Located between India and China, on the Indian Ocean and also sharing borders with Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos, Myanmar (formerly Burma) ended more than 50 years of isolation from the rest of the world in 2011. With over 130 distinct ethnic groups populating this diverse landscape, this melting pot has many cultural crossovers that provide a depth of character and rich experiences that make it reminiscent of Vietnam and Thailand many years ago, before the influx of tourism. Some of the luxuries and infrastructure are lacking those of other Southeastern Asia destinations, but the warm, friendly welcoming people, diverse landscape, deep history and beautiful photographic opportunities make it an ideal destination for those seeking something off the beaten path where few other tourists have gone.
The country as a whole can be divided into five physiographic regions—the northern mountains, the western ranges, the eastern plateau, the central basin and lowlands, and the coastal plains.
Although Myanmar has no official religion, nearly nine-tenths of the population follows Theravada Buddhism.
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing together constitute the largest contributor to Myanmar’s economy. About half of all agricultural land in Myanmar is devoted to rice. As a whole, the sector accounts for nearly one-half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about two-thirds of the labor force.
What’s To Love in Myanmar
Navigate Inle Lake and the Floating Farms
Farmers and fishermen share this beautiful inland freshwater lake. The floating tomato crops are anchored on small canoe like platforms held in place with bamboo poles that allow the farmer enough room to navigate between the rows. The lake is also known for the leg rowers, who steer their vessels with one leg in the water to keep both hands free for fishing.
Enjoy the City’s British colonial architecture, modern high-rises and gilded Buddhist pagodas. Its famed Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda), over 2000 years old, is a huge, shimmering pagoda complex, drawing thousands of pilgrims annually.
Float Among the Sea of Temples in Bagan
Lying on a bend of the Ayeyarwady River in the central plain of Myanmar, Bagan is a sacred landscape, featuring an exceptional range of Buddhist art and architecture, numerous temples, stupas, monasteries and places of pilgrimage, as well as archaeological remains, frescoes style painting and sculptures.
Visit the Touring Buddhas
A replica of the royal barge with the royal bird (Hintha Bird) on the bow along with four of the five Buddhas from the temple in Nyaung Shwe are towed by several boats of leg-rowing boatmen who take the barge to villages along the shore. The four Buddha are taken to the main temple in each village for one night. When the barge returns to Nyaung Shwe the four Buddhas are taken to the temple to be reunited with the fifth Buddha.
Meet Some Locals on Mandalay Hill
People in Myanmar are eager to welcome foreigners, all the better native English speakers with whom they can practice their language skills.
Trek Across Rickety U Bein Bridge
U-Bein Bridge stretches across the Taungthaman Inn Lake in Amarapura. At 3/4 mile long, it is the largest teak bridge in the world and was built from materials salvaged from a palace in the 1800s. .
Longtail it Over to the Specialty Villages on Inle Lake
The lake is made up of small villages that are built over the water on stilts and piers. Each village has its own specialty; among them: boat making, textile weaving, silversmithing, blacksmithing, handicrafts, and hand made cigars.
Spend the Day at Pyin oo Lin
Pyin oo Lin, also known as Maymyo, is a short trip from Mandalay and is known for its British colonial buildings, botanical gardens and waterfalls.
Cruise the Irrawaddy River
Immerse in off the beaten track local villages as stopovers on a luxury overnight cruise on the Irrawaddy River Mandalay to Bagan (3 days downriver) or a 4 day reverse itinerary from Bagan to Mandalay.
Relax at the Beach
Enjoy a variety of water sports or just relax at Ngapali Beach. Southern Myanmar boasts a number of white sand beaches tucked into small islands and away from the crowds.
Be Keeper for a Day
Kalaw Green Hill Valley elephant sanctuary is a place to get to know an elephant up close and personal.
Dive the Mergui Archipelago
The undersea world is a diver and snorkeler's paradise.
Myanmar has three seasons: the cool, relatively dry northeast monsoon (late October to mid-February), the hot, dry inter-monsoonal season (mid-February to mid-May), and the rainy southwest monsoon (mid-May to late October). The coastal regions and the western and southeastern ranges receive more than 200 inches (5,000 mm) of precipitation annually, while the delta regions receive about 100 inches (2,500 mm).
Typically for the type of Custom Itineraries we build, prices in Myanmar can run from $400 - $600 + USD per person per day, primarily dependent upon destinations, lodging, activities, time of year, and single or double occupancy. Quoted Tour prices include accommodations guides, excursions, park entrance and conservation fees, ground transfers, all breakfasts and some meals and beverages while on full day excursions.
Tour proposals exclude international flights, travel insurance, and gratuities. Each proposal will detail all inclusions and exclusions for clarity.