The Yangon and Bagan shore excursion is the stunning combination of two major attractions in Myanmar. Start your tour with a visit to explore Yangon – the former capital of Myanmar as stop at most of the highlights in this city including the sacred pagoda- Shwedagon Pagoda and British colonial buildings. Continue your trip to Bagan, gain a firs-hand experience of taking a panorama view of temples, the whole city from balloon. Your excursion will be perfect as you savor on authentic Burmese foods.
Day 1: Cruise Terminal – Yangon – Bagan (Lunch)
Upon pickup from Thiwala port, meet your private driver and guide who’ll take you 25km northward to Yangon. Start the trip at Chaukhtatgyi Paya (or Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha) Pagoda, which houses a magnificent 65m-long reclining Buddha donning a crown encrusted with diamonds and gems. Next, visit the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda, located atop of a hill. Start from the foot of the hill, and follow your guide on a long entrance stairway to the main terrace, passing by various markets, worships, and monasteries. Learn about the daily life of local dwellers in the immediate vicinity and Burmese Buddhism as you visit the monks. If you don’t want to climb, elevators and escalators are also available. As you come up from the covered walkway, marvel at the glittering marbled main terrace, dotted with holy worship halls and pavilions. Take off your shoes before venturing deep inside to listen to your guide introducing Myanmar spiritual beliefs.
Follow your guide downtown to discover British colonial buildings. Marvel at the old charms of magnificent colonial architecture as you stroll through the City Hall, Inland Water Transport Building, Custom House, and the Stand Hotel – one of Southeast Asia’s historic colonial hotels. After lunch in a local restaurant, travel northwest to visit National Museum. Its main treasure – the impressive gem-encrusted Lion Throne that belonged to the last king of Myanmar – makes up for the inadequately labeled and lit exhibitions. See the ostentatious lifestyle of the old kings as you stroll through the display of lavish beds, gold rugs, ivory kitchen chairs, and embellished ceremonial attires. End the day trip with a 1-hour flight to Bagan. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 2: Bagan – Yangon – Cruise Terminal (Breakfast, Lunch)
A sunrise flight over Bagan is a unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere in the world of travel. We will start our trip early in the morning before the sunrise by a private transfer to the departure point (much depending on the wind).
Have your light breakfast with coffee or tea and see how the crew do their works on balloons to inflates them. A thorough safety briefing follows before you start your 45 minutes to 1-hour balloon flight. Upon landing, retrieve vehicles will be on hand to serve sparkling wine and refreshments before a transfer us back meeting point to start our city tour.
The whole balloon excursion door to door normally last between 2h30 and 3h. Options: Flights in the afternoon are also available on request but are more prone to cancellations due to weather conditions.
For an extra touch, a VIP service is available. Only 8 people per day will be able to book this option. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to an adjacent launch site exclusive for the VIP balloon. Your pilot will give you an up-close tour of the balloon as it is being prepared for inflation. After landing a complimentary CD-Rom of the flight will be given to each VIP.
City Tour: Start your city tour with a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda where you’ll learn about Burmese spirit worship, besides from Burmese Buddhism which you have learned on the previous day. Venture inside to see 37 figures of pre-Buddhist nat (spirit), which were officially institutionalized by Bamar monarchy. Next, head to KU Byanuk Gyi temple, which features spectacular murals of Jakarta scenes. Continue on to Khay Min Ga Temple to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of numerous surrounding monuments. Next up is Ananda Temple. A masterpiece in the incorporation of Myanmar and India architectural styles, the temple houses four standing Buddhas, each facing a distinct direction. Continue on to Mingala Zedi Paya (or Blessing Stupa), which is built in a huge bell-like dome structure. After lunch in a local restaurant, continue to visit Bagan House Artistic Lacquerware factory to witness the artisans working on different stages of lacquer making and see a nice collection of good quality lacquerware. Afterward, transfer back to airport & board your plane back to Yangon for cruise departure. Trip ends. NOTE: The Balloons over Bagan only run from October to March, due to weather conditions in Myanmar.