Make this epic journey to see the remnants of South East Asia’s most fantastic 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 fantastic 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 location), 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 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 the message and Ayurvedic spa treatments.
Myanmar: Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, tour the temples of Bagan, visit the historic capital of Mandalay, visit the floating farms and villages of Inle. Add-ons: the 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, the tour of Tonle Sap Lake.
Laos: Temples of Luang Prabang, encounter the Monks collecting alms. Add-ons: the night market, visit Kuang Si falls, the tour of the hill tribes.
Make this trip part of your travel plans, for a once in a lifetime experience.
For any inquiries, please do send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This itinerary can be 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 even be seen wearing traditional clothes
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 beauty.
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 fantastic, 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 ten 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 Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, it’s a gilded stupa 99 meters (325 ft) tall, where all that glitters is 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 beautiful 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 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 (current), 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 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 Mandalay, 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 critical 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 handmade linens and clothing, some made from the lotus flower. There are locally produced 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 have 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 most massive 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 of 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 made to be equally grand as Angkor Wat and to help save 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 make your best impression of Tomb Raiders at Ta Prohm, where those movies were filmed, and it is still mostly 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 its incredible natural beauty, and old-fashioned charm. This is your destination to chill out, eat a meal 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 turquoise travertine 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 freshly baked bread, swirling with exotic local spices. Do you eat the croissant and yogurt? Or the spicy noodle bowl? 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 flatlands full of coconut trees and rice fields. Or we can facilitate a side trip to Vientiane, so weary 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.
Arrive in Yangon where you will be welcomed by your local tour guide and transferred to your hotel to drop off your luggage. Start exploring Yangon’s colonial city style, Mahabandoola Park and Town Hall near Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years ago. Then visit the Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) for souvenir shopping (which is closed on Monday) and to Chaukhtutgyi, a huge reclining Buddha image. In the afternoon visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda of Rudyard Kipling fame and one of Myanmar\'s most sacred places. The massive bell shaped stupa is plated with gold and the tip of the stupa is set with diamonds and rubies, sapphires. After a photo stop at the Karaweik Hall, a hamsa-bird-shaped floating barge on Kandawgyi Lake is waiting for your embark. Over the lake, shadow of the grand Shwedagon Pagoda reflects its majesty in a quite different yet amazing way. We will drive back to hotel with a lovely sunset. Overnight at the Hotel
After early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport for your flight to Bagan. Upon your arrival start your Bagan tour with a visit to the vibrant Nyaung Market, unveil the glory of Bagan\'s history by visits to archeological treasures such as the Shwezigon Pagoda for its impressive bell-shaped stupa, graceful Htilominlo Temple with its delicate plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. Continue to discoverthe ancient and most treasured handicrafts of lacquering by a demonstration from skilled artisan. Explore the amazing mural paintings under the protection of UNESCO at MyingabaGuByaukgyiTemple, and enjoy your soothing sunset at Shwesandaw Pagoda. Overnight in Bagan
Breakfast at hotel Proceed to the Nanpaya Temple. The masonry work is outstanding, as well as its interior design. It reflects the strong Brahman influence that affected the Teravadin Mon kings. Also, do take note of the relief of the god Brahma. There are three faces that can be discerned, all of which have the typical facial features of Mon. These are said to be representations of King Manuha. It is sometimes called the Ganesh or Mahapeine Temple, named after the elephant-headed Hindu god whose image once stood at the corners of its five successively diminishing rectangular terrace. In the afternoon, sightseeing start with many of the old murals and friezes can still be discerned, as can several old horoscopes, painted to protect the building from damage. After that proceed to Ananda Temple constructed in 1091, and is considered the masterpiece of Mon architecture. Evening board a local sunset boat for a slow cruise down in the Irrawaddy River. As you cruise the waters, observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples. Overnight in Bagan
After early breakfast, transfer to airport for your flight to Heho on the Shan plateau. Upon arrival, we will drive to NyaungShwe, gateway to Inle Lake.Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit NgaHpeChaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddha Images.Continue to PhaungDawOo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.We can also visit a local silk weaving ‘factory’ which sits on stilts on the lake and where they still use old style hand looms. Stay overnight in Inle Lake
Inle Lake – Indein (B) After breakfast at hotel, visit NgaHpeChaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddha Images. Continue to PhaungDawOo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.We can also visit a local silk weaving ‘factory’ which sits on stilts on the lake and where they still use old style hand looms. Continue Inle Lake sightseeing today with a memorable visit to Indein village with its idyllic 17th century pagodas.Indein is one of the small villages of the Inle Lake located on the western bank of Inle Lake. A Buddha image has enshrined at a whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. Below the stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupa most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet and clam. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet ring of the bell hanging at the umbrella of the stupa. Mesmerizing view from the pagoda hill releases the fatigue and refreshes everybody who ascends to the peak. This mysterious place is at the end of the marvelous Indein creek, which connected with Inle Lake just after the PhaundDawOo pagoda. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns. Since the both side are paddy fields you can see the farmer ploughing and harrowing by water buffaloes.At many places in the creek the farmers dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the paddy fields. Indein water is not useful for irrigation also for bathing and washing clothes. It is compulsory to see Novice Monk, buffalo’s boys and village girls wash and swim in the creek. Enjoy the sightseeing of Indein. Stay overnight in Inle Lake
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Heho airport for flight to Mandalay. When you arrive at Mandalay airport, drive to ancient capital of Amarapura, the city of Immortality for a visit to Bagaya Monastery with a famous collection of Buddha images; weaving industries, two-century old U-Bein teak bridge on the Taungtaman Lake and observe the lunch process of thousands of monks who take their last meal of the day at 10:00 am in total silence at Mahargandaryone Monastery. Proceed to Mandalay and check in at the hotel. After refreshment, you will take a sightseeing tour of Mandalay which includes Mahanumi, a life like Buddha image. Mandalay is the last capital of Myanmar and that make her to be the best place to see all the traditional arts and crafts. Start visiting gold leaf making work-place and see how the gold leaf is being made by hand in a traditional way. Continue visit the Old Palace grounds; Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world\'s largest book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha\'s Doctrine; Golden Palace Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from Mandalay Hill. Overnight at the hotel
After breakfast at hotel. We’ll drive former capitals of Amarapura, visit MahagandayonMonastery where more than a thousand monks live and study the Buddha scripture. Also visit to the world\'s longest teak bridge at U Bein Bridge. Proceed to Sagaing cross the bridge over the Irrawaddy River and continue to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar and is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. Early afternoon we will be met and transferred to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap with a stop in Bangkok. Connecting Flights: MDL-BKK BY PG 1405-1630 BKK -RGP BY PG 1750-1845 Welcome to Siem Reap, the entrance to the Angkor Temple complex and the legacy of Khmer Empire. Upon arrival, the local Cambodian English speaking tour guide will greet you and help you transfer to your hotel for check in. On the way your guide will deliver a very interesting briefing about the history of Cambodia, its culture, people and lifestyle.
The morning after breakfast at our hotel, we begin another magical day at the mystical Ta Prohm temple, where ancient stones and massive tree roots engulf the ruins. These trees and stones provide a stunning temple experience while also enjoying with sound of birds and nature; this is a wonderful place to start the temple tour. The exploration will take approximately one hour, walking through this jungle temple after weaving our way through the beautiful Ta Prohm we journey into the ancient city of Angkor Thom. After exploring the treasures of this ancient walled city, we continue with a visit to the mystical Bayon temple adorned with its smiling faces. The journey through the jungle to the famous Bayon which stands in the middle of the city of Angkor Thom is now everyone’s favorite site, surrounded by hundreds of smiling faces engraved on the pieces of gigantic sand stone; the temple is definitely one of the most stunning and mysterious. We head further into the temple complex and visit Baphoun, a hill top pyramid-temple, consecrated to the God Shiva that just opened to the public recently after renovation. We also visit the Elephant and leper king terraces, the royal enclosure temple of Phimean Akas and the serene Preah Pithu groups of smaller temples. We will enjoy a walk along the ancient walls of this city and relax with a hot Cambodian style picnic lunch in a shaded area or alternatively we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Following Angkor Thom we head to the jewel of the Khmer Empire and visit the amazing Angkor Wat. The amazing temples of Angkor were constructed to express the wealth and power of the Khmer Empire at the time. Many stone inscriptions describing the foundations of the temple have been found but Khmers left no word to tell how this great empire collapsed. Come and dig out some secrets of Angkor with our experienced guide, reveal the stories and legends behind the sandstone carved bas-reliefs, gables and lintels. Stroll around this massive monument to admire the Khmer architectural masterpiece and engineering. Enjoy watching the sunset over the temples before getting back to the hotel. Overnight in Siem reap
Optional: Starting early we enter the Angkor Archeological Park to experience the sunrise behind the temple of Angkor Wat with soft light against the towers reflecting in a large lily pond, one of the best views of the temple you will get. Next we return to our hotel for breakfast before continuing to explore Preah Khan Temple. It’s located 2 kilometers northeast of Angkor Thom on the Grand Circuit and was built in the second half of the 12th century in AD 1191 by King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to his father Dharanindravarman. The inscriptions indicate that Preah Khan was built on the battle site where King Jayavarman VII finally defeated the Chams. In those days it was known as Nagarajayacri, which means the City of Sacred Sword. Leaving from the rear exit of Preah Khan temple, we then walk through the dense tropical jungle for approximately 3.5KM to enjoy nature along the tree-lined paths, taking a rest at the French dam, which was constructed in 1960, and enjoy a water break. We continue with a visit to Prasat Tanai; this temple seems lost in the jungle and gets very few visitors; it’s a 12th century temple and was constructed by King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to his ancestors. If time permits will visit the pyramid temple of Ta Keo. In the afternoon you will transfer to the floating village on the great Tonle Sap Lake. Our journey begins by witnessing the beautiful rice paddies and the daily lifestyles of the local people. Here we will board a long tail wooden boat which will take us to the amazing floating village. You will be amazed as the boat man will take you through the fresh water mangrove. Return to hotel for freshens up before going for dinner. Tonight, your sumptuous dinner will be accompanied by a Classical Apsara Performance depicting scenes from Khmer mythology. Overnight in Siem Reap
Free morning to relax and chill out in Siem Reap. Check out of the hotel room at mid-day. Late afternoon a private driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport for a short flight to Luang Prabang (VN930 REP-LPQ 1655 1855), the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom. It is the centre of religious life in Laos and a World Heritage City. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by the local guide and transferred (30 minutes) to the hotel to check in. Evening is yours to relax and chill out. Overnight in Luang Prabang
In the morning we tour the sacred city of temples by visiting the National Museum and the former Royal Palace. The latter houses a collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue and gifts from foreign dignitaries. The tour continues to the Wat Visoun, entirely rebuilt in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa shaped like the fruit for which it is named. We also visit the Wat Aham where we will find the alter of Luang Prabang and finish with a visit to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are kept. After lunch we will embark on a long-tailed boat on the Mekong River, visitin the mysterious Pak Ou Caves in the side of a lime stone cliff opposite the mouth of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. We visit Ban Xanghai, well-known for its Laotian traditional rice Our return to Luang Prabang we visit Ban Xangkhong, a village known for its wood paper making and naturally dyed silk weavings. Overnight in Luang Prabang
An option to visit a local market followed by breakfast at the hotel. At mid-morning we leave the Old Town behind and drive to the outskirt to visit the Kuangsi Waterfall, a three tier waterfall about 29 kilometres south of Luang Prabang. These waterfalls are a must-see for Luang Prabang. After touring the site you can swim in the falls as well, which is the coolest part. Please make sure you\'ve some swim gear if you want to go for a swim. After a picnic lunch near the Falls, we wind our way back to town. Stop en route to visit Ban Na Oune, a small village where the Hmong people live, and Tha Pane village where the Khmu people. Late afternoon we will climb the Mount Phousi to enjoy the stunning view below and the sunset. The rest of the day is yours to relax and chill out. Overnight in Luang Prabang
This morning we head out to the Living Land Farm, a working community farm approximately 5kms outside the town. There you will learn all about the rice growing process and have an opportunity to participate in seasonal farm activities, such as identifying viable rice seeds, ploughing with a buffalo, hand planting, weeding and harvesting rice and threshing rice seed. You may be picking vegetables from the organic garden or catching fish to cook for your wholesome lunch. There will also be a variety of local rice products for you to sample. In the afternoon we return to Luang Prabang. Visit UXO Laos Information Centre and learn about this most bombed history country during the Indochina War. The rest of the day is free at leisure. You can just relax, experience a spa treatment or massage. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Breakfast is included and check out at mid-day. The whole day is free until a private driver will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you (30 minutes) back to the Luang Prabang airport for your departure flight. Namaste!
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