Day 1 - Depart Dublin
Depart from Dublin Airport and fly to Abu Dhabi. Connect with your flight to Bangkok.
Day 2 - Arrive in Mandalay
Arrive in Bangkok and fly to Myanmar in the afternoon. On arrival transfer to your hotel in Mandalay for check-in. The vibrant city of Mandalay is one of Myanmar's ancient royal capitals. Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River it is often described in literature as traditional, timeless and alluring. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 3 - Amarapura & Sunset at U Bein
Breakfast at your hotel & free time in the morning. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon you will visit Amarapura, the “City of Immortality” & Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital. First you will stop at a silk weaving workshop known for their exquisite merchandise. Continue to Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study and strict religious discipline. Once the sun starts to set you can stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge. Spanning 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake it is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy the very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. As a stunning day comes to an end head back to Mandalay. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 4 - Mandalay & Evening Chant at Yankin Hill
After breakfast you will visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda houses one of the country’s most honoured Buddha images, completely covered in gold leaves that are every day applied to the statue by male devotees. Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Also admire the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, with its huge Buddha, carved from a single block of marble. It’s said that the colossal marble block took 10,000 men almost two weeks to transport it from the riverside to its current location. Continue to the Shwenandaw Monastery, or the Golden Monastery, the only enduring structure from the Royal Palace of the 19th century. This impressive structure is celebrated for its remarkable woodcarvings. Return to your hotel in the afternoon. Lunch in a local restaurant.
In the evening depart for Yankin Hill. Surrounded by numerous temples and monasteries Yankin Hill enjoys a stunning atmosphere, away from the tourist crowds. When visiting a monastery you will gain insight into the monastic life and practice with the monks who speak a little English. Afterwards, enjoy a unique view from the summit of the hill (about 45 minutes climb). Once back on solid ground you can end the day peacefully listening to the evening chant of the monks. Return to Mandalay. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 5 - Irrawaddy River & Paleik
Breakfast at your hotel and check-out. In the morning you will explore the life at the river during a nice walk along the majestic Irrawaddy River followed by a visit to a local market where all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables are sold. The market does not get to many tourists so it is a great opportunity to discover Myanmar off the beaten track. Continue to Paleik, is known locally as the home of the snake temple. With a little luck you may be able to witness a snake washing which is supposed to bring fortune. You will have time to explore the ancient Ava temples around Paleik before departing for Bagan. Lunch in a local restaurant. Transfer to Bagan on the new scenic road where you can the beautiful landscape enjoy (approx. 5 hours). Check-in to your hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 6 - Bagan
After breakfast your first port of call is a high temple with panoramic views over the plains of Bagan. From here you can explore the splendid Ananda Temple, one of the highest in Bagan. You will then travel on a country road lined by trees, temples and monasteries to a small village. In one of the monasteries, you will participate in a traditional Buddhist ceremony where you will make an offering of food to the monks. Then you will receive a special blessing from the monks to ensure good luck and happiness. Lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the village of Myinkaba and the Temple of Gubyaukgyi. Admire beautiful murals and sculptures & discover the two small temples of Manuha and Nan Paya - both known for their Buddha statues. You will also get the chance to learn more about the local culture with the visit of two workshops that produce the most famous Bagan products: lacquer and wood crafts. At sunset enjoy a carriage ride through the temples of Thatbyinnyu, the gigantic Dhammayangyi and the impressive Sulamani. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 7 - Bagan to Kalaw
Breakfast at your hotel & check-out. Transfer to Kalaw passing through the Shan hills on a winding road (approx. 6 hours). Arrive at the hotel & check-in. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the evening you will have free time to explore the town of Kalaw and breathe in the unique local charm & atmosphere. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 8 - Kalaw to Inle Lake
Breakfast at your hotel and check-out. After a short visit to the local market transfer to Kalaw train station for a train ride to Inle Lake through magnificent mountain scenery. Upon reaching the edge of the lake, you will board a private motorboat and head out onto the lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breath-taking sights. Scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop to calm waters that are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes. Pass by several villages that are built on stilts over the lake and inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’. Enjoy a packed lunch. You will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. In the past this temple was known for its ‘jumping cats’ but these days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one. Continue to your hotel by boat for dinner & overnight.
Day 9 - Indein
After breakfast you’ll pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day except on the new moon & the full moon!). The market’s location rotates between the lakes' villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to trade their wares. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
Travel by boat through a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein on the western shores of Inle Lake. After a leisurely stroll around the village ascend to the top of a hill where an iconic Buddha, enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery, will greet you. From here you will also be rewarded with mesmerising views of the peaceful surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. You will then embark on a trek, under the shade of the bamboo grooves, to Sae Ma village enjoying the natural beauty and panoramic vistas on the way. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants.
On your boat trip back to your hotel, time permitting, stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people. Dinner & overnight at your hotel.
Day 10 - Shwedagon Pagoda
After breakfast transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and continue by coach to Heho Airport for your internal flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be taken to hotel for check-in. Free time to relax & lunch in a local restaurant followed by a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Here you will be amazed at the visual delights - witness the colours transform on the 100-meter Buddhist stupa that is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 11 - Yangon
After breakfast, visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 metre long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale! Continue uptown to see the by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. Also catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will be taken to the Bogyoke Market, better known under the name of "Scott Market" to stroll through the stalls filled with handicrafts and do your last minute shopping.
After sunset head on to Chinatown for a change of scenery and check out the dragons and incense of the colourful Khen Hock Keong Chinese temple. Explore the vibrant street stalls where vendors sell all kinds of fruit, vegetable and other goods or simply just walk around and soak in the atmosphere of this little China in Yangon. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight at your hotel.
Day 12 - Depart
Breakfast at your hotel & depart. Transfer from hotel to Yangon International Airport. Fly to Bangkok and connect with your flight to Abu Dhabi.
Day 13 - Arrive home
Connect with your flight in Abu Dhabi and arrive in Dublin in the morning.