Ma-Pi-Leng

Destinations

Indochina: An adventure you will never forget

THE TRIP

Day-1 - DEPARTURE AMSTERDAM - BANGKOK
Today we depart from Schiphol to Thailand. The cars are transported by ship and will arrive in the port of Bangkok. The flight usually arrives in Bangkok the next day.

Day-2 - ARRIVAL BANGKOK
Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival at Bangkok airport, a local guide will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Bangkok is perhaps the most famous city in Asia. This Thai capital is located approximately in the middle of the country and from here the rest of Thailand and other Asian countries are easy to visit. Bangkok itself has a lot to offer: impressive temples, floating markets and bustling streets with many eateries. Dinner is included at the hotel today.

Day-3 - BANGKOK
You will be brought to the port of Bangkok today to collect the cars and complete the relevant import formalities. The rest of the day is at your leisure. We definitely recommend a boat trip on the Chao Phraya River. You can cool off on the water while admiring the Bangkok skyline. Cycling through Bangkok is also a fun option and a relaxing way to see much of the city.

If you want to shop, you are in the right place in Bangkok: the many (night) markets sell a wealth of fabulous souvenirs. In the evening you can enjoy some delicious food in Chinatown. If you are looking for music and fun, you can visit Khao San Road.

Bangkok

Day-4 - BANGKOK - NAKHON SAWAN (380km)
After breakfast, the first real travel day can begin! We set off towards Ayutthaya, the most recent ancient capital of Thailand. You will arrive here after an approximate 1.5-hour drive. One of the most beautiful temple complexes is Wat Phra Mahathat; the most characteristic is the Buddha head that grows in the roots of a large tree. We will stop at a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch we will drive to the Nakornsawan region in 2.5 hours. On the way, we will visit the Wat Muang in the Angthong region. In the afternoon we arrive at the hotel in Nakhon Sawan. Dinner is included tonight.

Day-5 - NAKHON SAWAN - HPA AN (390km)
The day begins with an approximate 4-hour drive to the Mae Sot border crossing. Before you reach the border crossing, you will visit the Kamphaeng Phet historical Park. It is a place where not many tourists go and where you can see beautiful temples. After the checkpoint at the border, you will enter Myanmar. Keep in mind that in Myanmar they drive on the right side of the road, not on the left like in Thailand. You will spend the night in the Zwekabin Natural Hotel in Hpa An where dinner is included today. Hpa An is a small town surrounded by beautiful limestone rock formations.

Hpa An

Day-6 - HPA AN - PYAY (470km)
We continue our journey in Myanmar to Pyay, an important trading city in Myanmar and at the same time an important Buddhist place. The city is located on the well-known Irrawaddy River. During the drive from Hpa An to Pyay you will pass beautiful green rice fields and local villages. On the way we stop at the quiet town of Bago in the countryside. Here you can admire the reclining Buddha in the Shwethalyaung Pagoda. You can also visit the Mon Palace Kanbawzathadi. Both sights are a short distance from each other.

Day-7 - PYAY - BAGAN (350km)
The journey continues to the temple city of Bagan. During the Golden Age, Bagan was the capital of Myanmar. Many temples were built during this time. There are currently about 4000 temples to admire in Bagan. This is what makes the city so special! Upon arrival in Bagan, you will visit the Shwezigon Pagoda and the Ananda Temple. You can also enjoy a beautiful sunset from one of the viewpoints in Bagan.

Day-8 - BAGAN
A special way to view the temples and pagodas of Bagan is from the air. Early in the morning, you have the option to take a balloon ride, enjoying breathtaking views of the temple city.
And you will be exploring Bagan today. The tour starts with a visit to the Nyaung U Market where you can watch the locals do their weekly shopping. A very colourful market with many fruits and vegetables. After the market you will visit the Htilominlo Pagoda and the Gubyaukgyi temple. After enjoying lunch, we will continue to a lacquerware factory and visit the Dhammayangyi Pagoda. This is the largest Pagoda of Bagan!

Day-9 - BAGAN - INLE LAKE (340km)
The next destination is Inle Lake, located in the Shan region. The drive here takes about 7 to 8 hours. Inle Lake is best known for its many floating villages. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar, and from the lake you have a beautiful view over the Blue Mountains. The Pristine Lotus Resort, where you will stay tonight, is located on the edge of the lake and easily accessible by car. Time permitting, you can take a boat trip through the lake's floating villages and gardens today and visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.

DAY-10 - INLE LAKE - KENG TUNG (490km)
An early start to the day to visit the Five-day market. This market changes location every 5 days, hence the name. At the market you will see the locals in traditional clothes. You can find all sorts of things on the market, from dried tea leaves to fresh fruit. After visiting the market, you will return to the hotel to get ready for a long day of travel. You will leave the lake and continue to Keng Tung. It is a long drive, but there is plenty to see along the way.

Day-11 - CHIANG RAI - LUANG PRBANG (300km)
Today, you will return to Thailand via the border crossing at Tachileik. It is about a 3-hour drive to the border crossing. Once all the papers have been prepared, you will travel a little further to Chiang Rai.
The rest of the day is free to visit the Chiang Rai. The area is also called the Golden Triangle. The borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet here. Today, you can visit the temple Wat Suan Dok. And a visit to Wat Phrathat is also recommended. You take a cable car from here for fantastic views of the city. In the evening it is nice to visit one of the many night markets.

LUANG PRBANG

Day-12 - CHIANG RAI - LUANG PRABANG
On towards the Huai Kon border crossing to leave for Laos. From the border crossing, you will head east to Luang Prabang. Attention! The road to Luang Prabang is very mountainous. It is a new road and still in good condition, but quite steep in many places with many bends. On the way you travel through the Hongsa valley. In this small valley surrounded by mountains there is plenty to see, such as green forests, rice fields and local villages.

Day-13 - LUANG PRABANG
You can book a sightseeing tour through Luang Prabang and the Pak Ou caves today. If you don’t want to book an excursion, you can explore Luang Prabang and surroundings on your own.

Optional: Visit Luang Prabang during a city tour and go to the Pak Ou caves. The local guide will take you on a walking tour to the highlights of Luang Prabang such as the Royal Palace and Wat Visoun Temple. In the afternoon we visit the Pak Ou caves. You will sail here by boat. More than 3,000 Buddha statues can be admired in the Pak Ou caves. Apart from the impressive Buddha statues, the caves themselves are also worth seeing. On the way back, you will sail past the village of Ban Muang Keo.

Day-14 - LUANG PRABANG - DIEN BIEN PHU (370km)
After breakfast it is time to drive on to Vietnam. First, we drive to the border crossing at Sop Hun and then continue to Dien Bien Phu. From Luang Prabang you will head north and first follow the Mekong River and then the Nam Ou River. During the drive you will see beautiful landscapes and rice fields. You can stop on the way to take pictures. You will visit the village of Oudomxay en route, where 14 different ethnic groups live together. You will also drive past the village of Muang La. This place is best known among Buddhist pilgrims. After the border crossing it is about a 1.5-drive to Dien Bien Phu. The city is best known for the battle during the first Indochina war against French settlers. There are still many sights related to this war.

Day-15 - DIEN BIEN BIEN PUH - SA PA (420km)
Via the beautiful Heaven Gate mountain pass you will continue on your journey to Sapa. On the way to Sapa you can stop at the silver waterfall; this is the most beautiful waterfall in Sapa! During the ride you will look out on the mountain landscape. Sapa is known for its beautiful rice fields and dazzling valleys. You will also find many different hill tribes here.

Day-16 - SA PA - HOANG SU PHI (230km)
On to Hoang Su Phi. On route here, you will drive through beautiful landscapes consisting of rice fields and mountains. The route overlooks one of the most beautiful landscapes in Vietnam. You will drive through the countryside and meet some ethnic groups along the way. You can see how these people transport goods from one village to another. Today you will spend the night in a beautiful lodge in Pan Hou.

Day-17 - HOANG SU PHU
After breakfast it is time to start the hike to Nam Hong Village. The walk takes an average of 5 to 6 hours. You will walk along rice fields, bamboo forests and traditional houses of the mountain people. You will learn more about local life here. You will go back to the lodge in Pan Hou by car.

Day-18 - HOANG SU PHI - DONG VAN (250km)
We continue our journey to Dong Van. Dong Van has a cold climate because it is in the mountains. You can stop at the La Sung valley in Quan Ba on the way. Here you see rocky mountains combined with green forests, an exceptional sight!

Day-19 - DONG VAN - HANOI (380km)
Today we will drive back to Ha Giang first, and on the way to Meo Vac we will stop at the Ma Pi Leng pass lookout for a panoramic view. The mountains are about 2,000 metres above sea level. We continue our way through the mountains and arrive in Hanoi in the afternoon. The old town of Hanoi has many shops and restaurants in small streets that previously each had their own craft. In Hanoi you can also visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, a unique experience. The museum and Uncle Ho's old house are also nearby. A visit to the Cathedral, the Temple of Literature and the Museum of Ethnology complete your programme in Hanoi.

Optional: A fun way to explore Hanoi is on a Vespa scooter! Visit the highlights of Hanoi during a half-day excursion.

Hanoi

Day-20 - HANOI - CAT BA ISLAND
Early in the morning, we will drive to the Got Ferry. This is about 137 km from Hanoi. From here you take the Ferry to the port of Gia Luan. After that, it is a 25 km drive to the city on the island. You have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure. Cat Ba is Halong Bay's largest island with two beautiful beaches. When the weather is good you can lie on the beach here and swim.

Day-21 - CAT BA ISLAND
A free day on Cat Ba Island. There is plenty to do in this region. You could view the Hospital Cave today. As the name says, this is a hospital in a cave. You can also visit the Cat Ba national park or the Cannon Fort. Are you looking for something active? Maybe you would like to rent a kayak and explore the area.

Day-22 -CAT BA ISLAND - HA TINH (420km)
We return to the port where we take the ferry back to the country. From here we drive on to Ha Tinh. A long travel day of about 9 hours. The Ha Tinh region is also known as the Forgotten Province.

Day-23 - HA TINH - HOI AN (470km)
Via the spectacular Hai Van Pass we will drive to the bustling Hoi An. The road here has many sharp bends and winding roads, but the views are magnificent. You will look out on the deserted sandy beaches, green forests and the lights of more distant cities.

Day-24 - HOI AN
You get to enjoy a free day in Hoi An. Hoi An was once the port of the old Champa empire. Hoi An's old town has turned into a kind of open-air museum that not only attracts foreign tourists but also many Vietnamese. In the evening, lucky balloons are released on the water of the river. In the many beautiful buildings, there are great shops and restaurants. The beautiful beaches of Cau Dai are 5 km from the town.

Day-25 - HOI AN - KONTUM (280km)
Kontum is located in the central highlands of Vietnam, about a 7-hour drive from Hoi An. The town is located on the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail, a logistics system that linked North and South Vietnam during the American War.

Day-26 - KONTUM - DALAT (420km)
Today you will travel to Dalat. Dalat is different from most major cities in Vietnam. Here you will find mainly villas and beautiful summer retreats of the French. Dalat is a little cooler because it is located at an altitude of about 1500 metres. In addition to the colonial buildings, you will also see a lot of fruit cultivation and stunning nature with lakes and waterfalls.

Dalat

Day-27 - DALAT - HO CHI MINH (310km)
We continue our journey towards Ho Chi Minh, the former Saigon. The first impression of Ho Chi Minh city is often overwhelming. On the way to the centre of this metropolis, you will notice the scooters. There are an estimated four million in the city! The city centre is located near the Mekong River. Here you will find the Cathedral and the post office that was built by Gustav Eiffel. The war museum is also within walking distance. In the evening we recommend visiting the backpacker street Bui Vien.

Day-29 - HO CHI MINH - PHNOM PENH (340km)
A free day in Ho Chi Minh. Today you have the option to book a full day excursion to visit the highlights of Ho Chi Minh with a guide.

Day-30 - PHNOM PENH - SIEM REAP
We leave Phnom Penh behind and drive to the temple city of Siem Reap in about 6 hours. The city is best known for the temple complex Angkor Watt. Besides its many temples, Siem Reap is a very attractive city. There are not really specific sights in the city, but the many markets, shops and stalls guarantee that you can enjoy yourself here. You can also visit a traditional dance or circus show or take a cooking class. Around Siem Reap you can visit the floating village Chong Kneas.

Day-31 - SIEM REAP
Optionally, you can book a Temple tour excursion today. If you do not want to book an excursion, you can explore Siem Reap by yourself.

Optional: The guide will pick you up from the hotel in the morning and you will visit the Angkor temple complex today. A visit to Angkor is considered by many to be the highlight of the tour. It is impossible to see all the temples of this area in one day. Today you will visit the most important and beautiful temple of the complex. Angkor Wat is perhaps the most important archaeological site in Southeast Asia, and the guide will tell you a lot about this special complex during your visit. You will also visit the temple complex Angkor Thom and the jungle temple Ta Prohm.

Siem Reap

Day-32 - SIEM REAP - BANGKOK (310 km)
From Siem Reap we will depart towards Bangkok. You will cross the border at Poipet/Aranyaprathet, which is about a 3-hour drive from Siem Reap. You will be back in Bangkok in the afternoon. You can spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day-33 - BANGKOK
The last day of the Indochina trail 2022. Today, you will return the cars to the port of Bangkok. From here, the cars are shipped back to the Netherlands. The rest of the day, you have time to explore Bangkok or prepare for the return flight scheduled for tomorrow.

Day-34 - BANGKOK - AMSTERDAM
Today, you will be flying back to the Netherlands. Sadly, the journey has come to an end, but you will certainly look back on an unforgettable adventure!

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