Bagan, the ancient capital of Myanmar, is a jungle city with an unending vista of temple spires rising above the treetops. In Yangon, the modern capital, visitors will find bustling markets, numerous lakes, fabulous hotels and the magnificent, gold-covered Shwedagon Pagoda, containing Buddhist relics dating to the 6th century.
The tropical morning sun sparkles on gilded temples and colorful markets. Saffron-robed monks sit next to businesswomen at a sidewalk café. And the eerie cacophony of motor scooters zipping through ancient backroads echo the buzzing of longtail boats plying the waters of the Mekong River. You’re in the fabled Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar converge.
In the late 1960s, the US State Department dubbed this area the opium capital of the world and it was savagely deforested during the Vietnam conflict. Today, there are no traces of war and two museums interestingly called The Hall of Opium and The House of Opium are two of the main tourist attractions (no samples given).
Laos retained a good deal of its French influence as evidenced by hotels with such names as Belle Rive in Luang Prabang. The hilly terrain with delightful waterfalls, magnificent temples and stunning Mekong River vistas makes this area a favorite for exploring the road less traveled. This is where you cross the border from one corner of the 'triangle' to the next.
Chiangrai is laid back Thailand, with old city temples and monuments of the Lanna Kingdom dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The most famous site is called Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) and is one of a kind in Southeast Asia. It is hilltribe country where many ethnic minorities live in primitive mountainside villages. From a riverside vantage point, one can see Laos and Myanmar while standing in Thailand.
Myanmar, the third corner of the triangle, is perhaps the least understood where 99% of the Burmese people has been hurt economically by the 1% bad news involving their government. Traveling through Yangon, the capital, or soaring above Bagan with its thousand temple spires visible above the jungle, or exploring fabled Mandalay, one encounters only warm smiles, a friendly welcome and great travel values.
Bangkok (2), Luang Prabang (2), Pak Peng (1), Chiangrai (2), Yangon (2), Bagan (1)
12 days / 11 nights
Limited to 20 Participants
A Walk in an Eco Park
A Very Special Encounter
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