OPTIONAL: Wake up early this morning (around 4 am) and catch a local taxi to Mahamuni Pagoda.
Every morning before dawn, the monks wash the face and brush teeth of the ‘lumpy’ Buddha image with special fragrant water. The ritual takes around one hour and is a unique insight into Buddhism.
Return to your hotel around 07:30 am for breakfast. After breakfast at the hotel, depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Sagaing, Ava and Amarapura.
Cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.
Return toward the city and continue to explore the 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. As you travel by horse cart you’ll get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside.
Stop for lunch (on your own) in Ava before returning to our car.
In the afternoon, visit Amarapura, a former capital. Its name means ‘City of Immortality’ with Mahagandayon monastery, when over one-thousand monks reside. Continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge.
Back to your hotel. Overnight in Mandalay.
Tour guide: English speaking guide