Today start the tour at 05:00.
Get a bird’s-eye perspective of the famous temples with this balloon tour over Bagan. Take a sunrise hot air balloon flight, an unforgettable way to see Myanmar’s famed archaeological site.
Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a light snack while watching the crew inflate the balloons. Once ready, the pilot will give a detailed safety briefing and introduction to the ballooning experience. Climb aboard and take off! Rise slowly above the tree line and see the pagodas come into view. Be enchanted by the site of the temples being illuminated by the sun’s early morning rays.
The duration and balloon path are dependent on the wind conditions, but generally the balloon tour over Bagan lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. Descend to ground level where the crew will be waiting. Raise a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate the flight and enjoy a light breakfast while the balloon is packed up. Then transfer back to the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, aboard the ‘Elephant Coach’ with an archaeology expert for a half day exploration of the Bagan archaeological zone. The old Chevrolet bus was once used to transport dignitaries during the war and has since been painstakingly restored into a luxurious coach with elegant wood and hand-woven fabrics decorating the interior. Set off in the morning to make the most of the day, examining the main sites and many hidden gems.
To grasp the sheer scale of Bagan’s archaeological wonders, start with a visit to an elevated point for sweeping views over the plains. Be awestruck by the sight of thousands of monuments rising majestically from the flat, arid landscape.
Then get an up-close look at Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan. The earlier in the morning the fewer tour buses that are here, providing the opportunity to appreciate the architecture and towering Buddha statues without the crowds. Continue to the nearby Tharabar Gate which marks the entrance to the former city of Bagan. Hear how the town was relocated south to avoid damage to the archaeological sites. Explore some of these sites that are less well-known but extremely impressive.
After midday, take a break from touring and enjoy lunch at Sanon restaurant, a vocational training restaurant training and employing young people from disadvantaged communities, and serving delicious Burmese-Western fusion cuisine.
Then head to a local spa based on the expert guide’s recommendation for a 1-hourfoot massage to relax and escape the afternoon heat.
Afterwards, travel by luxury horse cart for a tour passing some of Bagan’s most iconic landmarks. These could include Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, or Sulamani Temple.
During the late afternoon transfer to a jetty on the Irrawaddy River by the same luxury horse cart. After arriving at the jetty embark on a short boat ride across the river to a sandbank, otherwise known as a river island, on the western shore. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset experience including champagne and snacks while watching a group of local people play Chinlone, Myanmar’s national sport involving players kicking a ball made of handwoven rattan.
After this full day luxury sightseeing tour, return to the hotel.