Leave Mandalay for a 3-hour drive to Moniwa, a typical Burmese town on the Chindwin River. On the way, visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, were more than 500,000 Buddha images cover every wall and archway of this huge Buddhist temple. Also visit Bodihtataung Pagoda and the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar, 100m long and 27m high. In the afternoon, take an excursion from Moniwa to Kyaukka lacquer ware village and Shweguni Pagoda, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Upper Myanmar.
Day 2: Moniwa-Po Win Daung-Mandalay (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. After crossing the Chindwin River by boat, proceed by local open jeep to Po Win Daung. This extraordinary complex consists of 947 sandstone caves dug out of the hills and contains what is considered by archaeologists to be the richest collection of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in South East Asia. Recently opened to overseas visitors, Po Win Daung with its unique Buddha images and precious frescoes some dating from the early 17th century, is a must to see for anyone with an interest in Buddhist arts. A few hundred metres from the caves is Shwe Ba Daung, another very interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out of rocky narrow cliffs. Return to Mandalay in late afternoon.