Burma SightseeingMyanmar Sightseeing
Hotel booking, tour, transfer, sight seeing, MICE
Myanmar - formerly Burma - has once again become a tourist resort like no other after years of separation from it. Rudyard Kipling proclaimed the land "unlike any other place you know" in 1890, and even today the visitor still experiences this miracle. Myanmar, reminiscent of the Orient, will enchant you with its pristine natural beauties and spirituality: explore the majestic landscape of Bagan, an area of thousand of antique shrines; explore the caverns of the countryside of Pindaya to see the meditation of thousand of gold-plated Buddha figures; see the famed bone-raising techniques of Inle Lake fishers; and then relax along the lovely bay of Bengal, where long, quiet sections of whitensand sand are found.
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An adventure in Burma - Railways and Sights
"This journey is an experience that encompasses all the important climaxes of a journey to a captivating secret lands described by George Orwell as "a lands like no other".
It' one of the most astonishing and relaxed places in the whole wide globe and we have arranged both two feet of small and meter track steamships for our journey; the latter have not been seen for many years. Besides being associated with the world-famous Ffestiniog Railway for many years as a Boston Lodge voluntary and as a former chairman of the Ffestiniog Railway Company itself, I have traveled to Myanmar very often and know the land, its cultures, its people and what we will see.
I' ve made over ten trips to Myanmar, both as a group member and alone with my family, my company and mates. So while you are on your first journey to Myanmar, I know exactly what we will see and see, and I have remained personal in most agriturisms.
I' ve made six trips to the Burma Mines railroad in Namtu, I know the rail managers and I know that all railwaymen will do their best to make the most of our visit to this secluded place. This is an interesting mixture of railroads and sights.
We' re taking an adventurous tour of Burma Mines two footpaths in the northeast of the state of Shan, where we visit, follow and take photographs of two of their locomotives, both of which pass their tank inspection in April. Railways and their gear are almost on the final stages, so we must not hesitate to make our journey before it ends.
Also with Myanmar Railways we have been negotiating the use of some of their meter-track locomotives on the trunk line, which have not been used for many years after we personally suggested that the State Railways should reintroduce locomotives for tourism purposes. A YC Pacific and a YD 2-8-2 tank locomotive are expected to be used in our locomotives; these will be the first custom locomotives for tourism and rail photography in many years.
Aside from taking off the fuel for better images, a dieselshaft will be used to transport most of our coaches. We' re travelling with a mixture of rail, plane and street so that we can see as much as possible but still have some relaxation to do.
She will be present on all train journeys and she is very well acquainted with our expectation, as she has already led many train photo journeys to the Burma Mines. Zinkowin will be with us throughout the entire trip and he has been my companion and companion on many journeys within Myanmar.
Burma is open to the tourist industry. It was never actually shut down, but from outside the city, due to the politics of a army regime, visitors were prevented from leaving. The locals are very kind and try to talk to them. It is called Myanmar and not the British version of Burma.
You' ll hardly see any sign of the army, and most of your meetings with the Myanmar tribe will be with commoners you should be expecting to be polite and supportive, but perhaps a little coy. Burma is really a gold country with many sights. Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay are the only real tourist points of embarkation and these towns are both on the "must see" lists, especially the world-famous Shwedagon pit in Yangon and the U Bein Half Milles Teak Bridges off Mandalay.
We' ll visit all these places and you'll find more visitors and better general amenities. The Burma Mines railroad is a classical, untouched and unique railroad in a secluded silvery mine off the mainstream.
They have no touristic establishments at all, and while we are there, you will not see any other visitors, and we will have a special permission, because otherwise the area will remain "taboo" for the general visitor. It' s an exertion to get there and back, but it's rewarding, with some astonishing things on the way on Burma Road and the railroad to China.
Myanmar, even as an organized tour like ours with expert guide, should be considered an adventurous journey and you should be much more careful than preparing for an ordinary vacation, especially if this is your first time in Myanar or Asia. In essence, Myanmar has over 50 years of evolution, but now it is beginning to make up for it, so we need to see it now before it changes too much and forever.
All I have seen in over a decade of travel to Myanmar is being welcome. In general, in areas where there is or could be civil disturbance, we are not allowed to go to Kachine State in the northern part of the country. Exceptional permission is required to pay a tour of Namtu and the mine area, but is issued upon request, as no tourist normally wants to go there except by rail; sometimes an officer with a gun can escort the mine marsh.
Namtu is a full-scale UK mine system in a timeline of a hundred years ago (although it also has diesels!). As soon as we have ascended the steep slope just above Mandalay, we will find it colder, especially above Pyn Oo Lwin, where we need a sweater at midnight and have to reckon with early mornings fog in Namtu (therefore a wool and wool cap is useful for the early-mornings and late-afternoons!).
Buddhism is a way of living in Myanmar and should be respectful. Appropriate clothes are at least needed in the shrines and are suggested for the whole journey. You should not wear trousers at all during the journey. Do not even think of taking any, as I will not take you on the daily excursions, even if you may see other visitors in Bagan.
Bongye is still the headdress for the Myanmar population ( "unlike pants and skirts"), but strange ways, especially corean denim and colored fur, quickly reach the youth. Bongye is just a quadratic fabric that Myanmarers wrapped around and tied with a lump around its centre.
In Myanmar, the UK's portable smart card will not work and you should not rely on a vacation where you need it. While Wi-Fi, when now available in some of our guesthouses and even in Namtu No.1, it doesn't always work and so you don't have to rely on it. However, by far the best way is that travelers do not connect to the outside environment during their stay in Myanmar; you will also find that if you delve into everyday life in Myanmar, your journey will be more slow and fulfilled.
Burma is a Myanmar based business. There are now ATM machines from which you can withdraw money (up to $300 per unit of time), but it would be imprudent to use them. Myanmar's only secure payment method is to make payment in KYATS in cash. Guides will carry excess money for emergency health care.
Myanmar beers are the primary alcoholic beverage, but the city canteens and the better establishments will offer wines and liquors. No free healthcare and every physician or visit to the clinic must be prepaid in US dollars in cash and it is not inexpensive.
Hospital facilities are in the big towns, but not elsewhere and traveling in case of illness is at best difficult because the toilet facilities outside the hotel are bad (and along the Burma Mines Railway only cabins over rivers!). You can also wash your clothing in Namtu's guesthouses.
A coneflower and a wool cap for Namtu are available. In Namtu at nights I am wearing a T-shirt under my pajamas, because it can be a little chilly. One or two words about the Burma Mines Railway and Namtu. Journey back in history by 100 years!
Outside Hsipaw there are no touristic establishments (where you can relax and hike for a while or go on trips on the rivers if it is not possible to see the mines). Namtu guesthouses are not even one-star and would not be up to standard in the West. Railways will try anything we want, but the locomotives can be steam-shy or fail and the train can run off the rails; they are not used except for touring like ours.
Burma State Railways is doing well despite some performances. We will have our own locomotive with fuel and steamer drive from Ine Lake. These buses will be touristic salons built in Korea around the 1960', each accommodating six persons with their own eating area, cuisine and chef.
Meter-track locomotives have recently driven through the Yangon garages, but the train is anxious to let them out unattended, with the exception of the YD 2-8-2 in Bagan. Take advantage of the Singapore, Mandalay and Hsipaw properties before we head to Namtu! Bagan is a good four-star resort and will look like an haven to Namtu!
Sleeping with the meter track trains is a lot of pleasure and is not a test drive when you hug it, but you don't anticipate taking a show. Burma is a "fragile developing country" and the benchmarks are not those you can await on our journey advisor.
In general, it is not a "dirty" or polluted land, and all shortcomings will be due to the fact that Myanmar has been a sealed land for almost fifty years, afterward. This is one of the great rides of our journey! I' m going to host this meet in my house in Worcestershire, which is easy to reach from the M5, and we will also run our own train and have a little cuppa.