Travel in Myanmar: An introduction

Myanmar - A country of mind-blogging diversity and colour

Myanmar, or Burma, is a country of incredible diversity, with a tailor-made holiday typically combining a unique blend of cultural wonders, relaxing on undeveloped beaches, trekking little visited Himalayan foothills and exploring wonderful cities, where every turn reveals yet another mesmeric highlight (or four). To say that your visit to Myanmar will be a holiday like no other would be an understatement to say the very least.

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Where to travel in Myanmar?

Most visitors travels in Myanmar will begin in Yangon, also known as Rangoon, the capital of the country until 1995 when the administrative capital was moved to Naypyidaw. (It is also possible to arrive in Myanmar from Thailand, crossing from Thailand at the Thachileik – Masai border. This route would take you through through the Shan hills and via Kentung).

Whilst there are a number of different ways to order the following itinerary, most first time visitors are likely to make a bee-line for the incredible temples of Bagan en route to Mandalay which deserves at least 2 full days of your time. From here a side-trip to the fascinating Hill Stations of Maymyo and Hsipaw are recommended, especially if you have time for the dramatic train ride over the Gokteik Viaduct. From here they are likely to turn south, either driving or flying to Inle Lake before flying west to the pristine beaches of Ngapali or Ngwe Saung near the charming town of Pathein.

Those with more time have a number of options. You may opt for more extensive travels in central regions, perhaps trekking in Kalaw or visiting the iconic Golden Rock at Kyaikitiyo. Further west, facing onto the Bay of Bengal, there are also places of immense interest such as Sittwe and Mrauk-U. The truly adventurous may also consider the long journey to the National Parks of Putao in the country’s far north, bordering China, or Muse on the eastern border.