From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong


ITINERARY: Yangon – Heho – Loikaw – Phekhone – Sagar – Inle – Indien- Mandalay – Ava – Sagaing – Mingun – Mandalay – Chiang Mai – Lanjia Lodge – Chiang Khong – Houay Xai – Pakbeng – Luang Prabang

DURATION: 16 days and 15 nights on the spot

Day 1

Arrival in Yangon

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our tour guide who will escort you to your hotel. And then, you will be sightseeing the city center of the hustle & bustle of Yangon, with the colonial quarter, the Chaukhtut Gyi (reclining Buddha), and the Shwedagon Pagoda; the world famous glittering gold stupa, believed to have been built more than 2500 years ago.

Overnight at hotel in Yangon.

Day 2

Yangon – Heho – Loikaw

Transfer to airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival, route to Loikaw, (~ 5 hours by car) which is the capital of Kayah State and still remain as an untouched attraction where you can observe traditional ways of life of Kayah national races and especially unusual Kayah tribes ladies wearing brass rings around their extra ordinary long neck.

Overnight at hotel in Loikaw.

Day 3

Loikaw

After breakfast, visit the local market at Loikaw. Then continue visit the area’s landmark like Ngwe Daung Dam and extension to nearby villages like Sunboon Padaung village, Htay Thama Dawsawbi Kayah village, and some more villages depending on situation to see most unusual Kayah tribes ladies wearing brass rings around their extra ordinary long neck, Kayah traditional weaving industry and wonderful ritual flagstaffs of Nat (spirit) worshipers and visit Kayah State museum. If time permits enjoy panoramic and sunset views from Taungkwe Zeti.

Overnight at hotel in Loikaw.

From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong

Day 4

Loikaw

Breakfast at hotel, boat trip to Moe byae Pagoda which is built in 18 century, on the way, stop to visit the fisherman villages (Phayar Phyu, Phayar Ni…..) to discover their ways of life and their traditional Nat shrines. Return to Loikaw.

Afternoon visit: Haw Nan (the ancient monastery) and orphanage Nunnery. To end the day, transfer to Shwe Lat War Pagoda to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Overnight at hotel in Loikaw.

Day 5

Loikaw – Phekhone – Sagar – Inle Lake

After breakfast, visit to the local market and Pohperyone teaching monastery where about 500 monks study.

Then drive to Phekhone town and proceed to Inle Lake by boat through Phekhone Lake encompassed by breathtaking and refreshing landscape along the Bilu Creek. On the way, we may observe Tha Khaung relic pagoda, other ancient religious monuments and ways of life of Shan, Pa O and Intha national races in Sagar village.

Overnight at hotel in Inle Lake (or) Nyaung Shwe.

Day 6

Inle

After breakfast, sightseeing to explore the exquisite sights of Inle Lake; the multiple ethnic floating villages scattered along the water, the unique leg rowers and their fishing methods, and the breathtaking beauty of the lake itself with floating farms. This will be followed by a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and the Bazaar and Ngaphe Chaung monastery.

Overnight at hotel in Inle Lake (or) Nyaung Shwe.

From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong

Day 7

Indein – Inle

After breakfast at the hotel, visit to the five days market which is due once on five days at each village to see multi hill tribes coming down from nearby villages. Then, boat drives to Indein, the ruined ancient Pa-O pagoda complex in a beautiful picturesque corner. On the way back, stop to visit silversmith and blacksmith workshops, cheroot making cottages and teak boat fabrication.

Overnight at hotel in Inle Lake (or) Nyaung Shwe.

Day 8

Inle – Heho – Mandalay

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Inle Lake if the time permits. Afternoon, transfer to Heho airport for the flight to Mandalay. Transfer to hotel and free.

Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.

Day 9

Mandalay – Ava – Sagaing – Amarapura

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Inwa (Ava), and here you’ll be taken by a native horse cart for sightseeing around Inwa that would last hardly 2 hours. Visit will be made to Bagaya Monastery that is a fine example of Myanmar masonry art and architecture, Mainu Brick Monastery and old watchtower. Then continue drive to Sagaing, considered by Myanmar Buddhists to be the holiest site in the country and visit to Sagaing Hill, a silver smith workshop and the Kaungmudaw Pagoda. We will end the day by watching a beautiful sunset at U Bein, the famous footbridge in Myanmar.

Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.

From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong

Day 10

Mingun - Mandalay

After breakfast you will enjoy a boat trip along the Ayeyarwaddy River to visit Mingun. There, you will visit the Mingun Pathodawgyi, the world’s largest unfinished stupa, the grand Mingun Bell and the Myatheindan Pagodas.

Back to Mandalay, you will visit the workshop where gold leafs are produced, the revered Mahamuni Buddha Image, as well as visit to Marble carvings workshop, Bronze casting and wood carving.

And then, continue visit to the Shwenandaw Monastery noted for its exquisite wood carvings, followed by Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the World’s Biggest Book because of its stone slabs consisting of Buddhist scriptures.

To end the day with panoramic views of the city and a spectacular sunset at Mandalay Hill.

Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.

Day 11

Mandalay – Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai area (B/D)

Breakfast at the hotel and free time at leisure before your guide transfers you to the airport for your international flight to Chiang Mai and bids you farewell.

Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to Lanjia Lodge, past Chiang Rai, en route to Laos. Arrive on time for check-in and dinner.

Overnight at Lanjia Lodge.

Day 12

Chiang Rai area - Chiang Khong – Houay Xai – Pakbeng (B/L/D)

Early morning breakfast and transfer (30 min – without guide) to the Thai immigration office in Chiang Khong.

Crossing of the Mekong by the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, recently opened. You will take by yourself the public shuttle that will take you to Laos, and you will have to carry your luggage during this short transfer. Allow 30 THB per person (about 1 USD) for the shuttle. Once in Laos, entry requirements in the country and welcome by your Lao English-speaking guide.

Please arrive at the border not later than 0830 am.

Note: Upon your arrival at Houay Xai International border check point, it is possible to obtain your visa on arrival (VOA). Simply bring 1 passport picture along with between USD 30 and 45 / person in cash, visa fees varying from one nationality to another. Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months beyond your return departure date. Visa on Arrival forms are available before immigration counters.

Welcome by your Lao English-speaking tour guide past the immigration counters and transfer to your private local slow boat for your 2 days cruise down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang.

You cruise will stop for one night in Pakbeng town. It is located half way between Houay Xai and Luang Prabang and vice versa. Today, you will visit some minority villages along the cruise and lunch will be served on board.

Arrive in Pakbeng in the late afternoon before sunset. Check-in at your hotel with welcome drink and free time at leisure.

Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel.

Accommodation in Pakbeng.

From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong

Day 13

Pakbeng - Pak Ou - Luang Prabang (B/L)

Eventually, before breakfast, take an opportunity to go (by yourself) to market to meet local people and experience the life of a market in a small town in Laos.

After breakfast at the hotel, then your guide will pick you up and re-embark on your boat and continue your cruise down to Luang Prabang.

Enjoy the scenery along the Mekong River until you reach to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

You will arrive at Luang Prabang pier before sunset.

Pick-up and transfer to hotel for check-in.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 14

Luang Prabang (B/L)

Day dedicated to the visit by bicycle of the historic district of the city, ancient royal capital. We leave a part of improvisation in our programs for more freedom. Your guide will advise you on touring options that make the richness of Luang Prabang.

Vat Xieng Thong is inevitable; this is one of the most beautiful temples in the area. We will certainly also visit the National Museum, and Vat Mai just next to the Royal Palace.

After lunch at Atsalin restaurant, a simple table frequented by the locals, you can discover the Vat Xieng Mouane, very quiet, perfect for a little relaxation and meditation, the Heritage House and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) which enables a better understanding of the ethnic diversity of Laos and its cultural richness (closed on Mondays).

In the late afternoon we will propose you to the top of Mount Phou Si, where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings at time of sunset.

On the way down, do not miss the night market, a true local craft gem (you can also browse another night, at your convenience).

Then move to Hive Bar 19h to attend an Ethnic Fashion Show with 95 unique pieces of clothing worn by Northern Laos’ ethnic groups (soft drink or beer will be proposed / Tuesday to Saturday).

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 15

Luang Prabang - Kuang Si waterfalls - opposite shore of the Mekong - Luang Prabang (B/L/D)

For those who wish to attend (or even participate in) the daily morning ritual of “alms giving” to the monks, early morning wake-up call. This ceremonial takes part every day at 6 AM in the streets of the city. Then back to the hotel for breakfast passing by the open air fresh food morning market.

Today, drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls, located 32km from the city. Beautiful scenery of rice fields venues. Falls are also the home of a small permanent exhibition on the preservation of black bears Southeast Asia, a good opportunity to understand the threats hanging over them.

Furthermore waterfalls, natural pools of turquoise and crystal clear waters invite you to swim.

Picnic lunch at the falls.

Back in town. This afternoon, return to Luang Prabang and then we will go on the opposite bank of the Mekong to discover the pottery village of Ban Chan as we explore and a small easy walk of about an hour along the Mekong lead us to Vat Chompet located on top of a hill with a beautiful view of Luang Prabang. Our stroll will continue in the shade of the trees to the Vat Long Khoun, a peaceful place that was renovated by France and allowed the site to be fully integrated into the protection zone covered by UNESCO. This renovation also allowed a community of monks to return to settle there. Also a good opportunity for you to discuss in the shade of mango trees with the monks and learn about Buddhism.

Tonight you will attend, in your honor, a traditional farewell Baci ceremony. A beautiful evening in perspective made of genuine encounters.

The Baci offers you an authentic approach to local customs. This is an opportunity to share a dinner with your hosts. The Baci honors happy life events (meetings, weddings …) or is simply celebrated in honor of a person or a family to wish safety, happiness and prosperity.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

From Yangon to Luang Prabang via the Kayah state of Myanmar and down the Mekong

Day 16

Luang Prabang – Departure (B)

Breakfast and last moments at leisure before transfer out to the airport for onward flights back home.

End of services

Each program is absolutely customizable in terms of duration, itinerary, stops, types of accommodation, inclusions and activities. Anything actually! In line with your wishes and budget constraints.