Yangon – Mandalay – Inle Lake – Pindaya – Bagan

11 days

Yangon – Mandalay – Inle Lake – Pindaya – Bagan

11 days

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit fascinating ancient capitals while learning about their traditional crafts
  • Personal guided visits and insights by experts in their respected fields
  • Participate in lacquerware-making workshops
  • Days 1-2: Yangon | Introduction to Myanmar’s Handicrafts

    Your introduction to Myanmar’s handicrafts begins in Yangon with an overview by an expert from the Myanmar Arts & Crafts Association. He will offer insight into ‘Pan Sel Myo’, the ten traditional crafts of Myanmar including blacksmithing, stone carving, painting and bronze casting, most of which you will encounter during your trip.

  • Day 3: Yangon | Art Gallery Tour with Local Watercolour Artist

    As an international hub of contemporary art, Yangon is home to many established and up-and-coming artists. Meet Khin Maung Zaw, one of Myanmar’s most recognised watercolour artists specialising in Buddhist monastic life and architecture. Hear as Khin Maung Zaw shares his personal journey as an aspiring artist while accompanying you on an insider tour of several key contemporary galleries in Yangon. Conclude the gallery tour at the Strand Hotel visiting the renowned River Gallery followed by a gourmet lunch at this historic hotel.

  • Day 4: Mandalay | Traditional Classic Dance and Theatre

    Considered to be the arts and crafts centre of the country, Mandalay has successfully maintained the legacy of its traditional arts since its glory days as the royal capital. Meet the founder behind Arts Mandalay, a non-profit foundation focussed on preserving traditional classic dance, arts and theatre, and learn about their passionate efforts in not only carrying on the tradition but also providing a future for young Burmese. Join a class at the Inwa Art School and Mintha Theatre and admire the talent of the young performers as they re-create a traditional Burmese dance repertoire.

  • Day 5: Amarapura | Gold Leaf-Making & The Art of Marionette

    A former royal capital from the 18th century, Amarapura today is best known for the U-bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world, and as the centre of gold leaf making workshops. The golden Buddha statues that you see throughout the country are in fact covered by layers upon layers of the thin gold leaf foil. Visit a family-run gold leaf making workshop to observe the pounding of 24k pure gold and gain a better appreciation of the intensive labour that goes into producing two thousand thin sheets of gold foil. Mandalay is also home to Myanmar’s original marionette puppetry. Visit a performance theatre where a marionette master will provide the fascinating history of Burmese puppetry before taking part in a hands-on puppet-making workshop.

  • Day 6: Inle Lake | Lotus Silk Weaving

    Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is the second largest freshwater lake in the country. The lake is a vital resource for the surrounding local villages, not only for fishing and the floating vegetable gardens, but also as the fertile ground for lotus stems. Unique to Inle Lake is lotus silk weaving which involves spinning the lotus stem fibres into silk threads.  Visit a family dedicated to producing high-quality lotus silk and observe the entire process, from extracting the lotus stem fibres to weaving the lotus silk into scarves and textiles. After this experience, you will understand why it takes about 4,000 lotus stems to produce a small neck scarf!

  • Day 7: Pindaya | Create Your Own Shan Paper Parasol

    Located 68km/42mi from Taunggyi, Pindaya attracts visitors for its limestone caves and handmade paper parasols. Visit a family-run workshop and learn the paper-making process from stripping the mulberry bark to drying the pulp before it becomes paper.  Choose your preferred colour and paper design, and be guided by a craftsman to create your own parasol. Take the parasol home as a souvenir or use it as sun protection for the rest of your trip!

  • Day 8: Bagan | Hands-on Laquerware Workshop

    Formerly known as Pagan, this quaint town was the capital of several ancient Burmese kingdoms. A deeply spiritual place, the plains of Bagan are home to more than two thousand temples that date as far back as the 11th century. It is believed that the exquisite Burmese lacquer originated in Bagan, with the oldest lacquerware discovered in the 13th century Mingalazedi Pagoda. Spend a fascinating half day in one of Bagan’s prestigious lacquerware workshops where a master artisan will provide insight into the history and methodology of this intricate art.

  • Day 9: Bagan | Art of Religion

    Art is an integral part of religion in Myanmar. In fact, the teachings of Theravada Buddhism were spread through the medium of art from mural paintings inside temples to revered sculptures of Buddha. This is why much of the country’s extraordinary art can be found at the many religious monuments throughout the country. An expert on Bagan’s history and religion will join you on a guided visit to several key temples and pagodas, offering insight into the meaning and symbolism of the architecture and art.

  • Day 10: Yangon | Antique Shopping with a Local Collector

    The British occupied the country for more than a century and nowhere is this more evident than in Yangon or Rangoon, the former capital city under British Burma. Exquisite heritage buildings and wide boulevards define the city’s intriguing past. Less evident is the remaining British colonial furniture and collectibles, which require insider knowledge to uncover. A locally-based antique collector will join you on a treasure hunt in the city, guiding you to shops and homes of private antique collectors to discover the hidden gems from yesteryear.

  • Day 11: Departure

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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