Echoes of Antiquity

Travel Idea:

Echoes of Antiquity

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Length of trip:

11 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2895

Best travel dates to go:

Nov 24, 2008 to Dec 04, 2008; Feb 16, 2009 to Feb 26, 2009;


Detailed Description of this trip:

Our highly-complimented Burmese guides lead your trip to the ruins of Bagan, the markets and historical sites of Mandalay and numerous sites in-between on this exceptionally friendly, non-government, personalized visit. Enjoy top-quality arrangements and a local perspective on life, tradition and hopes for the future. We have our own staff and vehicles in Burma and do not employ government facilities or use government-run hotels.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Yangon

    Arrive Yangon.

    Your guide will meet you at the airport in Yangon and transfer you to your hotel for check in.

    Sightseeing

    Along the way, observe Yangon's colonial-style red-bricked buildings. The cultural and spiritual heritage make Yangon one of the most fascinating capitals of South East Asia. If you are interested and if time permits, you may visit a local glasswork shop to observe the Burmese's unique way of making glass.

    Food and Dining

    Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant and perhaps a walk around the market area with your guide.

    Hotel

    Overnight at local hotel. Meals: Dinner

  • Day 2 - Yangon

    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, enjoy a full city tour of Yangon. Highlights today include a visit to Karaweik, known as a royal barge on the lake where you see the lively fish and vegetable markets and have fantastic photo opportunities.

    Sightseeing

    Also visit Chaukhtatgyi, the colossal reclining Buddha, and Botataung Pagoda, said to enshrine the Buddha's hair relics.

    Sightseeing

    In the afternoon you visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, claimed to be the worlds richest golden stupa that is more than 2,500 years old. The golden dome rises roughly 322 feet above its base, and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold along with numerous precious stones, including a 76 carat solid diamond on the top.

    Hotel

    Return to the hotel for your overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 3 - Yangon

    Yangon/Bagan.
    Commercial Flight

    In the early morning, fly to Bagan, considered one of the most amazing sights in Asia. Though comparable to sites of worldwide importance such as Jerusalem and Rome, Bagan remains virtually unknown. Merely 2,200 temples remain of the 13,000 that once stood. Some were destroyed by invaders, others by earthquake and decay, but internationally funded restoration is under way and the major temples are in excellent condition.

    Upon your arrival, transfer to a local hotel where you will have a chance to freshen up before exploring the area.

    Sightseeing

    Begin at Gawdawpalin, one of the largest and most imposing monuments in Bagan. See the Anandar Temple, with the best preserved masterpieces of Mon architecture and the nearby brick monastery which is one of the few that was not destroyed; visit Thabyinnyu, the highest monument of universal science; see Natlyaunhkyaung, the only example of a Hindu Vaishanavite left in Bagan where kind Anawratha used to trap the Nat Idols in attempt to change the country from animism into Buddhism; visit Dhammyangyi, the temple of the evil king, unique panoramic views of both the image of Buddha and the Shwesandaw Temple.

    Sightseeing

    In the afternoon, visit a traditional lacquer-ware workshop to observe the process of making unique Myanmar bowls and trays. Enjoy the sunset from one of the ruins.

    Hotel

    Overnight at local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 4 - Bagan

    Bagan/Salay.
    Sightseeing

    Enjoy the fantastic sunrise view from the ruins this morning. Breakfast is at the hotel, before departing on a one-hour drive to Salay where you’ll visit the 18th century Yoke Son Monastery to see its beautiful woodcarvings and a unique 13th Century lacquerware Buddha image.

    Sightseeing

    Upon your return to Bagan, visit the Wetkyi Inn Gubyaukgyi Temple to observe original 12th Century mural paintings, frescoes and base relief works depicting the entire life of the Buddha and his disciples.

    Sightseeing

    Also visit Htilominlo Temple, where you’ll see frescoes representing 28 Buddhas of the future; see the Shwezigon Pagoda, the prototype of late Myanmar stupas, and finish with a visit to the enchanting Nyaung Oo Market. Proceed to some local villages to observe daily life in central Myanmar, such as the traditional hand loom weaving, and the manual production of edible oils from sesame seeds and ground nuts.

    Optional
    Ballooning

    Optional: Balloon ride over Bagan for a fantastic birds eye view of the ruins. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 5 - Bagan

    Bagan/Mandalay/Mingun.
    Commercial Flight

    Breakfast is at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight to Mandalay, the last capital of Burmese monarchy, as well as one of the most impressive market cities in Asia. Mandalay is the spiritual, cultural and traditional capital, as well as the commercial heart of central Burma.

    Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check in and a brief freshening up.

    River or Barge Cruise

    You then depart to Kyawzun Jetty for your boat ride across the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun (approx. one hour). In Burma, the river is the highway, especially between Mandalay and Rangoon and this is an excellent opportunity to observe Burmese life along the way, such as water buffalo logging teakwood and locals using bamboo rafts to carry supplies.

    Sightseeing

    Upon arriving in Mingun, visit the Mingun Bell, the world's largest uncracked, functioning bell. Other highlights you’ll see here are the Settawya Pagoda, with a marble foot print of Buddha, and the Shinbume Pagoda built in the 19th century.

    Sightseeing

    Return to Mandalay where you visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which houses the "world's largest book" and the entire Buddhist Canon, recorded on stone tablets in Pali script. See the Shwe Nan Daw, or “Golden Monastery” to observe the finest Myanmar wooden architecture. You may enjoy a sunset from the distinctive Mandalay Hill.

    Hotel

    Overnight at local Mandalay hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 6 - Sagaing

    Amapura/Ava/Sagaing.
    Historical and Educational Tours

    After breakfast, depart for the ancient city Amarapura, also known as the "City of Immortality". Along the way, observe traditional handicraft workshops. Visit the Mahagandayon Monastery to learn the lunch process of hundreds of Buddhist monks, and see how they play a major role in the daily life of the people. Proceed to the 14th century capital Ava, and visit its unique monasteries and monuments including the Bargaya Teak Monastery, which is famous for its 267 teak pillars and the remains of the royal palace and fort.

    Sightseeing

    After exploring Ava, continue on to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Saiging Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar and is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. Enjoy fantastic sunset views from the 200 year old U Bein Teak Bridge, before returning to Mandalay.

    Hotel

    Overnight at local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 7 - Mandalay

    Mandalay/Heho/Pindaya.
    Arts, Crafts and Antiques

    Breakfast is at the hotel before observing the making of traditional arts and crafts, such as tapestry weaving, gold leaf hammering, wood carving etc.

    Commercial Flight

    In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho.

    Private Car Service

    Upon arrival in Heho, drive to Pindaya (approx. two hours). You will drive over winding roads and through the rolling hills of the Shan Plateau and colorful mustard seed and wheat fields.

    Hotel

    Upon arrival, transfer to a local hotel for your overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 8 - Myanmar

    Pindaya/Inle Lake.
    Sightseeing

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before beginning your exploration around the Mystery Cave, and the nearby Po O, where traditional paper umbrellas are made.

    Private Car Service

    Proceed to Inle Lake (approx. two hours).

    Hotel

    Overnight at a local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 9 - Myanmar

    Inle Lake.
    Sightseeing

    Board your own private, long lake boat and be treated to an insider's view of life in this unique community. Villages, farms and a monastery perch over the water on stilts and float on pads of reeds and earth. Observe the awkward-looking leg-rowers as they maneuver, balancing precariously on the tails of their narrow craft. Depending on market dates, see the famous floating market giving another insight into local life.

    Sightseeing

    Also visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, that houses five sacred, and almost shapeless Buddha images. (This part of the itinerary may be altered in order to see the tribal markets, which rotate from village to village.)

    Hotel

    Return to hotel for your overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 10 - Yangon

    Inle Lake/Heho/Yangon.
    Commercial Flight

    Transfer to Heho (approx. a one hour drive) for your flight to Yangon.

    Museums

    Upon arrival, visit the National Museum to observe the display of the lion throne of King Thibaw, the last king of Myanmar. At the museum, you will also see many historical items, such as jewelry, photos of the royal palace, ornate court costumes and old royal furniture.

    Shopping

    Today you will also visit the Bogyoke Market, a sprawling 75 year old shopping area noted for its variety of handicrafts.

    Hotel

    Overnight at local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 11 - Yangon

    Yangon/Onward.

    When the time comes, your guide will take you to the airport for your departing flight. Meals: Breakfast.

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