Myanmar, Thailand and Laos Explorer

Follow in the footsteps of great explorers and discover the golden temples, jade-green jungles and fascinating history of some of the most intriguing and captivating sites in Southeast Asia. From the glimmering pagodas of Yangon and Bagan, the bustling street markets of Bangkok and flawless natural beauty of Chiang Mai, to the charming colonial architecture of Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

Destinations included:
Yangon – Bagan – Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang – Vientiane

We pride ourselves in creating personalised travel experiences that suit all your preferences and needs.

With this tour you can:

  • Choose your own departure date
  • Select the comfort level of accommodation
  • Adjust activities to cater to special interests
  • Modify any aspect of the tour as needed
JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Exploring the temples and pagodas of Yangon
  • Witnessing the legendary beauty of Bagan
  • Discovering the charming colonial architecture of Salay
  • Seeing the iconic sunset over Ubein Bridge and Inle Lake
  • Hitting the streets of Bangkok with an expert guide
  • Cruising to the historic city of Ayutthaya 
  • Getting close to nature in beautiful Chiang Mai
  • Participating in the alms giving ceremony in Luang Prabang
  • Swimming in the clear turquoise pools of the Kuang Si Waterfall
  • Exploring the mysterious Buddha Park in Vientiane
TOUR INCLUSIONS
  • Carefully selected accommodation with breakfast
  • Other meals listed in the itinerary
  • Expert English-speaking local guide
  • Tours as mentioned and air-conditioned transfers
  • Sightseeing and permit fees during guided times
  • Boat cruises and rides while on tour
  • Flights to tour destinations (Economy Class)
  • Service charges and government VAT tax
TOUR MAP
ITINERARY BY DAY

Day 1: Arrival In Yangon
Arriving in Yangon, you will meet your friendly and informative guide at the airport who will accompany you on your transfer to your hotel. Relax at the hotel or take a walk on the nearby streets, exploring the neighbourhood and getting accustomed to this historic city.

Day 2: Yangon - Full Day City Tour
Although Yangon is no longer the official capital of Myanmar, it is still one of the most dynamic and busiest cities in the country. Today, explore the many cultural and historical attractions found amongst the charming and colourful scenes of everyday city life. Drive to downtown, making a stop at the impressive Town Hall, which is surrounded by picturesque old streets lined with colonial buildings and the perfect place to take pictures. See the colossal reclining Buddha of Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda and take a stroll in the park at Kandawgyi Lake. In the afternoon, grab a bargain at Scott Market (closed on Mondays and public holidays). In the evening take in the spectacular view of the beautifully illuminated Shwedagon Pagoda. This is the most important Buddhist site in the country and is said to hold strands of Buddha’s hair and other relics. The spire reaches up to 110m and is encrusted with diamonds and covered by gold plate.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Day 3: Yangon – Bagan
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Hop on a short flight to Bagan, looking down at an amazing landscape dotted with golden stupas and temples. The ancient city of Bagan once held more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. With the ravages of time only 2,200 temples survive. Spend the afternoon exploring some of the last remaining temples and watch the sunset over this ancient and wondrous site, from atop of the majestic Shwesandaw Pagoda.

Day 4: Salay Village Full Day Tour
Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and join you for the scenic 1.5 hour drive to Salay. Your first stop is Yoke Sone monastery, famous for its spectacular woodcarvings. Wander through the complex and marvel at the intricate designs. There are over 50 monasteries in this small town providing a great opportunity to chat with the monks and learn a little about Buddhism in Myanmar. Take a stroll through Salay and see the beautifully preserved collection of untouched British colonial buildings, continuing to Man Paya to admire the largest lacquer Bhuddha in Myanmar.

On the way back to Bagan, stop for lunch at West Phwa Saw village. Sit down to eat in a local home and chat with the family about their lives, before learning how to apply Thanaka and how to wrap a traditional Longyi. These traditional forms of make-up and clothing will be very familiar to you by the time you leave Myanmar!

Salay monastery

Day 5: Bagan - Full Day Tant Kyi Tuang Tour
Taking advantage of the cool morning weather, take a short drive to the nearby jetty and cruise to the Tant Kyi Taung Pagoda, perched on a hill on the western side of Irrawaddy River. The temple is said to house a great relic, a tooth from the Buddha himself given to the temple by a Sri Lankan king. Travel on to Manuha Temple, a small square shaped building that is steeped in legend, before continuing to Myinkaba village. See its ancient temple, adorned with well-preserved murals depicting the previous lives of Buddha, before popping into a local craft shop where lacquer ware is still expertly made by hand.

Day 6: Bagan - Fly To Heho
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Heho and Inle Lake.

Day 7: Inle Lake - Full Day Indein Tour
In the morning, visit one of the most famous local markets. It is held daily but the location of the event rotates through five different sites around the lake, so that each site hosts the roaming market every fifth day. You will gain unique insight into the way of life of the tribal residents who come to these markets to sell their commodities. Afterwards, see craftsman at work building wooden boats, creating Buddha images made from the powder of dried flowers and watch as workers hand roll Burmese cigars! In the afternoon, cruise by small boat to Indein nestled on the banks of the lake. The village is famous for its overgrown and mystifying 16th century stupas as well its artisanal handicrafts. Walk around a local Intha village to experience the charms of rural life in Myanmar

Day 8: Inle Lake - Fly To Yangon – Bangkok
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Bangkok.

Day 9: Essence Of Bangkok - Full Day Relics Of Siam
Explore the fascinating Rattanakosin District, considered the most historically significant area in all of Bangkok. Your journey begins within a kaleidoscope of colour at a local flower market, followed by a hands-on lesson about how Buddhist locals use the lotus flower to worship Buddha. From the flower market, your guide points out the nearby Memorial Bridge and Temple, a commanding structure that shows King Rama I seated on a pedestal overlooking his prior kingdom.

By car, set off from the flower market and arrive at the Grand Palace, a must-see icon of the city. Home to the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace is a striking example of traditional Thai architecture and considered one of the holiest locations in the entire country! Explore the temples and buildings within the complex alongside your guide and learn about the fascinating history of this Bangkok gem.

Later, set off by car to Giant Swing, the gateway to the Baan Bat community. Wander through the area and witness the creation of alms bowls, an important handicraft for Thailand’s Buddhist residents which has sustained much of the community here for generations. With the help of your guide, chat with the locals before kicking back for a one-hour foot massage in a traditional Thai house - a well-earned treat after an eventful day! Finish off the evening with an exciting and comprehensive food tour by tuk tuk, sampling all of the most flavourful dishes Bangkok has to offer.

Bangkok evening food tour

Day 10: Bangkok - Full Day Ayutthaya By Cruise
Journey from Bangkok to the country’s former capital of Ayutthaya by road. This is your chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Stop off at the majestic ‘Bang-Pa-In’ - a gorgeous palace formerly frequented by King Rama IV during the steamy summer months. This waterside complex takes inspiration from Thai, Chinese and gothic design; here, see the intricately-carved camel bone dragon, or snap some photos next to the bright red watch tower overlooking the lake. Head a little further north to Ayutthaya to explore the ancient temple ruins and crumbling pagodas that used to form Thailand’s largest and most important settlement. Afterwards, dine on-board your boat while making your way back to Bangkok. Along the way, enjoy the view as the riverbank scenery slowly transitions from emerald rice paddy fields to traditional Thai architecture and finally an urban skyline.

Day 11: Bangkok - Fly To Chiang Mai
Transfer with your guide from your hotel in Bangkok to Bangok Airport and take a flight to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is one of the largest cities in Thailand, as well as the financial and cultural centre of northern Thailand, and is overflowing with ancient Buddhist temples, each with their own unique design and history. On this half-day tour, visit four of the most iconic temples, as well as an impressive mountaintop temple, while driving past city markets, residential areas and Chiang Mai’s main street. After being picked up at your hotel, your first destination is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a must-see temple and one of the most revered by Thai people. As the temple is located at the top of a mountain, challenge yourself to walk up the 300 steps of the intricately-carved mythical Naga serpent staircase, or take a cable car to the top for an incredible view over the stunning architecture, statues, murals and shrines of the city and surrounding areas.

After you descend the mountain, drive through the city to begin your temple hopping. First up is Wat Chedi Luang, a Lanna-style chedi that was once one of the tallest structures in ancient Chiang Mai. Next, visit Wat Phra Singh, or Temple of the Lion Buddha, where you can view a collection of classic Lanna art and explore an old library. Finally, wander the gardens at Wat Suan Dok, Flower Garden Temple, where you can check out a 500-year-old bronze Buddha statue, one of the largest in Thailand.

Wat Chedi Luang - Chiang Mai

Day 12: Chiang Mai - Full Day Elephant Safari Chiang Dao And Hmong Village Experience
Set off on a pleasant road trip from Chiang Mai and deep into the jungles of Chiang Dao, exploring one of the most well-known elephant camps in Thailand. Your adventure begins at the main entrance, crossing the wooden hanging bridge to reach the camp, where you’ll get your first glimpse of these majestic beasts. Seeing a procession of elephants for the first time is always a magical experience. At Chiang Dao, you will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience of these fascinating animals marching around in their natural habitat, up the Mae Ping River and through the dense jungles of Northern Thailand. Watch the elephants take a bath in the river, check out some elephant-handling demonstrations and even an elephant ride. After lunch, head back to the river for some exciting bamboo rafting before visiting an ethnic Hmong hill tribe village. Here, learn about local traditions and why their traditional houses and agricultural practices are famous in Thai culture.

Day 13: Chiang Mai - Full Day Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Pass rolling hills, descend into deep valleys, and explore many of the villages and roadside markets along an exciting route from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai. Along the way, stop at Wat Rong Khun, also known as ‘the White Temple’, a dazzling temple complex that stands out as one of the most incredible structures in the whole country. Although not as old as those in the Thai capital, its bright white façade, mirrored glass decorations and intricately-carved patterns are both distinct and arrestingly beautiful. Next, head back on the road towards a charming Akha and Yao Hill Tribe village. After saying ‘hello’ to the welcoming locals, head on towards Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle, the meeting point of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Enjoy the epic scenery along the Mekong River here and take a moment to capture the panoramic views with your camera.

Chiang Rai

Continue on to the Opium House, a museum that houses items like opium pipes, knives and scrapers that depict the history of the opium trade that made this area infamous in the not-so-distant past. Before heading back to Chiang Mai, visit the famous market at the border town of Mae Sai. Thai locals and Burmese visitors often shop, bargain and even drink together in this vibrant market area. Pick up some souvenirs in the myriad of stalls here, ranging from handicrafts and local produce to antiques. Give your feet a rest on the direct route back to Chiang Mai, arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 14: Chiang Mai - Full Day Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
Learn how to cook some of Northern Thailand’s culinary classics at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. The school is located at Doi Saket, just outside of town, and managed by an expert Thai chef. Choose from a range of authentic, fresh ingredients to whip up some of Thailand’s best-known food favourites.

After following the lead of your instructor, cooking up some delicious sour and spicy soup, pork and basil, fried rice, spicy salad and green curry, sit down to sample each of your creations. At the end of your class, take home a recipe book with notes on how to replicate your dishes at home!

Chiang Mai

Day 15: Chiang Mai - Fly To Luang Prabang
Transfer with your guide from your hotel in Chiang Mai to Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Luang Prabang.

Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Day 16: Luang Prabang - Alms Giving, City Tour & Kuang Si Waterfalls
Rise early to the sound of the temple gong and witness Luang Prabang’s most famous Buddhist ritual. In the early morning, a daily procession of about three hundred young monks walk silently by, collecting sticky rice and other foods in their bronze bowls. The ritual is linked to a Buddhist tradition in which monks beg for their daily food as a way to demonstrate humility. The early morning is the perfect time to stroll through Luang Prabang’s morning market where you will see the locals haggling for fresh meat, fruit and vegetables.

Explore many of the former royal capital’s cultural highlights. You’ll visit Wat Xieng Thong, one of the largest and most decorative temples, and Wat Mai, with its beautiful gilded façade. Then continue on to the former Royal Palace, a commanding structure in the centre of town that until 1946 was the heart of the Lang Xang Kingdom. Today it is the National Museum, and its halls contain rare religious and cultural artefacts. Next, climb 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Grab your swim suit and travel a short distance from Luang Prabang to the Kuang Si Waterfall. The turquoise colour of the water, with a backdrop of white limestone cliffs, gives the waterfall a magical appearance. Depending on the season, the water level varies and swimming may not always be possible. Next to the falls is the Sun Bear Reserve, a conservation centre that rescues animals from the wildlife trade. Meet the cute furry residents and learn about the efforts to protect Sun Bears in the wild.

Luang Prabang

Day 17: Luang Prabang - Baci Ceremony - Living Crafts Ock Pop Tok
Discover all there is to know about Laos textiles with a visit to the Living Crafts Centre. This charming house on the Mekong River’s banks is the headquarters of a project called Ock Pop Tok, meaning east meets west. The goal is to empower Lao women through their high-quality artisanal weaving, and by selling their wares.

Spend an interactive afternoon meeting the women and watching them create fabulous textiles with distinctive patterns woven on traditional looms. You’ll have the chance to hand-dye scarves in vibrant hues and try your hand at spinning and weaving. Learn about the process from start to finish, beginning with silk cultivation, the worms and the difference in the silk they spin. The centre has a lovely garden and cafe where you can tipple on cocktails and nibble on snacks as the sun sets. There is also the opportunity to purchase items directly from centre.

Day 18: Luang Prabang - Fly To Vientiane
Your guide will meet you in the lobby and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Vientiane.
Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Vientiane.

Day 19: Vientiane - City Tour Including Buddha Park
Today, start with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and over 6,000 Buddha images. Nearby is Haw Phra Kaew, which contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Putousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the Phra That Luang stupa. King Sethtathirat built this great sacred stupa, considered the national symbol, in 1566. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha.

After lunch, head out of town to visit one of Laos’ slightly stranger attractions - Xieng Khuang Buddha Park. Built in 1958 this park on the banks of the Mekong River approximately 35 kilometres from the city is the site of a large collection of many kinds of Buddhist and Hindu Sculptures. En route take a look at the impressive Friendship Bridge which spans the Mekong River.

Vientiane

Day 20: Vientiane – Departure
Your guide will meet you at your hotel for a final farewell before arranging your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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