Vietnam and Myanmar Highlight offers an unbeaten experience in Southeast Asia. Following the cruise in magical Ha Long Bay, this 12 day trip offers a great chance to experience the vibrant life of Hanoi, bustling city of Yangon and ancient Bagan kingdom. The combination of these two beautiful countries is simply a trip of desire and curiosity. The trip begins in Myanmar and ends in Hanoi, Vietnam or vice versa, if you wish.
Our tour guide will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel to get settled in. Your highlight for this evening is the dinner in Karaweik Palace overlooking to the Royal Lake and Shwedagon Tower. The dinner of fine Burmese food will be served followed by an amazing cultural show.
This morning we will catch the early morning direct flight to Bagan, Myanmar’s archeological wonderland, where over 3,000 ancient temples blossom from the countryside. Start your tour with a trip to the bustling Nyang U Market in Old Bagan then explore the beautiful, gold leaf Shwezigon Pagoda and learn about the Burmese Buddhist tradition.
We continue our tour with a visit to Ananda Temple, stopping along the way on the Bagan plain to admire some of the surrounding temples. In the afternoon, take a tour of a local lacquer wear workshop and learn about this traditional craft.
After breakfast, begin the day with an exotic horse cart to one of the biggest temples in Bagan: Nan Paya Pagoda and many other interesting sites nearby, continue with sightseeing to Minkaba Gubyaukyi Temple, take note of the architectural difference in MyaZedi Pagoda before heading to Manuha Temple.
Catch a flight to Heho and drive to the beautiful Inle Lake, the second largest lake in Myanmar, located 900 meters above sea level and is home to the Intha people, famous for their one leg rowing technique.
Upon arrival, board a motorboat for a sightseeing tour to Phaungdawoo Pagoda, famed for its richly gilded five small Buddha images. This pagoda is also believed to be the holiest in Inle Lake. Our next visit is Ngaphechaung Monastery, known as “jumping cat” pagoda. As you travel further toward Nam Pan village the cotton and lotus weaving factories and cigar making houses will impress you with true traditional Intha life.
This morning, you will visit the “5 Days Market” which is held in different villages surrounding the lake. This is definitely a fascinating place to enjoy the scene of local tribes in their colorful clothes and exotic market atmosphere.
After lunch, the boat will take you to beautiful temple of Indein, located on the hill overlooking the lake. It will be relaxing to walk along the corridor and enjoy the giant columns that have been left to nature for centuries. Catch an afternnon flight to Bagan.
Today we’ve arranged a guided city tour exploring Yangon and its highlights from Sule Pagoda, the heart of Yangon city; Chaukhtayi Pagoda and Kandawgyi Lake. Visit the most outstanding pagoda in Yangon: Shwedagon Pagoda. The golden pagoda is really a must see while you are in Myanmar. If time permits, you will have time to shop in Scott Market before the late afternoon flight to Hanoi. On arrival, the guide will pick you from the airport and take you to the hotel in the city center.
Today we have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Our city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and stilt house), the Presidential Palace, the nearby One Pillar Pagoda, the Old Quarter, the Temple of Literature, West Lake, the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda & Quan Thanh Temple and one of the city’s museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum). In the evening enjoy a traditional Water Puppet performance – a unique Vietnamese art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture, before heading to the train station to catch your night train to Lao Cai.
Your train arrives at the Lao Cai station in the early morning. Lao Cai is a charming hilltop town near the Chinese border. Explore downtown Lao Cai and have breakfast at a local noodle house. After breakfast our driver and guide will take you to one of the local markets (Bac Ha Fair Market on Sun/ Coc Ly on Tue and Can Cau on Sat). Wander through the stalls packed with handcrafted goods peddled by the various hill tribe people who come here to buy and sell their wares. In the afternoon, continue on your way to Sapa: Northwest Vietnam’s premier travel destination, famous for its breathtaking views of cloud-woven mountaintops and gaping valleys.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a full day’s trek to explore Sapa’s cultural diversity and haunting natural beauty. You will take a guided hike through yawning valleys decorated with terraced rice fields and pass through remote hill tribe villages. We have three trekking options to choose from: Easy Trek (~ 3 km), Medium Trek (~ 6km) and Long Trek (~12km). Trekking is an excellent way to explore the daily life and become familiar with the cultures of the H’mong, Dzao and Dzay people who populate the region. Lunch at a hill tribe village and then we drive back to Lao Cai to catch the night train to Hanoi.
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning. Our guide will meet you at the train station and take you for breakfast at a local restaurant before setting out on a 3 to 4 hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site: Halong Bay. Here you will spend 24 hours on a traditional Junk Cruise in the amazing Halong Bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, we will cruise around some of Halong’s numerous islands. We will visit one of the most beautiful caves on Halong Bay. Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin (weather permitting). Spend the night on the junk lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
Awake early and participate in Tai Chi exercises on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk boat for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay, as we will navigate back to Halong City. Your cruise ends at noon and our driver will meet you at Halong Pier to take you back to Hanoi.
Day at leisure until to transfer to the airport to take flight back to your country.