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14 DAYS MYANMAR ITINERARY WITH TAUNGGYI BALLOON FESTIVAL
(Festival days: Oct. 31 - Nov. 06, 2014)

The Taunggyi Balloon festival is held only once a year after the end of the Buddhist Lent. Traditionally it is a festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda in heaven by sending up decorated balloons. The paper balloons are 15-20 feet tall, decorated on the outside with colored cellophane lanterns. The lantern contain candles, forming different designs. A flame heats the air in the balloon which quickly ascend, carrying a 10-15 foot long tail, filled with various types of firecrackers,that continuously light as the balloons ascend. Watch the making of the small children’s balloons, in the shapes of various animals and mythical creatures (if not there you can see this in ANY city in Myanmar!) and of course the Competition between individual villages for best decorated and high flying balloons.
 

YANGON – BAGO – KYAIKHTIYO – BAGO – YANGON – HEHO – TAUNGGYI – KEKKU – TAUNGGYI – NYAUNG SHWE – INLE LAKE – NYAUNG SHWE – HEHO – MANDALAY – MINGUN – MANDALAY – AMARAPURA – SAGAING – MANDALAY – BAGAN – YANGON

Price based on 2 persons/per person:
From US$ 2.543 up

 

 


 

DAY 01 YANGON / arrival day 
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport welcome by our local tour guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon drive to Mawtin Jetty and take a rickshaws for a short trip along the Yangon River, enjoy “High Tea” at the Strand Hotel built in 1896, once described as the "leading hotel of the East" and proceed to Botataung Pagoda, where sacred hair relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined in it. Overnight in Yangon. 
 

 
DAY 02  YANGON - KYAIKHTIYO (Golden Rock) (B)
Early morning drive via Bago to Kyaikhto passing the World War II War Cemetery, dedicated to the 27,000 Commonwealth Forces who died in Burma and the Sittaung Bridge, an area humming with riverside activity, with small markets at the water’s edge, and small riverboats, coming and going with passengers and cargo. Carts drawn by water buffalo amble along the highway. At Kyaikhtiyo Township, transfer from your car to a special open truck for your ascent to Kinmon Base Camp (appr. 45 minutes drive). From here continue the journey up to the Golden Rock on foot. (This trail is sometimes steep, but is smooth, and there are covered shelters every 50-100 meters to rest, and have a cold drink. Porters will be available to assist anyone who wishes help, and a "sedan chair" conveyance is available for those who do not wish to walk.) Along the way, will be many pilgrims who have walked from the very base of the mountain. At the shrine, is a small stupa placed atop the Golden Rock, a massive granite boulder. Covered with gold leaf, and precariously balanced over the edge of the mountain, it is purported to be held in place, "balanced on hairs of the Buddha". Enjoy the late afternoon activities at the shrine, before returning back to your hotel for overnight. 
 

 

DAY 03 KYAIKHTIYO – BAGO YANGON (B)
After breakfast continue the journey by air-con car to the small village of Kyaikhto. On the way visit the cashew nut plantation and the nearby Buddhist boys orphanage and also a rubber tree plantation. In Bago visit to the interesting Bago Market with varieties of vegetables, flower and commodity goods, the Shwetharhlaung Pagoda, with its giant reclining Buddha, having a history over 1000 years old; the nearby Monastic Education Center; the Mon Village, with its array of cotton weavers; the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, with 114 metres the highest pagoda in Myanmar and walk from there to the Hintha Gon Pagoda, the place where Bago was founded. Late afternoon drive back to Yangon and transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight..
 

 
DAY 04 YANGON - HEHO – TAUNGGYI (B)
Late morning flight to Heho in Shan State. Upon arrival drive through picturesque landscapes to Taunggyi (appr. 2 hours), the capital of Shan State. In the afternoon you have enough time to participate in the Balloon Festival. About the Balloon festival and balloons: The Balloon festival is held only once a year after the end of the Buddhist Lent. Traditionally it is a festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda in heaven by sending up decorated balloons. The paper balloons are 15-20 feet tall, decorated on the outside with colored cellophane lanterns. The lantern contain candles, forming different designs. A flame heats the air in the balloon which quickly ascend, carrying a 10-15 foot long tail, filled with various types of firecrackers, that continuously light as the balloons ascend. Watch the making of the small children’s balloons, in the shapes of various animals and mythical creatures (if not there you can see this in ANY city in Myanmar!) and of course the Competition between individual villages for best decorated and high flying balloons. After dinner at Paradise Hotel, ascend to the Sulamani Pagoda to watch the Balloon Festival and the religious activities at the Pagoda. Overnight Iin Taunggyi.
 


 
DAY 05 TAUNGGYI–KEKKU–TAUNGGYI–NYAUNG SHWE–INLE LAKE (B)
After breakfast drive to Kekku (appr. 2 hours), in the deepest Pa-oh territory, 26 miles south of Taunggyi. There lie more than 2000 stupas in a site closely packed together in ranks covering an area of approximately a square kilometer apparently unknown to outside world. Kekku area is covered and scattered by Pa-oh villages especially stretching along on both sides of the main road from north to south. In the afternoon drive via Taunggyi to Nyaung Shwe, a small town at the northern end of Inle Lake. Overnight at Inle Lake.
 

 
DAY 06 INLE LAKE (B)
Full day excursion on Inle Lake (25 km) famous for its unique one-leg rowers, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing and village life and the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda housing five sacred and almost shapeless Buddha images, contorted because of the quantity of applied gold leaf, gifts from the believers. The Buddha images are purported to have come here in the 12th Century. In the afternoon, proceed to the silk weaving village of In Phaw Khon and visit Nga Phe Chaung (the biggest and oldest monastery around Inle Lake). Then come back to your hotel for overnight.

 
DAY 07 INLE LAKE – NYAUNG SHWE – MANDALAY (B)
After breakfast drive by boat to Nyaung Shwe and continue by car to Heho airport for your flight to Mandalay, the city of the last Myanmar Kings. In the afternoon visit Mahamuni Pagoda, originally built by King Bodawpaya in 1784, hosting the revered Mahamuni image, cast in the 1st Century and now covered in thick gold leaves and arts and crafts center (bronze casting; stone carving, etc.). Overnight in Mandalay.

 
DAY 08 MANDALAY – MINGUN – MANDALAY (B)
After breakfast drive to Kywezon jetty to watch the busy riverside activity and take a local riverboat to the ancient capital of Mingun (appr. 1 hour per way). Visit the Settawya Pagoda, with a footprint of the Buddha, walk to the huge Mingun Bell, see the nearby unfinished Mingun Pagoda, built to be the world’s biggest pagoda and visit the Hsinbyume Pagoda, a reproduction of the mythological Mt. Meru. Then come back to Mandalay. In the afternoon visit the Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings, Atumashi Monastery, the "Incomparable Monastery", the Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world's Biggest Book for its stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures and sunset on Mandalay Hill, a vantage-point for panoramic view of the city. Overnight in Mandalay.
 

 
DAY 09 MANDALAY - AMARAPURA – SAGAING – MANDALAY (B)
After breakfast drive to Amarapura the “City of Immortals” and visit the 150 year old Mahagandayon monastery, and famous Buddhist learning center. It is home to a thousand monks, who will form a procession as they go to take their noon and final meal of the day. Apart from Pagodas that have survived, the ancient art of silk and cotton weaving, using handlooms, is very much alive and visit U Bein wooden bridge, over 150 years old, which is still in use. After lunch drive over Ava bridge to Sagaing, 21 km southwest of Mandalay and visit the Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees with numerous Pagodas, monasteries and nunneries. Visit the village of Sagaing, at the foot of Sagaing Hill with markets, shops and restaurants; one of the monasteries on the hillside; the Tilawkaguru cave temple, with mural paintings; Umin Thounzeh caves, containing 45 Buddha images and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda built in 1312. The view of Sagaing from here is outstanding. Late afternoon come back to Mandalay. Overnight in Mandalay.
 

 
DAY 10 MANDALAY – BAGAN (by express boat) (B)
Early morning transfer to Gaw Wein jetty to take the express boat to Bagan (Etd: 05:30 / Eta: 16:00). After a day river cruise on the mighty river of Ayeyarwaddy you reach Bagan. Thousands of decaying pagodas rises majestically from the plain to create a timeless scene, saluting a glorious past. On arrival at Bagan Jetty transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

 
DAY 11 BAGAN (B)
Enjoy the whole day at the most extensive archeological site in Asia. Bagan has over 2000 temples and pagodas of various sizes in varying states of repair and spread across the plain. Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine; Gubyaukgyi, a temple with exquisite murals of Jataka scene and Ananda Temple with four huge standing Buddha images and numerous seated figures and niches around the galleried interior. In the afternoon visit lacquer ware home industry, Manuha Temple built in Mon style from 1059 and Nanphaya Temple, said to have once been the residence of King Manuha; Gu Byauk Gyi Temple (Wet Kyi Inn), which has very nice frescoes inside. Enjoy sunset over terraces of the Shwesandaw Pagoda. Overnight in Bagan.
 

 
DAY 12 BAGAN (B)
After breakfast drive to Nyaung Oo and visit the lively market and the down town area. From here continue to Nyaung Oo jetty and take a private boat to Kyaukku U Min Temple, which contains some very impressive sandstone relief's. On the way back to Bagan, stop at the Bupaya Pagoda, on the bank of majestic Ayeyarwady River and visit the Mahabodhi Temple, resemble of Mahabodi Temple in Bodaghaya. In the afternoon visit Abeyadana Temple, with very interesting paintings, showing a Mahayana influence; the Nagayon Temple, an elegant and well-preserved temple, built by King Kyanzittha; the Ashe & Anauk Pagoda, with hundreds of unglazed terracotta tiles illustrating scenes from the jatakas and Lowkananda Pagoda, built in 1059 by King Anawrahta. Overnight in Bagan.
 

 
DAY 13 BAGAN YANGON (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight to Yangon. Upon arrival visit Sule Pagoda , dating back over 2000 years, the Mahabandoola Park with it's Independence Monument and walk around the downtown area and the sprawling Bogyoke Market. Wide streets, orderly town planning and neglected public buildings revive visions of British rule, while busy streets scenes and shimmering pagodas, bursting through a leafy canopy, hint at the rich local culture. Skyscrapers and glaring neon billboards have yet to overtake the capital. Late in the afternoon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda described by Somerset Maugham: "The Shwedagon rose superb, glistening with its gold, like a sudden hope in the dark night of the soul of which the mystics write, glistening against the fog and smoke of the thriving city." This massive bell-shaped stupa rises nearly 100 meters above its hill-top surroundings. Wander through this magnificent structure and its courtyards, stupas, bells, Temples, and Buddha images, and see religious and secular visitors from all parts of the globe. Shwedagon has become the symbol of Myanmar. Enjoy the sunset over the Pagoda. Overnight in Yangon.
 

 
DAY 14 YANGON / departure day (B)
Free at your own leisure till transfer to Yangon International Airport for your departure flight.
 
 

PRICE IN US$ PER PERSON VALID FROM 15.10.2014 - 30.11.2014

Superior category English
speaking guide
throughout
German
speaking guide
throughout
Italian or Spanish
speaking guide
throughout
1 person 4.112,- 4.355,- 4.274,-
2 persons 2.543,- 2.665,- 2.624,-
3 persons 2.218,- 2.299,- 2.272,-
4-6 persons 2.123,- 2.184,- 2.164,-
7-10 persons 1.891,- 1.926,- 1.915,-
11-15 persons 1.725,- 1.748,- 1.740,-
16-20 persons 1.677,- 1.694,- 1.688,-
21-25 persons 1.584,- 1.597,- 1.593,-
Single supplement     535,-
Half board supplement
13 x dinner
    162,-
Full board supplement
12 x lunch and 13 x dinner
    307,-
  List of Hotels used for the superior category
 
The first class category English
speaking guide
throughout
German
speaking guide
throughout
Italian or Spanish
speaking guide
throughout
1 person 5.735,- 5.978,- 5.897,-
2 persons 3.383,- 3.505,- 3.464,-
3 persons 3.053,- 3.134,- 3.107,-
4-6 persons 2.957,- 3.018,- 2.998,-
7-10 persons 2.721,- 2.756,- 2.745,-
11-15 persons 2.552,- 2.575,- 2.567,-
16-20 persons 2.503,- 2.520,- 2.514,-
21-25 persons 2.409,- 2.422,- 2.418,-
Single supplement    1.330,-
Half board supplement
13 x dinner
    194,-
Full board supplement
12 x lunch and 13 x dinner
    356,-
  List of Hotels used for first class category

Deluxe category English
speaking guide
throughout
German
speaking guide
throughout
Italian or Spanish
speaking guide
throughout
1 person 7.133,- 7.376,- 7.295,-
2 persons 4.097,- 4.219,- 4.178,-
3 persons 3.759,- 3.840,- 3.813,-
4-6 persons 3.660,- 3.721,- 3.701,-
7-10 persons 3.419,- 3.454,- 3.443,-
11-15 persons 3.247,- 3.270,- 3.262,-
16-20 persons 3.196,- 3.213,- 3.207,-
21-25 persons 3.100,- 3.113,- 3.109,-
Single supplement    2.009,-
Half board supplement
13 x dinner
    210,-
Full board supplement
12 x lunch and 13 x dinner
    360,-
  List of Hotels used for deluxe category

SERVICE:
- Bed & breakfast
- 16th person FOC in single room
- High Tea at Strand Hotel
- Local guide throughout the tour
- All domestic flights by private airlines
- Air-con car/van/bus throughout the tour (not on day 6 for the full day sightseeing on Inle Lake)
- Entrance fees as indicated in our itinerary
- Express boat from Mandalay to Bagan
- All boat excursions as mentioned in our itinerary
- Porter fees at the airports
- Drinking water and refreshment tissues during the sightseeing

NOT INCLUDED:
- International air fare to/from Myanmar
- Visa fees
- Lunch & dinners
- Beverage
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Personal expenses such as camera fees, tips, laundry service, ect
- Porter fees at the hotels


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