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Myanmar Beauties

Discover a land of cultural richness and physical beauty. Travel from Yangon to Mandalay, Bagan to Inle Lake stopping to explore the hidden gems in between. Get a comprehensive look at Myanmar’s historic monuments, soak up stunning landscapes and be immersed in the rich culture. Within 15 days, uncover the hidden beauties of Myanmar.


Various activities on sites

  • Joining local Buddhist devotees on a trip to Golden Rock
  • Exploring Inle Lake by boat, getting in touch with the fabulous culture on the riverbanks
  • Enjoying the stunning landscapes of Myanmar's nature 
  • Crossing the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers, passing by interesting landscapes.

Unforgettable moments

  • Traveling overland to explore various unique temples
  • Taking a pilgrimage trip to explore the the awe-inspiring sites.
  • Admiring colorful houses of worship while walking by the river
  • Visiting local tea shop to experience an integral part of local life

Nature exploration

  • Cruise along the mighty Irrawady River, enjoy the fresh air
  • Exploring the unique watery world of Inle Lake along with gardens float
  • Traveling by horse and cart to get a glimpse of local life in the countryside

Culture experience

  • Visiting Sagaing Hill which is widely regarded as the religious center 
  • Visiting a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products
  • Exploring the local crafts at the weaving village and a cheroot factory


Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Yangon

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, Sonasia’s guide & driver will pick you up and transfer directly to the hotel in Yangon.

First impressions of Yangon are usually memorable. Its unique blend of rich colonial heritage, conspicuous spirituality and make unique cultural vibes make it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.

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Day 2 - Yangon - Exploration

Be immersed in the everyday life of Myanmar’s largest city with an insightful CIRCLE TRAIN tour of Yangon. Board the Yangon circle train which runs from Yangon’s main railway station in a circle around various neighborhoods in town and on the outskirts of town. Sit alongside local commuters, watching as vendors hop on and off to sell snacks and cold drinks to the passengers. Gaze out the windows to observe the lively streets while the train slowly chugs along.

After around 45 minutes disembark in Insein Township. One of the city’s best fresh markets is here, filled with vendors and piles of colorful items for sale. Spend time walking amid the stalls examining the fruits, produce and meats on sale as well as chatting with the friendly locals.

Then transfer by car back to the city center of Yangon. Take a short walking tour through Chinatown and Little India, two fabulously diverse and vibrant neighborhoods of Yangon. Explore street markets, see snack vendors and admire colorful houses of worship while walking alongside the local guide.

After lunch, visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-metre long reclining Buddha. A visit to Kyaukhtatgyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha, and a statue carved with traditional symbols. Many locals often gather here to pay homage and pray.

Continue to a local tea shop for a chance to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea while sitting amongst businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business.

Next the guided tour goes to Kandawgyi Park, one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. Here, see the glittering Karaweik Barge, a replica of the royal barge, and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon Pagoda in the background. Depending on the day of the visit, Kandawgyi may be busy with local families who come here on the weekend to relax in the fresh air.

From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, local legend has it that the original structure was built 2,500 years ago then renovated several times before taking its current shape in the 15th century. 

Return to your your hotel. 

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Day 3 - Yangon - Kyaikhtiyo - Golden Rock

This morning the tour starts at 08:00. Depart Yangon for a journey by road to Kyaikhtiyo and the Golden Rock.

Late morning, arrive at Kyaikhtiyo Base Camp (approximately 5 hrs). Travel by local, open-air truck along a winding road (45 minutes) and be dropped off a short five-minute walk from the Golden Rock. A huge boulder covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff, Golden Rock is one of Myanmar's most important pilgrimage sites.  The pagoda here is said to hold a hair of the Buddha and Buddhist from across the country come here to pay homage. 

Overnight near Golden Rock.


Yangon - Kyaikhtiyo : 167KM | 4-hour by road

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Day 4 - Kyaikhtiyo - Bago - Yangon

OPTIONAL: This morning there is the option to visit the Golden Rock again to see the rising sun casting its rays upon the rock. Starting before dawn, local pilgrims gather by the rock to make offerings in the solitude of the morning. It’s a unique and memorable experience that’s not to be missed. 

Return down to base camp by the same route on foot and by open-air truck. Then drive to Bago, the former capital of the Mon Kingdom.

The visit in Bago begins at a local market for a short walk amongst the colorful stalls selling flowers, produce, and spices. Then visit Shwethalyaung Temple, which houses a beautiful 55-meter long reclining Buddha, and the Mon-style Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Shwemawdaw is one of the most venerated pagodas in Myanmar. At 114 meters tall, it’s even taller than Shwedagon Pagoda. Afterwards, visit a local Mon village nearby for a short walk through this quiet, typical rural village that was once famous for its silk weaving.

On the way back to Yangon, stop at the Allied War Cemetery near Htaukkyan. This beautiful, peaceful cemetery is the final resting place for over 27,000 Allied soldiers.

Overnight in Yangon. 


Yangon - Bago : 80KM | 2-hour by road

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Day 5 - Yangon // Heho - Inle Lake

After early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho.

From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images.

Upon reaching the edges of Inle Lake, board a private motorboat and head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by local Intha people. Observe the famous leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Prepare lunch with a local family- This cooking course is a fun and interesting way to learn about the traditional flavors and preparation techniques of Burmese cuisine.  Join a local Inthar family in their kitchen to cook local dishes then sit on the floor at a round table and dine in the local way. Minimum 2 persons

Peruse the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where traditional Burmese cigars are made by hand.

If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages.

Overnight on Inle Lake. 

  • Heho Airport - Nyaung Shwe : 28 km | 45 mins 
  • Nyaung Shwe Jetty - Inle Lake : 10 – 20 km | 30 – 60 mins
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Day 6 - Inle Lake - In Dein - Inle Lake

Visit the lake’s bustling morning market for unique insight into the local cultures of the area. The market rotates its location every day in 5-day cycles.  Villagers from the surrounding hill tribes come to the market to sell and trade their wares -making it the perfect place to witness the uniquely diverse population of people in Inle Lake’s surrounding areas all in the same place. (Note: the market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day).

From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the village of Indein.  Explore the area on foot and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area.  From here, climb the covered stairway to the top of a hill covered with picturesque ancient stupas. Enjoy magnificent views of the lake below from this vantage point.

After enjoying the visit to Indein, return to the boat. Continue along the lake for additional sightseeing before returning to Inle Lake in the late afternoon. 

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Day 7 - Inle Lake - Heho // Mandalay

Enjoy breakfast and a leisurely morning at the hotel.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Biking and Wine Tasting- Bike from Nyaung Shwe to Red Mountain Estate, a winery tucked away in the cool Shan Hills. The ride follows quiet, flat roads (around 5-10km depending on hotel location) past farms and villages. Reach the winery and enjoy an optional wine tasting. Afterwards, return back to the hotel. (Note: Maximum 10 persons due to bike availability)

Around midday, transfer to Heho Airport for the 1.5-hour flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, a car and guide will be waiting for transfer to the hotel (approximately 1-hour drive).

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Day 8 - Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagaing - Mandalay

Depart for an excursion to the outskirts of Mandalay to explore the former capitals of Ava, Sagaing, and Amarapura.

First, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar.  It is home to more than 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. Visit Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae Pagodas for a glimpse into the unique environment of this area.

Then, pay a visit to Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists frequent. Discover a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver, and other handicrafts. Also stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.

Then continue south of the city to Ava, Myanmar’s capital from 14th to 18th centuries. A short ferry ride across the river drops off at the station where a horse and carriage will be waiting. Visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins as well. Travelling by horse and cart is the perfect way to witness the unique local life in this rural area.

On the way back to Mandalay, stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products. After touring this tranquil site, continue to the iconic U Bein Bridge. The bridge was constructed from 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace and is 1.2 kilometers in length -making it the world’s longest teakwood construction. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding lake and farms.

Return to Mandalay late in the afternoon. 

  • Mandalay - Amarapura : 13KM | 30mins
  • Mandalay - Sagaing : 21KM | 50mins
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Day 9 - Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay

Transfer to the Mandalay jetty and board a private local boat for a 1-hr cruise on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun.

Visit the main sites of Mingun beginning with the famous Mingun Pahtodawgyi.  This huge brick structure was left unfinished after an astrologer predicted the King would die should the temple be completed.  In the 1800s, an earthquake left several large cracks in the structure.  Continue on to the beautiful Hsinbyume Pagoda, whose distinctive style is meant to resemble the mythical Mount Meru.  Then, see the Mingun Bell which, weighing in at more than 90 tons, is considered the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell.

Return to Mandalay by boat and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Next, visit Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha image which, over the years, has been covered with meters of gold leaf, giving it a distinct ‘lumpy’ texture. This is the perfect place to witness Burmese culture in action, as a great number of locals come to pay their respects and earn merit.

Mandalay is well-known for its skilled craftsmen. After Mahamuni Pagoda, tour some of the city’s traditional workshops, and learn about the city’s unique cottage industry.  Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf using techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Make a marionette- Join local craftsmen at their workshop and create a unique traditional puppet. A hands-on way to learn about the local culture and create a memorable, personalized souvenir!  

Continue the tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title being home to the ‘World’s Biggest Book’.  Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace. This grand teakwood building is known for its exquisite woodcarving.

Afterwards, there’s an option head to the top of Mandalay Hill - the highest point in the city. From this vantage point, get amazing views of the city below as the sun sets.

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Day 10 - Mandalay - Monywa

Depart Mandalay in the morning for a 3-hour drive to Monywa, a typical Burmese town on the banks of the Chindwin River, making a few stops along the way to for stretching and snapping photos. Arrive in Monywa mid-day and check into the hotel. Take time to freshen up before beginning a sightseeing tour around Monywa. 

In the afternoon, begin with a visit to Thanboddhay Pagoda, a huge Buddhist temple covered with more than 500,000 Buddha images. Then stop at Boditahtaung Pagoda, which houses the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar -100m in length. If that isn’t impressive enough, nearby is the largest standing Buddha in the world, Laykyun Setkyar, at 129 metres in height.

Having explored the sites and scenes of Monywa, head to the banks of the river to watch the sun set.

Return to the hotel in the evening. 


Mandalay - Monywa : 100KM | 3-hour by road

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Day 11 - Monywa - Pakokku - Bagan

Depart Monywa after breakfast and proceed to Po Win Taung. This extraordinary complex consists of 947 sandstone caves dug out of the hills and contains what is considered by archaeologists to be the richest collection of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in Southeast Asia.

After visiting Po Win Taung, continue a few hundred meters away to Shwe Ba Taung.  Spend time exploring this interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out of rocky narrow cliffs.

Then continue down the ‘road less traveled’ for another 90 minutes, passing traditional villages where farmers can often be seen climbing palm trees to extract juice for palm tree sugar production. Stop at Kyet Su Kin Village for an opportunity to learn more about the lifestyle and culture of the countryside residents.

Then, resume the journey to Pakokku, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant (client’s account).

Proceed to the jetty and board a private local boat in Pakkoku for a leisurely, two-hour cruise downriver to Bagan. Upon reaching the shores of Bagan, transfer to the hotel.

  • Monywa - Pho Win Taung : 24 km | 45 mins 
  • Monywa - Pakokku : 115 km | 2 hours and 30 mins
  • Pakokku - Bagan : 42 km | 2 hours
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Day 12 - Bagan - the Legend Begins

Today the sightseeing starts at 08:00.

Discover one of Bagan’s most famous legends while following in the tracks of King Anawrahta and his precious white elephant. Legend states that the King was given a replica of Lord Buddha’s tooth. He placed this relic on a sacred white elephant’s back and set him free. The elephant stopped at four places around Bagan and, later, four stupas were built at each of these locations. Thus, the local Burmese believe that by visiting all four of these places in one day all wishes will be fulfilled.

Meet with the Sonasia guide and driver in the morning and begin with a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda. Although this is one of Bagan’s most famous sites, few people realize the legend behind its creation. Learn about this story, the pagoda’s importance to local people, and about some of its quirky features while taking a guided tour around it.

Then, continue on to Tu Yin Taung, a hilltop stupa in the eastern part of the main Archeological Park. While approaching the temple, be greeted by 500 monk statues lining the road. The stupa’s elevated location offers fabulous views of the surrounding plains, a unique perspective of Bagan and a picture-perfect photo opportunity.

The next stop is Lawka Nandar, which is in New Bagan next to the Irrawaddy River. Lawka Nandar is a bulbous stupa with a cylindrical bell and three octagonal terraces as a base. The temple still functions as a place of everyday worship as it is home to a Buddha relic. We’ll make a stop at a local restaurant for lunch before continuing.

In the afternoon we drive to the jetty where a private boat is waiting to transfer us across the river to Tant Kyi Taung, the last temple of the tour. While the cruise crosses the Irrawaddy River, take in fantastic views of temples in the distance. Then, travel by local pick-up truck jeep (approximately 15 minutes) through the countryside to Tant Kyi Taung. This temple is of unique importance in Bagan, as it is thought that the Buddha stopped on the hill where the temple now stands. On the return drive to the jetty, stop in Tant Kyi Village for a short walk around.

Then it is time to return to Bagan, first crossing the river by boat and then continuing to the hotel by car.

Overnight in Bagan.

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Day 13 - Bagan - Exploration

The journey begins at an elevated viewpoint with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. This is the perfect introduction to the grandeur and scope of Bagan’s architecture. Next continue to Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan and which is quiet in the morning, before all the tour buses arrive.

Afterwards, head to Myinkaba Village and Gubyaukgyi Temple, the latter of which is noted for the beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. Nearby is Manuha Temple and Nan Paya Temple, two smaller temples with nice Buddha statues and stone work.

Then learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products: lacquerware and wood crafts. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items.

Take a break for lunch and return to the hotel for a short rest, escaping the extreme heat of the midday sun.

Late in the afternoon, take a relaxing horse cart ride through the temple area, passing many monuments, farms and traditional houses along the way. Wrap the day up with a stop at an elevated viewpoint for a spectacular sunset over the plains. Afterwards, return back to the hotel.

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Day 14 - Bagan // Yangon

Today the tour starts at 08:00 with a visit to Bagan’s local villages. Start at the Nyaung Oo Morning Market where locals gather every day to buy and sell everything from fresh produce and meats to flowers and pottery.

There are many food stalls and tea shops around, which provide the perfect vantage point for observing local culture.  Then learn the interesting process of creating “Poneyay” (pea powder paste) and see how local plum jam is made and packed.

Additionally, visit workshops of two of the region’s best-known products: handmade lacquerware and wooden handicrafts. Finally, visit a village and observe about how Cartwrights make a traditional bullock carts, still used by farmers and locals throughout the country. 

After that, transfer to the Nyaung U Airport for the flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, be greeted by the guide and driver and transfer to the hotel for check in.

After freshening up, venture downtown to explore the city center and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. Start at the Post office – a lovely historic building - and walk to Sule Paya Pagoda in the middle of downtown, passing by the Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way.

Reach Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where there is time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops. This is Yangon’s best market for handicrafts and other goods, so be sure to pick up a souvenir or two while there!  (Note: Market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays).

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Day 15 - Yangon // Kawthaung

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Our driver will pick you up from your hotel to transfer to Yangon airport for a domestic flight to Kawthaung.  On arrival in Kawthaung, transfer to your hotel and enjoy an afternoon of leisure.

Overnight in Kawthaung.

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Day 16 - Kawthaung - Nyaung Oo Phee Island

Today’s sightseeing begins at 08:00 after breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Kawthaung Myo Ma’s Jetty to take a speed boat to Nyaung Oo Phee Island (around 2 hours). Upon arrival on Nyaung Oo Phee Island, check in to your room.

Have a buffet lunch at the island’s restaurant.

In the afternoon, enjoy a snorkeling program around one of the islands, either Madame Beach, Flower Bay, or Letter Island.  In the evening, enjoy dinner on the private beach.

Overnight on Nyaung Oo Phee Island.

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Day 17 - Nyaung Oo Phee Island

Today the journey continues at 08:30 after breakfast at the island’s restaurant.

Board your boat and head to the nearby islands of Ahtet le Ywe and Nga Khin Nyo Gyee. Spend the morning snorkeling and enjoying the beach before returning to camp for lunch.

This afternoon, transfer to Pyin Sa island for some snorkeling before returning to enjoy some of the beaches on Nyaung Oo Phee island.

Dinner on Nyaung Oo Phee Island.  

Overnight on Nyaung Oo Phee Island.

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Day 18 - Nyaung Oo Phee Island - Kawthaung

After breakfast at the island’s restaurant, you will have the morning at leisure. Enjoy the white sand beaches and swim in the beautiful blue waters around the island.

Check out of the island resort around noon and have lunch before heading back to Kawthaung. Upon arrival (around 4pm) transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Kawthaung.

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Day 19 - Kawthaung // Yangon - Departure

You are free to stroll around the town of Kawthaung before taking the flight back to Yangon and connect with another flight back home

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Myanmar, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

bee-white Yangon

bee-white Bagan

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Inle Lake
bee-white Inle Lake

Mergui Archipelago
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Ngapali Beach
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury Holiday
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Family Vacation
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The combination of fun and educational activities

bee-white Unseen

Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Cycling & Biking
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon Vacation
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

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

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WHAT MORE? Choose the country you plan to visit, then search for your nationality below to see our special travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.

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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.


Myanmar will resume international passenger flights from April 17, the military said on Saturday, lifting a two-year ban on foreign tourists.


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.

bee-white Vietnam
A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.
bee-white Thailand
Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
bee-white Cambodia
There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
bee-white Laos
Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
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