Stay on trend with the hottest travel destination for 2017
Sit back close your eyes and picture the film Indiana Jones; now imagine having the opportunity to visit a country where you will feel part of the film set. A set that is untouched, natural, breathtaking and exhilarating.
Welcome to Burma and welcome to Myanmar.
Set foot into thousands of years of history. Explore vast caverns lined with giant bronze buddha statues, visit giant pagoda covered with exotic plants and flowers and walk in cities where all throughout history thousands have walked their stories before you.
With such a varied history, customs and traditions are very important throughout Myanmar; customs such as only eating with your right hand or not pointing or touching things with your feet.
Customs which are easily remembered and make you feel very much part of the country you are visiting.
Visiting a country like Myanmar is an experience of a lifetime and with improving infrastructure and entry to the country now more accessible, its easier than ever. It is expected to be one of the hottest destinations to visit for 2017.
Using a local tour operator will make your experience unique and personal, they will be able to spend time building your perfect itinerary and ensure you are aware of customs and traditions.
Its been tough, but we have selected our top 5 things to do in Myanmar; choose to read on and you will be looking to book your Myanmar tour in no time!
Lets just start with a few basics. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has a history dating back almost 13,000 years, it sits with India to its left and Laos and Thailand to its right.
The country was ruled by the British from the early 1800 to 1948, when it finally gained back its independence. It does have a speckled history of war and disrepute, but underneath the surface, it is home to spectacular scenery and places left undiscovered.
Burmese people are incredibly friendly; with the dominant religion being Buddha, sprite beliefs and customs are incredibly important in their everyday lives.
We always recommend booking a tour guide when visiting Myanmar, for no other reason than they know the BEST places to take you and can organise everything for your trip.
They are the stress free warriors of your Myanmar holiday.
A tour guide will select the best accommodation, offer local tour guides with exceptional knowledge and ensure you travel in comfort all throughout your trip. They can also advise when the best times are to visit attractions and give you inside knowledge on where to visit too – so you can miss the crowds. Sshhhh!!
Lets get started!
Best time to visit Myanmar is from November to February
1. The Capital City - Mandalay
Perfectly place in central Myanmar, Mandalay is a name that inspires romantic thoughts of relaxation and peaceful contemplation.
The capital city sits on the bank of the Irrawaddy River and is so packed full of eye opening historical sites, its a place you will not want to leave.
Mandalay is home to Mandalay Palace; a delicate but impressively restored ancient palace. Take time to walk around its impeccable grounds and appreciate its ornate décor and colourful surroundings.
Mandalay Hill offers the best view of the city and the surrounding country, take the winding stairs to the top and be blessed with all the views have to offer.
At the foot of the stairway, you will be greeted by the HUGE Kuthodaw Pagoda. Home to hundreds of buddhist-scripture inscribed marble slabs and temples, its often referred to as the largest library in the world.
Its breathtaking vast white marble temples stretch as far as the eye can see and you will feel totally overwhelmed and insignificant in its presence.
Mandalay offers you hustle, bustle, history and charm beyond belief.
2. The Ancient Old Bagan
Sitting on the vast Ayeryarwady River, Bagan lays southwest of Mandalay and is well worth building into your Myanmar tour package.
More than 2000 buddhist monuments tower and speckle their way throughout its vibrant and far reaching green plains. Its flat land offer amazing sunsets and a time for peace.
Ancient temples, monasteries and pagoda's dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries offer you the chance to explore them.
Why not take a traditional tuk tuk, motorcycle or ride a traditional horse and cart and experience the countryside as the ancient Burmese before you would have.
Old Bagan is magical and perfectly peaceful.
3. The Largest City - Yangon
Hidden at the bottom tip of Myanmar, Yangon is the largest city and home to 5.2 million!
The city offers a mix of British colonial style buildings and feels very modern compared to many other cities in Myanmar.
Modern high rises sit perfectly alongside ancient buddhist temples and golden pagoda's.
Shwedagon Pagoda is the cities biggest shrine and at night when the pagoda is brightly lit with a golden hue, it can be seen from every corner of the city.
Millions of people take pilgrimages to the shrine each year. Your tour guide will be able to advise you when the best time is to visit, so you can avoid the crowds and drink in the atmosphere.
As well as home to temples and pagoda's, Yangon will give you the chance to visit various museums telling stories of British and local history and you can take time to visit Hlawga National Park.
Hlawga National park measures an impressive 1520 acres and houses a wildlife park and mini zoo. Experience local wildlife and take some time out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
Yangon will give you a modern buzz and touch you with ancient buildings.
4. The peaceful Inle Lake
The Lake is home to the Intha tribes and nearly 70,000 Intha make home along the shores. The tribes way of life and culture is both fascinating and captivating.
Their homes are perfectly stilted on bamboo canes and their rich land offer a diverse range of vegetables and fish.
You will always have something to see or do in Inle, relax alongside its shores or take a kayaking trip on the calm lake.
Watching the unique and varied daily lives of the tribesman will leave you with an everlasting memory.
5. The dark and beautiful - Pindaya Caves
An important and mysterious pilgrimage site, the Pindaya Caves really are a site of magic and mystique. The caves are lined with hundreds of golden peaceful buddha, each hand carved and beautiful.
The caves are dimly lit and eerily magical, walk through the caves and feel the power of the history laid out before you.
Deciding to visit an upcoming destination, like Myanmar means you can see and hear things many others have not yet had the chance to experience.
A local tour operator like Indochinavalue can help with your journey around their spectacular country, they are used to working with budgets on all levels and have your best interests at heart.
Have fun and embrace this new 'must see' destination! What are you waiting for?