Antiquities of Asia Trip Notes
At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Trip code : PAAA
Trip length : 13
Trip starts in : Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Trip ends in : Siem Reap, Cambodia
Maximum group size : maximum 16
- 2000-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda
- Pagan's thousands of temples
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat
Though not as famous as the likes of Angkor Wat or Burma's Shwedagon Pagoda, Thailand's historic city of Ayuthaya is no less remarkable. Between the 14th to 18th centuries, it became one of the largest and most developed urban areas in the world, and a centre of diplomacy and commerce in its own right. Despite its strength, an attack from the Burmese army in 1767 almost reduced the city to rubble. Though never rebuilt, a visit here still leaves no doubt of the city's former majesty.
- Upon arrival in Rangoon, you will be met and transferred to a centrally located hotel.
- You will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group.
- After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for a group dinner in a restaurant nearby (cost not included).
- Today you will fly to Pagan, one of the most impressive archaeological wonders of Asia. Flight time is usually a little over an hour and after landing in Nyaung U, we drive past the archaeological zone en route to our hotel. it is a 45-minute drive to the city, and your hotel for the next three nights. The rest of the afternoon is free – you could use this time to walk to one of the local markets, enjoy the hustle and bustle, take photos or bargain for local wares.
- The sights of Pagan will be explored from dawn to dusk on a driving tour. Nyaung U's lively market contrasts with the eerie silence of the plains beyond, which are littered with over 4000 structures, including Htilominlo, Gubyauknge, Ananda and Shwezigon. The names of the temples and pagodas here are a testament to the glorious past of the region.
- The area is also famous for producing lacquer-ware and sand paintings that are available in the stalls amidst the ruins.
- In the evening we visit Dhammayangyi and enjoy the sunset from Shwesandaw Pagoda, complete with a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the mighty river and the surrounding plain filled with countless temples and pagodas.
- You have another day in Pagan that will be free for further exploration of this amazing area.
- You join a half-day cycling tour that enables you to see other areas of this amazing archaeological zone and visit other temples.
- The cycling tour will take approximately 3-4 hours and cover between 25-28 kilometres. A bike helmet will be provided.
- After breakfast you hop a bike and ride to visit some of the other magnificent temples as Nanpaya, Manuha and also the Tharaba Gate, which was the stunning historic gateway to the original 10th century pagoda city and the place we stop for lunch.
- After lunch we proceed to Bupaya, which is located on the bank of Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River, then ride back to hotel and visiting en route Mahabodhi, Thatbyinnyu and Shwegugyi Pagodas.
- The rest of the day is free. You can go back to Nyaung U and shop for handicrafts in the markets. Alternatively you can arrange you your own adventures to further explore the archaeological sites.
- In the evening you enjoy a Burmese dinner where we are also entertained with a marionette (puppet) show.
- Fly back to Rangoon.
- On arrival you will set off to see one of the great sites of Rangoon. The extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda and surrounding temples and edifices attract an eclectic mix of monks, pilgrims, worshippers, and tourists.
- You will spend some time walking around the complex, learning about the history and the spiritual devotion of the area, and experiencing the ambience of this special place.
- The afternoon will be free in Rangoon, you can visit Sule Pagoda, which marks the centre of town and the nearby Bogyoke (Scott) Market that sells a wide array of local goods and handicrafts
- There will also be time to explore a fascinating city full of dilapidated colonial edifices, or perhaps take high tea at the historic colonial hotel, The Strand. You can also take a stroll through the vibrant Chinatown market area as the afternoon cools (these are optional excursions and at your own expense).
- You bid beautiful Burma farewell today as you continue your journey to Thailand. You are transferred to the airport and board your flight for Bangkok.
- Please note that you will be unescorted on this flight.
- Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives and taken to your hotel, where you will meet your Thai tour leader.
- In the evening you will go out for an optional group dinner.
- Bangkok is the colourful and frenetic capital of Thailand. Characterised by its iconic tuk tuks, fragrant street vendors, and the traditional khlong boats that wind down the Chao Phraya River, it a wonderful city to explore.
- You then head to Ayuthaya. Situated 90 kilometres north of Bangkok, Ayuthaya was the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767 AD. It was the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai and was once one of the largest and most glamorous cities in the world. The huge Siamese empire then included large parts of Laos, Cambodia and Burma. In 1700, it is estimated that the city was home to around one million people. Following a two years siege, the city suffered total destruction at the hands of the Burmese.
- Explore the major temples including Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Phra Mahathat
- We board our rice barge for a dinner cruise on the waterways around the ancient city.
- On Day 8 you enjoy a cycle ride for 28 kilometres through the beautiful Thai countryside. Depending on the season we can learn how to plant or harvest rice and other agricultural industries
- Your destination is Bang Pa-In where we visit the Royal Thai Summer Palace and admire its elegant pagodas built over the water.
- You return to the Thai capital, Bangkok.
- Take a boat ride down the Chao Phraya River.
- On a guided tour You visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must for first-time travellers to Bangkok.
- You also visit Wat Po, home of the famous Reclining Buddha.
- (When visiting temples and palaces in Thailand, please dress conservatively in order to respect the local culture).
- In your free time, meander through the bustling streets of Chinatown or take a khlong trip along the canals is to enjoy the natural scenery and absorb the buzz of daily life in Bangkok. You might also enjoy visiting the chaotic tourist mecca of Khao San Road or indulge in a relaxing Thai massage.
- You depart Bangkok and fly northeast to the Cambodian town of Siem Reap today (approximately one hour). You will notice a distinct change of pace here.
- The rest of the day will be free to explore the colourful markets and many street food offerings, before a big day of temple exploration.
- You will spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour today. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone.
- The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset.
- Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. This demonstrates the true feebleness of man’s creations when confronted with the powerful force of nature.
- You will end the day with a sunset view of the temples.
- A dinner in the garden prepared by the students of Marum (part of the Friends/Childsafe organisation) introduces you to tasty Khmer food (please note that unfortunately this will be closed on public and school holidays, in which case an alternative dinner will be organised).
- Your ticket for the Angkor ruins enables you to spend more time exploring this memorable archaeological area.
- It is an early morning start as you travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple, but has been sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’.
- Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle.
- You will also have the opportunity to visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. You will enjoy a lunch prepared by students at the school (please note that the school is closed on public and school holidays, in which case lunch at an alternative venue will be organised).
- You trip will come to an end after breakfast this morning.
- A transfer to the airport is not included; however your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.
- Enjoy a destination in depth and comfort
- Tourist class hotels and family homestays
- Both private and local transport
- A number of included activities and meals throughout
- Fully trained and experienced leader.
Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.
On some trips we’ll push you out of your comfort zone to ensure an authentic experience, on other trips you will stay in amazing places where there is no ‘roughing it’ involved. There is plenty of choice so you can select a trip with as much activity or as little as you wish. Our small groups ensure a more intimate experience and that the impact on the local environment and community is kept to a minimum. Extra Comfort tours offer rich and rewarding adventures and are stress-free, safe and, most importantly, fun!
- Innovative itineraries offering authentic travel encounters
- A mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, sightseeing and relaxation
- Well appointed, quality hotels in central locations
- Arrival transfers, transport (mostly private) and accommodation included
- Many meals and adventure activities also included
- Fully trained and experienced local leaders
This tour is operated by our partners Peregrine Adventures
- The services of expert English-speaking Thai, Burmese and Cambodian tour leaders
- Local flights: Rangoon to Pagan, Pagan to Rangoon, Rangoon to Bangkok and Bangkok to Siem Reap
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant) in Rangoon, Pagan, Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Siem Reap and Angkor
- All breakfasts
- Arrival transfer.
International flights not included in the itinerary, airport departure taxes, departure transfer, visas, insurance, other meals, drinks, optional additional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.