Myanmar and Laos

Experience the best Myanmar and Laos have to offer. From the ancient pagodas of Bagan through mysterious Golden Triangle region to the charming colonial Luang Prabang

Tour length: 13 days / 12 nights
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Highlights of this itinerary

  • Visit the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda, 2500-year-old most revered temple in Myanmar
  • Admire the spectacular temples of Bagan constructed between 11th and 13th centuries
  • Observe leg-rowing fishermen of Intha tribe on the waters of picturesque Inle Lake
  • Visit the mysterious Golden Triangle region on the Myanmar-Thai-Laos border
  • Take a cruise on the mighty Mekong river
  • Explore ethinical minorities villages in Oudomxay
  • Experience the french colonial architecture of Luang Prabang

Day 1: Yangon (-/-/-)

Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a private tour and drive through downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and culture. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. Visit Mahabondoola Garden and the famous Chaukhtatgyi Temple, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha whose feet are carved with traditional symbols, and observe the locals praying and paying homage. Enjoy a visit to sprawling 75-year-old Scott Market. At the market you will find a whole variety of interesting Burmese souvenirs, from lacquerware to gems & jewelry – bargain at the stores to fully experience the Burmese market atmosphere! Next, proceed to the scenic Kandawgyi Royal Lake and take photos by the stunning floating Karaweik Royal Barge. End the day by observing local pilgrims and monks offering devotions at dusk and enjoy the magnificent sunset view at Shwedagon Pagoda. Overnight in Yangon. 

Day 2: Yangon - Bagan (B/-/-)

Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Bagan. Visit a busy local market to gain an insight into the bustling local atmosphere in Bagan. Spend the day by exploring the architectural masterpieces of this ancient town and by visiting a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples. Among others, visit Shwezigon Pagoda which is built a thousand years ago by King Anawratha as a religious shrine. Then visit the famous Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and Bagan’s most outstanding temple. Visit another historical pagoda, Htilominlo Pagoda before transfer to the hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, visit Lacquerware workshop to get to learn more about the techniques of creating artistic lacquer items perfected and passed down through generations. Then visit Manuha Temple and transfer to one of the pagodas for a marvelous sunset view. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset and a panoramic view from the top of the pagoda over the magnificent plains of Bagan. Overnight in Bagan.

Day 3: Bagan (B/-/-)

Optional activity (available from 1 October to 31 March): Drift over thousands of pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan for a truly unique sunrise hot air ballooning experience. The experience begins with a 5AM pick up from your hotel and transfer to a departure point. While sipping coffee/tea and having a croissant, observe how the crew inflates the giant balloons. Enjoy a magical 45-minute ride over one of the world’s most highly acclaimed ballooning spots. Upon landing, you will be served with sparkling wine and fresh fruits before a transfer back to your hotel at 8.30AM for breakfast.

After breakfast, visit villages around Bagan to explore the real way of life for most Burmese people. Walk around villages and learn more about local customs and culture and observe the villagers in their daily routine. Then proceed with a visit to the famous Damayazika and Damayangyi Pagodas. In the afternoon, take a horse cart ride among the ancient temples and pagodas and explore areas where cars are unable to enter. Wrap up the day with a transfer to the jetty for a sunset cruise along Irrawaddy river on a wooden private boat. Overnight in Bagan

Day 4: Bagan - Pindaya - Inle Lake (B/-/-)

Aftet breakfast, check out from the hotel and take a flight to Heho. From the airport, transfer to Pindaya, tranquil town set around a picturesque lake with a bustling market and spectacular views. On the way to Pindaya, observe local farmers working in the fields. The town is most famous for its extensive cave network which houses thousands upon thousands of glossy Buddha statues. It's also known for its handicrafts and you will visit a small factory that makes paper parasols and see the full process from the paper making to the hand painted decorations. Pindaya is inhabited by local tribes of Danu and Pa-O well-known for their traditional colorful headdresses. In the late afternoon, transfer to Nyaung Shwe, a vibrant town which is a gateway to Inle Lake. Overnight on the shores of Inle Lake.

Day 5: Inle Lake (B/-/-)

Take a full-day tour by private boat to explore the marvelous Inle Lake. Along the way observe leg-rowing fishermen, villages of Intha tribe built on stilts on the lake and floating gardens built up from up from the strips of water hyacinth anchored to the bottom with bamboo pools. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore numerous local crafts by visiting a weaving village, a local blacksmith and a cheroot factory. Visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, also called jumping cat monastery with unique Buddha status. Overnight in Inle Lake.

Day 6: Inle Lake (B/-/-)

Begin your day with a visit to the lake’s morning market, which rotates its location around lake’s villages every five days. You will encounter hill tribes people dressed in colorful, traditional outfits who come to sell and trade their wares. Then continue sightseeing in Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat through long, scenic channels. You will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with its complex ancient shrines and stupas and climb colonnades of stairways filled with numerous shop stalls to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Indein hills and the Inle Lake. Overnight in Inle Lake. 

Day 7: Inle Lake - Tachileik - Chiang Khong (B/-/-)

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Tachileik. On the way, visit Shwe Yan Pyay Pagoda, famous from postcards with hundreds of Buddha statues. Arrive to Tachileik on the border with Thailand and pass the imigration procedures to Thailand. Take a scenic drive along the Mekong river to your eco resort, located in a lush jungle in the heart of famous Golden Triangle. After check-in, explore with your guide Hmong and Lahu hill tribe village. Enjoy traditional Hmong performance during the dinner at the resort. Overnight in Chiang Khong.

Day 8: Chiang Khong - Pakbeng (B/L/-)

After breakfast, transfer to nearby border crossing with Laos and cross bridge on the Mekong River and complete the immigration formalities. Upon arriving in Laos, board a boat and cruise down the Mekong River to Pakbeng. Admire a local life on both banks of the river inhabited by various tribes living in a full symbiosis with the river. Stops are made at the villages en route to observe rural life along the Mekong River and discover dwellings of ethnic minority groups.  The boat arrives at Pakbeng before sunset. Overnight in Pakbeng.

Day 9: Pakbeng - Oudomxay (B/-/-)

This morning, continue your scenic journey by road to Oudomxay. The sceneries along the road are stunning with rice paddies, deep forested jungles, winding roads, lakeside views, palm trees. Visit a local tribal village en route and observe locals at their daily routines dressed in traditional clothing. Continue to Muang Xay and visit Phou That before transfering to the resort for check-in. Enjoy some free time at leisure to relax by the pool. Overnight at Namkat Yorlapa.

Day 10: Oudomxay (B/L/-)

Morning visit at a busy local market filled with exotic local foods and fresh produce. Spend the by visiting various ethnic villages (Akha, Ikos, Khmu & Hmong) by 4WD vehicle high in the hills to observe traditional way of life of local tribes. Enjoy the spectacular views on the way to the villages. Lunch box in one of the villages. Your local guide will intorduce you to their rich culture, religion and tradtions as well as teach you their handcraft methods passed down through generations. The locals are very friendly, enjoy chatting with foreigners and sharing their believes and traditions. Observe local farms, rice paddies and beautiful sceneries while you trek through villages. On the way back, stop in Muang La at Phachao Singkham Temple with its 400 year old Buddha image. Tour traditional salt mining in the nearby hot springs  Overnight at Namkat Yorlapa.

Day 11: Oudomxay - Luang Prabang (B/-/-)

This morning take a picturesque 4-hour drive to Ban Pak Ou caves, rewarded with amazing views. Most of the villages on the way are inhabited by the Hmong people who are distinctive in the way they dress. Once in Pak Ou, embark on a smll ferry boat and cross the Mekong river to visit Pak Ou Caves. Admire thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues located in two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They vary in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human. Continue your picturesque journey to Luang Prabang. At sunset climb the Phousi Hill to enjoy excellent views of the lush green World Heritage city and the Kane and Mekong River. Then stroll through the lively central night market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily to trade their goods. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 12: Luang Prabang (B/-/-)

Begin your day with a visit to the National Museum that used to be the Royal Palace, displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family, as well as the “Prabang” sacred golden statue that gave the name to the town. Contiunie sightseeing with visits to Vat Mai, the former royal temple, Heritage House, being a perfect example of Luang Prabang traditional building made of wood on poles, and Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. In the afternoon, cross the river by boat to discover a local daily life on the opposite side of Luang Prabang. After disembarking, walk through an open market and climb over a hundred steps to Vat Chompet from where you can enjoy a panoramic view over the surrounding area. Visit famous Long Khun & Tam Xieng Mene temples. Continue your walk and cross the Mekong to visit a sleepy Ban Chan village specialized in producing pottery and observe local life of its inhabitants. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 13: Luang Prabang (B/-/-)

Wake up early to witness alms giving ceremony. Monks carrying their bowls, wander through town blessing locals who give them offerings (mostly sticky rice). Return to the hotel for breakfast. Visit an open-air food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace. Then take an excursion by road to Kuang Si waterfalls where turquoise waters cascade over limestone formations. The abundance of water forms a magnificent display of nature. Below the Kuang Si are large turquoise ponds perfect for swimming and cooling off under the waterfall. Pass stupendous landscapes, teak forest and to visit a centre where the endangered black Asiatic bears found a safe shelter. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for international departure flight.

 

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • 12-night accommodation in double rooms
  • Daily breakfasts at hotels
  • 2 x box lunch (on the boat to Pakbeng and during ethnic villages excursion in Oudomxay)
  • 2 domestic flights Yangon-Bagan, Heho-Tachileik including checked baggage and passenger service charge and airport transportation
  • English-speaking station guides every day
  • All transfers and excursions are with private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private motorized boats for Inle Lake and Indein excursions with boatmen
  • Cruise on the Mekong river to Pakbeng
  • Ferris in Ban Pak Ou and Luang Prabang
  • 4WD vehicles excursion to ethnic villages in Oudomxay
  • Horse cart ride in Bagan
  • Daily mineral water and refreshing towels
  • Government taxes and service charges

OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • International flight tickets to/from Yangon
  • Meals other than mentioned (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Visa arrangements for Myanmar and Laos
  • Fuel surcharge for domestic flights if applicable
  • Visits not mentioned in the program
  • Camera fee wherever applicable
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Personal medical insurance (highly recommend to get one)
  • Any other items not mentioned
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