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Myanmar River Journey (Paukan)

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Day 1 Departure for Yangon, Myanmar

Day 2 Yangon arrival

Arrive in Yangon and transfer to your hotel for check in.

Day 3 Yangon full-day tour (B,L)

Begin your city tour with the 2000 year-old Sule Pagoda and Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, with an impressive 216 ft-long reclining Buddha image. Continue to Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where there is time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops. This is Yangon’s best market for handicrafts and other goods. (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays). Return to the hotel. Late this afternoon, we will visit the spectacular golden Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most sacred Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar. Enjoy the sunset view over Yangon city and across river from the platform. The rest of evening is free at leisure.

Day 4 Yangon – Mandalay (B,L)

Early morning, transfer to the airport for flight to Mandalay. Arrive in Mandalay, start your tour with visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most religious monuments housing the revered Mahamuni Image. It is said to have been sculpted in the presence of the Gautama Buddha during a visit to the Kingdom of Arakan. The 12’6” high (3.81 meters) seated image has a legendary origin and a complex history. Transfer to hotel for check in. Afternoon, visit Mandalay Hill, known for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries, this has been a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists for nearly two centuries. Continue to visit the 200 year old U Bein Bridge built in 1728 at the time when Amarapura was the Royal capital. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace and it is 1.2 kilometers in length making it the world’s longest teak span. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.

Day 5 Mandalay – Embark on RV Paukan (B,L,D)

Note: Cruise departure on Sunday only

In the morning, visit Mahagandayone Monastery - home to several thousand young monks where you can watch the whole monastery having their meal in silence. Embark on cruise at 12:00 noon at Gawein jetty. Welcome cocktail and briefing in the Saloon or Sundeck followed by Lunch. After cruising upstream for two hours we arrive at Mingun where we visit the impressive unfinished pagoda and the largest working bell in the world. Overnight at a sandbank mid-stream. After dinner, guests can enjoy a dance and drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck (if available).

Day 6 Mingun – Sagaing –Yandabo (B,L,D)

Early in the morning cruise downstream along the natural beauty of the river and the life of its banks while relaxing on the sundeck or just sitting outside your own cabin. Enjoy the sunrise over Sagaing Hill. After breakfast, visit Sagaing with the assistance of your Ship Manager. Resume your downriver voyage in late morning. In the late afternoon we stop at Yandabo, a village specializing in pottery-making, where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. Then a walking tour to the village to visit the workshops, the monastery and elementary school. Overnight near the village of Shwe Nann Tint.

Day 7 Cruise – Sail to Bagan (B)

In the morning sail to Bagan. Disembark at Aye Yar jetty around 9:30 a.m. After disembarking, we visit Nyaung U Market and Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine. Visit Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery with the beautiful, well–preserved 18th century murals. Continue visit to Thatbinnyu Temple known as “temples of omniscience” and dating from 1144. Transfer to hotel for check in.

In the afternoon, stop at handicraft and lacqueware craft-center before visit to the Damayangyi Temple, the massive temple in Bagan. Travel by local horse–cart on the way to Pyitthagyi Temple.

Day 8 Bagan discovery (B )

Optional tour : Balloons Over Bagan depart early morning ( Panoramic View of Ancient Temple ).

Surcharge USD $290 per person.

Early morning, enjoy the spectacular panoramic sunrise view from Shwesandaw Pagoda, the second highest pagoda in Bagan. After breakfast, start tour at Manuha Temple, built in Mon Style in 1095, then visit Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument, and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple, noted for its ancient mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO. After noon, continue visit to Lawka Nandar Stupa, Sulamani Pagoda, meaning 'Crowning Jewel,' built in 1181 by King Narapati Sithu. We enjoy sunset along Ayeyarwady River by the end of the tour. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

Day 9 Bagan – Mt.Popa - Bagan (B,L)

In the morning, head through the dry flatlands toward Mt. Popa. Along the way, stop at a small village where the locals make a variety of treats from the juice of the palm tree. Arrive Popa having lunch at a Mountain Resort surrounded by forests, this is a great place for relaxing and enjoy the natural beauty of Myanmar . After lunch climb the 777 steps to the top of the monastery at Mount Popa. The monastery is built on the top of a volcanic plug, caused by the nearby volcano, Mount Popa. It rises 737 meters above sea level and stands out awkwardly on the landscape, like a lone skyscraper in a city of shacks. From below, the gold at the top shimmers in the Myanmar sun. Along the staircase to the top, various temples and shrines provide a chance for rest and spiritual reflection on why you’re tackling such a climb. The monastery is a popular pilgrimage site for the Myanmar people. Drive back to hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 10 Bagan – Heho – Inle Lake (B)

Transfer to Nyaung Oo airport for departure for Heho. Arrive Heho airport and drive to Nyaung Shwe Jetty by passing through Shan Plateau and green fields which are ringed by the cool green hills of the highlands of the Shan State. At 1300 meters above sea level, Inle Lake is seemingly a world apart from the rest of Myanmar. Explore the lake by boat to see “one-legged rowing” fishermen, floating markets, and villages and temples which sit on floating islands. Visit the 'Ancient monastery - Ngaphachaung', the cottage industries, and the colorful hill tribes in the mountains for their special handwoven silk fabrics. Transfer to Hotel .

Day 11 Inle Lake – Inthar Village Discovery (B)

Today begins with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a 5-day basis.(note: there are no markets on full moon or dark moon days)

This daily market attracts people from all over the lake’s shores who gather to buy and sell their wares. If you are lucky, you may see Pa-Oh, Inthar and Shan people in their traditional outfits. Wander amid the stalls where your guide will explain the local produce and goods for sale. Stop at Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the area on your own expense. Proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk-weaving techniques of Inthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for its weaving from the stems of lotus flowers, a time-consuming process that results in high-quality material, famous throughout the country. You will also visit a cheroot factory where local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand and silversmiths and blacksmiths use ancient techniques to create their wares. Transfer back to Hotel.

Day 12 Inle Lake – Indein (B)

Travel to Indein on the southwestern shores of the lake. The boat will travel down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of Indein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, stopping to chat with the locals and observe their traditional lifestyles. Then wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area, filled with picturesque stupas and magnificent views of the lake. Evening is free for your own activities.

Day 13 Inle Lake– Yangon - Departure (B)

Breakfast at Hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight back to Yangon for departure.

Have a safe trip!

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