serving as a community centre, it is an important part of rural Burmese life. We take lunch here, then return to Yangon to explore the city centre including Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. We visit Little India and Chinatown, a colourful cacophony of restaurants, temples and markets.

Day 4 Yangon - Bagan

We depart early for the airport for our flight to Bagan, where we embark our Pandaw cruise vessel. After lunch on board, we visit Bagan (formerly Pagan), one of the most pagoda-rich archaeological sites in the world. We’ll visit Ananda Temple, one of Bagan’s finest examples of ancient architecture and then the Gubyaukgyi Temple to gaze at its many murals. Our day concludes with a walk through the small village of Phwar Saw, to capture their everyday life.

Day 5 Bagan

Today we have more time to explore Bagan and some of its 3,000 standing monuments. The morning takes us to Shwesandaw Pagoda with a jewel -topped stupa, and Shwezigon Pagoda, believed to enshrine a hair relic of Buddha. After lunch we’ll see many examples of different architectural styles from across Southeast Asia, at Khay Min Ga Pagoda complex. Next is a visit to a lacquer workshop. Continue to the unique Payathonzu Temple, consisting of three temples inter-connected by narrow passages, and then Dhammayangyi Temple, the widest and largest in Bagan. We’ll view the sunset from the top of Taung Guni Temple, then return to the ship.

Day 6 Salay - Ayardaw - Tan-Chi-Taung

Set sail early morning to Salay, the once bustling trading port that’s now a sleepy village filled with timeless teak monasteries, including the Yoke-Sone Kyaung with its intricate wooden carvings and the restored British-Colonial riverside warehouse, Salay House. We’ll sail to Ayardaw to make a rewarding visit to one of eight charity clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity, and then late afternoon watch a traditional village performance using a giant papier-mâché elephant costume.

Day 7 Pakokku

Pakokku is a lively river town with a colourful local market, which we reach by tuk-tuk. Later, we’ll visit a cheroot cigar workshop.

Day 8 Yandabo Village

Arrive at Yandabo Village, renowned for its production of terracotta pottery, made from the river bank clay. Watch the tradesmen at work and maybe join in.

Day 9 Ava - Sagaing - Amarapura

We visit the ruined city of Ava, a former capital of the Burmese kingdom, for a walking tour that includes Ava Fort and Meethwaytite village. The afternoon takes us to Sagaing - home to 3,000 monks and 600 pagodas and monasteries. We’ll view the Irrawaddy River from a hill-top pagoda, before visiting a Buddhist nunnery and then continuing to Amarapura to visit silk and cotton weaving workshops. A small boat will then take us to the 200-year-old teak U Bein Bridge, in time for sunset.

Day 10 Mingun - Mandalay

We set sail to Mingun, to see the unfinished stupa begun in 1790 by Amarapura’s King Bodawpaya, and the world’s largest ringing bell. We’ll continue on to Mandalay, for a tour to see the gold-leaf covered Mahamuni Buddha image, and the UNESCO-listed Kuthodaw Pagoda. We’ll also visit a gold-leaf hammering workshop and view the Royal Palace and Mandalay Hill.

Day 11 Mandalay - Heho - Inle Lake

After breakfast, we disembark our vessel and transfer for our flight to Heho. On arrival, we take a scenic drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, we stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery with beautiful carvings and Buddha images. We have an included lunch at a local restaurant, before boarding a boat to take us to Mine Thauk village, famous for its traditional Shan tofu. We’ll watch as they create fried tofu crackers and tofu treats. We also venture through small ‘streets’ to a neighbourhood of stilted houses whose residents craft wooden boats. We stay at the Pristine Lotus Spa Resort (4-star), for the next two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 12 Inle Lake

After breakfast, we take a boat down a small canal to In Dein to explore the Pa-oh village on foot. Wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area, filled with picturesque ancient stupas and magnificent views of the lake below, and take lunch at a local restaurant. Continuing, we pass villages built on stilts over the lake inhabited by the local Intha people, observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens, and visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.

Day 13 Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

You may choose to start the day on an optional excursion to Inle Lake’s morning market (on Full Moon and Dark Moon days, the market does not open). The market has a five-day rotation around the lake’s villages for lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes to sell and trade their wares. On our journey to Heho Airport, we take time to explore the local crafts of Inle Lake, the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. Upon arrival in Yangon, we transfer to the Parkroyal Yangon Hotel (4-star) or Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake (4-star) and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 14 Yangon - In flight

This morning, we visit Bogyoke Market (subject to opening times), where you can browse through the wide selection of handicrafts and other goods, before we transfer to Yangon Airport for your return flight to the UK.

Day 15 UK

VIP Inbound Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.