Southeast Asia Highlights


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  • Vietnam

Southeast Asia Highlights

 Cambodia

26 days days from £3099 pp  Including flight from LHR

This epic holiday, encompassing Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand takes you on a sweeping journey though South East Asia showcasing the similarities and contrast these destinations have to offer.

At a Glance

  • Visit Angkor Wat, the architectural wonder of the world
  • Glide through the famous Halong Bay Cruise
  • Stay at the InLe Lake
  • Experience the floating market in Bangkok
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This epic holiday, encompassing Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand takes you on a sweeping journey though South East Asia showcasing the similarities and contrast these destinations have to offer. This once in a lifetime experience can be overwhelming for many, but for those who decide to take it, it will undoubtedly be one experience that will leave you a changed person.

Travel through colourful cities like Yangon, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Bangkok and experience Angkor Wat, Ha-long Bay cruise, Park Ou Caves and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Let go and experience everything South East Asia has to offer in one go!

The Experience

Day 1 | Departure London Heathrow

Today you will board an overnight plane to Yangon [1 stopover; 1-5 hours].

Day 2 | Arriving Yangon

“Mingalabar” – “Welcome to Myanmar” at the airport by your tour guide and your Lumle Holidays’s transfer team. We then transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is your own leisure.

Day 3 | Yangon

Today, you will have your own relaxing time at the hotel until 12:00 PM.

At 12:00 PM, we will drive to the local restaurant, where you will enjoy the authentic Burmese lunch [at your own costs], before heading into the famous Scott Market (Bogyoke Market). This popular market offers a good selection of gemstones, traditional fabric and costumes, handicrafts, arts and paintings, souvenirs, etc.

In the evening, we will visit one of the spectacular monuments in Myanmar, called Shwedagon Pagoda. Once inside the Pagoda complex, discover a unique market that will give you an idea of how significant Buddhism to daily life in Myanmar. Then, climb a long, stair-filled corridor to the Pagoda platform for a magnificent view. Marvel at the golden dome of the Pagoda, said to have once been covered with tonnes of pure gold and precious stones, including jade, rubies, sapphires and diamonds.

Day 4 | Moving to InLe Lake

In the early morning, take the short flight to InLe Lake. Once at Heho meet your transfer team. From here, it is a scenic one-hour drive to the village of NyaungShwe, the gateway to the magnificent Inle Lake.

The rest of the day is your own leisure day in InLe Lake. Inle Lake has everything you could want – long bike rides in the countryside, excellent food, day spas and massage parlours, boat rides on the lake and lots of culture and history. The locals are friendly and it’s the perfect place to chill out or get active.

Suggestion for your free time, hire bicycles and riding through the villages. You will pass by buffalo in the water, farmers working in the fields, children playing and trucks full of young monks.

It’s a beautiful place with lots to do.

Day 5 | InLe Lake Boat Trip Tour

Looking down over the lake from the Taunggyi road, Inle lies in an enormous carpet of greenery. Dotted around the lake are the stilt-house villages and floating gardens of the Intha tribe. The Intha technique of leg rowing – where one leg is wrapped around the paddle to drive the blade through the water in a snake-like motion – is unique.

With our Inle Lake Boat Trip Day tour, you will experience a unique way of life that has lived on through generations, whilst exploring the culturally significant surrounds that form part of this beautiful region of Myanmar.

You will be provided with a life jacket and easy seat for each person on the boat. This early morning tour offers magnificent scenery and the chance to observe the daily life of locals, who are mostly fishermen and plantation farmers. Take good photos of leg-rowers of Intha (people from Inlay) situated only in this part of the world.

Visit the Phaung Daw Oo, the four revered golden Buddha images from the pagoda, which are ferried around the lake in a gilded barge shaped like a Hintha (the golden swan of Burmese legend) visiting all the pagodas in the area.

Visit the Silver Smith Shops, Silk Weaving Workshops and the Lotus Weaving Workshop; all unique features of Inle Lake. Also visit a cheroot factory, where the cigars are still made by hand in the traditional way.

Day 6 | InLe Lake

Today is your own leisure in InLe Lake. (Suggestion for your own time: Food and dining play an important role in Myanmar culture and this morning you’ll get a chance to get a taste- literally- of the local lifestyle by joining one of the local cooking schools in InLe Lake.)

Day 7 | Moving to Mandalay

After breakfast at hotel, take the short flight to Mandalay. Once at Mandalay, meet your transfer team and you will be transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is your own leisure in Mandalay.

(Suggestion for your free time: Walking distance to a Night Market. This market has become the modern Chinatown of Mandalay. They sell mostly fruits and vegetables, but there are many street food stalls, that sell almost all types of Chinese cuisine. To taste great Chinese food at unbeatable prices, you have to come to this market. It is very lively and busy. In the opposite direction is the Mandalay Fort and Moat. The walk around the fort is beautiful and a nice way to see this part of Mandalay.)

Day 8 | Mandalay

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to a promenade U Bein teak bridge, the world’s longest teak structure at 1.2 km / 3.4 miles long.
Next, you will visit Mahar Gandar Yone monastery, where you can see a thousand Buddhist monks and novices line up every morning, at 10:30 am, to receive their meal of the day at Mahar Gandar Yone Monastery.

Then, go to a “must visit in Mandalay” Mahamuni Buddha Temple. Learn more about the craftwork for which Mandalay is famous by visiting workshops and cottage industries. You’ll see gold-leaf techniques, wood carving and kalaga tapestry weaving.

For lunch, we’ll go to a popular tea house [at your own costs]. Tea houses are the centre of social and commercial life in Myanmar. You can see all kinds of people here, from business people and brokers to students and families all doing their daily business or just relaxing and socialising. Try the Mandalay Monte or Khotaung Monte there.

After lunch, visit the Golden Palace monastery and the ‘World’s Biggest Book’; the 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scripture at Kuthodaw Pagoda.

Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set.

Day 9 | Moving to Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, you will board a private minibus/car to drive to Bagan. Along the way, you can witness the true local life of Myanmar. The driving time will be about 3 and half hours. On your arrival, you will have your own leisure time in Bagan for the rest of day. (Suggestion for your own time: Rent an e-bike for a day, which will cost about the US $6, and visit around Bagan. Going around Bagan with an e-bike is one of the best ways to see this 14th Century Capital City “Bagan”.)

Day 10 | Bagan

Bagan is a truly mesmerising destination and a favourite of many travellers. Renowned as the city of four million pagodas, this is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Today there are more than 2,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries — most built during the Bagan Dynasty, founded by King Anawrahta in 1044.

Firstly, we’ll go to lively Nyaung U Market where your guide will help you to discover a variety of Burmese traditional breakfasts. The popular breakfasts are varied such as hand mixed noodle salad, noodle soups, fried rice, Indian Nann Bread with steamed beans paste, Indian puree, sticky rice with steamed beans, Chinese steamed bun, dim sum, etc. Among them, Mohinga is a national dish of Myanmar. Mohinga is a rice noodle with fish soup garnished with crispy fried fritters such as chickpeas, gourd, Chinese doughnuts, and boiled egg and so on. Additional garnishment such as lime, coriander, dried chilli powder and fish sauce also add as liking.

After you bought your breakfast at Nyaung U Market, you will have your breakfast at a local tea house, which is situated next to the market.

Next, we will visit Shwezigon pagoda, considered a prototype of all future such temples. After this, you’ll learn about the making of Bagan’s most famous food, ‘Pone Yay Gyi’ at a local shop. This black paste is made from soy beans and you’ll get to see how it’s made, from the raw soybeans through to the finished product.

Try out the popular dish of Pone Yay Gyi salad here, where onion, dry shrimp, green chilli and peanut oil are added to the paste. Many pilgrims buy the famous paste in Bagan as a treat to take home to their families.

Then, visit the cave temple filled with exquisite murals at Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi. Next is more interesting craftsmanship with the fine plaster carvings of Htilominlo Temple.

For lunch we will stop at Shwe Myanmar – 2; a popular place where visitors come mainly for the delicious curry they serve. Bagan is not only famous for the profusion of ancient temples, but also for its exquisite handicrafts. After lunch, watch the time consuming and intricate production of quality lacquer ware. Some of the finest are flexible, and made around bamboo and twisted horse hair.

In the late afternoon, visit the most beautiful view point temple – Shwesandaw Pagoda.

Day 11 | Moving Back to Yangon

At 7:30 AM, you will take a good quality Express Coach to go back to Yangon seeing more of Myanmar (Burma) along the way. On the way, the coach will stop at the good and clean restaurants, for lunch and refreshment for 2 times. Each stop will give you an hour. The coach will arrive in Yangon approximately 5:30 PM. On your arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Upgrade coach journey to domestic flight for £98 per person.

Day 12 | HANOI

You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

Upon arrival at Noibai Airport, you’ll be met by our tour guide & transferred to your hotel in Hanoi for a Check-in.

The rest of the time, you’ll be free on your own.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 | HANOI – FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B)

At 8.00 a.m., you start a day to remember by visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, and his residential place, where you get to know about his great life.

The next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature. It is Vietnam´s first university, built in the twelfth century, to teach Confucius’s theory to royals. Here you have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Then you take a visit to the Museum of Ethnology
In the late afternoon, you get impressed with 1-hour tour on the trishaw to visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi´s fascinating Old Quarter for some great fun. This is your chance to be part of typical Hanoian style and its traditional Vietnamese culture.

You finish your relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show, a favourite experience for all visitors to Vietnam.

Overnight at hotel.

Notes:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closes on Monday and Friday morning, and from Sep to Nov for maintenance.

Day 14 | HANOI – HA LONG – HANOI (GROUP TOUR) (B/L/D)

After having breakfast at the hotel, 7:45-8:15am you will be at leisure till the time to be picked up at the hotel by our shuttle bus for Halong Bay.

Morning departure to one of the most magnificent places in the world, Halong Bay. The trip takes about 3h30. Halong covers 577 square kilometres and this vast bay is filled with more than 3,000 limestone peaks or karsts that jut from the deep blue waters as far as the eye can see. We will spend a day and a half, including an evening with dinner and breakfast on board, exploring this amazing seascape from the deck of a Vietnamese traditional boat. Comfortable and intimate, your boat has wooden interior handmade, including a dining room and pleasantly air-conditioned cabins with private bathrooms. Since we are on the water at night, we can explore the most beautiful places in Ha Long Bay with time to swim and even visit some of the largest rock formations and caves. This promises to be one of your most memorable travel experiences in Asia. Overnight on the boat.

Day 15 | HA LONG – HANOI – HO CHI MINH (Brunch)

In this morning, we will keep on our journey by junk-boat to explore more islands & natural beauties of Halong Bay.
At around 10:30: you will have a brunch served on the cruise before reaching to Halong Harbour at around 12:00. Right here our car will be at disposal to pick you up to transfer back to the airport in Ho Chi Minh. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh, pick up and transfer to hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Note: the itinerary of the cruise is subject to change without notice

Day 16 | SAIGON FULL DAY CITY TOUR + CU CHI TUNNELS – PRIVATE TOUR (B/-/-)

8:00 am Today we spend a half day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town centre. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace. This famous edifice was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We follow these with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts. The sightseeing ends up with a walk around the retail Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!

Afternoon: Transfer about 30km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi town. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometres and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, weapon factories, filled hospitals, command centres, plus accommodation. Today we have an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels to visit an exposition hall and a widened section of the tunnels to get a feel of the underground life. There are also possibilities to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 17 | HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA – GROUP TOUR (B)

7:45 – 8:00 AM: Pick up at your hotel, depart for Cai Be around 3 hrs driving. On our dedicated bus, you can see the green paddy fields stretching towards the horizontal. When you arrive Cai Be, you’ll board a motorized boat that takes you to the floating market and spend 1 hr there for an interaction that you’ll see nowhere else in the world.

Next, your rowboat will zigzag thru a maze of shadow canals to arrive at a great orchard where you can freely taste many famous tropical fruits of Vietnam and watch locals’ daily chores.

Then we’ll see how coconut candy, crispy rice cake and ceramic are made here (served free with premium hot tea.)

After this, we will ride bicycles and roaming through a village to check out several rural shops or we can relax on a hammock for a short rest. We will land on a marketplace and walk around to see how and what the poor rural people of Vietnam sell. You are encouraged to interact with the vendors and see how friendly and respectful they are. You might also buy many interesting things for the very little amount of money. We spend about the ½ hour here and then board our bus. Free time and overnight at hotel.

Day 18 | HO CHI MINH – SIEM REAP (B)

Breakfast at hotel, free time and transfer to the airport to take the flight to Siem Reap.

Welcome to Siem Reap, the centre of Angkor!

Siem Reap is a small colonial town, charming and pleasant enough to roam around with some fine examples of French colonial architecture.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, warmly greeted by our friendly English Speaking guide, Afterwards, it’s the time for a visit to Angkor Wat – one of the seven greatest architectural wonders of the world, built in between the 9th – 13th century, its general view are five ancients towers’ figure that embroidered or printed to the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Flag now, next on, your guide will take you to an excellent spot for watching a mesmerizing Angkor Wat sunset..

Day 19 | ANGKOR WAT TOUR (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning, This morning you head 30km north to visit the captivating and beautiful temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Fortress of the Women’. The journey allows you to experience the beautiful Cambodian countryside as you pass through small typical villages, on-route you will visit Banteay Samre. Banteay Samre is an elaborately decorated temple, embellished with floral motifs and scenes from the Ramayana, all carved from pink sandstone. It is said the carvings must have been done by women as the detail is too fine for the hands of a man.

Afternoon, you will explore the Small Circuit. This tour includes the huge pyramid of Takeo, and the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Tomb Raider’. You continue to explore the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find the Bayon, a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. You will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city, including the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimeanakas, and the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Back to town and overnight.

Day 20 | SIEM REAP – TONLE SAP LAKE – LUANG PRABANG (B/-)

After breakfast at the hotel.

You take a short 15km drive to Phnom Krom the large hill that looms closer and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the on the Tonle Sap lake, the largest lake in South East Asia. You will see the traditional floating village of Chong Kneas and witness the residents going about their daily life – it is quite a sight seeing a whole bamboo village complete with homes, gas stations, schools, hairdressers, and even karaoke bars floating on a lake. On the way back to Siem Reap you will call in at Artisans d’Angkor, an interesting boutique workshop where you can observe young Cambodians learning traditional Khmer handicraft techniques, such as stone & wood carving, and lacquering & gilding – a great opportunity for last-minute quality souvenirs.

Transfer to airport for your departure flight to Luang Prabang.

Greeting at Luang Prabang airport, transfer to hotel with the guide and listen to Guide’s briefing for whole tour itinerary. On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquillity and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. Pick up and transfer to hotel, free time and overnight at hotel.

Day 21 | LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVE (B)

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning alms-giving ritual to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession.

After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in coloured glass. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced. On our way back, we pass by a few more local villages and see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 22 | LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANGSI WATERFALL (B)

Start your day with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre where you are able to observe valuable artefacts and traditional clothing and implements from each of the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. Later in the morning, we go to the Phosi Market, which has an eclectic selection of foodstuffs and souvenirs. Afterwards, we head out to visit some ethnic minority villages and see how these colourful people live. We then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We continue to Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek – small villages well known for silk weavings and Saa (jute) Papermaking and return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 23 | LUANG PRABANG DEPARTURE/ BANGKOK ARRIVAL (B)

Breakfast, we visit the National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace 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. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed. After visiting these sights in the morning, there will be free time to venture into town and stroll around the shopping area. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for departure flight to Siem Reap. Greeting at Bangkok airport, transfer to hotel with the guide and listen to Guide’s briefing for whole tour itinerary. Pick up and transfer to hotel, free time and overnight at hotel in Bangkok.

Day 24 | ROYAL GRAND PALACE & EMERALD BUDDHA – CITY TEMPLE TOUR (B, L)

After breakfast, in the morning, visit the highlight of today’s tour – the renowned Royal Grand Palace, one of the must-sees that adjoin Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.

After lunch, explore Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in this city that housing the largest single Buddha image: the Reclining Buddha. Continue to see Wat Arun (Dawn Temple), perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, which is one of the most published images of Bangkok. After that, visit Wat Traimit, ‘Temple of the Golden Buddha’ famous for its 900-year-old and five-and-a-half-ton solid gold image. Then back to the hotel for relaxing.

Day 25 | HALF DAY DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET (B)

After breakfast, you will enter the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. En route with the stop at Train Market and Sugar Palm factory. At the floating market take long tail to visit local lifestyle. Sit down and take your pictures, try some mango and sticky rice or hot soup with fish balls. (on own expenses) Then back to Bangkok. The rest of the day on your own.

Day 26 | BANGKOK DEPARTURE (B)

Morning free and easy until time to transfer to Bangkok airport for departure flight.

Tour Ends

This epic holiday, encompassing Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand takes you on a sweeping journey though South East Asia showcasing the similarities and contrast these destinations have to offer. This once in a lifetime experience can be overwhelming for many, but for those who decide to take it, it will undoubtedly be one experience that will leave you a changed person.

Travel through colourful cities like Yangon, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Bangkok and experience Angkor Wat, Ha-long Bay cruise, Park Ou Caves and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Let go and experience everything South East Asia has to offer in one go!

The Experience

Day 1 | Departure London Heathrow

Today you will board an overnight plane to Yangon [1 stopover; 1-5 hours].

Day 2 | Arriving Yangon

“Mingalabar” – “Welcome to Myanmar” at the airport by your tour guide and your Lumle Holidays’s transfer team. We then transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is your own leisure.

Day 3 | Yangon

Today, you will have your own relaxing time at the hotel until 12:00 PM.

At 12:00 PM, we will drive to the local restaurant, where you will enjoy the authentic Burmese lunch [at your own costs], before heading into the famous Scott Market (Bogyoke Market). This popular market offers a good selection of gemstones, traditional fabric and costumes, handicrafts, arts and paintings, souvenirs, etc.

In the evening, we will visit one of the spectacular monuments in Myanmar, called Shwedagon Pagoda. Once inside the Pagoda complex, discover a unique market that will give you an idea of how significant Buddhism to daily life in Myanmar. Then, climb a long, stair-filled corridor to the Pagoda platform for a magnificent view. Marvel at the golden dome of the Pagoda, said to have once been covered with tonnes of pure gold and precious stones, including jade, rubies, sapphires and diamonds.

Day 4 | Moving to InLe Lake

In the early morning, take the short flight to InLe Lake. Once at Heho meet your transfer team. From here, it is a scenic one-hour drive to the village of NyaungShwe, the gateway to the magnificent Inle Lake.

The rest of the day is your own leisure day in InLe Lake. Inle Lake has everything you could want – long bike rides in the countryside, excellent food, day spas and massage parlours, boat rides on the lake and lots of culture and history. The locals are friendly and it’s the perfect place to chill out or get active.

Suggestion for your free time, hire bicycles and riding through the villages. You will pass by buffalo in the water, farmers working in the fields, children playing and trucks full of young monks.

It’s a beautiful place with lots to do.

Day 5 | InLe Lake Boat Trip Tour

Looking down over the lake from the Taunggyi road, Inle lies in an enormous carpet of greenery. Dotted around the lake are the stilt-house villages and floating gardens of the Intha tribe. The Intha technique of leg rowing – where one leg is wrapped around the paddle to drive the blade through the water in a snake-like motion – is unique.

With our Inle Lake Boat Trip Day tour, you will experience a unique way of life that has lived on through generations, whilst exploring the culturally significant surrounds that form part of this beautiful region of Myanmar.

You will be provided with a life jacket and easy seat for each person on the boat. This early morning tour offers magnificent scenery and the chance to observe the daily life of locals, who are mostly fishermen and plantation farmers. Take good photos of leg-rowers of Intha (people from Inlay) situated only in this part of the world.

Visit the Phaung Daw Oo, the four revered golden Buddha images from the pagoda, which are ferried around the lake in a gilded barge shaped like a Hintha (the golden swan of Burmese legend) visiting all the pagodas in the area.

Visit the Silver Smith Shops, Silk Weaving Workshops and the Lotus Weaving Workshop; all unique features of Inle Lake. Also visit a cheroot factory, where the cigars are still made by hand in the traditional way.

Day 6 | InLe Lake

Today is your own leisure in InLe Lake. (Suggestion for your own time: Food and dining play an important role in Myanmar culture and this morning you’ll get a chance to get a taste- literally- of the local lifestyle by joining one of the local cooking schools in InLe Lake.)

Day 7 | Moving to Mandalay

After breakfast at hotel, take the short flight to Mandalay. Once at Mandalay, meet your transfer team and you will be transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is your own leisure in Mandalay.

(Suggestion for your free time: Walking distance to a Night Market. This market has become the modern Chinatown of Mandalay. They sell mostly fruits and vegetables, but there are many street food stalls, that sell almost all types of Chinese cuisine. To taste great Chinese food at unbeatable prices, you have to come to this market. It is very lively and busy. In the opposite direction is the Mandalay Fort and Moat. The walk around the fort is beautiful and a nice way to see this part of Mandalay.)

Day 8 | Mandalay

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to a promenade U Bein teak bridge, the world’s longest teak structure at 1.2 km / 3.4 miles long.
Next, you will visit Mahar Gandar Yone monastery, where you can see a thousand Buddhist monks and novices line up every morning, at 10:30 am, to receive their meal of the day at Mahar Gandar Yone Monastery.

Then, go to a “must visit in Mandalay” Mahamuni Buddha Temple. Learn more about the craftwork for which Mandalay is famous by visiting workshops and cottage industries. You’ll see gold-leaf techniques, wood carving and kalaga tapestry weaving.

For lunch, we’ll go to a popular tea house [at your own costs]. Tea houses are the centre of social and commercial life in Myanmar. You can see all kinds of people here, from business people and brokers to students and families all doing their daily business or just relaxing and socialising. Try the Mandalay Monte or Khotaung Monte there.

After lunch, visit the Golden Palace monastery and the ‘World’s Biggest Book’; the 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scripture at Kuthodaw Pagoda.

Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set.

Day 9 | Moving to Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, you will board a private minibus/car to drive to Bagan. Along the way, you can witness the true local life of Myanmar. The driving time will be about 3 and half hours. On your arrival, you will have your own leisure time in Bagan for the rest of day. (Suggestion for your own time: Rent an e-bike for a day, which will cost about the US $6, and visit around Bagan. Going around Bagan with an e-bike is one of the best ways to see this 14th Century Capital City “Bagan”.)

Day 10 | Bagan

Bagan is a truly mesmerising destination and a favourite of many travellers. Renowned as the city of four million pagodas, this is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Today there are more than 2,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries — most built during the Bagan Dynasty, founded by King Anawrahta in 1044.

Firstly, we’ll go to lively Nyaung U Market where your guide will help you to discover a variety of Burmese traditional breakfasts. The popular breakfasts are varied such as hand mixed noodle salad, noodle soups, fried rice, Indian Nann Bread with steamed beans paste, Indian puree, sticky rice with steamed beans, Chinese steamed bun, dim sum, etc. Among them, Mohinga is a national dish of Myanmar. Mohinga is a rice noodle with fish soup garnished with crispy fried fritters such as chickpeas, gourd, Chinese doughnuts, and boiled egg and so on. Additional garnishment such as lime, coriander, dried chilli powder and fish sauce also add as liking.

After you bought your breakfast at Nyaung U Market, you will have your breakfast at a local tea house, which is situated next to the market.

Next, we will visit Shwezigon pagoda, considered a prototype of all future such temples. After this, you’ll learn about the making of Bagan’s most famous food, ‘Pone Yay Gyi’ at a local shop. This black paste is made from soy beans and you’ll get to see how it’s made, from the raw soybeans through to the finished product.

Try out the popular dish of Pone Yay Gyi salad here, where onion, dry shrimp, green chilli and peanut oil are added to the paste. Many pilgrims buy the famous paste in Bagan as a treat to take home to their families.

Then, visit the cave temple filled with exquisite murals at Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi. Next is more interesting craftsmanship with the fine plaster carvings of Htilominlo Temple.

For lunch we will stop at Shwe Myanmar – 2; a popular place where visitors come mainly for the delicious curry they serve. Bagan is not only famous for the profusion of ancient temples, but also for its exquisite handicrafts. After lunch, watch the time consuming and intricate production of quality lacquer ware. Some of the finest are flexible, and made around bamboo and twisted horse hair.

In the late afternoon, visit the most beautiful view point temple – Shwesandaw Pagoda.

Day 11 | Moving Back to Yangon

At 7:30 AM, you will take a good quality Express Coach to go back to Yangon seeing more of Myanmar (Burma) along the way. On the way, the coach will stop at the good and clean restaurants, for lunch and refreshment for 2 times. Each stop will give you an hour. The coach will arrive in Yangon approximately 5:30 PM. On your arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Upgrade coach journey to domestic flight for £98 per person.

Day 12 | HANOI

You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

Upon arrival at Noibai Airport, you’ll be met by our tour guide & transferred to your hotel in Hanoi for a Check-in.

The rest of the time, you’ll be free on your own.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 | HANOI – FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B)

At 8.00 a.m., you start a day to remember by visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, and his residential place, where you get to know about his great life.

The next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature. It is Vietnam´s first university, built in the twelfth century, to teach Confucius’s theory to royals. Here you have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Then you take a visit to the Museum of Ethnology
In the late afternoon, you get impressed with 1-hour tour on the trishaw to visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi´s fascinating Old Quarter for some great fun. This is your chance to be part of typical Hanoian style and its traditional Vietnamese culture.

You finish your relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show, a favourite experience for all visitors to Vietnam.

Overnight at hotel.

Notes:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closes on Monday and Friday morning, and from Sep to Nov for maintenance.

Day 14 | HANOI – HA LONG – HANOI (GROUP TOUR) (B/L/D)

After having breakfast at the hotel, 7:45-8:15am you will be at leisure till the time to be picked up at the hotel by our shuttle bus for Halong Bay.

Morning departure to one of the most magnificent places in the world, Halong Bay. The trip takes about 3h30. Halong covers 577 square kilometres and this vast bay is filled with more than 3,000 limestone peaks or karsts that jut from the deep blue waters as far as the eye can see. We will spend a day and a half, including an evening with dinner and breakfast on board, exploring this amazing seascape from the deck of a Vietnamese traditional boat. Comfortable and intimate, your boat has wooden interior handmade, including a dining room and pleasantly air-conditioned cabins with private bathrooms. Since we are on the water at night, we can explore the most beautiful places in Ha Long Bay with time to swim and even visit some of the largest rock formations and caves. This promises to be one of your most memorable travel experiences in Asia. Overnight on the boat.

Day 15 | HA LONG – HANOI – HO CHI MINH (Brunch)

In this morning, we will keep on our journey by junk-boat to explore more islands & natural beauties of Halong Bay.
At around 10:30: you will have a brunch served on the cruise before reaching to Halong Harbour at around 12:00. Right here our car will be at disposal to pick you up to transfer back to the airport in Ho Chi Minh. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh, pick up and transfer to hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Note: the itinerary of the cruise is subject to change without notice

Day 16 | SAIGON FULL DAY CITY TOUR + CU CHI TUNNELS – PRIVATE TOUR (B/-/-)

8:00 am Today we spend a half day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town centre. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace. This famous edifice was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We follow these with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts. The sightseeing ends up with a walk around the retail Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!

Afternoon: Transfer about 30km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi town. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometres and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, weapon factories, filled hospitals, command centres, plus accommodation. Today we have an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels to visit an exposition hall and a widened section of the tunnels to get a feel of the underground life. There are also possibilities to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 17 | HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA – GROUP TOUR (B)

7:45 – 8:00 AM: Pick up at your hotel, depart for Cai Be around 3 hrs driving. On our dedicated bus, you can see the green paddy fields stretching towards the horizontal. When you arrive Cai Be, you’ll board a motorized boat that takes you to the floating market and spend 1 hr there for an interaction that you’ll see nowhere else in the world.

Next, your rowboat will zigzag thru a maze of shadow canals to arrive at a great orchard where you can freely taste many famous tropical fruits of Vietnam and watch locals’ daily chores.

Then we’ll see how coconut candy, crispy rice cake and ceramic are made here (served free with premium hot tea.)

After this, we will ride bicycles and roaming through a village to check out several rural shops or we can relax on a hammock for a short rest. We will land on a marketplace and walk around to see how and what the poor rural people of Vietnam sell. You are encouraged to interact with the vendors and see how friendly and respectful they are. You might also buy many interesting things for the very little amount of money. We spend about the ½ hour here and then board our bus. Free time and overnight at hotel.

Day 18 | HO CHI MINH – SIEM REAP (B)

Breakfast at hotel, free time and transfer to the airport to take the flight to Siem Reap.

Welcome to Siem Reap, the centre of Angkor!

Siem Reap is a small colonial town, charming and pleasant enough to roam around with some fine examples of French colonial architecture.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, warmly greeted by our friendly English Speaking guide, Afterwards, it’s the time for a visit to Angkor Wat – one of the seven greatest architectural wonders of the world, built in between the 9th – 13th century, its general view are five ancients towers’ figure that embroidered or printed to the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Flag now, next on, your guide will take you to an excellent spot for watching a mesmerizing Angkor Wat sunset..

Day 19 | ANGKOR WAT TOUR (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning, This morning you head 30km north to visit the captivating and beautiful temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Fortress of the Women’. The journey allows you to experience the beautiful Cambodian countryside as you pass through small typical villages, on-route you will visit Banteay Samre. Banteay Samre is an elaborately decorated temple, embellished with floral motifs and scenes from the Ramayana, all carved from pink sandstone. It is said the carvings must have been done by women as the detail is too fine for the hands of a man.

Afternoon, you will explore the Small Circuit. This tour includes the huge pyramid of Takeo, and the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Tomb Raider’. You continue to explore the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find the Bayon, a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. You will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city, including the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimeanakas, and the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Back to town and overnight.

Day 20 | SIEM REAP – TONLE SAP LAKE – LUANG PRABANG (B/-)

After breakfast at the hotel.

You take a short 15km drive to Phnom Krom the large hill that looms closer and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the on the Tonle Sap lake, the largest lake in South East Asia. You will see the traditional floating village of Chong Kneas and witness the residents going about their daily life – it is quite a sight seeing a whole bamboo village complete with homes, gas stations, schools, hairdressers, and even karaoke bars floating on a lake. On the way back to Siem Reap you will call in at Artisans d’Angkor, an interesting boutique workshop where you can observe young Cambodians learning traditional Khmer handicraft techniques, such as stone & wood carving, and lacquering & gilding – a great opportunity for last-minute quality souvenirs.

Transfer to airport for your departure flight to Luang Prabang.

Greeting at Luang Prabang airport, transfer to hotel with the guide and listen to Guide’s briefing for whole tour itinerary. On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquillity and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. Pick up and transfer to hotel, free time and overnight at hotel.

Day 21 | LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVE (B)

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning alms-giving ritual to saffron-clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession.

After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in coloured glass. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced. On our way back, we pass by a few more local villages and see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 22 | LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANGSI WATERFALL (B)

Start your day with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre where you are able to observe valuable artefacts and traditional clothing and implements from each of the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. Later in the morning, we go to the Phosi Market, which has an eclectic selection of foodstuffs and souvenirs. Afterwards, we head out to visit some ethnic minority villages and see how these colourful people live. We then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in the turquoise pools or walk along forest paths. We continue to Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek – small villages well known for silk weavings and Saa (jute) Papermaking and return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 23 | LUANG PRABANG DEPARTURE/ BANGKOK ARRIVAL (B)

Breakfast, we visit the National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace 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. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed. After visiting these sights in the morning, there will be free time to venture into town and stroll around the shopping area. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for departure flight to Siem Reap. Greeting at Bangkok airport, transfer to hotel with the guide and listen to Guide’s briefing for whole tour itinerary. Pick up and transfer to hotel, free time and overnight at hotel in Bangkok.

Day 24 | ROYAL GRAND PALACE & EMERALD BUDDHA – CITY TEMPLE TOUR (B, L)

After breakfast, in the morning, visit the highlight of today’s tour – the renowned Royal Grand Palace, one of the must-sees that adjoin Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.

After lunch, explore Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in this city that housing the largest single Buddha image: the Reclining Buddha. Continue to see Wat Arun (Dawn Temple), perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, which is one of the most published images of Bangkok. After that, visit Wat Traimit, ‘Temple of the Golden Buddha’ famous for its 900-year-old and five-and-a-half-ton solid gold image. Then back to the hotel for relaxing.

Day 25 | HALF DAY DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET (B)

After breakfast, you will enter the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. En route with the stop at Train Market and Sugar Palm factory. At the floating market take long tail to visit local lifestyle. Sit down and take your pictures, try some mango and sticky rice or hot soup with fish balls. (on own expenses) Then back to Bangkok. The rest of the day on your own.

Day 26 | BANGKOK DEPARTURE (B)

Morning free and easy until time to transfer to Bangkok airport for departure flight.

Tour Ends

What's included

  • International return flight economy from London Heathrow
  • Other flight as outlined in the itineray on economy class
  • Hotel accommodation on a twin or double-share basic with daily breakfast
  • 1 night on the boat in Halong
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary at the local restaurant.
  • English speaking Tour guide
  • All landed transfers within the tour by air-conditioned vehicle, including pick-up and drop-off at airports on arrival and departure days
  • Boat trips as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Water Puppet Show in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • All taxes & services charge

What's not included

  • Other flights not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages and other meals not indicated in the program
  • Visa to Myanmar, Cambodia & Vietnam, Laos and Thailand
  • Christmas & New Year Eve
  • Early check-in and late check-out at all hotels
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, shopping...)
  • Tipping/ Gratuities
  • Single supplement

Accommodation

Yangon : Royal Khattar
Bagan : WEStay @ Bagan Lotus Hotel
Mandalay : Yadanarbon
InLe Lake : 81 Hotel InLay
Luang Prabang : Villa Chitdara Hotel Hotel [Standard room]
Siem Reap : Claremont Angkor Hotel or similar [Superior room]
Hanoi : Medallion Hotel (or similar) [Superior room]
Halong : Glory Legend Cruises (or similar) [Deluxe cabin]
Ho Chi Minh City : Elios Hotel (or similar) [Deluxe room]
Bangkok : Residence Silom Hotel or similar [Deluxe room]

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Your Program Duration = 26 days Days
All the Prices are in GBP (£) Per Person.

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Travel Info

    • Flight time 13 1/2 hours (Phnom Penh, via Bangkok)
    • Timezone GMT+7 hours
    • Recommended airlines Cathay Pacific, Qatar, Singapore & Thai Airways
    • Best season Throughout the year

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