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Complete Burma (Myanmar) Itinerary
Day 1 Yangon
Welcome to Yangon, the former capital and the commercial, historical and cultural heart of Burma. Get swept up in the lively atmosphere of this irrepressible city, which is nestled in the shadow of the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda. Take time to relax and enjoy the surrounding sights before a group dinner at a local restaurant.
Days 2-4 Mandalay
Visit one of Burma's most striking temples, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Draped in gold, diamonds and rubies, this Buddhist pagoda dominates Yangon's city skyline and is best visited at sunrise or sunset. After a lesson about the temple's history and the spiritual practices that go on there, head to the airport for a brief flight to Mandalay. Explore the city for the rest of the afternoon at your own pace, perhaps stopping at a local eatery to slurp down some of the nation's favourite soup, mohinga (fish broth and noodles).
Days 5-7 Bagan
Depart from the bustling waterfront for a ferryboat cruise (weather permitting) along the sprawling Ayeyarwaddy River. Float past idyllic riverside villages and wave hello to local fishermen from the comfort of the onboard restaurant. Dock in Bagan and explore the vast surrounding plains, littered with more than 4000 ancient structures. Legend has it that nearby Mt Popa, an extinct volcano, is home to local spirits and deities. Explore this mystical site on foot. And for the actively inclined, climb the 777 steps to pay homage at the shrine. Stop by a neighbouring village to mingle with the locals or kick back and relax with an optional horse-drawn carriage tour of this fascinating region.
Days 8-10 Inle Lake
Spend a few days discovering the majestic beauty of Inle Lake. Jump aboard a boat and enjoy a cruisey ride around Burma's second largest lake. Glide through the famously lovely floating gardens and watch the traditional gardening skills of the Intha tribe in action. Later, visit other small nearby villages to better understand how the clever locals live off this stunning waterway.
Day 11 Yangon - Kyaiktiyo
Travel to Kyaiktiyo and go on a short trek tom the stunning 'Golden Rock'.
Day 12 Bago - Yangon
Wander through the Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago and visit the impressive Reclining Buddha statue en route to Yangon.
Days 13-15 Ngwesaung
Drive to Bassein (Pathein), a bustling port city famous for its vibrant, hand-painted umbrellas. See how these delicate parasols are made on a tour of a local workshop before hopping on a ferry to Ngwesaung. Fronting the Indian Ocean, this picturesque 15 km stretch of unspoilt coast is bordered by tall swaying palms – the perfect place to relax. Explore the countryside by bicycle, take an optional boat trip to offshore islands, visit local markets or just unwind in the warm, tropical waters.
Days 16-17 Yangon
Stop in again at Bassein (Pathein) en route back to Yangon to visit the local cottage industries and learn about the country's involvement in World War II. Arrive back in Yangon in the afternoon and spend the evening with the group, watching the sunset over Shwedagon Pagoda, savouring local cuisine and toasting the final night of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
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