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Travel to Myanmar before big crowds flush in and enjoy Thailand's essences. Discover diversity of their unique landscapes, cultures and lifestyles in real touches with the locals in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Bangkok, free your mind and body in cool water of Phuket. This journey is prone to make you smile.
|Nov.1 - Mar.31||Handpicked Comfort||Luxury|
|Apr.1 - Oct.31|| || |
Note: We will guarantee you get the price as showed above except that there will be a price fluctuation in festival seasons (such as National Day, Thai New Year, King's Birthday, Myanmar New Year and etc).
Arrive in the former capital city of Myanmar, Yangon welcomes you with a smile. Transfer to your hotel and relax.
Yangon, the former capital and the premier international gateway, is easily connected with other major cities in SE Asia, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai.
Flying from other continents, Bangkok and Singapore can be your transit city. It is better to arrive in Yangon before the afternoon, so that you will have some time to adjust from jetlag. This means, however, an overnight stay in Bangkok for the previous day. Talk to our travel advisor to plan your flight scheduel.
Myanmar visa is required for all western passports, which can be applied locally at the ambassy or online. We include an Approval Letter for your Myanmar trip to save you some time and trouble.
Approval Letter will be used for e-Visa application for air entry. Take your passport and 1 passport-size photo to get your passport stamped at one of the airports of Yangon, Mandalay or Nap Pyi Taw, with no extra cost at the airport.
Most hotels for foreign tourists in Myanmar were built in the late 1990's without A/C and limited choices. It is until recent years that A/C rooms and family rooms have become a standard for hotels when more and more foreign-funded hotels are being built. Hotels of Asia Highlights' selection are all with A/C and rooms of at least 30㎡. To ensure a cozy stay, Asia Highlights would suggest you choose hotels at a higher ranking.
2 nights at Sedona Hotel Yangon (Handpicked Comfort) / Novotel Yangon Max (Luxury)
Usually people don't see Yangon as a metropolise as the city is rather laid-back compared to Bangkok, Singapore or Ho Chi Minh City. Today take a train ride around the city to observe the cityscape.
Yangon Circular Train is 45km in length but it takes about 3 hours to complete the loop, which means it is rather slow and you will be granted a great opportunity to watch the local commuters on their ways to school, workplaces or markets. You will start the ride at about 09am from the Main Station. The train stops every 5 minutes and the locals only have a couple of minutes to hop on or hop off. Get off at a local market in the Insein Station and saunter through lines of veggie and fruit vendors, eventually meet your private transfer at the exit.
Get back to downtown for a simple lunch at a local restaruant before your visit to the National Museum of Myanmar. A good collection including historic relics and household items is on display at this museum, providing an outline of the country.
The afternoon is always the good hours for vendors at Bogyoke Aung San Market, which is named after General Aung San. No matter you want to do some memorabilia or just browsering, this place can be an intriguing experience.
Local believers shuffle in during the sunset hours to Shwedagon Pagoda, the landmark of Yangon. As the sun is setting down, heat goes off and lights go on, creating a sublimely spectacular outline of the glittering pagoda in the night sky. On some important days, there will be some rituals such as novitiation ceremony when the parents send their young sons to the monastey or temple to be a monk.
To ensure you have an authentic experience, we will arrange the local train for you. This kind of train has wooden cabins and seats but no A/C. All windows and doors are open so the air circulation will not be a problem and it is not too hot if traveling in the morning. However, we can still shift it to a modern train with A/C upon your request. The modern train is similar to a subway cargo.- Dress code:
For all religous sites in Myanmar and Thailand, travelers should not wear sleeve-less tops or bottoms. Female travelers should wear long dress instead of mini skirt and touching monks is a No No.
Fly to another ancient capital of Myanmar, that is Mandalay. Meet with your station tour guide in Mandalay and transfer to hotel. Take a break and we will go to lunch on a rooftop restaurant overlooking the entire city.
Mandalay is full of vitality of Buddhism. As the afternoon sightseeing starts, your tour guide will introduce you the history of the delicately built monastery Shwenandaw Monastery. This monastery used to be part of the royal palace and it survived from the earthquake as well as the British bomming targeted the Japanese during the World War II.
Get awed at Kuthodaw Pagoda and the World's Largest Book, just not far from the Shwenandaw Monastery. The workmanship of this massive complex of Buddhism chambers and pagoda is just staggering and it will be a good photography opportunity for professional photograhpers or shutterbugs alike.
Take an elevator up the Mandalay Hill for a supberb view of the city at sunset.
Starting in the afternoon, to avoid the midday sun, you can take in the city's highlights at a leisure pace of walking. We suggest you wear sunglasses as the reflection from the all-white chambers at Kuthodaw Pagoda can be dazzling. Bring a tripod if you would like to capture the sunset at the Mandalay Hill. You will take the elevator up the hill, and all footwear should be removed before entering the case of the elevator. Neverthelss, you can also walk downhill if you feel like, in that case, your tour guide will bring your footwear along.
2 nights at Mandalay Hill Resort (Handpicked Comfort) / Rupar Mandalar Resort Hotel (Luxury)
Be an early bird today! We will make our first visit of the day at Mahamuni Pagoda. This site is known for the daily Face-Washing Ceremony that takes place at 0400am. Fresh towels, flowers, food and other offerings are brought by the local devotees. When the drumming kicks in, the presiding abbot will firstly wash the face of the Buddha image, brush its teeth, smear with sandalwood paste and finally springkle with scented water to complete the entire ritual. Only male visitors are allowed to enter the main chamber and females should wait and watch the video in the adjunct foyer.
Return back to your hotel for breakfast and then we will be on the way to Inwa. En route, stop at Mahagandayon Monastery during the lunch time for the local monks. Villagers come to this monastery to help the kitchen prepare food and you can walk into the spacious and clean cooking both to offer a hand. At 1030am, the monks line up to accept offerings from the local believers and it is quite an affectful site to watch thousands of monks and novices dine together.
Transfer to the pier and hop on a local boat to cross the river. Have lunch at a restaurant by the riverbank.
Due to its relative remoteness, Inwa Ancient City doges away from heavy footfall of tourists and unsympathetic restoration and much of its ruins remain intact. Take a horse cart on a bumpy dirt road to visit some sites including Ava Palace, Bagarya Monastery and some unnamed villages.
Sightseeing in Inwa takes about 2 hours before you get to Amarapura for the famed bridge, U Bein Bridge, the longest teak wood bridge still in use. Find your boat loaded with some fresh beverages await. Row around the bridge and wait for the sunset with a nice drink in hand.
Get back to Mandalay before nightfall.
If you don't feel like getting up early, we will replace the early morning visit at Mahamuni Pagoda with a mid-morning stop at the Jade Market, where you can see local traders haggling over some precious stones.- Boat trip:
Normally, a boat can take up to 4 pessangers, excluding the boater. Your tipping of small bucks to the boater will be greatly appreciated, suggested amount of USD1 per person.
Take a morning flight to Bagan. Check in upon arrival and your private tour guide will take you to the less well-trodden village, West Pwa-Saw Village, home to the friendly Shan people. An experienced chef is waiting for you to start today's cooking class
Travelers who have no gastronomy expectation for their Myanmar trips are often delightfully surprised by the traditional Burmese culinery, which is distinguishly characterised by extensive use of fish prodcuts (fish oil, fish sauce and etc) and raw veggatables. West Pwa-Saw Village, located close to the main road to enter Nyuang U, is part of the JICA Bagan Tourism Development Project and the funds of the cooking class will be spent on supporting the community for schooling and housing.
Enjoy the fruit of your labor with the warm-hearted villagers. Later, visit Shwezigon Pagoda, which is the first Burmese-style pagoda and all pagodas across Myanmar are built based on its grandiose pattern. Constructed in 1060, it is still the most worshiped shrine in Nyuang U of Bagan.
JICA, short for Japan International Cooperation Agency, is a Japan-based international NGO that has been devoting to reducing poverty and pollution, enhancing living environment and education and addressing food safety and human security in over 150 countries since 1974. Its main mission in Myanmar, is to provide assistance to minority ethnic groups, prompt faciltiy for economic development and infectious disease control over malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
2 nights at Aye Yar River View Resort (Handpicked Comfort) / Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan (Luxury)
In comparison with Mandalay, Bagan is more like a dizzy day dream that you find it hard not to be hypnotized by the psychedelic site of thousands of pagodas in the morning mist. Today you will visit the World Heritage Site, Bagan Archaeological Zone. Given some pagodas are only a hallow shell, your tour guide will pick some textbook examples, such as Ananda Pagoda, Dhammayangyi Pagoda, Maha Bodhi Pagoda and Dhammayangyi Temple for your visit.
Flying up in the sky, overlooking all the temples at sunrise, a 1-hour hot air balloon ride can be something special to tell your friends back home. It is available for booking during October to next March, morning time schedule every day and sunset flight upon request.
Situated at a higher alititude, Inle Lake is thouhgt as a great escape from the scorching heat of the plains. Take a mid-morning flight to Heho, the airport town of Inle Lake.
After a lunch in a floating resatuarant, you will take a boat trip on the lake. Chances to observe the legendary one-leg fishermen rowing their boats. The technique in which they control and direct the hull of the boat with one leg while the other leg wraps around the aor to provide propulsion is simply fascinating. They would love to show off their skills by posing for your camera.
As the boat slowing sways, your tour guide will introduce the build of the farming beds of the floating gardens. Dwellers gather water weeds from the bottom of the lake to make them into fertlized beds and tomatos, cabbages, beans and various of veggetables, even fruits, are planted on the beds that are fixed onto a pole.
Get back to your hotel before the sun sets.
Heho, Nyaungshwe and Inle Lake are the three major settlements around Inle Lake area.
1. Heho, 1 hour away by car from Inle Lake, has an airport and a railway station, also the termnial of some long-haul buses. Travelers who plan to spend at least 5 days in Inle Lake favorite this place for budget-friendly accommodations and easy transfer.
2. Nyaungshwe, the main town of Inle Lake area, is 45 minutes by car to both the airport in Heho and to the lake itself. It offers a big share of mid-range hotels, great value resorts, nice restaurants and the lively main town atmosphere is just good for people-watching.
3. Inle Lake, particularly around the lakeshore, is where the finest resorts are located. Featuring with nice lake view and mostly garden-setting, these hotels are made for great stay more than just 1 night, which makes up the limited choice of getting around in these laid-back villages.
Asia Highlights chooses hotels that are within half-hour driving to the lake with nice rooms and great services in Nyaungshwe.
2 nights at Inle Resort & Spa (Handpicked Comfort) / Aureum Inle Resort and Spa (Luxury)
Ever wonder how the villagers living in the floating houses get their daily suppliers? Today you will check out the 5-Day Market of the lake.
A 5-day rotation of hosting market is kept for ages by the major villages around Inle Lake, namely Nyaung Shwe, Heho, Indein, Taunggyi, Mine Thauk and Shwe Nyaung. Flat-bottomed boats squash the canel at the dork and vendors yell to sell their home-grew products and beautiful handicrafts.
Row your way to Indein Pagoda Complex, where you see numerous abandoned pagodas springing out from the water and lush grass. Most pagodas here were built to worship the Nat spirits and the exquisite carvings are just fine to watch.
Your journey goes on after a lunch in a floating restaurant, next stop is Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the most worshipped shrine of the lake. During festivals, four Buddha images will be carried by boat on a river parade over the lake.
Get back to your hotel and rest at leisure.
Leaving Myanmar, Thailand awaits you. Take a morning flight to Bangkok. Transfer to hotel and free at leisure for the rest of today.
2 nights at Furama Silom Hotel(Handpicked Comfort) / Pullman Bangkok Hotel G(Luxury)
Bustling, busy, noisy yet friendly enough for you to blend in, that is Bangkok. To beat the traffic jam, today we will drive out of Bangkok for 2 hours in the early morning to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. This is the one that you see on every postcard of Bangkok yet it's still worthy the trip given your travel time is right; 8am to 10am is the best time to avoid tourists crowds. At this market, your tour guide will take you onto a long-tail boat to weave through the creeks filled with boats. The visit will be 1 or 2 hours before heading back to Bangkok and have lunch on the way.
The imposing Royal Palace is sacred to very Thai and today you will understand why. Your tour guide will take you to cover the grounds and visit the Temple of Emerald Buddha. Today's last stop is Jim Thompson's House and you will learn about his life dedicated to Thai silk.
1. Although Damnoen Saduak might seem like a leave-it-or-take-it option, it is still necessary to go with a private tour guide if you don't feel like stopping at every shop of the market only because the boatman or free-lance tour guide you hire wants to earn some commission.
2. If your travel date falls on weekend, we will take you to Talin Chan Floating Market, which consists of three major sectors and each focuses on different business. Or we can get to the Evening Amphawa Floating Market (only for weekends) and stay one night there when the action and fun is full on.
Enjoy some free time in Bangkok and take an afternoon flight to Phuket. Transfer to hotel and relax.
Generally, travelers choose to stay at one of the five locales: Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Kamala Beach and Phuket Town. To get a quick concept:
1. Patong Beach is made for party people, numerous choices for accommodations ranging from 10-dollar guesthouses to international brand luxury resorts. Bustling, punky and every day is a carnival, perfect for young travelers.
2. Featuring with long and narrow white sand beach, Kata Beach and Karon Beach are very close. They are on the southeast corner of Phuket island, not too crowdy, not too noisy yet you have good enough choices for hotels, restaurants and activities. Especially fancied by families and couples.
3. Close to the airport and theme parks, Kamala Beach, along with Surin and Bangthao, is the choice for short stays of less than 2 days or families with young children. Horseback riding, golfing and other ground activities can be found here.
4. Away from the ocean, Phuket Town makes a comeback with budget-friendly hotels and plenty choices for shopping and dining, Phuket Old Town and Weekend Market are two pluses. Make sure you choose a hotel with a swimming pool in Phuket Town.
Most of Asia Highlights' customers show favor over hotels in Kata Beach and Karon Beach for great value and unforgetable experiences, which will also be our choice for you.
2 nights at Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort (Handpicked Comfort) / Katathani Phuket Beach Resort (Luxury)
Enjoy your free days in Phuket.
Fly to Bangkok and connect your onward flight back home.
Extend your trip to neighbour countries such as Cambodia and Laos from Thailand. Find out what a 5-day Siem Reap trip has to offer.
- A local Khmer scholar sharing insights of Angkor Wat
- Sparkling diamonds:Bantey Srei and Beng Meala
- Meet those who live above water in a floating village
- No time wasted - Airport Fast Track Services only for VIPs
- Helping while traveling - give back to the local community
Note: Several direct flights between Bangkok and Siem Reap, let us know if you need one.
Asia Highlights chooses hotels with a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep.
- Ranked 13/147 of hotels in Yangon.
- Located by the Inya Lake, offering good view of the lake and the city.
- Spacious rooms, free Wifi, swimming pool and family room available.
- Ranked 11/110 on TripAdvisor.
- Located by the hill foot and overlooking the city.
- Big rooms with view of the Royala Palace, great breakfast and services.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor.
- By the Ayeyarwaddy River, wide-open surroundings and setting.
- Swimming pool, spa center, spacious rooms with balcony and soft bed.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor.
- Wooden villas, quiet surrounding, 20 minutes of driving to Inle Lake.
- Rooms of 100sqm, nice natural views, swimming pool and free wifi.
- Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for 2 years.
- Located in Silom District, close to BTS station, malls and restaurants.
- Swimming pool, wide range for buffet breakfast, spacious rooms.
- Ranked 6/57 in all hotels in Kata Beach, winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAvdisor.
- 10 minutes to the beach, many shops and restaurants around.
- 43sqm rooms, private balcony, kids club is perfect for family stay.
Note: Your comfort counts! It's totally possible to change hotels based on your interests and budget. Just let us know your preferences and we will help you choose.