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Vietnam Tours > Indochina Tour >  Best of Laos & Myanmar

15days/14 nights - Best of Laos & Myanmar
Trip code: LAMY-BLMY15



Highlights: Luang Prabang – Pakou Cave – Khouang Si waterfall - Xieng Khouang –Vientiane – Pakse – Khong island - Pakse – Ubon Rachathani – Bangkok – Yangon - Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagaing – Ava - Monywa -– Bagan - Mount Popa  - Bagan - Heho - Pindaya - Inle lake – Yangon –- Bangkok
 
 

Day 1:  Arrival – Luang Prabang

On arrival at the airport at Luang Prabang airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop  retains an unique charm rarely found in all Asia. Here is plenty to see, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai with five tiered roofs. We include these sights in a half day guided tour which ends with a climb to Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view  of the town and the Mekong River. There  are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit. Overnight  Villa Santi Hotel (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 2:  Luang Prabang – Pakou – Luang Prabang(B)

Today we visit Luang Prabang with the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes as well as doorways and the main sim has a marvellous 'tree life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall. Upon leaving this sight we visit the national museum at the former Royal Palace. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign.  We  embark on a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to visit the distillation of local rice wine. Upon leaving this village we wave our wave through the stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are  crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. After the river trip we drive  towards  Ban Phanom and visit the hand weaving. Overnight  at Villa Santi hotel (superior room).
 

Day 3:  Luang Prabang – Xieng Khouang(B)

The former Royal Palace has been turned into a national museum, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Upon leaving the town we drive out to Xieng Khouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. These back roads are a great way to explore the real Laos. We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The drive is very long , but we can can make many stops at our pleasure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful  photographs. On arrival we explore the province's old capital of Muang Khun and the  nearby villages. Overnight  at Phouphadeng hotel (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 4:  Xieng Khouang – Vientiane(B)

The “Plan of Jars”  is an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. These huge jars are supposedly over 2,000 years old, but most of archaeologists are still mystified about their purpose. We have time today exploring the site and  some  nearby villages. They  are populated by the Hmong hill tribe people who are very poor but have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. we set off on our journey to Vang Vieng. This small and tranquil village is rapidly developped with the advent of tourist, but the beautiful scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops unchanged for century. You are then transferred to airport for flight to Vientiane QV 402 @ 14h40-16h20. Arrival transfer to  our hotel. Overnight at Laos Plaza hotel (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 5:  Vientiane(B)

The full day tour of Vientiane begins with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. The following sight is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the imposing Patouxai Monument well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe before continuing to the great sacred structure and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa. Heading out of town we see the Buddha Park, a blend of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created by mystical monk on a parkland located by the Mekong River and the impressive Friendship Bridge which links Laos and Thailand. A perfect way to round off the day is to watch the spectacular sunset over the Mekong River from one of riverside bars. Overnight at Laos Plaza hotel (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 6:  Vientiane – Pakse – Khong island(B)

The journey southwards begins as we board our morning flight to Pakse (QV 301 @ 07h30-08h45). On arrival we are greeted and transferred to the boat landing for a leisurely trip to the former royal capital of Champasak, our base for exploring the ruin of Wat Phu. This impressive site  is well known as the most important Hindu sanctuary of the Khmer Empire between 9th and 13th century. The festival of this site  is yearly held during the full moon in February and attracts numerous pilgrims from all over southern Laos. Arriving Khong Island. we embark on a long tail boat for venturing into the widest reach of the Mekong River from where thousands of islets jut out in dry season, giving this area a lovely name” Si Phan Done ”. Along the way we will anchor at the peaceful island of Ban Khone for a visit to the many relics of French colonial period and the marvelous rushing Liphi falls also called the " Corridor of the Devil". Overnight  at Villa Muong Khong (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 7: Khong island – Tatlo - Pakse(B)

The next destination of our trip is Tatlo.  We  drive past many lush plantations, hills, forests and villages. The deep contrast of lush vegetation and red surface of basaltic soil is incredible all along the way. On arrival at Tatlo we visit the spectacular waterfall of Xeset and the nearby villages, home of the Kato, Alack and Nge hilltribe groups. These ethnic minorities still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress. We continue our journey through Paksong and Boloven Plateau. A part of our pleasure of travelling in this region is to observe the  beautiful countryside and meet local people. Overnight at Champa Residence (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 8:  Pakse – Ubon Rachathani – Bangkok – Yangon (B)

This early morning, you are transferred to the border for Ubon Rachathani airport to take a flight to Bangkok (TG 021 @ 08h20-09h25) and onward to Yangon (PG 701 @ 12h00-12h45). On arrival at Mingaladon airport , you are met and transferred to hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon has been the capital city only since 1885 although some settlements in this site date back about 2,500 years. This colorful metropolis features an intriguing mix of the scenes from a bygone era and the modern tempo of bustling streets punctuated by serene temples and impressive colonial edifices. After checking into hotel, we visit the  reclining Buddha of Chaukhtatgyi in a quiet and open air pavilion . We visit the National Museum with a lovely display of  treasures as well as artefacts reflecting the richness of Burmese culture. We follow this with a trip to the oldest Chinese temple of Kheng Hock Keong in China Town and the lively Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly Scott’s market, which sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. We then continue to visit the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda, and to witness the sun set at this site. Overnight at Kadawgyi Palace hotel (superior room) or similar
 

Day 9:  Yangon – Mandalay(B)

Upon leaving the town we catch a short flight to Mandalay . On arrival we drive straight to the jetty for a boat trip on the mighty Irrawaddy River. The lively waterfront with working buffaloes offers a spectacular backdrop as we cruise upriver to Mingun. We wander around this site, seeong the unfinished huge pagoda, the world’s largest bell of Mingun and the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda. We then drive back to Mandalay City. Here is plenty to see, some of which are the Mahamuni Pagoda, the fabulous Kuthodaw Pagoda often called “ the world's largest book “ and the wooden monastery of Shwenandaw Kyaung. This structure is still standing over centuries, despite of all vicissitudes of the city. We include these sights in a half day city tour which also gives us a chance to ascend Mandalay hill for a beautiful sunset view of the surrounding areas. Overnight at Sedona Hotel (Superior room) or similar.
 

Day 10 Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagaing - Ava(B)
The great cultural city of Mandalay was a former capital of Burma; however many outlaying towns could lay claim to the same title at some stages in the past. Today we head out of the town to one of these ancient cities, Amarapura. The spectacular teak bridge of U Bein and the famous Mahaganda Monastery are a highlight of our visit to Amarapura. We then cross over the mighty Irrawaddy River to the picturesque Sagaing Hill. This lush area is covered in 600 white painted pagodas and monasteries, and is therefore regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar. After seeing Sagaing, we transfer to the ruin of Ava and embark on a horse and carriage to explore the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace. Overnight at Sedona Hotel (Superior room).
 

Day 11:  Mandalay -  Bagan(B)

Take the flight  08.30/09.00 to Bagan. Arrival transfer to our hotel. We then visit this enchanting town flourished from the 11th till 13th century when religious fervors launched a 200 year building of thousands huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. We visit the vibrant market of Nyaung U before taking a short drive to the archeological zone. The sightseeing tour enables us to explore many magnificent landmarks including Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilominlo, Ananda, Thatbyinnyu, Sulamani, Dhammyangyi. These temples and pagodas bear statement to a glorious past. The perfect way to round off the day is watching the spectacular sunset from the upper terrace of Myaukguni Temple. Overnight at Thiripyitsaya hotel (Superior room).
 

Day 12: Bagan - Mount Popa - Bagan(B)

Today we enjoy a half day tour of Bagan, seeing some temples scattered around the tranquil village of Minnanthu. These structures are Tayokepyay, Payathonezu and Namdamanya which reveal some exquisite murals of the13th century. The following sight is Kyat Kan Cave Monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan. Heading out of the town, we make our way to the imposing Mount Popa. This extinct volcano boasts the region’s highest peak, but the main attraction in this place is the smaller one, Popa Taungkalar, dedicated to the local legendary "nat" spirits. After a scenic drive, we arrive at this site and ascend the Popa Taungkalar for a beautiful panoramic view over the surrounding areas. There are 777 steps which wind around the outcrop, leading to the gilded stupa and monastery at the summit. Overnight at Thiripyitsaya hotel (Superior room).
 

Day 13:  Bagan - Heho - Pindaya - Inle lake(B)

After breakfast we board a short flight to Heho. On arrival  we meet up with our vehicle and enjoy two hour drive into the Shan Plateau, passing through the picturesque countryside and the rolling hills towards Pindaya. This magnificent cave in a tranquil setting of limestone outcrops and scenic lakes, houses thousand Buddha images of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devoted pilgrims. On arrival in Pandaya we enjoy a walk exploring this sacred cave and seeing the traditional production of Shan paper and parasols at a nearby village. The journey continues on to Inle Lake, a famous wonder of Myanmar. O/N at Lake View Resort (Superior room) http://www.inlelakeview.com or similar.
 

Day 14:  Inle Lake(B)

The picturesque scenery blending with the sky and floating gardens rising from the clear water of the lake is nothing short of spectacular. We board our boat for a leisurely trip on the lake which also gives us a chance to visit some gardens and catch a glimpse of the local Intha fishmen famous for their rowing technique. These people power their narrow boats by twisting their legs around their oars, a remarkable feat of agility and control. Along the way, we anchor to visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the Jumping Cat Monastery with a beautiful collection of antique Buddha statues and the rotating rural market. This colourful congregation is held in different villages every five days, and attracts numerous ethnic minorities who converge from the surrounding villages to trade their goods. O/N at Lake View Resort (Superior room).
 

Day 15: Inle Lake - Yangon – Bangkok - Departure(B)

Take the flight to Yangon and coonecting the  flight to Bangkok (PG 702 @ 13h45-15h30) for departure flight home.


 



Trip includes
ü All accommodation on double/twin  basis with daily breakfast
ü Meals as indicated  (B = breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Diner). Special requirements  (vegetarian, diet etc.) could be arranged upon request
ü All transfers/ transport 
ü Tours with entrance fees, boat cruise, transfers and  English speaking during guided time
ü Flight tickets from: Xiengkhoang - Vientiane - Pakse - Ubon - Bangkok - Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Heho- Yangon - Bangkok


Trip excludes
ü International airfares & airport taxes
ü Pre/post trip arrangement
ü Visa and visa arrangement
ü  Travel insurance
ü Meals not indicated
ü  Other personal expenses
ü
 Tips and gratuities 
 
 
Trip cost : in US$ and  per person based on 04 people traveling together;
 

Accommodation

 City/Destination Hotels - Superior
Luangprabang

Villa Santi hotel****
http://www.villasantihotel.com

Xiengkhouang Phouphadeng Hotel

Vientiane

Laos Plaza Hotel****
www.laoplazahotel.com

Pakse

Champassack Residence****

Yangon

Kadawgyi Palace hotel ****
http://www.kandawgyipalace.com

Mandalay

Sedona hotel****
www.sedonahotels.com.sg

Bagan

Thiripyitsaya hotel ****
www.thiripyitsaya.com

Inelake

Lake View Resort****
http://www.inlelakeview.com

 

 


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