Where to go in BurmaWhat part of Burma?
Over 100 ethnical groups have established themselves throughout the land, each with its own unique culture tradition. These places, which are well represented on our travel routes for a visit to Burma (Myanmar), are places we know are always used to. You can also integrate them into your journey in a way that best fits your preference.
Burma Gap Year
Burma is a country of unprecedented natural beauties and Buddhas that will take your breaths away. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a flavour of old and genuine Asia, and Myanmar is difficult to defeat for travelers who want to travel off the well-trodden paths. Set off to Asia for some magic times in Myanmar and be enchanted in Myanmar!
Explore the magical world of Myanmar (Burma)! Take a trip back in history and experience a piece of genuine Asia on this amazing group trip! Join a course in Myanmar and become a paying Instructor! Receive remunerated tuition before traveling to Burma (Myanmar):
Burma (Myanmar) Holiday made to measure
Myanmar has been hard to see in the past and is uncharted and unspoilt by tourist activity in comparison to other Southeast Asia states. It has become more open to visitors and easy to travel in recent years, offering a great way to discover the land, its astonishing monasteries and colorful past while at the same time shunning the masses of people associated with many of the most important sights in Southeast Asia.
Myanmar is a large nation (about the sizes of France and Turkey) and has very different areas from the Himalayas in the northern part of the nation, through the southern shores and archipelago, to the Irawaddy delta around the capital - Yangon. Therefore, a journey through Burma includes a variety of landscapes, architectures and sights.
Irrawaddy Delta and central Burma has the most important tourist attractions and the best tourist facilities in the state. Rangoon was the British colonial capitol of Burma and stayed the capitol until 2006. Yangon is a vibrant town and still the commercial centre of the state.
It preserves colorful architectural colonies among its bustling roads, has wonderful Buddhist pagodas and is the best place in Burma for shops and dining. SWEDAGON Pagoda is the town' s major attraction. Situated in the center of Yangon, it is a giant Buddhist stupa (monument with holy relics).
This pagoda is a gold-coloured building dominating the Yangon skin and encircled by small memorials and wards. Downtown - by the riverbank - is a network of busy roads full of stores, cafes, restaurants as well as inns. One good way to discover the remainder of Yangon is the round trip.
The local traffic consists of 38 railway stops around Yangon. It is an old capitol about 2 hrs from Yangon (either by rail or taxi). There are many old pagodas and the town makes a good excursion from Yangon or a stopover when you are in Burma.
It is an old capitol with a thousand antique shrines spread over the plain of today's cityscape. This is a favourite excursion from Bagan to Mt Popa. It was Mandalay, the king's capitol, until the Brits took over and exiled the state. Its most important monuments focus on its function as the imperial capitol and the dynasty.
This town is ruled by the Royal Palace in the center (surrounded by a quadratic moat). The Mandalay Hill, on which the Sutaungpyei Pagoda is located to the northern side of the town. Much of the trail is a roofed path that leads you to smaller pagodas and gives you a great view of the town.
The second biggest town in Burma, Mandalay has many places of interest, as well as numerous pubs and dining places offering a variety of cuisine and prices. Amarapura is located just southwards of Mandalay (although today it is mainly a outskirts of Mandalay). Before Mandalay Amarapura was the king's capitol and is much calmer.
The Amarapura is located on a large sea crossing the U Bein River and is considered the oldest and longest sea crossing in the underworld. Pyin Oo Lwin is located in the hill country just south of Mandalay. This city was constructed so that the UK government could avoid the Mandalay hot weather and became the summers city.
There are still many collegiate buildings and cathedrals in the area. Yangon was constructed by Burma's army leaders to substitute Yangon as the country's capitol. Though it became the capitol in 2006, a large part of the building was not completed until 2012. It is constructed on a network of clearly defined areas.
If you want to go out for supper, you have to take another cab (as the town is within walking distance) along the still empty motorways to the bars and restaurants. There is not much to see as a new Naypyidaw, apart from the slightly distasteful new administration complex.
However, if you are interested in a strange example of new urban design, it may be rewarding to see it with your own eye. South Burma is a thin strip of country between the Andaman Sea and the Thai frontier. Mailamyine is a small historical town in the south of Burma. For 25 years, the seaport was the UK capitol because of its use in the Teakwood industry.
It is one of Burma's best conserved colonies and is much calmer and less frequented than others. Apart from the colorful downtown monuments, the crest behind the town is covered with several stupas and monasteries that offer a great day of hiking and exploration.
A pagoda of this kind was Rudyard Kipling's poem'Mandalay'. The end of the notorious Burma Thailand Railroad and the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery are near by - a monument to Allied soldiers who were killed in the construction of the RR. Near the city of Hpa-An is the small village of Hpa-An. In the city itself there is not much to do, but in the surroundings there are great walking possibilities and boating rides.
Farther southwards than Mawlamyine has only opened up to the tourist industry in recent years and welcomes very few people. Myeik Archipelago is becoming more desirable but difficult to reach (see beach section), while towns like Dawei are a good way to see genuine Burma. All of Eastern Burma belongs to Shan State.
In western Shan State is the favourite travel stop of Inle Sea, but few travellers have dared to enter the more hilly eastern area due to the banning of governments, bad infrastructures and continuing conflicts between the Shan State Army, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army and the state. It is a large but flat sea in the hilly areas of western Shan State.
There are Intha living on the lakeside in stilt buildings and a swimming fair is located between five towns. Boating on the lakeside is the area' s major attraction and is a great way to see the swimming markets and towns as well as the Intha' distinctive rudder legstyle.
Hiking is also loved in the surrounding area. Be it just for a few hour walks through the paddy fields and towns, or a multi-day hike over hill and mountain to remote towns and convents, the area offers some of the best and most approachable treks in Burma.
Red Mountain Estate is located in the hilly area above the sea and is one of the few wineries in Burma. Nyaung Shwe is the city nearest to the sea, with many hostels, guest houses, pubs and inns. It is a very vibrant city with the best night life in the area.
Luxurious hotels are situated on the shores of the lakeside, away from the city. It is a small hillside city near to the Inle-See. While the city itself is appealing and chilly, the primary attraction for most visitors is a multi-day hike to this area. This hike lasts 3 nights and while the hikes usually last 8-9 hrs, the area is not too challenging and easy for anyone who is reasonably well.
Farther away is the hamlet of Pindaya, which offers more hiking opportunities and is less frequented by visitors than the area around Lake Inle. Kyaingtong is located on Burma's east frontier, in the Golden Triangle, where the frontiers of Laos, Thailand, China and Burma meet.
A lot of things in North Burma remain taboo for visitors because of the continuing conflict, but there are some areas of this less frequented area that are open and rewarding to visit. atha is a small city on the Irrawaddy River. In 1926-27 George Orwell was chief of the city' s policemen and his novel Burmese Days plays in the city.
There are very few tourists in the city and the tourist facilities are simple. This city is becoming an ever more popular destination for cruise ships. and Bhamo is a city up on the Irrawaddy Riviera of Katha. There' s a few pagodas and an old Han city in the area, but most folks go to Bhamo just to unwind and take in the tranquil city and its riverfrontfront.
Myanmar is not the best place for a seaside vacation in Southeast Asia: The facilities are not as good as in Thailand or Malaysia and there are few of them. There are, however, a few deserving of being visited and to stay for a few nights when you are already in the state.
Burma's most famous seaside town is Ngapali Island. Myeik Archipelago is located in the Andaman Sea in southern Burma. When you have more free and want to see less frequented parts of the land, you can move further southwards, eastwards or northwards.
When you have a few week's time and want to see the most important sights, it is a good route to go to Yangon and stay there for a few nightr. You can drive from Yangon to Inle Lake (with a possible stop in Bago or Naypyidaw). On the Inle Lakes you can trek for a few day and relax on the lakeside for a few relaxed getaways before driving to Bagan to circumnavigate the stupas.
Boating from Bagan to Mandalay is a great way to see the Irrawaddy River, and from Mandalay you can take an intercontinental outing. And if you have more free space, you can spend a few nights on the Ngapali beaches. To see some of the less frequented areas, you can add a tour to the Best of Burma route to Hpa-An and Yangon's southern tip island and an excursion to George Orwell's home in Katha of Mandalay.
Burma's main touristic areas (Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Ngapali and Bagan) all have a number of accommodations, from boarding houses to luxurious hostels, although rates are higher than in other parts of Southeast Asia. Birmingham is open all year round, but the best season is from October to May.
The best choice for longer trips around Burma is air travel. We do not offer air lines to Burma, all of them include a stopover according to who you are travelling with. One of the best options is for a few nights in Bangkok, from where you can take a plane to Mandalay or Yangon.