U Bein Bridge in Mandalay
Home Southeast Asia Tours Laos Tours 13 Days Myanmar and Laos Exploration

Tour Overview

This is a unique 13 days Myanmar-Laos itinerary for you to explore natural and cultural delights in both countries. You will look into some of the most famous historical heritages and local markets in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, and Bagan. Hop on a boat to see the life along the riverbank of Inle Lake. Explore the enchanting Luang Prabang town and Vientiane with beautiful natural wonders and historical architecture.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Visit Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar with many ancient pagodas.
  • Cruise on Inle Lake to look into local life and unique floating gardens.
  • Explore Bagan highlighting thousands of over 1500 years old temples.
  • Adventure to Kuang Si Waterfall to enjoy the natural beauty and have fun around the pools.
  • See the best ancient temples, and natural beauty, and experience the morning rituals of local monks in the charming UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang town.
  • Cruise upstream along the Mekong River to explore the mysterious Pak Ou caves with numerous Buddha statues.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to Yangon! Upon your arrive at Yangon, your local English-speaking guide and driver will greet you at the arrival hall, and then drive the hotel for checking-in. The rest of the day is free for you to take a rest or stroll around your hotel by yourself.

    Note: Flight to Yangon on your own arrangement

    Meals: N/A

    Overnight: Yangon

  2. Get up early in the morning, start today with a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, where you can enjoy peaceful people-watching. The 99 meters high golden dome is said to be plastered with 60 tons of pure gold.

    Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
    Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

    Get back to your hotel for breakfast, before you visit the Reclining Buddha (Chaok-Htat-Gyi) and Mahabandoola Park.

    This afternoon, visit Bogyoke Market with various handicrafts, and gem shops, and freely stroll around the bustling streets of China Town and Yangon Jetty.

    Bogyoke Market in Yangon
    Colorful cloth in Bogyoke Market

    Before returning to your hotel, admire the colonized-style buildings along the riverside which will bring you back to the old Myanmar a century ago.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Yangon

  3. This morning, your driver will transfer you to the airport for your domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, your local guide and driver will welcome you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel.

    After a short rest in your hotel, it’s time to explore Bagan, home of thousands of Buddhist pagodas that were once owned by individual families.

    You will first visit Nyaung Oo Market to see local people buy and sell their daily food and how they bargain. Then transfer to the Shwezigon Pagoda which is covered by over 30,000 copper plates.

    Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan
    Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan

    You will spend the hottest time in the hotel, then your guide will arrange a romantic Horse Cart Ride while you marvel at the amazing sunset. Before taking the horsecart ride back to your hotel, you can also climb onto the Shwesandaw Pagoda, the tallest pagoda in Bagan, to appreciate the sunset from a different angle.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Bagan

  4. Drive to Nyaung Oo Airport in the early morning for your flight to Heho. On arrival at Heho, your local guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel by the lakeside of Inle Lake.

    Located in the highland of Myanmar, Inle Lake is about 3,000 feet above sea level, offering a unique atmosphere in Middle Myanmar.

    After hotel check-in, it’s your free time to relax and absorb the beauty of Inle Lake.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: around Inle Lake

  5. After breakfast (about 8:00 am), take a boat to explore the beauty of Inle Lake. You will float through local ethnic people’s stilted houses, their unique floating gardens with various products like tomatoes, melons, and papayas, and see local people fishing with traditional leg-rowing techniques.

    Stilted houses on Inle Lake
    Stilted houses on Inle Lake

    Your boat ride will take you to visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most revered temple in the Inle Lake area, housing five golden images of the Buddha. Then to Nga Phe Chaung monastery, a beautiful wooden monastery with a history of over 200 years.

    Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake
    Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

    Continue your boat ride to the floating garden called Kyun-Hmyaw to see how locals grow crops in unique floating gardens.

    The beauty of the sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors. You can lay back on the boat to appreciate the spectacular sunset before returning to your hotel.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Inle Lake

  6. Today you will take a flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, your local guide and driver will welcome you and escort you to start the city excursion in Mandalay.

    You will visit Mahamuni Image, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site attracting many local people to pray and stick the gold paper on the Buddha. You can follow the locals to make wishes and stick gold paper. (only men are allowed to stick gold paper.)

    Mahamuni Buddha Temple in Mandalay
    Mahamuni Buddha Temple in Mandalay

    Before visiting Mahamuni Image, your guide will lead you to visit a gold paper factory to see the process of making gold paper.

    Then visit Shwenandaw Monastery, an impressive ancient monastery with top-rated wood carvings of Buddhist myths. Followed by a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It is a gorgeous temple with a completely gilded exterior, housing the world's largest book of Buddhism.

    Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay
    Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay

    Before returning to your hotel, get to the top of Mandalay Hill for a stunning sunset.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Mandalay

  7. After breakfast, a 30 minutes drive will take you to Sagaing on the riverside of Ayeyarwady River.

    Cross the British-built Innwa Bridge to get to Maha Ganayon Kyaung Monastery at around 10:15 am when hundreds of monks there are lining up for their meals.

    Move on to the Kaung Mu Taw Pagoda, one of the 5 most spectacular pagodas in Myanmar in a dome shape. The 812 stone pillars at the base of the pagoda are the highlights here, with each one being carved with an image of a Nat.

    Followed by a visit to Sagaing Hill to see many small pagodas, including the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. You can enjoy time at a monastery here by sipping a cup of green tea and communicating with the monks.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, head to Amarapura. After arrival, go to visit the U Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world boasting a length of 1.2 kilometers.

    Mandalay U Bein Bridge sunset
    Beautiful sunset at U Bein Bridge

    Then visit Bagaya Monastery which enchants visitors with its many exquisite carvings of animals and birds, curved figurines, and the unique Burmese architectural structure.

    Next, visit Nagayon Temple which features many impressive frescoes, and rows of niches in the dim corridors.

    Nagayon Temple in Bagan
    Nagayon Temple in Bagan

    Get back to Mandalay to enjoy your free time there.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Mandalay

  8. Transfer to the airport in the morning for your international flight to Vientiane in Laos. Upon arrival, your local guide and driver will be ready to welcome you at the arrival hall and escort you to the hotel for check-in.

    For the rest of the day, you can have a short rest in the hotel, or stroll around the hotel or river bank by yourself.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Vientiane

  9. Today, you will follow your local expert guide to discover the best highlights of Vientiane.

    Firstly, visit Wat Sisaket, the only temple that survived the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828, featuring over 10,000 miniature Buddha statues and beautiful architecture and layout from hundreds of years ago.

    Wat Sisaket in Vientiane
    Roof of Wat Sisaket

    Continue to visit Wat Phra Keo, a religious museum with numerous works of art from both Laos and Khmer. An outside visit to Presidential Palace will show you the town’s colonial past.

    Move to two landmark sites: the gold-covered Pha That Luang, a large Buddhist stupa that has been regarded as the national monument and symbol of Laos. And then the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of “Arc de Triomphe”.

    Pha That Luang in Vientiane
    Pha That Luang

    In the afternoon, visit Buddha Park (aka Wat Xieng Khouane). Though not a temple, it will entertain you with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The 40-meter-long reclining Buddha is a highlight here.

    Buddha Park in Vientiane
    Impressive statues in Buddha Park

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Vientiane

  10. This morning, take a short flight to Luang Prabang. After arriving at the airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to the local hotel for checking in. In Luang Prabang, you can expect to explore some of the best-preserved traditions in Southeast Asia.

    The rest of the day is free for you to explore this ancient town.

    You can get to the top of Phousi Hill (you’ll need to take 329 steps) to enjoy a bird view of Luang Prabang City and the Mekong River at sunset.

    Luang Prabang panoramic view from Phousi Hill
    Luang Prabang panoramic view from Phousi Hill

    Or head to a local night market where you can see various handmade textiles made by local villagers.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Luang Prabang

  11. Today, you can get up early (optional) to catch the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings. Laos is the only Buddhist nation that still preserves this unique tradition.

    Morning Alms-giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang
    Morning Alms-giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang

    Back to the hotel for breakfast, you will then be escorted to the Kuang Si Waterfall to enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery. It’s a relaxing time when you can either have fun around the turquoise pools or enjoy leisure walking along the forest trails.

    Kuangsi Waterfall in Luang Prabang
    Stunning Kuangsi Waterfall

    Drive back to Luang Prabang town for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, the largest temple in Luang Prabang that will introduce you to characteristics of 16th-century Lao architecture: exquisite wall carvings, sweeping 2-tiered roof, ornate mosaics, etc.

    Then follow your local guide to see many precious religious artifacts in Wat Visoun, the photographed Wat Mai, and two ancient stupas in Wat Aham.

    The rest of the day is free for you to explore this city, you can either stroll along the riverside or enjoy some drinks in a local café.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Luang Prabang

  12. Start today with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum (closed on Tuesday) which presents a wealth of interesting artifacts. Then relax on an upstream cruise along the Mekong River before you reach the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. Located by the Mekong River, Pak Ou Caves are two linked caves, in which you’ll discover thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues.

    Laos Royal Palace Museum
    Laos Royal Palace Museum

    During the cruise to Pak Ou Caves, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along both banks of the Mekong River, and glimpse into local fishing life while visiting a local village.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight: Luang Prabang

  13. Enjoy your free time at the hotel before your driver transfers you to the airport for departure. End of the Myanmar - Laos trip.

    Note: Flight off Luang Prabang on your own arrangement

    Meals: B

    Overnight: N/A

Price Includes

  • Flight tickets with airport tax as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance fees, performances, boat trips & excursions as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Land transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles;
  • Breakfasts in the hotel;
  • Water on the coach;
  • Local expert driver and English-speaking guide.

Price Excludes

  • International flight to Yangon and off Luang Prabang;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Visa stamp fees and handling fees;
  • Early check-in & late check-out surcharge;
  • Any personal expenses not included in the itinerary;
  • Meals not mentioned;
  • Drinks not mentioned;
  • Tips & gratuities for guides and drivers.

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