Myanmar is not for those who’d rather stick to a fortnight of cocktails and massage by the pool - fly and flop beach-party hotspots it has not, and hopefully won’t have for years. But if you're looking for an authentic travel experience, a holiday in Myanmar (aka Burma, Bama or Myanma, depending on whom you ask) offers culture, tradition and awe-inspiring scenery in abundance, from the mystical plains of Bagan to the imperial architecture of Mandalay, and the gleaming pagodas of Yangon.
Away from its cities, the country boasts astonishing natural beauty, and rural communities with traditions maintained over thousands of years. To the north, the Shan State’s green mountains and pastoral plateaux are home to farming tribes, with homestays and wilderness trekking to tempt all abilities, and Inle Lake’s crystal clear waters are dotted with stilt-villages and floating gardens. Far to the south, the virtually deserted islands of the Mergui Archipelago are home to the sea-dwelling Moken tribe, known for extreme free-diving and their instinctive knowledge of the ocean.
It’s important to know that Myanmar is going through a crucial transition - a time of social and political change. Tourism here is still very much a work in progress, and far from being as polished as it is in neighbouring countries. You may also need to be patient with the country's infrastructure, which has not been modernized.
It all makes for an authentic Asian travel experience, but can raise questions from honeymooners, who often want straightforward luxury after months of wondering 'will my wedding will go to plan?'. We think a honeymoon in Myanmar is an excellent choice if you're a flexible, adventurous couple, hoping to use your imminent marriage as an excuse to take the trip of a lifetime (and we won't judge you for that!).
There is much debate about whether 'Burma' or 'Myanmar' is the most politically correct name for this fascinating country. One common myth is that the Generals did not invent the name Myanmar; Burma was ‘Myanmar’ long before the British Colonials opted for ‘Burma’. Locals tend to say Myanmar, but often use Burma as well. We use Myanmar, but we're just as comfortable with Burma, as it’s more familiar to the British public.
Myanmar’s complicated name issues stem from an equally complex history - we’re talking tribal rule and civil war, British Colonialism being replaced by a military government and, more recently, steps towards democracy. But behind the troubled history and sensitive politics sits a truly magical land. Should you choose to holiday in Myanmar, we urge you to travel with an open mind, and you’ll find it a deeply rewarding experience.
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Ask an expert: Tailor-made holidays in Myanmar
If you have any questions regarding our Myanmar holidays in 2017, our tailor-made specialists are happy to help.
They have numerous years experience travelling in Asia, and can discuss the finer points with you – or, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, they can create a bespoke holiday itinerary especially for you.
From sunrise views over ancient cities to Himalayan lodges & beachside resorts more
Should you choose to visit Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), you’ll find a deeply rewarding country, with countless shimmering temples, friendly, welcoming people & a diverse landscape that stretches all the way from the Indian Ocean to the high Himalayas.