Beautiful Burma is stepping out of a chequered past into a new era of hope and optimism. In the nation also known as Myanmar, visitors can expect to be dazzled by shimmering cities of gilded temples, enlivened by emerald green landscapes and humbled by the warm smiles of gracious villagers. Now is the time to contribute to Burma's blossoming future - peaceful pagodas, sacred sites, ancient towns and monasteries await.
Burma (Myanmar) Tours & Travel
Top deals in Burma (Myanmar)
|11 Jan 2015 Best of Burma German||15||$2495||View trip|
|20 Jan 2015 Best of Burma (Myanmar)||15||$2550||View trip|
|10 Feb 2015 Best of Burma (Myanmar)||15||$2455||View trip|
|28 Feb 2015 Best of Burma (Myanmar)||15||$2510||View trip|
|5 Mar 2015 Best of Burma (Myanmar)||15||$2440||View trip|
All our Burma (Myanmar) trips
11 days from
Taste your way through Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan on this food odyssey through Burma, featuring a guest appearance...View trip details
Burma (Myanmar) trip reviews
Our Burma (Myanmar) trips score an average of 4.63 out of 5 based on 158 reviews in the last year.
Best of Burma (Myanmar), May 2014
Of the 7 Intrepid tours, and some of my own personal travel, I've declared this the best trip yet!
Review submitted 21 Jun 2014
Best of Burma (Myanmar), April 2014
You do a Comfort 12 day version of this tour which I'm glad I didn't do as this tour was nearly the perfect amount of time everywhere and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to skip any of the road transferring or the boat excursion. A really good mix of included activities and free time as well.
Review submitted 20 Jun 2014
Articles on Burma (Myanmar)
Before Time Bagan: 8 Reasons You’ll Love Exploring Bagan by Bike
Posted on Thu, 10 Jul 2014
There are many ways to get around Bagan, but one option far surpasses the others. Here's the scoop.Read more
About Burma (Myanmar)
At a glance
|Time zone:||(GMT+06:30) Yangon (Rangoon)|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)|
Best time to visit Burma (Myanmar)
Burma has three distinct seasons, with the hottest and driest running from February to May. During this time, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, although relief can be found in the highland areas which, on average, clock cooler temperatures. The monsoon season runs from May to October, while milder and drier weather usually prevails from October to February.
Geography and environment
History and government
It has been estimated that the land now known as Burma has been inhabited since 11,000 BC. Archaeological evidence garnered from burial sites indicates early settlements were largely concentrated near the Ayeyarwaddy River, with agriculture and animal husbandry prevailing by 1500 BC. Later, larger settlements or city states were created by the peaceful Pyu people, who migrated from the north sometime around 1 BC, bringing Buddhism to Burma. With the Mon people entering from the south during the 6th century, and sustained attacks from the north occurring up to the 9th century, the Pyu people became absorbed into the general population to shape the face of future Burmese ethnicity. The Bagan Empire ruled Burma from 1044 to 1287 and with a burgeoning agriculture and trade economy, was able to build thousands of Buddhist temples, many of which are still present today. By the 13th century, the Bagan Empire had begun to decline due to economic mismanagement and foreign invasion from the Mongols and the Mon people. Burma's seesawing fortunes continued for centuries, with war, invasion and changes in rule commonplace over the years.
By 1886, Britain claimed Burma as a province of India, with Rangoon being named capital. This period of British rule impacted on Burmese society greatly, with the culture, religion, economy and society vastly changing at the hands of the British. The local population saw little of the economic benefits flowing from increased trade and agriculture cultivation, and with many villages being destroyed, this period of history marks a difficult time for the Burmese. World War II saw Burma's movements towards independence grow, and by 1948 Burma was granted independence. Decades of change and political instability followed, with an unstable parliament and several military coups creating uncertainty around the newly Socialist country. Burma seemingly lurched from crisis to crisis, plagued by corruption, inflation and volatility from the 1960s to 1990s. With increasing trade embargoes, protests, sanctions and international pressure, the military government was forced to cease the imprisonment of democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi and instate democracy to the country once again. With elections being held in 2010, Burma could finally be on the road to restoring democracy, peace and prosperity to the population.
Top 5 Temples of Burma
1. Shwedagon Paya
As one of the most sacred sites in Burma, this glittering pagoda located in Yangon is a must-see for travellers wishing to learn about the Buddhist faith and culture in Burma. The bell-shaped golden stupa is stunning, while the surrounding statues and satellite shrines provide insight into Burmese culture and mysticism.
The largest temple in the impressive Bagan complex, centuries-old Dhammayangyi, features elaborate brickwork, dark passages filled with shrines and serene figures of Buddha. With its construction shrouded in historical mystery, the identity of the architect/builder of this unfinished temple is still unknown.
One of Bagan's most popular pilgrimage spots, Shwezigon is a significant place of worship for many Burmese people. With elaborate, gilded stupas, decorated staircases and golden, ornamental trees, this is one of Burma's most beautiful temples.
Grand columns, bright frescoes, peaceful pavilions, reflective pools and a massive golden Buddha statue combine to make this one of Burma's most visually appealing and interesting spiritual sites. As an active monastery, school for monks and place of worship, expect Bagan's Mahamuni to be busy with daily rituals and yearly religious festivals.
While not the largest or most elaborate temple, Bagan's symmetrical Ananda rises majestically into the sky with a certain sense of grace. Damaged by an earthquake in the 1970s, Ananda has been lovingly restored to former glory and continues to elicit admiration and wonder from both locals and visitors.
FAQs on Burma (Myanmar)
Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance
Effective as of 01 September 2014, some nationalities including Australians, Canadians, Germans, Dutch, New Zealanders, British and Americas can obtain a tourist visa using a new eVisa system. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit website: www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm.
Important to note when applying for an eVisa:
Passport validity must have at least (6) months validity from date of return.
You will need to present one colour photo (4cm X 6cm) which has been taken within the last 3 months and a copy of your return ticket.
Length of stay is 28 days from the date of arrival in Myanmar.
The eVisa fee is US$50 per person, payable by credit card (note: visa fee is non-refundable should the eVisa be denied)
The processing time is approximately 5 working days for granting an eVisa however we recommend allowing longer in the event of delays.
The validity of eVisa letter is approximately 3 months from the date of issue. You will be denied entry if you attempt to enter on an expired eVisa.
eVisas are applicable for single entry into Burma only and you will not be permitted to re-enter on an eVisa that you have previously entered on (multiple entries not possible)
eVisas are only obtainable if you are arriving into Yangon International Airport. If arriving into another Burma entry point you will need to pre-obtain your visa before departure via a Burmese Embassy.
Despite having been issued an eVisa Immigration personnel will check the Interpol black list and Myanmar black list and you may be denied entry.
This information was correct as of 21 August 2014 – please check the above website for further information as this new system is further developed.
Nationalities who are unable to obtain an eVisa should contact the Burma embassy in their country of residency. Note - you may be requested to provide a letter of invitation from a local Burmese ground operator. In such cases please contact Intrepid to attain this letter and we will forward to you.
Visas on arrival in Burma are currently unavailable - you should obtain your visa prior to departure.
After recent positive events within the country including the elections in November 2010, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and the subsequent call to end the travel boycott by the NLD, Intrepid has been prompted to consider returning to Burma.
By reintroducing our grassroots style of travel, we can contribute to improving the circumstances of the Burmese people by way of initiating a two-way exchange. Firstly, resuming trips will give them a chance to interact with visitors from other countries, thus giving a rare glimpse into life and governance in other parts of the world.
Secondly, taking passengers to Burma will help to build awareness of the complex issues this country continues to face, as well as positively contributing to the economy.
Bottle of beer in a bar or restaurant = 1500-2000 MMK
Banquet in a small, locally-run restaurant = 2000-3000 MMK
Dinner in a high-end hotel restaurant = 10,000+ MMK
For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Feb 12 Union Day
Mar 2 Peasants' Day
Mar 26 Full Moon of Tabaung
Mar 27 Armed Forces Day
Apr 13 Maha Thingyan (Water Festival)
Apr 17 Myanmar New Year
May 1 Labour Day
May 25 Full Moon of Kason
Jul 19 Martyr's Day
Jul 22 Full Moon of Waso (Beginning of Buddhist Lent)
Oct 21 Full Moon of Thadingyut (End of Buddhist Lent)
Nov 18 Full Moon of Tasaungmon
Dec 8 National Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/myanmar/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Burma (Myanmar) Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Burma (Myanmar)
1. Be considerate of Burma’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. Burma's political situation is sensitive. Respect the wishes of locals at all times and avoid starting conversations involving politics or the government. Seemingly innocuous questions or comments could cause offence.
4. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
5. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
7. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
8. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
10. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
11. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
|Finding George Orwell in Burma||Emma Larkin|
|Under the Dragon: A Journey through Burma||Rory MacLean|
|The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma||Thant Myint-U|
|From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey||Pascal Khoo Thwe|
|Burmese Days||George Orwell|
|Burma: The Longest War 1941-1945||Louis Allen|