What better way to enrich your family’s cultural awareness than by introducing them to Myanmar’s incredible sights, vibrant culture, and history? Our private Myanmar family tours are designed with the needs of families in mind. They run at an easy and flexible pace customized to suit your family in the journey to Myanmar (Burma) – one of the world’s most mysterious countries.
From Mandalay to Yangon, travel the iconic and lesser-known sites of Myanmar while leaving a positive impact to local communities and the environment. Leave the lightest carbon footprints with eco-...More
Bring the family on a world wind trip in Myanmar! Covering the big four - Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake, there are activities like fun puzzles to solve, cultural experiences and hands on wo...More
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
Yangon Circular Railway is the local commuter rail network that serves the Yangon metropolitan area.For less than one US dollar you can experience the true essence of...
The leg-rowing Intha people, the wooden stilt houses on water and the floating gardens are what make the Inle Lake so different and enchanting. This vast picturesque l...
Bagan is most famous for its thousands of ancient pagodas that offer visitors spectacular sunrise and sunset views. However, in between your morning and evening spent...
Hsipaw has long been a well-known hiking and trekking destination in Myanmar. Located just six-and-a-half hours north of Mandalay, Hsipaw is a stunning mountain villag...
If you lived in Myanmar and a friend popped in to visit, this is the snack you’d serve. Lahpet, which means “green tea,” and thoke, which means &ldqu...
There are many amazing spots to admire the sunset in Myanmar, especially at the two places below.
U Bein Bridge is a crossing that spans the...
Whether you have been to Myanmar during your Indochina tours or just read the travel magazines, surely there will be at least once that you find the image of a woman w...
The U Bein Bridge, just south of Mandalay, spans the Taungthaman Lake for a whopping 1.2km. Built around 1850, it is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the worl...
Opened for transit at the turn of the nineteenth century, the Goteik Viaduct - one of the world’s oldest, slowest railway bridges - between Pyin Oo Lwin and Lash...
In fewer and fewer areas of the world where electricity is too unreliable or scarce, human-powered Ferris wheels can still be found. These pop up during major events i...
Discover the famous Bagan temples on a horse carriage ride and stop at the most important ones. Learn about the manufacturing of lacquerware, be impressed by the ancie...
A cheroot factory located on Inle Lake in the Shan Hills where this traditional Burmese-style cigar is manufactured. Cheap to produce, cheroots are found all over Myan...
The best way to explore this maze of temples is by bicycle as distances are long and the easiest way to weave through the jungles on the sandy earth is on two wheels....
Cycle tours these two significant Burmese cities on a three-day adventure from Mandalay to Bagan. On a map, the start and finish points of this ride don't appear f...
From the natural beauty of Inle Lake and the intrigue of the communities that inhabit it, to the scenic views of the Shan Hills, to the ancient ruins of Bagan and a di...
Southeast Asia is a very popular area in the scuba diving world, but when it comes to Myanmar it’s easy to say that the country has been rather discreet in the d...
Snorkeling in Myanmar is still a relatively new phenomenon with the country only becoming a holiday destination in recent years. This is great news for anyone who want...
Myanmar is yet to become as popular a beach destination as Bali in Southeast Asia, and it owes this stardom to its stunning beaches! There are some unbelievably beauti...
Located just across from the Thai border, the Mergui Archipelago only opened up to foreigners as recently as the late 1990s. With only a few of the 800 islands home to...
Myanmar's vast area, diverse geography and lack of extensive urban development mean that it is a haven for all kinds of flora, fauna and wildlife. Myanmar (Burma)...
Irrawaddy River, the longest river in Myanmar, winds its way as a silk ribbon stretching along the north-south direction of this country. Scenery on two river banks an...
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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries has taken the cautious approach to inbound travel and has had some of the strictest border restrictions and closures. At the moment, the nations of the region are in the beginning stages of reopening their borders for tourism, with every country introducing its own regulations.
The “unlocking” statuses vary widely. Travelers entering Asian countries may be required to do everything from going into quarantine, submitting negative COVID-19 test results, presenting proof of health insurance, and proof of vaccination (known a vaccine passports).
There is an understandable uncertainty with how you should travel to the Asian region if you are planning to. This is why we present you the list of 19 Asian countries, along with details on the current travel situation. As each country applies precisely defined regulations, you should always check the official websites listed in the article below for the latest government announcements.
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.
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.
Yangon Circular Railway is the local commuter rail network that serves the Yangon metropolitan area.For less than one US dollar you can experience the true essence of local life in Yangon as you travel for three hours through the city’s rural landscape. While the city is a fast-paced, chaotic city to get lost in, riding the Yangon Circular Train provides a window into the daily routine of the Myanmar people away from the commercial centre of the country. The railway had about 200 coaches and had 20 daily runs. The loop, which takes about 3 hours to complete, is a way to see a cross section of life in Yangon.
It’s nearly impossible to picture Bagan without hot air balloons beautifully clouding the historic horizon. Bagan’s balloons have become an iconic symbol of the region, and have carried many travelers on soaring adventures of a lifetime. Here’s how to experience an unforgettable birds-eye view of Bagan, Myanmar.
Ballooning season in Bagan runs from the beginning of October to the middle of April. Sunrise is when most rides are offered, as the cooler morning temperatures allow balloons to float closer to the ancient stupas for a more detailed glimpse. Daybreak also tends to bring with it more dramatic layers of haze, dreamily blanketing the landscape for a perfect photo opportunity.
The leg-rowing Intha people, the wooden stilt houses on water and the floating gardens are what make the Inle Lake so different and enchanting. This vast picturesque lake, 900 meters above sea-level, is home to Intha people who live and work on water. The Intha people go about their business on small wooden boats, row along the channels that separate their floating gardens with one leg around a long oar and the other foot firmly gripping the flat stern of the boat. A boat trip through Inle Lake gives you an interesting peek into life in traditional Myanmar.
If you visit Inle Lake in September or October, you may have the chance to witness the grandest event taking place in the region - the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival.
Bagan is most famous for its thousands of ancient pagodas that offer visitors spectacular sunrise and sunset views. However, in between your morning and evening spent temple hopping, you’ll need to find some way to fill your time. Rather than hiding inside your hotel room all afternoon, consider taking a cooking class with Pennywort Cooking Class.
If food or local culture interests you in the slightest, you’ll love this experience. You’ll start the morning by visiting the local New Bagan market — it’s a smaller, more local market than the popular Nyaung-U Market, so there’s a good chance you’ll be the only foreigner there. You will be guided through the market explaining the produce, preparation of dishes, and cultural significance of it all, as she selects items here and there for your cooking class.
After the shopping is finished, you’ll head over to a nearby tea shop for a break. Sip sweet black tea with condensed milk, accompanied by Chinese-influenced donuts and Indian-influenced chickpeas. May will explain to you about the interesting tea shop culture, where locals come to meet with friends, find work, or hire handymen for the day.
Finally, head back to the kitchen to cook up a feast of traditional Burmese salads, tempura, curries and stews, and sweet treats. Except one of the best meals you’ll have while in Myanmar, made with fresh ingredients, loving hands, and great company.
Hsipaw has long been a well-known hiking and trekking destination in Myanmar. Located just six-and-a-half hours north of Mandalay, Hsipaw is a stunning mountain village that, despite a recent influx in tourism, still remains delightfully Burmese.
Almost every guest house in the village can arrange day treks here, but we recommend taking one of the beautiful overnight treks to a nearby Palaung Village. You’ll likely spend the night on the floor of a monastery (an experience in itself), and wake up to the sun rising on the sunflower-clad hillsides.
If you lived in Myanmar and a friend popped in to visit, this is the snack you’d serve. Lahpet, which means “green tea,” and thoke, which means “salad,” is an eclectic mix of flavors and textures that includes soft, pickled tea leaves, crisp, roasted peanuts and other crunchy beans, toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic and, if you like, dried shrimp and chopped tomato. It’s meant to be served with all the ingredients in separate piles so that guests can pick out a combination to their own preference each time they grab a handful.
While nowadays the salad is typically served as a final course at the end of a meal, historically lahpet was an ancient symbolic peace offering that was exchanged and consumed after settling a dispute between warring kingdoms. Letting each person customize his or her salad toppings, sounds like a perfectly democratic way to stop an argument! That way everyone is at least somewhat satisfied in the end.
Lahpet is so important to the culture that when tea leaves are harvested, the best of the crop is set aside for fermenting, while the rest is dried and processed for drinking tea. The freshly harvested tea leaves are briefly steamed, then packed into bamboo vats and set in pits, pressed by heavy weights to encourage fermentation. Packages of prepared laphet thoke ingredients—the tea leaves and all the other mix ins—are readily sold in Burma. Finding fermented tea leaves outside Burma and northern Thailand, however, isn’t very easy.
The other option is to try fermenting the leaves yourself. Since most likely you won’t have access to fresh tea leaves, dried green tea leaves make a perfectly acceptable substitute. In this recipe I used Arbor Teas’ Organic Makaibari Estate Darjeeling Green Tea. It has lemony, vegetal and earthy qualities that align well with the other ingredients in the salad. If you’d like to play around with flavors, Arbor Teas also offers an Organic Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea from the same estate. Although the leaves are oxidized during processing, they retain many of the green tea characteristics in their flavor profile, tasting very dry and citrusy.
There are many amazing spots to admire the sunset in Myanmar, especially at the two places below.
U Bein Bridge is a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura in Myanmar. The 1.2-kilometre bridge was built around 1850 and is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. It is considered as a symbol of Myanmar and one of the points to enjoy the most beautiful sunset all over the world. In the afternoon, the bridge is covered by a brilliant yellow of the sunset going through the wooden poles. Tourists can rent wooden boats to get closer to the bridge and watch the sunset on the lake.
Moreover, for Bagan, one of the most popular destinations in Myanmar, you will be thrilled with joy when sitting on the highest flight of steps of a temple and seeing the first light of rising dawn. Bagan in the dawn is like a fairyland with hundreds of mysterious and ancient shrines.
Whether you have been to Myanmar during your Indochina tours or just read the travel magazines, surely there will be at least once that you find the image of a woman whose face is covered with the white powder that looks like an art of face painting. People call it Thanaka Myanmar – a unique beauty treatment for Myanmar locals.
Thanaka is a traditional powder derived from the bark of certain trees growing in the Central regions of Myanmar. People grind the tree bark against a flat and wet circular smooth stone then put the paste on to the face, mainly the cheeks for skin care purpose. The Thanaka paste has the slightly yellowish color with the little silky texture and the pleasant smell of tree bark.
Thanaka becomes a multi-purpose cream/ powder which has all of the positive effects. Thanaka sunscreen to protect your skin from sunlight, makeup, skincare day and night. Furthermore, its active ingredients of coumarin and marmesin account for anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti acne; that help remove dead skin (cleansing) and control excessive facial oil that balance the moisture all day.
For these reasons, from young to old, both male and female prefer use this natural cosmetic rather than any other beauty methods for daily life. As the Thanaka is not aging limitation, they use Thanaka for the kids since very little to protect their skins when they grow up.
The U Bein Bridge, just south of Mandalay, spans the Taungthaman Lake for a whopping 1.2km. Built around 1850, it is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.
U Bein Bridge is probably the most iconic site in all of Myanmar and it stretches from Mandalay to Amarapura.
The bridge is made of wood and is famous for being the longest teak bridge in the world and is reinforced in places so that it doesn’t collapse.
Even with this in mind, it is still rather rickety and a trip across is not for the faint of heart.
If you don’t fancy walking across, then you can also rent a fishing boat here and drive underneath the bridge to see it from a completely different angle.
As you cross the rickety wooden panels, you can spot the bobbing heads of local fisherman in between the paddle boats below, filled with tourists. Get here for sunset – the views and colours cast across the lake are spellbinding. Just be sure to arrive early, it's popular with locals and visitors alike.
Opened for transit at the turn of the nineteenth century, the Goteik Viaduct - one of the world’s oldest, slowest railway bridges - between Pyin Oo Lwin and Lashio in western Shan State, is a ride to remember. Trains slowly inch along the trestle that bridges a deep gorge for approximately half a mile. Catch the train from Mandalay to Lashio for under US$5 to experience this extraordinary engineering masterpiece.
In fewer and fewer areas of the world where electricity is too unreliable or scarce, human-powered Ferris wheels can still be found. These pop up during major events in Myanmar such as the Tazaungdaing Festival. Burmese men use their weight and strength to provide riders with a roundabout thrill. Manual Ferris wheels may be a more environmentally friendly mode of excitement, but they’re definitely not the safest job or for fainthearted fair goers.
Discover the famous Bagan temples on a horse carriage ride and stop at the most important ones. Learn about the manufacturing of lacquerware, be impressed by the ancient paintings of the Pagodas and finally admire the exquisite sunset view from one of the renowned pagodas.
Explore the gorgeous temples of Bagan in the same way the royals do: by horse-drawn cart! Ride in style through a tour of some of Bagan's most noteworthy cultural stops, giving you a truly authentic experience. You'll marvel at the massive Buddha images that stand proudly within it. At the end of your magical carriage ride, you'll view a spectacular sunset at the rustic watch tower. It's a true panoramic view of Bagan that you will take home with you.
A cheroot factory located on Inle Lake in the Shan Hills where this traditional Burmese-style cigar is manufactured. Cheap to produce, cheroots are found all over Myanmar and were even popular with the British during the days of the British Empire
Women and teenage girls sat cross-legged on the floor of a rickety building, hand-rolling cigars and cheroots.
While anti-smoking campaigns are growing in much of Southeast Asia, local cigars (sometimes, huge ones) remain popular in Burma, particularly among older people in rural areas
The best way to explore this maze of temples is by bicycle as distances are long and the easiest way to weave through the jungles on the sandy earth is on two wheels. During your time in Bagan, you can bike everywhere – from New Bagan through the dusty concrete road, to the banks of the Irrawaddy River where children frolicked and played. You will then paddle from one pagoda to another, snake through dirt roads to find secret corners, and wound past villagers who waved at us eagerly.
With more than 4,000 temples to choose from, you can pick just a few to explore and find yourself lost in time: Lawkananda Pagoda; Shwesandaw Paya; Dhammayangyi Pahto; Ananda Paya; ...
Cycle tours these two significant Burmese cities on a three-day adventure from Mandalay to Bagan. On a map, the start and finish points of this ride don't appear far apart, but geography alone cannot explain the significance of Mandalay and Bagan. From the 9th to 13th centuries, Bagan was the center of the Kingdom Of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify regions that would later form modern Myanmar. Mandalay was the last royal seat of power in the country before the British took control and is now a bustling, commercial city.
The territory between the two locations is the subject of this tour, and for good reason. We ride some really lovely landscapes as we pass through the Ancient Court Of Ava, along the Irrawaddy River and stay a night in enchanting Mount Popa. Quiet back-roads, palm trees and friendly villagers working the fields are the images that await you on this compact, achievable and highly enjoyable tour.
From the natural beauty of Inle Lake and the intrigue of the communities that inhabit it, to the scenic views of the Shan Hills, to the ancient ruins of Bagan and a different perspective from the waters of the Irrawaddy, this is a trip that takes in a diverse range of landscapes and includes some amazing riding. This is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the culture, traditions, and cuisine of Myanmar and a unique opportunity to learn from natives why they remain hopeful for a peaceful and prosperous future.
With 208 Km riding, you can expect to be on a range of paved roads and unpaved, hard-packed roads with a good rolling surface. The key element to the route is that it is low on traffic which is important in a developing country. We ride through villages, away from the noise and the fumes. Of course, with the weather, what it is and the country in a state of rapid development, the condition of any road can change quickly, but we have detailed knowledge and can always re-route for an optimal ride experience.
Southeast Asia is a very popular area in the scuba diving world, but when it comes to Myanmar it’s easy to say that the country has been rather discreet in the diving industry. Indeed, the country’s waters have only been accessible and dived for a few decades. In fact, the country that was once known as Burma has only started being on the international tourism map from 1997.
Therefore, Myanmar has plenty of scuba diving sites to discover and is definitely of the most untouched diving destinations in the world. If you have heard of diving in Myanmar, you’ve probably heard of the Mergui Archipelago and the Burma Banks. Undeniably, these are the most famous dive sites of Myanmar, but the country has much more to offer. This page proposes a detailed overview of diving in Myanmar so you can discover all the water fun behind this beautiful and culturally rich country.
Diving the Mergui Archipelago guarantees a colorful and vibrant experience. Indeed, most of this island chain has yet to be discovered, which means you will find both a variety and a certain density of marine life in the area. The limestone and granite rocks islands flow down the west coast of the Malay peninsula and offer a rugged underwater landscape.
Snorkeling in Myanmar is still a relatively new phenomenon with the country only becoming a holiday destination in recent years. This is great news for anyone who wants to go snorkeling in Myanmar, as the low volume of traffic means the reefs are still in pristine condition with plenty of life even in shallow waters. The islets in areas such as Mergui Archipelago, where some of the best reefs can be found are simply beautiful. Sweeping white sand beaches lined with tropical rainforest are the perfect setting for anyone who comes to Myanmar snorkeling.
Some of the best snorkel sites in Myanmar are located in the south archipelago of Mergui and the nearby Burma Banks. These islands were opened to tourists in the 1990's after the civil war was over. The archipelago is still very remote and off the beaten track, the perfect place if you don't want to share the water with too many other snorkelers. If you are lucky you might even, see some of the local Moken people at some snorkel spots. These fascinating people live most of the year on the sea, earning themselves the nickname of 'sea gypsies'.
Myanmar is yet to become as popular a beach destination as Bali in Southeast Asia, and it owes this stardom to its stunning beaches! There are some unbelievably beautiful Myanmar beaches, many of which stay hidden even today. These beaches in Myanmar are known for their gorgeous pearl sands, crystal clear waters, and budget accommodation options. Strolling around these golden beaches, listening to the soothing sounds of waves is what makes the experience special. If you want a rejuvenating experience then these beaches will definitely come to your refuge. And they will take you away from all the hustle and bustle of the city life. Here are our top picks of famous beaches in Myanmar that surely deserves to be visited at least once.Some famous destination: Ngapali; Mergui Archipelago; Ngwe Saung; Chaung Tha Beach; Kanthaya Beach
Located just across from the Thai border, the Mergui Archipelago only opened up to foreigners as recently as the late 1990s. With only a few of the 800 islands home to a sparse population, The Moken, and a scarce amount of visitors to the entire region each month, the Mergui Archipelago remains one of the planet’s most unspoilt destinations.
Think white beaches lined with palm trees and dense jungle. Think swimming in azure water amongst colorful reef fish, spotting coral, and collecting seashells. Now picture eagles circling above, gibbons and monitor lizards eyeing you from the thickets, while a sundowner is being mixed for you on board the yacht.
Best of all: you have this entire experience to yourself. You can sail for days on end and not see a soul except the odd fisherman in a dugout canoe.
Myanmar's vast area, diverse geography and lack of extensive urban development mean that it is a haven for all kinds of flora, fauna and wildlife. Myanmar (Burma) is home to one of the largest remaining contiguous forests in Southeast Asia, and maintains much larger areas of natural jungle and wetland than most of its neighbours. It also boasts a wealth of coral reefs and marine life amongst the sheltered islands of the Myeik Archipelago.
Although hunting poses a threat to many endangered species, more and more efforts are being made to safeguard its native animals, such as tigers, turtles, Irrawaddy dolphins, elephants and rare birds.
If you would like to contribute to conservation efforts and experience Myanmar's wildlife safety in the knowledge that you are making a positive impact, you can visit: Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp in Kalaw, Moeyungyi Wetlands Sanctuary, Burmese Star Tortoise Conservation Centre
Irrawaddy River, the longest river in Myanmar, winds its way as a silk ribbon stretching along the north-south direction of this country. Scenery on two river banks and fishermen’s lives still retain the great beauty and go deep into the human heart. If you have an opportunity to experience the Myanmar Tour, you definitely should spend a day sailing the boat on Irrawaddy River.
As you cruise the river, golden temple spires, tiny villages, emerald rice paddies, bustling markets all come into view. The real life of Burmese people is unfolded just before your eyes. A typical Irrawaddy River runs between Bagan and Mandalay with accommodation overnight on the boat and sightseeing in Bagan and Mandalay. So it’s not only a chance to catch a glimpse into real life along the river but also a nice way to get around the two places. There are also many chances to take a short ferry ride across Irrawaddy River and discover life along it.