Since the new highway Hanoi - Lao Cai was open since September 2014, the day bus is certainly the tourists' choice. Train timetable is not suitable for travelers. It leaves...
Mandalay Orientation: Mahamuni & Amarapura
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-001
Price: US$ 58/ person (from 8 people) – incl boat ride – full day car and guide
A perfect introduction to Mandalay. We start at 14.00 pm with the Mahamuni pagoda and have a look at this century’s old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. It is a very lively temple compound where men are sticking gold leaves to the Buddha statue. The Mahamuni is also an excellent place to shop around for the perfect Buddha statue (bronze or wood). Can’t find what you are looking for? Find a marble statue at the next stop which is the marble carving street. The old capital of Amarapura is a very quiet village nowadays where you only hear the sound of the weaving machines. We walk through the famous Mahagandayon monastery complex with hundreds of monks, visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge and take a boat ride before heading back to your hotel.
A Cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River
Full day – Code: KMM-MDL-002A
Price: US$ 98/ person (from 8 people) – private cruise incl lunch
Mandalay and the other former royal capitals around it have all been capital cities for one major reason: they are situated on the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy). Feel the breeze of the river and imagine how it must have been to arrive by boat at the court of Ava. From the jetty in Mandalay we go upstream to visit the Mingun Pagoda; it shows a big crack caused by an earthquake and houses a giant bronze bell. We take a leisurely boat cruise downstream to Ava and enjoy a lunch packed in rattan baskets. In Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site. The various ancient temple ruins used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was a capital. Return to Mandalay by car. An ideal excursion if you don’t take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan since the most interesting part of the long boat ride is covered in this shorter cruise.
A Cruise to Visit Ava, Sagaing & Amarapura
Full day – Code: KMM-MDL-002B
Price: US$ 98/ person (from 8 people) – private cruise incl lunch and Amarapura visit
From the jetty in Mandalay we take a leisurely boat cruise for about 2 hours downstream to Sagaing passing the temple dotted hills where we stop and visit the Setkyar Thida nunnery. We continue by boat to Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site past ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings. Lunch will be taken in Ava before we continue to Amarapura by car. The old capital of Amarapura is a very quiet village nowadays where you only hear the sound of the weaving machines. We visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge. An ideal excursion if you don’t take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan since the most interesting part of the long boat ride is covered in this shorter cruise.
A Visit to Mingun
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-002C
Price: US$ 45/ person (from 8 people) – Mingun & market – half day
If you have limited time in Mandalay but still want to have the cruise experience we suggest you to visit Mingun. A short ride from the hotel brings you to the Mingun jetty where your boat is ready to cruise upstream. In Mingun you visit the bell as well as the cracked temple. Return by boat to Mandalay and visit the lively Yadanabon market which starts at 3pm in the afternoon before returning to the hotel around 6pm.
The Glass Palace and the Royal History of Mandalay
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-003
Price: US$ 63/person (from 8 people) – incl lunch – full day car and guide
King Thibaw and Queen Supayalat were the last royalties of Burma until being sent to exile. Today we visit the places linked to their history. We start with the Mandalay fort and visit the rebuilt palace designed by king Mindon. From here we continue to visit the most beautiful part which is the wood-carved Shwenandaw monastery just outside the palace in which king Mindon lived and died. King Thibaw later used this building for meditation. We continue to the lesser-known Setkyathiha pagoda with a bronze Buddha statue, brought to Mandalay by king Thibaw just before the beginning of the war. The royal family collected many religious artefacts and we witness the process of making gold leaves, woodcarvings and silver or gold threaded kalagas (tapestry). We finish with a meal of traditional homemade curries. Rest of the day car and guide is available.
Visiting the Temple Ruins of Paleik
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-004
Price: US$ 35/ person (from 8 people)
This is an ideal excursion in the morning. The snake temple in Paleik is known for the 3 pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue that are being washed and fed daily at 11.00 am by local worshippers. Lesser known are the ancient temple ruins in the same area, many of them over 200 years old and partly overgrown by vegetation. It’s a sort of “mini Bagan” and you probably find yourself alone, feeling like the first foreigner ever to discover this place, surrounded by temples. After visiting Paleik we continue to your end destination.
Meditating in Ava & Sagaing
Full day – Code: KMM-MDL-005
Price: US$ 75/ person (from 8 people) – including lunch
Sagaing is the centre of Buddhism in Myanmar and is housing more than 6000 monks and nuns, in monasteries near over 500 stupas. Set on a hill on the riverbank of the Ayeyarwaddy River it’s a very peaceful place and a meditation teacher will introduce the principles of Buddhism and meditation. Nope – it’s not only for Buddhists – it’s simply an eye-opener for everybody to concentrate on breathing, focusing the mind on one thing only and de-stressing. We’re sure you will be amazed by the results to get “peace of mind”. And if you really don’t like it after 30 minutes? Don’t worry – Sagaing is a lovely village to walk around and we will visit a nunnery. We continue to Ava for lunch and to take a horse cart and visit the beautiful wooden monastery and the ancient temple ruins in the afternoon.
Mandalay Monuments – the hill, the monastery and the book
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-006
Price: US$ 41/ person (from 8 people) – Car and guide available for the full day
It’s not just the former capital cities around Mandalay that are interesting to visit. During this half day tour (morning or afternoon) we will take you to the most famous monuments of Mandalay starting with the top of Mandalay hill for a great view over the Mandalay fort. We continue to Atumashi and the Shwenandaw monasteries which are excellent examples of the architecture and crafts work of this region and we end with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda with the white marble slabs. The rest of the day the car and guide are available for additional visits till 6 pm if wanted – we suggest you to visit Yankin Hill.
Visit the former British Hill station Pyin Oo Lwin
Full day – Code: KMM-MDL-007
Price: US$ 69/ person (from 8 people) – private tour with lunch
A private taxi will take you to the entrance of the botanical gardens in Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), established in 1915. You will arrive in this former British hill station around 10:30 am and have time to walk around the well-maintained garden featuring over 480 species of flowers and trees.
Visit in the colonial town places like for example the colonial Candacraig hotel, the
former Japanese police station, the church of England, the Governors house, a local colonial house and the market.
Lunch is served in a colonial restaurant.
During this tour you will get to know the colonial history of this former British hill station. 365-MDL-007
Amarapura by Bike
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-008
Price: US$ 52/ person (from 8 people) – good mountain bikes including transfers
An active and interesting half-day trip outside the city. Together with your guide, enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride from the centre of Mandalay to the quiet town of Amarapura. We stop on the way at a local teashop and visit a colourful market. On arrival in Amarapura we park our bikes and walk over the teak-wooden U Bein Bridge and visit the nearby monastery. On the way back we visit a local weaving workshop and a workshop were tiny bits of gold are flattened into thin gold leaves. Transfers to and from the bike shop are with local transportation, which could be anything from a trishaw to a local bus.
Snake Temple, Picnic in Ava, and a Motorbike Ride
Full day – Code: KMM-MDL-009
Price: US$ 86/ person (from 8 people) - incl lunch, motorbike tour
A day on which you don’t have to wake up early; we only leave around 10.00 am on motorbikes (1 person per motorbike taxi) in the direction of Paleik. The snake temple in Paleik is known for the three pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue and being washed and fed daily at 11.00 am by local worshippers. Lesser known are the ancient temple ruins in the same area, many of them over 200 years old and partly overgrown by vegetation. We continue by motorbikes over a small road leading us through “the back door” to the former capital of Ava (Inwa). We enjoy a picnic lunch right next to one of the ancient temple ruins that used to be frequented by kings and queens of the Ava court. We continue by motorbikes and stop at any temple you like before taking a ferry across the small river and heading back towards Mandalay around 17.00 pm.
Night Market, Beer & BBQ, and the Mandalay Marionettes
Evening – Code: KMM-MDL-010
Price: US$ 66/ person (from 8 people) – incl beer, dinner and marionettes show
A fun tour to get to know the real Mandalay, starting with a visit to a viewpoint near the Ayeyarwaddy river as well as the lively fish market. Continue to the busy Yadanar night market to have some traditional snacks and a walk around before heading to one of the most famous beer stations and BBQ restaurants in Mandalay. Your guide will order the food and make sure you’re satisfied. Continue before 20.30 pm to the excellent Mandalay marionettes theatre for a show performed by a mix of traditional dancers, musician and puppeteers.
Biking Tour: Magnificent Mandalay Mornings
Half day – Code: KMM-MDL-012
Price: US$ 44/ person (from 8 people) – Half day joining biking tour incl transfers by motorbike
We start biking from our conveniently located shop and ride through the back lanes to get out of town. We pass through fresh markets, lively neighbourhoods and head for the north east of the city. After only a short pedal we find ourselves in the true countryside where farmers tend to their fields and villagers go about the daily rituals that have remained unchanged for decades, if not longer. Water buffalo lazily roll in the mud, goats nibble at the foliage, and friendly locals wave from all directions. We make some interesting stops, first at a fresh market to learn about the different produce on sale and then continue on to see bamboo weaving which is used to construct everything from roofs and walls to fans. We see a much sought after bean curd being produced and listen to the owner who will have you convinced it is the best quality bean product in the country. We take a walk through a typical central Myanmar village and learn about their way of life and their different crops. On our way back to town we stop at a tea shop for some delicious snacks and tea. We return to our shop at around 11:30/noon and bring you by motorbike back to the hotel. Please note, you should wear clothing suitable for this activity: quarter length pants, shorts, t-shirts are all advisable, as are comfortable closed shoes. Sunscreen is also a must. The tour includes transfers at 07:15 AM from your hotel to the starting point and back to your hotel by motorbikes .