Thứ Ba, 21 tháng 1, 2014

Burma Tracks & Trails

Our 14 days authentic travel journey to some of the most beautiful sites of the country begins in Yangon where we explore its quaint colonial quarters, bustling markets and cultural highlights. From Yangon we travel North to Shan State largest and most culturally diverse area in Burma ( Myanmar ).

In Shan state we visit famous pilgrimage site of Pindaya Cave and trek to ethnic minority villages from Pindaya we continue to beautiful Inle Lake known for its leg rowers, lively markets and festivals...

Tour duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights
Starts:Yangon - Ends: in Yangon
Tour type: Biking, Hiking tour, Adventure
Tour operates: Year round/Upon request
Activity level: Challenging
Price: Contact us


DAY 1: Yangon walking tour

Upon arrival to the YANGON international airport, you will be welcomed by our Burma Tours ASIA guide and transferred to hotel. Today we visit colonial-style city center of Yangon starting from one of the landmarks Sule Paya stupa – built over 2,000 years ago. We continue to the quaint Yangon old, built during the British colonial era where many charming historical buildings are still located. . During our stroll through bustling market full of merchants and food stalls, we visit a local pharmacy and learn about Myanmar traditional medicine, stop for a tea and snack in the fashion of locals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Yangon. After lunch in the afternoon, we continue on foot to Yangon Central Railway. We disembark the train after few stops and approximately 30 minutes of travelling to continue sightseeing by our own vehicle. Late afternoon we complete the day with a visit to one of the world's most spectacular monuments, the SWEDAGON pagoda, a gold covered bell dome structure that dominates the city's skyline and is frequented by pious locals. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of the country, a sight not to be missed.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

DAY 2:  Yangon - Pindaya Caves by flight

Enjoy breakfast and then transfer to the airport for the FLIGHT TO HEHO, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. Visit the bustling main HEHO MARKET, the meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only). Enroute to Pindaya, we stop at a LOCAL FAMILY WORK SHOP to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibres of the mulberry tree. We continue our 2-hour drive to Pindaya, small town nestled by Pindaya range and Shan plateau. After lunch break we visit PINDAYA CAVE. The Cave is unique in housing thousands of Buddha images donated by Buddhist devotees alongside caverns filled with numerous stalactite formations. Rest of the day is free for town explorations and mingling with tribal folks who often coming trading to Pindaya from more remote villages.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Pindaya

DAY 3: Trek Pindaya to Yasagyi Village

After breakfast at hotel we drive to Yasakyi market to buy supplies for the trek, the last place to stock up for the trip. From the market we transfer to the starting point of our trek at the foot of a mountain range. Our trail follows up moderate climb passing tea and vegetable plantations reaching HTUT NI village after approx. 1hr trekking. We continue ascent until arriving to our lunch stop at SEKYI INN VILLAGE 1670m after 4hrs and (4oom) climb. Our guide and support team will prepare warm lunch at a local house. After insight to Sekyi Inn livelihood; tea growing and bamboo basket weaving, we continue climb over forested slope and spine of the mountain range continued by descent down to YASAKYI VILLAGE resting at the foot of the mountain range. In the afternoon leisure time explore Yasakyi, a Palaung tribe village.

Trekking: Approximately 6-7hrs in total.
Overnight stay: In a local house. Sleeping facilities are local style. Simple matrasses on floor with bed linen, pillows and blankets in shared room. Personal mosquito nets are also provided.

DAY 4: Trekking Yasagyi to Kanhla Kone Village

After breakfast we continue trek on small rural road and footpaths contouring the forest covered mountain range passing through LYIN LAY INN Danu village after 1hr trekking and MAE NAE TAUNG Pao Village 2hrs later. Our guide and support team will prepare warm lunch at a local house. After lunch break we continue with descend approx. 3hrs to our night stop at KANHLA KONE VILLAGE.

Trekking: Approximately 6 hrs in total
Overnight stay: In a monastery. Sleeping facilities are local style. Simple matrasses on floor with bed linen, pillows and blankets in a shared room. Personal mosquito nets are also provided.

DAY 5:  Trek Kanhla Kone - Pindaya - Inle Lake

After breakfast at the monastery our trail leads us from forested region to farming lands. During our 3,5hr descent to Pindaya we pass HTIN SHEE KONE & TAUNG PAW GYI VILLAGES, Shan tea plantations and enjoy great views over surrounding vast landscape. After lunch in Pindaya and we transfer to Inle Lake 2.5 hours. After checking into the hotel, we embark on afternoon explorations of INLE LAKE, populated with floating islands and gardens made from the naturally tangled roots of water hyacinth plants and reeds. Delight in the picturesque sights of fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority group who do this only on Inle Lake.

Trekking: Approximately 3,5 hrs in total.
Overnight stay: In a hotel built on stilts over the lake or on the shore.

DAY 6: Inle Lake & Inn Thein by Boat

After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the INN THEIN PAGODA COMPLEX, a site that makes us feel as if we've stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the complex, we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago. We boat back to the lake and visit PHAUNGDAW OO PAGODA, the home of some of the country's most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf by devout followers. We also make visits to the INPAWKHON WEAVING VILLAGE to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and how local SILVERSMITHS craft skillfully beautiful decorative items with old methods. As an extra treat, we stop at a house for BURMESE CATS built over the lake, where we see the preservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar. We end our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride with boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg.

Biking: Rest day. No biking today.
Overnight stay: In a hotel built on stilts over the lake or on the shore.

DAY 7 : Inle Lake - Inwa ( Ava ) - Mingun - Mandalay by Flight

Transfer to Heho airport for (1hr) FLIGHT TO MANDALAY, the last Royal Capital of Burma. Our biking journey starts from Mandalay airport. We ride first 8km on a quiet airport road before turning to smaller unpaved road leading to the ruins of ancient capital cities and Ava/Inwa kingdom situated on an island between Myint Nge and Ayeyarwaddy Rivers. We visit NAN MYINT WATCH TOWER, last remaining structure of the palace compound in the heart of the area, old BAGAYAR MONASTERY constructed entirely of teak wood well over 100 years ago and the beautiful yellow coloured decorative MAHA AUNG MYE BONZAN MONASTERY. After lunch at Ava we cross Myint Nge river with small ferry and ride across bridge to Ancient Capital of SAGAING, home to 6000-7000 Buddhist monks, nuns and novices, one the most important religious centers of Myanmar. From Sagaing we cycle North along the shores of Ayeyarwaddy River through rural farming communities to Mingun. The road is paved and has very light traffic and part of the journey is travelled over rolling hills. In Mingun we make photo stops at unfinished Mingun Pagoda cracked by an earth quake and at the Mingun bronze bell before catching 1-hour sunset cruise across Ayeyarwaddy River to Mandalay. Upon arrival to Mandalay jetty transfer to hotel for check in.

Biking: 60km in total. Airport to Ava around 30km flat terrain first 10km is paved, Ava to Mingun 30km on paved roads some rolling hills terrain between Sagaing & Mingun.
Overnight stay: hotel in Mandalay

DAY 8:  Mandaylay Cỉty

After breakfast at the hotel, we enjoy a morning stroll through the lively ZEGYO MARKET in the heart of the city to experience authentic local life. We continue to the ARTISAN QUARTERS, where some of the oldest craftsmanship are showcased dating back to last kingdom of Myanmar. We observe the process of pounding gold leaf, detailing teakwood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestry. We also see how bronze and marble Buddha statues are carved, cast and molded. Next, we proceed to the major highlights of the city: the sacred MAHAMUNI PAGODA, housing one of the most significant Buddha images covered in several tons of gold leaf and the crown prize in wars between competing kingdoms; the GOLDEN PALACE MONASTERY, the sole surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay, offering a glimpse of the original style and architecture of the Myanmar royals; and lastly, the KUTHODAW PAGODA, a compound housing Buddha's teachings carved in the sacred Pali script on stone tablets and regarded the world's largest book in terms of surface area. We end our day with sunset panoramic views over city skyline on MANDALAY HILL, the highest point of the city.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Mandalay

DAY 9: Mandalay to Bagan by Flight

Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Mandalay Jetty and board Shwe Inn Keinnery or Malikha Cruise boat for a full day boat journey on the AYEYARWADDY RIVER to Ancient Kingdom of Bagan, the greatest archeological treasure of Myanmar with over 4000 pagodas and temples ruins located on the plains Bagan. BAGAN was during its heyday one the greatest kingdoms in the World and is truly magical destination to visit. The boat will arrive to Bagan jetty late afternoon. You will be welcomed by Burma Tours Asia local guide and transferred to hotel.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

DAY 10: Bagan Cycling

After breakfast at your hotel. Upon arrival to Bagan we send luggage to hotel and continue on bikes first to Nyaung U town and then to NYAUNG U MARKET, the largest market in Bagan we make stops at THANAKA MUSEUM and shining gold gilded SWEZIGON STUPA, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. In TAUNG BI VILLAGE, a typical Bagan neighborhood we make stops to learn how RICE NOODLES & MYANMAR CIGARS "CHEROOTS" are made. After lunch break we continue to well-preserved ANANDA TEMPLE often cited as the most beautiful temple in Bagan. Within short ride away is the SHWESANDAW PAGODA, tall brick stupa offering perfect views over Bagan. We continue on small and sandy lanes and tracks through more remote temple sites to New Bagan and MYINKABA VILLAGE and visit a LACQUEWARE WORKSHOP for Bagan's speciality arts and crafts. For sunset, we climb to top of a temple that offers unparalleled photo opportunities of one of the richest archeological treasures in Southeast Asia as the sun dips behind the temple ruins (weather permitting).

Biking: 20-30km mostly paved roads, some soft sand tracks at more remote locations.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

DAY 11: In Bagan

We continue the exploration of Bagan with visits to the MANUHA TEMPLE, built by the Mon king in the 1300s to represent his time in captivity under the Bagan king. Continuing to the THANAKA MUSEUM and a CIGAR WORK SHOP, we learn respectively about the traditional uses of the fragrant thanaka paste and how Burmese make the local cheroot cigars. A visit to the NYAUNG U MARKET, the largest market in the Bagan region, gives us a glimpse into local life. We also see how cottage industries like brick making and are carried out with traditional methods. During a visit to a MONASTIC SCHOOL that provides disadvantaged children with free primary level education, we have the opportunity to interact with the school children. * All touring schedules and activities can be adjusted according to guests' wishes..
Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan

DAY 12: Bagan - Yangon by Flight

After breakfast transfer to Bagan airport for flight to YANGON. Upon arrival to Yangon you will be met by Burma tours Asia guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. We will continue to Yangon riverside and take a short walk along the jetty observing all kinds of merchandise being loaded on river boats travelling to the Delta and upstream Irrawaddy river. We will cross Yangon River by ferry boat to Dala, a typical rural village and embark on a journey into curious and friendly local neighborhoods following small lanes and making stops at some pagodas, local market and a monastery. After the 1-2hr "trishaw" bicycle taxi ride we return back to Yangon by ferry. Rest of the day can be customized for shopping or sightseeing as you wish or perhaps pampering and relaxing yourself with a massage at Inya Day Spa.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

DAY 13: Yangon - Bago - Golden Rock ( KyaiKhtiyo )

Early pick-up from your hotel in Yangon, drive 80km/ 1,5hrs to Bago (Pegu) ancient capital of Mon Kingdom for a morning coffee and snack in a local tea shop. Continue 3,5 hrs drive to Kinpun basecamp. After lunch we will start our 11km trek to "Golden Rock" Kyaikthiyo. Our trail contours mountain range through partly forest covered hills. On the way we see many pagodas donated by pilgrims who have made this journey. We gradually ascend to the spine of the range leading to the Golden Rock, where we enjoy magical sunset (weather permitting) and special atmosphere devotees praying, meditating, lighting candles and placing incense sticks and applying extra layers of leaf gold on the boulder peculiarly resting on the edge of a cliff. A little stupa shrine on top of the rock is believed to contain Buddha's hair relics.

Trekking: Approximately 30min descent to transportation link.
Overnight stay: Hotel in Yangon

DAY 14: Yangon Departure

Free at leisure until transfer to Yangon airport for you departure flight.


Enjoy your Myanmar Adventure Tours

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