Immerse yourself in the ancient culture and traditions of Thailand and Myanmar, exploring the busy streets and bustling markets of Bangkok, the natural wonders of Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, as well as the awe-inspiring monuments and glistening gold-covered temples of Yangon and Bagan.
Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay
ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Arrival In Bangkok
Upon arrival, meet your friendly and informative guide at the airport who will arrange your private transfer from Bangkok Airport to your hotel. Check in and enjoy some free time relaxing or familiarise yourself with the neighbourhood.
Day 2: Essence Of Bangkok – 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.
After lunch at a charming boutique restaurant by the river, with a magnificent view of Wat Arun, walk to nearby Wat Pho, home of the famous reclining Buddha. After a visit here, 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 3: 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. The 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 4: Bangkok – Fly To Chiang Mai
Private transfer with your guide from your hotel in Bangkok to Bangkok Airport and take a flight to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai, one of the largest cities in Thailand as well as the financial and cultural centre of Northern Thailand, 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 5: 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 6: 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.
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, local produce and antiques. Give your feet a rest on the direct route back to Chiang Mai, arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Chiang Mai – Full Day Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
Learn how to cook Northern Thailand’s culinary classics at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. Located at Doi Saket, just outside of town, and managed by an expert Thai chef. Follow the lead of your culinary team to choose 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 8: Chiang Mai – Fly To Yangon
Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel in Chiang Mai and arrange your transfer to Chaing Mai Airport or Chiang Mai Railway Station.
Arrive in Yangon where 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, exploring the neighbourhood and getting accustomed to this historic city
Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: Bagan – 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 13: Bagan – Mandalay
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Mandalay.
Watch the sunset over one of the most famous sights in all of Myanmar, the Ubein teakwood bridge. This beautiful bridge is the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world and one of the most photographed sites in the country. Watch the locals passing along the bridge, their silhouettes contrasting beautifully against the setting sun. Enjoy the view with a drink and make sure your camera is fully charged to snap your own classic silhouette shot.
Day 14: Mandalay – Mandalay City Tour
Mandalay is the last of the royal cities and is encompassed by smaller cities dotted around its edges. The center piece of the city is the reconstructed palace which is surrounded by a large moat. Visit Mahamuni Pagoda with its statues created in Buddha’s true likeness. Proceed to a marble stone carving and artisanal gold leaf workshop. See the largest book in the world at Kuthodaw Pagoda, where stories are etched upon 79 stone tablets. End the day with a view of the sunset from high up on Mandalay Hill.
Day 15: Mandalay – Inle Lake
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Heho, Inle Lake.
Take a boat ride across the lake and admire the unique one-legged rowing style of the local fishermen as you pass by floating gardens filled with fruits and vegetables. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, famed for its five small gold-gilded Buddha images, now covered in so much gold leaf they are more like round balls! Board a boat to Nga Pe Kyaung Monastery, better known as the Jumping Cat Monastery. Although the performing cats no longer remain, the monastery houses an impressive collection of Buddha images.
Day 16: Inle Lake – Indein Tour
In the morning visit one of the 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 17: 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.
Policy & Terms
Days : 17 | Nights : 16