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Only in recent years has Burma been declared ‘open’ again to tourism and is proving to be one of the most popular and fascinating destinations in South East Asia. A few years ago Burma was given the ‘all clear’ by Tourism Concern, which had previously boycotted the country, following Aung San Suu Kyi’s request for visitors to return.
In recent years demand has been so high for tours to Burma that new dates are being added and new hotels are being built! Book as early as you can to avoid disappointment.
The best time to travel to Burma is the dry season between November and March.
A visa is compulsory to enter Burma. A 28-day tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors. This visa is issued by a Myanmar Embassy or Consulate in your home country. An invitation letter is not mandatory, and it usually takes 3-5 working days to issue this visa.
Sitting at the crossroads between China, India and Thailand and bordering the Indian Ocean, it is one of Asia’s most diverse countries. The Eastern Himalayan mountains are high in the north of the country and the Andaman Sea meets the land of the south. Burma is officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
There is a rich, ancient heritage here spanning more than 2000 years and areas to be explored include snow-capped mountains, pristine beaches and virgin jungles. 135 different ethnic groups make up a vibrant culture, with archaeological sites, ancient cities and monuments dotted around the country. The largest town is Yangon with about 6 million people living there, followed by Mandalay. When you visit Burma, you can choose from family run guest houses, beach hotels or 5 star lodges. Mostly, getting there involves flying to Bangkok or Singapore and connecting from there. The ‘cool’ dry season runs from November to February and other parts of the year can be unbearably hot and humid. Iconic views from Burma always include the Pagodas, stuppas and the ‘bridge’ to Mandalay!
Much of Burma’s forest areas have remained intact because of it’s slow economic growth and these areas cover almost half the country. Coconut, rubber and betel palms have been introduced and in the north you will find pine, oak and rhododendrons. Along the coast there are lots of areas where tropical fruits are grown and a reducing mangrove region. Jungle wildlife found in Burma includes Leopards and Tigers but they are seldom seen. In the north, you may find various antelope species, rhinos, buffalo and boars and elephants which are bred in captivity and domesticated for use in the timber industry. There are over 800 species of birds and plenty of reptiles and freshwater fish species.
EXPERIENCES IN BURMA:
Bagan (Pagan) The countless temples scattered throughout Bagan are an architectural wonder of the world and date back to the 11th and 13th centuries. We recommend seeing them at sunrise from a gracefully gliding hot air balloon. Take a boat ride from Mandalay up the Irrawaddy River, where you’ll interact with local farmers growing tobacco, cotton and chilli.
Inle Lake The stilted villages of the local Intha tribe sit out across the placid waters of Inle Lake. Surrounded by unspoilt countryside and home to a vast array of pagodas and crumbling stuppas, this vast lake is now one of Myanmar’s most poplar destinations and a must for any traveller passing through the country.
Mandalay is the spiritual heart of Myanmar and is home to an abundance of monasteries, pagodas and religious shrines. Though much of the city was destroyed during World War II, the city has undergone dramatic change and development.
Yangon (Rangoon) Enjoy the tree-lined streets and shaded parks in this picturesque city, formerly the capital of Myanmar. The skyline is dominated by the gold-crusted Shwedagon Pagoda, a Buddhist temple that attracts thousands each year.
Contact us for a tailor made holiday or to join a group escorted tour or River Cruise to Burma, we can select the right holiday to match your requirements.
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