Burma (Myanmar) is an enigmatic land of golden pagodas, natural wonders and smiling faces, but one we've felt unable to promote in the past. The positive announcement, however, of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end her party's 15-year boycott of tourism has opened once again the widely debated issue of whether or not to take a holiday in Burma. [See Burma itinerary ideas]
Far less controversial is the question over Burmese hospitality. A deep-rooted belief in Buddhism and an - albeit enforced - isolation from Western excesses have helped to preserve a kindliness of spirit in the local Burmese that is truly affecting. With no Burmese word for tourist, visitors are greeted quite sincerely as ‘guests', and if there's only one thing you take with you from your tailor-made holiday in Burma, it will likely be memories of its gentle, friendly people - considerate, inquisitive, humorous and helpful.
You would, of course, have been travelling blind if that really was all you took from the country, for as Kipling once wrote, Burma is ‘unlike any place you know about'. There are towering temples and sacred stupas, untracked jungles and lofty mountains, grandiose ruins of empires past and mile upon mile of emerald rice paddies and empty beaches. From colonial Rangoon to royal Mandalay, the Irrawaddy River to the plains of Pagan, this beautiful yet beleaguered country is one of Asia's finest treasures.
Whether to go
There's no denying that Burma's recent history has been tragically overshadowed by the actions of its military junta, yet many who decide to visit believe the drip-drip effect of tourism will be the factor most likely to bring about change. Among these voices has been opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has declared that the boycott of tourism to Burma should be lifted, provided tourists deal with non-government hotels and companies.
We believe it's not our place to make moral judgments on where individuals choose to travel - on the contrary, our advice would be to make your decisions based on your own informed consideration of the issues at stake.
Currently, none of the hotels we feature have any junta affiliations, but as the situation in Burma is constantly changing, we recommend you speak to one of our Asia specialists for up-to-date advice. They'll be happy to discuss your travel options with you and to direct you to resources where the issues are debated, helping you to make an informed decision.
Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.
We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Burma, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Central Burma is home to some of the country's most important historical and cultural treasures.
Coastal Burma is blessed with mile upon mile of footprint-free sand, more than 800 islands virtually untouched by tourists, the temple-strewn sites of at least three ancient kingdoms and a friendly population of farmers and fishermen, which make this part of Burma a …
Remote and seldom visited, eastern Burma shows visitors a rare and real sense of this complex country.
Kachin State, Burma's northernmost state, is a region that has remained largely untouched due to the powerful geographical barrier of the Himalayas to the north.
The former capital Rangoon - now known as Yangon - is the largest and most important commercial centre in Burma.
Itinerary ideas 
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Burma. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Best of Burma
Controversial, challenging but ultimately alluring, this 11-day tailor-made holiday offers the chance to travel responsibly to Burma, one of South East Asia's …
Explore the temple-filled plains of Bagan; visit a nunnery and share lunch with the resident nuns; travel by train through the spectacular landscapes and remote …
Shan State and eastern Burma
Eastern Burma is remote and rarely visited. Shan State is the largest state in Burma and encapsulates the colourful, complex nature of the country. Bordering …
Kachin State, Burma’s most northerly province, is remote and rarely visited. It has remained largely untouched due to the looming presence of the Himalayas, …
The Road to Mandalay
Central Burma is home to some of the country’s most important historical and cultural treasures. From the ancient temples at Pagan to the calm waters of Inle …
Explore the mysterious country of Burma on a ten-day escorted tour with Travelmarvel. You'll be accompanied by expert guides and a knowledgeable Tour Director …
After years of isolation from the outside world Burma is starting to emerge as a tourist destination. It has been given the all clear by Tourism Concern, which …
Now back on the tourist map, Burma's crumbling colonial architecture, countless overgrown temples, stunning landscapes and locals with shy friendly smiles await …
Burma by Bike
In the words of Kipling:'this is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about'. This may be even truer today when we will arrive on two wheels in Bagan, one …
Trekking in Burma
We visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the cultural heart of the nation, and Bagan with its plain of 4000 temples. For our trekking we head to the Chin …
Places to stay 
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Burma. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Burma, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The Hotel Red Canal, Burma
If you are looking for a sanctuary in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the cradle of Burma’s cultural city of Mandalay, then the Hotel by the Red Canal …
Aureum Palace Hotel, Pagan, Burma
Take a generous helping of Pagan temple tradition, add a colourful slice of Burmese heritage and throw in all the luxury you could wish for. The result is one …
The Strand, Rangoon, Burma
If this is your first time to Rangoon or you are on a leisure visit, we recommend the colonial style hotels like Rangoon’s landmark heritage hotel, the …
Rupar Mandalar Resort, Mandalay, Burma
If you are seeking a tranquil, charming hotel in the heart of bustling Mandalay, the Rupar Mandalar Resort is a fine choice.
The Governor’s Residence, Rangoon, Burma
To experience the romantic, old-world colonial charm in the heart of Rangoon, stay at the Governor’s Residence Hotel located in the upmarket embassy quarter.
Thiripyistaya Sanctuary Resort, Burma
As a haven of serenity, the Pagan Thiripyistaya Sanctuary Resort makes the most of the spiritual and Buddhist qualities of the ancient capital of Burma, Pagan.
Mrauk U Princess Resort, Burma
The finest resort in the archaeological town of Mrauk U located in the northern Rakhine state of Burma is the Mrauk U Princess Resort. Surrounded by mountain …
Palm Beach Resort, Ngwe Saung, Burma
Calling all watersport lovers to the Palm Beach Resort at the Ngwe Saung or Silver Beach along the west coast of Burma on the Bay of Bengal amid groves of lush …
Holiday types 
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in Burma. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
History and culture
From the Pyramids to the Parthenon, the Silk and Spice Routes to the Suez Canal, local history and culture add a rich flavour to any travel experience. Whether you want to explore the great opera houses of Sydney and Beijing, or the Palaeolithic cave paintings of France …
WEXAS negotiates with a wealth of travel companies, airlines, cruise operators, hotels and tour operators to bring you the very best travel offers. For great value or a range of add-on benefits, review the list of offers below.