Myanmar's landscapes appear frozen in time, their old-world mystique cascades across jungle-clad hills and enigmatic temple plains. These landscapes are mostly unexplored and are only just becoming truly known to the Western world. Over ten days, submerge yourself in a realm that enchants and enthralls as you are guided expertly through the ancient kingdoms of Myanmar. Blissfully and wonderfully, these temple worlds are yet to grace the mainstream tourism market.
Bagan – Sunset Welcomes to Beautiful Bagan
As the sun flickers across the sky, Bagan swirls into a canvas of sandstone silhouettes. The temples rise at random angles to flicker through soft tones before only their enigmatic shapes are in focus. Lines of color mark the horizon as the sunset reflects in the Irrawaddy River. The odd swirl of dust acts like a painter's trick to guide the eye with its brief impressions. Sunset in Bagan is Myanmar's most iconic scene, a time of visual beauty matched with meditative serenity. Your flight lands in the late afternoon, and you'll be guided out to a four-story temple on the Central Plains, a quiet spot to admire the show, far from other tourists. At dusk, be taken to your luxury hotel in Old Bagan, where the silhouetted icons are visible from your terrace.
Bagan – The Icons of Old Bagan
Bagan – Hot Air Balloon Flight and the Enchantment of the Central Plains
Bagan – The Living Temples of Nyaung U and Wet Kyi Inn
Yangon – Gold Shimmers and Pilgrims Pray at Shwedagon Pagoda
Yangon – Day Trip to the Towering Monuments of Bago
Mrauk U – Immersed in Local Life Along the Delta
Mrauk U – Spectacular Northern Temples of the Ancient City
Mrauk U – Exploring the Temple-Studded Forests and Hills
Sittwe – Departure
- Journey into the mystique of Myanmar's untouched architecture and spirituality, visiting the ancient temple sites of Bagan, Mrauk U, and Bago
- Hot air balloon above Bagan to marvel at its significant scale, then be guided around the most important of the 2,300 temples
- Discover the atmospheric living monuments of Bagan, temples, and pagodas that remain an essential part of local village life
- Join the locals at Yangon's Shwedagon, a shimmering golden pagoda and the most important Buddhist monument in the country
- Spend a day in Bago, where a 114-meter pagoda is covered in 1.5 tons of gold, and a reclining Buddha stretches out 55 meters
- Explore the ancient world of Mrauk U, deep in the western fringes of the country, the last and great capital of the Arakan Kingdom
- Spend two days exploring Mrauk U exquisite and unique fortified temples, many of them hidden in thickly-wooded hills
A fortified Arakan Kingdom temple hides on a jungle-enshrouded hill as a cluster of sandstone temples crumble evocatively beside the Irrawaddy River. Golden pagodas rise over 100 meters into the sky to dominate tiny market towns. Young monks pray in 11th-century temples, while pilgrims meditate softly at glistening city monuments. So much of Myanmar could be described as old-world as the mystical temples, and pagodas are a start point to the discovery of ancient kingdoms laced in legend. These same images of Myanmar are very much a part of today as 11th-century temples are still in active use, fabled narratives are integral to the everyday, and odes to history become the start point for the here and now. A visit to Myanmar immerses you in a lost world, one that has been preserved through the country's isolation from the rest of the world. Your trip is not a museum-style visit as you discover how the lost world is very much alive.
This 10-day itinerary explores the most significant old kingdoms in Myanmar. Start in Bagan, where 2,300 temples and pagodas stand like charismatic sentinels to the past. Such a complex realm requires several days to enable you to explore all its intricacies and nuance. Discover the icons of Old Bagan, great temples by the river that reflect different stages of the building boom between the 11th and 13th-centuries. Take a horse-drawn carriage through the Central Plains, an evocative landscape of faded sandstone and powerful mystique. A hot air balloon ride also showcases the spellbinding allure of the area. Discover how the temples remain the essential piece of local life as you visit villages that are centered on glorious 11th-century structures. Explore at a relaxed pace, and enjoy many iconic sunsets over the Bagan plains.
Travel next to Yangon to soak up the spirituality of Shwedagon Pagoda, the country's most important Buddhist monument. With its golden facade that changes with the sun, be engrossed by the meditative chanting and the emotions of local pilgrims. A day trip to Bago introduces another lost world, this time symbolized by an 114-meter pagoda that drips in gold and a huge Buddha that reveals a kingdom's conversion to Buddhism.
The itinerary is completed with several nights in Mrauk U, the ancient capital of the great Arakan Kingdom. Only accessible to foreigners in the last couple of years, stupas hide on jungle-covered hills, fortified temples showcase power and beauty, while rustic lanes take you to monuments that have eroded yet remain unbowed. While Bagan is often defined by its scale, Mrauk U is remembered by its often bizarre details, like the sculpted guards that show off all 64 of Arakan's medieval haircuts. Like the more famous site of Bagan, the experience remains a confluence of a lost world with an atmospheric rural present.
$1,795 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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