Myanmar is one of the few destinations in Southeast Asia that has not yet been developed highly for tourism in terms of infrastructure and hotel accommodation, due to the political climate over time, and thus remains an authentic and highly interesting country to visit and explore. That said, in recent years, with the change in dynamic, a number of very good hotels have opened and the standard of comfort has certainly improved, however off the beaten track, one should still expect more basic options combined with incredible local experiences.
Better known by the former name of Burma, we are able to offer a wealth of opportunities to get under the skin of the country through interactions with all sorts of local personalities. Of course the famous temples of Bagan (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are a 'must-include' on any itinerary as well as a short stay in Yangon, the capital, home to the famous golden Shwedagon Pagoda. This astonishing Buddhist Temple enshrines strands of Buddha's hair and other holy relics and is the most important attraction in Yangon and holds great importance to the people of the country.
In Central Myanmar, Shan State is home to farming tribes and this region is great for trekking too. More popular to visit are Inle Lake's picturesque shores, which have attracted a number of good hotel developments and it is definitely worth spending a few days here.
The northern regions can be more difficult to reach and only offer more rudimentary facilities - definitely for the more adventurous traveller - but with amazing options for hiking and plenty of history and culture to discover. Western Myanmar is home to Mrauk-U, a significant archaeological site as well as Mount Victoria National Park, which is great for bird life and has the highest peak in Myanmar within the park. Western Myanmar also presents superb opportunities to meet local people if you are willing to take some longer road journeys. Travelling around Myanmar in general involves a lot of travel by air and road and therefore if you really want to experience the country, it is best to plan a longer trip away.
Heading to the deep south, the pristine Mergui or Myeik Archipelago, boasts virtually untouched islands, which are home to the sea-dwelling Moken tribe. The Moken people are known for extreme free-diving and live a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, heavily based on the sea, however as with so much in this world, they are under threat of diminishing as a people due to various factors but still utterly fascinating to think how they live their lives. This region is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing stay on an island but if you don't have the time to travel there, there are also a couple of resorts with beautiful beaches to enjoy.
All in all, Myanmar is still one country in Asia where you can go and experience authentic rural and tribal communities, a deep history and fascinating culture that is still authentic in so many parts - but you must have a sense of adventure! There are luxury hotels to begin and end the journey but in between there is a whole mix in there and you will most certainly be welcomed with open arms as a visitor.
Please contact your Destination Specialist for more information on +44 (0) 1993 824198
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Myanmar certainly has a distinctive dry and wet season weather split; the very best time to visit is November through to February, although these are the busiest times and so visiting on the months either side can be ideal. Read More
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