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July 28, 2014 as of 11:11 AM
GICLA-06: Grand Indochina and Myanmar - 21 days 20 nights
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Starting / Finishing: Your journey starts from Luang Prabang  (Laos) and ends in Yangon (Myanmar)

Highlights: Luang Prabang - Vientiane - Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Hue - Danang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Yangon - Mandalay - Bagan

This Grand Indochina and Myanmar feature 4 countries as 1 destination, showing you the best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - known as Indochina under the rule of the French, and Myanmar, a land of breathtaking beauty and charm yet only recently emerging into the modern world.
You will visit sites of ancient civilizations, Royal Palaces and colonial cities all amongst staggering scenery. A country of contrasts, best summed up by the difference between the relaxed and placid capital Hanoi, and the frenetic Ho Chi Minh City, known under its old name of Saigon. In between these two is the old imperial city of Hue. Laos is a relaxed, laid back country, which still has many French influences and a deeply religious population. Lines of monks on their morning alms round are one of the sights of Laos. Cambodia has had more than its share of troubles in recent history but has come through to claim it's place in the tourist pantheon - mainly due to the fantastic ruins of Angkor Wat. Ends up in Myanmar, one of the most mysterious and undiscovered destinations in the world.

Itinerary in brief

Day 1   Arriving Luang Prabang, Laos
Day 2   Luang Prabang - Pak Ou caves
Day 3   Luang Prabang – Vientiane
Day 4   Vientiane – Hanoi
Day 5   Hanoi - Ha Long Bay
Day 6   Ha Long Bay - Boat Cruise - Hanoi
Day 7   Hanoi - Hue - Sightseeing
Day 8   Hue - Danang - Hoi An - Sightseeing
Day 9   Danang - Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10  Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Sightseeing
Day 11  Ho Chi Minh City – day trip to Mekong Delta
Day 12   Ho Chi Minh City – Siemreap
Day 15   Siem Reap - Angkor Complex  
Day 16   Siem Reap - Yangon
Day 17   Yangon - Mandalay
Day 18   Mandalay - Amarapura - Ava - Sagaing - Bagan
Day 19   Bagan
Day 20   Bagan - Yangon
Day 21   Departing Yangon

Day 1   Arriving Luang Prabang, Laos
On your arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by GRANDEUR journeys local guide. In the afternoon, start a guided city tour to the Former Royal Palace (now the National Museum), Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Sen and Wat Visun. End the day with a memorable sunset from the top of Mount Phou Si.
Overnight In Luang Prabang

Day 2   Luang Prabang - Pak Ou caves (B)
Take a full-day boat trip on the mighty Mekong River to explore local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan. Continue with the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belonged to the royal family and nearby Sackarine Caves and continue cruising Pak Ou cave. Explore caves and cross Mekong River at Ban Ou for lunch at a local restaurant. Return by road to Luang Prabang, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai, where the residents create a unique rice wine called lao lao and continue to typical Lao villages at Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek, well known for its hand made Jute Sar paper.
Overnight In Luang Prabang

Day 3   Luang Prabang – Vientiane (B)
After breakfast, visit Luang Prabang Market and a number of shops selling antiques and silver jewelry made by the mountain tribes. Transfer to airport for the flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival in Vientiane, embark on a city tour at Wat Sisaket, housing thousands of wooden, bronze and stone statues of Buddha. The tour includes Wat Pra Keo, original home of the Emerald Buddha and the 16th century That Luang Golden Stupa. The day ends watching the sunset on the banks of the Mekong River.
Overnight In Vientiane

Day 4   Vientiane – Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel. Rest of the day free to relax or to explore the city’s ancient streets. In the evening, enjoy a performance of the water puppet theatre - a remarkable Vietnamese art form that combines traditional music, fireworks, underwater puppeteers and elaborate puppets floating gracefully on water.
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 5   Hanoi - Ha Long Bay (B)
In the morning transfer to Halong Bay. Arrive around 12h00 and board the junk for a memorable cruise through the mystical Halong Bay. Be delighted by the food on board and spend your day admiring one of the natural marvels of Vietnam. Visit islets, lagoons and caves and if the weather permits, enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Dinner and overnight on the junk
 
Day 6   Ha Long Bay - Boat Cruise - Hanoi (B)
After breakfast at sunrise, continue cruising to discover other waters of Halong Bay. The cruise ends at around noon, then drive back to Hanoi. On the way, stop for a rest at a local shop where you can pick some hand-made items as souvenirs.
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 7   Hanoi - Hue - Sightseeing (B)
After breakfast, fly from Hanoi to Hue. Upon arrival, take a boat cruise on the Perfume River to the elegant Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbank. Afternoon visit to the Citadel and the elaborate tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.
Overnight in Hue

Day 8   Hue - Danang - Hoi An - Sightseeing (B)
From Hue, take the coastal road to Hoi An as it climbs up and over a mountain pass. Stop en route at the photogenic fishing village at Lang Co. Upon arrival in Hoi An embark on a walking tour of this charming town, visiting ancient merchants’ houses, a Hokkien temple, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colorful riverside market. Visit a workshop where artisans make Hoi An’s famous lanterns and learn how they are made before having the chance to create your own. Finish the day with a sunset boat trip on the Thu Bon River to Thanh Ha pottery village.
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 9   Danang - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Morning transfer to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel where the rest of the day is free to explore the city.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 10  Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Sightseeing (B)
After breakfast, drive to the remarkable Cu Chi tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam - American war, the Vietnamese guerillas built the labyrinth of narrow tunnels using them to hide during bombing raids and stage surprise attacks. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Chinatown, Binh Tay Market and Thien Hau Temple.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 11  Ho Chi Minh City – day trip to Mekong Delta (B/L)
Leave the city behind and journey to Cai Be and Vinh Long on this day trip from Ho Chi Minh. Spend a day exploring the colorful floating markets, emerald rice fields and lush back waterways of the Mekong Delta. Embark on a cruise through the many tributaries of the Mekong, walk along the famous 'Monkey Bridges' that link the villages together and wander amongst vibrant tropical fruit gardens.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 12   Ho Chi Minh City – Siemreap (B)
After an early breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, check in to hotel.
Begin exploration of the ancient city of Angkor by entering Angkor Thom via the South Gate. Continue by viewing the ruins at Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terraces and the Leper King Terrace. In the afternoon, visit magnificent Angkor Wat with its extraordinary architecture and bas-reliefs. End the day with a spectacular sunset viewed from the mountain temple of Phnom Bakheng.
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 15   Siem Reap - Angkor Complex  (B)
After breakfast, proceed to the graceful 11th century Temple of Shiva - Banteay Srei - and the Banteay Samre temple. On the way back, view the Bantey Kdei with its rarely seen sculpted female deities, the Lake of Srah Srang, and the impressive Ta Prohm Temple, which is dramatically enveloped by jungle. Visit the Ta Keo, Chau Say Tevada, and Thommanon temples before returning to hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 16   Siem Reap - Yangon (B)
After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Myanmar. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and transfered to the hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.
This afternoon, your sightseeing begins with a visit to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which houses a 70-meter reclining Buddha.  Continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa is over 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf- a breathtaking and colorful sight which dominates the city skyline.
Overnight in Yangon

Day 17   Yangon - Mandalay (B)
Early this morning transfer to the airport for a short flight to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, begin your sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country's most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been repeatedly covered with gold leaf giving it an almost 'lumpy' texture. Mandalay is well known for its skilled craftsmen and as you tour traditional workshops, you will learn more about the city's cottage industries. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.
This afternoon, continue your tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title 'World's Biggest Book'. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace. This grand teak building is known for its exquisite woodcarving.
Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River.
Overnight in Mandalay

Day 18   Mandalay - Amarapura - Ava - Sagaing - Bagan (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for an excursion around Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.
Begin your tour in Amarapura, where you will attend a special ceremony. Witness the alms collection at Mahagandayon monastery, when over one-thousand monks gather to collect their daily meal from the local Buddhists. After this beautiful spectacle, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams. Before leaving Amarapura, stop at a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products.
Continue to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries and travel by horse and carriage through the area stopping to visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort.
This afternoon, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar.  It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers and you will visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thone Sae, and Shin Pin Nan Gyaing.
Return to Mandalay and transfer to the airport for a late afternoon flight to Bagan.
Overnight in Bagan

Day 19   Bagan (B)
Optional: Start your morning with a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. Enjoy fabulous views as the sun rises over the stupas and Irrawaddy River. This is truly an unforgettable and unique experience! (Note: available only from October to March only)
After breakfast, visit the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods. Continue on to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan's rich history.
Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan's most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.
From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and Sulamani Temple. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
Overnight in Bagan

Day 20   Bagan - Yangon (B)
After breakfast, visit Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple, noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
This afternoon, take a walk through Myinkaba village and have the opportunity to observe the village's sites as well as observe local craftsman with a visit to a lacquer ware workshop. Here you can watch the detailed production of one of the best-known Myanmar handicrafts.
Later, transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to Yangon.
Overnight in Yangon

Day 21   Departing Yangon (B)
Depending on flight time, there is an option to take a ride on Yangon's Circle Train in the morning.
This morning transfer to Yangon Railways station to take a unique ride on the city's circular train ride through the outskirts of town (45 minutes ride). This slowly traveling train gives you unique opportunity to observe the lively, colorful lifestyle of the local people. Disembark at the Insein market where you can peruse the various stalls and interact with the friendly vendors before transferring back to Yagnon.
This afternoon, visit Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott's Market, where you can browse through the wide selection of Myanmar handicrafts and other goods before transferring to Yangon International Airport for your onward flight. (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays)

*** Creating Unique Touring Experiences
All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend.
However, we understand one suit does not fit all, and that that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants at Grandeur Journeys are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a tour to your individual specifications.

Tour Duration: 21 Days / 20 Nights

Tour Operates: Year Round / On Demand

Tour Price: Available upon Request

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

What’s included?
    * Accommodation based on Double/Twin Room Superior room with breakfast;
    * Flights: Luang Prabang-Vientiane;Vientiane - Hanoi; Hanoi - Hue; Danang - HCMC; HCMC -Siem Reap; Siem Reap - Yangon; Yangon - Mandalay; Bagan - Yangon
    * Transfer by private A/C vehicles;
    * Airport transfers from and to airport;
    * Meals as indicated in itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner);
    * English Speaking Guide(s);
    * All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.

What’s excluded?
    * International Airfare;
    * Visa arrangment;
    * Alcoholic drinks & drinks at mealtime + Optional visits + Personal expenses;
    * Personal travel insurance;
    * Tips for guide, driver & hotels' porters;
    * Meals not indicated in the itinerary;
    * Other services not clearly indicated in the Package Inclusion above.


Note: Information in this dossier was correct at the time of its preparation. Grandeur Journeys reserves the right to make itinerary changes as operational or other circumstances require.

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Cambodia / /

Most people know of Cambodia as home to the crowning glory of Southeast Asia – the magnificent temples at Angkor Wat, but visitors are often surprised at how much more this small country has to offer.

Angkor Wat is simply unmissable, but take a little more time to explore Phnom Penh, the exciting, bustling gateway to the country; Tonle Sap lake, the largest in Southeast Asia; Sihanoukville, an increasingly chic beach destination; and Mekong River town Kratie, where lucky visitors may spot endangered Mekong river dolphins. For those wishing to learn more about the country’s recent history, Tuol Sleng prison and the ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek provide a chilling insight into Cambodia’s darkest hours.

As Cambodia shakes off its past and attempts to embrace the future, there has never been a better time to visit a country that combines typical Asian bustle and energy with timeless spirituality.

Laos / /

Landlocked Laos is Southeast Asia’s least developed and least known country – and therein lies its appeal. The pace of life here is extremely laid back and has changed little for centuries, which makes it arguably the region’s most captivating destination.

Laos has stylish, elegant cities such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang, which combine French colonial architecture, stunning Buddhist temples and a sleepy atmosphere far removed from other Asian cities, to create an intoxicating mix for the visitor. The countryside is no less fascinating, with the mysterious Plain of Jars and the unusual Mekong River islands all contributing to Laos’ unique ambiance.

Add the warmth, kindness and amiably vague timekeeping of the Lao people, and you have an unapologetically old-fashioned travel experience. Make sure you book a return ticket, because travelers often find it almost impossible to say goodbye.

Vietnam / /

From the misty mountains of the north to the lush rice fields of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is a beguiling destination which rarely fails to charm.

Timeless images of Indochina abound – conical-hatted farmers toil in bright green rice fields; junks drift through the mist on Halong Bay; cyclo drivers ride through the narrow streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. But there is a new Vietnam emerging, in the upscale hotels, shopping arcades and fine dining restaurants of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, and in the luxury beach resorts of Danang, Nhatrang and Mui Ne.

A country of contrasts where pleasant surprises await at almost every turn. But in Vietnam, one thing remains constant – the warmth, inquisitiveness and positivity of its people, which remain the abiding memory of those who spend time in this alluring country.

Myanmar (Burma) / /

Travellers to secretive Myanmar are welcomed by local people as their only contact with the outside world, making this one of Southeast Asia’s most rewarding destinations.

Known as "The Golden Land", Myanmar is a country rich in cultural heritage and natural scenic landscapes with abundant tourist attractions. History enthusiasts can bask in ancient cities and archaeological museums. Nature lovers can discover the lure of Myanmar forests, wildlife sanctuaries and scenic spots. Beach lovers can relax and enjoy the call of the sea at pristine beaches. And with such great diversity, any combination is possible with customized Myanmar tours by Grandeur Journeys.

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    Featured destinations: Hanoi | Halong Bay | Sapa & the Northwest | Hue | Danang & Hoian | Nhatrang | Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) | Dalat & Central Highlands | Muine Beach | Mekong Delta | Phuquoc Island | Condao Island | Vientiane | Vang Vieng | Luang Prabang | Pakse | Plains of Jars | Angkor Temples | Phnompenh | Sihanoukville |
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