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- Myanmar Tour Plan -

Visit Myanmar in about 1 Week

While you’ll get the best Myanmar experience by visiting for two weeks or longer, it’s possible to see most of Myanmar’s highlights in about one week (5-10 days). Below, we’ve prepared a one week itinerary for travellers interested in visiting Myanmar that covers most of the country’s must-see sights.

Myanmar TOUR PLANS IN About 1 week

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Myanmar Golden Rock & Mergui Paradise

Myanmar Golden Rock & Mergui Paradise

- Myanmar -

Myanmar Golden Rock & Mergui Paradise
Wellness & Leisure / 9 days / fr. $1,450

The combination between the must-see sacred temple of Kyaiktiyo and the amazing Mergui Archipelago. Experience five days of pure paradise by going around the Mergui Islands snorkeling, swimming or... More

Memorial Honeymoon in Myanmar

Memorial Honeymoon in Myanmar

- Myanmar -

Memorial Honeymoon in Myanmar
Honeymoon / 7 days / fr. $1,220

Start the transition into a new chapter in life with a romantic trip to Myanmar. The first few days cover the must-sees such as Yangon’s colonial buildings, the temples of Bagan, and Inle Lak... More

Naga Land Exploration

Naga Land Exploration

- Myanmar -

Naga Land Exploration
Trek & Hike / 8 days / fr. $1,240

Take a challenging trek to Nagaland that lies on the border of India and Myanmar. Explore the ancient hunting trails of Naga Warriors who are known for their now-defunct practice of headhunting. Ex... More

Remoted Chin State

Remoted Chin State

- Myanmar -

Remoted Chin State
Trek & Hike / 8 days / fr. $1,040

Take a challenging trek to remote Chin State rich in wildlife, flora, nature, diverse ethnic tribes and culture. Learn, appreciate and respect the beliefs of the Chin people surrounding spiritual s... More

Myanmar Culture & Culinary Exploration

Myanmar Culture & Culinary Exploration

- Myanmar -

Myanmar Culture & Culinary Exploration
Family / 9 days / fr. $1,170

This 9-day tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights and most famous destinations in Myanmar. Not just sightseeing, you will have a chance to learn how to cook authentic Burmese dishes. Fr... More

Myanmar Highlights Exploration

Myanmar Highlights Exploration

- Myanmar -

Myanmar Highlights Exploration
Luxury / 8 days / fr. $1,040

See some of the most beautiful spots in rural Myanmar including the Shwedagon Pagoda, Inle Lake, and the Bagan temples. In between visits to these attractions are great opportunities for catching a... More

RECOMMENDED ROUTES TO VISIT Myanmar IN
About 1 week

Our local travel experts have worked out some of the most popular routes to make the best of your 1-week trip plan in Myanmar
Highlights of Myanmar
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Highlights of Myanmar

Be introduced to Myanmar’s rich culture and timeless traditions in just about 1 week. Explore the bustling city streets and serene pagodas of Yangon, step back in time at the ancient temples of Bagan and revel in the untouched natural beauty of Inle Lake.

With this route, you can also start the transition into a new chapter in life with a romantic trip to Myanmar. Each day of the trip is filled with activities that provide a glimpse into Myanmar's rich culture.

Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, is by far the most exciting place in the country to be right now, as former political exiles, Asian investors and foreign adventurers flock in. As Myanmar's commercial and artistic hub, it's Yangon that most reflects the changes that have occurred since the country reopened to the world. There's a rash of new restaurants, bars and shops. And there are building sites – and traffic jams – everywhere.

But in many ways Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, has hardly changed at all. The city remains focused on Shwedagon Paya, an awe-inspiring golden Buddhist monument around which everything else revolves. Close to it are the parks and lakes that provide Yangonites with an escape from the surrounding chaos. Then there's downtown, its pavements one vast open-air market, which is home to some of the most impressive colonial architecture in all Southeast Asia.

Bagan

This temple town is one of Myanmar’s main attractions. Once the capital of a powerful ancient kingdom, the area known as Bagan or, bureaucratically, as the ‘Bagan Archaeological Zone’ occupies an impressive 26-sq-mile area. The Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River drifts past its northern and western sides.

The area’s most active town and main transport hub is Nyaung U, in the northeastern corner. About 2.5 miles west, Old Bagan is the former site of the village that was relocated 2 miles south to New Bagan in 1990. Between the two is Myinkaba, a village boasting a long-running lacquerware tradition.

Bagan has been hit by earthquakes over the centuries. The most recent, in August 2016, damaged 400 temples; work on repairing them is ongoing. Bear in mind that Bagan is not a traveller destination with nightlife like Siem Reap (Cambodia) or even Luang Prabang (Laos). It's an overgrown village, so party elsewhere.

Mandalay

Thanks partly to Rudyard Kipling’s evocative poem Mandalay, the name of Myanmar’s second city suggests – for many Western visitors at least – images of a bygone Asia. Arriving in Mandalay tends quickly to dispel such thoughts, however, as visitors are faced with a grid of congested streets dominated by the walls and moat of the huge military base that surrounds the old royal palace.

Despite this, it would be a shame to rush through too quickly without giving the place a chance to grow on you. There’s Mandalay Hill to climb for one thing, memorable both for its views and for the experience of joining throngs of locals doing the same. Then there are the day-trips to former Burmese capitals such as the once-mighty Inwa, now a sleepy backwater scattered with stupas that you can visit by horse and cart; Sagaing is another favourite for its hilltop pagodas.

Inle Lake

The Inle Lake region is one of Myanmar's most anticipated destinations, and all the hype is justified. Picture a vast, serene lake – 13.5 miles long and 7 miles wide – fringed by marshes and floating gardens, where stilt-house villages and Buddhist temples rise above the water, and Intha fisher folk propel their boats along via their unique technique of leg-rowing. Surrounding the lake are hills that are home to myriad minorities: Shan, Pa-O, Taung Yo, Danu, Kayah and Danaw, who descend from their villages for markets that hopscotch around the towns of the region on a five-day cycle.

Nyaungshwe is the area's accommodation and transport hub. It's a scrappy place, but once you've experienced the watery world that sits right by it and explored the environs of Inle Lake, that won't matter. Few people leave here disappointed with what they've seen and done.

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Shan Plateau Adventure
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Shan Plateau Adventure

Trip throughout the Shan Plateau is a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover remote ethnic tribes, nature and historical monuments of Shan State. Covering the loop of the beautiful Inle Lake, the trail offers multiple breathtaking views of Inle. Visit the land of the Padaung people who are famous for their unique cultural practices. 

Inle Lake

The Inle Lake region is one of Myanmar's most anticipated destinations, and all the hype is justified. Picture a vast, serene lake – 13.5 miles long and 7 miles wide – fringed by marshes and floating gardens, where stilt-house villages and Buddhist temples rise above the water, and Intha fisher folk propel their boats along via their unique technique of leg-rowing. Surrounding the lake are hills that are home to myriad minorities: Shan, Pa-O, Taung Yo, Danu, Kayah and Danaw, who descend from their villages for markets that hopscotch around the towns of the region on a five-day cycle.

Nyaungshwe is the area's accommodation and transport hub. It's a scrappy place, but once you've experienced the watery world that sits right by it and explored the environs of Inle Lake, that won't matter. Few people leave here disappointed with what they've seen and done.

Kalaw

Kalaw was founded as a hill station by British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. The town still feels like a high-altitude holiday resort – the air is cool, the atmosphere is calm and the tree-lined streets still contain a smattering of colonial-era architecture – while the surrounding hills are fine for relatively easy day or overnight treks to Danu, Danaw, Palaung, Pa-O and Taung Yo villages.

Loikaw

The capital of Kayah State, Loikaw is a low-key, low-rise town on the Pilu River, dominated by the hilltop pagoda of Taung Kwe Zayde. Loikaw's dusty streets are a pleasant enough introduction to small-town life in Kayah State, but the city is really a base for venturing out into the surrounding countryside and villages, which see relatively few foreigners.

Pindaya

The road to sleepy Pindaya cuts across one of the most densely farmed areas in Myanmar – at first glance, the patchwork of fields and hedges could almost be a landscape from central Europe. But it's the Danu, Palaung and Pa-O villages, rather than the farms, around Pindaya that draw travellers for treks through less-visited areas than elsewhere in western Shan State. Another good reason to make the journey here is to visit the famous Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda, a massive limestone cavern filled with thousands of gilded buddha statues.

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Western Burma Adventure
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Western Burma Adventure

Take a challenging trek to remote Chin State rich in wildlife, flora, nature, diverse ethnic tribes and culture. Learn, appreciate and respect the beliefs of the Chin people surrounding spiritual sites of totem poles and a stone cemetery. Meet the local villagers who practise the ritual of tattooing faces. Learn the rituals of Chin tribes who believe in animism and how they practice it in their daily lives

Bagan

This temple town is one of Myanmar’s main attractions. Once the capital of a powerful ancient kingdom, the area known as Bagan or, bureaucratically, as the ‘Bagan Archaeological Zone’ occupies an impressive 26-sq-mile area. The Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River drifts past its northern and western sides.

The area’s most active town and main transport hub is Nyaung U, in the northeastern corner. About 2.5 miles west, Old Bagan is the former site of the village that was relocated 2 miles south to New Bagan in 1990. Between the two is Myinkaba, a village boasting a long-running lacquerware tradition.

Bagan has been hit by earthquakes over the centuries. The most recent, in August 2016, damaged 400 temples; work on repairing them is ongoing. Bear in mind that Bagan is not a traveller destination with nightlife like Siem Reap (Cambodia) or even Luang Prabang (Laos). It's an overgrown village, so party elsewhere.

Chin State

Wild, mountainous and remote, Chin State is Myanmar's poorest and least-developed state. Scrunched up against the borders with Bangladesh and India, Chin is sparsely populated and lacking in infrastructure. But it makes up for that with densely forested hills and mountains that soar above 10,000ft and that are separated by vast valleys through which rivers rage. Home to traditional villages inhabited by the friendly Chin people, a Tibeto-Burman group that has largely adopted Christianity, this is the perfect place to take the road less travelled.

Southern Chin State is already attracting visitors intent on hiking up Mt Victoria, the state's highest peak, and trekking to the villages around the hilltop town of Mindat. But northern Chin State remains mostly virgin territory for foreigners. Don't expect much in the way of comfort here. Instead, revel in a land that looks like it's barely been touched by human hands.

Magwe

About 155 miles north of Pyay and 93 miles south of Salay, Magwe’s locale on the Ayeyarwady River is nice enough, as is the impressive 1.8-mile Magwe Bridge. Beyond this, however, it’s a place of dilapidated buildings running along a confusing web of leafy streets. Still, if you’re travelling along the bumpy road connecting Bagan and Pyay, you’ll probably want to break your journey here and stretch your legs around the ‘sights’. Famously, the capital of Magwe Division sat out of the 1988 prodemocracy marches. There's one memorable guesthouse (actually in nearby Yengangyaung) that makes a fine base for exploring the area.

Rakhine State

The interchangeable terms Rakhine (sometimes spelled Rakhaing) and Arakan refer to the people, the state and dialect of Myanmar's westernmost state: home to the remarkable temples of ancient capital Mrauk U in the north, and the palm-tree-fringed beach resort of Ngapali in the south.

Isolated from the Burmese heartland by mountains, home to a long coastline and the seat of at least four former kingdoms, Rakhine feels very different from the rest of Myanmar and the Rakhine remain staunchly proud of their unique identity. This has led to much strife over the centuries between both the Rakhine and the Bamar and the minority Muslim residents of the state (the Rohingya). Serious sectarian violence between the Rakhine and the Rohingya has erupted in the past, such as in 2012, but the outbreak of violence in 2016 and 2017 drew widespread condemnation from the international community as an estimated 500,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh.

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Northern Burma Adventure
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Northern Burma Adventure

If local villages, meandering rivers, and spectacular vistas are your thing, then this is the exploration for you. Spend a week exploring the hidden corners of northeast Myanmar where a diverse mix of historic sites and hill tribe hamlets beckon the intrepid traveler.

Myitkyina

The capital of Kachin State, Myitkyina lacks much in the way of headline sights. Nonetheless it’s an engaging, multicultural place, home to Kachin, Lisu, Chinese and Burmese, and hosts two of Myanmar's most important 'ethnic' festivals. A low-rise town with a fair scattering of part-timber houses, its residents seem keen to assist visitors, with local Christians particularly eager to practise their English. Quiet at the best of times, the town is especially sleepy on Sundays when the churches fill up. Few foreigners make it here, and those who do are mostly missionaries or NGO workers.

Putao

Set in a beautiful green valley below snow-capped peaks, Putao is the only town of any size in this far north Himalayan region of Myanmar. It sprawls across several hills and the action gravitates around two markets: the Central Market and the Airport Market. This was the site of the isolated British WWII military outpost, Fort Hertz, but there is no actual fortress to visit.

The area around Putao is home to sparse populations of Rawang, Lisu, Kachin, Shan and the last remaining Taron on earth, the only known pygmy group in Asia. The population is heavily Christian and most villages have more churches than temples.

The best time to visit for trekking is from October to April, when daytime temperatures are quite pleasant and nights are cool. Conversely the mountaineering season for conquering Hkakabo Razi is August and September when there is minimal snow on the route to the summit.

Sagaing

A crest of green hills studded with white and gold pagodas marks the 'skyline' of Saigang, a religious pilgrimage centre that resembles Bagan with elevation. This pretty, friendly town is a major monastic centre and a somewhat serene escape from Mandalay's constant hum. No individual pagoda stands out as a particular must-see, but taken together the whole scene is enthralling. A highlight is walking the sometimes steep covered stairways that lead past monasteries and nunneries to viewpoints from which you can survey the river and an undulating landscape of emerald hills and stupas.

Northern Shan State

For an easy escape from the heat and hussle of Mandalay, do what the colonial Brits did and pop up to Pyin Oo Lwin. And as you've come this far, why not continue further across the rolling hills of the Shan Plateau to discover some of Southeast Asia’s most satisfying hill treks out of Hsipaw. But bring a decent fleece: while days are warm, it gets chilly after dark and can be downright cold at 5am when buses depart and markets are at their candlelit best.

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Remote Eastern Myanmar
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Remote Eastern Myanmar

Travellers to eastern Myanmar get the chance to experience both beautiful Inle Lake and some of the finest trekking in the country. Then there's the intriguing opportunity of getting right off the tourist trail in areas that see very few foreigners. While much of eastern Myanmar remains closed due to ongoing conflict, more and more places are opening up to visitors. Now, tiny Kayah State and its charming capital Loikaw have joined Shan State's Kyaingtong and its surrounding hill-peoples' villages as one of the least-visited but most rewarding destinations in Myanmar.

So whether you just want to kick back and glide across the placid waters of Inle Lake in a boat, or are up for hiking through remote villages in the region's back hills, eastern Myanmar is an essential stop.

Hsipaw

Increasing numbers of foreigners are finding their way to delightful Hsipaw; pronounced ‘see-paw’ or ‘tee-bor’), drawn by the possibilities of easily arranged hill treks that are more authentic than those around Kalaw or anywhere in northern Thailand. Many people, though, find the town's laid-back vibe and intriguing history as a Shan royal city as much of an attraction and spend far longer here than they intended. With just enough tourist infrastructure to be convenient, Hsipaw remains a completely genuine northern Shan State town. Be sure to check it out before this changes.

Lashio

Lashio is a booming and sprawling market town with a significant Chinese population. You’re most likely to come here for the airport, as it is the nearest to Hsipaw, or if you’ve managed to organise the necessary permits for the five-hour drive to the Chinese border at Mu-se.

Once the seat of an important Shan sawbwa (Shan prince), Lashio played a pivotal role in the fight against the Japanese in WWII as the starting point of the Burma Road, which supplied food and arms to Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang army. Little evidence of that evocative history remains today, thanks to a disastrous 1988 fire that destroyed most of the city's old wooden homes.

Kengtung

Set around an attractive lake, Kyaingtong, also known as Kengtung, is one of the most pleasant towns in Myanmar. In culture and appearance Kyaingtong feels closer to the hill towns of northern Thailand than other cities in Shan State. And whereas most of Shan State is dominated by the Tai Lü and Tai Nuea peoples, Kyaingtong was once the capital of a Tai Khün kingdom and the majority of its residents still belong to that ethnic group.

Kyaingtong was long caught in the crossfire between various ethnic armies, rival drug lords and the Myanmar military, but the area is now peaceful. The rugged terrain of eastern Shan State contributes to a palpable sense of isolation: Kyaingtong is an outpost of development amid largely deforested mountains that are home to Wa, Akha, Palaung and Lahu villages where little has changed in centuries. Unsurprisingly, hill treks are a major attraction here.

Taunggyi

Perched on top of a mountain, Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State and by far the biggest city in eastern Myanmar. A multicultural town with a majority Shan population and significant Chinese, Muslim and Christian communities, Taunggyi is principally a trading post. Its markets are piled high with Chinese and Thai goods trucked in via the border crossings at Mong La and Tachileik, and destined to be sold on wholesale to markets in Yangon and Mandalay. Unless you’re pining for the big city (the Shan State version of it anyway) and/or consumer goods, there’s little of interest here for most visitors.

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Southern Myanmar Rural Life
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Southern Myanmar Rural Life

On this epic journey, which will take us from the Burmese capital to its very southern tip, we’ll not only discover the cultural treasures around Hpa An and Mawlamyaing but also the rural charms of Bilu Island and the thought-provoking World War II cemetery at Thanbyuzayat.

More notably, perhaps, upon arrival at the remote southerly town of Myeik, there are plenty of chance to join a journey through some of the stunning 800 islands that make up the tropical Mergui Archipelago. Here, amongst the fading world of the Moken, the so-called “Sea Gypsies” - a tribe of maritime hunter-gatherers who have made this region their home over the last 4,000 years – we’ll mingle with the isolated fishing communities who inhabit this area of Burma that was, until recently, almost impossible to gain the necessary permits to visit.

This route offers an insight into a very different Burma and as well as offering ample opportunities to relax in the warm waters of Southeast Asia, it will be certain to appeal to those who prefer their adventures a little bit more unscripted.

Bago

If it weren't for Bago's abundance of religious sites and the remains of its palace, it would be hard to tell that this scrappy town – 50 miles northeast of Yangon on the old highway to Mandalay – was once the capital of southern Myanmar. The much-delayed opening of the new Hanthawaddy International Airport in 2022, which will take over from Yangon as Myanmar's main air hub, is set to revive Bago's fortunes.

Until then, the great density of blissed-out buddhas and treasure-filled temples makes Bago, formerly known as Pegu, an appealing and simple day trip from Yangon, or the ideal first stop when you leave the city behind.

Mt. Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock

Mt Kyaiktiyo, the Golden Rock, sounds bizarre: an enormous, precariously balanced boulder covered in gold and topped with a stupa. But this monument is a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists and it's the presence of so many devotees that makes the place so special.

The atmosphere during the pilgrimage season (November to March) is charged with magic: pilgrims chant, light candles and meditate all through the night, while men (only) are permitted to walk over a bridge spanning a chasm to the boulder to affix gold-leaf squares to the rock’s surface. And the boulder itself is stunning, especially when bathed in the purple, sometimes misty, light of dawn and dusk.

During the rainy season (May to October), the mountain is mostly covered in a chilly coat of mist and rain, although people still flock here. The area's hotels are open during this period, but some restaurants shut down.

Hpa An

Hpa-an, Kayin State's scruffy riverside capital, isn't going to inspire many postcards home. But the people are friendly, and the city is the logical base from which to explore the Buddhist caves, sacred mountains, and rivers and lakes of the stunning surrounding countryside.

Mawlamyine

With a ridge of stupa-capped hills on one side, the Thanlwin River on the other and a centre filled with crumbling colonial-era buildings, churches and mosques, Mawlamyine is a unique combination of landscape, beauty and melancholy. The setting inspired both George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling, two of the English-language writers most associated with Myanmar. Kipling penned his famous poem 'Mandalay' after visiting, while Orwell, whose mother was born here, used Mawlamyine as the backdrop for the stories 'Shooting an Elephant' and 'A Hanging'. Not that much has changed since the days when Orwell and Kipling were around, and if you've ever wondered what life was like during the Raj, Mawlamyine is a pretty good time capsule.

But it’s not all about history; the area around Mawlamyine has enough attractions, ranging from beaches to caves, to keep a visitor happy for several days.

Ye

Charming Ye, pronounced 'yay', has long been off travellers' maps. Until recently, government restrictions prevented foreigners from moving south of Mawlamyine by road, which left Ye, roughly halfway between Mawlamyine and Dawei, isolated. With an attractive, tree-lined lake at its heart and the Ye River running through it, Ye is a compact town of traditional wooden houses, a hectic, big market and friendly, curious locals. It's a great place to kick back for a few days and experience small-town Myanmar life, while it's also the ideal base for excursions into the surrounding countryside, where you'll find Mon and Kayin villages that rarely see foreigners.

Dawei beaches & town

The area near the mouth of the Dawei River has been inhabited for five centuries or more, mostly by Mon and Thai mariners. The present town dates from 1751, when it was a minor port for the Ayuthaya empire in Thailand (then Siam). From this point, it bounced back and forth between Burmese and Siamese rule until the British took over in 1826.

Dawei remains a sleepy town, despite being the administrative capital of Tanintharyi Region. That will change in the next few years as work on the long-delayed Dawei Project, consisting of a deep-sea port set to rival Singapore's and the largest industrial zone in Southeast Asia, gets going properly. Part-funded by Thailand and Japan, the project is controversial, with many locals citing rights abuses such as forced land confiscations and concerns over the environmental impact. The first phase of the project is expected to be finished in 2018.

Mergui Archipelago

The beautiful islands of the Myeik Archipelago (also known as the Mergui Archipelago) lie off the Tanintharyi coast in the extreme south of Myanmar. While pearls and marine products from the region are sought after, it is the huge untapped potential of the archipelago as a beach and ecotourist destination that could really transform the area's economy. So far, though, Myanmar has resisted taking advantage of some of its most beautiful assets, although there is talk of opening up a few of the islands in the near future. But most of the islands are uninhabited (and they are much smaller than Thailand's islands), making tourism a challenge. For now, the few islands that do have people remain home to tiny villages with hardly any infrastructure and mixed populations of Burmese and the semi-nomadic Moken, so-called ‘sea gypsies’ who move from island to island and live by fishing.

Myeik beaches & town

Myeik sits on a peninsula that juts into the Andaman Sea. With a location roughly halfway between the Middle East and China, not to mention the safe harbour offered by the peninsula and facing islands, Myeik became an important international port over 500 years ago.

The legacy of that long trading history is a multicultural population, with the descendants of Chinese and Indian Muslim traders joined by Bamar, Mon and Moken (sea gypsies) people. Myeik's intriguing past is also reflected in its buildings, with grand Sino-Portuguese houses jostling with mosques, churches, traditional wooden homes and colonial-era mansions to create a kaleidoscope of architectural styles. Myeik is still a bustling port today. It's home to a large fishing fleet, as well as being the centre of Myanmar's pearl industry, and, along with the port of Kawthoung, is the gateway to the 800-odd islands of the Myeik Archipelago.

Kawthaung beaches & town

This small port at the very end of Tanintharyi Region – the southernmost point of mainland Myanmar (500 miles from Yangon and 1200 miles from the country’s northern tip) – is separated from Thailand by a broad estuary in the Pagyan River. It was known as Victoria Point to the British, and to the Thais it’s known as Ko Song (Second Island). The Burmese name, Kawthoung (also spelt Kawthaung), is a mispronunciation of the latter.

Kawthoung was one of the earliest British possessions in Myanmar, obtained after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. Today the town is a scrappy border post and jumping-off point for boating and diving excursions to the Myeik Archipelago.

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Mergui Archipelago Exploration
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Mergui Archipelago Exploration

Take it easy on a remote island in the middle of the Andaman Sea’s Mergui Archipelago. Travel by slow boat to the forested getaway where fantastic coral reefs and sustainably constructed lodges bring guests ‘back to nature’. Lounge on the white sand beaches around the island, or choose to be more active with forest walks, snorkeling and kayaking on offer.

Capture magical sunsets from the ship’s deck, soaking up the peaceful atmosphere of Myanmar’s south. 

Mergui Archipelago

The beautiful islands of the Myeik Archipelago (also known as the Mergui Archipelago) lie off the Tanintharyi coast in the extreme south of Myanmar. While pearls and marine products from the region are sought after, it is the huge untapped potential of the archipelago as a beach and ecotourist destination that could really transform the area's economy. So far, though, Myanmar has resisted taking advantage of some of its most beautiful assets, although there is talk of opening up a few of the islands in the near future. But most of the islands are uninhabited (and they are much smaller than Thailand's islands), making tourism a challenge. For now, the few islands that do have people remain home to tiny villages with hardly any infrastructure and mixed populations of Burmese and the semi-nomadic Moken, so-called ‘sea gypsies’ who move from island to island and live by fishing.

Myeik beaches & town

Myeik sits on a peninsula that juts into the Andaman Sea. With a location roughly halfway between the Middle East and China, not to mention the safe harbour offered by the peninsula and facing islands, Myeik became an important international port over 500 years ago.

The legacy of that long trading history is a multicultural population, with the descendants of Chinese and Indian Muslim traders joined by Bamar, Mon and Moken (sea gypsies) people. Myeik's intriguing past is also reflected in its buildings, with grand Sino-Portuguese houses jostling with mosques, churches, traditional wooden homes and colonial-era mansions to create a kaleidoscope of architectural styles. Myeik is still a bustling port today. It's home to a large fishing fleet, as well as being the centre of Myanmar's pearl industry, and, along with the port of Kawthoung, is the gateway to the 800-odd islands of the Myeik Archipelago.

Kawthaung beaches & town

This small port at the very end of Tanintharyi Region – the southernmost point of mainland Myanmar (500 miles from Yangon and 1200 miles from the country’s northern tip) – is separated from Thailand by a broad estuary in the Pagyan River. It was known as Victoria Point to the British, and to the Thais it’s known as Ko Song (Second Island). The Burmese name, Kawthoung (also spelt Kawthaung), is a mispronunciation of the latter.

Kawthoung was one of the earliest British possessions in Myanmar, obtained after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. Today the town is a scrappy border post and jumping-off point for boating and diving excursions to the Myeik Archipelago.

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Beach Vacation
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Beach Vacation

Two thousand kilometers of coastline -- much of it long stretches of white sand -- put Myanmar in the running to be Asia's next super-popular beach destination.

Many of Myanmar's beaches are unspoiled and undiscovered, reminiscent of Thailand's beaches 20 years ago. he best ones are along the shores of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. These beaches face west, virtually guaranteeing great sunsets.

Briton Stephen Barker first visited Myanmar in 1995 and has made more than 10 trips since, usually staying several months at a time.

Ngapali beaches & town

With its pristine, palm-tree-fringed white sand, the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali – supposedly named years ago by a homesick Italian reminiscing about Napoli – has a justified reputation as Myanmar's premier beach getaway.

But for all the swish resorts, Ngapali maintains a laid-back fishing village vibe, as evidenced by the small boats that head out nightly to catch the bounty that is served up to visitors just hours later. The locals remain smiley, and despite the increasing number of hotels, the 15 miles of coast here means there's still a lot of space on the beach.

Peak season is from November to March. Even then, Ngapali is an early-to-bed place rather than a rip-roaring beach-party destination. During the rainy season (May to October), things are almost comatose, with many hotels closing for renovations or just opening a few rooms.

Dawei beaches & town

The area near the mouth of the Dawei River has been inhabited for five centuries or more, mostly by Mon and Thai mariners. The present town dates from 1751, when it was a minor port for the Ayuthaya empire in Thailand (then Siam). From this point, it bounced back and forth between Burmese and Siamese rule until the British took over in 1826.

Dawei remains a sleepy town, despite being the administrative capital of Tanintharyi Region. That will change in the next few years as work on the long-delayed Dawei Project, consisting of a deep-sea port set to rival Singapore's and the largest industrial zone in Southeast Asia, gets going properly. Part-funded by Thailand and Japan, the project is controversial, with many locals citing rights abuses such as forced land confiscations and concerns over the environmental impact. The first phase of the project is expected to be finished in 2018.

Mergui Archipelago

The beautiful islands of the Myeik Archipelago (also known as the Mergui Archipelago) lie off the Tanintharyi coast in the extreme south of Myanmar. While pearls and marine products from the region are sought after, it is the huge untapped potential of the archipelago as a beach and ecotourist destination that could really transform the area's economy. So far, though, Myanmar has resisted taking advantage of some of its most beautiful assets, although there is talk of opening up a few of the islands in the near future. But most of the islands are uninhabited (and they are much smaller than Thailand's islands), making tourism a challenge. For now, the few islands that do have people remain home to tiny villages with hardly any infrastructure and mixed populations of Burmese and the semi-nomadic Moken, so-called ‘sea gypsies’ who move from island to island and live by fishing.

Myeik beaches & town

Myeik sits on a peninsula that juts into the Andaman Sea. With a location roughly halfway between the Middle East and China, not to mention the safe harbour offered by the peninsula and facing islands, Myeik became an important international port over 500 years ago.

The legacy of that long trading history is a multicultural population, with the descendants of Chinese and Indian Muslim traders joined by Bamar, Mon and Moken (sea gypsies) people. Myeik's intriguing past is also reflected in its buildings, with grand Sino-Portuguese houses jostling with mosques, churches, traditional wooden homes and colonial-era mansions to create a kaleidoscope of architectural styles. Myeik is still a bustling port today. It's home to a large fishing fleet, as well as being the centre of Myanmar's pearl industry, and, along with the port of Kawthoung, is the gateway to the 800-odd islands of the Myeik Archipelago.

Kawthaung beaches & town

This small port at the very end of Tanintharyi Region – the southernmost point of mainland Myanmar (500 miles from Yangon and 1200 miles from the country’s northern tip) – is separated from Thailand by a broad estuary in the Pagyan River. It was known as Victoria Point to the British, and to the Thais it’s known as Ko Song (Second Island). The Burmese name, Kawthoung (also spelt Kawthaung), is a mispronunciation of the latter.

Kawthoung was one of the earliest British possessions in Myanmar, obtained after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. Today the town is a scrappy border post and jumping-off point for boating and diving excursions to the Myeik Archipelago.

Ngwesaung beaches & town

More sophisticated than nearby Chaung Tha Beach, and with finer sand and clearer, deeper water, palm-fringed Ngwe Saung Beach has emerged as a hip destination for Yangon's new rich. These days the northern end of the beach is occupied by a succession of upscale resorts. But backpackers have long found a home here too – the southern end has budget bungalows and an agreeably laid-back vibe. Foreign visitors tend to prefer this to Chaung Tha's more raucous atmosphere. Dividing the north and south of the 13 miles of beach here is Ngwe Saung Village, where there's an increasing crop of decent restaurants. Given Ngwe Saung's relative proximity to Yangon – it's a six-hour bus ride away – this is perhaps the best place in Myanmar for a beach getaway that won't break the bank.

Chaungtha beaches & town

Chaung Tha Beach is the closest thing Myanmar has to a holiday resort for ordinary folks – it's where the locals come to play. At this very Burmese beach party there's bobbing about on rubber rings, plodding along the beach on ponies, endless guitar playing, boisterous beach-football games, happy family picnics and evening fireworks.

Just 25 miles west of Pathein and six-odd hours from Yangon, Chaung Tha gets especially busy at weekends and on holidays. It's not the most awe-inspiring coastline – parts of the beach can get dirty in high season – and the resorts are not aimed at foreigners. But if you're looking to squeeze some sand and sun into your visit to Myanmar, it's a relatively convenient and affordable option and, unlike Ngwe Saung Beach further south, a fair few places stay open year-round.

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Myanmar BLOG ARTICLES

Thanaka or  thanakha is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

Within this article, we will learn everything about Thanaka and the benefits of its powder in making a secret beauty ingredient of Burmese women.

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Burmese Longyi, along with the country’s longtime history, art, and heritage sites has contributed to the richness of the local culture that will grasp your attention whenever you find yourself in strolling around the streets of Myanmar. With just a piece of fabric grasping on the lower part of the body through time, the longyi has made it become an incredible pattern of Myanmar traditional costume for both men and women. In this article, we are going to find out the secret of Myanmar quintessence through Longyi, about why it has been worn for centuries by the Burmese people.

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Kachin Manaw Festival is an annual traditional dance festival celebrated by Kachin people. Mostly held at Myitkyina, Kachin State also known as Manaw Land in Myanmar and also celebrated by Kachin people around the world. Manaw is the largest festival in Myitkyina, held at the beginning of January. Manaw Festival is the most significant event for Kachin People. Tribes of Kachin gather together in Manaw ground and dance around the erected Manaw poles. The Manau dance is performed at Manau festivals, which originated as part of the ‘Nat’ or spirit worship of the past.

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If your idea of fun involves a blurry riot of colour and explosions, look no further than the Taunngyi Fire Balloon Festival, which takes place in the culturally diverse capital of Shan State over several days every November. This celebration is held around the Full Moon of Tazaungmon, a Myanmar national holiday that marks the end of rainy season and is also known as the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights.

Traditionally, it is a festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda by sending up decorated hot air balloons, and lately it also became as a Hot Air Balloon Competition Festival and the festival is divided into two parts; daytime competition and nighttime competition. In the daytime, hot air balloons are sent up with the shapes of various animals and mythical creatures, and hot air balloons with firework & fire-cracker (known as Nya Mee Gyi) and lot of lanterns are hanging in the hot air balloons (known as Seinnaban) are sent up in the nighttime.

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All year round, visitors to Myanmar can experience the country’s warm and rich culture. However, one particularly special and unique time to visit is during the Naga New Year Festival, which will be held in Lahe around mid-January every year.

This special time allows visitors the chance to experience the traditions and customs of Myanmar’s Naga people. For the Naga, Lahe (New Year) is a significant time when people share their wishes and hopes for the future, and families are reunited.

It is a time of great celebration; where lively dances are performed in traditional dress, to the beat and sounds of traditional instruments.

Few tourists are lucky enough to share in the joy and festivities of the Naga New Year, but those who do are richly rewarded with an incredible cultural experience.

Overall, for those who seek genuine cultural exchange and the opportunity to take some truly stunning photographs, the Naga New Year is an amazing and unique festival to attend.

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The full moon of the Thadingyut month is when Buddhists believe the Buddha descended back to earth after three months of preaching in the spiritual realm above. While the rest of Myanmar celebrates it by lighting the Buddha's way home, the town of Kyaukse near Mandalay commemorates it a little differently: with a Elephant Dance Festival, populated not by real elephants, but by pairs of dancers in gigantic elephant costumes.

Hmm... What is it? What makes it so special? and how to join the festival? You will have all the answers below.

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