Make this epic journey to see the remnants of South East Asia’s most amazing past empires. T Multi country trip circles South East Asia visiting Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, starting in Yangoon and ending in Luang Prabang.
Join Earthbound Expeditions on this amazing tour of the highlights of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. This tour of South East Asia has something for everyone including World Heritage Sites, natural wonders, quaint villages – all in one go. Not to mention sampling the local food and drink that will please the most avid foodie.
You will see the stunning natural beauty of the mountains of Laos, the floating farms and villages of Inle Lake (Myanmar). Be awestruck by the ancient temple sites of Angkor Wat (the largest temple on earth) and Bagan (see over 3100 temples – stupa at one site), a must for every traveler’s bucket list.
Chill out in Luang Prabang (Laos), don’t miss the Monks collecting alms. Get your culture fix at countless beautiful temples where all that glitters is actually gold. Do some local shopping at the night markets in Luang Prabang (Laos) and Siem Reap (Cambodia).
And after a long day of touring, you can indulge yourself to a well deserved spa treatment. South East Asia is renown for message and Ayurvedic spa treatments.
Myanmar: Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, tour the temples of Bagan, tour the historic capital of Mandalay, tour the floating farms and villages of Inle. Add ons: tour of the golden rock, beach stay on Myanmar coast, and additional days at any location.
Cambodia: Angkor Wat, market of Siem Reap. Add ons: additional days at Angkor Wat, tour of Tonle Sap Lake.
Laos: Temples of Luang Prabang, encounter the Monks collecting alms. Add ons: the night market, visit to Kuang Si falls, tour of the hill tribes.
Make this trip part of your travel plans, for a once in a lifetime experience.
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This itinerary can customized as per your travel needs and schedule.
Now is the time to visit Myanmar. The country is awakening from its isolated slumber. Sanctions have dropped, democracy is burgeoning, and the world, tourists included, have arrived to do business. But you’ll be delighted to see that the country is still free of western franchises, and the locals can still be seen wearing traditional cloths
As a traveler you get the best of both worlds. You can now access ATMs in most locations, stay in high quality lodging, the flights run on time, the locals will welcome you with charm and open arms, and you can still see the history and local charm.
You will see an extraordinary land, scattered with gilded pagodas, where the traditional ways of Asia endure. Best of all you will interact directly with locals who are eager to make your stay amazing, and who want to learn about the rest of the world and show you what Myanmar has to offer the outside.
Be awestruck by the ancient temple site of Bagan where you will see over 3100 temples and stupa at one location, a must for every traveler’s bucket list. Bagan was founded in the 9th century, and building was ongoing through the 15th century. It ranks with Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, as a destination. The temple site is approximately 10 sq kilometers (2500 acres), and originally had over 10,000 temples and stupas. Make a side trip to the lacquer factory, that is world renown for everything from furniture to dishware.
Be dazzled by the Swedagon Pagoda in Yangon, also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, it’s a gilded stupa 99 metres (325 ft) tall, where all that glitters is actually gold. Myanmar is rich in natural resources, including gold, so it was used liberally throughout this temple and across the country. If it looks like gold in the picture, it is gold. Make sure to pay a visit at night, where the gold glitters as bright under the lights, and with fewer people, you can contemplate the dedication and devotion that went into its construction.
And no trip to Myanmar is complete without a visit to Inle Lake. Inle is a truly unique and wonderful place to visit. It’s a relatively shallow (7-12 ft deep, 2.1-3.7 meters) lake in the middle of the hills of Myanmar, where the locals, over the years, have built villages and farms that float atop the the water. As you traverse the lake in a small boat you will see how the locals adapted to life on the water, and see ancient and modern temples. Make sure to visit Phaungdawoo Pagoda (modern), where there is a tradition of adding gold to the statues of Buddha, resulting in 5 large lumps of gold (we assure you there are actually statues of Buddha underneath). Chill out at the Jumping Cat temple (warning, the cats no longer jump, but it’s still impressive). Or visit a monastery built hundreds of years ago that is still active.
Take in the history of Mandaly, once the capital of the ancient Burmese empire. Stare in disbelief at the Golden Rock at Mt Kyaiktiyo, teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. These are all important Buddhist sights in a country where pious monks are more revered than celebrities, and most men go into the monastery for at least a portion of their life
Make sure to indulge all of your senses and enjoy the local fish and food. You can buy local hand made linens and clothing, some made from the lotus flower. There are locally made wines, cigars, and don’t miss the spice market which will delight your senses and leave you longing for an exotic meal.
Cambodia has been taken from the heights of one of the most powerful empires in the history of Asia (the Khmer Empire reigned until the end of the 14th century), to the depths of the bombings during the Vietnam War and subsequently the brutal terror of the Khmer Rouge, with an interim colonization by the French. All has resulted in a country with quaint charm, a warm friendly population eager to reach out to the world, and historical sites unparalleled across Asia, if not the world.
A visit to Cambodia is synonymous with a visit to Angkor Wat. Once the capital of the Khmer empire that spanned most of south east Asia, the former kings built temples worthy of such an empire. It is the largest temple complex, and the temple of Angkor Wat is the largest single temple on earth (often compared to Machu Picchu and Petra in grandeur). Imagine what villagers must have thought of the power off Vishnu, as they walked up the steps of Angkor Wat. You will be awestruck by the Angkor Wat temple, built in the early 12th century, often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. Pictures do not do justice to the experience of exploring this massive structure. Make sure to visit at sunrise for a spectacular view, plus you can tour the temple in the cool of the morning before the crowds build (make sure to budget several hours).
Make your next stop the temple of Angkor Thom, built later in the 12th century after the country converted to Buddhism. It was built to be equally grand as Angkor Wat, and to help convert locals to Buddhism and solidify it as the new religion. There are 54 towers with four faces each, totaling 216 faces of Buddha. Pick your favorite! And do your best impression of Tomb Raiders at Ta Prohm, where those movies were filmed, and it is still largely overgrown with trees and vines. It makes for a mini adventure of its own as you explore real ruins.
Laos is forgotten no more. This country, once overlooked by tourists headed to Angkor Wat and Vietnam, is slowly being discovered for it’s incredible natural beauty, and old fashioned charm. This is your destination to chill out, eat a smorgasbord of great food, enjoy drinking Lao Lao like a local, and view an environment that is still pristine and something out of a fairy tale. And you won’t (yet) be overrun with masses of tourists.
Completely laid back and friendly, Luang Prabang will be the center of your visit to Laos. Nestled in the mountains of northern Laos, against the Mekong River, this quiet town packs a punch. Start your day early to watch the local monks walking the streets collecting alms. Then, after breakfast, follow them back to the temples and monasteries built in a uniquely Lao fashion. With sweeping low hanging roofs, they resemble something out of a movie. And end your day with a trip to the night market, and dinner that will tantalize your palate. Cap off the night with a bit of Lao Lao (local rice whiskey).
Make sure to walk to the top of Pou Si Hill for sunrise or sunset over the Mekong River Valley, including Wat Tham Phou Si temple. Just a short drive from town, you can visit an elephant sanctuary (maybe help wash them), or take a dip in the surreal Kuang Si falls, which drops 60 M (200 Ft) then cascade down the hillside through travertine turquoise pools. A scenic and refreshing addition. Stop at the local bear rescue to get an up close view of an Asian black bear.
And take in the remnants of the French colonization at any number of bakeries, coffee houses, and yes, even French restaurants. A morning walk to breakfast sees old French architecture mixed with the smell of coffee and fresh baked bread, swirling with exotic local spices. Do you eat the croissant and yogurt? Or the spicy noodle bowl? Definitely try both, combined with abundant fresh fruits and juices and dark rich coffee.
Of course, there are the adventure activities such as zip lining, white water rafting, off-road tours, and mountain biking if you are looking to add some excitement to the trip.
Extend your visit with a hike through the mountains or a visit to one or more of the colorful hill tribes, where you can experience local culture that has not yet been changed by the modern world. Take a boat trip down the Mekong River and watch the landscape transform mountains into flat lands full of coconut trees and rice fields. Or we can facilitate a side trip to Vientiane, so languid that you forget it’s the capital city. Enjoy the grand French villas, and cafe culture, and maybe join in the morning exercise by the river.