North Indochina 10 Days DIY Itinerary

Updated October 6, 2018
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Having gone through the typical Indochina routes (Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand & Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore), there’s only 1 more I still had to try. So when I found out about the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, I immediately planned a 10-Day trip across North Indochina, covering Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (with layovers at Malaysia). And because some routes on the ASEAN Pass are limited, I had to compress a couple of cities depending on the available flights.

Vientiane airport bus

Vientiane airport bus

This trip gave me a whole new perspective on Indochina as a region. From the cultural similarities and differences of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. And also the influences of other Asian countries that surround those three.

Here is the day-by-day itinerary of this trip, and scroll to the bottom of the page for the computation of expenses.

Day 0

  • 12:00 PM – Flight 5J501 Manila to Kuala Lumpur (Delayed, originally 8:50PM)

Day 1

  • 3:50 AM – Arrive at KLIA2
  • 4:30 Am – Check in for next flight (not fly-thru so we had to go through immigration)
  • 6:40 AM – Flight AK552 Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane
  • 8:25 AM – Arrive at Wattay International Airport
    • Buy Sim card (20,000 Kip)
    • Exchange money
  • 9:00 AM – Airport Bus to City Center (That Dam Stop)(15,000 Kip per person)
  • 9:15 AM – Explore city center
    • That Dam
    • Brunch at That Dam Noodle (average 25,000 Kip per person)
      • Boiled Chicken (20,000 Kip)
      • Beef Jelly Stew (30,000 Kip)
    • Patuxay Monument
    • Sisaket Temple (10,000 Kip per person)
    • Presidential Palace (Outside only)
  • 2:20 PM – Bus 8 from Central Bus Station to North Bus Terminal (5,000 Kip per person)
    • Buy bus tickets going to Luang Prabang (110,000 Kip per person)
    • Snacks at the station (25,000 Kip per person)
    • Water bottle (6,000 Kip)
    • Toilet (2,000 Kip)
  • 5:00 PM – Bus to Luang Prabang
    • Stop over for dinner at Vanh Pisit Restaurant
    • Cup noodles (5,000 Kip)
  • 12:00 AM – Stranded along the road at midnight because of a road accident + landslide 🙁
Patuxai Monument

Patuxai Monument

Day 2

  • 9:00 AM – Still stranded, buy snacks at street vendors
    • Cup noodles (10,000 Kip per person)
    • Biscuits (7,000 Kip)
    • Water (7,000 Kip)
  • 12:00 PM – Road block fixed and journey to Luang Prabang continues
  • 6:00 PM – Finally arrive at Luang Prabang Southern Bus Terminal
    • Tuktuk to Sisavangvong Road (20,000 per person)
  • 6:20 PM – Check in at City Backpackers Hostel (35,000 Kip per bed)
  • 8:30 PM – Dinner at Garden Restaurant (60,000 Kip per person)
  • 9:30 PM – Explore Sisavangvong Road Night Market
    • Fruit Smoothie (10,000 Kip each)
    • Buy Magnets (8,000 Kip each) & Pouches (10,000 Kip each)
Luang Prabang at night

Luang Prabang at night

Day 3

  • 6:30 AM – Wake up early
  • 7:30 AM – Breakfast at Café Croissant d’Or (29,000 Kip per person)
  • 8:00 AM – Hire tuktuk to Kuang Si Falls (170,000 Kip)
  • 9:00 AM – Explore Kuang Si Falls (20,000 Kip per person)
  • 9:40 AM – Visit Free The Bears inside Kuang Si Falls Park
  • 10:00 AM – Early lunch outside Kuang Si Falls (27,500 Kip per person)
  • 10:30 AM – Go back to city center
  • 11:30 PM – Check out of hostel, leave bags
  • 11:40 PM – Visit Wat Siphoutthabath
  • 12:00 PM – Mini-hike to Mount Phousi via Wat Siphoutthabath
  • 12:30 PM – Hike down via the route exiting Royal Palace
  • 12:45 PM – Royal Palace
  • 1:00 PM – Back to hostel to get bags and rest
  • 2:00 PM – Van service to Luang Prabang International Airport (25,000 Kip per person)
  • 2:30 PM – Flight Check in
  • 3:00 PM – Snacks at the airport cafeteria (49,000 Kip per person)
  • 4:30 PM – Flight FD1031 Luang Prabang to Bangkok
  • 5:55 PM – Arrive at Don Mueang International Airport Bangkok
    • Exchange some money
    • Buy sim card at the airport (THB 150 Unlimited 4G for 7 Days)
  • 6:30 PM – Bus A3 from DMK Airport to Lumphini Park Station (THB 50 per person)
  • 6:45 PM – Check in at Minimis Hostel and rest
  • 8:40 PM – Exchange money at a pharmacy along Thaniya Road
  • 9:00 PM – Dinner at Tha Siam Restaurant Silom Complex (THB 162 per person)
  • 10:00 PM – Desert snacks at Family Mart (THB 53)
  • 11:30 PM – Stranger Bar Silom (THB 140 per beer)
Me at Mt. Phousi

Me at Mt. Phousi

Day 4

  • 10:00 AM – Brunch at Too Fast Chicken (THB 80 per Chicken Rice Large)
  • 10:30 AM – MRT to Hua Lamphong Station (THB 16 per person)
  • 10:40 AM – Hua Lamphong Railway Station
    • Buy Train tickets to Ayutthaya (THB 15 per person)
    • Snacks (THB 38)
  • 11:20 AM – Train from Hua Lamphong to Ayutthaya
  • 1:05 PM – Arrive at Ayutthaya Station
    • Buy smoothie (THB 40)
    • Rent a tuktuk for Ayutthaya Tour
  • 1:30 PM – Start of Ayutthaya Tuktuk Tour (THB 600)
    • Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (THB 20 Entrance Fee)
    • Wat Mahathat**
    • Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit (Free Entrance)
    • Wat Phra Si Sanphet**
    • Wat Phra Ram**
    • Reclining Buddha Statue – Wat Lokkayasutharam (Free Entrance)
    • Wat Chai Wattanaram**
    • Thammikarat (THB 20 Entrance Fee)
    • Wat Ratburana**
    • Phanan Choeng (Free Entrance)
    • **Included in Ayutthaya 6 Temple Pass for THB 220 (Normally THB 50 per temple)
  • 6:00 PM – End of tour, back at the station
    • Buy train tickets going back to Bangkok (THB 65 per person)
  • 6:20 PM – Dinner at Jintana Service Restaurant (THB 95 per person)
  • 7:25 PM – Train from Ayutthaya back to Hua Lamphong Bangkok
  • 9:30 PM – Arrive at Hua Lamphong Railway Station
  • 9:40 PM – MRT to Lumphini Station then walk to Le SPA Suanplu 8 (THB 20 per person)
  • 10:10 PM – Get a Thai Massage at Le SPA Suanplu 8 (THB 250 + 100 tip per person)
  • 11:30 PM – GrabCar to Silom area (THB 86)
  • 11:50 PM – Dinner at KFC (THB 109 per person)
  • 12:10 PM – Buy souvenir magnets at Patpong Night Market (THB 80)
Wat Ratburana

Wat Ratburana

Day 5

  • 7:30 AM – Check out of hotel
  • 7:40 AM – Snacks at Family Mart (THB 21)
  • 7:50 AM – Go to DMK Airport
    • BTS from Sala Daeng to Mochit Station (THB 44)
    • Bus A1 from Mochit Station to DMK Airport (THB 30)
  • 8:50 AM – Check in
  • 9:20 AM – Brunch at Peri-peri Chicken at DMK Airport air side (THB 160)
  • 11:00 AM – Flight FD244 Bangkok to Mandalay
  • 12:15 PM – Arrive at Mandalay International Airport
    • Exchange money
  • 12:30 PM – Take Airport bus service to hotel (MMK 8,000 per person)
  • 1:45 PM – Check in at Taim Phyu Hotel (Silver Cloud)
    • Buy bus tickets to Bagan at hotel lobby
  • 2:20 PM – Buy sim card at an electronic shop along 77th near 28th Street (MMK 3,500 2.5GB for 7 Days)
  • 2:30 PM – Late lunch/early dinner at Central Park Pizza (MMK 5,100 per person)
  • 3:20 PM – Buy snacks at G&G Convenience Store (MMK 2,550)
  • 3:30 PM – Back to hotel to eat snacks and rest
    Then we slept so hard that we skipped dinner lol
At the southern wall of the Royal Palace, Mandalay

At the southern wall of the Royal Palace, Mandalay

Day 6

  • 9:00 AM – Wake up
  • 11:00 AM – Check out of hotel, leave bags
  • 11:20 AM – Lunch at Everluck restaurant (MMK 4,750 per person)
  • 12:20 PM – Back to hotel to get bags and wait for the service going to Bagan
  • 12:30 PM – Pick-up of service going to bus station
  • 12:50 PM – Bus to Bagan (MMK 9,000 per person including hotel pick-up and drop-off)
  • 5:30 PM – Arrive at Bagan Bus Station then transfer to mini-bus
  • 5:45 PM – Highway checkpoint to pay for Bagan Entrance Fee (MMK 25,000 per person)
  • 6:00 PM – Arrive and check-in at Shwe Na Di Guest House
  • 6:30 PM – Visit Shwezigon Pagoda
  • 7:30 PM – Visit Shwe Pyi Nann Thanakha Museum
  • 8:30 PM – Dinner at Taste of Myanmar Restaurant (MMK 5,750 per person)
    • Kachin Style Chicken (4,000)
    • Fried Rice (3,000)
    • Fried noodles w vegetables (2,500)
    • 2 Soda water (2,000)
  • 9:30 PM – Buy insect repellant at a pharmacy !important! (MMK 1,000)
  • 9:40 PM – Look for a travel agency (We found “Mt. Popa Taxi Travel Agency” beside our hotel)
    • Reserve rental car for Bagan tour
    • Reserve Mt. Popa Group Tour
    • Buy bus tickets to Yangon
On our way to Bagan from Mandalay

On our way to Bagan from Mandalay

Day 7

  • 5:30 AM – Start of Bagan tour private car rental (MMK 39,000)
  • 6:00 AM – Bagan sunrise viewpoint
  • 7:00 AM – Back to hotel
    • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9:00 AM – Continue of Bagan tour
    • Shwezigon Pagoda (Again)
    • Gu Byauk Gyi
    • Gu Byauk Nge
    • Alodawpyi Pagoda
    • Htilominlo patho
    • Khaymingha
    • Bu Paya
    • Lunch at Golden Myanmar 2 Restaurant (MMK 5,000 per person)
      Longyee (MMK 4,000) & Souvenirs (MMK 950)
    • Ananda Temple
    • Thatbyinnyu
    • Manuha Temple
    • Gu Byauk Gyi
    • Mya Zedi
    • Dhammayan Gyi Temple
    • Sinbyushin Monastic Complex
    • Sulamani Temple
    • Minnanthu Manmade Sunset Hill
      *The temples were visited in no particular order. Also, there were more that I forgot to note the name of.
  • 6:00 PM – End of tour, back to hotel
  • 8:30 PM – Dinner at San Kabar Restaurant & Pub (MMK 4,500 per person)
Dhammayan Gyi Temple

Dhammayan Gyi Temple

Day 8

  • 8:00 AM – Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9:00 AM – Pick up for Mt. Popa group tour (MMK 10,000 per person)
  • 9:40 AM – Stopover at a local delicacy shop
  • 10:30 AM – Arrive at the parking lot
    • Start of walk to Popa Taung Kalat Monastery
  • 11:10 AM – Reach the top of the monastery
    • Explore the monastery
  • 11:40 AM – Descend back down
  • 12:10 PM – Back at the parking lot
  • 12:30 PM – Go back to Bagan
  • 2:00 PM – Back at the hotel
    • Rent an e-bike from the same travel agency (MMK 3,000 for 5 hours)
  • 2:30 PM – Late lunch at Khine Wah (MMK 3,000 per person)
    • 2 Fried rice (4,000)
    • 2 Pork Buns (1,000)
    • Milk tea (1,000)
  • 3:00 PM – E-bike continuation of Bagan tour
    • Shwesandaw Pagoda
    • Myauk Guni
    • Taung Guni
    • Pyathetgyi Pagoda
    • Thitsarwadi
    • Sulamuni Manmade Sunset Hill
  • 7:00 PM – Back to hotel, return e-bike
  • 8:00 PM – Pick-up service to bus station
  • 8:30 PM – Overnight bus via Baganminn Thar Express to Yangon (MMK 24,000 per person)
  • 11:00 PM – Dinner at a stopover (MMK 3,000 per person)
Monastery at Mt. Popa

Monastery at Mt. Popa

Day 9

  • 8:00 AM – Arrive at Yangon Highway Bus Station
  • 8:10 AM – Take local bus 36 to Sule Pagoda stop (MMK 200 per person)
  • 9:00 AM – Leave bags at Backpacker (Bed & Breakfast) Hostel
  • 9:30 AM – Breakfast at Yadana Cafe (MMK 3,000 per person)
  • 10:00 AM – Bus 28 from Sule to Bahan (3) Road stop (MMK 200 per person)
  • 10:10 AM – Walk to Shwedagon Pagoda
  • 10:30 AM – Shwedagon Pagoda (MMK 10,000 per person, but we didn’t go inside)
  • 10:40 AM – Walk to Bogyoke Aung San Market
  • 11:20 AM – Lunch at KFC near the market (MMK 3,700 per person)
  • 12:00 PM – Shopping at Bogyoke Aung San Market (MMK 4,000)
  • 1:30 PM – Walk back to hotel to check-in & rest
  • 8:30 PM – Dinner at Shwe Mingalar at 19th Street (MMK 6,000 per person)
At Yangon's 19th Street

At Yangon’s 19th Street

Day 10

  • 4:30 AM Check out then walk to Sule Pagoda bus stop
  • 5:00 AM Ride YBS (Yangon Public Transport – City Bus) to Airport (MMK 500 per person)
  • 6:10 AM Arrive at Yangon Airport & Check-in
  • 8:30 AM Flight AK505 Yangon to Kuala Lumpur
  • 12:45 PM Arrive at KLIA2
  • 1:30 PM Lunch at Boat Noodle KLIA2 (MYR 25 per person)
  • 3:00 PM Check in at KLIA2
  • 3:30 PM Rest at KLIA2
  • 6:00 PM Dinner at Mcdonald’s (MY 16 per person)
  • 9:20 PM Flight Z2941 Kuala Lumpur to Manila
  • 1:15 AM Arrive at Manila
At Boat Noodle restaurant

At Boat Noodle restaurant

Expenses

Flights & Long Bus Rides
Flight 5J501 Manila to Kuala LumpurPHP 2,938.00
per person
Cebu Pacific
Flight AK552 Kuala Lumpur to VientianePHP 2,326.56
per person
AirAsia
Vientiane to Luang Prabang Bus 110,000.00 Kip (PHP 689.66)
per person
Ordinary bus
Flight FD1031 Luang Prabang to BangkokPHP 1,489.39
per person
AirAsia
Flight FD244 Bangkok to MandalayPHP 2,016.52
per person
AirAsia
Mandalay to Bagan MMK 9,000 (PHP 315.79)
per person
6 Hour Bus Ride
Bagan to YangonMMK 24,000 (PHP 842.11)
per person
Overnight Bus Ride
Flight AK505 Yangon to Kuala LumpurPHP 3,059.35
per person
AirAsia
Flight Z2941 Kuala Lumpur to Manila PHP 2,326.56
per person
AirAsia
sub totalPHP 16,003.94
---
Accomodation
City Backpackers Hostel
Luang Prabang
35,000.00 Kip (PHP 219.44)
per person
Dormitory 1 Night
Minimis Hostel
Bangkok
PHP 746.54
per person
Dormitory 2 Nights
Taim Phyu Hotel
Mandalay
MMK 18,000.00 (PHP 631.58)
for 2 people
Double bed 1 Night
Shwe Nadi Guesthouse
Bagan
MMK 50,000 (PHP 1,754.39)
for 2 people
Double bed 2 Nights
Backpacker (Bed & Breakfast) Hostel
Yangon
MMK 28,000 (982.46)
for 2 people
Double bed 1 Night
sub totalPHP 2,650.195
---
Food, Local Buses, Entrances, Tours etc.
Laos480,500.00 Kip
PHP 3,012.5
per person
ThailandTHB 2,321.00
PHP 3,773.98
per person
MyanmarMMK 158,700.00
PHP 5,568.42
per person
sub totalPHP 12,354.9
---
TOTALPHP 31,009.04
per person
Estimated foreign exchange at that time:
  • Lao Kip per Philippine Peso – 159.5
  • Thai Baht per Philippine Peso – 0.615
  • Myanmar Kyat per Philippine Peso – 28.5

For this trip, we brought USD 300.00 per person and exchanged it by 50s (sometimes 100s if the rate was good). Some hotels were paid before the trip but most of them were paid at the hotel. The flights were purchased using AirAsia’s ASEAN Pass, except for the first one (MNL-KUL).

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

This area of Southeast Asia was very interesting to explore. I saw the huge similarity between the cultures of Laos and Thailand. While in Myanmar, I was surprised at how culturally close it is to India, compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. Looking at their geography, it’s not a surprising fact, but the comparisons made more sense to me when I experienced their cultures first-hand.

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