(Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
(Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake)
Awaken your senses with this exotically decadent voyage through the former kingdoms of Burma & Siam. An enticing Southeast Asian fusion of ancient customs, chanting monks, jungle wilds, ancient temples & crimson sunsets, it’s like another world. Behold this far off land carefree as you tour Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Yangon, Bagan & Inle Lake with the luxury of private guide. From floating markets, leg-rowing fisherman & cultural encounters, to culinary classes, carriage rides, bamboo rafting & rolling the perfect cheroot – let us take care of the planning – you the adventure.
A private vehicle with English-speaking guide and driver will transfer you between the airport and your hotel. The driving time is roughly 45 minutes.
Conveniently located in the "heart" of Central Bangkok, entering the AriyasomVilla is like stepping back in time to a more leisurely life style. The Villa was built in 1942 and is still in the hands of the original family who built it. With 25 beautifully appointed Rooms and Suites, "Na Aroon" Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool, Spa, Meeting Room, Library and Meditation Hall, you will be well looked after during your stay.
A visit to the Royal Grand Palace - the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand, with the enclosed and dazzling Wat Phra Keo with its revered Emerald Buddha, the Golden Chedi, the Pantheon of the Chakri Kings and the Eight Coloured Towers is a must. It is considered by many to be a living example of classical Siamese Court, being the former residence of the kings of Thailand. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple served to educate people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation and is considered to be the home of Thai traditional massage. Here, you will enjoy a 30-minute Thai massage as an excellent break after a morning sightseeing. Experience an afternoon trip along the bustling Chao Phya River and the quiet Klongs (canals) in a long tail boat enjoy scenes of life by water. You'll be introduced to a serene, more traditional way of living, away from the high-rise and modern buildings of Bangkok City Centre, as you gently pass Thonburi residential areas. A stop will be made at the “Temple of Dawn” (officially named Wat Arun). Finally, a visit to the Flower and vegetable market will round off the day. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, this part of Bangkok brings you to a rural piece of Bangkok where you'll find a vast selection of all kinds of flowers, especially orchids and tropical flowers and see how the merchants create very special flower garlands. The end of this Bangkok day ends at the Golden Mountain. Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Bangkok Air.
You will be greeted at the airport by an English speaking guide and transferred by private car between the airport and your hotel.
This amazing sightseeing tour takes guests around the famous city for an up-close and personal look at some of its most notable temples, as well as stops at its old city walls, gates and moat, and the local market and Tapae Gate. Highlight of this trip include Wat Chiang Man, the city’s oldest temple and famed for a Chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses; Wat Phrasing home of the beautiful Lai Kham chapel with its exquisite woodcarving and northern style murals; Wat Chedi Luang and its enormous Pagoda (which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545); and Wat Suan Dok, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as the pleasure gardens to the Thai monarchy. Nowadays it houses several white Chedi’s, containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family. The last temple also houses one of the most famous Monk Schools in the whole of Chiang Mai.
Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel Chiang Mai is a true treasure for hotel aficionados. Its British colonial design is complimented by Northern Thai influences that embrace the present while respecting the past. High ceilings sit above beautiful towering teak columns traditionally crafted by Thai tradesman. Each of the 28 luxurious guest rooms are designed to offer stylish accommodation with an expansive open-plan living area and an abundance of room to relax and unwind.
The Elephant is Thailand’s working pride and one of this country’s national symbols. Current estimates of wild elephants left in Thailand were between 3000-4000 animals. Although logging is being banned in this Kingdom, they remain a very important mode of jungle transport as it beats any other animal or machine for its ability to move through a forest with minimum damage. For centuries these animals were trained to use their skills by moving lumber and served as a mode of transport within the jungle area. Over the past decade, with the reduction in lumbering, these giants of the forest have been protected in various conservation camps. An interesting journey through the scenic countryside brings you to Chiang Dao Elephant Conservation Camp. Here you to see elephants at work during a half-hour presentation. There is also an opportunity to watch the elephants as they take their morning bath. During your visit to the camp, you’ll have an opportunity to ride on elephant back during a one hour trek into the surrounding forest. After a Thai set lunch at the camp, the afternoon is reserved for a leisurely cruise on board a bamboo raft.
A Lanna style school located in a country-side village, just 15 minutes from the city of Chiang Mai. The school offers lessons in how to cook delicious Thai food, Thai sweets, fruit-carving and presentation. When cooking Thai food, various local spices, that enhance your health and physical well being, are used as ingredients. It is the ideal school to learn how to cook Thai food to preserve it for generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding the school is filled with warmth, sympathy and helpfulness, all representing ancient, traditional Lanna custom and culture. The main goal is to teach you how to cook delicious and sumptuous Thai food perfectly and to preserve this culinary art for future generations.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on Thai or Bangkok Air.
Fly from Bangkok to Yangon.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Yangon and the airport.
Overlooking the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, The Savoy Hotel is ideally located in a picturesque area of Yangon and is easily accessible from popular regional attractions. Each guest room is comfortably furnished with colonial-style wooden fittings, traditional Myanmar antiques and beautifully appointed bathrooms. Dine at Kipling's Restaurant where a splendid assortment of Asian flavors are served, or savor traditional Italian cuisines at Rossini. Sip your favorite drink at the Captain's Bar and enjoy refreshments and tea specialties at the Cafe Yangon. Spend your day absorbing the aromas, sights and sensations of a different world, at The Savoy Hotel.
Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. During this full day tour you will be shown you the different faces of Yangon from the landmarks to the hidden markets that have sees only few westerners. During the day you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbour, The Strand, one of the colourful local markets and Kandawgyi lake. The reclining Buddha will be visited just before taking the famous circular train to bring you right behind Bogyoke Aung San market before heading back to your hotel. The tour includes a drink at the Strand Hotel with lunch.
Fly one way from Yangon to Bagan.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Bagan and the airport.
Minnanthu is probably the most favourite temple area amongst frequent Bagan visitors and you know why? It’s quiet, it’s a beautiful area and the temples here are often completely deserted. Your guide will bring you by car to this forgotten part of Bagan and will spread out a blanket and serve you a great picnic lunch in this historical setting before or after visiting 2 or 3 ancient temples ruins in this area.
The Tharabar Gate Hotel is located in the most unique Archeological Site of South East Asia, the Ancient capital of the Burmese Empire, Old Bagan. Surrounded by more than 4000 ancient temples and Pagodas, you will be enchanted by the breathtaking views. The Hotel offers 84 luxury rooms including 4 Suites. Every room is decorated with teak floors and typical Burmese furniture.
A full day tour by car, with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. You will begin the day climbing Buledi Pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and around 4:00PM, you will continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda to catch the sunset with some refreshing drinks served. The best part of this tour; whenever you see a temple you like, just ask your guide to stop to have a look at it. Simply pick your own favourite temple.
Fly one way from Bagan to Inle Lake.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Inle Lake and the airport.
As described in many books, the Shan culture is very interesting and rich and especially in Nyaung Shwe you still get a bit of the feeling of the former Shan kingdom of Nyaung Shwe. Begin with a visit of the Buddha museum which is housed in the former “Haw” (palace) of the last Shan prince of Nyaung Shwe (Mr Sao Shwe Thaike, who later became the first prime minister of Myanmar after independence). Enjoy a nice Shan lunch at the Viewpoint restaurant and then continue the tour to the local market looking for some traditional Shan cotton and Shan traditional dresses. A visit to the ancient teak wooden Shwe Yan Pyay monastery with the oval windows is certainly giving the opportunity for some great pictures. You will be peddled around some small canals and pass floating gardens in a small wooden boat for about half an hour to see more of the local Shan life from the water. End the tour with a visit and some wine tasting of the excellent wines at the Red Mountain winery in Nyaung Shwe.
The Inle Lake View Resort is the only deluxe boutique hotel of international standard on the shores of Inle Lake, built on 24 acres of a lush landscape of trees and flowers. The resort is ideally located in a picturesque area overlooking the Inle lake and features 38 large and spacious rooms. Located on the western edge of the lake, the hotel offers luxury and elegance throughout. The spa center is beautifully designed and offers a variety of treatments. The Bourgainvillaea restaurant serves some of the finest wine and cuisine to be found in Myanmar, including organic vegetables and salads and the Lotus Bar offers the perfect spot for an aperatif or after dinner drink.
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in village built entirely on stilts on the lake. Today, you will be taken by a private motorboat around the lake to discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens and hopefully see some of the famous leg rowers as well as enjoy tea time at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule and today you will visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and Pao people living nearby. Afterwards, visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Intha Heritage house where the Burmese cats are bred and if wanted you can visit a weaving factory. Return to your hotel around 4:00 PM, in time for sunset.
Fly one way from Inle Lake to Yangon.
Enjoy the usage of a private vehicle with English speaking driver and guide at leisure for a half day in Yangon.
A passport and visa are required for entry into Myanmar for both US and Canadian citizens. We will provide a letter of invitation which you can then use to acquire your visa. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival. Processing generally takes 8 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $30. Travelers are required to show their passports with valid visas at all airports, train stations, and hotels. Security checkpoints are common outside of tourist areas.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Myanmar for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/burma.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Yangon (Rangoon). Government: Socialist Republic since 1974. Power assumed by the army in 1988. Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). There are over 100 dialects spoken in Myanmar. English is spoken in business circles. Religion: 89% Theravada Buddhist. The remainder are Hindu, Muslim, Christian and animist. Time: GMT + 6.5. Electricity: 220-230 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +95. Only larger cities can be dialed direct from within Myanmar; smaller towns still use manual switchboards and callers need to ask the operator to connect them to a specific town operator. International calls are difficult to place outside hotels. Mobile Telephone: There is no international roaming in Myanmar. Note: Mobile phones may be collected by customs on arrival and released to you upon departure. Internet: There are a few Internet cafes, but access to many free international e-mail services is blocked. All Internet use is monitored by the government and is usually expensive.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens staying for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa, but must possess a valid passport and may be asked to show an onward/return ticket.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Thailand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/thailand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Bangkok. Government: Constitutional monarchy. Language: Thai is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in establishments catering for tourists. Religion: The vast majority adhere to Buddhism (Theravada form), 5% are Muslim and there are Christian and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +66. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. There is good coverage, especially around main towns. Internet: There are plenty of Internet cafes, some even found in remote areas visited by tourists.
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