Validity: 01 November 2018 – 31 October 2019
Exotic Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city to Yangon. The exciting journey that awaits you on a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok on your own. Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years and drive northward to Sukhothai. Travelling to the border town of Mae Sai, at the tip of Thailand. At this border crossing, arrangements may be made to enter Myanmar. Visit one of the tribes to see their unique way of life and learn more about their culture before driving to Chiang Mai, ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom. On day 12 Spent an afternoon at leisure and visit a stunning Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset.
DAY 1 : Depart for Thailand
Depart for Thailand
DAY 2 : Arrive in Bangkok
Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone
DAY 3 : Bangkok City Tour (B / – / D)
Orientation meeting this morning with your Tour Manager highlights the exciting journey that awaits you. Afterwards, continue on a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Begin the tour at Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high. Drive to Royal Avenue where most of the Government offices are located and the King’s Palace before returning to your hotel. Tonight, dinner at a local restaurant with entertainment, including a performance of Khon-traditional Thai dance.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 4 : Full Day in Bangkok (B / – / -)
Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok on your own. Or, don’t miss the optional morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbol and ceremonial heart of the kingdom – together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. Despite the proximity of the two, there’s a distinct contrast in style between the Thai-inspired Wat Phra Kaew and the European design of the Grand Palace. In the evening, attend the optional Buffet Dinner and stunning performance of the “Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam”. Boasting over 150 performers, this lavish production delves into Siam’s history and culture
Optional: Half Day Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (AM)
Optional: Siam Niramit Show & Dinner (PM)
DAY 5 : Bangkok / Travel to Ayutthaya (B / L / D)
Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years, once glorified as one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia. Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, monasteries and towers – one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Visit Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake. Originally built by King Prasat Tong in 1632, Bang Pa-In served as the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, built by King Prasat Tong to honor his mother, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple – this is a serene place where one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Rest of the day at leisure
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6 : Ayutthaya / Travel to Sukhothai (B / L / -)
Depart Ayutthaya this morning and drive northward to Sukhothai, birthplace of the Thai nation, founded in the 13th century by King Ramkhamhaeng. The country’s first capital was established here in 1238 and lasted over two centuries. Sukhothai is world-famous its over 100 historical sites and treasures, including some of the most beautiful Thai art and architecture in the country, created during the city’s “golden era”, between the 13th and 14th centuries. Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore historical Sukhothai independently.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 7 : Sukhothai / Travel to Chiang Rai (B / L / -)
After breakfast visit to the Old Town of Sukhothai with its impressive Historical Park, immaculately restored and set among leafy hills and peaceful lotus ponds, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At this astonishing site, most of the remains of the original city can be seen. Marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palaces, temples and historical monuments and feel yourself drift back in time to a bygone era. Then, depart Sukhothai and drive to scenic Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. Spend the rest of the half day at leisure.
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 8 : Mae Sai Border Town & Golden Triangle (B / L / -)
Travel to the border town of Mae Sai, at the tip of Thailand. At this border crossing, arrangements may be made to enter Myanmar*. Ascend to the hilltop viewpoint to see the famous “Golden Triangle” of Southeast Asia – meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The locals call it “Sop Ruak”, as this is also where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. A short cruise then takes you along the banks of the Mekong to the small island of Don Sao in Laos; leisure time at the lively markets before returning to Thailand. Continue to the dramatic House of Opium at Golden Triangle Park, offering an informative exhibition on the history of opium which dates back almost 5000 years. Later, savor a locally prepared lunch in a nearby farming village before returning to Chiang Rai for overnight
*Crossing into Myanmar (Burma) requires a visa which may be obtained locally at the border crossing, at your own expense
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 9 : Chiang Rai / Travel to Chiang Mai (B / – / -)
Morning at leisure when you have an opportunity to join the optional excursion to Mae Salong, still inhabited by hill people, namely the Akha, Long Neck and Salong tribes. Visit one of the tribes to see their unique way of life and learn more about their culture before driving to Chiang Mai, ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom. En route, stop at a local gem gallery before arriving in Chiang Mai, cultural heart of Northern Thailand, located in the rolling foothills of the Himalayas. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure
Optional: Half Day Mae Salong Hill Tribe (AM)
Overnight: Chiang Mai
DAY 10 : Full Day in Chiang Mai (B / – / -)
Morning at leisure to explore Chiang Mai independently. Or, join the optional Elephant Kingdom Tour, where you’ll see elephants bathing in the running streams, attend a lecture on the Thai Elephant and learn how the mahout train and care for these majestic animals. In the afternoon, visit Sankampang Street, center of handicrafts, for on-site demonstrations on how the silk, lacquer, silver, wood and bronze wares are made. Later, visit the world’s largest gem factory, to watch while the gem stones are cut and set. Spend the rest of the day at leisure
Optional: Half Day Elephant Kingdom Tour with lunch (AM)
Overnight: Chiang Mai
DAY 11 : Chiang Mai City & Temples Tour, Dinner at Private Home (B / – / D)
Morning tour of the most interesting temples in Chiang Mai. Begin at Wat Suan Dok, where the remains of the Chiang Mai Royal family are enshrined. Continue to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Northern Thailand’s most sacred temple, containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha. Equally impressive is the mythological Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with 290 steps leading up to the temple grounds. Visit to a local jade factory, followed by an afternoon at leisure to wander independently in Chiang Mai. Tonight, a unique experience. Join a local Chiang Mai family at an authentic Thai Dinner in their home. Enjoy a tour of the home, conversation about life in Chiang Mai and savor the great flavors of home-cooked food.
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 12 : Flight to Yangon (B / – / -)
Our guide will pick you up from Rangoon International Airport and transfer to the hotel of your choice. Spent an afternoon at leisure and visit a stunning Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. Known as well as Shwedagon Zedi Daw is a 99 meters (325ft) gilded pagoda and stupa, and the most important landmark of Myanmar. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, thus dominating the skyline of the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within.
Your next stop is at the intersection of Anwrahta Road and Sule Pagoda Road, where Rangoon’s Little India starts. Walk along the road among the endless stalls selling absolutely everything from clothes through mobile phones to pirated DVDs. Enjoy the exotic sounds, sights, and smells of India without leaving Myanmar. And if the smell will make you hungry, help yourself with a freshly fried roti canai from one of many street food vendors on your way. Take a look at the colorful Indian Sri Kali temple and turn left to Shwedagon Pagoda Road. Admire colorful neons advertising limited Rangoon’s nightlife, until you reach Mahabandoola Road. Turn right and you are in Chinatown. Enjoy the night market with a significantly different atmosphere, take a look at the Cantonese Kwan Yin temple, and reach the famous 19th Street filled with restaurants and beer stations. Our favorites are Kosan 19th Street Snack & Bar, and Shwe Mingalar Restaurant, but don’t be shy to experiment on your own.
After dinner and perhaps a couple of cold Myanmar beers, it’s time to go back to your hotel.
DAY 13 : Full Day in Yangon (B / – / -)
After breakfast transfer to Sule Pagoda. This Burmese stupa is located in the heart of downtown Rangoon, occupying the centre of the city and an important space in contemporary Burmese politics, ideology and geography. According to legend, it was built before the Shwedagon Pagoda during the lifetime of the Buddha, making it more than 2,600 years old. The pagoda is listed on the Rangoon Heritage List. Have your future foretold by one of the many fortunetellers residing in small rooms surrounding the pagoda (5000 kyats), and continue west towards the Mahabandoola Park featuring Myanmar’s Independence Monument. From there you can see some grand colonial buildings, namely the City Hall, the Supremer Court, and the Baptist Church among the others. Continue west through always busy street market, where you will meet plenty of black market money changers and street vendors selling everything from fried samosas (popular Indian snack) through cheap clothes to used books, often in English.
Famous Pansodan Street will take you to the Pansodan jetty, where you can observe daily life on a colorful jetty market. Tens of thousands of people cross the Rangoon river daily to work or sell their homemade goods in the city. Time permitting you can jump on the ferry for a return trip to get an exotic experience, which is a daily reality of many Rangoonians. On the way to the jetty you will see even more old buildings remembering the British colonial times, street bookshops offering sometimes real literary jewels at bargain prices, and vendors selling betel nuts – apparently the most popular stimulant in the country.
Continue the walk along the river to discover more colonial buildings like the Custom House, The British Embassy, and the General Post Office among others. It’s also a perfect time to stop at the colonial bar of The Strand Hotel for a refreshing drink. The Strand is a Victorian-style hotel, built in 1896 by Aviet and Tigran Sarkie. The hotel, which opened in 1901 is one of the most famous hotels in Rangoon and Southeast Asia. It’s named after its address, at 92 Strand Road. Turn into 41st Street to see typical apartment blocks of many Rangoonians. The street often turns into a food market, where people from the area buy fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables. Turn left upon reaching Merchant Street, and stop in a teashop on the corner to try famous Burmese tea.
In the afternoon visit Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda. The pagoda features an image of a reclining Buddha, 216ft in length. It is the third largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar. One significant thing is that, the eyes of this Buddha are made of glass and look like real human eyes. Later on visit Bogyoke Aung San Market. Formerly known as the Scott’s market is known for its colonial architecture and inner cobblestone streets. The market is a major tourist destination dominated by antique, Burmese handicrafts, jewellery shops, art galleries, and clothing stores. It also has a number of stores for local shoppers, selling medicine, foodstuffs, garments and foreign goods. Finish the day by a leisurely stroll in the Kandawgyi Park admiring a beautiful sunset over The Royal Barge in the shape of a golden dragon housing a popular restaurant, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in a distance. Our guide will take you to the hotel or for dinner to the restaurant of your choice. Good place to have a couple of cold Myanmar beers or other drinks of your choice is a popular 50th Street Bar.
DAY 14 : Full Day in Yangon (B / – / -)
After breakfast, our guide will transfer you to the Rangoon’s Central Railway Station, where you will board a circular train. The slow train rides in a circle around various Rangoon neighborhoods and on the outskirts of the city. Enjoy observing the lively and colorful life of the city and rural Burmese people. Disembark after approximately one hour in Insein, which is a home to one of the city’s best fresh markets filled with vendors and tons of colorful items for sale. Walk amid the stalls examining the fruits, produce and meats on sale and chat with the friendly locals. Transfer by car to Kalaywa Monastery, which is a home to almost 2,000 monks. You will have a chance to observe the ceremony of eating lunch – their last meal of the day according to the Buddhism principles. Eat lunch at the restaurant of your choice and transfer to the airport for flight to Bangkok. Arrive at your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 15 : Depart Thailand (B / – / -)
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight