13 Day Wonders of Myanmar

Summary

Uncover all the wonders and secrets of Myanmar on this captivating itinerary that gives you the chance to take in all the highlights and get a real feel for this diverse and vibrant nation. Starting in Yangon you will have the chance to explore all the sights of this enchanting city, before heading to Bagan where you will visit the famous ancient temples and board the luxurious Strand Cruise for a scenic journey to Mandalay. After discovering all the delights of Mandalay finish your holiday with some relaxation on the stunning beaches of Ngapali. For those looking to embrace the country's culture this itinerary is a real treat, with plenty of visits to pagodas and other significant sites included, and of course ending the holiday on the beach is sure to please everyone.

Price

From £5,149 per person based on 2 people sharing a room

Best time to go

November to April are the recommended months to visit Myanmar, with most hotels in the Ngapali Beach are closed May – October.


Day 1: UK Departure
Depart on an overnight flight to Bangkok and onwards to Yangon.

Day 2: Belmond Governor’s Residence, Yangon (BB)
Upon arrival in Yangon you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to the Belmond Governor’s Residence where you will be staying for the next 2 nights. The rest of the day is to be spent at leisure so settle into your hotel or explore your surroundings.

A handsome city with a history of over two millennia, Yangon stood as the country’s capital for 100 years. Rebuilt on a grid plan in the 1850s, the wide tree-lined boulevards are bordered by stately stone buildings. Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the chaotic street-life, thriving markets, charming tea shops and modern, diverse eateries or simply wander the bustling, yet incredibly safe city.

Day 3: Belmond Governor’s Residence, Yangon (BB)
Today will be one full of sightseeing, beginning after breakfast with a visit to the Botataung Pagoda an unusual 131-foot-tall hollow stupa which allows visitors the opportunity to walk around inside. After this visit you will proceed to Bogyoke Aung San Market (also known as Scott Market), a shopper’s paradise that sells everything from old antique heirlooms to fresh fruit and vegetables. In the afternoon you will visit the Reclining Buddha Pagoda, an impressive open-sided pavilion that houses a 230-foot Buddha statue, also within the pagoda you will find a centre for studying sacred Buddhist manuscripts. Your final visit of the day is to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, this architectural masterpiece is a golden fantasy of gilded stupas, serene statues of Buddha and mythical beasts and is said to be over 2,500 years old.

Day 4: Tharabar Gate Hotel, Bagan (BB)
Today you will leave Yangon, departing to the airport for a flight to Bagan.

Bagan was the 11th century capital of Myanmar and provides one of Asia’s most extraordinary travel experiences. The flat plains that stretch out across Bagan are dotted with the remains of over 2,000 pagodas, temples and stupas which once stood in splendour before the sword of Kublai Khan.

On arrival, your journey begins with a visit to the local market in Nyaung Oo. This vibrant local market, which takes place every morning, is where local residents meet to buy and sell a dizzying array of goods ranging from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquer ware.

Continue to Shwezigon Pagoda, which was built to house the Buddha’s collarbone, frontal bone and tooth. Then round-off your morning out with a visit to Kubyaukgyi Temple, which is located in the quaint village of Wetkyi-In. The Kubyaukgyi Temple dates back to the early 13th century, inside the temple are some of Bagan’s finest frescoes depicting famous Buddhist stories.

After your morning investigation, visit the last “Burman-style” temple built in Bagan – Htilominlo Temple – which stands an impressive 150 feet tall and 140 feet wide at its base.

Then you will be transferred to Tharaba Gate Hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 5: The Strand Cruise, Bagan – Mandalay (FB)
This morning you will transfer to the jetty to join with The Strand Cruise.

Begin your journey through this golden land with a freshly made welcome breakfast in the tranquil shaded gardens of the oldest lacquer warehouse in Bagan. Then move onto the nearby Shwezigon Pagoda, famous for its gold leaf décor, and the Ananda temple, famous as being one of the four great temples of Bagan and one of most exquisite temples in Myanmar.

Return to The Strand Cruise for check-in and to meet fellow passengers over lunch.

During the afternoon continue your exploration of the Bagan Heritage Trail, including the beautiful Sulamani and Gubyaukgyi temples. As the sun sets, admire Bagan’s magnificent sights over the Ayeyarwady river from the ship’s sundeck, sipping one of the Strand Hotel’s signature cocktails, before joining your fellow travellers at the long tables of our fine dining restaurant for dinner.

Additional optional activities today include a guided visit by private car around Bagan or tickets to an evening performance of the nearby Dandaree show, a contemporary cultural show depicting Myanmar’s art and history.

Day 6: The Strand Cruise, Bagan – Mandalay (FB)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as you cruise downriver to the glass monastery of Tant Kyi Taung. Once ashore at the Tant Kyi river bank, a short transfer will take you to the monastery to witness the amazing view of Bagan from the hilltop, before descending the hill where a surprise awaits.

By mid-morning, you will begin cruising upstream toward Mandalay, a scenic route full of beautiful views. As you cruise, lunch is offered either buffet style in the air-conditioned restaurant or al fresco at the more informal sundeck lounge while enjoying the beautiful landscape passing by.

Spend the afternoon drifting on the gentle waters of the Ayeyarwady, relax on the sun deck and enjoy the many activities and workshops arranged by our experienced crew, before enjoying a traditional Strand afternoon tea. As night falls, the ship will moor on a remote and wild section of the river. Surrounded only by the soft whispering of nature, our Captain invites you to a cocktail and dinner, followed by a traditional cultural performance on board. Night owls can linger in the bar over a glass of fine wine or single malt whisky and recreate the golden age of the Strand as a meeting place for explorers and raconteurs.

*We also offer additional activity options today, including a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, where you can gently float above the 2,000 pagodas of Bagan.

Day 7: The Strand Cruise, Bagan – Mandalay (FB)
Enjoy a late breakfast this morning as the ship will cruise until mid-afternoon until you arrive in Mingun.

Throughout the morning simply relax or participate in the many activities and workshops prepared by the crew.

After a buffet lunch of international and Asian cuisine, you will stop in Mingun, one of the country’s former capitals, at the foot of the unfinished pagoda, one of the largest pagodas ever constructed in the history of Myanmar. Visit the pagoda by a popular local means of transportation, the Tuk Tuk. The pagoda is home to the magnificent Mingun Bell, claimed to be the largest uncracked hanging bell in the world.

You will also visit Paya Hsinbyume, an impressive pagoda that rises in seven curved whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt Meru, the mountain at the centre of the Buddhist universe. Once back onboard, relax and prepare yourself for a fabulous feast on the sand banks opposite Mingun (weather permitting) accompanied by local entertainment.

Day 8: The Strand Cruise, Bagan – Mandalay (FB)
Begin the day with breakfast while surveying the next and most awaited stop, Mandalay, the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar.

Our first stop ashore is the U-Bein Bridge, a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. The bridge is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Continue the Mandalay Heritage trail by visiting the Mahamui Buddha temple. From here visit the Shwe In Bin monastery before rejoining the Strand Cruise.

After lunch on board, explore Sagaing, the most important religious centre in Myanmar, famous for its many hundreds of white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries. A traditional local truck will collect passengers from the ship and bring them to the top terrace of the Soon U Ponya Shin pagoda to enjoy a stunning vista of Mandalay.

This afternoon set sail again towards Ava, the ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse carts await to transport guests for a delightful ride through the naturally preserved Ava landscape and key landmarks. Tonight you will enjoy an exclusive mooring at Ava next to a remarkable temple, allowing Strand Cruise passengers access to the site after the crowds have departed in the late afternoon until the following morning.

At the end of the day, a special Champagne Sunset Cocktail will be held overlooking the Ava bridge and Sagaing Hill as they are bathed in the evening glow, before a fabulous Shan style farewell dinner on board complete with traditional local performances.

*Additional optional activities today include a guided visit by private car.

Day 9: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay (BB)
This morning the monks of Ava will join us for a very special farewell before breakfast and our final cruise towards the Gaw Wein jetty in Mandalay.

Mandalay was the last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom and is geographically and culturally the core of Myanmar. Established by King Mindon as a new centre for the study of Buddhism, Mandalay remains the spiritual artery of a devoutly religious nation.

On arrival, your journey begins with a visit to Ava. Your guide will take you to visit the Bagaya Monastery, where many royals were educated. Then, see the Watch Tower (Nan Myint), which is also known as the “Leaning Tower of Inwa”. The Tower, which stands 27 metres tall (90 feet), is all that remains of the palace built by King Bagyidaw.

Next, your guide will take you to visit the Maha Aung Myay Bon Zan Monastery. This beautiful brick building was erected in 1818 by Nanmadaw Me Nu, and is also known as “Oak Kyaung” because of its wonderful masonry and sublime stucco decorations.

This afternoon, visit a workshop where you will see how the thin gold leaf that covers Buddha statues is produced without the aid of machinery.

Your last stop of the day will be at the 774-ft (236-m) high Mandalay Hill upon which the Su Taung Pyai Pagoda rests. Once you reach the summit you will be afforded a 360-degree view of Mandalay, from the Shan mountain range to the east to the Royal Palace in the south. After enjoying the view proceed to the Mandalay Hill Resort for an overnight stay.

Day 10: Amata Resort, Ngapali Beach (BB)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Ngapali. On arrival in Ngapali, you will be met and transferred you to Amata Resort where you will stay the next few nights.

Day 11-12: Amata Resort, Ngapali Beach (BB)
The last few days of your holiday have been left at leisure so you can simply relax on the stunning beaches and explore your surroundings at your own pace.

Day 13: Departure
This morning, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Yangon. In Yangon you will then fly to Bangkok and onwards back home on an overnight flight.

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Inclusions
Flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities as specified.

Exclusions
Meals, transfers & activities not specified, visas, insurances, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Cleveland Collection tailor makes all itineraries to include highlights of your choice. Speak to one of our travel experts to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements

*We try to keep our 'from prices' as accurate as possible, but please do be aware that when travelling in peak times such as Christmas and school holidays, prices shown will vary considerably.


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