The journey of a lifetime, traveling for the benefits of health and soul, throughout Thailand and Myanmar. Inclusive of an immersive homestay in Sukhothai, a two-night meditation retreat with a Buddhist monk, and a range of experiential and wellness activities, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, to all the highlights of Myanmar.
Sawatdee – Bangkok
Sawatdee! On your first day here, our staff will meet-and-greet you at the airport meeting point, and then guiding you to our private minibus with a smile. Although Thai smiles can mean a lot of things, this one is a warm welcome smile!
Authentic Canal Experience
Among hundreds of canals in Bangkok, Khlong Bangkok-Noi, once the original route of the Chao Phraya River, are a few which still retains much of its charm. Our boat will take you through this canal and stop at a few local temples, farms, and floating markets. Occasionally, when the traditional Thai puppet show is performed, we will visit the Artist House for the show. This is an extremely rare show that is unlikely to be found elsewhere.
Buddhism and Meditation
Travel to a small pier, take a short boat trip, and release some fish back to the river. Then continue on road to Wat Phra Dhammakaya, a large contemporary temple famous for its meditation teachings and dome-shaped stupa housing 1 million gilded Buddha images. Here we listen to monk chanting and participate in the meal offering ceremony. Finally, we learn the most accurate way of meditation from a Buddhist monk, which is a practice that anyone can do regardless of their race, religions, or personal beliefs.
The Old Nostalgic Train
A train may not be the fastest way to travel, but its pace creates the charm. We’ll catch a train at the Hua Lampong Station. Then travel in style, enjoying the scenery along the railroad, for around 6 hours from Bangkok to Phitsanulok. Lunch is served on board the train.
The Dawn of Happiness
Start the day with a glimpse of Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, one of the world’s most beautiful Buddha image, at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat. Then cycle through the remains of more than 20 temples, such as Wat Mahathat, Noen Prasat, and Wat Si Chum, inside the ruins of the old Siamese capital at the Sukhothai Historical Park. Arrive at your new hotel by late afternoon. Then experience a relief from muscular tension and pain from a traditional Thai massage session.
The Farmer Experience
Change your cloth and experience the life of an organic farmer. Begin the journey by get on “Rot E-Taen,” a special vehicle used mainly in farms. We’ll collect some duck eggs and learn about the process of Thailand’s organic farming, experiencing various activities, including transplanting rice seedlings, harvesting in a demonstration field, husking paddy rice, and riding on a water buffalo. Head to Banna Tonchan in the afternoon. Cycle around the village, and stay overnight with the locals.
Wake up early and hike to the viewpoint, or dress appropriately to give alms to the monks who walk along the road during their alms round. Return to your homestay for breakfast. Then observe the awesome process of hand weaving, and travel to a few places in the local village, such as the house of Grandpa Wong who makes amazing wooden gymnastic dolls, a community which fermented-mud clothes are made, and a house which you can taste or make your own delicious Peup Rice. Return to our minibus and leave to Chiang Mai in the afternoon.
Cooking Class – Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has been the center of Lanna culture since its foundation in the 13th century. The city also clearly represents a perfect blend of modernity and old charm. Today, we’ll learn to cook your favorite Thai dishes and travel to a local fresh market to search for some typical ingredients. Although Thai dishes are known for providing high nutrition because of their extensive uses of herbs and spices, all chosen ingredients are easy enough to find at your home. Free time in the afternoon. Feel free to visit a night market or walking street when the sun sets.
Travel to the Elephant Nature Park, an animal sanctuary for not just elephants but a wide variety of rescued animals. While visiting this sanctuary, we encourage you to stay relax, whether while observing, bathing, or playing with the elephants. It’s the best way to make the most from your visit, because unlike any other elephant camps, these elephants are not allowed to be ridden, and there aren’t any harmful activity to them.
Drive up to the top of Mount Suthep. We’ll visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most important temple in Chiang Mai, which we have seen from down below for the last two days. Then we leave the city and head to Tambon Pa Pae, a remote village situated in a deep valley of Mae Taeng, for an extensive meditation course. Surrounded by wonderful nature, we can learn true meditation from a real Buddhist monk and will stay overnight at this meditation retreat.
Meditation is an ancient knowledge in the east. It’s neither difficult nor something boring, but a practice of doing nothing which anyone can do. After some guidance in English by the monk who is truly an expert in meditation, gently close your eyes and clear your mind. When you attain true bliss and happiness inside yourself through meditation, you can feel so overwhelmed with joy that you can’t find any words to describe it. Stay another night at the meditation retreat.
Back to Chiang Mai
Wake up with a wonderful sense of inner peace. Feel free to relax and discuss about your practice and thoughts with the Buddhist monk. We’ll leave to the Chiang Mai after lunch. Free time in the afternoon. Feel free to visit a night market or walking street when the sun sets.
The Authentic Yangon
Fly from Chiang Mai to Yangon. And Mingalaba Myanmar! Upon arrival in Yangon, the authentic city of Southeast Asia, our staff will meet-and-greet you at the airport meeting point, and then guiding you to our vehicle. Visit interesting Buddhist attractions, including the Pagoda of the Replica Tooth Relic, the World Peace Pagoda, and the Maha Pasana Guha or the Great Cave. Take a rest for a while after checking in. In the afternoon, we’ll travel to the main highlights of Yangon, including the sacred Reclining Chaukhtatgyi Buddha, the majestic Karaweik Royal Barge, and the world’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Old Bagan
Unlike Thailand, internal flights are necessary for tourists to travel around Myanmar, as many highways aren’t in good conditions, especially when safety is concerned. In the morning, we take a flight from Yangon to Bagan. In Bagan, we’ll discover its main highlights, including the authentic Nyaung-U market, the pagoda of Shwezigon, the mural paintings in the tunnel of Kyansittha Umin and Gawdawpalin Temple. Then we travel further to the Omniscient of Thatbyinnyu Temple, the Golden Cave Shwegugyi, and the century old city wall at Tharabar Gate.
Drive to Mount Popa, a volcanic mountain located an hour from Bagan. It takes around 45 minutes to climb up to the summit. Here we visit the Mahagiri Shrine, which the shrine was established as a dedication to the Nat spirits, worshiped in conjunction with Buddhism by the Burmese. Enjoy the amazing landscape from the top of the mountain. While returning to Bagan, we’ll stop at a toddy field observing the traditional process of making Jaggery.
The City of Immortality
Fly from Bagan to Mandalay. Travel to Mahagandayon Monastery upon arrival. Mahagandayon, located in Amarapura a former capital of Myanmar, is where we can observe the lives of more than a thousand of monks doing their daily routine. Explore more highlights of Mandalay, including the Great Mahamuni Buddha image, the world’s largest book at Mahalawka Marazein Kuthodaw Pagoda, and Mandalay Hill.
The Inle Lake
Fly from Mandalay to Heho. Transfer from Heho to Nyaungshwe, stopping en route at the old wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a school for novice monks. Discover the highlights of the Inle Lake, throughout the day, including the five gilded images of Buddha at Hpaung Daw U Pagoda, the silk weaving village In Paw Khone, and the Jumping Cat Monastery Nga Phe Kyaung. Be amazed by the colorful dresses of the ethnic minorities from the people of Pa’O and Danu. Enjoy taking a local boat, cruising through the wonderful Inle Lake, a great natural lake situated almost one thousand meters above sea level. Arrive at your hotel by boat.
Return to Yangon
Transfer to Heho, fly to Yangon, and take a rest for a while after checking in. In Yangon, we travel to Bogyoke Aung San Market, a major market in central Yangon offering a variety of goods, including souvenirs, handicraft items, gems, and jewelry. Enjoy the evening sunset at the Botahtaung Pagoda in downtown close to the Yangon river.
Say farewell to Yangon and the wonderful country Myanmar. Check-out time is before noon, but we can transfer you to the airport at anytime.
Siam Luxe Highlights
- Traditional Thai Massage
- Authentic Bangkok Canal Tour
- Local Life Homestay Experience
- Overnight Scenic Train Journey
- Discover the Marvelous Myanmar
- Learn Meditation from a Buddhist Monk
- Mindfulness Meditation Retreat (2 Nights)
- Engaging Ethically with Elephants
- Learn to Cook a Healthy Thai Food
Inclusions & Prices
18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, and 3 Dinners
15 Nights in Hotels, 1 Night in a Local Homestay, and 2 Night in a Meditation Retreat
Private Car/Minibus, Long-tail Boat, Rot E-Taen Farm Vehicle, Local Songtaew Bus, Train, Round Trip Flight from Bangkok to Rangon, and Internal Flights in Myanmar
Enthusiastic English Speaking Tour Guide
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Prices shown are per person and based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted. They are inclusive of service charge, local and government taxes and non-commissionable. Bookings are confirmed on the receipt of your deposits. The final payment for your vacation is due 30 days prior to arrival.