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Myanmar & Laos: Land of a Thousand TemplesJanuary 31, 2014 - February 18, 2014
Priced from: $11,480
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Jan 31 - Feb 1 USA / Bangkok, Thailand
Depart the USA on your independent flight to Bangkok.
February 2 Bangkok
Arrive in Bangkok and check into the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. The day is at leisure with lunch on your own. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
February 3 Bangkok / Yangon, Myanmar
This morning, board your flight to Yangon. Today’s introduction to this fabled city includes the old colonial-style city center, the Sule Pagoda, and Chauk Htat Gyi. Make a photo stop at Karaweik Hall royal floating barge, then tour the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda. Dinner and overnight at Governor’s Residence.
February 4 Yangon / Mandalay
After breakfast, visit Botathaung Pagoda, Kaba Aye (World Peace) Pagoda, and stop at Bogyoke Market to see Myanmar’s wide range of handicrafts before your flight to Mandalay. On arrival transfer to the Sedona Hotel; here, enjoy dinner and overnight for the next two nights.
February 5 Mandalay
Today drive to the World Heritage Site city of Amarapura and visit a workshop where Kalaga tapestries are made. After lunch return to Mandalay to visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung, and Kuthodaw Pagoda.
February 6 Mandalay / Embark R/V Pandaw
After breakfast board the colonial riverboat, R/V Pandaw, for a two-day cruise along the Irrawaddy River to the ancient capital of Bagan. Enjoy a sunset dinner on the top deck, with overnight on board.
February 7 Bagan
This morning, stop at Thein Gone Village to visit its monastery and a small school. Disembark the R/V Pandaw in Bagan—a World Heritage Site and one of the greatest architectural sites of Asia. Visit Sulamani, a Bamar-style temple that houses four seated Buddha images, and Bagan’s most impressive temples. For the next two nights, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the Bagan Resort Hotel.
February 8 Bagan
Visit the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, explore Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple that is covered with fine frescoes, and stop by the Htilominlo Temple. Continue on to Ananda Temple, which houses four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent Thatbyinnyu. Following lunch, visit the temples of Dhammayangyi and Mingalazedi and stop at the Moe Moe lacquerware factory.
February 9 Bagan / Heho / Inle Lake
This morning, transfer to the airport for our flight to Heho. After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the Pindaya Caves, overlooking Inle Lake. You also have the opportunity to visit local homes where families produce Shan paper and parasols, then drive to Nyaung Shew on the edge of Inle Lake. Dinner and overnight at the Inle Princess Resort.
February 10 Inle Lake
This morning take a boat tour of Inle Lake visiting the Phaung Daw U Pagoda and Nga Phe Kyaung, one of the oldest lake monasteries in the country. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then observe traditional handicrafts being made.
February 11 Inle Lake / Heho / Chiang Saen
Enjoy a morning at leisure, then transfer to Heho for a short midday flight to Tachilek. Cross the border into Thailand in time for dinner and overnight at the luxurious Antantara Golden Triangle Resort.
February 12 Chiang Saen
After breakfast visit the center of the Golden Triangle where you can see both Laos and Myanmar across the river. You may also visit the Hall of Opium Museum. Return to the hotel for lunch with the afternoon at leisure.
February 13 Chiang Saen / Houeisay, Laos / Mekong Cruise / Pakbeng
After a ferry ride across the Mekong into Laos, begin two days of cruising on the Mekong River, making stops to observe rural life and visit with minority tribes-people. Arrive in Pakbeng and transfer to your riverside lodge, with breathtaking views over the Mekong. Dinner and overnight at the Luang Say Lodge.
February 14 Pakbeng / Mekong Cruise / Pak Ou / Luang Prabang
This morning your cruise continues with a stop at Ban Baw to observe the production of rice alcohol and a visit to the famous Pak Ou caves of Tham Ting. Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to Luang Say Residence for dinner and overnight.
February 15 Luang Prabang
A full-day tour of this World Heritage Site showcases the capital of the first Lao Kingdom. Visit many of the city’s pagodas and temples, such as Vat Xieng Thong, Vat Visoun, and Vat Aham. After lunch you will visit Vat Mai, famed for its multi-tiered timber framed roofs and decorated columns.
February 16 Luang Prabang / Vientiane
After breakfast visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts. Also visit Vat That Luang, Ban Hat Hient, and the marketplace, then drive to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. In Vientiane transfer to the Lao Plaza Hotel to enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight.
February 17 Vientiane
Today explore the new capital of Laos. Your itinerary includes Vat Si Saket, Ho Phra Keo, and Pha That Luang—the Great Sacred Stupa and most important national monument in Laos—and the Talaat Sao Market. This evening enjoy your last overnight at the Lao Plaza Hotel.
February 18 Vientiane / Bangkok, Thailand / USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your independent flight to Bangkok and connect with flights to the USA.