Burma - At a Glance

After decades of repression, the country is blossoming like never before. Shut away as it was for many decades, little has changed in modern day Myanmar since colonial times. Most men and boys wear traditional longyis (like sarongs) and women still use traditional yellow paste instead of rouge to paint circles and other designs on their cheeks. Tourism is helping broaden the horizons of visitors as well as the people that live there, who have long been isolated by the regime.

See everything from the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, via the 3000-plus ancient temples of Bagan, to busy Mandalay and the stunning beaches of Ngapali, Myanmar offers something for everyone. One of the last unchartered territories that is truly fascinating – and safe.

Ways you can help

Highlights

    • Marvel at Yangon’s incredible Shwedagon Pagoda
    • Try and keep up with the foot rowers of Inle Lake
    • Be in awe at the temples of Bagan
    • Wander the colonial capital of Mandalay
    • Trek to remote hill tribes
    • Cruise down the Ayeyarwady River
    • Test your bargaining skills in local markets
    • Walk the stunning U Bein Teak Bridge
    • Relax on  stunning untouched beaches

Eco-luxury Hotels

Useful Information

Flight Time from
UK
15 hours
Flight Time from
New York
20 hours
Flight Time from
San Francisco
21 hours
Time Zone
GMT -9 hours
When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Did you know

  • In Myanmar, people do not use the metric system of measures. Only 3 countries in the world have not adopted it – Myanmar, the United States and Liberia
  • The name “Myanmar” comes from “MYA” and translates as “emerald”
  • The biggest book in the world is in Myanmar. It consists of stone slabs placed vertically near the pagoda Kutodau. This is a book of sacred Buddhist texts and has 1460 pages
  • Burmese cuisine combines Chinese and Indian culinary traditions. Local food is very spicy. The mainstay of the local cuisine are fish dishes, rice, noodles, vegetables, seasoned onions, ginger, garlic and chili
  • People call Myanmar (Burma) the “The Golden country” or “The country of golden pagodas”, which is really about 2500 here. The state is the one huge archaeological reserve
  • New Year celebrations last four days – During the New Year water-throwing frenzy everyone throws and sprays water at each other. Staying dry isn’t an option. Water symbolizes the washing away of the previous year’s bad luck and sins
  • Myanmar has 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) of coastline and some of the finest stretches of beach in Asia. Many beaches along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea remain undiscovered by tourists and unspoiled by development
  • The Internet arrived in Myanmar in 2000, but high prices and slow connections mean it’s still not widely used
  • There are few ATMs in Myanmar, so visitors need to bring plenty of U.S. dollars. The higher the denomination, the better the exchange rate. Your greenbacks should be squeaky clean — that means no creases, stains, marks or tears. A note that’s folded or even a little worn is worthless in Myanmar
  • When the Burmese want to get a waiter’s attention they make a kissing sound, usually two or three short kisses. It’s the sort of sound you might make if calling a cat
  • The traditional Burmese dress is the longyi, a wraparound skirt worn by men and women. Men tie theirs in the front and women fold the cloth over and secure it at the side
  • It’s considered rude to eat with the left hand as this is the hand used for personal hygiene. To spell that out — the left hand does the job of toilet paper. So eating — as well as giving money — is always done with the right hand
  • The people with red teeth aren’t vampires – chewing betel nut is a national pastime. Small street stalls selling the palm-sized green leaves are everywhere

Testimonial

"We are so glad we made it Burma when we did, but for others, hurry, as I am sure it will be completely different in 5 years - the amount of building work going on is staggering, to keep up with demand. I hope the people don't change, as they are so warm, welcoming, and hospitable - they made the country for us."

Amy, traveled to Burma with her family, from the UK

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