Cambodia, Thailand & Myanmar Adventure

20 Days / 19 Nights

  Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Yangon - Bagan

20 Days / 19 Nights

Cambodia, Thailand & Myanmar Adventure

  Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Yangon - Bagan

Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime with this 20-day tour of the ancient sites and bustling metropolises of Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Discover hidden temples, explore vibrant markets and immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of these ancient and wondrous Southeast Asian kingdoms.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wandering among ancient temples in Angkor Wat
  • Meeting friendly locals in Siem Reap
  • Hitting the streets of Bangkok with an expert guide
  • Cruising to the historic city of Ayutthaya
  • Getting close to nature in beautiful Chiang Mai
  • 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

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

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrival in Siem Reap

DAY 1 - Arrival in Siem Reap

Upon arrival, meet your guide who will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Check in and spend the rest of your day at your leisure.

DAY 2

DAY 2 - Essence Of Siem Reap - Angkor & Ox-cart

Wake early for a unique view of one of Angkor's most iconic temples, the jungle ruins of Ta Prohm. Left exactly as it was found in the early 20th century, this vine covered ruin is the quintessential jungle temple. Arrive before the crowds as the sun rises and marvel at the beautiful stone carvings and ancient galleries in the morning light. Hear the story of this 12th century masterpiece and its discovery, before heading to a nearby spot for a local style picnic breakfast. Continue on to the majestic smiling stone faces of the Bayon, one of Angkor's most unique complexes. Walk through narrow corridors housing shrines to Shiva and past bas reliefs depicting the great naval battles between the Angkor and Cham empires. Finish the morning at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world and a testament to the power and ingenuity of the people who once worshiped here.

This afternoon travel into the lush green countryside west of the ancient city, to the collection of small villages and paddy fields that have always been the lifeblood of Khmer culture. Away from the crowds, here you get a true sense of the quiet life of rural Cambodia. Take a 30 minute ride along dirt tracks aboard an ox-cart, the traditional form of transport in these parts. Driven by a local farmer who has lived here all his life, pass by emerald green paddy fields, watch children playing and water buffalo's grazing. Arrive at the stilted home of local family, that has been making and selling sticky rice at Angkor Wat for years. Get hands on and learn the traditional technique of producing sweet sticky rice. Cooked in bamboo poles, this sweet treat is a staple of Cambodia and great fun to make. You will be helping to support the local community and making a positive contribution to the area.

Finish the day back at the temples of Angkor, and the moat of Angkor Thom. Row out as the sun sets and enjoy a cold beer to finish the day.

DAY 3

DAY 3 - Siem Reap - Banteay Srey & Tonle Sap Lake

See the exquisite pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei, overflowing with small, delicate and very ornate carvings depicting classical Khmer art, and considered one of the best temples of all! Then it’s off for a quick look at Banteay Samre, which is modelled on Angkor Wat, before heading to the Tonle Sap Lake for a cruise around the floating villages.

DAY 4

DAY 4 - Phnom Kulen Mountain Full Day Tour

Considered the birth place of the Khmer Empire, Phnom Kulen is about a 2 hour drive out of Siem Reap. The mountain is considered sacred and is the site where King Jayavarman proclaimed independence from Java in 802 and where the cult of the linga began. Linga’s are a phallic like, fertility statue that were worshiped by the king. Jayavarman had thousands of lingas carved into a sandstone river bed and the river diverted so he could bathe in the holy waters. At the top of Phnom Kulen is a pagoda where Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims come to worship. The mountain is also favoured by locals who come to admire the waterfalls and swim in the cool pools.

 

DAY 5

DAY 5 - Siem Reap - Fly To Phnom Penh

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Phnom Penh.

DAY 6

DAY 6 - Phnom Penh - Full Day City Tour

Begin your tour with a visit to the Royal Palace overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Built in 1866 by King Norodom, the palace is now home to the reigning monarch. Within the palace grounds you will find the coronation hall, an open air theatre for the Royal Dance Troupe, and the King’s private residence. The grounds are open to the public except when the King is in residence. The grounds also house the Silver Pagoda, its floor covered by 5,000 silver tiles each weighing 1 kilogram.

Next you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which documents the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge against both their political enemies and many thousands of everyday Cambodians. In 1975 this former high school was taken over by Pol Pot's security forces and converted into Security Prison 21 (S-21). It soon became the largest detention and torture centre in the country. Please note that the images on display are quite graphic and unsettling.

Then drive to Choeung Ek - the Killing Fields, where the brutal executions of more than 17,000 men, women and children took place. The large mass grave pits have all but gone, however the stupa filled with skulls is a chilling memorial.

DAY 7

DAY 7 - Phnom Penh – Fly to Bangkok

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Bangkok.
Upon arrival, meet our guide for a private transfer from Bangkok Airport to your hotel. Check in and spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the local neighbourhood.

DAY 8

DAY 8 - 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 former 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.

DAY 9

DAY 9 - 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 10

DAY 10 - Bangkok - Fly To Chiang Mai

Transfer with your guide from your hotel to Bangkok 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.

DAY 11

DAY 11 - Chiang Mai - Full Day Elephant Safari Chiang Dao With Hmong Village

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 12

DAY 12 - Chiang Mai - Full Day Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle

Pass rolling hills, dip into steep 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 in the whole country. Although not as old as others 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.

Continue on to the Opium House, a museum that houses items like opium pipes, knives and scrappers 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 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, faux fashion items, local produce and antiques. Give your feet a rest on the direct route back to Chiang Mai, arriving back in the late afternoon.

DAY 13

DAY 13 - 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!

DAY 14

DAY 14 - Chiang Mai - Fly To Yangon

Transfer with your guide to Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Yangon.

Upon arrival you will meet our guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Relax at the hotel or take a walk on the nearby streets and acclimatizing yourself to this historic city.

DAY 15

DAY 15 - 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.

DAY 16

DAY 16 - 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 17

DAY 17 - Salay Village Full Day Private 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!

DAY 18

DAY 18 - 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 19

DAY 19 - 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 20

DAY 20 - Inle Lake - Fly To Yangon - Departure

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Yangon in time for your departure.

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