9. Mandalay: Private 3-Day Mandelay and Bagan Tour
Day 1: Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will drive to the Mawtin Jetty where you will take a rickshaw for a short trip along the Yangon River. Next, you will visit the Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda (a huge reclining Buddha), Karaweik Hall, and a royal floating barge on the royal lake for a photo stop.
Late in the afternoon, you will visit the Shwedagon Pagoda. This massive bell-shaped stupa rises nearly 100 meters above its hill-top surroundings. You can wander through this magnificent structure and its courtyards, stupas, bells, temples, and Buddha images, and see religious and secular visitors from all parts of the globe. At the conclusion of your day, you can enjoy the sunset over the Pagoda, before spending the night in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon, Mandalay and Amarapura
Your day will begin with a flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, you will proceed to the Mahamuni Pagoda, with its spectacular Buddha image covered in thick layers of gold leaf. Next you will visit the Shwenandaw Monastery (noted for its exquisite wood carvings), the Atumashi Monastery, the “Incomparable Monastery”, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda (known as the world’s Biggest Book and for its stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures). Finally you will drive up to Mandalay Hill, a vantage-point for panoramic views of the city.
In the afternoon, you will drive to Amarapura, the “City of Immortals”. Here you can have a glimpse into a private house of hand weaving looms, where they produce silk and cotton textiles. You can then take a leisurely sunset walk on the U Bein teak wood bridge, which is over 150 years old, before spending the night in Mandalay.
Day 3: Mandalay and Paleik
Early in the morning, you will cruise to the little town of Paleik located 24 kilometers from Mandalay. A scenic drive will take you to this typical Burmese rural village, which is very popular among the locals because of its "snake temple". A statue of Buddha is surrounded by 2 pythons, which are believed that this image brings good luck. You can enjoy a rural walking tour around the town with its 16th century Ava-style abandoned temples, covered in ivy and connected by dirt paths. There is a small village and two monasteries in the vicinity, which you will walk through to gain a taste of local life. Finally, you will take a small break at a local tea shop before heading to the international airport.