Bagan Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 762

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Day 1: Bangkok

Welcome to Thailand and the start of your adventure with On the Go Tours. Upon your arrival at Bangkok's international airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the Ramada Plaza Maenam Riverside Hotel.

Day 2: Bangkok

Today enjoy a guided tour of Bangkok starting with the city's very own China Town. We'll stop to see the Flower Market before visiting the Grand Palace, former residence of the King of Siam including a visit to the Emerald Buddha Temple. By car we will drive along the Kings Avenue, seeing Ratchadamnoen Nork with the government buildings, United Nation and Parliament along the way will also pass the residence of King Bhumiphol and Queen Sirikit. Overnight at the Ramada Plaza Maenam Riverside Hotel.

Day 3: Bangkok - Chiang Mai

Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai where upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the Ramada Plaza Maenam Riverside Hotel.

Day 4: Chiang Mai

This morning we will visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep built in 1383. The temple is set 3,500 feet above sea level. Here you will see the marvellous Golden Pagoda which contains the holy relics of Lord Buddha. Enjoy the panoramic views of Chiang Mai City and Ping valley from the summit of Doi Suthep. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep can be approached on foot by climbing 306 steep stairs, flanked by tremendous mythical Nagas, which symbolizes humanity’s progress from earth to nirvana. Later we will transfer you back to your hotel. Overnight at the Royal Princess Chiang Mai.

Day 5: Chiang Mai

Day at leisure for you to enjoy Chiang Mai as you wish. You may choose to join a local cooking class or engage in some of the active adventures on offer locally. Overnight at the Royal Princess Chiang Mai.

Day 6: Chiang Mai - Yangon

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Yangon, capital of neighbouring Burma. Upon your arrival into Yangon you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel.

Day 7: Yangon

Your sightseeing today begins with a visit to Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda, which houses the fourth largest colossal reclining Buddha. We'll take a photo stop at the heart of Yangon to see Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park with Independence Monument, City Hall, the High Court and many colonial style buildings. Enjoy sunset at the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda located on top of Singuttara Hill, where many locals and Buddhists come to worship. Shwedagon Pagoda is thought to have been built between the 6th and 10th Centuries, however, it has been rebuilt many times since. It is here that eight strands of Buddha’s hair are said to be kept. The pagoda is covered in gold and contains diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel.

Day 8: Yangon - Mandalay

This morning fly to Mandalay. On arrival we head to the jetty for a pleasant boat ride upriver to Mingun to visit the remains of what could have been the world’s largest pagoda. Intended to reach a staggering height of 152m, work on the pagoda stopped after the death of King Bodawpaya in 1819. We also visit the huge Mingun Bell and the beautiful white Myatheindan pagoda nearby. Returning by boat to Mandalay the afternoon is spent exploring the Royal Palace, the teak carvings of the historic Shwenandaw Monastery and the world’s largest book at the Kuthodaw Pagoda. Our day concludes with Mandalay Hill and depending on the time, a spectacular sunset with vistas across the city.

Day 9: Mandalay

As a former capital of Burma, the ancient city of Amarapura is rich in sights and this morning we visit the largest teaching monastery in the country, the Mahagandayon Monastery. Everyday hundreds of monks queue to receive their daily alms from the people. We also visit the longest teak bridge in the world, the U Bein Bridge set over the enchanting Taungthaman Lake, and the Mahamuni Temple, home to an ancient bronze Buddha image. The afternoon is spent at the historical city of Inwa where a horse-drawn carriage brings us to the stone Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, a fine example of Burmese masonry, the Mainu brick monastery and the old watchtower.

Day 10: Mandalay - Bagan

This morning fly to Bagan. Sightseeing today begins with a visit to the town of Nyaung-U to see the local market and Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine, the Shwezigon Pagoda, as well as the simple Kyansittha Cave Temple with interesting 12th century frescoes. Later visit Manuha Temple with gigantic Buddha images, Nanpaya, an early-style temple with fine stone carvings, and Ananda temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture. Photo stop at Thatbuinnyu and continue to Dhamayangyi, famous for its interlocking mortar-less brickwork. Continue to Mingalarzedi, the last of the large pagodas built in the 13th century. At sunset climb to the top of Shwesandaw stupa to enjoy magnificent views over Bagan's temples and the Ayeyarwady River.

Day 11: Bagan

Today visit Sulamani, one of Bagan's great two-storied Bamar style temples which has 4 seated Buddha images. We'll also visit Lemethna temple, topped by an Indian-style spire, continue to the three shrines of Payathonzu which are connected by passages adorned with Mahayanist or Tantric mural paintings. Visit Nandamanya temple with fine frescoes and an unexpectedly erotic mural. Continue to the village of Minnanthu to see how the local people live. Stop at Myazedi stupa to see Myanmar's "Rosetta Stone", bearing inscriptions written in four languages. In the evening enjoy the beautiful sunset from one of the famous temples or pagodas.

Day 12: Bagan - Inle Lake

Morning flight to Heho where on your arrival you will take a scenic route to Nyaung Shwe Jetty by traveling the uphill and winding road over the Shan Plateau. After hotel check in, enjoy a boat ride on Inle Lake. Your sightseeing will start with a visit the Phaungdawoo Pagoda, which houses five small Buddha images. The next must-see stop is Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, an attractive wooden monastery built on stilts over the lake at the end of the 1850s and where you can see the popular jumping cats leap through the hoops. We finish the tour with a visit to local silverware workshop, Silk and Lotus weaving workshop, blacksmith workshop, cheroot making and traditional boat making factory.

Day 13: Inle Lake - Yangon

This morning we may visit one of the famous 5 markets if our visit coincides, as the date is set by the local people and the location changes every 5 days. If on, you will see hill tribes trading their farm products of vegetables, fruits, sun-dried tea leaves, art and works of wooden sculpture. Later we visit Indein village, located at the western side of the lake. Passing Nyaung Ohak Monastery and following a stair path lined with many hundreds of wooden columns, you finally will reach the impressive Shwe Indein Pa-O complex. From the hillside there are great views over the lake area. On the way back to the boat, walk through a romantic bamboo forest at the riverside. In the afternoon transfer to Heho airport for flight back to Yangon. Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel.

Day 14: Yangon - Siem Reap

Transfer to airport for your flight to Siem Reap in Camdobia where upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the SIDDHARTA BOUTIQUE RESORT & SPA.

Day 15: Siem Reap

Today we will enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon temple, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of the Leper King. Next, visit Ta Prohm Temple. Unlike most of the other Angkor temples, Ta Prohm has been left just as it was found - the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. In the afternoon visit the famous Angkor Wat. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre—first Hinduism then Buddhism—since its foundation. Enjoy watching the superb view of sunset over Angkor Wat later this evening. Overnight at the SIDDHARTA BOUTIQUE RESORT & SPA.

Day 16: Siem Reap

Hike on a beautiful meandering path about 1.5 miles uphill to visit Kbal Spean, which literally means "head of the river". Here you can see the pretty waterfall, as well as admire stone carvings. Next visit Banteay Srey, which displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. The temple is built largely of red sandstone and optimally suited for the elaborate carvings. Your next destination is the floating village Kompong Kleangwhich on Tonle Sap where more than 20,000 people live in stilt houses. The buildings rise up to ten metres above the water's surface. Experience the friendliness of the locals, enjoy the rural culture of Cambodia and family traditions before returning to your hotel. Overnight at the SIDDHARTA BOUTIQUE RESORT & SPA.

Day 17: Siem Reap - Luang Prabang

This morning fly to Luang Prabang in neighbouring Laos. Later today visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there we explore the Night Market where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textile made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.

Day 18: Luang Prabang

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of alms from the faithful residents. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups before driving to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. After returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well-known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) papermaking.

Day 19: Luang Prabang

Day at leisure to independently explore Luang Prabang.

Day 20: Luang Prabang - Hanoi

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hanoi in neighbouring Vietnam where upon your arrival you will meet our local representative for transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 21: Hanoi

This morning is free for you to relax. This afternoon enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi including the Museum of Ethnology and the Temple of Literature. This evening watch a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 22: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Here, embark our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sun deck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 23: Halong Bay - Hue

Wake up to spectacular views of the bay. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng, where you can gain a fascinating insight into everyday life on the bay. Cruise back to the dock arriving in Halong around noon and transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 24: Hue

We begin our sightseeing at 0800AM with a trip to the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. The Citadel was closely modeled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Following this tour of the Emperor's residence is a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors by visiting two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. In the late afternoon we have a cruise on the Perfume River to see Thien Mu pagoda.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 25: Hue - Hoi An

This morning transfer to Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass. There will be stops en route to take in the views of the coastline from this amazing vantage point. This afternoon enjoy a half day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of Hoi An's Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 26: Hoi An

A bicycle ride into the countryside leads us to Tra Que village. Here you will discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where you’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch. Return to Hoi An for free time.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 27: Hoi An

Day at leisure.

A local man in front of an ancient building in Hoi An

Day 28: Hoi An - Can Tho

Morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival transfer directly to the Ben Tre, famous for its coconut production and quiet, peaceful waterways. You will have a chance to experience locally used vehicles such as “xe loi”, a traditional sampan boat. The boat trip will take you to visit a brick making shop, fruit garden and local family where rice paper is made. In the afternoon continue your transfer to Can Tho for overnight.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 29: Can Tho - Saigon

This morning we cruise along the narrow canals and waterways in a small boat and visit the Cai Rang-Phong Dien floating market with its hordes of small vendor boats. We'll stop for lunch before heading back to Saigon. This afternoon take time to explore the city including Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque Cathedral, the Central Post Office Building, Dong Khoi Street, formerly the centre of haute couture, and China Town.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 30: Saigon - Beijing

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Beijing. Upon your arrival into Beijing you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Great Wall

Day 31: Beijing

This morning explore the heart of Beijing including the vast Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao's tomb and various monuments to the people are located. Enjoy a guided tour of the vast Forbidden City, a city within a city that was once the seat of the emperors. Later take an exciting rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, weaving through old back lanes and traditional courtyards for a snapshot of an ancient way of life.

Forbidden City

Day 32: Beijing

Don some comfortable shoes as today you get the chance to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Zig zagging some 6000km, ducking and weaving through mountain peaks and lush terrain, the Great Wall is one of those 'must-do experiences'.

Ming statue

Day 33: Beijing - Xi'an

This morning we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Later today discover the marvellous Terracotta Warriors archaeological site. Some 7000 warriors stand battle-ready and have done so for the past 2,200 years. A visit to a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines is also included.

Day 34: Xi'an

Spend the morning at leisure before a guided excursion to the ancient Buddhist Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Take a casual bicycle ride on top of the nine mile city wall with views over the lively city below. The day concludes with a visit to the Muslim Quarter of the city, giving you a great insight into the religious diversity of China.

Day 35: Xi'an - Guilin

This morning we transfer you to the airport for your flight south to Guilin where upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day can be spent at leisure.

Day 36: Guilin - Yangshuo

This morning your Li River cruise departs from downtown Guilin for a full day's excursion. The 90km Li River cruise is the highlight of any trip to northeastern Guangxi province. Gorgeous karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Bear witness to rural China as peasants reap rice paddies and school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. After passing many world-renowned sights such as Elephant Trunk Hill and Pagoda, arrive in to Yangshuo and enjoy a rafting excursion on the river.

Day 37: Yangshuo - Shanghai

This morning is your own free time to explore Yangshou - laden with quirky shops, art studios, calligraphers, cafes and restaurants. After the morning of exploration we will transfer you back to Guilin in time for your flight to Shanghai where on arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 38: Shanghai

The mere mention of ‘Shanghai’ conjures up mystery, romance and general decadence. Pre–1949 cosmopolitan Shanghai was a magnet for seekers of wealth, idle colonialists, explorers and the dispossessed. A legacy of these heady times is Shanghai’s Bund where on and around this waterfront promenade are a series of grandiose pre-1949 buildings. Just across the Huangpu River is the new Shanghai, a high-tech development of gravity defying skyscrapers. Today tour many of the city’s top spots including the Yu Gardens and Bazaar, the Bund, Pudong and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jade Buddha Temple and a cruise along the Huangpu River.

Day 39: Shanghai

This morning take a day's excursion to ancient Suzhou. A sort of oriental Venice, ancient Suzhou is interwoven by a series of canals and pretty waterways which feed a series of classical gardens laid out here since the Song dynasty a thousand years ago. Suzhou sits very close to the Grand Canal and today enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal as well as a tour of the Humble Administrator’s Garden and a visit to a silk workshop before returning to Shanghai.

Day 40: Shanghai

Today marks the end of your adventure with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport for your onward departure flight.