Build Your Own Trip

Overview

This Thailand and Myanmar tour is a journey which will give you the authentic experiences about life in these beautiful countries! Start in Bangkok with visits to its most impressive sites. Enjoy the astonishing scenery of Kanchanaburi and ride a train along the famous Death Railway. In Chiang Mai, explore the most important temple in the city – Doi Suthep and other striking temples and pagodas. Go on a day trip to Doi Inthanon National Park, renowned for its picturesque landscape and amazing nature trails. Travel to Mandalay and see the gigantic Mingun Bell and the unfinished MingunPaya. Visit Bagan, where you will embark on an incredible temple tour. Experience life in floating villages the scenic and tranquil Inle Lake. Enjoy the magnificent juxtaposition of ola colonial buildings and gorgeous religious sites in Yangon.

  • Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
  • Day 2: Bangkok tour of Grand Palace and Wat Pho
  • Day 3: Bangkok – Thonburi Station – Kanchanaburi Station
  • Day 4: Kanchanaburi – River Kwai Bridge – Bangkok
  • Day 5: Bangkok – Flight to Chiang Mai
  • Day 6: Chiang Mai – Day Trip to Doi Inthanon – Phe Dork Siew Waterfall
  • Day 7: Free day in Chiang Mai
  • Day 8: Chiang Mai – Flight to Mandalay
  • Day 9: Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing at Sunset
  • Day 10: Mandalay – Monywa – Boditahaung, Thanboddhay & Shweguni Pagoda
  • Day 11: Monywa – Po Win Taung – Shwe Ba Hill
  • Day 12: Monywa – Pakokku – Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Bagan
  • Day 13: Bagan –Temple Tour
  • Day 14: Bagan – Discovery local Villages
  • Day 15: Bagan – Flight to Heho – NyaungShwe – Inle Lake
  • Day 16: Inle Lake – In Dein & Ywama
  • Day 17: Inle Lake – Balloon over Inle – NyaungShwe
  • Day 18: Nyaung Shwe – Heho – Flight to Yangon
  • Day 19: Yangon – Train ride – Sule & Shwedagon Pagodas – Walking Tour
  • Day 20: Yangon - Departure

Full Itinerary

[*Notes]

- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.

Bangkok Arrival

Arrive in Bangkok, be welcomed by your private guide and driver, and then transferred to your hotel. Check in and enjoy your time of leisure. All meals will be on your own arrangement.

Overnight in Bangkok


Bangkok tour of Grand Palace and Wat Pho

You’ll be picked up from your central Bangkok hotel, then sit back and relax as you’ll journey through the bustling streets of new Siam. Listen to your knowledgeable guide as he highlights the passing attractions on your way to Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha, housing the world’s largest solid-gold Buddha. Appreciate the intricate architecture of this temple and then witness the Golden Buddha, standing 10 feet (3 m) high and weighing 5.5 tons.

Proceed to Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the largest and oldest of its kind in Bangkok. Observe the Buddhist ritual practiced by the monks and believers, and learn about this temple’s history.

Continue your journey to an incredibly striking temple, Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple, named after the Carrara marble imported from Italy with which the ubosoth (a structure for ordinations) was constructed. Notice the breathtaking marble structures as you stroll along the interiors of the temple and admire the architectural mix of Italian marble and Siamese culture.

Back to the hotel and enjoy your time of leisure.

Overnight in Bangkok.
Meals: (Breakfast/lunch/_)



Bangkok – Thonburi Station – Kanchanaburi Station

Today you’ll depart Bangkok to the Ratchaburi province. On the way, visit a local palm sugar factory. Traveling by longtail boat, cruising along fruit plantations to visit the most well-known floating market in Thailand – DAMNOEN SADUK Floating Market. Continue to Kanchanaburi province and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch visit a World War II cemetery and Jeath War Museum. You then take a longtail boat along the Mae-Klong River to the bridge on the River Kwai. Visit the dazzling SaiyokNoi Waterfall and then check in at your hotel to rest for the night.

Overnight in Kanchanaburi
Meals: (Breakfast/lunch/_)

Kanchanaburi – River Kwai Bridge – Bangkok

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check out & depart hotel to visit Erawan Waterfall at Erawan National Park. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you’ll take your train ride along the Death Railway before transferred back to Bangkok, check into your hotel and rest for the night.

Overnight in Bangkok
Meals: (Breakfast/lunch/_)

Bangkok – Flight to Chiang Mai – City tour

Morning transfer to Bangkok Airport to take a short flight to Chiang Mai.

Arrive in Chiang Mai…Meet & greet local guide. Then transfer to the hotel.

In the afternoon you take a drive on the winding road to see the Doi Suthep Temple, the most important temple in Chiang Mai. You’ll get a little exercise by walking up 306 steps to the temples or just lazily take the funicular to the temple with an altitude of 1,100 ms above the sea level.

See the Northern Thai dented corner golden pagoda which contains the relic of Lord Buddha. The mural painting surrounding the hall tells the Lord Buddha story. Here you can get a chance to get a holy blessing and wrist tiding ceremony from the Buddhist monk. From the balcony, enjoy the panorama view of Chiang Mai. Birds fly up in the sky and you will feel a cool breath against your face.

You’ll then come back to the city to see the Suan Dork Royal Temple, where the northern royal family tombs are located and the standing Buddha Image, the only one in holding the blessing stick position in Chiang Mai. Visit Wat ChediLuang or The Grand Pagoda Temple where you can see the biggest pagoda in Chiang Mai, which was broken down by the earthquake in 1454. You still can see the gigantic pagoda standing gracefully in the middle of the temple grounds. Before the returning back to the hotel, see the Wat Chiang Maan, the first temple of the royal resident of King Mengrai of Mengrai dynasty. See two precious Buddha images “Phra Satangkamanee ” and “Phra Buddha Sila” which are important for Chiang Mai people.

Overnight in Chiang Mai
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Chiang Mai – Day Trip to Doi Inthanon – Phe Dork Siew Waterfall

This morning you will head southward on high way no.108 to Doi Inthanon National Park, the highest peak in Thailand at 2,565 meters above the sea level. Along the 44 kilometers up the mountainous road, you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenic view and the lush green nature of the forest. On the highest peak of Thailand, you can see the stupa of King Inthawitchayanon, the last King of Lanna Kingdom before Siam became Thailand later on.

At the peak, stands the stupa of the king among the cool summer climate and cold winter climate. Nearby the stupa, there is a radar control station of Thai Lada Air Force to monitor the borderline between Thailand and Myanmar. After visiting the stupa of King Inthawichayanont, enjoy a 30-minute walk on the Angka nature trail. See the lush green forest area and feel fresh with the cool mist against your face. Then, continue to the Twin Pagodas, built for King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit of Thailand as the 60th birthday gifts by the Thai Lada Air Force Radar Station and locals. Inside the pagodas, see the beautiful art which telling about the Lords Buddha. Then visit Hmong hill tribe market where they sell vegetables and fruits products and have lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, you will meet your new friend from the “Pa KaYor” Karen hill tribe who will lead you on a walk through the forest to his village.

Start your walk into the pine forest area, follow the small pathway deep in to see the “Pha Dork Siew Waterfall,” one of the most beautiful waterfalls in this area. See the beautiful scenery, lush green forest and vast of biodiversities of life. The walkway has both an easy walk and an exciting one. Stop close to the waterfall to swim and relax in the fresh cooling water. Enjoy refreshing views of the waterfall before continuing the walk through the terraced rice fields and coffee plantation that belong to the Karen Hill tribe who work for the King’s Royal project before reaching the village. After resting, have some fresh Arabica coffee which comes from the village before visiting the Wachiratharn Waterfall. At 750 meters high, admire the strong powerful current of the water and feel the fresh spray against your face. Take an easy short walk around to take photos before returning to your hotel.

Overnight in Chiang Mai
Meals: (Breakfast/lunch/_)



Free day in Chiang Mai

Today will be at your leisure to explore Chiang Mai and to unwind.

Overnight at Chiang Mai
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Chiang Mai – Flight to Mandalay

After breakfast transfer from hotel in Chiang Mai to the airport for flight to Mandalay

Upon your arrival in Mandalay, be welcomed by our tour guide and transferred to your hotel for check–in.

Overnight in Mandalay
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing at Sunset

After breakfast, you’ll board a private local boat for a trip up the Irrawaddy to Mingun (45 min each way). Visit the Mingun Bell, the world’s largest intact bronze bell weighing more than 87 tons, and the unfinished MingunPaya (built with the intention of being the world’s largest pagoda). Mingun’s other highlight is the Hisnbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Throughout Mingun there are small neighborhoods crafting traditional basketry and other artistic handicrafts. There is plenty of time to stop and interact with the craftsmen and friendly locals.

After returning to Mandalay in the afternoon, continue sightseeing and visit the Royal Palace ruins. Continue to Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees to watch the sunset.

Overnight in Mandalay
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Mandalay – Monywa – Boditahaung, Thanboddhay & Shweguni Pagoda

After breakfast, drive to Monywa (140 km – 4 hours) in the morning and then visit Thanboddhay Pagoda. Inside, you will see thousands of Buddha images (reportedly over 500,000) decorating every wall, archway, and niche. The buildings in the compound have interesting jataka reliefs.

Continue your tour to visit the Bodhi TataungLaykyunSekkya standing Buddha statue. At 116 metres, it is the second tallest statue in the world (and second tallest Buddha). It is located at the back of a large religious site with Bodhi trees, gardens containing hundreds of sitting Buddhas, and a huge reclining Buddha lying in front of the Laykyun Sekkya.

Overnight in Monywa
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Monywa – Po Win Taung – Shwe Ba Hill

Rise early to take the ferry to the other side of the Chindwin River, where you board a pick–up to see the seldom visited 15th Pho Win Daung temple complex, where more than 450,000 sandstone Buddhas were carved in the hillsides in caves, alcoves, or tiny niches. The cave murals are still intact with indigo blues and soft pastels. Then, visit Shwe Ba Daung, which features unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with Buddha images.

Overnight in Monywa
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Monywa – Pakokku – Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Bagan

After breakfast, drive (approx. 4 hrs) to Pakokku to experience a genuine indigenous regional open-air market. Then, take a private local boat across the Ayeyarwaddy River to Bagan (approx. 3 hrs by boat). Arrival Bagan and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.

Overnight in Bagan
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Bagan – Temple Tour

Begin your exploration by visiting a busy local market and gaining an insight into Bagan’s bustling market atmosphere. You will spend the day exploring the architectural masterpieces of this amazing town by visiting a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples.

In the late afternoon, climb to the top of the Temple for sunset views. Sit back, relax, and be amazed by the beauty of Bagan as you watch the sun slowly sets behind the ancient pagodas.

Overnight in Bagan
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)


Bagan – Discovery local Villages

More than just temples, your tour will introduce you to Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles. Today, observe the authentic village lifestyle lived by most people in Myanmar by visiting villages near Bagan. Then, get to know Bagan from a different perspective as you explore the area by pony cart. The cart can explore areas that cars are unable to enter giving a unique perspective of Bagan.

In the late afternoon, transfer to the jetty where a private wooden riverboat will be waiting. Sitting under the shade or on the open–deck, you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River to Shwezigon Pagoda. Enjoy a spectacular sunset on a private boat tour on the river during. Relax and enjoy the scenery.

Overnight in Bagan
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Bagan – Flight to Heho – NyaungShwe – Inle Lake

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to fly to Heho, a gateway to Inle Lake. From Heho, drive to Nyaung Shwe where you board your boat & transfer to your hotel for check-in.

After a short rest, you will enjoy the full-day tour by private boat in Inle Lake. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Be amazed by the local handicrafts, silk weaving, wooden handlooms and traditional blacksmith methods along the way.

Visiting Inle Lake is not just about being on the water, but also about discovering the Shan and Intha villages on the banks of the river. Pass the endless floating gardens, houses, monasteries built on stilts on the lake. Proceed to the village of Nampan and see a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made) and canoe carving.

Overnight in Inle Lake
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Inle Lake – In Dein & Ywama

Begin your day with a visit to the market, which rotates locations every five days. Witness the hill tribe people dressed in colorful, traditional outfits barter for goods and produce. You’ll continue our sightseeing in Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat though long, scenic channels. You will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with its complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls.

Continue your tour to visit the “long neck” tribal women, and weaving and craft villages perched on stilts. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. It is a feast for the senses and a photographer’s dream. Next, visit a unique Monastery on the Lake Nga Phe Kyaung, near Ywama village, where the local Monks have trained the cats to jump through hoops. It is now affectionately known as the Jumping Cat Monastery.

Overnight in Inle Lake
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)


Inle Lake – Balloon over Inle – NyaungShwe

Today you will enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon flight over Inle is a unique experience. Depart the hotel before sunrise and transfer to the departure point (depending on the wind). While sipping coffee/tea and having a croissant, observe how the crew inflates the balloons. A thorough safety briefing follows before you take off for a 45 minute to 1–hour flight. Upon landing, retrieve vehicles will be on hand to serve sparkling wine and refreshments before a transfer back to your hotel. The whole excursion door to door normally lasts between 2h30′ and 3h.

Enjoy your day at leisure in NyaungShwe. In the late afternoon, you can visit Red Mountain winery for the sunset.

Overnight in Inle Lake
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Nyaung Shwe – Heho – Flight to Yangon

Morning flight back to Yangon. Then, visit famous Chauk Htat Kyi, home to a 70–meter long reclining Buddha. The feet of the statue is carved with traditional symbols and many locals often gather there to pay homage and pray. Then, enjoy a visit to the sprawling 75–year–old Scott Market. At the market, you will find a whole variety of interesting Burmese souvenirs, from lacquer ware to gems & jewelry – bargain at the stores to fully experience the Burmese market atmosphere!

Continue to drive through the city and observe the influences of other cultures in the region. Interspersed in the tour are various religious sites such as the St Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1899, and over 100-year-old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue. In there, you will have the opportunity to meet with the Trustee of the Synagogue to learn about Jewish life in the Pagoda Land.

End your day by visiting Little India and Chinatown – stop to greet the vendors and let them introduce you to their wares – some familiar, some exotic.

Overnight in Yangon
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Yangon – Train ride – Sule & Shwedagon Pagodas – Walking Tour

After breakfast, drive to the train station for a one-hour circular train ride. Enjoy the authentic lifestyle of locals and appreciate the beautiful scenery.

After the train ride, enjoy a private tour driving through downtown to explore the city centre 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, passing by Strand Hotel, and the Buddhist landmarks of Sule Paya, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way. Photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda, observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon pagoda.

Overnight in Yangon
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Yangon - Departure

After breakfast, day at leisure until transfer to airport for International departure flight.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Inquire this trip


We are a member of:

We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT

Useful Information

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements.

What’s Included?

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • Private Vehicles and Drivers
  • Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)

  • Domestic flights within Thailand and Myanmar
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

  • Your International Flights to and from Thailand and Myanmar
  • Thailand and Myanmar entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
  • Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Any bank fees or charges at your end

  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides and drivers

How to Plan a successful Trip to Myanmar, Step-by-Step

Myanmar (previously known as Burma) is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a unique get-away to a beautiful and exotic locale. This tropical country offers travelers an amazing landscape and a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Southeast Asia’s traditions. However, as a country that has only just recently opened its doors to tourism, Burma still retains an air of mystery, making it all the more intriguing.

With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline and a handful of mountain ranges, Myanmar has more than its share in natural beauty. Trek through the rolling green hills, discover Sagar to the south of Inle Lake, cycle to markets and ruins, boat around floating villages, sample well-spiced Burmese cuisine, and visit mysterious temples. You will get to not only discover, but also really live in this unique cultural atmosphere.

In exploring Myanmar, you will also enjoy the perfect combination of luxury and adventure.

Most popular sites of Myanmar

• Breathtaking Bagan bags a well-deserved top spot on this list of the best places to visit in Myanmar. Seeing Bagan by the hot-balloon is becoming increasingly popular, and offers a truly unique view of this 26-square-mile land of temples.

• The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. The 99-meter-tall (325 ft) pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline.

• Inle Lake – for an excellent view of the verdant, bucolic side of Myanmar.

• U Bein Bridge – the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world

• Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock ), a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.

• Shwenandaw Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located near Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.

• National Kandawgyi Gardens – home to over 500 different flower species

• Bagaya Kyaung – a 200-year-old Buddhist monastery

Like most Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has two main seasons: dry and wet.
The dry season runs from October to May, and the wet season from June to October. Generally, most people prefer to travel during the drier months, but even during the wet season, the northern and central regions of Myanmar are cooler and drier than the southern parts, making year-round travel possible.

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel for 14 days, or longer in some cases, is permitted only to citizens of Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos.

E-visa

In addition to getting visas at embassies and consulates, Myanmar has an online e-visa system. It is designed to make the process of application simpler for visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Burmese embassy. For e-visa applications, please visit the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website.

E-visas are currently only valid for entry at Myanmar’s three main international airports: Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, as well as overland travel to Myanmar via the Thai-Myanmar border points of Mae Sai / Tachileik, Mae Sot / Myawaddy and Ranong / Kawthaung only. The e-visa is not valid for China, India, Thai or any other land border entry points.

Tourist visas are valid for 28 days and costs around USD$50, which can be extended an extra 14 days at a cost of USD$3 per day, plus a one-time USD$3 administration fee. It is important to be ready with the correct change at your departure point as change will not be provided. Bear in mind that if you overstay, you might encounter some difficulties booking travel and/or hotels during your overstay period, as not all service staff are aware of the overstay allowance.

Notes

Do not apply for your visa too early: the period for visa validity (i.e. your Burmese entry date) may range from 1 to 3 months.

Do not apply for your visa too late: embassies and consulates can take 2 weeks or more to process your application, but this varies from country to country. If you are from a country that does not have a Burmese embassy or consulate, it will take longer still.

If you wish to apply for a physical visa, the visa photo criteria are 5 cm high x 3.5 cm wide on a white background, no glasses and no smiling.

You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure from Myanmar.

Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.

Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.

Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!

In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!

Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!

It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!

Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!

Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.

Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.

And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!

Booking Amendment & Cancellations:

Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at sales@indochinapioneer.com with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.

Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!

Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉

Essentials

  • Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
  • Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
  • Day pack for your personal needs during the day
  • Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
  • Cell phone and cell phone charger
  • Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
  • Travel plug/international adapter
  • Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
  • Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution

 

Best to bring along

  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Refillable water bottle with filter

 

Wardrobe

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
  • Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
  • Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit

 

Optional comforts

  • Ear plugs & eye mask
  • Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Local language phrasebook

How to Plan a successful Trip to Thailand, Step-by-Step

Thailand, the wondrous kingdom, the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized by a European power. With endless attractions for visitors of all budgets and interests, Thailand is the paramount beacon beckoning travelers from all over the world to Southeast Asia.

For those wanting to learn more about Thai culture, take a stroll through the impressive Buddhist temples, and join a cooking class to learn Thai culinary arts. More of a nature person? Explore the spectacular islands and bask on world-class beaches, see some exotic wildlife, and tour the country’s landscapes. Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui offer life in paradise with their miles of pristine sand and crystal water. Looking for a more modern experience? Shopaholics will find Bangkok a heaven with its millions of product types, brand names and prices at every corner, either at an affordable market or a luxury mall. The nightlife is also guaranteed to please the party crowd. Most importantly, everywhere you go, you will be warmly greeted by the Thai locals, whose dazzling smiles established Thailand as the ‘land of smiles’.

From five-star pampering, adrenaline-fueled activities, shopping in stylish boutiques, sun tanning on some of the best beaches in the world, to taste the fantastic cuisine, Thailand has something for everyone.

Most popular sites of Thailand

• Bangkok – visit temples by day and bar hop by night
• Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui – relax on beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters
• Hill tribes in the north – trek with the locals

The climate varies throughout this country, makes it possible to visit all year round. The best time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is at its best. Much of the country experiences a typically tropical climate consisting of two seasons: dry and wet.

In northern Thailand, the dry season with cooler temperatures falls between November and May, with heavy rainfall between June and October.

In the south, the climate differs between the east and west coasts. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February, and the highest in November. The west coast is more favorable during the winter months when diving and snorkeling will be at its best.

Passengers arriving via an international airport will be given a 30-day visa exemption stamp, however, those with back-to-back visa exempt entries might be questioned. As of December 31st, 2016, the number of visa exemption entries at a land border has been limited to two per the calendar year, for a maximum of 30 days each time. For those who would prefer to get a visa, a valid tourist visa offers a maximum of a 60-day stay.

The Thai visa photo criteria are 6 cm high x 4 cm wide with a bright background color.

Visa exemptions

The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Thailand for a certain amount of time:

  • Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 90 days)
  • Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
  • Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia(unlimited), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovak, Slovenia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and USA

(maximum stay of up to 30 days when entering Thailand at an airport, plus 2 extra 30-day exemptions at a land border in a calendar year)

Visa on Arrival (VOA)

The citizens of countries that are eligible for a VOA to enter Thailand can NOT enter Thailand at any Thai / Cambodian border: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

All other foreign citizens must obtain a Thai visa from their nearest Thai embassy/consulate.

Note: It is recommended to keep a copy or record with your camera, your passport, visa, most recent entry stamp, and your embarkation card.

Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.

Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.

Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!

In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!

Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!

It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!

Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!

Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.

Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.

And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!

Booking Amendment & Cancellations:

Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at sales@indochinapioneer.com with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.

Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!

Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉

Essentials

  • Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
  • Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
  • Day pack for your personal needs during the day
  • Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
  • Cell phone and cell phone charger
  • Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
  • Travel plug/international adapter
  • Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
  • Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution

 

Best to bring along

  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Refillable water bottle with filter

 

Wardrobe

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
  • Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
  • Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit

 

Optional comforts

  • Ear plugs & eye mask
  • Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Local language phrasebook

Client reviews

We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.

Excellent 98%
Very good 2%
Average 0%
Poor 0%
Terrible 0%
ICP customer
Marion
Tokyo, Japan

"Awesome service"

We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!

Mar 31, 2020
TripAdvisor
ICP customer
Mary
Wisconsin, USA

"Lifetime of Memories"

Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.

We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com.vn/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751994054-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 29, 2020
TripAdvisor
ICP customer
David G

"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"

If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751470744-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 20, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Lidia

"Excellent from the very beginning"

We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751425461-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 19, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Panos
Athens, Greece

"Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia"

We are three friends who booked a private 26-day tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with Indochina Pioneer and had an amazing time. Our travel agent, Sally, was not only a great professional, but also an amazing person, personable, sweet and eager to do anything possible to turn our trip into a unique travel experience. She was in daily contact with us, making sure that everything would be perfect for us and she was available 24/7. Everything was beyond our expectations: hotels, activities, guides, transportation, meals, etc. The itinerary itself was set to meet our needs as historians, combining visits to archaeological sites and museums, with leisure activities and cultural events.

There are no words strong enough to recommend Indochina Pioneer and, especially, Sally. Special thanks to Cong, our guide in Hoi An, Lao, our guide in Sapa, Mon, our guide in Vientiane and Vuthi, our guide in Siem Reap. We learned so many things from these amazing, always smiling, intelligent people, not only about the history of their countries, but also about their culture and modern life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Overall, we feel like we booked a tour and in the end, we got ourselves one-in-a-lifetime- experience.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751280292-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 18, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust
USA

"Vietnam /Thailand Trip"

Mr. Lam….

Here we are already a week back home in the US from three weeks in Asia.  The continued changes/challenges that are occurring all around our world right now are such a strange and unique phenomenon.  I hope everything is going alright on your end, both professionally and personally, in regarding the CoVid-19 issues.  WOW!

Since we’ve been home….and even while Mary and I were in Asia….we both remarked on repeated occasions about how fortunate we felt to be able to experience the parts of Asia that we did….and do it the way we did!  It was only by way of the assistance that you put into place through the guide services and drivers that we could’ve come away with having such a truly FANTASTIC journey!!

I cannot adequately put into words what a benefit it was to have employed your service for this trip.  We are tremendously thankful to you for your flexibility in working with us using our itinerary and blending what we had in mind with what additional experiences might complement our plans.  Thank you for working on our behalf to get us into the wonderful hotel accommodations in the various areas.  To expound on that a bit…. In Can Tho, we stayed at the Lighthouse B & B.  Not knowing what to expect about ANYTHING prior to our arrival….then,….becoming aware of the modest way of life…the poverty that exists in that area….we were STUNNED to be treated to such a fabulous place to stay in the LightHouse!!!  Beyond all dreams/expectations! MARVELOUS in every single way!!   People make such a big difference…and that was so true at the Lighthouse.  Despite our inabilities for fluent communication in Vietnamese, the staff at the hotel were so accommodating, friendly and made us feel so welcome.  We had the opportunity to meet the owner just prior to leaving…..such a privilege to meet her and express to her our gratitude.

The second place we stayed at was the Riverside Resort in HoiAn.  Such a unique, paradise-like place!  Again…the PEOPLE!  I hate to used the same words again and again, but, so WONDERFUL was that whole experience!!  I could easily see coming back to Hoi An and spending a week or more just at that Resort and in browsing around the Old City and surrounding areas of DaNang.

The Liberty Central Hotel in Saigan felt special too.  We couldn’t get over at so many of these hotels…..each one of these hotels….the FOOD was beyond remarkable!  Such an array of choices and taste sensations!  An apparent tradition in Asia is the welcome drink….what a great thing!  It is such a nice gesture…not at all expected, and so revitalizing to a traveler/tourist.   The people who worked at every single hotel in which we stayed were so warm and accommodating…such easy people with whom to engage.

The Lapis Hotel in Hanoi …..again….more of the same ….just great!

Inasmuch as every Hotel was wonderful…if there was one that was not quite as great as we’d come to expect, it would be the Siam Hotel in Thailand.  The room was darker…older, a tad bit less appealing…overlooked less ‘scenic’ things….BUT….once again, the people are what can really make a difference.  A gentleman that sits at the door made a recommendation to us for massages….and with the location being some distance from us…he made arrangements for someone from the hotel to take us there!!  Unbelievably nice!!

I need to point out also how great the guides were that accompanied us in our travels.  Each one was refreshing, energized, informed and all were delightful.  We probably connected most with our guide in DaNang though.  “Toan” was our guide throughout the area of DaNang.   He was SO fun…and connected with us so easily…amazing.  We had such a great time with him that we felt like we’d known him for a long long time.  He was kind of like a little ‘Mother Hen’ the way he watched out over us…and he had such a terrific sense of humor that we were laughing so much of the time.

It wasn’t my intent in writing to you …to write so much.  It’s just flooding from me; all the memories of such an unforgettable time that I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life.

Thank you for taking my texts/calls when we were in the midst of the vacation and seemed to bump into temporary glitches….they all fixed themselves quickly, but I reached out just to create some awareness in case there was a problem of which early awareness could make a difference.  Thank you also for encouraging us to maintain the plan to participate in the motorcycle tour with Vietnam Backstreets.  Our tour guide was “Boo”….and there was another driver….think his name was “Hue”….”Boo” caused me to forget my worries and trust that I’d be alright riding on the back of his cycle.  Both Mary and I had our reservations about doing that part of the tour….and both of us have said to each other how thankful we are that we DID it!  LOVED it!!

The recommendation has been made to every person I know who may be traveling to Asia to get in touch with INDOCHINA PIONEERS to help them with planning their trip.  This trip is like no other I’ve ever taken before, and I’m sure such a trip could never be repeated in future trip that could even begin to compare with this one.  Strangely enough, Co-V issues worked in our favor…and the timing was spot on!  (GULP!)   We arrived in Asia before things had festered up all over the world like they did in the weeks we were IN Asia…and then, we got back to the US just in the ‘nick of time’ before all the stringent restrictions were put into place all over!    Who KNEW?!!!!

Just wanted to let you know what a great job you and everyone associated with you did….and how much we appreciated it all.

Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!

Sincerely,

Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.

Mar 18, 2020
Email
ICP customers
Sven Clausen
Germany

"Great Experience during Corona Virus"

We had a tour in March 2020 which was provided by Ryan Mac. He was very helpful in creating a tour according to our interests and wishes. Hung, our tour guide, was excellent he told us a lot of information about Vietnam, cultural and historical wise. During the tour he also changed plans in consolation with us. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus had made us changed several destinations we have planned to go to.

But he always had an alternative option for us so that we continued our trip but with another great alternative.

All and all we were in very good hands. We can only recommend Ryan, Hung and Indochina Pioneer. We will definitely book a tour by Indochina Pioneer on our next trip in Vietnam. Many thanks!

ICP customers

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750970656-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 15, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Jonathan Tambio
California, USA

"Multi-Country Tour – UNESCO World Heritage Sites"

An amazing adventure. Mr. Ryan Mac assisted with customizing the UNESCO World Heritage Sites tour for our needs. We weren’t interested in certain tours listed on their brochure, and he suggested different activities for us. 3 different countries, 6 different guides – Soukon in Siem Reap; Oun in Luang Prabang; Vito in Hanoi; Huong in Nha Phong; Trang in Hue/Hoi An; and Kim Sa in Ho Chi Minh City – all different personalities, all professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Even though there were a lot of sites to see, activities to do – traveling with an elderly mother, they showed patience and understanding, taking care to assist my mom with large, uneven steps, stairs, and other obstacles that would hinder most mobility-challenged individuals. Our drivers took care to keep us safe on the road as we traveled to and fro, maneuvering through the traffic to get us to our destinations. This was a stress-free, relaxing vacation!. I highly recommend Indochina Pioneer, as well as Mr. Ryan Mac!!!

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750800824-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 14, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Kevin
Toronto, Canada

"Very accommodating, excellent guides"

Kata worked with us to create a tour that went where we wanted to go. We started planning with one of their itineraries, and then asked for a lot of changes to make it own our tour. Kata accommodated every request without a problem. All of the guides were good, some were excellent (Trang in Dalat, Cong in Hue/Hoi An, Vito in Hanoi). The hotels and private cars were all very good. The restaurants they include in the tour are usually higher-end restaurants that make Vietnamese food for tourists. If we were to do it over, we would ask them to take us to more restaurants where Vietnamese people eat, and I’m sure they would have no problem doing that. I have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750778160-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 13, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Alan Turner
Belfast, United Kingdom

"Top class company"

Booked a 15 tour of Cambodia & Vietnam with these guys. And what a tour it was.
On arrival, they were there at the airport to greet us. And for the following 15 days, the looked after us wonderfully. Every day they were at our hotel with guide and driver in great air con, cars with cold water bottles. We used 5 different guides in various city’s
And each one was great. Well dressed, great local knowledge and very helpful. All on time and happy to change things to suit us. They booked all our hotels and internal flights and paid for all entrances to temples boat trips etc.
They brought us to the airports and helped with check-ins. Nothing was a problem.
I can honestly say it the best tour company we have used in 35 years traveling.
A special thanks to Phuong Nguyen who organised the entire trip for us she was amazing. I changed my mind lots of times and she just adjusted things to suit us.
She even called our hotel in Hanoi to check on us.
What an asset for her company.
Indochina Pioneer is a great company. I would strongly recommend them. 5 stars.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750341113-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 10, 2020
Tripadvisor