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Highlight of Thailand & Myanmar

(14 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon


This tour combines the highlights of two Buddhist countries: Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.


Begin with comprehensive touring in Bangkok. With your own private guide, enjoy a fascinating, private long-tail boat tour through Bangkok's canals. Visit the most important temples. Learn about Buddhist practices and influences on daily life. Hear monks chanting at a morning ceremony. Explore colorful markets selling textiles, flowers, food and crafts, attending a Thai puppet show or dance performance, learning about the Thai silk industry, or perhaps watching a muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) tournament.


Next, fly to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. With your private guide, visit the best local markets and tour interesting Buddhist temples, including one on top of a mountain. Perhaps ride on the back of an elephant, one of Thailand's national symbols, during an excursion to an elephant training camp.


Next, fly to Mandalay, the cultural heart of Myanmar. Visit craft districts throughout the city and watch a procession of monks at a monastery in the silk weaving center of Amarapura. Also, tour pagodas and ruins in Ava, Mingun and Sagaing all ancient capitals.


Spend the next two nights in unforgettable, awe-inspiring Bagan, where thousands of pagodas and temples stretch from the Ayeyarwady River out across miles of arid plains. Tour the structures, built between the 11th and 13th centuries when Bagan was a major Buddhist center of Southeast Asia, and learn about the history carved in their layered facades, painted in their interior frescoes and sculpted in their Buddhist statues. Also visit the town's best lacquerware workshops and explore local markets and villages. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can book a memorable hot air balloon ride over the temples as the sun rises.


Next, fly to Inle Lake, home of the Intha people. Take a canoe ride down Inle's canals, pass through floating villages built on stilts, and see how the Intha grow crops on reed islands. Visit local crafts villages to shop for distinctive textiles, ceramics and lacquerware.


Spend another night in Yangon (Rangoon) in Burma. With your private guide, tour the city's highlights: the Shwedagon Pagoda, the reclining Buddha, the sprawling Bogyoke (Scott) Market, the National Museum, and neighborhoods that reflect Yangon's Burmese, British, Indian, Bangladeshi and indigenous influences.


*** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests ***



Day 1: Welcome to Bangkok

Fly to Bangkok, THAILAND


Welcome to Thailand. Upon arrival in Bangkok, obtain your Thailand visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


From the airport, you will be privately transferred to the lovely boutique hotel. Bangkok Thailand’s capital city, known to Thais as “Krung Thep” (the City of Angels) is one of the world’s most exciting cities. It holds the essence of the Thai spirit, and is very much the heart of the country. Without doubt, this fast-growing metropolis of roughly 10 million people has something to offer to everyone. Its lively collection of nightlife venues, markets, shops, restaurants, magnificent “wats” (temples), museums, palaces and parks will assure that you never get bored. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.


Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Bangkok


First Class 4 Star Hotels: Ariyasom Villa, Riva Surya Bangkok, Chatrium Hotel Riverside


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: The Peninsula Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam Hotel


Day 2: The Klongs & Bangkok’s breathtaking Buddha’s and more

Meals Provided: Breakfast


Begin your full day tour of this city visiting three impressive temples. First drive through the morning flower markets to explore real Thai lifestyle. Visit Wat Traimit with its invaluable Golden Buddha (5 ½ tons of solid gold); Wat Pho, the largest temple in Bangkok, with the colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings.

View the enormous Buddha covered in gold leaf and lying majestically on its side. Next, continue to the city's most important landmark, the Grand Palace, which is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient Siamese architecture and has been the residence of the Kings of Thailand for over two centuries. Here you will see palaces which were used for different occasions: the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and Wat Phra Kaew, containing the most revered Buddha image in the country, the Emerald Buddha, made from one solid piece of translucent green jade.


After lunch at a Thai restaurant near the Chao Phraya River, embark on a water excursion on the river and its canals. Board a long-tailed boat to explore the klongs (canals) of Bangkok’s Thonburi, in the west of Bangkok, situated on the right side of the Chao Phraya River. Its many canals had originally given Bangkok the name "Venice of the East." Passing along the canals in the boat gives you a first-hand impression of the scenic life along Bangkok‘s waterways. You will also visit the majestic Royal Barges and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn, one of the most attractive temples in Thailand) and Santa Cruz Church before returning to your hotel.


Day 3: Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Bangkok

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch


Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am and drive to Ayutthaya. Among the "must see" attractions in Thailand is a visit to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand situated 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. The Thai capital for 417 years, Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in the city, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. 33 kings of 5 dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. During this day trip you will visit the principal sights: Wat Sri Sanphet - this important and outstanding monastery was used as a residential palace in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. Next, visit Wat Mahathad with its iconic Buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree is among the most photographed sites in Ayutthaya. Built during the 14th century, the temple was an important venue for Royal ceremonies and later destroyed during the Burmese invasion in 1767, who also vandalized many Buddha images by cutting off their heads. Wat Yai Chaimongkhol: The chedi at this monastery is among the largest in Ayutthaya and was built by King Naresuan (1590-1605). There are many Buddha images and a beautiful garden behind this chedi. We’ll have a chance to walk around the local market, browsing snacks and handcrafts. For a different side local life, we’ll stop at the Elephant Camp to visit with Thailand’s national animal. This afternoon enjoy lunch at typical Restaurant, included with the tour, and our excursion concludes with a boat trip to Bang-Pa-In, the former Royal Summer Residence, which represents a fine example of Thai architecture. As we coast, we’ll see villagers going about their daily routines at temples, schools, markets, and even churches and mosques near the river banks. Return transfer back to hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.


Day 4: Bangkok to Chiang Mai "Rose of the North"

Meals Provided: Breakfast


After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Chiang Mai.


Fly Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Thai Airways TG106, departing 10:30, arriving 11:40

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours


Welcome to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival at Chiang Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Thailand’s second city and capital of the north, Chiang Mai has a great cultural heritage and is a charming place to spend a few days learning the art of Thai cooking, browsing through colourful markets or relaxing by the river after a trek. The city has a tradition for making handicrafts and the expertise here makes it a good place to pick up silk, silver, lacquer and wooden souvenirs. Chiang Mai is also famous as a religious centre and there are a number of interesting wats to visit as you wander around the city’s streets. Outside Chiang Mai lies a region of mountains, valleys and rivers where the hill tribes live and the city has long been a base from which to go trekking or start an exploration of the beautiful north of the country.


After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon visit four of the most important temples: Wat Phra Singh. This 14th century Lanna style temple has been one of Chiang Mai's most important sanctuaries. Opposite is Wat Prasat, one of the oldest unreconstructed temples in the city, and after looking around here you will visit Wat Chedi Luang which is one of Chiang Mai's most famous, and ancient, temples and houses a stupa that dates back to the 15th century. From here head to the city walls on to one of the most beautiful viewpoints for sunset – Wat Suan Dok where the ashes of former kings of Chiang Mai and the Royal Family are kept. Here at this fourteenth century temple you will witness evening prayer as the monks and local people come together at the end of the day.


Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Chiang Mai


First Class 4 Star Hotels: U Chiang Mai, Tamarind Village, Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, 137 Pillars House, The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai


Day 5: Elephant owner for a day. Makes unforgettable stay.

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch


After an early breakfast you will drive out to Patara Elephant Farm where you will ‘own' and elephant for a day. On arrival at the farm you will register and get changed into your training outfit. You will then be trained in the ways of elephant handling, elephant farm management and the farm's breeding program. The training includes: hiking to find elephants in the bush; learning about approaching elephants; observing elephant temperament and an introduction to each of the farm elephants. You will also learn about the morning feed and daily health care for elephants. Later you will unchain and walk your elephant to the river. Learn about elephant skin care and bath your elephant in the river. You will be instructed on how to get on the elephant neck, sitting on the elephant, basic riding skills and spoken commands. Practice getting on and off your new friend. After the training you will attempt bare-back riding. Practice on an easy ride within the farm and a short trip to visit local temple. During the morning you will also learn about elephant in Buddhism and the beliefs that Thais have about elephants. Mid-morning set off on a long uphill trip to visit a waterfall where you will have a picnic lunch and bathe in the water with your elephant. Later ride your elephant back to the farm for the evening feed. At the end of the day bid your elephant farewell and then set off back to your hotel. Please note this tour will be shared with other participants.


Day 6: Life in the hill tribe villages and scenic Doi Suthep

Meals Provided: Breakfast


Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am and taken to the White Hmong tribal village of Khun Chang Kien is located in the vicinity of Doi (=mountain) Suthep. Here you see the Hmong in their colorful costumes selling their wide range of antiques, decorative ornaments and fabrics. The villagers now earn their living by planting vegetables and growing fruit, having replaced their traditional cash crop – the opium poppy. Afterwards you will be driven up a serpentine road to the magnificently situated Wat Doi Suthep. Perched on a forested mountain, this most sacred Chiang Mai temple (3,280ft above sea level) provides a superb view over the city, as well as a wealth of Buddha statues made of jade and bronze as well as some frescos.


This afternoon is at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, or explore more of Chiang Mai.


Day 7: Chiang Mai – Mandalay

Meals Provided: Breakfast


After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Mandalay, Myanmar.


Fly Chiang Mai to Mandalay on Bangkok Airways PG709, departing 10:05, arriving 13:25

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours


Welcome to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Mandalay’s proud declaration is that it is the country’s last royal capital and the center of Burmese culture. In contrast to the colonial feel of Yangon, Mandalay embodies all that is traditional about Burma. Every morning, monks and novice monks line up at the Mahagadayon Monastery in the former capital and township of Amarapura to receive their daily offerings of alms and food from devout Buddhists. The 1 km U Bein Bridge spans Taungthaman Lake and during the evening becomes a focal point for monks and locals as they linger to enjoy the sunset.


After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the late afternoon visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, home to Mandalay's holiest Buddha statue. Next, visit Shwenandaw Monastery, an ancient wooden building with intricate carvings, which was once King Mindon's home.  Continue to see the 'world’s largest book', being the Buddhist Scriptures inscribed on marble slabs, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Visit Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda to see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Enjoy spectacular views at sunset from Mandalay Hill, where there are interesting glass-studded temples.


Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Mandalay


First Class 4 Star Hotels: Triumph Hotel, Hotel by the Red Canal Hotel


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Mandalay Hill Resort, Rupar Mandalar


Day 8: Mandalay & Around

Meals Provided: Breakfast


This morning you will be met at your hotel at 8.00am and take the local ferry to visit Innwa (Ava), located on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. You will visit Innwa by horse cart and pass through the ancient city walls to visit a brick and stucco monastery called Maha Aungmye Bonzan (also known as Ok Kyaung). Make a photo stop at the Nanmyin Watch Tower (due to safety reasons you are not allowed to climb up the tower). See also the impressive wooden monastery of Bagaya Kyaung. Time permitting; visit some village homes to see local handicrafts, such as silk weaving, cane mats and alms bowls.


In the afternoon, visit picturesque Sagaing Hill which is perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. Hillsides are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Return to Amarapura via the Ava Bridge, built by British engineers. Walk over U-Bein Bridge, which is over a kilometre long and made entirely of teak. Return to Mandalay.


Day 9: Fly to Bagan to explore a wonderland of temples

Meals Provided: Breakfast


After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Bagan.


Fly Mandalay to Bagan on Air Bagan W9405, departing 07:30, arriving 08:05

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours


Welcome to Bagan. Upon arrival at Bagan Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


Bagan is a landscape blessed with over 2,000 shrines, against a mystical backdrop of the legendary Irrawaddy River. It is also one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia with 42 square kilometers of ruins dating back thousands of years. It became a central powerbase in the mid-9th century during the reign of King Anawratha who unified Burma under Theravada Buddhism. It is estimated that as many as 13,000 temples once stood on the plains in central Burma.


From the airport, meet your personal guide and driver, proceed on a sightseeing tour, starting with the busy local market and continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as Shwezi Gon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. See 13th Century frescoes adorning the corridors of Kyansittha 'Cave' Temple. Continue to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In village), another 'cave' temple with fine frescoes of the 'Jataka Tales'. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes.


After lunch, continue to visit Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals.  Make a photo stop at the tallest temple measuring 61 meters - Thatbyinnyu known as 'temple of omniscience' and dating from 1144. Continue to Mingalazedi, the last of the large Pagodas built in the 13th Century, representing the pinnacle of Bamar pagoda architecture. Enjoy sunset at one of the monuments along Ayeyarwady River.


Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Bagan


First Class 4 Star Hotels: Amazing Bagan Resort, Areindmar Hotel


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Bagan Lodge, Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort


Day 10: Balloons at sunrise and the treasures of Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast


You may wish to rise early this morning to experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon, for the first time ever. ‘Balloons over Bagan' will take you on a sunrise champagne flight over the ancient pagodas of Bagan (please note this will be a shared trip with other passengers).


Full day guided tour of Bagan: After breakfast explore the Myinkaba village area by horse cart. First we visit Nagayon, was built at the end of the 11th century by Kyansitthar, according to the plan of Ananda; even roof, same terraces, very stupas, even Sikkhara of Môn style, it resembles the Indian temples of the area of Orissa. Next, visit Gubyaukgyi Temple admiring the fine stuccowork. We continue to Nanpaya temple, built in the Mon style with intricate stone carvings, and said once to have been Manuha's residence. See the four Buddha images in Manuha Pagoda and later stop at Myazedi stupa to see Myanmar's "Rosetta Stone", bearing inscriptions written in four languages.


In the afternoon, visit to Abeyadana Temple with frescoes representing Bodhisattvas and the gods of Indian mythology. Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. Next, visit Sulamani, one of Bagan’s great two-storied Bamar style temples, which has 4-seated Buddha images. Visit the Shwesandaw Pagoda was built by King Anawrahta during the late 11th Century. This monument has five terraces with terracotta plaques showing the scenes from the jatakas. The zedi bell rises from two octagonal bases which top the five square terraces. Observe a sunset in the vicinity of Bagan’s ancient monuments.


Day 11: Bagan Heho The high life on Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast


After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time for the domestic flight to Heho.


Fly Bagan to Heho on Air Bagan W9 141, departing 07:55, arriving 08:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours


Welcome to Inle Lake. Upon arrival at Heho Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


From the airport, meet your personal guide and driver, and transfer by boat to your lovely hotel. Located in Shan State, Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Burma with an estimated surface area of 116 square kilometers. It is also one of the highest at an altitude of 880 meters. Inle Lake is situated just a short distance from Yangon, nestled within the cool green highlands and mountains of Shan State and is the place to witness the one-legged rowing technique of its fishermen. Another of its many outstanding features is the floating market gardens that produce flowers and vegetables grown directly on the surface of the water.


After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon take a long-tailed boat across the lake to Indaing at the western end of Inle for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Passing through the busy village of Yawama, the largest on the Lake with its many channels and tall teak houses on stilts, enter a long often tree lined canal towards Indaing Jetty with farmers cultivating their land on either side under the backdrop of the Shan Hills. After disembarking it is a 15 minute walk through Indaing village to reach the 14-18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak; many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated with plants and even small trees growing out of them making it very atmospheric. A covered walkway, popular with souvenir stalls leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather beaten zedi; some sadly reconstructed although the views from the top make it worth the ascent. Returning to the river jetty we take our long-tailed boat back along the canal to the Lake.


Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Inle Lake


First Class 4 Star Hotels: Inle Resort & Spa, Myanmar Treasure Resort Inle Lake


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake View Resort & Spa, Aureum Palace Resort


Day 12: Gems of Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast


Guide tour of Inle Lake: After breakfast you will enjoy a day's excursion by boat on Inle Lake which will include visit one of the 5-day markets. By visiting 5-day markets, clients will get insight into the life-style of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha inhabitants who came to these markets to sell their goods. During today's excursion by boat on picturesque Inle Lake we see the famous leg rowers, the typical floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown, local methods of fishing and village life.  A highlight is often visiting the traditional village of Paukpar, with its neat rows of bamboo houses and where we may be able to stop and visit a family for Shan tea. In the afternoon we visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State and the boat construction workshop at Nampan village as well stopping to see some traditional handicrafts - silk weaving on wooden handlooms in Inpawkon village, a cheroot workshop and a blacksmith shop. Continue by boat to visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (Jumping cats), one of the oldest monasteries on the lake and where inside its large wooden meditation hall and are over 200 year old ancient Buddha statues. Returning back to the hotel the beauty of sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors.


Day 13: Bagan – Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast


After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Yangon.


Fly Bagan to Yangon on Air Bagan W9 201, departing 09:25, arriving 10:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours


Welcome to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.


From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar once known as Rangoon. This Myanmar travel experience will open your eyes to sights long isolated from the Western world for decades as you view golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and jazz-age mansions stitched together by busy tree-lined streets and a riverfront boulevard. In the words of Rudyard Kipling, “This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”


After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide visit the Sule Pagoda, which serves as the heart of the city both geographically and metaphorically. According to legend, this large golden pagoda was built more than 2,500 years ago during the time of the Buddha. Since then, a number of important political events and rallies have unfolded at the base of the pagoda, including the 8888 uprisings and the 2007 Saffron Revolution. A photo stops at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Next, visit the most sacred Buddhist site in all of Burma Shwedagon Pagoda. Also known as the Golden Pagoda, the 2,000-year-old hilltop temple complex covers more than twelve acres and dominates the Rangoon skyline. We’ll view the gold-draped, gem-studded pagoda at sunset, when the fading light shimmers off its 326-foot-high spire. Few places in the world radiate such a palpable sense of beauty and serenity as Shwedagon Pagoda.


Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Yangon


First Class 4 Star Hotels: Chatrium Royal Lake Hotel, Savoy Hotel


Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Belmond Governor’s Residence, The Strand Hotel


Day 14: Depart Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast


Today free at leisure until your guide and driver transfer to the Yangon airport in time for your flight to next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.



Price guideline:


The above tour costs from $2,585*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.


*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.


Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner

Domestic flight tickets: Bangkok – Chiang Mai on Economy Class

International flight tickets: Chiang Mai – Mandalay on Economy Class

Domestic flight tickets: Mandalay – Bagan on Economy Class

Domestic flight tickets: Bagan – Heho on Economy Class

Domestic flight tickets: Heho – Yangon on Economy Class

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.


The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff



All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: