Experience a multisport adventure from the city to the countryside of the amazing Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia. Trek into an unspoiled region in Myanmar to visit ethnic hilltribes then cycle along the famous Mekong River to discover the natural beauty of National Parks and countryside landscapes before camping and kayaking along riverways of serene Luang Prabang of Laos.
Trek to the countryside of Myanmar to observe and see the diverse styles and unique dress and customs of various ethnic hilltribes.
Follow the meandering Mekong River while cycling the remote north of Thailand and enjoy authentic homestays and treks to hotsprings and waterfalls of Phu Sang National Park.
Set off from UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang and kayak the riverways to discover caves, limestone karst formations and camp under the stars of the Mekong River.
Multisport, Authentic Golden Triangle, Myanmar, Thailand & Laos - 14 Days / 13 Nights
Welcome to the Golden Land! Welcome to Yangon!
Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel downtown. If you observe carefully during your car ride into the city, you will begin to notice some of the stark contrasts and rapid change of this fascinating country. The ride into the city is a journey in its own as you pass the serene Inya Lake, centuries old temples, lush green gardens that mixes with the hustle and bustle of a major city in the middle of rapid growth.
Venture downtown to explore the city center and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building- and walk to Sule Paya in the middle of downtown, passing by Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way. Then visit Little India and Chinatown, a colorful cacophony of restaurants, temples and markets.
From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas and your guide will show you around the massive complex, explaining why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point.
Overnight in Yangon
Transfer to Yangon Airport and fly to Kengtung.
Located in a lush valley deep in the Shan State, Kengtung reflects the old fashioned culture of traditional Shan people. Far removed from more conventional travel destinations in Middle Burma, Kengtung and its surrounding region offer an in depth glimpse into the rural Hill Tribe life of Myanmar which is still unblemished by time and the western world.
The Shan State, particularly the Kengtung region, has been a crossroads for cultural and ethnic diversity in Myanmar. There are 9 primary ethnic groups in the area with multiple subsets. This part of the Shan State is a true taste of the Golden Triangle, as the Shans of the region closely resemble the Thai and Lao in language and customs.
After checking in and freshening up at the hotel, set off with your guide to explore the city streets of Kengtung. Stop at a traditional Shan tea shop and enjoy a cup green tea with a tofu cake on the side (Clients’ own account). Walk in to the city’s center and visit the 19th century Maha Muni Pagoda and the Ho Khong Temple.
This evening, round out your introduction to Shan culture by dining at a traditional Shan noodle house for a bowl of Shan khout swe, a warm sticky noodle salad.
Overnight in Kengtung.
This morning, you will transfer to Pin Tauk village, the starting point of today’s trek. Set off on foot, trekking 45 minutes to 1 hour to the Akha village of Hwe Lon. Spend some time in the village and interact with the locals to discover more about their unique customs and daily lifestyle.
After a picnic lunch, resume trekking to an Ann Village (approximately 30 minutes). The Ann minority is known for their traditional black dress and blackened teeth. After walking around the town and having a tea at a family home, you will incline to the top of Lone Tree Hill for panoramic views of your surroundings.
As you walk into the hills and enter their villages, you will become more intimate with these different tribes and customs. During your cultural treks through the Shan Hills, it is highly likely that you will encounter languages so unique that only a handful of villages still use them to communicate. This is also a great opportunity to compare the diverse styles of dress unique to each individual village next to one another.
After a long day of trekking to remote hill tribe villages, your private transport will be waiting to take you back to the city of Kengtung.
Overnight in Kengtung.
After breakfast visit Kengtung’s local market. This daily market is visited by villagers from the surrounding area who come to sell their products and barter for goods. Visiting the market, you will see minority hilltribes in their traditional dresses.
Then depart by road to Hokyin area (around 45 minutes), the starting point of today’s trek. The trek begins with a 1.5-2 hour walk to an Akha village. Spend some time in the village and interacting with the locals to discover more about their unique customs and daily lifestyle.
Resume trekking to Na Phi Phank village, a further 30-45 minutes, which is home to Lahu people who are famous for their blacksmithing. Then loop back to where your car is waiting possibly passing a Wa village en route. During the trek a picnic lunch will be served in a scenic spot or village.
After your visits, return to the vehicle and transfer back to Kengtung. Freshen up at the hotel and then head out to a local restaurant for dinner.
Overnight in Kengtung.
This morning visit the morning wet market and enjoy a traditional Shan breakfast of Shan Yey Sein, a pork and chicken broth noodle soup garnished with coriander, dry chilies, garlic chips, pickled greens, and minced chicken/pork. Have one last quick shop at the market before your 3 hour transfer to the border town of Tachileik.
At Tachileik, enjoy one last taste of Myanmar with a local lunch before your Myanmar guide escorts you through immigration and customs.
Cross the border from Myanmar to Thailand and meet your new guide and cycling team at the bustling border town of Mai Sai, in Thailand. From here we take an easy, flat ride to the south east, all the way to The Golden Triangle area of Sop Ruak and the Mekong River. The undulating paved roads makes for a pleasant ride with only one or a few major climbs depending on the route chosen for the day.
After about 30 km -just by the river bed- take a look around the opium house to gain insight into the regions infamous opium growing history, then along the mighty Mekong river we ride the remaining kilometers to the old city of Chiang Sean. Ride alongside the city walls to the beautiful pagoda of Wat Pa Sak and Wat Chedi Luang. Cycle the last leg to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Dinner and Overnight in Chiang Sean
The Mekong River is the 12th largest rivers in the world starting in China and flowing all the way to Cambodia, its basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world.
After breakfast, checkout and a quick brief on today’s route which is all about the Mekong River as we continue our journey following its magnificent banks looking over into Laos all the way to Chiang Kong. The ride is divided into three portions where the beginning and the end follows the river and the portion in between – approx. 30km - is a more rural inland area. We are riding paved undulating roads from start to end. Cycle these roads at the end of the rainy season and witness the vibrant green rice paddies with the backdrop of the magnificent Laos Mountains.
Lunch at a local restaurant with a view.
We end our cycle today with a short steep climb to your final viewpoint of the Mekong River, stop and take in beautiful Laos where you will be continuing your journey in a couple days.
Overnight is at Lanjia Lodge set in a Hmong village so tonight you will be treated not only a delicious meal but also to a Hmong cultural dance!
Overnight in Chiang Kong
This morning a short transfer to Chiang Kong City where we head south to Phu Chi Fah, known as one of the seven natural wonders of Thailand for its stunning viewpoint.
Today’s morning ride of 30km is mostly flat, we ride in an open landscape on paved country roads passing through rural Thai communities. Pass through Wiang Kham and cycle on undulating roads for a further 10km until you reach the base of the mountains where your terrain will dramatically turn from undulating to a climb. At this point you have the choice to finish your ride at 40km and transfer 1 hour 30 mins stopping at viewpoints on route to your bungalows for overnight.
Alternatively, test your legs and lungs up the undulating steep mountain side pass of Phu Chi Fah. The steep 500m ascent over 25km will take you to several magnificent viewpoints where you can stop and catch your breath before reaching your peak of 800m.From here you will descend by bike 15km to your overnight bungalows.
Tonight we are well off the touristic beaten track so our accommodations will be basic but clean and comfortable in a simple mountain lodge. It’s early to bed tonight to catch the spectacular sunrise tomorrow!
Dinner and Overnight in Phu Chi Fah
Please note: For the part of the program in Phu Chi Fah Mountain range the temperature will drop and so it is recommended that you bring a long top and/or cycling jacket to keep you warm and protactfrom wind on the high mountain passes.
We wake before sunrise (05:00) and join local Thai adventurers and take the 800m walk to the cliff top and then wait for the majestic beauty of the morning to rise.
After watching the sun rise, continue on bikes down the mountain for approximately 60km before your final rest stop and transfer to Chiang Kong your hotel situated close to the Laos border at Huay Xai for dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Chiang Khong
Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the Thai - Laos border at Huay Xai by 08:30.
Cross the border from Thailand to Laos around 0800AM at Huay Xai. Upon reaching the Lao border a new guide will be there to greet you and escort you to your private boat.
The Mekong River, Asia’s 7th longest river, is referred by Laotians as “the mother of waters”. This trip willl give you the chance to truly experience life along this mythical river. Travel responsibly and help isolated local communities along the river finish building their schools. During this trip, you will only be using a minivan twice for transfer; the rest of the trip, you way of transportation will be by boat and kayak!
Today, relax and enjoy observing the authentic rural life of hill tribe settlements along the river, while cruising down to Pakbeng; a small town lined with wooden houses along a steep street on the hillside.
Enjoy a delicious local lunch onboard the boat as you continue your cruise along the scenic Mekong River.
Late afternoon, you will reach the town of Pakbeng. Pakbeng is a small town lined with wooden houses along a steep street on the hillside located halfway between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang. Pakbeng is a necessary stop for the slow boats. Depending on the water speed, you may reach Pakbeng in time to watch the sun set over the river from the balcony of your room.
Enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Overnight in Pakbeng.
After breakfast, checkout and continue your cruise down river to the village of Ban Lad Khammoune.
Lunch upon arrival.
After lunch, you will experience authentic untouched village culture, where the river is the only access to the outside world. No roads, cars, bikes, mainline power or phones. You have the opportunity to try your hand at traditional crafts, or hike up to the falls to see how they generate their electricity, or even teach local children to speak English in the village school.
Dinner at village chief’s Homestay.
After dinner, you will be welcomed with a traditional Laos Baci ceremony attended by village elders (a very humbling experience), and you’ll be entertained by the village ensemble along with the school dance troupe, graceful, traditional Laos dances, who may ask you to join them. Later, perhaps we could enjoy a campfire on the beach.
Overnight at homestay.
Kayaking from Ban Lad Khammune to Luang Prabang is an explorer's trip of a lifetime. The Mekong on this section is only a Grade 1-2 river, but depending on the season can sometimes prove more challenging in parts, due to the sheer volume of water. This can also make for effortless paddling.
Pack up your belongings and enjoy a typically local breakfast, which will be followed by guide briefing on kayaks, equipment and safety procedures.
Then we’ll depart for Ban Kok Kham around 15kms downstream and taking approx. 2 hours. You’ll be accompanied by a local fisherman in a support boat with all your gear who knows this section of the river like the back of his hand. Lunch is enjoyed on an isolated riverbank beside a stream or at the village.
After lunch we visit the school and trek the short distance up to the water fall.
At 1400 we set off downriver for the campsite passing Ban Lad Hane and around 1600 we will stop for the night on the sand beach opposite Ban Kok Kham, where the villagers will help us to prepare the camp, and collect fire wood to prepare our BBQ dinner.
Overnight camping along the Mekong riverbanks.
After Breakfast, we’ll head downstream to Luang Prabang stopping off at the famous Pak Ou Caves, formed in the wall of a karst mountain at the confluence of the Nam Ou River and mighty Mekong.
For lunch, we cross over the river to a restaurant with a picturesque view of the caves.
After lunch we depart for Wat Dom Koom, a small deserted temple on an island in the middle of the Mekong. We’ll have time to stop for some refreshments.
We’ll arrive at the pier in Luang Prabang by mid-afternoon. Once you arrive, you will see your driver waiting at the pier and escort you to the hotel where the rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.
This evening, enjoy a stroll through the night market and a chance to shop for souvenirs and handicrafts.
Dinner is at leisure to discover and experience the town and finding a restaurant of your choice.
Overnight at My Dream Resort.
You can wake up early and participate in the daily ritual where saffron-clad monks collect morning alms, food offerings from the local people.
On your way back to the hotel stop by the Morning Market to uncover various curiosities!
The former royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang is a tranquil town that sits on the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Kham Rivers. In this guided tour by city bike, you will discover the rich cultural and historical heritage of this charming town with visits to French Indochinese buildings and ancient Buddhist temples.
Start your city tour from the hotel, where your bikes will be waiting for you, to the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum) where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Next stop is the Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics.
Finish the morning with the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. Traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts are on display alongside in-depth descriptions and written histories. It is a great opportunity to gain insight in to the Lao people (note: closed on Monday).
We will then cycle further out of town towards the Ock Pop Tok Learning Crafts Center for lunch in their charming garden Silk Road Café, along the Mekong River.
After lunch, take a guided tour around the Learning Crafts Center by one of their specialized guides who will teach and explain the stages and styles of weaving; a much diversified handicraft, ingrained in Lao and tribal traditions.
We’ll then cycle back to your hotel where you have free time to relax, take a swim, go shopping or enjoy a massage.
You have the option to meet around 5pm and climb Phousi Mountain to discover the sacred temple and admire a panoramic view of the town during sunset!
Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner at Tangor, an Asian-French fusion restaurant set in a perfect location in the center of town and one of the most popular spots on the peninsula.
Overnight a My Dream Resort.
After Breakfast, you’re free at leisure before transferring to the airport and your onward flight.
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