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Home > Suggested Myanmar Itineraries > Optimum Classical Journeys > OCJ10DAA

Optimum Classical Journeys

Tour Code: OCJ10DAA

10-Day 9-Night – OCJ10DAA
Yangon-Bagan-Mt. Popa-Mandalay-Amarapura-Inwa-Sagaing-Mingun-Pindaya-Inle Lake

Itinerary Overview

Day Itinerary Transportation
1 Yangon – Arrival in the morning and sightseeing Car
2 Yangon – fly to Bagan and sightseeing Car/ Flight
3 Bagan – full day sightseeing Car
4 Bagan – approx. 8hrs drive to Mandalay, via Mt. Popa visit Car
5 Mandalay – full day exploration to three ancient cities before Mandalay period: Amarapura, Inwa and Sagaing Car
6 Mandalay – half day excursion boat trip to Mingun village and continue visit In-City highlights of Mandalay in the afternoon Car/Boat
7 Mandalay – fly to Heho – drive to Pindaya and visit, then proceed to Inle Lake Car/ Flight/ Boat
8 Inle Lake – full day visit by boat to local market, floating villages, pagoda ruins of Inn Dein Boat
9 Inle Lake – morning visit and fly back to Yangon in the afternoon Car/Boat/Flight
10 Yangon – morning visit and afternoon departure Car

Detailed Program

Day Description
1 Arrival Yangon in the morning & sightseeing
Arrival Yangon in the morning welcomed by your guide from Santa Maria Tours and led to your hotel. Sightseeing in Yangon will be commenced after a brief rest at the hotel. You’ll be taken to the downtown sections to see the colonial buildings; the 'Botataung Hair Relic Pagoda' on the bank of Yangon River; the Sule Pagoda located at the heart of the city & the City Hall; and the Chauk-htat-gyi colossal reclining Buddha Image. In the afternoon, visit will be made to the World Famous Shwedagon Pagoda until sunset.
2 Yangon – fly to Bagan by early morning flight and sightseeing
Leave hotel early in the morning for airport around 5:00am and fly to Bagan, a world heritage archaeological site, by one private airline. On the way to your hotel, visit will be made to Nyaung Oo Market, a place where you can observe various staffs used for Burmese kitchen, seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables to bamboo baskets, Thanaka wood and souvenirs . Then, commence your great exploration of Bagan archaeological zone by visiting Shwezigon pagoda, a must for everyone visiting Bagan. Today’s temple highlights will be included of Kyansitther cave, Htilominlo & Anandan temples before taking a short afternoon break. In the afternoon, you will see a lacquer industry, where you may study steps of making unique Bagan style lacquerware and see impressive finished products. Afterwards, you will see a few more temples of Myinkabar village area such as Manuhar, NanPaya, Gubyaukgyi and Abyeyadanar temples. Depending on the time of visit, you could see a few more or less but Santa Maria’s driver & guide will always on hand to fulfill clients’ satisfaction. Then enjoy watching the stunning scenery of the breathtakingly impressive Bagan's sunset over the legendary Ayeyarwaddy River as an aesthetic joy while in Bagan.
3 Bagan full day exploration
Have your breakfast at the hotel. Today, a deeper insight to the remaining highlights of Bagan’s temples and pagodas. It is highly recommended to take a short bicycle ride in the morning or late afternoon horse cart tour along the trails dotted with 800-years old temple ruins. This can be arranged on the spot or with a short notice. You will see some beautiful temples inside walled old city, such as the Library, Shwegugyi & Thatbyinnyu temples, Natlyaung Kyaung, and Pahtotharmyar before taking a short afternoon break. In the afternoon, continue visit the monuments around Minanthu village including Dhamayangyi, Sulamani, Payathonzu, and Damayazika. Depending on the time of your visit or your interest, a village tour can be made. Enjoy your last memorable Bagan’s sunset from a temple top.
4 Bagan – road to Mandalay via Mt Popa tour on the way
Have your breakfast at the hotel. Leave Bagan for Mandalay in the morning around 7:30am by car along the road across central Myanmar passing through typical Burmese villages & bigger towns, monasteries, pagodas, farms of toddy, corn, sesame, groundnuts etc. alongside the road, giving you an opportunity to have a deeper insight to the country you are visiting while visiting interesting “folk religion” or the Nat (Spirit) worshipping center at Mt Popa where the picturesque shrines sit atop the impressive rocky crag believed to be the neck of an extinct volcano last active 250000-yrs ago. Shortly after leaving Bagan, you’ll be visiting a toddy farmer’s house where you could observe how to retrieve sweet toddy juice from the tree and make widely eaten palm sugar ball (local version of chocolate). You can sip the sweet juice or naturally brewed the “folk beer” or liquor distilled from the sugar balls & fermented sticky rice. Then continue drive to Mt Popa and study the Myanmar Nat pantheon at the base before climbing up 777 steps towards the top monastic complex providing fresh air and breathtaking views of surrounding plains. Proceed to Mandalay with short stops en route to study the life-style of the local communities. The trip would takes around 8-hours for 210km via Myingyan, a principal town between Bagan and Mandalay thriving from its cotton industries & agricultural businesses. You may take an evening stroll around the night market in Mandalay to stretch out your legs after a considerably long drive.
5 Mandalay – a full day exploration to the deserted cities around Mandalay: Amarapura, Inwa, & Sagaing
Have your breakfast at the hotel. Your full day exploration of three former cities before Mandalay period will begin by visiting some highlights of Amarapura. Firstly, visit will be made to the “gold leaf” workshop to study how ultra thin gold-leaf are making to offer at revered images and pagodas. Then, visit to Mahamuni temple, the most important religious site of all upper Myanmar, where highly revered image of Mahamui Buddha is pay homage since 4:30am in the morning and sticking uncountable number of gold-leaves until the image becomes irregular shape. Afterwards, visit will be made to Mahagandayon Monastery with over 1000 Buddhist monks while they queue for their last meal of the day at 10:15am. You will also see one of traditional Burmese silk weaving looms that have been the major production center in Amarapura for more than 150-yrs. Afterwards, drive to Inwa ferry port, where you’ll take a short ferry ride across “Small River” and take a horse cart ride along bumpy jolting trail passing scenic farms dotted with pagoda ruins and typical Burmese villages. In Inwa, you will see an old huge wooden monastery, the site of the Inwa Palace and the leaning tower of Inwa, and the beautiful masonry monastery of Queen Maenu. Return to your car and proceed to Sagaing to see unusually shaped Kaungmudaw Paya, the silversmith of Ywahtaung village producing impressive Burmese traditional silverwares, and some pagodas of Sagaing hills. Lastly, enjoy watching an unforgettable sunset view at centuries-old U Bein Bridge, known as the world’s longest span built by the teak wood. Return to Mandalay for overnight stop.
6 Mandalay – Mingun half-day tour by boat, and continue visit In-City highlights of Mandalay
Have your breakfast at the hotel before transfer to the jetty at about 8:00am. Then take a private boat on the legendary Ayarwaddy River for around 1-hr and visit some amazing monuments of 18th & 19th centuries, such as the huge unfinished Mingun Paya, the world biggest working Mingun Bell dedicated to the gigantic Mingun paya now known as the world’s biggest pile of bricks! Finally to the beautifully proportioned Myatheindan (Sinbyume) pagoda built to depict the heaven of Buddhist cosmology. Return to Mandalay about lunch time and continue visit the In-City highlights of Mandalay: King Mindon's Myanansankyaw Palace site of Kaunbaung dynasty: the intricate wood-carved Golden Palace monastery: the world biggest stone books: the huge Kyaukdawgyi Marble image carved-out from a single block of stone: Wind up the tour by visiting Mandalay Hill pagoda where you can enjoy the panoramic view to the city, palace & surrounding area atop from it just before sunset.
7 Mandalay – morning flight to Heho, Pindaya caves visit – proceed to Inle Lake
Have breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Mandalay airport at about 7:00am. Then, 25minutes flight to Heho by one private airline. Afterwards, about 2.5hr drive to Pindaya, a small town of Danu, Taungyo and Bamar lies in one valley of Shan Hills. The road to Pindaya is renowned for its scenic beauties: the landscapes, colorful vegetations, and tribes working in the farms, whole lots of village life to see en route …and its quite refreshing with cool & fresh air of all seasons. In Pindaya, you will see a 200-million years old natural limestone caves, filled with over 8,000 of ancient Buddha images in different style and materials. Before driving back for a total of 3.5hr on the same road up to the Heho airport and drive further east and then south to Nyaungshwe, the gateway Town of Inle Lake, you will see one of parasol industries in Pindaya. Then, transfer to your lake hotel by the boat.
8 Inle Lake full day visits
Have your breakfast. Full day tour on the outrageously beautiful lake by private boat to see a colorful 5-day market where the hill tribes come to exchange their goods with the lake people, the Jumping Cats (Nga Phe Kyaung) monastery, region’s most revered Paundaung Pagoda, traditional silk weaving looms at Inn Paw Khon village, the silversmith village, and the impressive ruins of Inn Dein village. While on the boat tour, you will also observe the unique lifestyle of Inn Thar people… the leg rowers, floating gardens, fishermen with strange fishing gears etc. Hotels can be chosen from the ones on the lake or on the land in the town Nyaungswe depending on your taste.
9 Inle Lake – morning flight back to Yangon and departure in the evening
Have breakfast at the hotel. You will have two options:
1. Fly back to Yangon in the morning and continue visit the remaining highlights of Yangon including Bogyoke Aung San market, some minor pagodas, art galleries, and museums etc. (people who will leave Yangon in the morning on the 10th day might consider this option)
2. Visit another interesting 5-day market in the morning before transfer to Heho airport and fly back to Yangon in the afternoon (people who’re leaving Yangon in late afternoon might consider this option)
10 Yangon – free and easy visits before departure out
Have you breakfast at the hotel. Depending on the time of your departure flight from Yangon, you can visit some remaining highlights or stroll around the bustling city center on your own (or) transfer to Yangon Intl’ airport in the morning.

End of the tour

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*** Tour Price upon request***




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