Day 1: Arrive Mandalay
Arrive in Mandalay where this afternoon you will explore the last royal capital of Myanmar. The center piece of the city is the reconstructed palace which is surrounded by a large moat. In the early evening watch the sun go down over the city from Mandalay Hill.
Day 2: Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin
This morning drive about an hour to Pyin Oo Lwin, a former British Colonial Hill Station. Formerly called Maymo in honour of British Colonel May who founded the town, traces of its colonial heritage can still be found at Purcell Tower and in the few surviving buildings. The town is more commonly known for its stunning botanical gardens that were built with the labour of Turkish prisoners during the First World War.
Day 3: River Cruise to Bagan
Get amongst the hustle and bustle of the morning market before boarding a river cruiser to Bagan. Spend the next three days relaxing with the rhythm of the river and watching the scenery slip by. All the creature comforts you could want are onboard and there will be opportunities to hop off at designated points to explore the sights.
Day 4: River Cruise to Bagan
Today the river cruise wends its way to Sagaing, a former Shan capital in the 14th century with many impressive stupas scattered on its hill. In the afternoon stop at Yandabo, a small village that specializes in pottery and where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed on 24 February 1826.
Day 5: Bagan – Mt Popa
Arrive into Bagan where your river cruise will end. Then drive to Mt Popa, an extinct volcano and climb the 777 steps to reach the mountain top monastery where powerful spirits are said to live. Return to Bagan late in the afternoon.
Day 6: Bagan
By far the best way to view Bagan is from the sky. It’s an early morning start as you climb into the basket of the hot air balloon for a sunrise, birds-eye view of the ancient city. Watch the landscapes drift by and enjoy the serene atmosphere. Keep with tradition and enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne upon landing! Take a nap back at the hotel and later in the afternoon head out to see some of the most spectacular ruins by horse cart.
Day 7: Bagan – Inle Lake
Fly from Bagan on the morning flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake. Take a short drive to the renowned Red Mountain Estate, for a spot of wine tasting. The locally grown grapes have been produced from vines that were originally imported from Spain and France. Today the winery boasts a wide selection of wines from Sauvignon Blanc to Shiraz Tempranillo’s! Continue on to Inle Lake arriving in the afternoon.
Day 8: Inle Lake - Indein
Cruise by small boat to Indein nestled on the banks of the lake. The village is famous for its overgrown and mystifying 16th century stupas and its handicrafts. Watch craftsman at work building wooden boats and creating Buddha images made from the powder of dried flowers. Then head over to the cigar factory where hundreds of cigarillos are rolled by hand!
Day 9: Inle Lake – Ngapali
In the morning fly from Heho to Ngapali and take a short drive to arrive at Ngapali Beach where the next three days are spent completely at leisure.
Day 10: Ngapali
Pack a picnic lunch and hire a boat to travel out to one of the islands dotted off the coast for great snorkeling and diving, or venture out into the countryside and meet the locals.
Day 11: Ngapali
Relax on the beach or rent a bicycle to explore the surrounding villages where time old traditions continue.
Day 12: Ngapali - Yangon
A swift morning flight will take you to Yangon where the morning is free to relax. Visit the awe inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda before enjoying an afternoon in style with high tea at the famous Strand Hotel. This evening hop aboard a river cruise for dinner.
Day 13: Depart Yangon
Spend the morning at leisure, shopping at Scott Market for last minute trinkets or admiring the colonial architecture. Later, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.