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A Boat trip and ancient cities

6 Days / 5 Nights
Mandalay – Bagan- Yangon

Day 1    Mandalay Arrival
Enjoy breakfast at Hotel. This morning transfer to Airport. Flight to Mandalay. From the airport, drive to Amarapura and visit U-Bein Bridge, which is 1.2km long leak bridge over the Taung Thaman Lake. Then visit to Mahagandayon Monastery, known as the biggest Buddhist learning Centre in Mandalay to learn the daily life of monks. Visit to the Silk Weaving workshops. Continue visit Mahamuni Pagoda, built by King Bodawpaya in 1784, the centrepiece of the shrine is the highly venerated Mahamuni buddha image, which was transported to Mandalay from Mrauk-U (Rakhine) in 1784. Continue visit to Marble Curving workshops and Gold Leaf Beating workshops. Then check-in to your hotel.
In the afternoon, In the afternoon, visit Shwenandaw Monastery (Golden Palace Monastery) as a museum, an ancient wooden monastery. The building is covered inside and out with carved panels and which was apartment of King Mindon. Then visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (also known as the Maha Lawka Marazein Pagoda), the pagoda complex has been dubbed ‘the world’s biggest book’, for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka. Each slab is housed in its own individual small stupa. Continue to Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda, it is chiefly interesting for the hug seated Buddha image carved from a single block of marble. Enjoy Sunset at Mandalay Hill. Accommodation at Hotel, Mandalay.

Day 2    Mandalay – Mingun – Ava – Sagaing – Mandalay
Breakfast at hotel. This morning, transfer to Mandalay jetty and enjoy boat trip (approx 45 minutes) to Mingun. If you’re lucky you may even spot a pod of rare Irrawaddy dolphins along the river. Arrive Mingun and sightseeing by Bullock-carts. Visit Mingun Bell, weighing 55,555 viss (90) tonnes and the largest hung uncracked bell in the world. Then Visit to Mingun Pagoda, built in 1790 by Bodawpaya with thousands of slaves and prisoners of war laboured. Then continue to Hsinbyume Pagoda (Also known as Myatheindan Pagoda), built byKing Bagyidaw in 1816 and this stupa was construed in memory of his senior wife, the Hsinpyume Princess. Later return to Mandalay.
In the afternoon, transfer to jetty and take the local ferry to visit Innwa (Ava)and sightseeing around Ava by horse-cart. First visit to Maha Aungmye Bonzn Monastery (Also known as the Ok Kyaung), brick-and-stucco monastery built by Meh Nu, the chief queen of Bagyidaw, for her royal abbot U Po (Nyaunggan Sayadaw) in 1818. Then visit to Nanmyin Watch Tower, 27m high masonry watchtower and climb to the top to enjoy views over the river. Then continue to Bagaya Kyaung, which dates from 1834 and built of teak and supported by 267 teak posts. Continue to Sagaing and sunset at Sagaing Hill and the hill itself has a number or stupas and monasteries. Accommodation at Hotel, Mandalay.

Day 3     Mandalay – Bagan (By public ferry boat)
Breakfast at hotel. This morning, transfer to the banks of the Ayeyarwady River to catch the Boat to Bagan (approx – 0700/1600). The scenery along the Ayeyarwady is timeless – oxen working the fields, water buffalo wallowing in the mud, golden pagoda spires, fishermen, villagers bathing in the river and, of course, every type of boat and river craft that you can imagine. You should arrive in Bagan in time to see the sunset.  Transfer to your hotel. Accommodation at Hotel, Bagan.

Day 4    Bagan  
Enjoy breakfast at hotel. This morning, start your full day Bagan sightseeing tour with a visit to Nyaung Local Market. Then visit to see the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, where the 37 pre-Buddhist ‘nets’ were first officially endorsed by the Barmar monarchy. The 12th Century originals were spirited away by a collector and are now reportedly somewhere in Italy. Then visit to Gubyaukgyi Temple, Wetgyi-Inn Village between Bagan and Nyaung-U. It was built in early 13th century, on the model of Maha Bodhi Zedi. Next stop is Htilominlo situated close to the road between Nyaung U and Bagan, built by king Nantaungmya in 1218 and traces of old murals are also still visible. Take photo around the temples.
In the afternoon, then visit Nanpaya Temple, built in the Mon style with intricate stone carvings, and said once to have been Manuha’s residence.  See the four Buddha images in Manuha Pagoda. Then stop at Myazedi Stupa to see Myanmar’s “Rosetta Stone”, bearing inscriptions written in four languages. Continue to the Myinkaba area and visit Gubyaukgyi Temple, this temple was built in 1113 by Kyansittha’s son Rajakumar, on his father’s death. The fine stuccowork on it exterior walls is in particularly good condition. Then visit to Lacquer Ware Factory to watch craftsmen skilfully making this most famous of Bagan handicrafts. In the afternoon, Enjoy Sunset at Shwe Sandaw Pagoda (or) Buu Pagoda. Accommodation at Hotel, Bagan.

Day 5    Bagan  
Breakfast at hotel. This morning, visit to Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery with beautiful, well-preserved 18th century murals. Then visit to Tharabar Gate, is part of the ancient 9th century wall. There are two niches containing images of the nats (protective spirits) or guardians of the gate, most of the locals stop here to present small offerings to prevent traffic accidents. Then visit to Shwegugyi Pagoda, was built by King Alaung Sithu during A.D 1141. This pagoda is located near the entrance of the Royal Palace therefore also known as Nan Oo Paya in Myanmar. Continue visit to Thatbyinnyu ‘Omniscient’ Temple, one of the highest in Bagan, rises to 61m and was built by Alaungsithu around the mid-12th Century. Then visit Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170, which is famous for its interlocking mortar-less brickwork. Then visit Sulamani, more sophisticate temple styles, with better internal lighting. Constructed circa 1181 by Narapatisithu and the temple features two storeys standing on broad terraces assembled to create a pyramid effect. Continue visit to Dhammayazika Temple, was built by King Narapati Sithu. The name of the pagoda, Dhammayazika or Dhammarajika in Pali means “Pertaining the King of Law.  The structure of Dhammayazika Pagoda has pentagonal terraces instead of the usual Bagan pagodas, the square base.
In the afternoon, visit to Lemyethna Temple built in 1222, topped by and Indian-style spire like that on Ananda. Continue to Payathonzu (the name literally means Three Stupas) design is remarkably similar to Khmer Buddhist ruins in Thailand and two of the shrines contain vaguely Chinese or Tibetan-looking mural paintings that contain Bodhisattva figures. Visit Nandamannya Temple, dating from the mid-13th Century with fine frescoes and an unexpectedly erotic mural. Take a break from temples and wander through the village of Minnanthu to see how the local people live. Enjoy sunset at Pyathadar Temple, is a double-cave type monument. Accommodation at Hotel, Bagan.

Day 6    Bagan-Yangon departure
Breakfast at hotel. Morning flight to Yangon. Upon arrival transfer to the Yangon International airport according to your flight timing.