Trek off the beaten track in this active journey through Myanmar and Northern Thailand.

Venture via Yangon to the remote hills of Loikaw, your jumping-off point to the traditional villages and age-old cultures of a Myanmar less seen. Hike to the dramatic mountain-top location of Pan Pet and meet the charismatic and colourfully dressed Kayan people. Journey on foot from Kalaw to Inle Lake, through villages where the handmade and homespun still reign supreme. From the gorgeous village of Kyaingtong, travel through the Golden Triangle and on to Chiang Rai and Bangkok, where a world of Thai treasures await.

ITINERARY CHANGES IN 2018: Please refer to Important Notes for more information.


Start
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Myanmar (Burma), Thailand
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
TRXM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • This hiking-based itinerary is the ultimate way to get off the tourist trail. Visit small village communities and discover the Myanmar that many others miss

  • From remote Loikaw and picturesque Kengtung to the rolling flower fields of Chiang Rai, this is a superb overview of Myanmar and Northern Thailand's beautiful landscapes

  • Be part of an excellent community-based tourism initiative that educates travellers about traditional villages around Pemsong

  • Embark on an awe-inspiring two-day hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake, staying overnight in a local monastery or guesthouse

  • From the downtown night markets of Chiang Rai to the legendary street-food mecca that is Bangkok, you'll have some of South East Asia's tastiest treats at your fingertips

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a hiking-based itinerary, so if you love walking, this is the trip for you. The hikes range from easy to moderate.

  • There's a fantastic two-day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake, which has you staying in a monastery or basic guesthouse. Accommodation on this part of the adventure is dorm-style with shared facilities.

  • Myanmar can be hot, humid and wet, so prepare your wardrobe accordingly. The hills around Loikaw, Kalaw, and Kengtung are generally a little cooler.

  • You will visit a number of incredible temples and pagodas. It's important to respect the local custom and dress suitably (usually by covering shoulders and knees), and remove footwear before entering temples.

  • Due to the restrictions for leaders working in different countries, you will say farewell to your Myanmar leader at the border on Day 10, and meet your local guide for Chang Rai, and then Bangkok. The flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok is unescorted.

  • Sometimes things don't go according to plan in less developed destinations. This is, of course, a small price to pay for the thrill of venturing off the well-beaten tourist path.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar. Yangon is the country's biggest city and was the capital from 1885 until just a few years ago (the capital is now Naypyidaw). Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. To get your bearings in this wonderful city, perhaps take a walk to Sule Paya, then down to the Victorian Strand Hotel to admire the colonial architecture and the bargaining madness of Bogyoke Market.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Bogyoke Market (Scotts Market) - Free
  • Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure - USD41
  • Yangon -Tradition and Culture in Yangon Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda - MMK8000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Departing in the early afternoon, fly to Loikaw (approximately 1 hour). Transfer to your hotel and settle in. With free time up your sleeve, perhaps visit the local museum. Later you will take a vehicle transfer to Taung Kwe Zedi, also known as the Broken Mountain Pagoda. Here you can take in a nice view towards the town and, if the skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunset. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loikaw - Broken Mountain Pagoda
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast at the hotel, drive out to a local village (approximately 1.5 hours). Here you'll see a few sights and enjoy some tea at a Kayan house. After this, it's time for your day trek (approximately 5 hours). You'll be given a packed lunch for the journey. The trek is organised by an NGO-supported, community-based association which has sought to develop sustainable tourism in the area. Start by walking through lush and shady forest where edible plants and medicinal herbs grow (these are used by community members in a ‘jungle larder’). A highlight of today's trek is stopping in at the original settlement of Pan Pet, which is perched on a mountain top. After lunch, continue to Rang Ku village where your walk finishes up. Meet some fun-loving and artistic Kayan locals (popularly known as 'Long Neck Karen') and learn a few words of their language as you interact with them. There are also opportunities to buy local handicrafts. Drive back to Loikaw, stopping at Ngwe Taung Dam for a short walk.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loikaw - Full day trek to Kayan village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Kalaw via Phekhone (approximately 4 hours). Along the way you will enjoy the sight of marvellous landscapes, and stop in at the unique Myin Mahti. This natural cave houses an interesting array of ancient Buddha images. At the entrance of the cave there are many stalactites, and cool water drips steadily. Many of the stalectites bear a likeness to things in life and have been named accordingly. After some exploring, continue your journey to Kalaw, a town known for its striking original colonial architecture.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalaw - Myint Mahti Cave
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer by car from your hotel to your trek starting point. It takes about 40 minutes to get to La Mine Taung Yoe village. After walking (approximately 2 hours) from La Mine village, arrive to Pin New, the Pao village where you can see traditional hand weaving. From there it's a further stretch (approximately 30 minutes) to Pauke village, which is famous for bamboo basket making. From there you will continue to walk (approximately 1 hour) to the village of Kone Hla (Danu) for a lunch stop. In the afternoon, continue trekking (approximately 2 hours) to the final destination for the day, Pattubauk Village. Stay overnight in a village monastery or local house.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalaw - Full day trek to Pattubauk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please pack a small bag or backpack for your overnight stay and 2 days of walking. You can carry your own bag, or if you wish your overnight bag can be transported ahead to the village guesthouse for an additional cost. Your main luggage will be transported to your hotel in Inle Lake.
Enjoy some breakfast, then continue trekking to Inle Lake. Pass along beautiful, ambient trails and through different Pao villages. Stop to take in panoramic views along the way. Walk to Kyaut Su (approximately 1 hour) and take a short break, then continue to Nan Yoke Village (approximately 1 hour). From here, walk to Tone Le jetty (approximately 2 hours), or slightly further to Indein jetty (approximately 3 hours). At this point, transfer to a boat and cruise to the beautiful Inle Lake.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pattubauk - Trek to Indein, Inle Lake
Optional Activities
  • Inle Lake - Bicycle hire - MMK3000
  • Inle Lake - Red Mountain Estate Winery Tasting - MMK3000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Start the day by heading out in a motorised boat. See daily life on the lake, including fisherman who use a distinctive leg-rowing technique on their boats. Cruise to floating tomato plantations and visit cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. If you’re lucky, you might even see the floating market which circles the lake every five days. Here you can buy traditional wares produced by the locals. For lunch you'll stop in at Phaung Daw Oo Paya, the most religious site in the region. Enjoy a bite to eat near the beautiful pagoda and take a quick look inside at the various images of Buddha. You can also see the golden barge used during the Phaung Daw Oo festival. Make a few more stops at villages to meet the locals, then head back to your accommodation in Nyaungshwe.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly to Kengtung and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free time for sightseeing in Kengtung. Visit the standing Buddha at the place where Kengtung was founded about one thousand years ago. You can take the option of visiting the Roman Catholic Mission church, and see the sunset from the 'one tree hill' where a 245-year-old tree stands. This tree is believed to have been planted by king Alaungmintaya, the founder of the third Myanmar empire.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start out by private vehicle (approximately 1 hour), into the Pintauk area with views of the surrounding rice fields. Visit the nearby Akha and Enn tribal villages. The Enn tribe live on the higher slopes and still hold different beliefs as well as having distinctively different costumes and sometimes black teeth. The walk today is approximately 4 hours in total. Return to Kengtung late in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kengtung - Full day trek including Pintauk Waterfall
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Check out the Golden Triangle, the connection point between three countries – Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. This place is known for its history of opium growth and trade. Stop in at Tachileik and explore its huge and colourful market, then cross the border into Thailand at Mae Sai and connect with your arrival transfer. You will say goodbye to your Myanmar leader at this point, and meet your Chiang Rai local guide.You will be entering Chiang Rai, Thailand's northernmost province which boasts mountain ranges, flower fields and lush tea plantations. A boat ride at the Thai-Lao border, down the famous Mekong River, is a nice optional activity today. Arrive in the city of Chiang Rai and perhaps visit its downtown night market to sample some spicy local food.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chaing Rai - Opium Museum
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Rai - Mekong River boat trip (1-4 pax) - THB1000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly to Bangkok this morning (approximately 1.5 hours). Check into your hotel, meet your local guide, then enjoy some free time. Thailand's capital is awash with sights and sounds – perhaps do a little shopping, explore the tranquil canals, take an exhilirating tuk-tuk ride to Chinatown, wander down Khao San Road, or discover its pulsing nightlife. Visiting the Grand Palace is a nice optional activity, especially after dark when it really comes to life.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
As your trip comes to an end, consider an Urban Adventure today – a great way to cut through the chaos and enjoy some of Bangkok's best.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Private Bus, Plane

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1nt), Hotel (9nts), Monastery (1 nt)

Included activities

  • Loikaw - Broken Mountain Pagoda
  • Loikaw - Full day trek to Kayan village
  • Kalaw - Myint Mahti Cave
  • Kalaw - Full day trek to Pattubauk
  • Pattubauk - Trek to Indein, Inle Lake
  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
  • Kengtung - Full day trek including Pintauk Waterfall
  • Chaing Rai - Opium Museum

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide passport details at time of booking with exact name as per passport (including middle name), as these are essential for booking services on this trip.
2. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes nights 5 (Monastery) where you will be in shared accommodation.
3. ITINERARY CHANGES IN 2018: For departures commencing 1st Jan 2018 this itinerary will be amended to a Hike, Bike & Kayak itinerary, including biking in Inle Lake and Chiang Mai. The finish point will also change to Chiang Mai, where the trip will conclude here on Day 12.
The planned itinerary will be as follows:
Day 1: Yangon
Day 2-3: Loikaw
Day 4: Kalaw
Day 5: Pattubauk (overnight monastery)
Day 6-7: Inle Lake
Day 8-9: Kengtung
Day 10-11:Chiang Mai
Day 12: Departure
4. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling to border areas between Myanmar and Thailand before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Myanmar & Thailand Traveller trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Myanmar & Thailand Traveller, September 2017

murray head

Myanmar & Thailand Traveller, September 2017

Barbara Anderson