Why Travel To Myanmar

Myanmar is Asia’s newest and freshest delight, a country that receives only a tiny fraction of visitors compared with its neighbours. But that is where the appeal lies, as although the cities and sites are equally as engaging as in other parts of Asia, Myanmar travel is refreshingly uncrowded and the sense of adventure is no less than inspirational.

Bagan is undoubtedly one of the world’s great ancient sites and there are various ways for you to explore this gorgeous collection of temples, from a romantic horse and carriage ride to an uplifting hot air balloon adventure. The cities of Yangon and Mandalay are still completely distinct, relatively untouched by modernisation and with fabulous golden temples that sparkle in the sunlight. Inle Lake exemplifies the beauty offered by the Myanmar countryside, while Ngapali Beach and Mergui Archipelago, an award-winning beach and sparsely populated collection of islands respectively, offer glorious sunsets.

Myanmar remains traditional and authentic and nobody can say for how much longer it will stay so enchanting – now is the time to go.

It’s Thailand of 30 years ago

Largely undiscovered by tourists: it’s the Thailand of 30 years ago. It’s only a matter of time before this once untouched nation turns mainstream.

Bagan ancient city 

The Bagan temples and landscape are awe-inspiring. It’s rival the magnificence of Machu Picchu and Hampi.

Authentic hospitality

Authentic hospitality deriving from genuine curiosity and exceptional kindness.

Inspiring Trip Ideas

Recommended Places & Senses


Myanmar Travel Guide

Capital: Naypyidaw
Population: 54.3 million
Languages: Myanmar
Currency: Kyat (MMK)
Time zone: UCT +6:30
Electricity: 220V
Dialing Code: +95
Myanmar, the former Burma, has managed to retain its culture and traditions perhaps more than any other Asian country, probably as a result of it being a relatively closed nation for so long. A deeply religious Buddhist nation, Myanmar is renowned among travellers for its abundance of sights and sounds, interesting cultures, natural diversity and most of all, its charming and friendly people. It has some wondrous sights: a thousand temples scattered across the countryside in Bagan, the leg-rowers and floating gardens of Inle Lake, and majestic rivers, the Ayeyarwady and the Chindwin, both navigable into the furthest reaches of the country. But the big draw is the chance to see a country where the 21st-century world has barely intruded. This is changing but there is still a strong sense of the old Orient here. It's a place where Buddhism is still a way of life.
  • Jan-Feb and March is the peak season for travelling to Burma. The weather is hot and dry, making for lovely conditions throughout the country and rainfall is almost non-existent. Be aware though, that accommodation can fill up quickly.
  • April brings with it some of the hottest temperatures of the year, and is the the reason for the traditional water festival in the regions.
  • May is shoulder month, there are fewer crowds at this time and an excellent time to visit Burma.
  • June – September: The beaches down on Nagapali close and the much needed rains water the plains between Mandalay and Bagan. However, with the exception of September, you shouldn’t be deterred from visiting during this time as Myanmar has lots to offer all year round.
  • June and July: Weather can be unpredictable, but showers are usually short lived and should not impact on your overall experience. This is peak time for cruising along the Chindwin River, but road travel across much of the country becomes difficult.
  • August and September are the greenest months due to rainfall and excellent for photography.
  • Oct – Nov and Dec: Weather is warm and dry throughout the whole country, beaches open once again and tourists begin to arrive in greater numbers.
  1. History
Independence from Britain in 1948 was followed by isolationism and socialism. Military governments have ruled Myanmar since 1962 until the historic elections in 2015. In 1989 the largest nation of mainland Southeast Asia changed its name from Burma to Myanmar. In 2006 the capital moved from Yangon (formerly Rangoon) to Nay Pyi Taw.
  1. People and Culture
The majority of Myanmar's people are ethnic Burmans, and other ethnic groups (including Shans, Karens, and Kachins) add up to some 30 percent of the population. Ethnic minorities are dominant in border and mountainous areas: Shan in the north and northeast (Indian and Thai borders), Karen in the southeast (Thai border), and Kachin in the far north (Chinese border). The military regime has brutally suppressed ethnic groups wanting rights and autonomy, and many ethnic insurgencies operate against it.
Myanmar is situated in Southeast Asia and is bordered on the north and north-east by China, on the east and south-east by Laos and Thailand, on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and on the west by Bangladesh and India.
The country itself is divided into two classifications, Lower and Upper Myanmar. Lower Myanmar is comprised of coastal areas with thick tropical forests which house several valuable trees including teak, and a number of oil-bearing and timber species, with Upper Myanmar making up the interior parts of the country.
Almost half of Myanmar is covered in forests that are comprised of teak, rubber, cinchona, acacia, bamboo, ironwood, mangrove, coconut, betel palm with northern highlands comprised of oak, pine and many varieties of rhododendron. There are many tropical fruits to be found including citrus, banana, mango, and guava in the coastal region.
  1. Local Transport
Japanese made taxis line up outside all major hotels in Burma, and are the most convenient means of transport for city sightseeing. None are metered, but trips across town should not set you back any more than a couple of dollars. A less expensive, but a correspondingly slower option, is a cycle powered, three wheeled trishaw (sai-ka). They’re cheap, ubiquitous and environmentally friendly, as are horse carts, which you’ll encounter if you venture inland to Bagan.
  1. Domestic Flights
There are a number of downsides to domestic air travel. For one thing, it may not save you much time as schedules are subject to change at short notice and delays are not uncommon. It also isn’t possible to buy tickets online, although some airlines, such as Air Mandalay allow online reservations and you then pay once you’re in the country. Carriers operating in Myanmar include:
  • Air KBZ
  • Air Mandalay
  • Golden Myanmar Airlines
  • Myanmar National Airlines
  • Union Express Charter Airline
  • Yangon Airways
  • Air Bagan
  1. Mid-Range Hotels
Basic hotels, tend to be in the Chinese mould; multi-floored concrete blocks with plain en-suite rooms off galleried walkways. Space tends to be at a premium, the more you pay, the larger the room, and more comfortable the facilities. There’s generally some outside space.
  1. Upper Mid-Range
Things perk up which you can sleep in great comfort in a room with a modern air-con unit (or central a/c), and expect to have access to a pool. There will be private sitting space on a spacious veranda or balcony, furnished with wicker chairs, and if you are lucky, functioning wi-fi (or internet access in the lobby), laundry, room service, a formal restaurant and a travel desk.
Food in Myanmar is usually served with fresh ingredients, often including vegetables used together with tropical fruits. As with most countries in the region, white rice (htamin in Burmese) is used for most meals as a base to accompany a variety of meat, fish, vegetable and fruit curries or soups. Due to the abundance of vegetables and fruits in Myanmar dishes, and elements of Buddhist culture, vegetarians are generally well catered for Beer, rum and whisky are the most popular alcoholic drinks in Myanmar, whilst locally brewed toddy is also generally available, and wine can be found in higher end restaurants and hotels.
Simple, open air restaurants that serve alcohol are called beer stations, and can be found on the streets of cities, towns and villages around Myanmar. They usually serve one of the country’s decent draught beers, and are at the heart of Myanmar drinking culture where people come to meet, talk, eat, drink and engage in one of the nation’s favourite pastimes, watching live European football.
  1. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon. The object of fervent worship for thousands of years, as well as the venue for some of the country’s most historic pro-democracy rallies in recent decades, Shwedagon Paya (the Shwedagon Pagoda) is Burma’s spiritual nerve centre and its most astounding religious monument.It has been described as being as important as the Taj Mahal and the Egyptian Pyramids!
  2. Ngapali Beach, Rakhaing State, Western Burma. Burma’s only fully fledged beach resort, Ngapali, centres on a tranquil, palm lined bay in the far west of the country. Its soft sand, translucent water and wonderful seafood offer the perfect wind down before heading upriver to the ruins of Mrauk U.
  3. Cruising the Ayeyarwady River, Central Burma. There is no more relaxing way to savour the distinct atmosphere of Burma’s rural heartland than a cruise along the mighty Ayeyarwady River.
  4. Bagan, Mandalay Region, Central Burma. Sprawling across a rocky plain on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River, the remains of medieval Bagan are the country’s principal visitor attraction, a vast, open air storehouse of ancient Burmese art and architecture best viewed from the comfort of a balloon basket.
  5. Inle Lake, Shan State, Eastern Burma. Cradled by the Shan Hills, the shores of serene Inle Lake host the closest thing in Burma to a fully fledged tourist resort, though there’s plenty of quirky local culture on display too.
  6. Mt Kyaiktiyo (Golden Boulder Pagoda), Mon State, Southeastern Burma. Every Burmese Buddhist aims at least one in their lifetime to make a pilgrimage to Mt Kyaiktiyo, a sacred summit in the tropical southeast of the country that’s crowned by one of the world’s most extraordinary religious monuments, a gravity-defying golden rock.
  1. Health standards in much of Burma are low compared with many Southeast Asian countries. Polluted water poses the main risk to travellers. Always drink bottled water, or purify your own with chlorine or iodine. Fruit should be peeled before being eaten, and raw vegetables avoided unless you’ve washed them yourself.
  2. Crime directed at foreigners is extremely rare in Burma, a fact attributable to traditional Burmese notions of hospitality, and to the fact that anyone found stealing from or menacing tourists can expect harsh treatment from the local police.
  • 4 Jan Independence Day.
  • 12 Feb Union Day.
  • 2 Mar  Peasants Day.
  • 26 Mar Full moon of Tabaung.
  • 27 Mar Armed Forces Day.
  • 13 Apr Maha Thingyan (Water Festival).
  • 17 Apr Myanmar New Year Holidays.
  • 1 May May Day.
  • 25 May Full Moon of Kason (Buddha’s birthday).
  • 19 Jul Martyr's Day.
  • 22 Jul Full Moon of Waso (Beginning of Buddhist Lent).
  • 21 Oct Full Moon of Thadingyut (End of Buddhist Lent).
  • 18 Nov Tazaungmon Full Moon Day.
  • 8 Dec National Day.
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day.
  1. Do let the oldest be served first.
  2. Do offer articles with both hands and keep both feet on the ground.
  3. Do bend slightly in front of the elders.
  4. Do ask permission before taking photographs.
  5. Do respect the Myanmar people and their unique traditions.
  6. Do wear modest clothing when visiting religious sites.
  7. Do tuck away your feet.
  8. Do learn the basic words of the Myanmar language.
  9. Do learn local customs before visiting ethnic minority villages.
  1. Don't take any photo that may make people feel embarrassed.
  2. Don't point with your foot.
  3. Don't touch anyone on the head.
  4. Don't kiss in public place.
  5. Don't disturb people praying or meditating.
  6. Don’t call with your finger up as it means calling for a challenge.
  7. Don't touch the robes of monks.
  8. Giving money or sweets to the children is not advisable.
  9. Don't buy antiques, buy arts and crafts instead.
  10. Don’t go where you are advised not to go.
Journey Planner

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – St. Augustine. People read the book in different ways, some only glance at the cover; some skim through the pages; and some read between the lines to find hidden meanings… My personal thought, “read the book” then use senses



Our Journey Planers and Local Specialists know the destination inside out, they’ve either lived in or regularly visited the places they sell. Our excellent local relationships, built over 20 years of experience, enable us to enrich your experiences and negotiate many extras for your holiday, from free night discounts to free upgrades


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