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Day 1: Arrive in Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon airport you will be met and transferred to our hotel. We enjoy dinner and an orientation briefing tonight.
Day 2: To Golden Rock
After breakfast, we depart for Golden Rock. On the way, we visit the Htauk Kyant War cemetery, the final resting place for 27,000 allied soildiers who died during the World War II.
Day 3: Return to Yangon, City Sites
This morning we drive back to Yangon, making a few interesting stops along the way.
Day 4: Fly to Mandalay
Today, we depart Inle Lake and transfer to Heho for our flight to Mandalay. After lunch, we visit Golden Palace monastery and UNESCO Site, Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as the biggest book of the world because of its 729 marble slabs with Buddhist inscriptions.
Day 5: Mandalay - Former Royal Capitals and Monasteries
After breakfast, we drive to Amarapura, an ancient city located 11km south of Mandalay. We visit Mahargandaryon Monastery to see the lunch procession of 1000 monks and take a short walk on U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. We then drive to the ancient city of Inna (Ava).
Day 6: Mandalay Sites
This morning our first visit is to a gold leaf making workshop. We then visit Mahamuni Pagoda, which is the second most famous pagoda after Shwedagon in Yangon. Next we visit a nunnery, which is off of the tourist track and a great experience! We see the procession of nuns for lunch.
Days 7 - 8: Begin 2-day Irrawaddy River Cruise
After an early breakfast, we transfer to the jetty for our 2 day river journey along the Irrawaddy River. We set sail upstream for Mingun village to visit the pagoda complex. After lunch on board, we visit the 90 ton Mingun Bell, which is the largest ringing bell in the world and beautiful Sin Phyu Me Pagoda.
Day 9: Bagan
In the early morning, we disembark from the boat. After a stroll through the colorful local market, we continue with visits to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan. We visit the Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Ku Byanuk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes; and Ananda Temple, with four standing Buddha images.
Day 10: Ancient Sites & Temples of Bagan
After breakfast, we visit Min Nan Thu Village, Phaya Thone Zu Phaya and Nandamanya Temples, noted for exquisite murals of 13th century and Kyat Kan Cave Monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan. We also visit the archaeological museum where we see beautiful Buddha images of bronze, stone and lacquer.
Day 11: Mount Popa
After breakfast, we drive to Mount Popa. We stop at Palm Forest to see how they climb the trees to get the sap and observe how they make palm sugar and moonshine. We continue to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. It's shrine is dedicated to animist spirits known as "37Nats". The setting and views are spectacular. On the way back, we visit Shwesintaing village near Mt. Popa and then we return to Bagan.
Day 12: Fly to Kalaw, Hill Station
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Heho in Shan State. Upon arrival, we drive to Kalaw, a delightful hill station on the rim of the Shan Plateau, which is the market center for hilltribes from surrounding regions. At 1,320 meters, Kalaw has a cool and pleasant climate.
Day 13: Sightseeing in and Around Kalaw
After breakfast, we start our sightseeing in in the surrounding areas of Kalaw. We drive to Myin Ma Htee village of the Danu ethnic group. We visit Shwe Oo Min Pagoda, a small cave with several Buddha statues, Kalaw Train Station and a local market. The town is a market center for ethnic minorities from surrounding regions.
Day 14: Inle Lake
We take a morning drive to Nyaung Shwe for Inle lake. On the way, we stop at Shan Paper and Parasol workshop. We continue by boat to visit the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar dating back to the 18th century. We visit the weaving village of Inpawkhon and a Charoot factory at Nampan village.
Day 15: One-Legged Rowers of Inle Lake
We take a morning journey by boat to view life around the lake where we see the famous one-legged rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and magnificent scenery.
Day 16: Fly to Kyaing Tong
After breakfast, we fly to Kyaing Tong (via Heho or Mandalay). In Kyaing Tong, we make a visit to One Tree Hill view point, Shan Lacquerware workshop and take a stroll around the scenic Naung Tong Lake.
Day 17: Hilltribes of Kyaing Tong
Today we explore the colorful Kyaing Tong market and enjoy a full day excursion to the surrounding hilltribe villages. We drive about one hour to visit an Arn village. Arn people are animist and known for their black teeth. We walk for about 2 hours in a very natural setting through tribal villages. We visit the Akha tribe to see their famous and spectacular head dresses that jingle with silver and colored tassels.
Day 18: Fly to Yangon
Enjoy a leisurely morning before we depart for the airport for our return flight to Yangon.
Day 19: Yangon Sites - Shwedagon Pagoda
We visit one of the world's most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 20: Depart Yangon
After breakfast, you have free time until your transfer to Yangon Airport for your departure flight.
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