During our travels in Asia we are lucky to be given access to some of the region’s most innovative, inspiring and staggeringly luxurious hotels. It’s a tough gig! When we asked Indochina Specialist Anna to design her own ultimate trip to the region she couldn’t help but include her pick of the best-of-the-best. The result is a truly luxurious journey through Myanmar, Thailand & Cambodia, combining cities and islands, that has made a few of us well-up with envy.
At a glance
- ’Go Local’ in Yangon
- Learn to cook Burmese cuisine under the tutelage of the former personal chef to the US Ambassador to Myanmar
- Experience a traditional massage at one of the oldest massage schools in Thailand
- Be wowed by the skills of performers at Phare, the Cambodian Circus
- Savour a sunrise breakfast in the grounds of Angkor
- Relax at three of the best barefoot luxury resorts in Asia
Yangon - 3 nights
Yangon (formerly Rangoon) was Myanmar’s administrative capital until 2006 and remains the country's largest and most influential city. Its dusty streets are lined with an intriguing array of traditional wooden homes, imposing colonial-era relics, buzzing tea houses, and modern - although often already decaying - office blocks. Yangon’s skyline remains far more low-rise and green than many other South-East Asian cities, leaving space to enjoy the views. Rivers, lakes, parks and tree-lined streets separate the built up districts, and the gleaming spire of Shwedagon Pagoda - one of Myanmar’s most iconic sights - towers above the city.
Day 1 - Arrive Yangon, 'Go Local'
On arrival in Myanmar, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your Yangon hotel.
Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.
In the evening, it’s time to ‘Go Local’ with one of our Burmese friends. Take a stroll with your companion, stopping for a drink in a local café or bar, before immersing yourself further into the country’s culture and enjoying the company of a local friend, who’ll be ready to show you a side of Yangon that only locals know. Perhaps enjoy some street food and live music, join your companion at their local temple, or even to share a drink and some food with their family or friends.
Day 2 - Experience Yangon's circle train, walking tour, Shwedagon Pagoda
Explore the lively India Town market before hopping aboard the ‘circular railway’ commuter train as it weaves its way through waking neighbourhoods. Disembark at Hledan to visit the huge reclining Buddha at nearby Chaukhtatgyi Paya and, after lunch, go downtown to the ancient Sule Pagoda, where you can see fortune-tellers in the small rooms surrounding this highly significant site. Continue to Mahabandoola Park and Burma’s Independence Monument, then walk along the river bank, past the Custom House, the British Embassy, the General Post Office and evocative The Strand Hotel, once home to the likes of Orwell, Kipling and Somerset Maugham. Mingle with the locals over a cup of sweet chai in a traditional tea shop, before visiting Myanmar’s most iconic site: the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda. Try local flavours at the surrounding makeshift food markets, and see the pagoda magically illuminated as night falls.
Day 3 - Three Good Spoons Cooking Class
Spend your morning at Three Good Spoons, a not-for-profit organisation offering relaxed, fun cooking classes, whose profits help disadvantaged local women. Start at Yaetarshay Market to buy fresh, local ingredients, before returning to prepare three delicious Burmese dishes under the expert tuition of Chef Kevin, and enjoying the fruit of your labours for lunch. The remainder of your day will be at leisure.
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Mergui Archipelago - 3 nights
Spend the next few days relaxing on a tiny, private island within the remote Lampi Marine National Park in the Andaman Sea. The first hotel to open in the Mergui Archipelago, Wa Ale is located in a protected cove, overlooking a pristine beach. It is more than just a luxurious place to stay: the resort’s philosophy is to emphasise conservation and they are committed to giving back to the surrounding environment and local communities.
Day 4 - Fly to Kawthaung, Speedboat to Wa Ale Resort
Take a flight to Kawthaung this morning, where you will be met by the team from Wa Ale Resort and transferred to the jetty for a 2-hour luxury speedboat journey to the island. On arrival you will be welcomed by Wa Ale staff and guided along a man-made rock pathway to the Main Pavilion for check in. Then it's time to explore, or simply kick back and relax.
Days 5 & 6 - Relax & explore
Your stay at Wa Ale Island Resort can be as active as you wish. Snorkel, dive, kayak or paddleboard around the stunning coast, trek inland to explore the jungle trails, or simply relax on the deserted golden sands.
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Bangkok - 3 nights
Thailand's capital since 1782, this modern metropolis bubbles with energy, and endlessly reinvents itself; but underpinning the evolution is a deep cultural heritage, which will be the focus of your stay here. Bangkok was once known as 'Venice of the East' due to its complex network of canals, and you’ll explore these aboard a traditional longtail boat, stopping off to visit key historical sites and discover hidden parts of Bangkok which few visitors get to see. You'll also visit one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, and be escorted around various buildings within the Grand Palace.
Day 7 - Journey to Bangkok
Today you will journey from the pristine beaches of the Mergui Archipelago to the bustling city of Bangkok; travelling first by boat, crossing the Thai border, then on by car to Phuket, and finally a short flight. Having arrived in Bangkok you will be met and transferred to your hotel where the remainder of your day will be at leisure.
Day 8 - Visit the Grand Palace & Wat Pho, Traditional Thai Massage
Start the day with a visit to the stunning Grand Palace, the most important royal landmark in Thailand, where you can see some of the buildings used for different occasions, including the Funeral Palace, Reception Palace, Throne Hall, Coronation Hall, Royal Guest House, and the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
Continue on to Wat Pho, home of the famous reclining Buddha that measures a staggering 45 metres in length. This Buddhist temple complex is also home to one of the oldest Traditional Thai-massage schools in the country, where you will enjoy a one hour traditional Thai massage. Practised for centuries to de-stress and revitalise, this traditional massage is given through clothes. Following your treatment, feeling suitably relaxed, transfer back to your hotel.
Day 9 - Chao Phraya River & klongs by longtail boat
Board your long-tail boat at the bank of the Chao Phraya River for a cruise along Bangkok’s ‘River of Kings’. This is a crucial lifeline for the city, and there’s no better way to discover the true heart of Bangkok, and learn more about its local ways of life away from the busy city centre, than aboard a traditional boat. Enter the labyrinth of ‘klongs’ (small canals), where you may notice a slower pace of life as you pass by old teak houses, countless temples, vendors selling vegetables from wooden boats, and children splashing around at the canal edge. Disembark for a spell at the Royal Barge Museum, which houses some of the ornately carved royal barges used by Thailand's Kings on state occasions, and learn about the craftmanship required to build them. Your final stop will be the majestic Wat Arun, the ‘Temple of the Dawn’, which is one of Bangkok’s best-known landmarks with its a distinctive 70-metre tall central ‘prang’, encrusted with coloured glass and porcelain. Having had a good look around, return to your hotel.
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Koh Kood - 3 nights
Quieter and less developed than neighbouring Koh Chang, Koh Kood is frequently touted as the most beautiful island in Thailand, and having spent time on its pristine white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, we’re inclined to agree. Days here are spent relaxing, snorkelling and kayaking; evenings are similarly low key.
Day 10 - Flight & boat to Koh Kood
Transfer to Bangkok Airport where you will be met by a representative from Soneva Kiri and board the resort’s private plane for the hour-long flight to Koh Mai Si, followed by a 5 minute luxury speedboat transfer to Soneva Kiri’s jetty. Located on one of Thailand’s most pristine islands, Soneva Kiri is one of the top barefoot luxury resorts in Asia. Having checked in to your private pool villa, the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Days 11 & 12 - R&R time
Your day is at leisure. If you can drag yourself away from your private pool villa you may wish to explore Koh Kood’s idyllic bays by speedboat, spend the day snorkelling or kayaking, trek through the island’s rainforest, or simply indulge in a treatment in the Six Senses Spa. If you’re looking for a memorable meal be sure to book the unique Treepod Dining experience.
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Siem Reap - 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, the ruined capital of a historic Cambodian empire, and one of the ancient wonders of the world. The town is booming thanks to these fabled ruins, but remains low-rise by royal decree, and retains much of its original charm. 100s of them lie scattered around Siem Reap, largely hidden by jungle. You’ll have plenty of time to discover them with a knowledgeable guide, as well as enjoying a gourmet breakfast as the sun rises over Angkor Wat itself.
Day 13 - Travel to Siem Reap, Evening Phare Circus show
Taking the boat and private plane back to Bangkok, check in for your onward flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia where you will be met by your guide, who will transfer you to your hotel.
This evening you'll visit the Phare big top to experience the Cambodian Circus. Phare is not your average circus experience: the performers are all graduates of Phare Ponleu Seplak, an NGO offering training opportunities for disadvantaged youth, and they use theatre, music, dance and circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories. The nightly shows are both inspiring and entertaining. Once the show has finished you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 14 - Angkor Temples cycling
Set off early from your hotel for a day of temple exploration by bicycle. Cycling is a great way to traverse the area, allowing you to control the pace of your day, and thanks to the flat terrain the going is easy. Take a leisurely loop around the temples, taking time to appreciate the ancient craftsmanship and humour in the bas reliefs. Break for lunch at a local restaurant, and see the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple overtaken by 100 year old fig trees and giant creepers. Afterwards, there’ll be time to relax back in Siem Reap.
Day 15 - Gourmet sunrise breakfast & Angkor Temples exploration
You'll be collected just before 5am (it is worth it!) and driven to the shore of an expansive lake within the Angkor temple compound, which was historically used as a place for ritual washing. Here, a gourmet breakfast will be awaiting your arrival. Arranged by the renowned kitchen at the Heritage Suites (arguably the best in Siem Reap) the menu includes treats such as freshly baked croissants, fresh seasonal fruits, eggs any way and Cambodian fried rice, served alongside fresh juice, tea and coffee. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the sun rises over the water, before beginning your exploration of Angkor Wat, and the complex of ruined temples and palaces around it. You’ll be driven between them, so you can fit quite a few in (if you want to), and our guides know when to see the ruins at uncrowded times.
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Koh Rong - 3 nights
These gorgeous tropical islands, with their sandy beaches powder-puff white and their waters crystal clear, are developed enough to extend a luxurious welcome, but remain largely untainted by tourism. Resorts here are truly restful, designed to give you every opportunity to relax completely. Spend your time in the spa or the jungle, out on the water or on the sand. Enjoy the laid back but lively nightlife of Koh Rong's main beach, or seek picture-perfect seclusion in hidden spots around the coast. There's no light pollution here: once the sun goes down you can experience the night sky in all its glory, and keep an eye out for the magical spectacle of bioluminescent plankton sparkling in the shallow waters. You'll reach the islands on a shared speedboat, and once you've arrived the rest of your stay is at leisure.
Day 16 - Car & boat to Song Saa Private Island Resort
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Sihanoukville. On arrival you will be met by staff of Song Saa Private Island Resort and transferred by car and speedboat to the resort, located within Cambodia’s untouched Koh Rong Archipelago.
Song Saa Private Island is as seductive as the name implies, and the resort spans the islands of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve established to safeguard the islands’ reefs and marine life including turtles, seahorses and exotic species of tropical fish. Having checked in, it's time to kick off your shoes and sink your toes into the sand!
Days 17 & 18 - Relax at Song Saa
Enjoy a few days relaxing on the beach.
Day 19 - Depart Phnom Penh
Your day is at leisure until transferring by speedboat and car to Phnom Penh airport in time for your onward flight.
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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.
Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.
|Hotel class||Price per person (based on total # travelling)|
|2 persons||3 - 4||5 - 6|
The StrandBuilt in 1901, and considered to be the earliest hotel in Yangon, The Strand Hotel is undoubtedly one of Yangon’s most iconic landmarks... See more
Wa Ale Island ResortSpanning a tiny, private island in a sheltered bay of the Mergui, or Myeik, Archipelago, the cutting-edge Wa Ale Island Resort combines contemporary beach villa luxury with an admirable sustainability profile… See more
Hotel MuseA truly lavish concept hotel in central Bangkok, Hotel Muse oozes chic grandeur, with superb facilities that risk tempting you into never leaving the building to explore the city beyond it...
Soneva KiriLocated on one of Thailand’s most pristine islands, noted for its clear waters and sublime white sand beaches, the Soneva Kiri is amongst the world's very finest hotels... See more
Belmond La Residence d'AngkorThis traditional Khmer-style hotel is set within a leafy, high walled garden, creating an atmosphere that seems a million miles from the hustle and bustle of... See more
Song SaaAfter opening in late 2011, the Song Saa immediately made ripples in the otherwise tranquil waters off Cambodia's south coast, not to mention amongst its Indochinese neighbours... See more
Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.
These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).
The important stuffPlease note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
- English speaking, local guide
- All accommodation listed
- Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
- Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
- All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals listed
- International flight reconfirmation.
- Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
- Entry visas
- International airport departure taxes
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Drinks, other than water on activity days
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
- All other services not listed in 'inclusive'
Please noteAll prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.
FlightsWe will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
VisaYou will require a visa to enter Cambodia and Myanmar, and possibly Thailand. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on all your visa requirements.
PassportPlease ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
InsuranceYou will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
Vaccinations and Malaria PreventionYou will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
Booking ProcedureOnly once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.
Travelling ResponsiblyWe care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Our tailor-made service costs you no extra
This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...
Your own private guides & drivers
You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.