This morning visit the colourful Flower Market before continuing on to the spiritual and religious heart of the city - the striking Grand Palace. Topped by golden stupas, the complex has been the site of royal coronations and is home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. Next take a tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho, home to the famous golden Reclining Buddha.
From here cross Chao Phraya River for lunch at Supatra, a traditional Thai restaurant set on the river banks, before boarding a longtail boat to explore the city's canals. Known as khlongs, the canals enable surface water to make its way to the sea and have long been a way of getting around Bangkok. On your journey glide past curious stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children frolic about on the water’s edge.
The boat drops you off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. Late afternoon offers free time for you to enjoy the many bars, restaurants, street performers, market stalls and tailors - that will measure you up for a new suit, that line this vibrant road.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast, Lunch
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. It’s an early start today as we drive 2.5hrs west of the capital to the small town of Kanchanaburi. Here we pay our respects to the thousands of Allied POWs who perished in the area under the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army. After pausing at the Allied War Cemetery we continue to the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, immortalised by the film of the same name. You have a chance to take pictures before you board a train for a 2 hour journey that crosses the bridge before following the tracks dug by the POWs and locals some 75 years earlier.
Disembarking at Nam Tok we have a short drive to ‘Hellfire Pass’ where the POWs dug through a mountain often using only their bare hands. A fascinating museum at the entrance details the region’s history.
After our day’s sightseeing a leisurely longtail boat ride leads us to our fabulous floating jungle raft hotel. To the beauty of a hundred softly glowing lanterns and the sounds of the tropical forest and cool water flowing by we enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on the deck.
Overnight: Kanchanaburi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kanchanaburi – Bangkok – Yangon. In the morning return to Bangkok to catch your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival visit the glistening golden Sule Pagoda located in the heart of this former capital city, and then drive to the famous 2500-year old Shwedagon Pagoda for sunset.
Overnight: Yangon | Breakfast
Yangon– Bagan. Today board a short flight to Bagan. Upon arrival your first stop will be at one of the most important stupas in the region, the Dhammayazika Zedi, where you can admire striking views across the stupa-filled plains of Bagan.
Continue on to the Archaeological Museum to learn more about the region and then carry on to visit a few more of its important sites, such as the Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi, Htilominlo and Ananda Temples. Later make a stop at a small factory to see how beautiful lacquer-ware items are produced, and perhaps even pick up a souvenir or two.
Overnight: Bagan | Breakfast
Bagan – Mandalay. This morning is kept free should you wish to embark on the experience of a lifetime, a relaxing hot air balloon ride over the stupas of Bagan as the sun rises over the horizon. After breakfast explore some of the surrounding countryside with a drive out to Mount Tankyi, with its many temples standing like sentinels over the countryside below. In the afternoon venture further by horse and cart, a novel and popular way to visit some temples and soak up the atmosphere before catching your flight on to Mandalay.
Overnight: Mandalay | Breakfast
Following breakfast head to the jetty for a 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 152 metres, work on the pagoda stopped after the death of King Bodawpaya in 1819. Dramatically split by an earthquake in 1838, the monumental structure is still incredibly impressive. Next stop is 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.
Overnight: Mandalay | Breakfast
Mandalay – Bangkok. This morning depart for Mandalay airport for your return flight to Bangkok or alternatively on to Thandwe and the paradise beach resort of Ngapoli.
Prices & Dates
We absolutely loved the tour and Annie. The tour certainly packed a lot into those few days. I really enjoyed the last few days in Phuket. It was very relaxing and restful after such a busy tour. It would be nice to have at least a few suggestions available as to what to do when arriving in Phuket. Nothing has to be included, but just some ideas on what there is to see and do. We did fine, but felt kind of abandoned once we were there. Annie was delightful. She has a wonderful personality and is very good at what she does. I would also suggest to make it more obvious how things are to be paid. I know the information said so many US dollars, but I thought it meant the equivalent to US dollars. We barely were able to scrape up the US currency needed. We had purchased Baht for the tipping expenses. Otherwise, a wonderful trip. Would recommend it to others. ”