A trip to Myanmar

Travel to and in Burma.

What makes the country different to other tour destinations is the unique cultural background from about 135 different ethnicity reaching deep into India, China, Malaya and Negritos of the south sea. Ideal for interesting holidays.

More 2000 km coastline with plenty of tropical beaches along the main coast and on around 1000 islands scattered in the Andaman Sea off the southern coast plus great mountains are also not great tour destinations.The country borders Thailand to the east, Bangladesh and India to the north east plus China to the north.

Here are all possible temperature and climate zones, from the icy glaciers of the north in Kachin State which are an extension of the Tibetan Himalayas to the tempered environment of Shan State with hills, Inle Lake and an average of 1000 m height, see the travel pictures for more. The tropical climate covers the center and all the way down until the south tip at Kawthaung, read more.

The dry central region around Bagan

The dry central region is the destination of most tourists with Bagan as the unique temple and pagoda destination this old city is famous for the Buddhist monuments which are something really new in particular in the quantity, read more

people of different ethnicity there are 130

common transportation in the countryside
The high mountains in the north are rather unusual adventure trips they are snow capped the whole year and cover with with glacier. This are the extensions of the Tibetan Hinalayas reaching up to almost 6000 m with the Mount Hkakabo Razi the highest peak in South East Asia, read more.

North Myanmar Mount Hkakabo Razi with plenty of snow

There are countless attractive beaches along the west-coast and the islands.

West coast at Ngapali Beach the top waterfront

Ngapali Beach is the most popular for foreigner at the west-coast is facing the Bay of Bengal. Here are the currently most popular beaches, actually there are plenty. All current developed waterfronts are on the west-coast, read more.

South island beaches in the Myeik archipelago

South Islands and Beaches are around in the Myeik Archipelago and all the way down to Kawthaung which is the southernmost city in the country bordering Ranong in Thailand. This is a ideal destination for scuba diving and adventure travel. Until today the start for diving tours is Phuket using small yachts on livea-board trips. Other beaches with hotels and resorts are Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha west of Yangon reachable via road travel of about 5 hours. Since they improved the street there is no problem to drive there anymore. The most interesting are the island waterfronts but it is difficult to reach them, read more.

Cruise to Kawthaung and the temple island

Kawthaung is the southernmost town, this was Victoria Point during the British occupation across the bay is Thailand. The city is well known as for the visa run means when it expires take a tour and get a visa extension stamp. This is very convenient if you are on vacation lets say Ko Samui or anywhere in the south, read more.

In the Myeik archipelago the harbor of the city

The Myeik Archipelago lies off the south west coast down to Kawthaung with almost thousand islands, this has a great tourist potential once the area is opened completely and developed. This coast strip is known as Tenasserim or Thanintharyi. It is thinly populated and it has never played any substantial part in holiday and travel or any development of  the country. The hills reach down in a narrowing peninsula to Victoria Point - or Kawthaung , the southernmost limit, read more.

Inle Lake Fisherman they are called leg rower

In the center east is Shan State with the great Inle Lake. Since this part of the country has an average altitude of around thousand meters the climate is just right to raise all flowers, fruits and other plants similar to western Europe. They supply the whole country with them although there are plenty of logistic problems, read more.  

Road travel in Shan State by coach

Unfortunately to reach almost any places is not easy because road travel takes long time. It is difficult because most surfaces are in real bad condition and quite narrow. The network has not much improved since the British left. It is a real mess when compared to neighboring Thailand where they have the best network in SEA, read more.

Best are aircraft, in remote areas this is the only solution anyway. There are several domestic airlines starting every day from Yangon airport domestic and international.

Yangon airport arrival hall with immigration
Myanmar travel pictures from different perspectives
Myanmar travel pictures here are plenty of informative and
colorful pictures from a great country. Enjoy the scenes they will tell 
you better that most written content.

Attractions in Bagan with hot temperature
Attractions in Bagan with hot temperature, the dry zone of 
Burma. Visiting the country the first time a trip to Bagan is almost 
mandatory since this monument city which became relevant around
600 years ago is truly unique.

Maha Muni information from Mandalay
Maha Muni Temple in Mandalay, this temple is the most 
venerated in the second biggest city of the country. Visiting is highly
recommended otherwise you really miss a important part of your trip.

Shwe in bin monastery Mandalay
Shwe in bin monastery Mandalay
Vipassana meditation center at sagaing
Since the country is 
predominantly Buddhist 
there are several monasteries
and Vipassana plus 
other meditation center at 
Sagaing and Yangon

For meditation it's mainly Yangon and Sagaing, monasteries are everywhere. They also have a touristic component because if you are somewhere in a remote corner and cant find accommodation ask for at the next monastery they let you stay there.

country tour myanmar at mingun
Tour Myanmar at Mingun
Best local attractions are visiting pagoda and temples at Bagan and elsewhere, exploring 130 ethnicity, attending festivals, enjoy the climate, fishing and boating trips, national parks and wildlife reserves, islands and trekking adventure, read more.

Myanmar information about pagodas
Information about pagodas

Actually there is plenty of information available at many small book shops along Bogyoke Aung San Street opposite the market but most are in the local language only. They also sell various maps, it makes sense to buy one for a better understanding. 

information on daily life
Myanmar information on daily life

kandawgyi palace hotel
Kandawgyi palace hotel
About Hotels, resorts and accommodations, there are mid-range and low cost hotels, budget and family run accommodations all have more or less the same features, some have internet, some don't, most have more than 20 TV channels in the room including CNN and BBC, HBO etc.

Means here you are always up to date if you want to be. The main problem is the electricity, the big houses have their own generator, but at smaller places it can be a bit difficult, especially during the day, read more.

They have often not a good standard, but in bigger cities such as YangonMandalay, Bagan and at the sea-fronts of Ngapali, Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha are even some luxury hotels. There are also plenty of guesthouses and family run places with up to around 15 rooms which are quite Ok and not expensive. When on a adventure trip in remote areas and no accommodation available check for the next monastery, they are usually positive to have you stay for some days, when you leave don't forget some donations. When in the wilderness the tour operator will take some tents, food and a cook with, means no starving.

In the Myeik archipelago the harbor of the city

The Myeik archipelago lies off the south west coast down to Kawthaung with almost thousand islands, this has a great tourist potential once the area is opened completely and developed. This coast strip is known as Tenasserim or Thanintharyi. It is thinly populated and it has never played any substantial part in holiday and travel or any development of  the country. The hills reach down in a narrowing peninsula to Victoria Point - or Kawthaung , the southernmost limit, read more.

Now travel to Burma and touch down in the "Golden Land". 

First thing, don't change money at the airport, the rate is not good at all, for the start take some small dollar bills with, change downtown at the Bogyoke Market inside. Don't use the banks at the front, since the employees there either sleeping or do strange tricks. They only take totally clean and undamaged dollar bills, if there is even the slightest problem such as something written at the note or the paper is broken at the fold, which is rather natural they wont take it. This effects many people very seriously who simply don't know about, read more.

Beside of this little things there are no bigger problems anymore. 

arriving at yangon airport
Arriving at Yangon airport
Myanmar information at the airport
Myanmar information at Yangon airport

To make orientation easy for you we included the map at the right, just open it up and type in any destination, you will find it immediately, here are highlights of Yangon city.

Visit a local agent for lazy holiday or travel adventure. 

Myanmar countryside in the north
Visit Myanmar countryside
in the north
this way you could save a good amount of money on your holiday in comparison when you book a package in your country. 

They have a usual itinerary which is called Burma classic, the well known travel triangle Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and back. But it also has something to do with classical dancing and music which is very special. But the best for sure is click at banner from Asian Trails which is on top and let them work it out, they are travel expert and will keep away all trouble from you. At least when you visit the first you should take a package otherwise you miss a lot.

Make Myanmar holiday insurance
Myanmar holiday insurance
Here are some insurance information,  be aware that most tour operators have none at all, means if you have an accident you are in real trouble. That means one of the most important you must do is to get a good insurance. I am not a insurance broker but I have some experience. Don't underestimate this, because the country is quite rotten, this is not a negative evaluation it simply is the fact, here are more information.

Before you travel buy a travel insurance and you are a bit on the safe side for the journey. But in any case talk with your local insurance what to do, this makes some sense because they are locally available, their connection to handle this is a Thai company.

About nightlife in Yangon and elsewhere, most people don't know that there is a vibrant nightlife scene with great bars, shows, restaurants, nightclubs, karaoke, sexy local made fashion shows shows plus native dancing, marionettes and puppet  shows. 
yangon nightclub showThere is a substantial nightlife, it's not like Bangkok but not so bad. For something special try Chinatown which is in the center, read more

Several big hotels and at other places downtown are good clubs and all variants of crossover.

Myanmar nightlife show
Myanmar nightlife show
Nightclub in Yangon

Nightlife is quite interesting, it's not on a scale such as Bangkok but there is an amazing amount of bars, nightclubs, pubs, shows, discos, karaoke and more. As it is in every excellent oriental city the "butterflies" are around in all mentioned places above, read more.

Pretty Myanmar girls who help they men drinking, singing and find other pleasure afterwards are plenty. This are mainly local run businesses the bars and pubs in the hotels are just the same as everywhere without a local flavor.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon seen from people park

The biggest city is Yangon visually dominated by the great Shwedagon Pagoda. It is said that the pagoda is around 2000 years old. This is an old fashioned metropolis with an oriental colonial style and the best bazaar in the country  with is the Bogyoke Market named after the father of Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, read more.

Pure country side at Mount Popa near Bagan >

Mount Popa near Bagan
Visit Mount Popa near Bagan


Myanmar holiday travel will be the experience of a lifetime.

Tropical beaches for great holidaysJourneys could be very divers since the climate zone is from icy peaks in the Kachin State to the tropical beaches of the Andaman Sea in the rest of the country. That is holiday travel at it's best since it also includes a temperate part which is in Shan State with around thousand meters elevation including the great Inle Lake district with leg lower and floating gardens, read more.

Best trip to the mountains in Kachin State

Geography, the country is in a remote corner of South-East Asia.

It is hidden away in the folds of mountains which reach down like the fingers of a hand from the heights of the Himalayas to the sea, it has had leisure to develop a character and a personality of its own. 

Its best friends in this sense have been these mountains, which have protected it on the one hand from the aggression of Indian invaders, on the other from the enormous absorbing power of China, read more.

High end Myanmar jewelry
High end Myanmar jewelry
Buddhist Art Painting
Buddhist Art Painting
About Myanmar jewelry of jade, ruby, sapphire, pearls, semi precious stones and ethnic jewelry.

About Buddhist art in Myanmar as statues, wood carvings, paintings, sculptures, images and wall murals.

Day Trip to the Kyaiktyio Pagoda

One of the best day tours from Yangon is to the Kyaiktyio Pagoda.

That travel is to the east via Bago and into the blue mountain ranges of Mon State on the border to Thailand to Kyaikhto City which is about 170 kilometers by rail or road from Yangon, there is also a bus. 

On the first leg to Bago are already some very great sightseeing spots one is the Kyaikpun Pagoda with the four Buddhas.

After it’s an 15 kilometers ride to the base camp. Until here the whole surface is not bad, between the town and the starting point to get up into the mountain are several hotels among them the “Mountain View resort” a nice clean place between rubber  

Along the roadplantings. From here it’s another 12 km ascend up to mountain top. Since the road is very narrow always one batch of vehicles move up and wait after the other drive down.
A pics of the Mountain View resort
This is one of the top pilgrim targets in the country and it is really amazing what’s up here. 

Theoretically his could be done by a day trip from Yangon but it is better to stay overnight because of the road condition it needs to have some spare time. This is also a drive through the Irrawaddy Delta.

Irrawaddy delta
In the Irrawaddy delta

Kyaiktiyo or golden rock pagoda
Kyaiktiyo or golden rock pagoda

The golden Rock Shrine 

is built on a gilded boulder with 25 meters circumference. Legend tells the whole is balanced in this precarious position by an original hair from the Buddha. The rather, around 7 meters high structure small 18-foot-high Kyaiktiyo or golden Rock Pagoda is located near the Thai border town of Mae Sot on an elevation of 1100 meters above sea level.

For Myanmar outdoor enthusiasts 

the ultimate kick probably would be a trek up to the top but it really needs good physical condition to do that. Actually the main problem is the heat and snakes both are of high amount. 

Most people do the trail in the loading bay of a small truck and the last 1.5 km must be done on foot or maybe not. Bamboo sedans balanced on the shoulder of 4 guys would be an alternative; this is very popular by “Fatty Bum Bum Chinese”.

Legend tells that in the 11th century King Tissa of Thaton got a strand of the Buddha’s hair from an hermit on condition that to enshrined them in a pagoda built on a boulder looking somehow similar to the hermit’s head. Since nobody found such a place they prayed to Thagyamin the king of the Nats and help came instantly. They found a suitable boulder at the bottom of the Andaman Sea and lifted it up to the top of the mountain.

Here is a Kyaiktyio Map.

A sexy fiesta in the night

Nightlife holiday with young local women.

This are a kind of break to relax, get your mind tuned and feel good here are perfect possibility, just follow the link you maybe won't believe it but it's totally true. 

It's sexy stuff in Myanmar's nightlife, if you know where to go there is no much difference to Bangkok, use the link to get knows the destination.

Sexy stuff in Yangon
Sexy stuff in Yangon

South Myanmar Holiday

South Myanmar is a ideal place for tropical holiday.

This is a pristine area in the Andaman with around 1000 islands around somehow similar to the Indian side. Since colonial times the government didn't allow anyone in. The only issued fishing licences to Thai vessels and allowed some live aboard yachts for scuba diving from Phuket. 

They have to clear formalities at Kawthaung and move into the island world for underwater exploration. That is probably the best until now for travelers, the islands could be a prime exotic travel destination but they don't do anything. Although they allow now (2014) to enter the country at land borders (Kawthaung) it wont mean a lot because it still needs a visa from the embassy, e.g. Bangkok. But there is a way do do you it with less problems, call Thailand 022 670 390 that is Friendly Star Travel in the capital, they can handle it.

Myanmar Andaman Sea Holiday
Myanmar Andaman Sea Holiday

The southernmost point of the country in that area is Kawthaung and the interesting part for south Myanmar island holiday starts at Myeik.

South Myanmar island beaches
South Myanmar island beaches

It seems that the first people came into the Andaman Sea.

to settle there in the ninth century a. D. but there is some evidence that the waters where known since long time before, already Ptolemy wrote about it. Today about 200 islands in the Ocean belong to India and the other more close to the shore to Thailand and Myanmar, in the Mergui Archipelago are  around 800.

The native inhabitants are the Salone or Moken, they are the "sea gypsies" plus a mixed population of Malay, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, English, Burmese, Karen they are offspring's of other travelers who passed over the centuries and left behind their genes. 

This are limestone islands with dense jungle, coconut palms and mangrove around. Sea Gypsies go hunting with harpoons catching fishes and small mammals. In times when nothing of the normal "menu" is not available they eat lizards, snakes and other animals. Alcoholic drinks are very popular, they either ferment coconut milk or just buy rum, gin an other spirits plus beer.

Beach parties are popular among the sea gypsies, they like dancing and music but there is no nightlife as we know with bars, nightclubs and girls such as it is in Yangon and in southern Thailand. 
Doing some music with a local drum with monitor lizard’s skin, when a male skin is used  it is called a male one; with a female skin, it's the other gender. Most of Salones or Moken as they are called in Thailand still prefer to live on their houseboats, also dugouts are used, and enjoy a totally independent life. 

The British made them addicted to it and opium to get their main treasure for cheap, that were the famous South Sea Pearls brought up by the divers. Before that Chinese junks which came in periodically every year were the main trading partners of the groups inhabited the different islands. The English had one positive effect they enforced peace by stopping the various groups from fighting against each other.

The Mergui Archipelago is a spot with lots of rain

that includes the coast all the way to the south to Thailand's Phuket which is about 2000 km north of the equator. The clouds coming in from the Indian Ocean offload the moisture onto the hills, this made Mergui or today Myeik one of the wettest places on earth. But there is still enough cloudless sky and a blazing sun over the long stretches of yellow beaches touched by a calm sea of emerald green and turquoise color.

The spots in the Indian Ocean are covered with swelling hills and dense jungle but not many palm trees, most are with leaves and coniferous, a relaxed life is going on at the sandy shores. Sometimes palm trees and nipa huts line the waterfront. Actually the Salones prefer to live on their house boats and only come on shore when the weather is to bad during monsoon time.

This is a somehow paradise setting by palms, beaches, sunlight and the sea. Birds and other animals can be seen and are hunted, a great lush tropical vegetation supports an easy living. Live aboard yachts anchor in front of the waterfront , this are catamarans and  other sailing ships which moved in over the Indian Ocean. People come in for scuba diving to enjoy the great underwater world and a pristine surrounding. 

Live aboard scuba dive excursions 

into the great underwater area are offered out of Phuket Thailand, there is no infrastructure supporting any kind of tourist activities, except at the coastal cities but only minimal.
Harpoon some fish for a tasty dinner and BBQ the catch right at the beach, there is enough firewood around, don't forget some matches otherwise it needs to play Robinson. Typical is naturally seafood, chicken and pork. During the rainy season the  hunt is on in the forest. 
They catch Boa snakes, lizards and wild boar, a snake steak tastes like tuna, rice is common but when not available it is substituted by yam.

Around is the calm flat sea and in the night the bright stars of he southern globe. ,  have some drinks and just slip away tomorrow will be another few dives. The breeze whistle in the rigging and rolling waves let the catamaran banging up and down.

Not much has changes since the 17.th. century when the Portuguese adventurer De Brito sailed  through here with the idea to get rich quick and after came the British colonialists with the same idea. 

Bagan Day Trips

There are a few day trips to explore Bagan's vicinity

This is worth doing it to get a much better understanding how people are living here, actually for most of them this is not an easy time. But the area is ideal for great excursions, discoveries, temples, pagodas, the Irrawaddy and more. 

You will have it better than most of the people living here who have no access to clean water and electricity.

One of the short journey could be to fly with the balloon over the plains and enjoy a different view, although it is quite expensive it's somehow worth it since you won't be here so soon again.

Trip with the Balloon
Fly with the Balloon

Have another great time with a drive to Mount Popa 

Day trip to Mount Popa
Day trip to Mount Popa

Visit the Sale Monastery

Visiting the Sale Monastery
Visiting the Sale Monastery

An excursion to a lacquer ware factory

Beautiful lacquer table and plate
Beautiful lacquer table and plate

Cruising the Irrawaddy

Cruising the Irrawaddy

Back to Pagodas and Temples
Back to Pagodas and Temples


Tours and day trips

Here are a couple of short trips and a few journeys over some days.

It is very advisable to take a guided look around because the environment is not easy and without having a local assistance you run continuously into problems which are not of the big sort but not nice and cost lots of time. 

To avoid all this makes your holiday a pleasant one and the most precious days in the year really enjoyable, keep in mind the country is different, thats not Thailand.

Half day Mandalay City Tour
Excursion Sale & Mount Popa 
Half day to Mount Popa 

Thanboddhay Pagoda in Monywa

On the pagoda platform dozens of smaller shrines.

Around are myriads of temples and skilfully painted sculptures, they blend very well with the pilgrim crowd. 

Thanboddhay Pagoda precinct

Thanboddhay Pagoda along the wall