Why I love Myanmar
“It doesn't matter whether this is your first or 51st visit to Myanmar: you won't fail to notice the energy, hope and possibilities for the future that hang in the air. Exiles are returning, joining others in rising to the challenge of bringing their country into the 21st century at the same time as preserving the best of the past. Myanmar has many problems to fix but its people remain as stoic and charming as ever....” Read More
Top experiences in Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma) activities
Yangon by Circular Train: Life Along the Loop
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 walk through Little India and Chinatown — two diverse and vibrant Yangon neighborhoods. Here, enjoy a cup of local tea on the street corner, where people-watching is a favorite local pastime. 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.
Yangon City Sightseeing Tour
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.
Yangon by Night: Burmese Market Tour
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.
Mandalay Private 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 (Shwenantaw 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.
Tradition and Culture Small Group Tour in Yagon
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.
Shwedagon Pagoda Walking Tour
Get picked up from your hotel and begin your half-day tour at a local teashop—Daw Cho Mohinga Shop—for a traditional Burmese breakfast at 8am. After some scrumptious eats, your guide will lead you on a small-group tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, where you’ll have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at what lies behind its golden façade. During this interactive walking tour of the pagoda, explore walkways and hidden gems that are unknown to most visitors. Starting from the bottom of the hill, your guide takes you past the workshops, markets and monasteries essential to understanding Myanmar and its inhabitants. You’ll learn about the daily life of the local people who reside in the immediate surroundings and gain a deeper insight into the Buddhist religion as you provide offerings to the monks.Continue through the back door of Shwedagon Pagoda and discover its fascinating history. As you tour the magnificent grounds and interior—and even visit a local fortune-teller—your guide shares information about ancient spiritual beliefs, including the nats, Burmese spirits. As you gaze in awe at the 325-foot (99-meter) gilded pagoda and stupa, you’ll see why ‘more gold than in your bank of England’ was the common saying during the British occupation of Myanmar.Your half-day tour ends at Aung Thu Kha Restaurant, where your small group will gather to enjoy a Burmese lunch and get taken back to your hotel.Click on "View Additional Info" for a map of the meeting point.