Welcome to Myanmar (Burma)


Golden Wonders

‘This is Burma', wrote Rudyard Kipling. ‘It will be quite unlike any land you know about.’ Amazingly, over a century later, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight even the most jaded of travellers. Be dazzled by the 'winking wonder' of Shwedagon Paya. Contemplate the 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan. Stare in disbelief at the Golden Rock at Mt Kyaiktiyo, teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. These are all important Buddhist sights in a country where pious monks are more revered than rock stars.

The New Myanmar

In 2015, Myanmar voted in its first democratically elected government in more than half a century. Sanctions have been dropped and Asian investors especially are coming to do business. Modern travel conveniences, such as mobile-phone coverage and internet access, are now common. But the economic and social changes Myanmar is undergoing are largely confined to the big cities and towns, and large swaths of the country remain off limits due to ongoing ethnic conflict. The Burmese military continue to play a key, if less visible, role in politics. The new Myanmar is very much a work in progress.

Traditional Life

In a nation of multiple ethnic groups, exploring Myanmar can sometimes feel like you've stumbled into a living edition of National Geographic, c 1910. For all the recent changes, Myanmar remains at heart a rural nation of traditional values. You'll encounter men wearing the sarong-like longyi and chewing betel nut, spitting the blood-red juice onto the ground, women with faces smothered in thanakha (a natural sunblock), and cheroot-smoking grannies. Trishaws still ply city streets, while the horse or bullock and cart is common rural transport. Drinking tea – a British colonial custom – is enthusiastically embraced in thousands of teahouses.

Simple Pleasures

Thankfully, the pace of change is not overwhelming, leaving the simple pleasures of travel in Myanmar intact. Drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old steamer or luxury cruiser. Stake out a slice of beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal. Trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills without jostling with scores of fellow travellers. Best of all, you'll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive and passionate – they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their country. Now is the time to make that connection.


Top experiences in Myanmar (Burma)

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Myanmar (Burma) activities

$29.70 Cultural & Theme Tours

Yangon Circular Train Sightseeing Tour, Market Visit and Lunch

Meet your guide and small group in front of the Asia Plaza Hotel and head to the Central Railway Station to catch the circular train, a rail network that serves the Yangon Metropolitan Area. The 28-mile (46-km) loop aboard the local commuter train connects several satellite towns and suburban areas via 39 stations and is one of the best ways to discover Yangon. Your half-day tour takes you beyond the city center to see a real cross-section of Yangon, observing the colorful urban lifestyle of the locals. The entire loop takes about three hours to complete, but you’ll hop off at Da Nyin Gone Station to visit a lively local market. Spend about 45 minutes wandering through the stalls, meeting vendors and witnessing authentic life in Yangon. You’ll learn about commodities that are basic necessities for life here, and perhaps grab a coffee or tea from one of the small shops. Re-board the train and continue downtown, where you’ll visit the largest Cathedral in Myanmar- St.Mary Cathedral. By the end of your small-group tour, you’ll have a deeper impression of Yangon, including its colonial and spiritual heritage, evident throughout the city and its suburbs.

$68.72 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Transfer: Mandalay to Bagan

Pre-book your private arrival transfer will ensure you stay relaxed and to avoid the long queue for a taxi after a tiring holiday.Our driver will collect you from your hotel lobby in Mandalay at agreed time and transfer you to your hotel or destination in Bagan. For travelers who arrive at Mandalay Airport or Port, you will meet our driver at the exit gates holding a signboard with your name on it. He will greet you before taking you to the coach and transport you to your hotel or destination in Bagan. Please contact our service line if you are not able to find our representative at the agreed meeting location.Please note that each traveler is allowed a maximum of 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on bag. Oversized or excessive luggage (e.g. surfboards, golf clubs or bikes) may have certain restrictions, please inquire with the operator prior to travel to confirm if your excess luggage is acceptable. Infant seat is not available.

$74.66 Tours & Sightseeing

Yangon Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Chauk Htat Gyi and Lunch

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and lead your small group on a full-day sightseeing tour of the sprawling city, which includes a relatively small downtown area. Here, explore colonial buildings and the Yangon River where tree-lined streets stretch along several lakes. As you tour by air-conditioned vehicle, your guide offers commentary about the colonial architecture, religious buildings and parks, offering insight into the diverse population of Yangon, where world religions coexist in the former capital. Get to know the real Yangon, the largest city and major hub of Myanmar, home to some 3.5 to 5 million inhabitants.Stop in local teashops (own expense) along the way, and see the Sule Pagoda—a Burmese stupa located in the heart of downtown. Admire the harbor and one of the colorful local markets before heading to the Strand Hotel for a complimentary drink. You’ll visit Chauk Htat Gyi (reclining Buddha) just before lunch, enjoying typical dishes from tribes all over the country such as Kachin, Shan and Rakhine. Afterward, another local market will lead you to a small station where you’ll hop aboard the famous circular train for a 30- to 45-minute ride. Enjoy the slow pace of this antique railway, used by locals, monks and vendors who transport their goods. The train will bring your small group right behind Bogyoke Aung San Market at the heart of Yangon. You'll have time to explore the city's largest selection of Burmese handicrafts before your guide takes you back to your hotel.

$57 Cultural & Theme Tours

Mandalay Private Full-Day Tour

We will depart from your hotel at 8:30am after breakfast. First, we will go to Mahamuni Buddha, a spectacular and attractive statue of Lord Buddha, completely made of Gold. As one of the most significant sites of Buddhist pilgrimage in Myanmar, it is a place of devotion and meditation. Women are not allowed to enter the innermost chamber (and consequently, to apply gold leaves on the statue).Next, you will visit to a stone carving workshops and see a skilled craftsmen who attack pure white marble or stone with angle grinders and drills to create the most enigmatic Buddha images. From here, we will move on to the puppet workshop and wood carving. Since the gold-leaf is commonly use in Myanmar, it is fascinating to see the traditional way of gold-leaf is produced at Gold Leaf Workshop. You will then enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant with variety of traditional food. A short free and easy time after lunch. After a short break, we will move on to Mandalay Royal Palace followed by Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Monastery). The Monastery is small and atmospheric and was moved from the old Royal Palace grounds. It gave an idea of what the inside of the old Palace would have looked like in entirety originally and the beauty of the wood cravings from the glory period if Mandalay.Finally, we will explore Kuthodaw Pagoda (the world’s largest book), is a lovely place to visit and really interesting for the history and cultural facts. It's a great place to walk around and soak up the sights and experience of this beautiful place. Before heading back to your hotel, you will enjoy the sun setting at the top of Mandalay Hill.

$32.40 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Yangon by Night Burmese Market Tour with Street Food Sampling

Make your way to the meeting point in central Yangon to join your guide for your evening walking tour, which covers a little more than 1 mile (2 km) with plenty of stops for snacks, shopping and photo ops.Start by strolling down bustling Shwe Bontha Street, where people sell secondhand goods such as electronics, gold jewelry, eyeglasses, books, clothing and more. Enjoy a moment of respite from the market as you check out a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple on the way to Chinatown, and then stop for a refreshing drink — perhaps green tea at a local tea shop or fresh sugarcane juice from a roadside stall. Nearby, enjoy great photo ops at a temple decorated with mythological scenes, and then continue cruising through narrow alleys full of boutiques and antique shops; if anything catches your eye, your guide can help you to bargain like a local. Next up, hit a roadside market on 19th Street where stalls are piled with fruit, vegetables, fresh seafood and local delicacies. Vendors work their magic cooking tasty nibbles on charcoal grills, resulting in all sorts of meats, veggies and marinades to sample. This is the hub of Yangon’s street food scene, with lots of outdoor seating and locals eating dinner. Your guide will choose some favorite snacks and beer to share with you as you wind down your walking tour and hear about Myanmar’s food culture. You'll end on 19th Street, where you can remain on your own, if you wish.

$45.90 Cultural & Theme Tours

Yangon Tradition and Culture Tour with Shwedagon Pagoda Visit

Meet your English speaking guide, jump in our van and head to Chaukhtetkyi Pagoda, home to a reclining Buddha that's one of the most honoured in the country and one of the largest in all of Myanmar.After a short visit inside the museum, continue your tour with a walk through a local residential area until you reach Kandawgyi Park, which offers views of Shwedagon Pagoda across Kandawgyi Lake. Along the way, your guide will share local stories and anecdotes, as well as answer any questions your small group poses about local life in Yangon. Then stop at a teahouse for a tea break and some people watching before heading to Shwedagon Pagoda. Inside the eastern entrance to the pagoda, your guide will point out a very different type of local market, which demonstrates how significant Buddhism is in the daily life of Myanmar. After exploring the market a bit, you’ll climb a long, stair-filled corridor up to the pagoda platform, accompanied by your guide’s explanation of the locals’ unique Buddhist beliefs. The magnificent golden dome of Shwedagon Pagoda rises an impressive 322 feet (98 meters) from its base and is said to have been covered with tons of pure gold, along with numerous precious stones such as jade, rubies, sapphires and diamonds. Humbling in its beauty, the golden dome is one of the city’s most iconic sites. Observe locals and monks offering their devotions as the sun sets across the golden pagoda.After sufficient time exploring the famous site, hop back in your minivan and head back to the meeting point, an approximate 30-minute drive away. You are welcome to remain at Shwedagon Pagoda, but you will be responsible for your own transportation back to the city center.