Myanmar the country of Buddhist temple and Buddha images, within 13 days, you will fully enjoy the solemnity of this country with our Myanmar Discovery Tours. Begin with the very first stop Yangon - the former capital of Myanmar - with many Buddhist temples then moving to Bagan - the real plain of stupas - with thousands of temples, Mandalay, Heho with famous Inle ...
Myanmar Discovery Tour - 13 days / 12 nights in brief:
Day 1: Yangon arrival
Day 2: Yangon - Flight to Bagan
Day 3: Bagan - Mt Popa - Sale - Bagan
Day 4: Bagan - Kyaukku by boat
Day 5: Bagan - Flight to Mandalay
Day 6: Mingun - Ava - Sagaing
Day 7: Mandalay - Flight to Heho - Pindaya - Kalaw
Day 8: Painnebin( Palaung village ) - Nyaung Shwe
Day 9: Inlay Lake
Day 10: Indeinn Sightseeing
Day 11: Taunggyi - Kakku - Taunggyi Sightseeing
Day 12: Taunggyi - Flight to Yangon
Day 13: Departure
Upon arrival, you will be greeted at the airport. Our tour guides will help you with hotel procedures. For the first morning in Yangon, we will visit some landscape of the former capital of Myanmar. Batataung Pagoda - a rebuilt pagoda after the destruction in the World War II - will be the first stop. Then, we will move to the central city and visit Sule Pagoda - with the nat Sularata and wonderful covering color. Leave the solemnity of Buddhist Pagodas and we head to Bogyoke Market where you can find anything from clothing, foods to jewelry or a small black market for exchanging money. In the evening, visit the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda and enjoy its shiny stupa under the sky of the night. Enjoy dinner at Karaweik Palace Restaurant with traditional cultural dance.
Stay overnight in Yangon.
First day in Bagan - the plain of temples and stupas, we will continue our journey with a visit to Nyaung Oo village market then move to Shwezigon Pagoda - a gold-covered temple with unique structure, Wetkyi Inn Gubyeaukgyi Temple - a 13th century cave temple with Indian-style spire, Ananda Temple - with the name of the Buddha's first cousin. In the afternoon, we will keep discovering the area of Bagan by visiting a series of temples such as Htilominlo temple - a 13th century Buddhist temple and built with red bricks, Sulamani temple - a late 12th century temple with shape like a cross, Dhammayangyi Temple - the largest temple in Bagan.
Stay overnight in Bagan.
Continue exploring Bagan and its numerous pagodas and stupas by visiting the Pentagonal Pagoda Dhammayazika, then experience the daily life of the local in the nearby village. Afterward, we will head to Nanadamanya Temple and Kyat-kan cave monastery - with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.
In the afternoon, a boat trip will take you to Kyauk-ku and enjoy the wildlife of jungle. Before coming back to Bagan, remember to take some photos of the sunset - one of the most wonderful scenes in Bagan.
Stay overnight in Bagan.
An early flight will take us to Mandalay. After about an hour, we will reach Mandalay and begin our journey by a visit to Mahagandayon Monastery of Amarapura. The Mahagandayon Monastery is the home to more than 1,000 monks where you can experience the daily life of a monk in Myanmar or even talk to them. Near the Monastery of 1000 monks is the old U-Bein bridge on the Taungthaman Lake. In the afternoon, we will come back to hotel for check in procedures and freshen up before continue exploring Mandalay with Mahamuni - the awesome Buddha Image - where you can witness the gold -leaf making process. Then visit the Shwenandawkyaung (the Golden Teak Monastery) - the great example of Burmese Peak temple and once was the apartment of the King Mindon, and Kuthodaw Paya - the world's largest book for its 729 stupas inscribed with the teaching of the Buddha. Late afternoon, enjoy the sunset view from Mandalay Hill.
Stay overnight in Mandalay.
After breakfast, sailing along the Ayeyerwaddy River, we will head to Mingun and visit the Pathodawgyi Pagoda - an uncompleted monument from 1790 - in northwest of Mandalay, then peek into the 90-ton Mingun Bell - once was the world's largest bell (till 2000) and Myatheintan Pagoda - a forested outstanding white temple with stupas. In the afternoon, we will come back to Mandalay and visit Sagaing - the religious area and monastic center of Myanmar with numerous temples and stupas. Open the Sagaing exploration with the Uminthonze Cave Temple - a wonderful temple with long range of Buddha statues inside. Then head to the Soon U Ponnya Shin Paya - a 14th century temple with monks in pink clothing and a giant Buddha statue. Complete today in Ava with its sightseeing and Maha Aung Myae Bonsan Monastery - a brick monastery in Ava.
Stay overnight in Mandalay.
An early morning flight will take us to Heho. Upon arrival, we will head to Pindaya and visit the Pindaya cave with 8000 Buddha images inside. Then peek into the Shan Umbrella Making Home Industry, and get your favorite umbrella. Complete the day with the beauty of the hill station in Kalaw.
Overnight in Kalaw.
Our journey will start after breakfast. Depart from your hotel and move to the junction of trekking road at about 8.00. Then we will climb down from Small Mountain for 30 minutes and reach the Pine trees forest. Inside the forest, you can see the cheroot leaf and orange trees garden of Danu people. In the afternoon, move to the Painebin village where the Palaung is living. There are some options for you: visit a local old-style house and experience their life or climbing up slope mountain and enjoy the spectacular view. In each house of the Palaung peple, there are six or even eight families staying together and most of them are made by bricks and block stones. Leave the village, we proceed with trekking junction. Continue to Nyaung Shwe jetty - gate way of Inlay lake.
Stay overnight on the lake.
In the morning, a boat will take us to the Inle Lake and see the unique leg-rowing fisherman and the pagodas with special style as well as the floating markets and villages. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is the first stop which lies on the Inle Lake with solid gold Buddha image. Then head to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery and enjoy its well-trained jumping cats and the weaving village of Inpawkhon.
Stay overnight on the Inle Lake.
After breakfast, drive to Kakku via Taunggyi. Taunggyi is one of the well known tourist destinations in South Myanmar which draws thousands of visitors each year. The city is the capital of Shan State and boasts the most wonderful sights of the country. The tourist attractions in Taunggyi comprise of an array of top rated sights which include temples, pagodas, Taunggyi colorful tribes market and some historical places. Continue to Kakku by passing many Pa-O villages dotted on both side of the way. Through these villages, the life styles and unspoiled culture of Pa-O people could be explores. Also we would have chance to visit daily market on the way. Then visit the ancient Kakku Buddhist Stupas aligned in parallel rows covering on an area of nearly one square kilometer. On the way back, visit Shwe Yan Pyay Pagoda.Then transfer to hotel.
Stay overnight in Taunggyi.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Sightseeing and other activities in Taunggyi on your own arrangement. Upon you flight time, transfer to airport and fly back to Yangon. Arrive Yangon, transfer to hotel.
Stay overnight in Yangon.
After breakfast, transfer to Yangon Airport for your departure with sweet memory. Indochinavalue thanks you so much for traveling with us. We hope you had a beautiful Myanmar holiday. All the best, goodbye and see you again!
END OF SERVICE
• Accommodation in Double/Twin bedded rooms with daily breakfast
• All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles with drivers mention in program
• Meals as listed in the itinerary: B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D – Dinner
• All the internal flights with economy cabin including tax
• Local English Speaking Guide
• Domestic Boat fares as per Itinerary
• All entrance fees
• International Air fare
• Travel Insurance
• Personal Expenses such as camera fees, tips, laundry service, etc…
• Meals (Lunches & Dinners)
• Additional tour
• Visa on arrival services
Tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.
Tour guide is one of the most important factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements. To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.
1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.
2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.
4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40
The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80
The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise in Halong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Street food tour:
Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.
How to request a tour package?
To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at email@example.com then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.
How to book a tour package?
As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flight information (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.
- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, credit cards, western union, onepay (online)
- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.
Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you will have to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third parties such as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.
- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver
- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress
- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours
Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.
What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?
1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually, or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
3. Start the tour on any date you want.
4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.
7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.
How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.
Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.
- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.
When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:
- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.
- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).
- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.
- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).
- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.
- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.
There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.
It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.
What is the best type of clothing we should bring?
Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:
- Shorts and comfortable pants;
- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);
- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);
- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.
Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.
Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping in Vietnam: Many tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.
The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.
How to bargain?
Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining is always worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.
Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.
Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.
Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).
Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)
Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.
Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.
Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.
Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.
Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.
Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes
Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie