China, Burma & Thailand
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Observe the evolution of these three rapidly evolving nations - each of which have brought their distinct cultural identities with them as they forge ahead into the modern era. Contrast day-to-day life in the emerging superpowers of China and Thailand with the rustic charm of Burma - a country that has only recently opened its doors to travellers once again. Beginning in the thriving metropolis of Kumning, head out into rural China and discover timeless countryside that is studded with temples and quiet villages. Cross into Burma and be amazed by the gleaming vistas of Bagan, dazzled by the ‘Golden City’ of Mandalay and curious toward the nation’s former capital - Yangon. End the trip in Thailand, where the neon lights and buzzing streets of electric Bangkok provide a fascinating glimpse into Thailand’s progression from backpacker haven into a true South-East Asian heavyweight.
- Discover Kunming.
- the relaxed capital of China’s Yunnan province.
- Relax in Dali’s Old Town.
- Hike through the rural heart of Burma’s Shan state.
- Wander around Burma’s last royal city.
- Cruise along the Irrawaddy River on a boat.
- Explore the archaeological wonders of Bagan.
- Visit tiny tribal villages and enjoy the tranquillity of Lake Inle.
- Marvel at golden-gilded Buddhas in Yangon.
- Admire the sunset from Mount Kyaiktiyo.
- Travel overland through Burma’s southern Mon state.
- Be bowled over by the buzzing hive of activity that is Bangkok.
Days 1-2 Kunming
Arrive in laid-back Kunming and relish the temperate climes that have given this large city the nickname 'The City of Eternal Spring'. During free time, perhaps check out the 1000-year-old Yuantong Temple, get a haircut from an outdoor barbers at the Tang Pagodas, or venture out to the Shilin Stone Forest - a spectacular maze of limestone pillars.
Days 3-4 Dali
Travel from Kunming to Dali. Soak up the relaxed atmosphere of this lakeside town, bordered on one side by snow-capped mountains and on the other by stunning Lake Erhai. Wander through cobblestone streets and admire the stone buildings inside the historic city walls. Adventure junkies can indulge in a plethora of outdoor activities - such as exploring the nearby mountains or taking a boat ride on the lake - while those seeking slower pace can sip tea and watch the world go by in a local cafe.
Day 5 Tengchong
Explore the famous hot springs, volcanoes and waterfalls of Tengchong in Yunnan's scenic Baoshan county.
Day 6 Ruili
Head towards Burma and spend a memorable night in a local guesthouse near the border town of Ruili.
Day 7 Muse
Cross the Burmese border and spend the night in the town of Muse, which is located on the Shweli River and marks the frontier between China and Burma.
Day 8 Hsipaw
Be blown away by the beautiful landscapes surrounding the relaxed Shan village of Hsipaw. Enjoy free time to trek to surrounding villages, cycle through the countryside or visit nearby caves, waterfalls and hot springs.
Day 9 Pyin U Lwin
Set up camp in the scenic hill town of Pyin U Lwin in the Shan highlands, then set out on foot to explore more of this spectacular region.
Days 10-11 Mandalay
Travel to the former capital of the Burmese empire, Mandalay. Roam Mandalay Hill and discover the highlights of Burma's 'Jewel City' with a local guide. During free time, perhaps float along the river to the archaeological wonder of Mingun or visit the sacred Buddha image of Mahamumi Paya, which is covered in a 6-inch thick layer of gold leaf and is believed to be more than 2000 years old.
Day 12 Monywa
Encounter 500,000 images of Buddha at Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya, a Buddhist temple on the banks of River Chidwin, then head to Monywa for the evening.
Day 13 Pakkoku/Irrawady River
Cruise along the the lifeblood of Burma, the Ayerwaddy River, on a boat journey rarely taken by travellers. Pass agricultural plantations, watch locals performing their daily work and appreciate the lushness of the river region.
Days 14-15 Bagan
Experience the largest collection of Buddhist temples, stupas and ruins in the world on a guided tour of Bagan. 4,500 temples in various shapes and forms dot the horizon, drawing comparisons between Bagan and majestic Angkor.
Day 16 Kalaw
Escape the heat in the remote mountain town of Kalaw. Surrounded by pine forests, it's the perfect place to embark on a trek to out-of-the-way villages, or to simply chill out and share a cup of tea with the locals.
Days 17-18 Inle Lake
Take a short drive to gorgeous Inle Lake. Packed with incredible floating gardens, built from water hyacinth and water weeds, the area is one of Burma's true gems. Gaze at floating apple orchards while gliding across the lake on a boat trip and learn about local life on a village visit.
Day 19 Bago
Spend the morning exploring more of the watery haven that is Inle Lake. Perhaps cycle around the scenic shores, admiring the exceptional skill of the local 'leg rowers' navigating the lake. In the afternoon, head south to Bago.
Days 20-21 Yangon
Encounter colonial architecture and a glittering golden temple in the former Burmese capital of Yangon. Get to know this fascinating city on a guided tour, and be sure to experience the bargaining madness of Bogyoke Market.
Day 22 Mt Kyaiktiyo
Ascend Burma's spectacular Mt Kyaiktiyo. Get a ride up the first two-thirds of the mountain, and complete final part of the ascent on foot. Follow a steep, winding path to reach the Golden Rock and Pagoda - the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma. The pagoda is perched on top of a giant golden boulder, rumoured to be held in place by a strand of Buddha's hair.
Days 23-25 Bush Camp
Travel overland through Burma's southern Mon state. Visit local markets, admire amazing temples and munch on delicious local cuisine.
Day 26 Chumphon
Cross the border into Thailand and continue the our journey towards Chumphon. Camp beneath the stars for the night.
Days 27-28 Bangkok
Get acquainted with Thailand's loud, bright and chaotic capital Bangkok. Why not end the adventure by taking a riverboat to Chinatown, experiencing the buzz of Khao San Road or delighting in the magic of a Thai massage.
Maximum of 21 travellers per group
Bush camp (no facilities), Camping (with basic facilities), Camping (with facilities), Guesthouse, Hotel
Boat, Overland vehicle
Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.