Explore the former capital Yangon (Rangoon), British Colonial architecture and its environs exclusively with most outstanding historic and cultural highlights such as, Sule Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha and famous Bogyoke (Scott) Market. Finish the day at the world largest and the most impressive Shwedagon Pagoda, and experience the spectacle of sunset over the golden heart of Myanmar. Learn about the history and stories of Shwedagon Pagoda, and its special importance in Myanmar’s cultural and religious life.
The golden rock balanced on the cliff, Mawlamyine – an important trading town on the south and also a capital of Mon State and Thanbyuzayat – famous for its Death Railway by the thousands of Allied POW. You will find the local peoples and landscape beyond your imagination. Bago – the ancient Mon Capital, Kyaikhtiyo .
Afterwards you will drive through a charming tropical landscape to Mottam (Martaban), where the mighty Salween joins the Gulf of Martaban. And visit Kyaik-Than-lan Pagoda.
Kyaik-than-lan pagoda was erected in 875 A.D. during the reign of King Mutpi Raja. A hair relic of the Buddha, Tripitaka manuscripts and gold images of the Buddha were enshrined in the pagoda. Thanbyuzayat about 34 km from Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat was the starting point of the “Death Railway” connecting Myanmar and Thailand with the Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the Japanese during World War II. Kyaikhkami. Another 28 km southward lays Kyaikkhami, a popular coastal resort during British times with its well-known Kyaikkhami Pagoda built literally in the sea.
Upon arrival, Myanmar Damsel’s tour guide welcomes you at Yangon int’l airport and offers you any assistance needed before leaving the Arrivals terminal, you will be on your way to check into your hotel to drop off your luggage. In the afternoon, visit begins in the former Burmese Capital Yangon. You will drive through Yangon’s busy roads and take a glimpse of the hustle downtown, Mahabandoola Park, Town Hall. See the magnificent colonial buildings of Victorian & Edwardian era architecture. This introductory drive will end with a stop near SULE PAGODA – dating back over 2,000 years ago, for brief photo taking. Next, visit BOTATAUNG PAGODA, named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from India over 2000 years ago.
Next, photo stop at Royal Lake with the background of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Finally visit sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, the finest of Yangon and perhaps the most stunning religious edifice in the world. Take your time to enjoy seeing this impressive feature and watching local people. Stroll on its platform surrounded by set of smaller temples, shrines and pavilions, and observe numerous shops along the stairways selling various colorful items, flowers and books. As the sun sets, the reddish golden rays of Shwedagon reflect on everything around and turning into a magical arena. Great photo time & a moment to take away with you. Overnight in Yangon.
After breakfast at your hotel, overland drive to KyaikHto to go to the Golden Rock (121 miles, and approx. 4 hours drive). One the way, we visit to Htaukkyant War Cemetery. Then, visit to local colorful morning market and head to four seated Buddha images Kyaikpun Pagoda and Shwetharlyaung, built in 994 AD by King Mingadippa, It is 55 meters long and 16 meters high, one of the biggest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar. Then proceeded to Shwemawdaw Pagoda. After that continue drive to Kyaikhtiyoe which a small pagoda significant in size but unique for its position. The rock is completely covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of the cliff. Arrive at the base camp and proceed to the last station by open truck about an hour mountain drive. From there begin a light trekking up to the Golden Rock along the twisting footpath through bamboo forest. Arrive Golden rock slowly and take photo & video camera. Enjoy sunset beauty on hill top. Overnight in Kyaikhtyio (Golden Rock).
For early risers there will be an opportunity to experience the Golden Rock site around sunrise. After that, breakfast at your hotel. Then, descend on foot back to the 1st level. Continue down back to Kinpun base camp by truck. Then proceed by car to Hpa-An (120 km, 3 hours drive), capital of Karen State. Before entering Hpa-An, visit famous Bayint Nyi Naung Gu, the natural limestone cave containing hot springs and which draws visitors from the nearby area for their reputed healing powers.
The springs are divided into three pools, one for monks, one for men and one for women. And next visit Kawgun Cave located near Kawgun Village, which is 2 miles outside Hpa-An township. It is a natural limestone cave 200 ft. high and 300 ft. long. The rock face near the entrance is profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images that date back to the 15th century A.D. Hanthawaddy period.Afterwards transfer to Hotel for check in. In the late afternoon, stroll around Hpa-An town, and sunset at Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda,which is situated at the bank of Than Lwin River. Overnight in Hpa-An.
After breakfast at Hotel, enjoy the early morning sun scenery from the Town Hall area and explore the colorful central market. Next, stop at Kyaukkalab Stupa, also called water lake monastery, and then, visit Lumbini Garden at the base of Mount Zwekabin. There are 1,000 Gantgaw trees with same style Buddha statues.
Then continue drive to Kaw Nhat and Kado villages. Observe the beautiful and ornate monastery in Kaw Nhat village donated by U Nar Auk, a famous rich man in Mon State who competed in water transport against British businessmen in the colonial era. After a visit of Bo Daw Kyaung, another old monastery in Kado village. Afterwards, proceed to Mawlamyine and check in Hotel. In the afternoon, we take you an excursion by car and boat to observe the highlights of the Mawlamyine city of Mon State. First we travel by private boat to Gaungse Kyun also known as Shampoo Island. In the middle of the Thanlwin River lies this charming island. The name originates from the Ava period, when water from a holy spring here was used for an annual royal hair washing ceremony.
Then, continue sightseeing in Mawlamyine including visits to Mahamuni Paya and Kyaikthalan Paya, the highest pagoda in the area, offering beautiful views of the surrounding plain and the Thanlwin River. Originally dating back to the year 825, the pagoda has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years. Then next visit to Seindon Mibaya Monastery, the highlight of Mawlamyine. This monastery was built by the wife of King Mindon after she narrowly escaped death and stayed in hiding following the death of her husband. The interior is decorated with exquisite wood carvings. To end the day’s sightseeing at the U Zina Paya and sunset with a clear panoramic view of the city and river from View Point Hill. Overnight in Mawlamyine.
After breakfast, transfer to popular local markets. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the colorful market. Not only fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish but also the old model buses are the attraction of this market. And then proceed to Win Sein Tawya Pagoda. Admire the longest (unfinished) Reclining Buddha in the world, built by Mon monks and private donors. When finished it will be a stunning 160 meters long. Inside the statue will be meditation centers, a monastery and rooms to accommodate the monks.
Take another 30 minutes drive to Mudon, of interest mainly because of its weaving industry. Visit one small workshop where you can observe the weaving for cotton blankets and longyis. Head to your next destination Thanbyuzayat, actually well known for its tragic role in WW ll. It was the end-station of the notorious “Death Railway” from Thailand to what was then called Moulmein, nowadays known as Mawlamyine. Explore the small, but nicely kept Allied War Cemetery, which contains 3771 graves of Allied POWs who died building the railway, mostly British, American, Dutch and Australian soldiers. Lunch at a local restaurant in Thanbyuzayat.
Continue to Kyaikkhami, whose main interest is the Yele Paya, a metal-roofed Buddhist shrine complex perched over the sea and reached via a long two-level causeway. When the tide is high, the beach level walkway can be submerged. Explore this famous religious pagoda with a special atmosphere and some lovely views.
Drive back the same way and proceed to Set Se beach, even it is not a very nice beach, and the strip of sand is quite wide and clear. The place is very popular with the locals from Thanbyuzayat and Mawlamyine, and particularly weekends are busy there. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the beach and – time permitting – a lovely sunset as well. Return by vehicle to Mawlamyine. Overnight in Mawlamyine.
Mr Miroslaw (5th MAR 19)
MR. PAUL METCALFE (14 JAN 18 – 25 JAN 18)
MR. PASCAL THIERY & PARTY (14 JAN 18 – 30 JAN 18)
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