Arrive in Yangon. Meet with Nature Dream Travels & Tours representative or guide at Yangon international airport and transfer to hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is still a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes Yangon one of the most fascinating and authentic capitals of South-East Asia. After lunch, a city tour includes the National Museum, Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda's 70m long reclining Buddha, downtown Yangon with its faded colonial atmosphere, Sule Pagoda, Mahabandoola Park, India town and bustling China town. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon-Bagan (B)
After breakfast at the hotel transfer to Yangon's Mingaladon Airport for the flight to Bagan. Arrive in Bagan just before noon. Thousands of ancient stupas and temples in this area make Bagan, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. From the 11th till 13th century, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the kings of constructed huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
Visit the lesser known area of Myinkaba with several old temples and feel the atmosphere of the former royal days. End the day with a horse and carriage tour among the temples passing by the traditional village of Taungbi, Sulamani Temple and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Enjoy the sunset over the site from the upper terrace of Myauk Guni Temple. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 3: Bagan (B)
After breakfast, morning sightseeing of Bagan features the colourful Nyaung Oo Market, the Shwezigon Pagoda and its magnificent golden stupa, Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jatakas murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. In the afternoon observe the process of traditional lacquerware, one of Myanmar's best-known handicrafts and a speciality of Bagan. Visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece of the early-style temple with four impressive standing Buddha images, Ananda Okkyaung, one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. End the day with a boat trip on the Irrawaddy River during sunset. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 4: Bagan-Mount Popa-Mandalay (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano over 1,500m high, about 48km south east of Bagan. Mount Popa has played an important role in Myanmar culture, religion and history since the earliest times. Its shrine is dedicated to the worship of the 37 Nats, the Burmese ancient animist spirits. The view over the Myingyan Plain from the top of the Popa-Taung Kalat volcanic peak is simply breathtaking. Continue by road and head to the Mandalay, the former capital of Myanmar. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 5: Mandalay (B)
A sightseeing tour of Mandalay, Myanmar's cultural capital, features Mahamuni Pagoda, famous for its venerable statue of Buddha covered with gold leaf. Mandalay has long been known as a centre of skilled craftsmanship and in former times supplied the royal courts. A tour of traditional workshops includes crafts such as woodcarving, marble masonry, Kalaga tapestry and gold-leaf making. After lunch visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world's biggest book), Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite woodcarving and the impressive Kyauktawgyi Pagoda with it's huge sitting Buddha. Enjoy the sunset from Mandalay Hill. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 6: Mandalay-Mingun-Ava-Amarapura-Mandalay (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the jetty and board a private chartered boat for a cruise over the Irrawaddy River towards the former capital of Mingun. After a 45-minute cruise, arrive in Mingun, famous for its huge unfinished pagoda also home to the Mingun Bell, considered as the world's largest uncracked ringing bell. Also visit the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda. Head down the river by boat to Sagaing, two hours away, passing Sagaing Hill dotted with hundreds of white stupas. Continue to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, and visit by horse and carriage the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and fort. At the end of the day transfer to Amarapura, the 18th century capital and visit the 200-year old U-Bein Bridge during sunset as villagers cross the bridge on their way home. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 7: Mandalay-Heho-Pindaya-Inle Lake (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho in Shan State. Continue by car and enjoy a scenic drive to Pindaya through the picturesque countryside of Shan State. Visit Pindaya's limestone cave with its maze of chambers displaying more than 8,000 Buddha statues and local handicraft workshops producing Shan paper made from mulberry bark and traditional umbrellas made from the same paper that are used by monks all around the country. Continue the trip to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar's best-known sights. The Intha people, a tribe of Mon descent, mostly inhabit the lakeshores and floating villages. On arrival at Nyaung Shwe village, check in at hotel (for hotel with lake location, transfer by boat). Overnight at Inle Lake.
Day 8: Inle Lake (B)
After breakfast, a full day tour of Inle Lake by boat includes a chance to see the leg-rowing fishermen and the floating gardens, built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit a floating village at Ywama, the lake's downtown, where a floating market is held every five days. The tour also includes a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and the jumping cat monastery, with beautiful antique Buddha statues. Overnight at Inle Lake.
Day 9: Inle Lake-In Dein-Heho-Yangon (B)
After breakfast, visit In Dein in the south of the lake by motor boat. From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the village of In Dein, a recently opened area in Shan State. After a walk around the village, passing a local school, take the covered stairway to the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area where ancient stupas are partly covered by vegetation. From here there is a magnificent view over the lake. Continue visits of the lake by boat and in the afternoon transfer to Heho Airport for the flight back to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 10: Depart Yangon (N/A)
After breakfast end the tour with a visit to Myanmar's holiest monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda with its golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold leaf. After lunch, free time for shopping at Bogyoke Market, formerly Scott's Market, before transferring to Mingaladon Airport for late afternoon departure flight.