BURMA TREKKING SHAN STATE 15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS
Itinerary - 15 Days / 14 Nights
Day 1 – Arriving at Mandalay
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by our local guide and car driver and transferred to Mandalay which was the last capital of royal kingdom and the second largest city of Myanmar. After check in, you will start visiting the Shwe Nan Taw Kyaung, Golden Palace monastery which was the original remain of Mandalay royal palace as it was dismantled to the present side to be donated to the venerable monks. Then proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda which is also renowned as the biggest book of the world because of its 729 stone scriptures. Afterwards, go up to Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and gorgeous sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 2 – Amarapura – Ava – Saging ( B,-,-)
The day will begin with U Bein bridge, the longest teak bridge of the world in Amarapura. Take a walk on the bridge and feel the breeze of Taungthaman lake. Then continue to the one of the biggest monasteries with more than 1000 monks and see the ritual lunch of the monks. Then visit the Silk weaving workshop and you will see the most magnificent design, Lun Yar Kyaw Cheik which goes zigzag pattern and weave it with more than 100 bobbins for weft. And it takes one month to complete one longyi. Then keep going to Ava and take the pony and trap to explore Ava, the ancient capital. Here, visit Bagaya monastery which was the university of the Ava dynasty which is amazing teak monastery with the 267 giant teak pillars. Then proceed to Leaning tower of Ava which was the watch tower of royal palace. Then a visit to Ava will end with Maha Aung Myay Bon San, brick monastery. Then you will go back to the car and drive to Sagaing, the capital of Sagaing division and go up to the Sagaing Hill and visit Swan Oo Pone Nya Shin pagoda takes the overwhelming hilltop. You will enjoy the panorama. Then back to the hotel in Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 3 – Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin - Kyaukme(B,-,-)
This morning you will drive to Pyin Oo Lwin, far about 67 Kilometers from Mandalay and it is scenic hill town. It has many different names such as Flower town, Hill station, May Myo and so on. Also it is the oasis of Mandalayans as it is located at an altitude of 1100 meters. No tourisi should miss visiting Botanical Garden and Royal Lake built by the British Government during the colonial time and have a stroll in the gardens. Then proceed to Maha Anthtoo Kan Thar Temple with the marble stone Buddha statue and go to BE fall take a walk there and explore the shops where you can see local products, fruits and vegetable. Finally leave for Kyaukme.
Overnight in Kyaukme.
Day 4 – Kyaukme – Bang San (B,L,D)
Today we start our tour at about 8 am in the morning. And we will spend a few minutes in the market for food and water. Then we will hit the road on the motor bikes for more or less 2 and a half hours to Hu Gwat which is Palaung village. On these mountains, we will see small different ethnic minorities of Shan Ethnic; Shwe Palaung (Gold Palaung), Ngwe Palaung (Silver Palaung). Colorful are the belts made of bamboo and a kind of long grass tells the difference; either Gold or Silver Palaung. They have beautiful traditional costume weaved by fabrics in different colors. It’s very interesting that they still wear the traditional dress in their daily life. Normally people wear it only when a festival is celebrated.
Then we will leave the motor bikes behind, and then bring all the back-packs with us and start to trek for Bang Hone, a Shan village where along the way we can see tea plantations on the hillside. Before arrival at the village, there is a big Banyan tree where you can take a rest or take a photo. Then proceed to the village and stop for the lunch. After our lunch, we keep walking to Naung Pyaet and trek to the steep hill of Lonely tree which is the highest one and spend about 15 or 20 minutes there enjoying the awesome views. After that, we will trek to Bang san, Palaung village where we take break from the trek and stay for the night at one of the local houses.
Trekking Duration = approx 6 hours
Day 5 - Village Trekking (B-L-D)
On the second day, we hit the road to Loi Lon, the shan village. In the village, we will be visiting some local families for some tea and some contact with the people to get to know their living. Afterwards we will keep walking to Hu Son and enjoy the scenaries including introducing to the people picking tea leaves with bamboo baskets on the hillside along the way. After Hu Son, we will proceed to Don Heik, another Shan village where we will have the lunch at the local house.
After the lunch we will walk again to Kyein Law, the Palaung Village. We will see the Palaung people steaming tea leaves and scattering them in the sun for drying. They produce three kinds of tee; green tea ore chinese tea, pickled tea-leaf and black tea powder. Some families still live in the typical houses made of bamboo and thatch and with a small garden in front. What’s more interesting is their culture and religion. They consider themselves as Buddhists, however, they are more into spiritual believes. Each village has a beautiful Nat Shrine. They call it Zhao Main which means King of Nat(King of Spirits). What they believe is that that Nat has supernatural power that is able to help people with business and health problems and protect the village from various disasters. And we will walk to Hu Gwat village where we left the motor bikes.
Stay overnight at Hu Gwat.
Day 6 – Village Trekking – Kyaukme (B,-,-)
After breakfast, return to Kyaukme for an enchanting two and half hours train journey on the Mandalay-Lashio train passing by villages and railway bazaars that float by the carriage windows in a timeless fashion
( Departure around 10:30 am). The history of this particular train is tied to the black market trade with China. Along the way you will encounter many rich and enticing photo opportunities. The train will even traverse the renowned Gokhteik Bridge, which was built the 1900’s by the well know Pennysylvania Steel Company when Burma was part of India. Take notice of the impressive height of the bridge around 300 meters from the track to the valley floor. The train will take a quick stop at a small post. This will also give you a much better chance to gawk at the enormous size of this particular bridge. The train should arrive after noon at Naung Kyio. Then get on the car again and drive back to Mandalay. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 7 – Mandalay – Bagan (B,L,-)
After check out from the hotel, depart from Mandalay on a fascinating ride cruise to Bagan and it would take approximately 7 hrs. And you will visit one of the villages where you will see daily life of the villagers, the different plantations such as Watermelon, Honey melon, Chick-pea, Cotton, Betel leaf, Pigeon pea, Peanut and so on. And you will have lunch on the cruise and keep going to Bagan. You will be welcomed by our local driver and you go to hotel.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 8 - Bagan Sightseeing ( B,-,-)
In the morning visit the local market a place where you can observe various staffs used for Burmese kitchen, seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables to bamboo baskets, Thanaka wood and souvenirs . Then, commence your great exploration of Bagan archaeological zone by visiting Shwezigon pagoda, prototype of 11th century built by the King Anawrahta who was the founder of the first Myanmar Emperor, a must for everyone visiting Bagan. Afterwards go to Wat Gyi Inn Gu Byauk Gyi temple which is the copy of Mahabawdhi Temple from India and see the most impressive mural painting. And keep visiting Htilominlo Temple where you can learn about the brick laying system of Bagan dynasty. Then visit Arnanda Temple the finest architecture with four standing Buddha images. And lacquer ware workshop, of course it is the typical product of Bagan and see how the people make the lacquer wares. And end the day with the sunset and enjoy panoramic view of Bagan from Shwesandaw stupa.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 9 – Bagan – Mount Popa – Bagan ( B,-,-)
After breakfast, drive to Mt. Popa(approx) one and a half hour, the dormant volcano and the oasis of tropical zone. Also Popa is the abode of Myanmar Nats, the Spirits worshipped by some weak Buddhists. No wonder that the poor mind may seek the shelter under which one can feel certain of high-yield harvest, safe life. The name Popa represents the abundance of flowers and you can see seasonal flowers and fruits once you enter the small town at the foot of the extinct volcano. Visit central Nat Shrine at the foothill of Mt. Popa. Going up 777 steps is optional but the view from the top makes tired-feet quite relaxing. Mount Popa houses not only Nats but also Asian monkeys along its steps uphill. Then back to Bagan and on the way, you may stop at a palm tree collection workshop to see the ways of living of AnyarThar people. And visit the historic village Minnanthu village and see the ways of life of the people and make conversation with the villagers. And end the day with the lacquer ware workshop as it is the typical product of Bagan.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 10 – Bagan – Kalaw (B,-,-)
In the morning drive to Kalaw (approx six hour!), a British Hill Station, a small town with ethnic minorities, such as Pa-O, Palaung, besides the Shan People. In the town, you can still feel the colonial atmosphere with the colonial buildings and the houses with the chimney indicate the weather of the lovely town which is over 1300 meters above sea-level. The book,” The arts of hearing heart beats” which is written by Jan-Philipp Sendker is recommended to read before visiting Kalaw.
Overnight in Kalaw.
Day 11 – Kalaw – Htithein village (5 hrs trekking) (B,L,D)
Today you will start trekking early. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the village Lamine where you are going to start your trekking. The trails go up and down with the gust of wind coming to caress you getting tired from time to time. Take a break if necessary under the big Bayan Tree (ficus). After about 3 hours trek, you will arrive at the Paw Kai village of Pa O hill tribe. Pa O people, especially the ladies, wear their traditional dress that consists of black blouse, trousers and most attractively their turbans that they use not only as their head-dress but also the towel when they sweat. Those colorful turbans they put on their head make one of the National Geographic photos. The Pa O villages here are also famous for cultivation of Hot, Red Hot chili, and you may call them Chilli City. After lunch, you may take a nap at the village’s typical home, stretching your legs, giving massage each other to the stiff muscles. Then continue your trek passing through the Pa O houses with the chilli drying mats in their house compound. The trail goes through the corn-maize fields, ginger fields, the small rivers and streams till finally you will arrive at the Hti Thein Monastery where you may stay overnight.
Enjoy the dinner at the monastery and overnight.
Day 12 – Hti Thein – Tone lae – Inle Lake (B,L,-)
Today, the tiresome trekking over the high mountains will end with the half day trekking up to Inle Lake. After your breakfast, start your trekking further east to the higher mountains. Looking back at the mountainous scenes, after about half an hour trek, you will see the Ocean of the Clouds up above the forests. The trails go on the edge of the mountain up to the Pa O villages of Kyauk Su, Nan Yoke where you may visit some village houses. After nearly 3 hours, you will see the last mountain that flanks the Inle Lake from the western side. That mountain is the hardest part of the trekking forming with the hard rock’s ascending down up to one of the villages on the western shore of the lake called Tone Lae where you will have lunch. After lunch you will take a boat to your hotel.
Overnight at Inle Lake.
Day 13 - Inle – Indain (B,-,-)
Today will be full day tour on the outrageously beautiful lake by private boat to see a colorful 5-day market where the hill tribes come to exchange their goods with the lake people. While on the boat tour, you will also observe the unique lifestyle of Inn Thar people… the leg rowers, floating gardens, fishermen with strange fishing gears etc. Visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar and dating back to the 18th century; continue to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake and where inside its large wooden meditation hall and are over 200 year old ancient Buddha statues. Then take a boat ride to Innpawkhone, weaving village to see the only one lotus thread producing and weaving of the world. And ride the boat down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indain, positioned on the western shores of Inle lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending to the top of a hill. Once you have arrived at the summit, you will be greeted by an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Then ride back to your hotel by enjoying sunset on the lake.
Overnight at Inle.
Day 14 – Inle – Yangon (B,-,-)
After breakfast, transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and by car to Heho airport for the flight to Yangon. Here, visit Kyaukhtatgyi pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Afterwards, continue to the Royal Lake in Kandawgyi Park a very popular one with the locals, especially in the early morning and around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. Then proceed to Shwedagon Pagoda which plays in very important role in Myanmar. No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it is lacking a visit this legendary site. Then go to hotel for check in. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 15 – International Departure (B,-,-)
We will transfer you to the airport for international departure.
TOUR COST: Please contact us.
Tour Price Includes
- Accommodation throughout the tour
- Meals as mentioned in the above itinerary
- Supported vehicle for all transfers & tours
- English speaking walking guide, ranger
- All entrance fees & toll fees
- Water & snack
- International Flights
- Visa Fees (please check with us)
- Alcoholic, and other beverages in the evenings
- Tips for guides.
- Personal travel insurance
- Any services not mentioned in itinerary