On your arrival in Yangon, we will meet you at the airport and drive you to Belmond Governor’s Residence, which will be your home for the next two nights.
On your first day in Yangon you can visit the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda. Later in the day, it’s off to Shwedagon Pagoda for a sunset, oil-lamp lighting ceremony. You’ll then meet your fellow guests for a special welcome dinner.
Today you fly to Bagan, a city with more than 2,000 Buddhist pagodas and temples. Upon arrival, you’ll visit a rural village and meet some of its residents. After a short rest, continue to the Shwezigon Pagoda. Bagan's greatest reliquary, it was built to house the Buddha's collarbone, frontal bone and tooth. At sunset, weave your way through the ancient temple ruins on the back of a horse cart.
Assuming the weather conditions are good, we’ll wake you early for an exhilarating hot-air balloon ride over Bagan. After breakfast, visit Ananda Temple. Built in 1090, it’s the region’s best preserved temple. Next, travel to the village of Wetkyi-In, where you can see the wonderful Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals. You’ll then board the Sanctuary Ananda, your home for a three-night cruise on the timeless Irrawaddy River.
After breakfast on board Sanctuary Ananda explore Nyaung Oo Market and see the locals selling and bartering for goods. We return to the ship for lunch and for a special talk about Myanmar's history. You’ll be able to learn about Burmese culture and watch demonstrations on traditional dress and adornments.
After you’ve learned the secrets of Burmese cuisine on a short cooking course, you’ll disembark to visit Sagaing. A former royal city, it’s renowned for the many monasteries, pagodas and stupas that dot the green hillsides. Next, we’ll take you to Amarapura for a local boat ride to the picturesque U Bein Bridge. Enjoy a sundowner as you watch locals crossing the bridge on their way home from work.
After breakfast on the boat, you’ll visit a gold-leaf workshop, before exploring the Shwenandaw Monastery. At the monastery, you can view 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts, referred to as the biggest book in the world. Later, you’ll watch evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery.
Today we fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe with a stop at a Shan paper workshop. After lunch, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake. To create them, fishermen gather lake plants and anchor them to the lake bottom with bamboo poles. You can then visit the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery to view the Buddha statues on display in intricately decorated shrines.
After breakfast, visit the Fifth-Day Market, where hill tribe people in traditional dress barter for goods and produce. Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, where you’ll be able to feast on a choice of traditional dishes. Later, watching a private Intha boat race with your afternoon tea.
Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. After unpacking and relaxing, head to Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) to see where locals gather, socialise and shop. Later in the day, savour afternoon tea with a local writer and former colleague of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner.
After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport in good time for your flight home.