Myanmar’s diverse landscape spans vast pine woodlands and blissful beaches to ancient stupas (dome-like structures used as a final resting place for monks and for meditation) and historic temples, steeped in centuries of fascinating culture and Buddhist traditions.
On our Myanmar Discovery tour you’ll take in jaw-dropping vistas of the serene Inle Lake, as you look out over the majestic forest-clad Shan Mountains, and marvel as its famed Intha ‘leg rowers’ scan the tranquil waters for fish. Wander the sacred sanctums of the Mahamuni Temple, gazing up at the Great Image of the golden Mahamuni Buddha, before journeying down to the Kuthodaw Pagoda – home to the marble and stone tablets of the? Tripitaka inscriptions that make up the world’s largest book. Step back in time and stroll across the 150-year-old U Bein teakwood bridge; observe the traditions of the extraordinary lakeside Inthein village and the ruins of its 14th century Nyaung Ohak pagodas; and shop for handcrafted wares, jewellery and clothes along the cobblestoned streets of the expansive Bogyoke Aung San covered market and its 2,000 shops.
Take our Highlights of Myanmar tour and gaze at the precious stones of Mandalay’s Jade Market, enjoying a crimson sunset on Sagaing Hill as you scan the horizon for the spires of its many holy monasteries. Arriving at the ancient imperial city of Innwa by horse and cart, you’ll discover the striking Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery and its 19th century Burmese architecture, before enjoying a scenic boat tour of the traditional Indaing village.
Belmond Cruise Myanmar
“Make sure to walk around the track surrounding Lake Inle for some truly breath-taking views of the Shan Hills, pagoda ruins and traditional villages. It takes around two hours, and despite being uphill, the walk isn’t too demanding or steep.”
“Myanmar food is both delicious and diverse – while you’re here, try mohinga (a fish and rice noodle soup adorned with fried batter) and ăthouq (spicy salads consisting of a mix of chillies, peanuts, onions, citrus juice and fruits). The combination of tart fruits and fiery chilli is refreshing and light, and these bold flavours are indicative of Myanmar cuisine as a whole.”
“Rubbing the bronze statues at the Mahamuni Buddha Temple is said to bring good fortune – taking part in these customs is appreciated by the locals. Remember to dress appropriately while visiting temples and monasteries though, as not all sites will provide sarongs for you to cover your shoulders with.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What language do people speak in Myanmar?
The official language of Myanmar, formerly Burma, is Burmese. While still referred to as Burmese, it is also known as the ‘Myanmar language’. There are also a number of officially recognised regional languages in Myanmar, including Kachin, Kayah, Rakhine and Shan. We recommend you bring a Burmese phrasebook to aid conversation with the locals.
What currency can I use in Myanmar?
The official currency of Myanmar is the Burmese kyat. While ATMs are becoming more widely available throughout the country, we recommend having your converted cash handy while visiting more remote locations, as not all local establishments will accept credit card payments. Additionally, your bank may charge international usage fees, and there is a withdrawal limit of 300,000 kyats per transaction which amounts to roughly £148.
What religion do the people of Myanmar follow?
Myanmar has no official religion but recognises that Buddhism – specifically Therevada Buddhism – is the most practised among its multi-religious society. Myanmar is known for its plethora of Buddhist temples, monuments and monasteries.
An ode to its captivating past, spanning centuries and myriad dynasties, the relics and ruins of Myanmar are still preserved to this day. Leave the Western world behind for a while and immerse yourself in the customs and traditions of local villages, hike rolling hills and dense forests, explore ancient temples and enjoy exquisite cuisine.
Why you'll love Myanmar...
• Admiring the impressive wooden architecture of the Bagaya Kyaung monastery
• Observing the seemingly impossible balancing Golden Rock at Mount Kyaiktiyo
• Witnessing the cleansing rituals of the Mahamuni Buddha at the Mahamuni Temple
• Exploring the ethereal pagoda forest of Nyaung Ohak
• Walking across the Taungthaman Lake on the 150-year-old U Bein teakwood bridge
• Visiting the Kuthodaw Pagoda and reading passages from the world’s largest book
• Buying handmade jewellery at the Bogyoke Aung San covered market
• Riding through the historic city walls of Innwa by horse and cart
• Watching the unique fishing technique of the Intha ‘leg rowers’ as they navigate Lake Inle in search of fish
• Wandering the corridors of the imposing Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery
Did you know?
• In 2006, Myanmar’s capital city was moved, rebuilt and renamed Naypyjidaw. Six times the size of New York, the city features 20-lane super highways, four golf courses and the most reliable electricity in all the country.
• Sat atop Mount Popa, Taung Kalat Buddhist monastery is perched 5,000 feet in the air above a volcanic plug.
• Famous writer George Orwell lived in Burma between 1922 and 1927, where he served in the Indian Imperial Police. It was here he wrote of in his famous autobiographical works Shooting an Elephant and The Hanging.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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