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%
Andrew M
United Kingdom

"Eleven day north to south trip of Vietnam"

Having returned from our tour of Vietnam, which was organised by Miss Elly Do, we cannot thank her and her company enough for making the eleven days in Vietnam exceptional. From the first contact with Elly she was flexible and accommodating to making our tour really special and unique to us. The accommodation that she found in the following cities, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City was beyond excellent. Special note must be made of the Eldora Hotel in Hue, which was above and beyond our expectations.
The tour guides that Elly used for our tour were knowledgeable and adaptable to situations out of their control caused by the Coronavirus. Special thanks to Sunny, our Hanoi guide, who found alternative attractions due to government closures of many popular attractions which did not detract from the highlights of the city. Thanks also to Tran, our Hoi An guide, who made our trip both entertaining and exciting. Thanks also to Cam who’s knowledge of Hue was exceptional and last but not least Jason, our guide in HCMC, his knowledge of the Cu Chi tunnels was outstanding.
The food tour with the XOtours in HCMC is a must for anyone visiting the city. It gives another understanding of the chaos that is driving in HCMC on the back of a scooter, though we did feel safe because of the experienced female drivers, who were friendly and spoke excellent English.
We would, without reservation, recommend Indochina Pioneer to anybody planning a tour of Vietnam who does not want to follow a standard package tour but rather a tour that incorporates your specific interests and needs, from planning through to the experience as a whole.
We are now presented with the problem of topping this trip, however, if we decide to visit any other place in SouthEast Asia we will definitely be using this company’s services.

  

Feb 18, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Sandy Katson
USA

"Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia"

We, 2 couples, returned from our 18-day private tour just before the Christmas holiday. To say that everything went perfectly would be an understatement. While we had a bit of difficulty getting Kata from Indochina Pioneers to respond to our planning requests, we ended up with what was truly a trip of a lifetime!! All of our tour guides and drivers were truly exceptional. I wanted to give some extra kudos Juan in Luang Prabang and Chesda in Phnom Penh – both were outstanding thoughtful guides. I should mention the others, as each guide was great – Larry in HCMC, Tuan in Hoi An and Hue, Tony in Hanoi and Chai in Siem Reap. All of the hotels we stayed at were top notch. All flights organized by Indochina Pioneer went smoothly. As for the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia – this was truly a life-changing visit. While our itinerary was quite clear as to the activities we would see, we had no idea how extraordinary everything would be. We especially enjoyed our exploration of the various street foods in Hanoi that Tony took us to. While “his” places deviated from the itinerary, they were absolutely fantastic!! Our one night on Halong Bay went by too quickly. We spent 4 nights in Luang Prabang, Laos and found this to be just magical. Siem Reap was just amazing. While Angkor Wat is on everyone’s bucket list, we found that each of the ancient temples was equally magnificent. Although the trip ended on a bit solemn note in Phnom Phen with a visit to the Killing Fields and the accompanying prison, Chesda added a little trip to the market and lunch which, for me, softened things some. Overall, this trip was awesome. The only problem now is finding our next trip – this one’s going to be very difficult to top!! I highly recommend Indochina Pioneer to help you plan your own trip to Southeast Asia.

Feb 8, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Angela Leer
Lloydminster, Canada

"Amazing Vietnam/Thailand trip"

My husband and I recently returned from a most amazing 16 day tour of Vietnam and Thailand. Thank you Kata Tran for compiling an itinerary which was the perfect balance of sightseeing, activity, and beach relaxation. There are too many highlights to detail. Know, however, each transfer between destinations was seamless and accommodations were fabulous at each stop. Most remarkable…it never ceased to amaze us that each driver/guide could be so punctual (considering the traffic in some regions), never being even a minute late! The whole Indochina team who contributed to our trip was incredible!
I highly recommend this tour company.

Feb 5, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Lori
Saskatoon, Canada

"Trip of a lifetime!"

My husband and I just returned from a 3-week vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all booked through Indochina Pioneer. We would highly recommend using this company to book a trip like this. The accommodations we were given were excellent. Our guides were knowledgeable, open and accommodating making our experience more than we could have hoped for. We were able to customize the trip to suit our likes. Lots of beach time! Our communication with our Indochina rep wasn’t the best but was well made up for in the holiday that was created for us.

customer review

Jan 30, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer review
Pavan
South Korea

"Great management and planing : Indochina Pioneer"

This year 2020 started amazingly with 5 days Vietnam (Phu Quoc and HCM City) trip. Its greatly organized by Indochina Pioneer Travel Company. Ms. Elly Do was the planner for our trip. I am very thankful and appreciate her patience and prompt suggestions regarding the trip plan. As the requested vegetarian meal was arranged throughout the trip. Overall it was an awesome experience, greatly managed with the sounding tour guide.

Jan 26, 2020
Trip Advisor
Elisha Sue

"THAILAND WAS AMAZING – 5 star custom tour"

Thank you Mr Lam Duong for always giving top-notch service. You know what we like and you deliver the BEST Private custom holidays to Cambodia and recently Thailand. Looking forward to our next vacation. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TOP THAILAND?? It was AMAZING!! We didn’t want to leave!!

Jan 22, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Chris
Canada

"22 day tour of Vietnam and Siem Reap"

My husband, adult children and I have just returned from one of the best trips of our lifetimes. After numerous requests from me to change, add or tweak the day-to-day tours suggested to me, Hang (Lizzie) from Indochina Pioneer found the perfect combination for us. She is a knowledgeable, patient and gifted organizer. I couldn’t be happier with her professionalism and attention to detail. As we toured the country, we were inspired and educated by our guides Nam, Dat, Larry and Pascuale. We hiked through jungles, ate marvelous food, spent time on the waters of Halong Bay and Phu Quoc Island, we rode bikes through villages and explored the busy streets of Hanoi, Hoi an and Ho Chi Min City, we visited temples and war monuments. Every detail was carefully outlined by Hang and if we wanted to make last-minute changes to the day, our guides were happy to accommodate. I would highly recommend Indochina Pioneer. If I have the good fortune to return, I would use them again. Gold stars all around! Well done Hang & team!

Jan 18, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Stefanie
USA

"10 Days"

We are so grateful to Ryan Mac and the Indochina Pioneer team for organizing the perfect family vacation for us in northern and central Vietnam. We saw places and had experiences we never would have without them. They made the trip easy and fun. We will be using them again!

Jan 16, 2020
Trip Advisor
Kristine
USA

"Vietnam and Cambodia"

We booked our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam with Indochina Pioneer, and I highly recommend their local expertise and professionalism. This was the first time we have worked with an in-country travel agency for a customized trip, and the partnership helped us create an amazing vacation.

I contacted Indochina Pioneer and was assigned a Travel Specialist, Elly, who worked through our initial trip thoughts and gave us some additional suggestions. She was very responsive, listened to the type of trip that we wanted, and always followed through. Her professionalism built our confidence in a successful trip.

We had the agency set up drivers, tour guides and hotels based on our personal qualifications. Each stop we had a new, local guide who understood the history of the area and helped us navigate to the local sights. Because of the guides, we were able to experience not only the popular tourist areas, but also go to more obscure sights that gave us a local experience.

We really loved the local food tours in Vietnam because our guides took us around the cities to a non-tourist restaurant. We also had three bike trips, so instead of driving and seeing the countryside pass us by, we rode our bikes.

I highly recommend working in Indochina Pioneer for your next trip to Asia!

Jan 13, 2020
Trip Advisor
ICP customer reivew
Mecia Russell
USA

"Great tour company"

We toured Siem Reap and Hanoi. Our tour guide and driver in Siem Reap were perfect. We were very happy with the hotel choice as well. In Vietnam, we went to Halong Bay on a junk boat cruise. Absolutely perfect!

Jan 8, 2020
Trip Advisor