Festive Mandalay; Oct 03-07, 2018
Visit Kyauk Se in Mandalay and join the locals in celebrating 'Swun Daw Gyi Pwe' or the 'Food Offering Festival' at one of the city's most festive times during the year. Explore the former capital with a visit to its most revered pagodas, Shwenandaw Monastery and Mandalay Hill to enjoy magnificent views across the city.
Festive Mandalay Itinerary
Upon arrival in Mandalay, meet/greet by our English-speaking guide and you will begin your sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with gold leaf, giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. Mandalay is well known for its skilled craftsmen and as you tour traditional workshops, you will learn more about the city’s cottage industries. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Today you will drive to Kyauk Se, located 42 kilometres south of Mandalay to see one of the most famous festivals in Myanmar. Every year, a dancing team from each of the 33 villages of the Kyauk Se area is involved in the competition.
Elephant figures are formed by bamboo frames and cloth and decorated with colourful, shining paper. A team includes 2 men that climb into the elephant figure to perform the “elephant dance”.
An oo zi (master of working with real elephants in the forest) are common to see performing with the elephant dancers.
There are three stages of the performance, with the baby elephant performing with the local youths being the most popular. The festival starts about 09:00 am and ends around 18:00 pm. There is also a short break from 13:30 to 15:00. Explore around the town to see the different dances and interact with locals who come from near and far villages.
Late in the afternoon, return to Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay.
This morning you will cross the Irrawaddy River to the ancient capital of Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar. It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centres and you will visit Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Paya and U Min Thone Sae (30 caves).
Then proceed to Kaung Mu Daw Pagoda to see a Swun (food) offering festival. You will see the procession with lay devotees; most of them dressed in white costumes and walking bare foot.
We then continue to Ava, once a royal capital from 14th to 18th centuries. Travel by horse and carriage through the area stopping to visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort.
On the way back to Mandalay, we stop to visit Amarapura and finish the day at U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 1.2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.
Overnight in Mandalay.
After breakfast, we visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’.
Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19thcentury Royal Palace. This grand teak building is known for its exquisite woodcarving.
Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River.
At the foot of Mandalay Hill is Kyauk Taw Gyi Paya, which will be celebrating its annual festival today. The festival is very entertaining with hundreds of locals gathering to make offerings, dance and eat local treats. Spend time here interacting with the visitors and sampling some dishes.
Overnight in Mandalay.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Mandalay International Airport for your onward flight.
|Price per person in USD|
5D4N Festive Mandalay
|Valid from Oct 01-30, 2018.|
|Hotel in Mandalay||Hotel / Room||02 Persons||03-04 Pax||SGL Supp.|
|Hotel My World||Standard / Superior||446||393||88|
|Yadanarpon Dynasty||First Class / Deluxe||488||434||123|
|Mandalay Hill Resort||Superior / Superior||685||632||290|
|Mandalay Hill Resort||Superior / Corner Deluxe||828||775||411|
|Land Cost does not include air passage to/from Mandalay. Please check with us for attractive airfare between Singapore and Mandalay.|
- All transfers and excursions in private air-conditioned vehicles
- 03 nights in a choice of accommodation in Mandalay in a shared twin or double room with daily breakfast
- Services of an English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the programme
- Horse cart tour in Ava
- Water and refreshing towels
- Air passage to/from Mandalay. Please check with us for attractive airfare between Singapore and Mandalay.
- Myanmar Visa and application fee, where required
- Visits not mentioned in the programme
- Travel insurance covering missed flights, trip curtailment and emergency medical evacuation, etc.
- Camera and video cameras fees, where applicable
- Tips & gratuities for guides & drivers
- Personal expenses like hard/soft drinks at meal times, phone bills, laundry, etc.
Myanmar Online Visa
- Please note that credit cards and traveller cheques are not accepted in Myanmar and that visitors must be bring sufficient cash (US Dollars is best but Euros also increasingly accepted) to change and make any purchases and payments. Please bring new US Dollar bills ("big heads" instead of "small heads") and with series numbers not starting with CB as these are not accepted in Myanmar due to rumours these series are counterfeit.
- Furthermore please be informed that you should NOT change money at the exchange booth at the airport just after immigration, as the market rate in town is MUCH better.
- A surcharge might apply for peak season dates (Water Festival 12-18 April, X'Mas, New Year, etc.
- Travellers to Myanmar are required to have a travel insurance covering the cost of medical evacuation flights.
- Visas are required by all visitors to Myanmar. A visa must be obtained before entering Myanmar or On Arrival Visa is available at all international airports (Yangon & Mandalay). The visa application form is also available at all international airline linked with Myanmar or on-line. To apply on arrival visa, one must have 2 passport photo (4x6 cm) taken within last 6 months and passport must be valid 6 months after arrival date.
- The schedules of domestic flights in Myanmar are provided as an indication only. Once a booking is confirmed we can provide more precise timings, but these remain nevertheless subject to change without notice by the airlines until travelling date. It might therefore in some cases be necessary to amend your programme and itinerary due to such schedule changes.