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Burma tours

Burma (Myanmar) Tour Packages

A beautiful and culturally rich country, Burma, or Myanmar has recently opened its doors to tourism. However, traveling here means facing challenges that you might not have encountered in other countries. Let our team of passionate travel specialist be your guide and take you to this extraordinary land where traditional ways of Asia endure.

Choose one of our Myanmar tour packages and experience being in a destination full of new and exotic charm, the packages showing below are only a sample of what we can offer, rest assured to tailor-made then to fir your exact wishes and requirements. 

Why Myanmar Private Holidays?

  • We are a fully established & licensed Myanmar Travel Agency.
  • Travel with confident with out 24 /7 support.
  • Create your own custom Burma tours with our local knowledge building your personal itinerary site by site.
  • Your trip will be conducted by expert tour guides who travel with you with passion.

Some of the BEST Myanmar Tour Packages

Choose from following best selling Burma Tours or let us design your own private trip.

Map

Package Name

Days

Price

Destinations

Contact

Highlights of Myanmar

Highlights Of Myanmar

9

from $1,192

Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Sagaing - Amarapura - Inle Lake - Indein

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Taste Of Myanmar

Taste Of Myanmar

7

from $838

Yangon - Bagan - Mt Popa - Pindaya – Inle Lake

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Best of Myanmar Tour

Best Of Myanmar

15

from $2,323

Yangon - Bago - Golden Rock - Bagan - Mt Popa - Mandalay - Sagaing - Mingun - Pindaya - Inle Lake - Ngapali Beach

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Essence of Myanmar

Essence Of Myanmar

6

from $732

Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Inle Lake - Indein

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Treasures of Myanmar

Treasure Of Myanmar

8

from $1,118

Yangon - Inle Lake - Indein - Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay Hill - Sagaing - Bagan

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Escape to Luxury Myanmar

Escape To Luxury

10

from $2,885

Yangon - Bagan (cruising)- Mandalay (cruising) - Inle Lake - Indein

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Create Your Own Customized Myanmar Tour packages

Design your own trip. Use our 3-step-form to tailor every detail to your liking. We will then match you with top 2 Myanmar travel experts. Finally, you will receive custom plan for your trip and only book when you are satisfied!


You may be interested in similar Burma Tours

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Our Comprehensive Myanmar Travel Guide

About Myanmar

Myanmar, once known as Burma, is located at the crossroad of China and India - two great civilizations of Asia. Myanmar culture therefore is the unique combination of many factors including India, China, Thailand and Buddhism. It remains one of the most mysterious and amazing destination in the world.

Myanmar is one of biggest countries of Southeast Asia with a population of more than 52 million people. There are about 135 different ethnic groups living in Myanmar, making it one of the most diverse countries in the world. The largest ethnic group is the Burman or Bamar people, distantly related to the Tibetans and Chinese.

Myanmar is situated along the Bay of Bengal, bordering with Laos PDR, Thailand, Bangladesh, China and India. Considered as a geographically diverse country, Myanmar has magnificent rivers and mountains. There are 3 biggest river systems of Irrawaddy, Thanlwin and Sittaung which accrete fertile tropical deltas in the south. In contrast, in the North of the country, ragged landscape in the Himalayan foothills make it stunning places for trekking and eco-tourism.

Although having limited condition of accommodation – very problematic to keep a room reservation in peak season, Myanmar tourism is growing very quickly. The world will see much more five star properties in Myanmar shortly to meet the demand of tourists all over the world.

Travel in Myanmar is also hassle-free. Safety is at highest records in the world, so its travelers just relax and make sure that they will have a carefree holiday literally.

Myanmar is rich in natural resources like natural gas, oil, gemstone and jade. Tourism potential of the country is also very considerable thanks to its unique traditional delights, precious heritages, breathtaking landscapes of snow-capped mountains, primitive forests, pristine beaches as well as magnificent rivers. Myanmar has a lot to offer whoever you are. If you are a nature lover, trekking to mountainous areas or searching for that elusive tiger on the back of an elephant would be a must. If you are not interested in outdoor activities, just relax in a beautiful vessel while it cruise down the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. Culture lovers will find it a paradise with thousands of ancient temple and gilded towers scattering on the vast flat plains as well as unique customs of the people. Drifting over the ancient city of Bagan by hot air balloonis also one of the most highly recommended activities for everyone.

Accommodation in Myanmar

Hotel

Myanmar remained a mysterious destination to the modern world until 1992 when tourism is encouraged in the country. The enthusiasm of the world for Myanmar and the number tourists flowing into this country has increased while its tourism industry hadn’t been fully prepared yet. That’s the reason why the world experience a serious lack of accommodation in Myanmar in the last few years, especially in high season (Nov – Feb). It's a simple matter of supply and demand: there are much more visitors but roughly the same number of hotels. Many hotels are on the way, but they take time to build and the hotel shortage is still a problem.

What does this mean for tourists?

Not only do you need to book room in advance, you better to be prepared to pay big money for a room.

Home-stay

Although foreign visitors are not officially allowed to stay in Burmese houses, the Government will continue to allow a limited number of home-stays at some destinations. This would help solve the problem of accommodation shortage in the peak season.

Some special destination like in Northern Myanmar, at Putao in Kachin State, it takes long time to reach the snow-capped mountains from Putao. No hotels in this remote region, so the Government must allow travelers to stay at local houses. Visitors trekking in the region between Inle Lake and Kalaw Township in Shan State are also allowed to stay in villagers’ home and monastery.

Night cruise

Cruise is a perfect way to enjoy a leisure holiday and explore most highlighted sites along the mighty rivers of Burma. Thanks to the river systems, Myanmar not only have fertile plains but also great condition to do business with night cruises.

Till now, cruises in Myanmar has become well-known among tourists in the world thanks to good quality, abundant choices and interesting program.

Tourist have a wide ranges of itinerary and brand name to choose, from Anawrahta on Irrawaddy, Orcaella, Belmond Road to Mandalay or Sanctuary Ananda. On the days cruising, tourists will have time to go to the villages, cities and towns to explore its attractions. The vessels are all famous for excellent services and nice cabin. In addition, they offer various choice for duration from one day trip, 4 nights to 14 night cruise, and ranges from low to high budget, so tourists can choose suitable product to have the best experience in Myanmar.

Cuisine: Food, folks and fun

Myanmar is like a hidden treasure that contain lots of precious gems. With the opening to the world recently, visitors are unveiling some of the mysterious gems, including cuisine.

We've chosen the best Burmese dishes and snacks for you to seek out when visiting this exotic country:

1/ Lephet – Tea leaves salad

Fermented tea leaves are main ingredient for this appetizer or dessert, along with shredded cabbage, deep-fried beans, tomato, garlic oil, chili, nuts and peas – all are mixed together by hand.

Tea is a stimulant, so consuming too much Lephet Thoke in the evening can lead to a sleepless night.

2/ Nga htamin - Shan-style rice

Shan-style rice – locally known as Nga htamin – is an oily and savory traditional Burmese dish with essential ingredients: fish and turmeric rice.

This famous dish is named after a Burmese Buddhist ethnic groups – Shan. It’s often served with deep-fried pork skin, cloves of raw garlic and leek roots.

3/ Burmese curry

These traditional dish, as the name refers, contains mainly curry based around beef, fish, shrimp, pork or mutton. It is served with many other foods like a tart salad, rice, soup, fried vegetables and a large tray of fresh herbs and vegetables.

At the time tasting this dish, you’ll be face to face with a range of dishes which seems to contain all Burmese components and flavors.

A traditional Burmese dessert will be provided before finishing your meal: a lacquer tray containing Lephet Thoke - pickled tea leaves and nuts, or a chunks of palm sugar.

4/ Burmese sweet snacks

Burmese sweets, generally known as “moun”, is often consuming as a snack with tea in the afternoon or morning, not as a dessert like Western sweets.

Also different from sweets in other parts of Asia, the sweet taste of moun doesn’t come from sugar but from coconut milk, tapioca, grated coconut, rice flour and fruit.

Typical and most delicious Burmese sweets include bein moun and moun pyit thalet (Burmese-style pancakes, either sweet or savory) and hsa nwin ma kin (small cakes of crisp semolina flour with coconut milk, ghee and raisins).

5/ Nangyi thoke - rice noodles salad

​Nangyi thoke is one of the most favorite dishes of the Burmese. Ingredients include slices of fish cake, hard-boiled egg, chicken, bean sprouts and thick round rice noodles. People mix them with chili oil, turmeric and roasted chickpea flour, which are tossed by hand and served with a bowl of broth and pickled greens.

Festivals

Thingyan

Thingyan is the most important festival in Myanmar, marking the beginning of the Burmese new year, usually drops on mid-April like in Laos and Cambodia. The date of the Thingyan Festival formerly followed the Burmese calendar but it is now fixed to Western calendar, from 13 to 16 April, coinciding with Easter of Christian.

During first four days of the Thingyan, people throw water to each other from any shape or form of vessel or device. The second day is the beginning of this festival with many parts of the country.

Thingyan is said to be quite similar with New year Festival in many countries which are in Theravada Buddhist areas like Songkran (Laos and Thailand), Chaul Chnam Thmey (Cambodia), Aluth Avurudda (new year of Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka), Puthandu (Tamil New year) …

Kason

In Myanmar, there’s a very important festival in May when people water the bodhi tree, and that’s in Kason. People also move fish and turtle from dry pond to a better places where there is abundant water, which is consider a good merit of charity.

This festival is derived from tree-worship which is a prehistoric belief. In Myanmar, worshipping a tree-god is called Yokka-soe.

Waso

This festival is the occasion when people offer robe for the monks, marking the beginning of the Buddhist Lent (3 months, from Jun or Jul). The ceremony is to commemorate the Buddha's first discourse, delivered 49 days after he attained nirvana.

Monks are not allowed to travel during Buddhist Lent. No weddings or feasts are held during this period and people undertake the Five Precepts (abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication) more conscientiously.

Thadingyut

Thadingyut or Lights Burmese Festival, is held at the end of Buddhist Lent in September or October. Lantern, candles, or electric bulbs are lighted everywhere in houses and state buildings. The youth show their respect for the elders by offering gifts (food or longyi). This festival is to commemorate the event when the Buddha came down to the earth after the end of Lent.

During this festival, concerts and zat (Burmese traditional theater) are performed in cities.

Kahtein

Between October and November is the time that the Kahtein festival is held. It is called robe-offering ceremony in which people offer robes for the monks and hold feasts for merit-making.

A very interesting activity in this festival is all-night weaving contests (Matho Thingan) in Shwedagon and other pagodas. Participants try to finish weaving robes for the Buddha statue from night till dawn.

Weather and Best Time to Travel

Myanmar lies mostly between the Equator and Tropic of Cancer. It also affected by Asian monsoon region. Temperatures throughout Myanmar are strongly influenced by altitude and therefore the southern lowland and coastal regions are hotter than lakes, Himalayan foothills and hill stations.

There’s also a difference between diverse regions. The west, south and lower central regions are at lower altitude with higher humidity than the upper central, eastern and northern. Temperatures in lower regions might be higher than 40°C, which is quite popular in the month of March and April.

Although the country is possible to be visited all the time throughout the year, it is better to plan your trip during months with nice weather.

Bets time is the winter which lasts from November to February. At this time, it’s dry, not so rainy and quite cool (20-30°C). It can be very cold at night in high mountainous areas like Shan and Chin. You should bring warm clothes if travelling to Mrauk Oo or Kachin where experiences snow quite often.

November is the best - it’s just after wet season, the trees are very lush and vibrant , temperatures are perfect. Thanks to nice weather, winter is high season for tourism and keeping a room reservation could be a problem. Room and also flight are often booked in advance months ago. According to advice of many experienced visitors, the ‘mid-season’, either side of this peak period, is the best time to travel to Myanmar thanks to fine weather – not too hot or cold - and it’s not so crowded. In the high season or the mid-season, it is recommended to bring a light coat or jumper with you because the evening tends to be quite cool.

The summer which lasts from March to May is the hottest: temperature ranges from 30 – 35 °C while Bagan and Mandalay can be at 45°C. Combining with high humidity, it could raise very unpleasant feelings during the trip. During this season, if visiting Myanmar, best advices are going to the temples is in the morning and afternoon, spending the hottest time of the day by the pool or in a shaded garden with a cool drink.

It is however very nice in the mountainous areas: Shan and Chin - it is still around 20 – 30 °C, which is very comfortable and ideal condition for visiting. Trekking in the mountain and boating in the Gulf of Bengals are highly recommended thanks for excellent weather.

From May to October, rainy season with high humidity could be a big obstacle for visiting some particular regions such as Ngapali Beach where services are closed in preparation for the strong winds and heavy rainfall that beats the coast annually. It is advisable to avoid coastal area these month. The afternoon and evenings often experience heavy rain. Flooding and landslides sometimes cut off many regions.

However, it is much more comfortable in the upper of Myanmar, where rain is not so much and green everything – that’s why nature lovers consider it best time to travel! Overall, temperature in rainy season is about 25 – 35°C. At night, it could falls to 20 °C but the North and Central of Myanmar could be under 10°C.

Myanmar Culture

The culture of Myanmar has been influenced heavily by its neighboring countries of India, Thailand, China. The British and Buddhist domination is also clearly expressed in cultural life of Burmese, especially language and education. However, local customs is still so unique, mysterious and alluring with travelers all over the world. We summary a few below but please note that they are much more interesting in real life when you witness.

Thanaka

A very popular image of Burmese is a yellow-white paste on their faces. This is a traditional makeup, made by rubbing ground bark with water, completing in only few minutes. People said that Thanaka is a way to protect their skin from strong sunlight - a local "sun cream" and women tend to have thicker paste.

Sometimes, beautiful patterns are created based on this paste, most frequently seen is leaf shape. People only need a leaf, cover it with thanaka and press onto their cheek – then a lovely leaf print completed.

Cheeroot

This is a local cigar, which is about 3.5 to 6.5 inches in length and may last up to 30 minutes. Different tobacco flavors can be used to make the cheerot.

The cheerot's aroma is believed to have a special factor that keeps people off from the mosquito and avoid being bitten.

These cigars is good because all ingredients are natural, from the leaf wrappings to the sticky rice glue used to seal the wrapping.

Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf is one of the most exquisite handicraft in Myanamar. It is hammered into extremely thin sheets which require very skillful hands of the craftsmen.

Gold Leaf can be bought in many pagodas to put onto a Buddha statue to show respect. Therefore, many statues and stupas have been covered in gold leaf instead of gold paint, which is called 'gilding'.

Local Legends

Local legend and myths is not a separated part in Myanmar cultural life, especially in local rural villages.

Among legends, the Nats - spirits of nature – the guardians are very popular so that Nat shrines can be seen everywhere. Most famous place for Nats honor is Mount Popa near Bagan.

The Yaksha and the Naga are also important parts of Burmese folklore. The Yaksha are believed to be the keepers of treasure while the Naga are thought to be a variety of creatures. Most popular is the multi-headed snakes which live in wet areas such as rivers.

Lacquer ware

Lacquer ware is an outstanding traditional handicraft in Myanmar, which creates exquisite and beautiful souvenirs like bowls, boxes, buttons...

The frames of those art work can be horse hair or bamboo leaves, then covered in a lacquer layer. After a few days (even a month) after being dry, the craftsmen will cover it again and carve a pattern. Popular patterns are leaves, birds, elephants… in lively vivid colors. It takes a lot of time to make a nice finished lacquer ware in local workshop. Gold leaf are also used to make the lacquer ware looks more graceful and shinning.

Shopping Guide

Longyi

If you just can buy one thing from Myanmar, that’s definitely a traditional Longyi. This traditional dress is one of the most suitable clothes you can wear in your trip in Myanmar thanks to nice look, reasonable price, elegance and convenience. You can buy them from as little at 1000 Kyats ($1).

Paper Umbrella

Paper Umbrella is very popular in this sunny land. They are especially beautiful as a souvenir with hand-painted patterns and often some pressed flowers incorporated into the paper. It’s common that you’ll be taken to a paper work shop if you take an organized boat ride on Inle Lake. The owner will spend some minutes introducing their products including lanterns, bookmarks and of course paper umbrella. The average cost at the shop is about 10,000 kyat for an umbrella.

Jewelry

Myanmar is famous for Burmese Rubies and Sapphires and that’s why Inle Lake, Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan are paradises for jewelry lovers. This also be a common souvenir that tourists want to take home after a Myanmar trip. Be aware of cheap items because they might be not a genuine product. Make sure that you have a certified jewelry and avoid unnecessary troubles at the customs. Prices can be negotiable especially in case you buy more than 1 item.

Sand Paintings

You could be overwhelmed about how beautiful the sand paintings are when you wander through every corner of Bagan. Very eye-catching and exquisite. You can see the street artists precisely doing their work with different patterns and images of Buddha, temples, daily Burmese life, long lines of monks walking, the iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi… Paintings normally cost few thousand kyat.

Cheeroot

This is a local cigar, which is about 3.5 to 6.5 inches in length and may last up to 30 minutes. Different tobacco flavors can be used to make the cheerot.

The cheerot's aroma is believed to have a special factor that keeps people off from the mosquito and avoid being bitten. These cigars is good because all ingredients are natural, from the leaf wrappings to the sticky rice glue used to seal the wrapping. You can watch the people rolling it at a workshop if you take a boat ride on Inle Lake.

Top 10 Tourist Destinations in Myanmar

Myanmar, one of the most well known destinations for tourist in Asia recently, always has something attractive and mysterious to discover in every corner. The local life and the temples seem to remain unchanged as it was hundred years ago.

Myanmar’s top 10 most attractive destinations are listed as below, which could be your inspiration for next trip:

1. Yangon

Yangon is a former capital of Myanmar and also one of the most amazing places for travelers thanks to the beautiful nature with lush tropical trees, large lakes, green parks and extremely fresh air, which makes Yangon the “Garden of the East”. Till now, Yangon is still the biggest city of Myanmar and the center of culture, trade and spiritual life of Burmese.

The stunning gilded Shwedagon Pagoda - Golden Pagoda – would make you overwhelmed while handicraft souvenirs would attracts you from the first to the last day. Friendly local people in long-yi with bright similes welcoming you would become one of the most memorable highlights in your trip to this golden land.

2. Bagan

Bagan, one of the most popular places for tourists travelling to Myanmar, was once capital of Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th centuries. This is a must-see place for those who loves beauty of pagoda, stupas, temple or simply for those are pilgrims.

Marco Polo used to call Bagan as the “gilded city” which once is home to over 10,000 pagodas and temples in its golden age. Only about one-fifth of them survive till nowadays but it is still an amazing landscape. Bagan plains is at its best in sunset and this is one of the most favorite site to enjoy magnificent sunset and fabulous sparkling spire-jagged skyline, which leaves travelers breathless.

3. Mandalay

Famous for Ubein Bridge and the stunning sunset view, Mandalay, actually, has much more to offer.

Only 30 minute flight from Bagan, Mandalay is located right at the country’s center and used to be the last Burmese royal capital. This is also the second-largest city after Yangon.

Maha Myat Muni Paya, Shwe Kyi Myin Paya, Mandalay Hill, Shwenandaw Monastery… are some of the most popular name for tourist when visiting Mandalay. However, the must-see still at a surprising number that you will definitely love to explore.

4. Inle Lake

One of the most popular images about Myanmar is fishermen earning their living on magnificent river and rowing by only one leg. That is also the best image to describe Inle Lake: marvelous stunning landscape, authentic local value and the excellent harmony between people and nature.

In addition, tourists fall in love with Inle Lake thanks to its fabulous temples and floating houses on the beautiful vast lake under blue sky. Here is the best place to immerse yourself in a wonderful magical world that you would never see anywhere in the world.

5. Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock Pagoda

Golden Rock Pagoda or Kyaiktiyo Zedi as it is known locally, along with Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda, is one of the most famous names for both tourist and pilgrims.

Only a word to describe the Kyaiktiyo: jaw-dropping! You must see it by your own eyes when you visit Myanmar to see how amazing its unique feature is. People said the magical that keeps the stone still stands over the years by temples is a hair of the Buddha.

Five hour drive from Yangon and a long walk does not discourage pilgrims and traveler all over the world to admire this masterpiece.

6. Mrauk U ancient city

Used to be former capital of Mrauk U Kingdom from 1430 to 1785, this ancient town is an important site for archaeological field but also a charming destination for tourists with numerous temples and ruins. This is the second largest center of temples in the country, mainly made from brick and stone. Mossy tower and temples nestling among the hills and small villages, are dominant the view simply with their magnificent silence.

Reaching to this remote location involves a domestic flight from Yangon and a four- to seven-hour boat ride up a tributary of the Kaladan River.

7. Kyaing Tong

Kyaing Tong, also known as Kengtung, is very attractive with charming rolling hills and small authentic villages of ethnic minorities, also the capital of the Golden Triangle. The colorful interesting culture of Akha, Akhu, Lisu, Lahu, Shan, Wa and Eng people makes Kyaing Tong a beautiful impressive picture that attracts every tourist.

However, tourism in this area hasn’t really developed (that’s why it is so charming with authentic beauty), so you will need a local guide and good plan to have a perfect trip to Kyaing Tong.

8. Pindaya And Kalaw

Pindaya and Kalaw, belongs to the Shan State in central Myanmar, are dreamland of many tourists who love local authentic art and culture.

In Pindaya, there is an itinerant market every fifth day of the month, which attracts lots of people. The town is also famous for its limestone caves in which full of beautiful gilded Buddha statues in many sizes and images. A trek from Kalaw to the surrounding villages will provide an interesting experience and intimate insight into Myanmar’s ethnic minorities people.

9. Putao

Well-known magnificent mountain ranges of Himalayas can be reached via Putao in Myanmar. Therefore, it is a “holy land” for climbers all over the world, who want to conquer the mountains.

With dozens new types of flora and faunas are discovered every year, Putao is also known as the richest biologically diverse in the world, and therefore, a “sanctuary” for scientist.

And of course, for traveler who loves trekking, exploring the natural beauty and do outdoor activities like river rafting, this is an ideal place.

A nice recommendation for a day in Putao is enjoying a massage and a delicious cocktail after a long day exploring the forest.

10. Ngapali and Ngwe Saung beaches

Ngapali is Myanmar’s famous resort town with luxury hotels nestled on white sandy long beaches and aquamarine water of Bengal Bay.

Ngwe Saung beach, where is  just 6 hour drive from Yangon city is also attractive with unspoiled beaches, quiet and romantic atmosphere, a perfect place to chill out.

In contrast is small fishing villages, modestly located in other side with simple restaurant serving fresh day’s catch and ox-cart working as taxis.

They are also famous for delicious fresh seafood, which makes them one of the most favorite addresses for gourmet. Most of the best chefs for seafood in Myanmar work here and no doubt, they are the best places to enjoy exotic dishes from the sea.

November to March is the best time to visit Ngapali and Ngwe Saung thanks to nice weather. During the rest of the year, they are small sleepy peaceful towns.

Transportation

Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia with lots of beautiful tourist attractions but its transportation system is poor and very slow. The infrastructure for transportation in Myanmar is not really developed, therefore, be prepared before you go to Myanmar to not feel disappointed.

During rainy season, landslides and heavy rain cause damages in many mountainous areas and many roads can close down.

Some local means of transport such as the trishaw or horses, are still powered directly by people. You can hire a bicycle if interested in cycling. Taxis and private car for hire are available for long distance.

Cars

Car is the most popular and convenient means of transportation in Myanmar. It is however quite expensive to hire a car due to a shortage in gasoline.

Foreigners are not allowed to drive in Myanmar.

Coaches

Tourist coaches in Burma are comfortable with air-conditioner. If you want to explore local life, you could take a local non-tourist bus and this could be a fun experience for a short period (but sometimes it can be crowded and unsafe).

For long transfer like road between Yangon-Mandalay, Yangon – Shwe Nyaung (Inle Lake) and Bagan - Shwe Nyaung (Inle lake), there are comfortable sleeping buses with reclining seats, good service and toilets on board. In addition, buses’ cost is very affordable in comparison to flights.

Cruises

Cruise is a perfect way to enjoy a leisure holiday and explore most highlighted sites along the mighty rivers of Burma. A cruise on the Irrawaddy River is often mentioned as a must-do. Till now, cruises in Myanmar has become well-known among tourists in the world thanks to good quality, abundant choices and interesting program.

Tourist have a wide ranges of itinerary and brand name to choose, as well as duration from day trip to 14 night cruise. In addition to river cruising, the southern Mergui Archipelago is an increasingly popular place for live-aboard cruising with the option of adding scuba diving around the islands.

Trains

There are a lot of reason for you to choose train as your transportation in Myanmar: abundant stations, reasonable cost and very scenic. However, train rides in Myanmar can be very choppy due to bad rail conditions. Sometimes, you could experience inconvenience caused by delays and be prepared for it. The most popular is 150-km Hsipaw - Mandalay offers stunning views. The trip Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung (Inle) also offers beautiful views over the mountainous landscapes.

Travel Tips

1 – Myanmar currency is Kyat (pronounced as “chat”). Please note that the Kyat are not officially exchanged abroad.

Credit card is not popular in Myanmar when making payment. Only some big hotels, restaurants and shops accept this way of payment, but it is charged at a high cost (20 – 40% service. Therefore, make sure you have enough cash to cover your trip.

2 – Learning the local custom is advisable before your departure to Myanma, especially before visiting ethnic minority villages. Each ethnic minority has different customs, do’s and don’ts. For example, don’t take photos of pregnant women when you visit Akha villages…

3 – Myanmar is a Buddhist country, so always show your respect with Buddha and monks. Don't sit with back against a Buddha statue, don’t shake hands with a monk or step on a monk's shadow. Women are not allowed to touch a monk.

4 – Use your money wisely when shopping. Non-precious items can be found in any local market. For jewelry, you should buy at a prestige licensed shop which can give out a certificate for the gems to guarantee the authenticity. You can bargain prices when buying things, even at the store listing price.

5 – Do not buy old Buddha statues or images, you will have unnecessary troubles at the Customs and they will hold your items. Buy arts and crafts instead.

6 – Myanmar is a developing country where medicines are imported, and you might not find the medicine you want. Therefore, bring your necessary medicines especially in case you have a special health problem.

7 – Best time to travel to Myanmar is in winter (Nov to Feb) but if you travel to Myanmar in summer, bear in mind that it could be extremely hot (30 – 45 °C) , so you should wear suitable clothes, lightweight, easily removed shoes in order to visit temples. Winter in the mountainous areas could be very cold (some regions experience snow), so remember to take your jumper, coat or fleece.

8 – Wear decent clothes when you visit religious sites.

9 – Do respect Burmese and their traditional custom. Like in Laos, don't touch anybody’s head, don’t point with your foot, don’t point a finger straight in anyone’s face or step over any part of the person…

10 – Using drugs is illegal in Myanmar. Don’t buy it or try to use it during your visit in Myanmar.

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