7 days,6 nights
Seeing hot-air balloons flying over Bagan is one of the iconic images of Myanmar. Witness over 3,000 temples on the Bagan plain, full of fun activities and scavenger hunts as you explore the various sights.
Why you should go
How to get there
- Travel Insurance by Zurich (Gold Plan – 9 to 10 Days)
Arrive at Mandalay International Airport by TBA and transfer to hotel. (International check in time is 14:00 hours). Car and tour guide is at clients’ disposal. In the afternoon transfer to restaurant for dinner.
At 08:00 hours, Introductory half-day tour takes visitors to the colonial-historical centre of Yangon, a photo stop to the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge; and the Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide! Its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ for all Buddhists in Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. Firstly, drive to the Eastern entrance of the Shwedagon pagoda and walk along the small shops where monk accessories, Buddha statues, flowers etc. are sold. The entrance is always very busy with sellers and local pilgrims. You will learn about the daily life of the local people who reside in the immediate surroundings and gain a deeper insight into the Buddhist religion as you provide offerings to the monks. Then, walk up the staircase where many vendors sell artefacts for peoples own shrine at home. Continue to walk along the pagoda platform clockwise, as is tradition, around the main Pagoda. During this interactive walking tour of the pagoda, explore walkways and hidden gems that are unknown to most visitors. Stopping in one of the pavilions to prayer, you might get a chance to meet a Buddhist monk and talk about Buddhism and meditation or simply contemplate. Continue through the back door of Shwedagon Pagoda and discover its fascinating history.
In the afternoon walking tour: Yangon’s heritage buildings are all located in the down town area: Yangon City Hall, located at the heart of the colonial-era city. Built in 1936 by Myanmar architect U Tin, it is a massive building with traditional tiered roofs, a combination of European design and engineering technology with traditional Myanmar flourishes. Nearby is the former Immigration Department. This building was designed in 1910 to be the country’s most upmarket department store, Rowe & Company. With its corner tower and top-floor balconettes, the structure retains an air of its former opulence. Proceed to the High Court, a 1911 brick building designed an outstanding example of the grand Imperial style. Continue to Strand Road, home to the three-storey former New Law Courts, built in 1931 with an imposing colonnade of Ionic columns. Next stop is the 1916 Custom House, a large building with an elegant white tower and double-faced clock above the entrance. The Art Deco period Myanmar Port Authority is noted for its imposing square corner tower, wave-inspired stuccowork, and bas-relief sculptures of sailing vessels. The former Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s graceful white building and colonnaded façade is another landmark. Walk past the red brick General Post Office to the luxurious Strand Hotel, built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, Armenian hoteliers. Here you will enjoy well-earned refreshments in the Bar.
Or if you do not prefer walking tour, we can take you for Yangon Circular Train where you can see all of Yangon city in 3 hours. It is the local commuter rail network that serves the Yangon metropolitan area.
Transfer to Yangon airport for your flight to Bagan (Approximately; 08:00/09:10 hour -direct). Start your full day Bagan sightseeing tour with a visit to see the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine – look out for images of the 37 ‘nats’ (spirits) housed in a small hall. Continuing to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-Inn village), another ‘cave’ temple with fine frescoes of the ‘Jataka Tales’ (scenes from the life of the Buddha). Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar-style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes. Pass through Tharaba Gateway into Old Bagan. Continue to Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, with an adjacent brick monastery with beautiful, well-preserved 18th century murals.
In the afternoon, continue your visit to Dhammayangyi, a massive temple dating from 1170 AD that is famous for its interlocking mortarless brickwork. Next, visit Mingalazedi, the last of the large pagodas built in the 13th Century, representing the pinnacle of Bamar pagoda architecture. Enjoy sunset at one of the monuments near the Ayeyarwady River.
There is no better or more spectacular view of the ancient kingdom of Bagan than from a hot air balloon. This world-famous archaeological site of more than a thousand Buddhist temples scattered over a plain is at its best when seen from a bird’s eye vantage, as the sun comes up gently over the Ayeyarwady River.
You will be collected from your hotel in Balloons Over Bagan’s vintage Renault bus, and provided with a light breakfast and safety briefing while the balloons inflate, before enjoying a dawn flight lasting just under one hour. Flights operate daily from October 2017 through March 2018.
Balloons Over Bagan is operated by qualified pilots and technicians who are all registered in the United Kingdom. Cameron Balloons Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of high quality balloons, manufactures the equipment. Eleven balloons carrying a total capacity of 140 passengers are available for pre-booking.
This morning visit Phwar Saw village. Visit Tayoke Pyay, Payathonzu and Nandamanya Temples (noted for exquisite 13th century murals). Visit farming houses around Bagan.
In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the beautiful Nat Htaung Kyaung, a monastery famous for wood carvings, built in 1781 by a group of monks. Admire the monastery’s collection of ancient Buddha statues and lacquer boxes.
Transfer to Bagan airport for your domestic flight to Mandalay (approximately. 09:25/10:00 hours- direct).
When arrival in Mandalay transfer to Hotel. (International check in time is 14:00 hours). Enjoy a comprehensive tour of Mandalay, a highlight of which is the Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Near the river lies visit Shwe-im-bin, a wooden monastery over 100 years’ old which is known for its lovely carving. Stop at local workshops to see kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces, and Burmese sweets being made.
Mid-afternoon, you’ll visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the Theravada Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 729 marble slabs, giving rise to its nickname ‘the world’s largest book’. At Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda you’ll see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset.
Or Mandalay Night Bites (Food tour) – Pick up from your hotel and take the light truck to explore the Mandalay night. On board, listen to Myanmar music, sip rum sours and chit-chat about local life. Stop for photos of some of Mandalay’s famous sites, illuminated at night. And of course, this would be a paradise for food lovers like you. Taste some of the best night-time snacks to sample- rubbing shoulders with the locals as you tuck in to Mandalay favourites like barbeque pork, spicy malar noodles, fried pancakes and much more. The menu changes night-to-night but there will be plenty to choose. At the end of the tour, head to a local ‘beer station’ to enjoy a dinner of barbeque dishes. After that, return back to your hotel.
Transfer to Mandalay International airport for your departure flight by TBA.