Just a few years ago, Myanmar holidays were little more than a Selective Asia pipedream. Some of us had travelled through as backpackers, but the country’s sensitive politics meant that taking clients to visit Myanmar (aka Burma, Bama or Myanma, depending on whom you ask) just wasn’t viable.
But we knew that behind the modern tension sat a truly magical land. We hoped to share it with our clients, whom we knew would fall in love, just as we had, with the Burmese people’s unreserved welcome... not to mention their astonishing array of temples, enduring philosophy, exuberant festivals, and wonderfully scenic, temptingly trekkable landscapes.
In 2010, the politics shifted, and we could finally offer the chance to visit an emerging destination that is unique, wonderful, edgy, endlessly beautiful - without exaggeration, a traveller’s dream come true.
The country is not yet ideal for all holidays; fly and flop beach-party hotspots it has not, and hopefully won’t for years. It does possess beautiful, barely-touched beaches with a quiet swell of luxury accommodation; ideal for intrepid newlyweds, resting between temple and trek on their alternative honeymoon in Myanmar, but not for the holidaymaker who’d rather stick to a fortnight of cocktails and massage by the pool.
Mandalay does a nice line in contemporary international luxe, while amongst the faded Colonial facades of Yangon, polished classics like the Strand, Savoy and Traders offer guests the diplomatic grandeur - and afternoon tea on the lawn - once favoured by Orwell and Kipling.
There are also some luscious spa hotels around Inle Lake in central Myanmar, where the main draw is the tribal village life and vibrant Buddhist culture that thrives on Inle’s fertile shores.
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. Far down south, adventurous divers can learn from the ancient sea-dwelling Moken tribe, known for extreme free diving and instinctive knowledge of the ocean.
Myanmar is still a democracy-in-progress, and it’s worth reading our guidelines and analysis of how ethical it is to travel there. But if you’re seeking a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a South East Asian jewel in the rough, Myanmar, right now, is it.
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Myanmar Holiday Images
Ask an expert: Tailor-made holidays in Myanmar
If you have any questions regarding our Myanmar holidays in 2014 & 2015, 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 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.