Myanmar & Laos: Land of a Thousand Temples

January 23, 2015 - February 10, 2015

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 23 - Jan 24 USA / En Route

Board your independent flight to Myanmar.

January 25 Yangon, Myanmar

Arrive in Yangon and transfer to the Governor’s Residence Hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure with lunch on your own. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

January 26 Yangon

Today’s introduction to this fabled city includes the old colonial-style city center, of the stunning golden-spired temples of the Shwedagon Pagoda and the National Museum. Dinner and overnight at Governor’s Residence Hotel.

January 27 Yangon / Mandalay

After breakfast, visit Chauk Htat Gyi and a monastic orphanage, then make a photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge before your flight to Mandalay. On arrival transfer to the Sedona Hotel; here, enjoy dinner and overnight for the next two nights.

January 28 Mandalay

Today drive to Amarapura, a World Heritage Site. Visit U Bein Bridge, a Kalaga tapestry workshop, a gold leaf workshop, and take a drive through a village known for marble carving. After lunch return to Mandalay to visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung, and Kuthodaw Pagoda.

January 29 Mandalay / Embark R/V Pandaw

After breakfast board the colonial riverboat, R/V Pandaw, for a scenic 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.

Jan 30 - Jan 31 Bagan

Disembark the R/V Pandaw in Bagan—a World Heritage Site and one of the greatest architectural sites of Asia. Over the next two days, you will see a variety of significant temples. Visits include Sulamani, a Bamar-style temple that houses four seated Buddha images; the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda; Ananda Temple, which houses four standing Buddhas; and the adjacent Thatbyinnyu. Also make a photo stop at the temples of Dhammayangyi and visit the Moe Moe lacquerware factory. Spend two nights at the Bagan Resort Hotel.

February 1 Bagan / Heho / Inle Lake

This morning, transfer to the airport for our flight to Heho. Upon arrival, tour the Pindaya Caves, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. 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 for two nights at the Inle Princess Resort.

February 2 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 at various centers around the lake.

February 3 Inle Lake / Heho / Chiang Saen

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before transferring to Heho for a short midday flight to Tachilek. Cross the border into Thailand in time for dinner at the luxurious Antantara Golden Triangle Resort; our base for two days.

February 4 Chiang Saen

After breakfast visit the center of the Golden Triangle where you can see both Laos and Myanmar across the Mekong and Ruak rivers. You may also visit the Hall of Opium Museum. Return to the hotel for lunch with the afternoon at leisure.

February 5 Chiang Saen / Houeisay, Laos / Mekong Cruise / Pakbeng

After a drive 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 6 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, our base for two days, in time for dinner. Afterwards there is free time to explore the bustling night market on your own.

February 7 Luang Prabang

A full-day tour of this World Heritage Site showcases the capital of the first Lao Kingdom. Stroll the back streets to witness families, cottage industries, and lovely temple complexes, such as the renowned Vat Xieng Thong. In the afternoon choose a guided tour of several temples, or explore the enchanting neighborhoods and interesting shops on your own.

February 8 Luang Prabang / Vientiane

After breakfast visit a colorful vegetable market and the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts. 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 9 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. Then meet Carol Cassidy, the famed textiles expert, to view her intricate creations and browse the Saoban Handicraft Center. This evening enjoy your last overnight at the Lao Plaza Hotel.

February 10 Vientiane / Bangkok, Thailand / USA

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your independent flight to Bangkok and connect with flights to the USA.