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Plains of Bagan

Myanmar (Burma)

An enigma uncovered

Tailor-made Myanmar holidays


Myanmar (Burma) is a bewitching land of golden pagodas, natural wonders and smiling faces that are basking in a newly-opened tourism industry. A destination for the curious traveller, a getaway to Myanmar lets you visit an ancient collection of more than 2,000 temples and pagodas that stud verdant plains, witness the perilously perched Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo or take to the waters to discover floating villages and atmospheric river cruises.

Hospitality in Myanmar is a trademark of the culture. A deep-rooted belief in Buddhism and longtime isolation from consumer culture have both contributed to preserving a kindliness of spirit in the local people that is truly welcoming. With no indigenous word for tourist, travellers are greeted quite sincerely as ‘guests', and if there's only one thing you take with you from your time here, it will likely be memories of its gentle, friendly people – considerate, inquisitive, humorous and helpful.

But there’s much more to Myanmar than a wave of positive ambition; as Kipling once wrote, the country is ‘unlike any place you know about’. Start on a trip through colonial Yangon (Rangoon) where faded architecture frames the magnificent golden domes of the Shwedagon Pagoda, constructed 2,500 years ago as a monument to house eight of the Buddha's hairs. Then, travel north to royal Mandalay’s moated, east-facing royal palace, where a tiered golden spire seems to pierce the sky while the imposing fortress surrounding it projects power and protection far and wide. Then, look to the floating markets and gardens of Inle Lake and Bagan’s (Pagan) grandiose ruins of empires past that stretch for as far as the eye can see.

Find yourself in a luxurious paradise on Myanmar's coast, and among the 800 or so islands that extend beyond. Or, for a glimpse of royal life, spend some time in the last royal capital of the country, Mandalay. On a Mandalay tour, you'll be swept up in the cultural mix of Indian temples, mosques, monasteries, pagodas, and a wide range of arts performances and artisan craft workshops.

In Myanmar, you’ll find lofty mountains and mile upon mile of emerald rice paddies, empty beaches and dense forests. But most of all, you'll find yourself touring one of the world's most welcoming nations, as you discover why this beautiful country is one of Asia’s finest treasures.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
11½ hours

Time Zone
GMT +6½

Kyat (K) = 100 pyas

Burmese and other ethnic minority languages

Please check the FCO for latest advice

See Myanmar (Burma) travel guide

Where to go in Myanmar (Burma)

Central Burma

Central Burma is home to some of the country's most important historical and cultural treasures. From the ancient temples at Bagan to the calm waters of Inle Lake and on to the cultural hub of Mandalay.

Northern Burma

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.

Yangon (Rangoon)

The former capital Rangoon – now known as Yangon – is the largest and most important commercial centre in Burma. Filled with buildings from the colonial era, the city serves as an evocative reminder of Britain's former power and current legacy.

Coastal Burma

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 fascinating place to escape to a…

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What to do in Myanmar (Burma)

History and culture holidays

From plains filled with ancient pagodas as far as the eye can see to evocative 19th century colonial architecture lining city streets, Myanmar provides the means to see thousands of years' worth of history rubbing shoulders with each other.

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When to go to Myanmar (Burma)

Yangon (Rangoon)
Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
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Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Burma has three seasons. In the hot season from March to April, temperatures can reach 36°C in Yangon. A long rainy from May to October is followed by a 'cool' season from November to February, the peak season for visitors, when noontime temperatures in Yangon are around 32°C, falling to around 19°C at night. Mandalay is slightly cooler, with temperatures falling as low as 13°C. In the highlands around Inle Lake and Pyin U Lwin, winter temperatures can fall below 10°C at night, and daytimes are mild. Even in the summer, temperatures rarely climb above 32°C. In Kachin on the Indian border are mountains with permanent snow cover."Rainfall …

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Top itineraries in Myanmar (Burma)

Best of Burma

14-day tailor-made journey from £4,245 pp incl. flights

Showcase Myanmar’s rich heritage, world-wonder sights and fascinating culture on this fortnight-long itinerary that spans a hand-picked collection of unique experiences.

Burma in Depth

19-day tailor-made journey from £6,255 pp incl. flights

Between its uncharted remotes, golden favourites and ancient cities, Myanmar is a destination that demands exploring.

Taste of the Irrawaddy

15-day tailor-made journey from £4,095 pp incl. flights

While this fortnight-long itinerary will see stage coach rides, luxury river cruises, tuk tuk sprints and floating market sails that bring you between Myanmar’s highlights, Bagan is the real centrepiece of this trip.

Temples of the Irrawaddy

14-day tailor-made journey from £5,915 pp incl. flights

Long an important trade, travel and even pilgrimage route, the majestic Irrawaddy River connects some of Myanmar’s most powerful ports, host to the country’s iconic sights.

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Top places to stay in Myanmar (Burma)

Belmond Governor’s Residence, Yangon

Grand & elegant hotel

Experience old world colonial charm with Yangon’s premiere accommodation, once the home of its 1920s ruler.

The Strand, Yangon

Traditional hotel

Highly acclaimed as one of Southeast Asia’s leading luxury hotels, this iconic offering has been a city landmark since 1901 when it was opened by the hoteliers behind Raffles, Singapore.

The Savoy, Yangon

Traditional hotel

Arranged around a pool, this colonial gem is a slice of leafy quiet next to Yangon’s city centre icon, the giant Shwedagon Pagoda.

Sedona Hotel, Mandalay

Traditional hotel

Taking notes from its palace neighbour, this is city centre luxury that adds a touch of colonial charm to its historic setting.

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Special offers in Myanmar (Burma)

Classic Waterways of Myanmar

15-day tailor-made journey from £3,345 pp incl. flights


High Season Special Offer - Save up to £3800 per couple
Book by: 30 November 2016

Let luxury river cruises and guided tours uncover the mysteries of Myanmar’s ancient wonders and colonial beauty, all set against a rich backdrop of thriving local cultures and unique natural world.

Majestic Myanmar

17-day river cruise from £4,495 pp incl. flights


Companion Flies Free: Save up to £1,100 per couple
Book by: 31 October 2016

Wend your way through sights both colonial and ancient to discover a culture newly opened to the world.

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