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Destination:  Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar
Duration: 36 Days
Activity Level:  • • 3 • • (Medium)
Group Size: Min 1, Max 16
Age Range: 18 to 65+

Itinerary Overview

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Day 1-4: Bangkok, Thailand

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Arrival Airport: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

While in Bangkok, we will visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Phrae Kaew. We will taste Thai street food, and you will be able to relax in the hotel, explore the city, or experience the local nightlife on your own during free time.

Accommodation: Bangkok Centre Hotel or similar

Day 5-7: Siem Reap, Cambodia

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In Siem Reap, we will visit the extrodinary sites of Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is sure to leave you feeling in awe of everything around you.

We will continue on to visit the Preah Khan temple. Enigmatic in many ways, it was built by King Jayavarman VII who dedicated it to his father. It contains the only building with round columns, as well as beautiful devatas sculptures. At the end of the day, you will go to Angkor Archaeological Park to climb the temple mountain Pre Rup at sunset. Once we reach the top of the mountain, we will see the hills of Phnom Kulen and Phnom Bok.

We will take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake and among its floating villages. When the lake's water level is high (from August to January), you will discover the village of Kampong Phluk, enlivened by fishing, farming, and floating gardens, all combining to offer an amazing sight. In the dry season (from February to July), we will sail to the village of Metchrey and discover the silk farm in Pourk.

Accommodation: Mother Home Boutique or similar

Day 8-9: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Once in Phnom Penh, we will stop at the forgotten temples of the ancient royal capital Sambor Prei Kuk, originally called Içanapura, the city of Içanavarman, King of Zhen-la. First capital of the Great Lake region, this city is the largest of the pre-Angkorian sites with sixty listed and classified monuments.

We will discover the Royal Palace and its many buildings. We will also explore the main residence of King Sihamoni. Then we will go to the Silver Pagoda, paved with 500 silver blocks. It houses the frescoes inspired by the Ramayana and other treasures of the crown, as well as a very beautiful collection of Buddha. Finally we will visit the National Museum which houses, in a building built by a French architect in the Khmer style, very rich collections of Khmer art. Most of the objects come from the Angkor site.

Accommodation: Pacific Hotel or similar

Day 10-12: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Ho Chi Minh City was nicknamed, when it was still called Saigon, the "pearl of the East" and the "Paris of Asia". Founded under the Second Empire, Saigon was the capital of Cochin China (today Nam Bô), the only territory formed in French colony (the other two, Tonkin and Annam, being protectorates).

Upon our arrival, we will start our visit of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, which consist of an incredible underground tunnel network. During the American war, the 155 miles (250 kilometers) of tunnels and chambers were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, and also served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces and helped achieve ultimate military success.

We will head to the Mekong Delta and drive to Ben Tre. Known by Vietnamese as the “Land of Coconut," Ben Tre is one the best areas to explore the untouched and natural landscapes of Mekong Delta while discovering its local life, beautiful canals and traditional activities. On arrival, you will board a small boat to visit typical workplaces including a small brick factory, a coconut processing workshop and a local mat-weaving house.

Accommodation: Lien Thanh or similar

Day 13-14: Hoi An, Vietnam

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While in Hoi An, as the old town becomes illuminated, you will notice people (both locals and tourists) lighting up paper lanterns with small candles inside and sending them down on the Hoai River to make a wish. This is considered to bring good luck and happiness. If you want to participate in this tradition, you can buy some paper lanterns next to the river.

You will have the opportunity to see a traditional game in Hoi An named “Bai choi”, which is crowded with people at night. For best views, go to the wide yard near the bridge. You can also walk around the night market to look for souvenirs.

The following day, we will enjoy a guided city tour of Hoi An.

Accommodation: Kim Anh Hotel or similar

Day 15-16: Hanoi, Vietnam

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Hanoi is a real museum of colonial architecture on the edge of the Red River. The capital of unified Vietnam, Hanoi has retained the old-fashioned charm of the French colonial era. The modernization of the city undertaken by the French from 1882 continued until 1955, and the face of today's Hanoi has not changed much.

We will visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, learning about his life at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Presidential Palace, and residential place. We will also visit the Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam’s first University, built in the 11th century, to see the place where royals learned Confucian theory. Later, we will go on a walking tour in the elegant boulevards of the Old Quarter, stopping to explore the mystical Hoan Kiem Lake.

Accommodation: Gia Thinh Hotel or similar

Day 16-17: Halong Bay, Vietnam

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In Halong Bay, we will experience an amazing two-day cruise. We will visit and explore the well-hidden Co Cave (Known as Thien Canh Son Cave), where you can see the numerous sparkling stalactites that appear like "hanging lamps" inside the Cave. Enjoy kayaking or relaxing at Cong Do Area.

In the early morning, you will welcome a new day with an amazing dawn on Bai Tu Long Bay. Refresh your body and soul with a Tai-chi session on the sundeck. After your breakfast, you will visit Vung Vieng village (the famous fishing farm) by bamboo boat and discover life of local people living on Halong Bay.

Accommodation: Cruise Ship

Day 18: Hanoi, Vietnam

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After we return from the cruise in Halong Bay, you will have a day in Hanoi to explore at your own leisure.

Accommodation: Gia Thinh Hotel or similar

Day 19: Vientiane, Laos

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Once we arrive in Vientiane, you will have free time to explore the many temples in the area. We suggest going to the Patuxai, the Lao Triumphal Arch which dominates the Champs-Elysees. You may climb all the way up to admire a beautiful panoramic view of the city. You may also want to visit Vat Sisaket, which has Siamese influence and unique architecture. Spared during the destruction of the city by the Siams, it is the most beautiful and the biggest temple of Vientiane. Finally you could explore Wat Phra Keo built in 1565 to house the famous Emerald Buddha (now in Bangkok). Located in a beautiful garden, it has Lao and Siamese style of the north, superb carved wooden panels and elegant colonnades.

Accommodation: Khamvongsa Hotel or similar

Day 20: Vang Vieng, Laos

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Once we arrive, we will check into the hotel and you will be able to explore the city on your own or just relax at the hotel.

Accommodation: The Elephant Crossing Hotel or similar

Day 21-23: Luang Prabang, Laos

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We will enjoy a nice drive through the mountains before arriving in front of the characteristic karst cliffs. Along the way, you’ll stop in small villages trading medicinal plants, lao-lao medicine, and funny critters.

If you like to get up early, you will be able to go to the ritual of the Tak Bak, the offerings to the monks by the faithful, in order to follow the procession of the bonzes.

We will start our discovery of Luang Prabang with a tuk-tuk tour and visit the city's famous temples. First we will explore Vat Xieng Thong. Founded in the 16th century, the "Temple of the Golden City" is considered to be the most beautiful in the country. A newer building also houses the former funerary car of the Kings of Laos. Next we will go to the Royal Palace. The palace has become a national museum. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, it housed the royal family until the abolition of the monarchy in 1975. The Phra Bang, the Buddha statue that gave the city its name, is housed in a newer chapel built in the gardens of the Palace. Finally, we will visit Vat Mai, which was built at the beginning of the 18th century. It is also one of the most beautiful temples in the city, with its special roof with five sides, and its veranda sheltering a golden façade recounting episodes of the Ramayana mingled with everyday life scenes.

We will continue our exploration of the city by visiting Vat Visoun. Built in the 16th century, it is one of the oldest temples in the city that is still active. Partly destroyed in the 19th century during the invasion of the Black Pavilions, Chinese pirates from Yunnan, it was rebuilt a few years later almost identically, stone walls replacing those initially made of wood. It houses an impressive collection of ancient statues of the Buddha. Lastly, we will visit the Museum T.A.E. whose collection showcases the great diversity and cultural richness of the different ethnic groups living in Laos (Laos, Hmong, Tai, Kamu, Akha, and more).

We will climb Mount Phousi (about 300 steps), a sacred hill located in the center of the peninsula. From its summit, it offers a panoramic view of the city, the Mekong and the surrounding mountains.

The following day, we will take a morning walk at the local market, then drive to the Kuang Si waterfalls. If you'd like to go for a swim, you can dive right in!

Accommodation: Cold River or similar

Day 24: Pakbeng, Laos

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Before arriving to Pakbeng, we will stop at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou River to discover the sacred caves of Pak Ou. For hundreds of years, they have housed hundreds of Buddha statuettes that have been deposited by pilgrims.

You can choose to explore the city more or visit the Mekong Elephant Park.

Accommodation: Duang Prasert Guesthouse or similar

Day 25: Nan, Thailand

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Today you'll spend the morning exploring on your own. We suggest exploring Wat Phu Min, the most spectacular Wat in the province, and Wat Ming Muang, whose interior is covered with murals.

Accommodation: Sasidara Resort Nan or similar

Day 26-27: Chiang Mai, Thailand

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We will explore Doi Suthep, where a golden Buddhist temple outside of Chiang Mai is on top of Mount Doi Suthep. Climb 300 steps to reach the temple, and be rewarded with unforgettable panoramic views. Admire the many Buddhist relics at this sacred temple and visit the white elephant shrine. Legend has it that the location of the temple was chosen after a white elephant carried a relic to the mountain and trumpeted three times before dying on the spot. And with a little luck, you may witness the chanting of the monks.

Accommodation: Chinda Hotel or similar

Day 28-30: Mandalay, Myanmar

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Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is Myanmar's second largest city. It was the country's last royal capital, then called the "city of jewels" for its renowned jade. It is now the administrative capital of the Mandalay region. We will arrive at Mandalay around noon. Our guide will meet us at the bus station, and transfer with with us in a private, air-conditioned vehicle to the jetty to take a boat to Mingun.

Once in Mingun, we will set out to discover the great unfinished Mingun pagoda, built by King Bodawpaya, which was split by an earthquake in 1838. It is now forbidden to climb to the top of the pagoda, as the accesses are not at all secure. Moreover, this practice degrades the monument. We will stop at the monumental bronze bell (90 tons, four meters high and five meters in diameter). Then, we will visit the elegant Hsinbyuma Pagoda, which is all white, with its seven levels of serrated terraces. After we finish exploring, we will return to Mandalay.

Enjoy a cycling tour to Ava and Amarapura. A bike tour is simply the best way to explore the beautiful ancient capital of Ava, with its big, shady trees and flat terrain. We will pass through small communities living among picturesque ruins. After a short ferry ride we continue to another of the ancient capitals, Amarapura, and end at the iconic U Bein’s Bridge. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this an end-of-day gathering place to watch the sunset. We will finish our ride at U Bein’s Bridge. We will walk along the shores and the bridge itself to catch the last light of the day before driving back to Mandalay.

Accommodation: Hotel Nova or similar

Day 31-32: Bagan, Myanmar

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You will arrive at Bagan in the early morning. After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will meet you in the reception of your hotel and transfer with you in a private, air-conditioned vehicle for the day’s activities. Enjoy a full day of excursion to discover Myanmar’s greatest wonder: Bagan. Discovering the site by E-BIKE, a small electric scooter, is one of the most enjoyable ways to visit Bagan.

We will begin our visit with a stop at the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods. You will discover the local smells and flavors that the residents will be happy to let you taste. Your guide will explain you the herbs and vegetables used in local daily dishes.

Nest, we will discover of Ananda Temple, jewel of Burmese architecture and one of the major places of pilgrimage for the Burmese. Visit the Mynkaba village located in the south. Stop at the Mynkaba-Gubaukkyi Temple, with its impressive murals and frescoes. Dating from 1113, the temple is one of the oldest religious sites in Bagan.

We will continue by visiting Manuha and Nanpaya temples. Next, we will visit a traditional lacquerware workshop. Finally, the tour will end at East Ohtain Taung, from which you can admire the sunset.

Accommodation: The Regency Hotel or similar

Day 33-34: Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

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We will arrive at Nyaung Shwe in the early morning. After breakfast, our guide will meet us in the reception area of the hotel to take us to the Nyaung Shwe jetty. This will be a full-day excursion on a traditional teak motorized pirogue to discover the main curiosities of Inle Lake.

Inle Lake is inhabited by a lacustrine population: The Inthas (which means “Lake’s son”). The Inthas live in stilt houses in a series of villages — some of them are located in the middle of the lake. Enjoy Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddha Images, but is more famous for its unique ‘jumping cats’ that jump through hoops in the air! Next, we will visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, famous for the 800-year-old Five Buddha images which are covered in gold leaf. Then we can explore the local crafts at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and at the cheroot factory where they make the Burmese cigars by hand.

Enjoy a pirogue stroll from the center of the lake to a small canal leading to Pa-oh village of Indein. Then we will walk for about 30-40 minutes through the village and the surrounding forest. Visit the magnificent complex of Alaung Sitthou and the old stupas buried in the vegetation that we will reach by climbing a long staircase. Enjoy a panoramic view of the lake from In Dein Monastery. We will return to Nyaung Shwe by pirogue, and then transfer to our hotel.

We will spend a day away from tourists in a beautiful floating village run by a local, food-loving family. Board your private motorized pirogue and head to local market and shop for your ingredients together with your chef. He/she will explain to us what local ingredients are used for our cuisine and the advantages of this. Then, we will be taken by boat to a floating village passing through narrow boat ways.

Accommodation: Hotel 81 or similar

Day 35: Yangon, Myanmar

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After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will meet you at the reception of your hotel, and transfer with you in a private air-conditioned vehicle to Heho airport to catch your flight to Yangon. On arrival, your guide and your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer with you to the old quarter of Yangon.

You’ll experience the beauty of the colonial architecture in Yangon by discovering some old buildings with Victorian facades built by the British in the 19th century such as the Post office or the stand hotel. Wander along the street and enjoy different kinds of local street foods. Then you will visit the emblem of the country: The Shwedagon Pagoda. Walk, to the sound of the bells and incantations of the faithful, at the foot of the huge golden stupa that the last gleam of the sun glows with a thousand lights. Transfer back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Lavender Hotel or similar

Day 36: Departure from Yangon, Myanmar

After a delicious breakfast, we will check out of our hotel & continue to the airport to catch our international flights back home or, if you have chosen to extend your adventure, continue on to Phuket, Thailand!

Departure Airport: Yangon International Airport (YIA)

Trip Inclusions

  • Travel Style: Backpacking

  • Service Level: Simple (comfortable and clean accommodations; public and private transport)

  • Route: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar

  • Accommodation: Guesthouses and hotels

  • Transport: Air-conditioned vehicles, flights

  • Meals Included: One meal per day

Expedition Route

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This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort and adventure. Embark on this small-group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical and culinary highlights along the way.

Dates & Prices

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From $4,500 / person | Comprehensive package including accommodation for all nights; in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight; activities listed in the itinerary, and one meal per day. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included. 

+ Single Room Supplement: $800 / person

+Thailand Island Hopper Add-on: $800 / person

Please note: Solo travelers are required to choose a single room when they make their booking.

Single Room Supplements and Extension Add-ons become available after you select Book Now and hit continue. Extensions are not eligible for discounts or promotions

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ Do your tours include international airfare?

Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours, and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

+ What vaccinations should I get before my trip?

It's important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. We can provide some general guidance on what websites to check, but these websites are no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.

+ Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Requirements for travel visas vary widely depending on your nationality and your destination. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf we are able to help determine if visas are required for the countries you are visiting. If you do require a visa you can arrange them yourself or use the services of a travel agent or visa processing company.

+ What clothing should I bring for my trip?

We always recommend packing as light as possible; however, the specific requirements for your tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling. Prior to each trip we provide a suggested packing list. The checklist is tour specific and based upon the experience of our ground staff.

+ I'm a solo traveler — will I be charged a single supplement?

We can accommodate single travelers, but we do require a single supplement charge.

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