Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Viet Nam. Image courtesy of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
What You’ll Get
An 8-day, 7-night trip between Myanmar and Viet Nam, bridging two different Buddhist cultures and national histories, with the chance to customize your trip if your heart desires.
Between Myanmar and Viet Nam, you’ll explore two different Buddhist traditions, two radically different histories, and two sides of the Southeast Asian cultural experience.
In Myanmar, you’ll start in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest and busiest city. Watch sunlight reflect off Shwedagon Pagoda’s golden spire rising over the city; browse through the wares at Bogyoke (Scott) Market, one of Myanmar’s pre-eminent markets; gaze at the Kyauk Taw Gyi pagoda’s massive marble sitting Buddha; and end your day with a sumptuous dinner in Karaweik hall, a bird-like restaurant floating on Kandawgyi Royal Lake.
Travel out from Yangon to Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock), a massive golden boulder balancing on a cliff’s edge. Locals believe a strand of the Buddha’s hair prevents the rock from tumbling down the precipice! A little closer to the city, the town of Bago offers tours of places that recall its history as a former imperial capital: Kanbawzathardi Palace and Shwemawdaw Pagoda (the highest pagoda in Myanmar) among them.
Viet Nam is next, where the gorgeous views of Ha Long Bay await. You’ll explore this scenic karst bay from one of the “junk” cruisers chugging serenely through these waters, exploring some of the limestone caves on foot, or kayaking through coves around the waters.
The Vietnamese capital Hanoi offers tours of spots that show the city’s millennium-long history: the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, the bustling Old Quarter, and the sprawling Ba Dinh Square with its One Pillar Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum.
Further off the beaten path, Tam Coc takes you on a river cruise through series of interlinked caves, before visiting Bai Dinh Temple with its wealth of superlatives: biggest pagoda in Viet Nam and biggest bronze Buddha statue in Viet Nam among them.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Myanmar. Image courtesy of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels & Tourism.
Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. Image courtesy of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.