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Xi'an to Yangon

Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - we also continue to push the boundaries in South-East Asia with our fantastic itineraries throughout the region and running our pioneering trips through Myanmar since 2013, the world's first company to do so - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the colossal historic city of Xi'an, home of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, we head to the sacred Buddhist mountain of Wudang Shan en route to the mighty Yangtze River, and our ferry journey through the stunning area of the Three Gorges. In China's southern provinces we visit the incredible ancient Buddha caves of Dazu, the giant pandas in Chengdu, the collosal Great Buddha of Leshan and the phenomenal sacred mountain and golden temple of Emei Shan! Travelling through the breathtaking scenery of Yunnan province, we arrive in the atmospheric old town of Lijiang, visit the magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge, and explore the ancient pagodas and Naxi culture of Dali before heading to the delightful city of Kunming. Crossing into Myanmar, we explore the tribal villages of Shan state and the magnificent former royal capital of Mandalay! We'll journey past many incredible cave temples and ancient pagodas to the archaeological wonder of Bagan, explore the stunning hills of Kalaw and visit the floating markets of Inle Lake, before overlanding to the incredible city of Yangon and its iconic Shwedagon Pagoda. Join us on this unforgettable epic Asian overlanding experience!

  • Duration: 42 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: EXY1/158224
  • Starts: Xi'an, China
  • Finishes: Yangon,
You will Visit
  • Xi'an
  • Wudang Shan
  • Xiang Fan
  • Yichang
  • Three Gorges
  • Badong
  • Wanzhou
  • Chongqing
  • Dazu
  • Chengdu
  • Leshan
  • Emei Shan
  • Panzhihua
  • Lijiang
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Dali
  • Kunming
  • Ruili
  • Hsipaw
  • Pyin U Lwin
  • Mandalay
  • Monywa
  • Pakkoku
  • Ayeyarwady River
  • Bagan
  • Kalaw
  • Inle Lake
  • Naypyidaw
  • Yangon

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Xi'an

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! 

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Xi'an

This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour. We'll return to Xi'an in the afternoon and have some more free time to further explore this incredible city!

03

Day 3: Wudang Shan

Today we begin our journey south of Xi'an with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'.

We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to fully explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

04

Day 4: Xiang Fan

This morning we will spend more time exploring Wudang Shan and the surrounding area, before setting off in the afternoon for a short drive to the pleasant city of Xiang Fan. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route.

In Xiang Fan we will stay in a local guesthouse or hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

05

Day 5: Yichang

Today we will drive from Xiang Fan to Yichang, where we will catch our first glimpse of the mighty Yangtze river. Yichang is a pleasant town, and we will stop here for 1 or 2 nights, depending on the ferry schedule - either way we will have time to explore a little.

In Yichang we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

06

Day 6: Yichang

Today we will have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area, prepare for our 3 day Yangtze River cruise.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam today, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, although it is possible this visit may take place tomorrow depending on the ferry schedule.

We will most likely stay in our hotel in Yichang tonight, but our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

07

Day 7-9: Three Gorges

Today we embark on our Yangtze River cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

08

Day 10: Dazu

Today we will disembark our ferry when it docks in Chongqing in the early morning, and rejoin the truck and our co-driver!

From Chongqing we have a short drive to Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

09

Day 11-12: Chengdu

Today we have another short drive on to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

10

Day 13-14: Leshan

Today we continue our journey south to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the small town of Emei Shan.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.

11

Day 15: Panzhihua

Today we have a long drive south through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Yunnan province.

We will aim to wild camp en route near the town of Panzhihua tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

12

Day 16-18: Lijiang

Today we drive further into Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second night). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

13

Day 19-20: Dali

Today we will drive through more stunning scenery to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.

14

Day 21: Kunming

Border information: if leaving in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

Please note that if you are leaving in Kunming, today is the last day of the trip and there is no accommodation included tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below. If you plan to leave today we advise that you do not book flights for earlier than 4:00pm so that you will comfortably reach the airport on time. Please note that if you wish to have time to explore Kunming, you will likely need to stay for at least an extra night at the end of your trip.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

15

Day 22: Kunming

Border information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

Today will be a free day to explore the city of Kunming until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

16

Day 23-24: Dali

This morning we start out journey with a drive to the beautiful lakeside town of Dali. We will have a free afternoon to explore on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours in a locally charted bus. (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day in Dali to enjoy the many optional activities available in the area, including taking a boat ride out on Lake Er Hai or taking the cable car up Cangtang Mountain.

In Dali we will stay in an excellent hostel in private or shared rooms.

17

Day 25: Kunming

Today we wil travel back to Kunming in the afternoon where we will prepare to leave for Myanmar the next day. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4 -5 hours ( in a locally chartered bus )

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable hotel. 

18

Day 26-27: Hsipaw

Border information: Exit China at Kunming, enter Myanmar at Mandalay.

Today we will take a short flight from Kunming to Mandalay in Myanmar. Once we arrive we will make our way to the laid-back Shan village of Hsipaw in private chartered transport.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day for exploration of the area, and will hopefully have the opportunity to take a boat trip on the lake or head out on a day trek to the hill-tribes of the area.

In Hsipaw we will stay in a hotel.

19

Day 28: Pyin U Lwin

Today we will continue to the scenic hill town of Pyin U Lwin in the Shan highlands above Mandalay, where we will have a chance to explore the town and the beautiful botanical gardens.

In Pyin U Lwin we will stay in a good hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

20

Day 29-31: Mandalay

Today we will have a free morning to further explore Pyin U Lwin, before our short drive to the enchanting and evocative former royal capital of Mandalay.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

On our first full day here we will have a guided tour that includes a morning visit to Mandalay Hill, the world's largest book, the Golden Palace and the Mahamuni Pagoda, before finishing the day at the beautiful U Bin bridge in time for sunset.

On the following day we will have a second full day in Mandalay to freely explore the incredible city.

In Mandalay we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

21

Day 32: Monywa

This morning we will continue our journey to the town of Monywa, stopping en route to visit the Thanboddhay Pagoda and the Hpo Win Daung cave temples. 

In Monywa we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

22

Day 33: Bagan

Today we make our way to the ancient town of Pakhan Gyi and the attractive town of Pakokku, where we board a boat to take us on a journey down the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan.

In Bagan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours( in a locally chartered bus ).

23

Day 34-35: Bagan

Bagan is situated on the banks of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River and is home to the largest cluster of pagodas, Buddhist temples, stupas and ruins in the world - a place that has to be seen to be believed.

We will have 2 full days in Bagan, in which time we have a guided tour of the temple complexes and visit the 10th-Century old town of Bagan, including a visit to a local handicraft workshop. There will also be plenty of time for free exploration of the area.

24

Day 36: Kalaw

Today we will drive to the hill station town of Kalaw, where we will hopefully catch the lively market and explore the town.

In Kalaw we will stay in a good hotel in the town.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

25

Day 37-39: Inle Lake

Today we have the opportunity for a day walk in the hills surrounding Kalaw, before returning in the afternoon for the short drive to the beautiful Inle Lake, a real highlight of a visit to Myanmar. The area is full of amazing floating gardens and can be explored by bike or on a long-tail boat.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

On the following day we will have a full day tour around Inle Lake by long-tail boat to the floating farms and markets.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the area by bike, hike in the surrounding hills, or visit the local wineries and hot springs.

In Inle Lake we will stay in a local guesthouse.

26

Day 40: Naypyidaw

Today we will drive to the unique, bizarre and half-empty Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, a city constructed in secret during the early 2000s. Here we will have the opportunity to explore the city in the truck.

In Naypyidaw we aim to stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

27

Day 41: Yangon

Today we will complete our drive to Yangon, where we will have a free afternoon to explore or visit the Scott market.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours ( in a locally chartered bus ).

In Yangon we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

28

Day 42: Yangon

Today we will have a guided tour of old Yangon, the Kandawgyi Lake, the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. You are then free to explore the city on your own.

29

Day 43: Yangon

Border information: if leaving in Yangon, you will most likely exit Myanmar at Yangon International Airport (IATA code: RGN).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Yangon. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

If are continuing to Bangkok, today you will move on to the town of Kyaikhto.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife
    • Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan
    • The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam
    • Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
    • Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration
    • Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu
    • Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China
    • See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue
    • Trek out to remote hill tribe villages around Hsipaw in Burma's Shan State
    • Head out on a day trip to some of the main sights of Mandalay, including Mandalay Hill, the Kuthodaw and Mahamuni Pagodas, the Shwenandaw Kyaung Golden Monastery and U Bein bridge

    • Visit the incredible Hpo Win Daung cave temples and explore their Buddha staues and painted murals
    • Take a boat trip down the mighty Ayeyarwady River to arrive in Bagan

    • Take a day tour around the multitude of historical sites in and around the ancient capital of Bagan
    • Explore the famous floating markets of Inle Lake by long-tail boat
    • Enjoy a tour of Yangon, including the Kandawgyi Lake and the famous Shwedagon Paya temple
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, 1 local crew & local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 0% Camping - 100% Hotels
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