ABOUT MYANMAR

Bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand and with over 100 ethnic groups, Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a melting pot of cultures, flavours and colour. After effectively being a closed country until 2011 it’s great to go to place that has not been “over-touristed” and traditional life still goes on. The words of Rudyard Kipling remain relevant ‘It will be quite unlike any land you know about’

One of the best ways to see Myanmar is onboard a boat on the Irrawaddy River. Heading northward from Mandalay will give the more interesting views and a taste of diverse cultures.

Myanmar Destinations

YANGON

  • March 13, 2018
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Formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city in Myanmar (although no longer the capital city) with a population of about 5 million. With a mix of impressive British colonial architecture, modern high-rises and golden pagodas the contrasts are striking. As the city opens up to investors, new restaurants, hotels, bars and shops are popping up making this an exciting new frontier to explore.
The Shwedagon Pagoda remains one of the top attractions here. Standing at 105 metres high, it dominates the skyline. Foodies will enjoy checking out the latest in restaurants and cafes For those who enjoy people watching and seeing the rural outskirts, jump on the slow train that circles the city that stops at local markets and all sorts of interesting places.

NGAPALI BEACH

  • March 13, 2018
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In the Bay of Bengal, an idyllic white sand and palm tree lined coast awaits with a number of resorts spread along the 30 kilometre coastline interspersed with traditional villages. Peak season runs from November to April and during the rainy season the place quietens down to just a trickle of tourists and most hotels will shut down altogether.
Bring a good book to read Maybe go snorkelling. Enjoy the serenity!

MANDALAY

  • March 13, 2018
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The name conjures up a romantic setting due to Rudyard Kipling’s poem but put aside these notions! After WWII when the city and palace were bombed flat, the city has undergone haphazard construction and the roads and drivers are crazy to say the least! There is some charm to be found though in the monasteries, markets and their teahouse culture.
The Mandalay Marionettes Theatre is a fascinating show worthy of a night out. For a laugh check out the Moustache Brothers comedy which sometimes lands them in jail for their political stance. Take a walk up Mandalay Hill, up many steps and past many pagodas. The tacky photo booths for young romantic couples will give you a good laugh. U Bein Bridge, crossing Taungthaman Lake is a very old teak wood walkbridge spanning 1.2 kilometres. Great to go at sunset.

INLE LAKE

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This lake is most likely to leave the greatest impression on your trip to Myanmar. Fishermen appear in longboats and with great precision, balance on the bows of their boats with their conical baskets in hand and foot wound around their single oar. It’s something unique that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Rustic villages made up of wooden stilt houses straddle the waterways, along with over 200 monasteries. The lake is the local’s lifeblood and narrow wooden boats will be seen plying the lake for fish and lake weed. Water levels are at their highest in October and November.
Simply getting on to the lake and experiencing the daily life is the highlight.

BAGAN

  • March 13, 2018
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Myanmar’s main calling card is Bagan with its legendary pagodas. Once the capital of a powerful kingdom, it’s now a sleepy riverside town. Restored temples and others fallen into disrepair are literally all over the place including in people’s backyards and dotted by the streets, which is a stark difference to the temple city of Angkor Wat. Running by the northern and western sides is the famous Irrawaddy River which spans almost the entire length of Myanmar.
Visiting the temples of Bagan is the obvious highlight and main reason for coming here. Add some magic to your Bagan experience by taking a hot air balloon ride over Bagan at sunrise. The season runs from October to May, subject to the weather on the day. Add this to your bucket list.