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Caravan - Bangkok to Mandalay
OFF ROAD
( 10 Days / 9 Nights)
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Adventures > OFF ROAD > Caravan - Bangkok to Mandalay
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We meet at a starting point in Bangkok and start the drive to the Myanmar border via Kanchanaburi in Thailand. We cross over entering the border gateway, Htee Khee. Once we get to Myanmar, we begin an adventurous drive on a hilly road that turns to dirt.

Keep moving downhill to Dawei, a pristine peninsula that recently become a highlight attraction in Myanmar. In the late afternoon, we will arrive in Dawei and enjoy free leisure time at night.

Drive: 330km of tar and dirt road

Overnight: Hotel Dawei in Dawei

Meals: Own account

After breakfast, depart from Dawei as we drive up north. We stop at Thanbyuzayat to explore the Death Railway Museum and its POW cemetery of WWII. Lunchtime will be in Mawlamyine and ride up the Kyaik Than Lan hill to enjoy the view.

In the evening, we approach Hpa-An where you will see from a distance the dominant mountain, Zwekabin. If you prefer off-road drive, we can choose the Zwekabin mountain toe lane before heading to hotel for check-in. Free evening in Hpa An.

Drive: 360km of tar and dirt road

Overnight: Hpa An Lodge in Hpa An

Meals: Own account

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We stay one more day in Hpa-An for sightseeing around Kayin State. Hike up Mount Zwekabin, the tallest of a chain of limestone mountains, where at 2,372 feet is crowned by a stupa, said to contain a strand of hair from Buddha.

If you arrive by 11 am you can witness the feeding of monkeys living in the mountains, which boast fantastic views over the Kayin countryside. Continue the visit to Kawgone Cave; eight miles south of Hpa-An, where a hidden gallery of 7th century artwork rests within the cave.

Thousands of Buddha images and carvings line the walls and roof of the cavern. Head to Saddan Cave, a breathtakingly huge cavern which contains a pagoda near the entrance with many Buddha images. Visit another famous cave in Kayin State, Yathe Pyan (Hermit) Cave, and return to hotel.

Overnight: Keinnara Hpa-An

Meals: Own account

Today we set off early to visit a famous place on the way; a Golden Rock covered by many tons of gold leaf. When we arrive at the base camp, transfer by a local truck and cable-car until the Golden Rock hilltop.

 

After lunch on the hill, head back to the basecamp and continue heading to Yangon. If you wish, you may visit Bago which is about 80km before Yangon. Enjoy dinner at the hotel in Yangon.

 

Drive: 300km of tarmac road

Overnight: Sedona Hotel in Yangon

Meals: Own account

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In the morning, we visit Shwedagon pagoda and set off to Pyay. On our drive, we will see the Bago mountain range on the right and the Irrawaddy River on the left. At lunchtime, we will arrive in Pyay located on the bank of the Irrawaddy River.

 

In the evening we visit Sri Ksetra, a UNESCO world heritage. Enjoy the gorgeous Irrawaddy sunset from Shwe Sandaw pagoda and stop at a local restaurant to have dinner.

 

Drive: 280 km of almost tarmac flat road

Overnight: Mingalar Garden Resort in Pyay

Meals: Own account

Today our driving offers a glimpse of life by the Irrawaddy. After a campsite lunch, head to Popa Mountain, situated 45km away from Bagan and is regarded as the birthplace of “Nats” (the spirits of Myanmar).

 

You will be picked up at your hotel at 9am, and taken by car to this extinct volcano, approximately a 1.5hr drive away. The mountainous area has over 200 springs and streams and is therefore likened to an oasis in the desert-like zone.

 

Climbing this mountain takes 777 steps, and the walk up takes about 1 ½ hours. Along the way you will pass by shrines and ‘Nat’ holy sites, and learn about the curious legends.

 

At the top you will find Mount Popa Monastery, which offers incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding plains. Don’t forget your camera for this fabulous photo opportunity. Then begin your journey back to Bagan, during which we will stop at Toddy Farmhouse for a traditional lunch, before being dropped off back at your hotel.

 

In the evening, be welcomed in famous Bagan with a breathtaking sunset. Hotel check-in and free time in Bagan from the evening onwards.

 

Drive: 350 km of almost tarmac flat road

Overnight: Bagan Lodge Hotel in Bagan

Meals: Lunch will be arranged. Dinner is on your own account

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The journey begins with views of the magnificent plains of Bagan on the way to the colourful Nyaung U Market where locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods before. Visit the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction into Bagan’s rich history. Afterwards, visit the nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings, and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.

 

In the afternoon, visit a traditional lacquer ware workshop and observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which they are viewed.

 

From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan; Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork; and Sulamani Temple.

 

Optional; Balloons Over Bagan (Morning Tour) – To see and appreciate the vast expanse and beauty of the area from a hot air balloon is a ‘must do’ when in Bagan. A private transfer will take you to the departure site, and following a safety briefing you will take to the skies. In a traditional wicker basket (maximum 12 guests per basket), with only a few other passengers, your ‘flight of a lifetime’ will last approximately 45 minutes.

 

As you eventually drift gently back down you will be greeted by a dedicated crew, who will help you celebrate your trip in true aeronautical fashion…with a glass of chilled sparkling wine, whilst you enjoy breakfast. You will then be taken back to your hotel to continue with your day.

 

Note: Available only from late October to late March; all flights depend on the weather condition.

 

Overnight: Orient Palace Hotel in Bagan

Meals: Own account

Today’s trip takes us experiencing from the first dynasty to the last dynasty of royal Burma kingdom. In the evening we approach Mandalay and stop at U Bein Bridge, which is in Amarapura, meaning ‘City of Immortality’, famous for its dramatic bridge, believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

 

Here you can explore the city and wander through this leafy suburb of Mandalay, before witnessing the sunset and the final transfer of the day to your hotel. After sunset we set off to Mandalay downtown to check-in at your hotel.

 

Drive: 200km of almost flat tarmac road

Overnight: Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort in Mandalay

Meals: Own account

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This excursion provides the opportunity to take a trip back in time and visit three of the ancient capitals: Inwa, Sagaing and Amarapura. Pick up is from your Mandalay hotel at 8am to transfer to Inwa, which along with Mandalay is probably Myanmar’s most famous ancient capital. The ruins of this kingdom from the 14th to the 19th century are still visible today, although they were eventually abandoned following an earthquake.

 

You will be taken around this fascinating town by horse cart, whilst your guide highlights buildings such as monasteries and the Nan Myint Watch Tower. Transfer then to the riverside city of Sagaing, famous for its hundreds of white and gold pagodas which adorn the hills. Visit the most famous shrine in the area, Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, and pause for a traditional Myanmar lunch at the top of Sagaing hill.

 

Evening Boat Trip to Mingun – Your guide will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the jetty for a pleasant 1 ½ hour cruise on the Irrawaddy River to the ancient city of Mingun, famous for many Buddhist shrines, monasteries, meditation centers and monuments of historical importance.

 

Upon arrival to Pa Hto Taw Gyi Pagoda, we visit Mya Thein Tan Pagoda, also known as White Pagoda, as well as to see Mingun Bell, said to be the largest uncracked, ringing bell in the world. The bell was made of bronze; but it is said that Buddhist devotees inserted gold, silver ornaments and jewelry into the bronze. Then enjoy sailing along Irrawaddy River back to Mandalay and transfer to the hotel.

 

Overnight: Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort in Mandalay

Meals: Own account

Today you can hang out in Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar until your flight time, which tend to be in the evenings. Our service will end when we arrive at the airport. We wish you a safe flight to your next destination.

 

Meals: Own account

A Tailor-made Journey through Myanmar
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By Memories Group