MYA - T 07: COMPACT CIRCUIT, 10 days (L)
Yangon – Bagan - Mandalay - Meikhtila – Kalaw - Pindaya - Taunggyi - Inle Lake - Nyaung Shwe -
SHWEDAGON PAGODA: the highlight of
any visit to
After breakfast at
the hotel, you will be escorted on an introductory tour of this colorful
metropolis. First to visit Sule Pagoda - an excellent landmark
Afternoon, visit the National Museum with several interesting exhibits such as the regal Lion Throne of the Last Burmese King, the gem-encrusted crown jewels of old Burma, a modern art gallery, wood and lacquer furnishings from everyday life.
SULE PAGODA: this 48-meter high the British used golden dome as the nucleus of their grid pattern for the city when it was rebuilt in the 1880s. The pagoda's peculiarity is its octagonal-shaped stupa, which retains its shape as it tapers to the spire.
BOTATAUNG PAGODA: this paya was
named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought
KYAUKHTATKYI PAGODA: the temple contains a gaudy, modern, 70 meter long reclining Buddha, built in 1966 and housed in an iron pavilion. The temple doubles as a monastery and a center for the study of Buddhist manuscripts.
After early breakfast, transfer to the
airport for domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival,
transfer to the hotel; continue the day with sightseeing in the major temple
and lacquer ware factory in Bagan: visit Ananda Pahto - one of the
finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Shwegugyi
- smaller but elegant pahto is an example of the Middle period, Thatbyinnyu
Pahto - this 'Omniscient' temple is one of the tallest in Bagan, Pahtothamya
- was built by King Anawrahta who carted off some 30 elephant-loads of
Buddhist scriptures and built this library to house them in 1058, Nathlaung Kyaung - Bagan's only Hindu
Vaishnavite temple probably built in the 10th century, Gawdawpalin Pahto
- one of the largest and most imposing of the Bagan temples. The name literally
means Platform to which Homage is paid. Visit the oldest cylindrical Pyu-style
stupa Bupaya, which is located on the bank of the
Overnight in Bagan
BAGAN is a spectacular plain stretching
away from the
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.
SHWEGUGYI: built by Alaungsithu in 1311, this smaller but elegant pahto is an example of the Middle period, a transition in architectural style from the dark and cloistered to the airy and light.
THATBYINNYU PAHTO: this 'Omniscient' temple is one of the tallest in Bagan, rising to 61m and built by Alaungsithu around the mid-12th century.
PITAKA TAIK: following the sacking of Thaton, King Anawrahta carted off some 30 elephant-loads of Buddhist scriptures and built this library to house them in 1058. The design follows the basic Early Bagan gu plan, perfect for the preservation of light-sensitive, palm-leaf scriptures.
NATHLAUNG KYAUNG: Bagan's only Hindu Vaishnavite temple probably built in the 10th century to serve Bagan's Indian community of merchants and craftsmen.
PAHTOTHAMYA: probably built during the reign of Kyanzittha (1084-1113), although it is popularly held to be one of the five temples built by the non-historical King Taunghthugyi (931-964). Painting remnants along the interior passages may rate as the earliest surviving murals in Bagan.
GAWDAWPALIN PAHTO: one of the largest and most imposing of the Bagan temples, it was mostly built during the reign of King Narapatisithu but was finished by his son, King Htilominlo. The name literally means Platform to which Homage is paid.
BUPAYA: right on the bank of the
Day 4 Bagan
breakfast, continue sightseeing in Bagan visit Mahabodhi Temple,
Inspired by the Mahabodhi at Bodh Gaya in India, Dhamayangyi Temple -
the brickwork of this temple is said to rank one of the finest in Bagan, Sulamani
Temple - temple is one of the best examples of the later, more
sophisticated temple styles; experience the mural paintings which the interior
tell the story of the Temptation of Mara in Nandamannya Temple and visit
“Omniscient” Temple and its enormous size makes a classic example of
Bagan - Thatbyinnyu Temple. After that transferred by vehicle from Bagan
After breakfast, you will process to visit
KYAUKTAWGYI PAGODA: built between 1853 and 1878 and chiefly interesting for the huge seated image of the Buddha carved from a single block of marble. The marble block from the mines of nearby Sagyin was so colossal that it required 10,000 men laboring for 13 days to transport it from a canal to the current site.
SANDAMANI PAYA: a cluster of
slender whitewashed stupas built on the site of King Mindon's temporary palace
- used while the new
MAHAMUNI PAYA: originally built
by King Bodawpaya in 1784 when a road paved with bricks was constructed from
his palace to the paya's eastern gate. The centerpiece of the shrine is the
highly venerated Mahamuni image that was transported to
KUTHODAW PAYA: the central stupa here was modeled on the Shwezigon Paya at Nyaung U near Bagan. Building commenced in 1857, at the same time as the royal palace. The paya has been dubbed 'the world's biggest book', for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka.
SHWENANDAW KYAUNG: monastery of great interest, not only as a fine example of a traditional Burmese wooden monastery, but also as a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Fort. At one time this building was part of the palace complex, and was used as an apartment by King Mindon and his chief queen, and it was here that he died. After Mindon's death King Thibaw Min had the building dismantled and reassembled on its present site in 1880 as a monastery.
SHWEKYIMYINT PAYA: founded in 1167
by Prince Minshinzaw during the Bagan period. He was the exiled son of King
Alaungsithu and settled near the present site of
After breakfast at the hotel,
excursion to Inwa (Ava) a charming horse-drawn carriage will take
you to the Nanmyin Watch Tower - the remains of the palace building call
”leaning tower” of Ava. Visit the Maha Aungmaye Bonzan Monastery - built of brick and stucco as well as
the Bagaya Kyanun Monastery - famous for its ornate woodcarvings and
teak posts. Then continue to Sagaing and Amarapura with numerous
monasteries and pagoda, a retreat for Buddhist devotees, and visit 200-year-old
U Bein teak bridge - built in 1782 at the time when Amanrapura was the
Royal Capital before return to
INWA: this ancient city, for a long time
a capital of
NANMYIN: the 27 meter high masonry watchtower is all that remains of the palace built by Bagyidaw. The 1838 earthquake shattered the upper portion and the rest has taken a precarious tilt.
MAHA AUNGMYE BONZAN: a brick-and-stucco monastery built by King Bagyidaw's chief queen for the royal abbot Nyaunggan Sayadaw in 1818.
BAGAYA KYAUNG: a monastery built of teakwood and supported by 267 teak posts. The main hall stands on a raised platform, separate from the monks’ quarters, and is designed so that space between the walls and roof allows air to circulate.
AVA BRIDGE: this British-engineered, 16-span bridge dates from 1934 and was the only structure that crossed the Irrawaddy River until 1998 when a new Chinese-engineered bridge was completed at Pyay.
SAGAING: located on the right bank of the Irrawaddy River, it is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. It is popularly known as 'Little Pagan' as the Sagaing ridge is crowded with around 600 pagodas and monasteries in which there are more than 3000 monks. There are also around 100 meditation centers in the area.
THABYEDAN FORT: the fort built by the Burmese as their final resistance against the British forces in the third Anglo-Burmese war in 1886.
KAUNGHMUDAW PAYA: this is Sagaing's most important temple. It was built by King Thalun in 1636 and styled after a Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) pagoda in commemoration of the re-establishment of Ava as the royal capital.
TUPAYON PAYA: contracted by King Narapati of Inwa in 1444, Tupayon is of an unusual style for Myanmar: it consists of three circular stories each encircled by arched niches.
AUNGMYELAWKA PAYA: situated on the riverfront, this zedi was erected by Bodawpaya in 1783 on the site of his home before he became king. It is built of sandstone and based on Shwezigon Pagoda.
DATPAUNGZU PAYA: a comparatively recent pagoda, which houses many relics from other older temples that were demolished when the railway was built through Sagaing.
HSINMYASHIN PAYA: built in 1429 and known as the Pagoda of Many Elephants because of the elephant statues stationed at each entrance-way.
AMARAPURA: the name means City of Immortality, but its period, as capital was brief. It was founded by Bodawpaya as his new capital in 1783, not long after he ascended the throne, on the advice of court astrologers. His grandson and successor, Bagyidaw, moved back to Ava in 1823. The four pagodas that marked the four corners of the city walls still remain, as well as the watchtower and treasury building.
PAHTODAWGYI: built by King Bagyidaw in 1820, this well preserved pagoda stood outside the old city walls. The lower terraces have marble slabs illustrating Jatakas (scenes from the Buddha's life).
BAGAYA KYAUNG: built when Bodawpaya moved the capital to Amarapura, it was destroyed by fire in 1821. It was rebuilt several times and it is no longer a monastery, but houses a museum and library, of interest for its collection of palm-leaf manuscripts.
PALACE RUINS: little remains of the palace except for two masonry buildings - the treasury building and the old watchtower. King Bagyidaw and King Bodawpaya were both burnt here on the site of their 'tombs' and their ashes placed in velvet bags and thrown into the Ayeyarwady River.
U BEIN'S BRIDGE: a long and rickety teak bridge, curved to withstand the wind and waves, crosses the shallow Taungthaman Lake. During the dry season, the bridge crosses mostly dry land.
Day 7 Mandalay - Meikhtila – Kalaw
After breakfast at the hotel, your drive begins for Kalaw past Meikhtila and Kyaukse.
Overnight in Kalaw
KALAW sits high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau. This was a popular hill station in the British days, and it’s still a peaceful and quite place with an atmosphere reminiscent of the colonial era.
Day 8 Kalaw - Pindaya - Taunggyi - Inle Lake
After early breakfast, start your journey by road, north along Highway 41 past Aungban and the Danu Villages of Pwehla and Ji-Chanzi in Shan State. The Aungban-Pindaya road is scenic and there are fields of dry-cultivated mountain rice along the way and potato fields where the tuber is grown in red mud mounds. Visit Pindaya Caves - a unique site housing thousands of Buddha images placed there by pilgrims over the centuries and Shwe U Min Paya - a cluster of low stupas just below the ridge near the Pindaya Caves. Afternoon, proceed by road to Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) An excursion by boat on the Inle Lake, located in Shan State. It is beautiful with very calm waters dotted with patches of floating vegetation and busy fishing canoes. High hills rim the lake on all sides. The lakes shore and islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and observe the skilled fisherman using their "leg-rowing" technique to propel themselves around the lake. Visit Phaungdaw U Pagoda - the weaving village and visit local market and Intha Village around the lake.
Overnight in Inle Lake
PINDAYA CAVES: these caves are ensconced in a limestone ridge overlooking the lake. Inside the cavern there are more than 8000 Buddha images made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer, and cement and are arranged in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers.
SHWE U MIN PAYA: this is a cluster of low stupas just below the ridge near the Pindaya Caves. Beginning on the full moon of Tabaung (February/March), Pindaya hosts a colorful pagoda festival at Shwe U Min.
Day 9 Nyaung Shwe - Heho – Yangon
After breakfast, free time at leisure and transfer to Heho airport for domestic flight from Heho to Yangon. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and evening free time at leisure.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 10 Yangon
After breakfast at the hotel and free time at leisure before transfer to the airport for departure
End of Services **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.