Mandalay (Sagaing *THU* – Gawein *SUN*)
Early risers can enjoy watching the sun rise over the Irrawaddy River and surroundings. After an early breakfast, disembark at Sagaing Jetty (Thursday only) or Gawein jetty (Sunday Only) at around 09.30/10.00 hrs.
Your guide will meet you at the jetty and depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Sagaing, Ava and Amarapura.
We start with a visit to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers and you will visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.
We’ll also visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. Here you will find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. We will also stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Then continue south of the city to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will take us across the river to where our horse and carriage are waiting. Visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins and as you travel by horse and cart you’ll get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside. We’ll stop for lunch in Ava before returning to our car.
Return toward the city and stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products. After touring this tranquil site, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. At 1.2 kilometers in length, it is the world’s longest teak span. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.
Return to Mandalay late this afternoon.
Overnight in Mandalay
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner