After much discussion in recent years about the morality of
sending people to a country ruled by a brutal military junta,
dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced that tourism might
actually help draw attention to her country's plight. Finally, you
can visit such evocative places as Mandalay, Rangoon (or Yangon as
it's now formally known) and the Irrawaddy River as well as the
rest of this beautiful and bewitching country.
Original Travel offers different ways to see the best of what
Myanmar (Burma) has to offer: be it a tailormade tour of the best
bits from Yangon to Bagan and Lake Inle; or a set departure cruise
along the famous Irrawaddy River from Bagan to Mandalay.
Whichever way you choose to see this magical country, you will
never forget the eye-catching pagodas in Yangon, the village life
around Inle Lake and the sheer charm of the local inhabitants.
Most visitors will arrive into Yangon, which is a relatively
quiet and charming city. The undoubted highlight here being the
Shwedagon Pagoda, a stunning and extremely humbling place where we
can arrange for visitors to take part in a robe offering ceremony
with some of the temple monks.
There is a relatively well worn path for travellers exploring
Myanmar - and for very good reason. The temple strewn landscape of
Bagan is a photographers dream, so ensure all camera batteries are
suitably charged. This is also the perfect spot to view the
landscape from above, with a serene hot air balloon journey.
In the interests of expediency, the flight to Mandalay has
replaced the road, but a visit is still well worthwhile. Highlights
here include the wonderful alms collection at Mahagandayon
monastery, when over 1,000 monks gather to collect their daily meal
from the local Buddhists.
The tranquil setting of Inle Lake also feature highly on most
visitors lists, where the labryinth waterways are best explored by
boat or kayak.
Finally, if all that culture starts to overwhelm (unlikely, but
not out of the question), then might we recommend a bit of beach
action? Yes, even Myanmar has its elite beach retreat, in this case
Ngapali Beach, a quintessential white sandy beach with palm tree
backdrop sort of place.
While Ngapali might be the last stop before returning to Yangon,
there is another way to see the wonders of Myanmar that we strongly
recommend - namely a boat trips along the Irrawaddy between Yangon
and Bagan on board a luxurious river boat.