Learn about the rich royal history of the ancient cities near Mandalay on this cultural tour. Stroll along the longest teak foot bridge in the world and visit what could have been the world’s biggest pagoda. Relax on leisurely boat rides along the Irrawaddy River.
Ancient Cities along the Irrawaddy River
Who would love this tour?
Highlights of Ancient Cities along the Irrawaddy River
- Explore three former royal capitals surrounding Mandalay
- Visit record-breaking sites such as U Bein Bridge and the Mingun Bell
- Take in this ancient history from the unique perspective of the Irrawaddy River
Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
- Face masks required for both travellers and guides in public areas
- Face masks provided for travellers
- Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff on the tour
- Social distancing enforced throughout the experience
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
- Minimum of two times temperature checks for travellers and staff in a day
Destinations in this tour
A visit to U Bein bridge before Ava
Today’s historic tour starts after breakfast at 8.30 am from your hotel in Mandalay. Our knowledgeable local guide will escort you in a private car towards the first of today’s three ancient royal capitals – Amarapura, capital from 1783 until 1859. We will visit a silk-weaving workshop to learn about this impressive tradition from the artisans themselves. Then, we proceed to the iconic U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak footbridge constructed of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. Stroll along part of the 1.2km length of the bridge to take in wonderful views of Taungtaman Lake over which it spans.
Afterwards, it is time to visit Ava by private car. This ancient site was the royal capital from the 14th to 18th centuries and you have the option of taking a short tour around by horse cart. For those that prefer to remain in the comfort of the private car, all the main sites can also be visited by this means of transport, although it may mean a bit of extra walking. We will explore Bargayar Monastery with its beautiful teak wood structure and stunning carvings, and Maha Aungmyae Bonzan Monastery, an imposing brick monastery dating back to the 19th century.
Explore Sagaing and Mingun
From Ava, we will head towards our third ancient capital of the day by boat on the beautiful Irrawaddy River. A local lunch will be served along the way with the beautiful river providing a gorgeous backdrop against which to enjoy the delicious meal. Upon arrival in Sagaing take local transport (tuk-tuk) and head to Swan Oo Ponnya Shin Pagoda, which offers wonderful views of the surrounding nature. Sagaing is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar and its famous hill is dotted with hundreds of pagodas and monasteries.
After the tuk-tuk adventure we will return to the jetty to travel by boat to Mingun village. After a 45-minute scenic ride, we will arrive at Mingun pier from where you can view the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an enormous stupa which would have been the biggest in the world if it was completed. Take some time to look around this magnificent site and then walk to the Mingun Bell, the world’s largest ringing bell, believed to weigh some 200,000 pounds. Crawl underneath the bell to crouch beneath this massive structure if you dare. Then continue on foot to the white-washed Hsinphymae Pagoda with its notable architecture and history. This is one of the best places in the country for photography and wedding couples often come here to take their pre-wedding photos, a tradition in Myanmar.
Just before the sun starts to set return to the boat to enjoy the sunset on the ride back to Mandalay while enjoying a glass of local wine or beer.
Upon arrival at Mandalay jetty transfer to your hotel by private car.
include & exclude
What is included in this tour?
Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
- Hotel pick up and drop off at the hotel in Mandalay
- Private transfer by car
- Private boat trip to three ancient cities
- Professional tour guide
- Lunch on the boat
- Visit Ava by Horse car (or) by car
- Visit Sagaing by Tuk Tuk
What is not included in this tour?
Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
- Entrance fees in Ava and Mingun
- Camera fees and personal expenses
- Other sightseeing does not mention above
- Tips for guide and others
What is the cancellation policy for this tour?
This tour can be cancelled up to 2 days (48 hrs) before the travel start date for a 90% refund and if you cancel less than 2 days before the travel start date or no-show there are no refunds. The Government Tax (5%) is non-refundable.
Does entrance fees include in the price?
Usually, the Combo tickets (Zone fees/ Entrance fees) for this tour are not included in our price in case you already bought a Combo ticket before your tour. If so, we recommend you to bring your Combo ticket with you at all times during your visit (or) our guide will assist you to buy this.
Can I book this tour last minute?
We say yes, and but it is subject to the availability. We have set up the booking cut off time in 2 days and if you want to book less than 2 days please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Then we can get back to you with the information to help you book the tour.
What do I need to bring with me to do this tour?
We suggest you carry slipper and something to protect from the sun and the dust. Shorts or sleeveless tops and shoes are not allowed to enter the place of Pagodas and Religious area.
I am a solo traveller, can I book this tour?
We operate this tour in privately as we, MUL considered to the privacy of the travellers and not sharing with other travellers. But solo traveller can still book for this tour if you choose 2 pax in the booking. In a certain condition, you may also request for the (solo) price by email.
Is a vegetarian option available for this tour?
Yes, Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required.