Border Crossings Laos / Myanmar: Off The Highway
Highlights of tour:
In Laos, it is enough to stay few days and let time pass to be convinced once again that he is an exceptional destination, welcoming like few others. Between colonial empire heritages and peacefully royal atmosphere, the visitor is transported in a mesmerizing adventure from Luang Prapang to Yangon. Myanmar remains one of the most mysterious and least known of the world. A land of beauty with intact charm recently emerged in the modern world. Observe the traits of its population sharing a common border with Laos and still little used by tourism. Myanmar opens more promise for future travelers some exceptional wanderings. A border crossing in both countries and the passage of the famous Golden Triangle …
Day 1: (D)
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquillity and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos.
After a short rest, your half-day city tour begins with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artefacts. We then head to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We also have time to visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si – Pak Ou (B,L,D)
First, we visit the morning Phousi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpetre among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, a Khmu village. This then takes us to the beautiful Khuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. Then we return to Luang Prabang.
This afternoon, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River which also gives us a breathtaking view of the peaceful countryside before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves; two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai where they make the local rice wine. On return, we disembark the boat to visit traditional villages, and continue taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Nong khiaw (B,L,D)
After breakfast, our expedition begins as leave Luang Prabang and venture into the mountainous and remote area in Northern Laos to Nong Khiaw. The verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes this an unforgettable experience. On arrival in Nong Khiaw, brief orientation tour and transfer to the hotel for your overnight in the province.
Day 4: Nong khiaw – Muang Khua (B,L,D)
Breakfast, we embark the boat up Nam Ou river to Muang Khua, on the way arrest at Muang Ngoy traditional (old town). After visit of Tham Kang cave and Tham Pha Kaew cave then Ban Na village, continue by boat to Muang Khua. On arrival, visit a suspend bridge built during Vietnamese War. Transfer to hotel. You will stay overnight in the province of Muang Khua.
Day 5: Muang Khua – Oudomxay (B,L,D)
After breakfast, head to Oudomxay by road, this province is residence to a mixture of 23 ethnic minority groups. We make a few rest stops along the way, which gives you the opportunity to see the ethnic minority groups. The hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly; welcoming you with waving hands and smiling faces. Overnight in Oudomxay.
Day 6: Oudomxai – Muangsing (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, we travel by road to Muang Sing, stopping along the way at the Akha hill tribe village. This ethnic group originally lived in China but immigrated into Laos over a century ago.
Day 7: Muang Sing – Houeixay (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart by road to Houeixay via Luang Namtha (5-6 hours). Stop in Luang Namtha and visit That Phon stupa. During the trip, visit the villages of different ethnic groups: Ban Lak Khammai, Ban Kolakham Ban Thin That. Your will be arrived in Houeixay for your last night in Laos before to move in Thaïlande.
Day 8: Houeixay – Maesai – Tachileck – Kyaing Tong (B,L,D)
After breakfast, transfer to the Lao-Thai border, welcome by our guide and drive to the Thai-Myanmar border Maesai/Tachileck (90kms). Then our experienced guide will welcome the clients at border pass and assist registration formalities, customs and police. And then, drive to Kyaing Tong, the former Shan capital. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Free at own leisure at hotel. Stay overnight in Kyaing Tong.
Day 9: Sightseeing in Kyaing Tong (B,L,D)
Have breakfast at hotel. After that you can start sightseeing: 5 minutes walk to Kyaing Tong Market and see many minority people shopping in the morning. Then visit: Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, housing Mandalay style Buddha image and nearby a monastery where the monks learn “Khun” language, which is very similar to that used in the Northern Thailand. Proceed to the Shan lacquer ware making home industry to learn embossing method lacquer ware making. Stay overnight in Kyaing Tong.
Day 10: Kyaing Tong – Wan Nyet (B,L,D)
Have breakfast at hotel. Visit unspoiled Wan Nyet old monastery (mix architecture between Thai and Myanmar) and Wan Seng village, the Tai Loi’s places and Namp-Lwei stream. Drive back to Kyaing Tong in the afternoon. Stay overnight at hotel in Kyaing Tong.
Day 11: Trekking in Kyaing Tong (B,L,D)
After breakfast your local station guide will meet you at the hotel for a hiking tour into the Pin Tauk area. Lush mixed monsoon forest with a view to the plain rice fields looking like a huge, green patchwork blanket shimmering in the water of the flooded paddy fields. Your local guide will introduce you to the villagers of Aka and An tribes. Some are baptized, some tribes still animists. The walk is not difficult, and can be done slowly. Some of the An villages or on hills, appr. 45% “steep” walk up but for not more than half an hour. The An people, known to be the kindest tribe, as there is no case up to nowadays where an An member has ever been violent. It will take about 6 hours to visit the villages, including visits of the houses. Late afternoon come back to Kyaing Tong for overnight. Overnight in Kyaing Tong.
Day 12: Kyaing Tong (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we visit Water Buffalo Market, which is held twice a week (if time allows) where buyers and sellers stand around seemingly doing nothing but the sales are always done, this market situates on the southern side of the town.
Drive to “Ho Kyin” village, typical Akha tribe village. From here continue for another 30 minutes to Na Phi Phank village, where Lahu and Akha tribes living together. From there, walk to Phata Akha village and “Pang Ma Phai” Akha tribe village to learn more about their daily life. Come back to the car to go Mong Zine (Khun Village) to see traditional Lahu Knives made by Lahu blacksmith. On the way back to hotel, visit Joe Phyu “Wa village”. Stay overnight at hotel in Kyaing Tong.
Day 13: Kyaing tong – Heho – Inle Lak (B,L,D)
Breakfast and morning relaxation at the your hotel to recover. In the afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Heho. Upon arrival in Heho, heading to Nyaung Shwe village, the starting point of the trip into the Inle Lake, passing through breath-taking scenery in many ways, with great panoramic picturesque landscaping, Pa-O and Danu women in colorful traditional dresses and their ethnic villages. It is also famous for Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which is elegant ancient monastery with its oval-shaped windows.
Arrive at Nyaung Shwe, a traditional long boat (motorized) will take you to Inle Lake, the vast, beautiful and picturesque nature lake, 900 meters above sea-level, 22 km long and 10 km across. It offers an unforgettable pastiche of unique experience and is famous for its scenic beauty, the unique one-leg rowers, floating gardens, attractive villages, colorful markets and prolific birdlife. A boat trip on the lake is very enjoyable and exhilarating with a cool breeze, warm sun and seagulls flying overhead. Transfer to hotel by private boat and check in. Stay overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 14: Inle Lake sightseeing (B,L,D)
Sightseeing includes Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda – famous for 800 years old Five Buddha statues which are enshrined in the center of the building, Nga phe kyaung monastery – famous for its “Jumping Cats” and In Paw Khone village – well-known for silk weaving workshops and the technique and creation of the fascinating design of the silk products. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 15: Inle Lake sightseeing (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. The day will begin with a visit to the floating market. Then you cross the lake and its canals to the southwest coast to Indein province populated by ethics Padaung (female giraffes). You borrow a covered alley lined on both sides of a thousand pagodas. Continue on foot by a long covered staircase to discover the magnificent complex Alaung Sithu in a beautiful scenery of ancient stupas buried in vegetation with a panoramic view of the lake. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 16: Inle Lake – Heho – Bagan (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning, transfer to airport for flight to Baga, ex-capital of first Burmese Empire. It covers more than 49 square kilometers containing over 2000 pagodas and one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Sightseeing starts with Shwezigon Pagoda – built by King Anawrahta, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas, Htilominlo Temple well-known for its old mural, fine plaster carving and glazed sandstone decoration.
In the afternoon, continue to discover Old Bagan where most beautiful testimonies of the splendours and the richness of this site conceal. Anada Temple – one of the finest in architecture and most revered temples with its four standing Bagan style Buddha images and huge carved teak doors, Ananda Oakkyaung – simply a Monastery built with red bricks, located within the precincts of the Ananda Temple. It was built in 1137 AD and paintings of the 18th century are seen in the walls of the monastery, Thatbyinnyu Temple – 201ft tall, the tallest in Bagan and it is shaped like a cross, but is not symmetrical. The temple has two primaries storey, with the seated Buddha image located on the second storey. Dhammayangyi Temple – the widest temple in Bagan, and is built in a plan similar to that of Anada Temple.
In the evening a horse-cart ride will take you among magnificent Temples about 2 hrs. Then, enjoy the memorable sunset over the world famous Archaeological complex from the upper terrace of one of the Bagan Temple. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 17: Bagan signtseeing (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, let’s not waste the time and continue to discover Bagan starting with archaeological museum, Manuha Temple- built in Mon Style in 1059 and Nanpaya Temple – famous for its fine masonry work of sandstone block facings integrated over a brick core. And the visit continues to admire more highlighted temples to gain a true impression of Bagan and its history.
Afternoon highlights include the visit Myinkabar Gubyaukgyi Temple and Myinkabar Village for Traditional lacquer ware workshop home industry and craft men. Lacquer-ware is one of the best possible souvenirs of Myanmar. A pleasant stroll will take you through a village. Explore local cheroot making by using maize leaf, cooking oil production in local method, cotton waving, archaeological museum and more… Stay overnight in Bagan.
Day 18: Bagan – Mt. Popa (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano, located 50 km southeast of Bagan and a one-hour drive on the road to Mandalay. Climbing 777 steps to the summit takes about 45 minutes and you can visit the Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the “Nats” (spirits), stupas and a picturesque complex of monasteries at the top where there is a wonderful panoramic view.
On the way back to Bagan, visit Salay, historical and religious town south of Bagan. Sightseeing includes Yoke Sone Monastery, the Buddha Nan Paya. In the afternoon, arrive in Bagan and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 19: Bagan – Yangon (B,L,D)
Upon arrival in Yangon International Airport, our experienced guide will welcome the clients at the airport and transfer to the hotel for check in. Start orientation tour in Yangon including Sule Pagoda (Land Mark in city centre), Legend said that it is 2,000 years old and the central stupa is said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha. Every corner around Sule Pagoda on a walking tour, you will discover a unique charm of Yangon with its old colonial architecture buildings such as City Hall, High Court, etc.
After that go shopping to Bogyoke Aung San market (formerly Scott Market), where you can find wide range of souvenirs, handicraft shops, gems and jewelry famous for their qualities.
Evening great sunset at marvellous Shwedagon pagoda & its pagoda bazaar. The massive and magnificent gold-encrusted Shwedagon Pagoda (100 meter high), is one of the wonders of the world. It was built 2500 years ago and enshrined with hair relics of the Buddha and places to meet devoted Buddhists at meditation and pray. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 20: Yangon departure (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, free time for relaxation. You can be relaxing at the hotel to enjoy the pool, sun, and gardens or to enjoy at your leisure activities of your choice (no services provided). In the late afternoon, transfer to Yangon International Airport for your departure flight. Registration formalities, customs and police. Boarding and taking off on flight to your destination.