"U Po Kyin, Sub-divisional Magistrate of Kyauktada, in Upper Burma, was sitting in his veranda. It was only half past eight, but the month was April, and there was a closeness in the air, a threat of the long, stifling midday hours. Occasional faint breaths of wind, seeming cool by contrast, stirred the newly drenched orchids that hung from the eaves. Beyond the orchids one could see the dusty, curved trunk of a palm tree, and then the blazing ultramarine sky. Up in the zenith, so high that it dazzled one to look at them, a few vultures circled without the quiver of a wing." —George Orwell
Mingalabar (welcome)! We are Tin Tin Htar Oo and Patrick Morris, each of us with over 20 years' experience arranging trips in this most special of destinations—The Land of Gold. What's new since Orwell penned the above words in his classic colonial-era novel, Burmese Days? Notwithstanding Barack Obama's offical state visit in 2012 (the first by an American President), to the delight of our travelers, not much at all.
After over forty years, Myanmar has suddenly opened up to the world. What once was a sleepy destination with a largely unwelcoming military government is now a first choice for those eager to get off the beaten path and experience a completely untouched country in what is otherwise is a popular, well-traveled region. And in this regard, Myanmar delivers.
Here visitors will find an especially warm and friendly people, and a country that offers a wonderfully diverse travel experience which includes world class archaeological sites, mighty rivers, Himalayan mountains, precious gemstone mines, historic old colonial buildings, vast teakwood forests, and a large and diverse number of ethnic groups; all combining to give the country great scenic and cultural richness. Most visitors will arrive in Yangon via the airport hub of Bangkok, a mere one hour flight. And yet, though only an hour’s flight and a 30 minute time zone away – a flight to Yangon is like traveling in a time machine, placing you somewhere in Asia’s ancient and mystical past, a refreshing glimpse of how life was in much of Asia decades ago. Here the unique ambiance harks back to more tranquil times, ox-drawn carts trundle along dusty roads, saffron robed monks spend quiet me worshiping at revered shrines and the charming locals greet travelers with warm and generous smiles. Myanmar truly offers a unique opportunity to experience old style Asia, the way it was, and still is, in Myanmar.
"Patrick was able to get me linked up with Min Ko Naing, who is the next most important person in Myanmar, behind Aung San Suu Kyi, and that interview was eye opening. —Dr. Al Campbell
Unique trips in a very exceptional place
We've been organizing one-of-a-kind private custom trips in Myanmar since the late 1990s, from classic overland tours to the the first cycling tours of Myanmar, a first of a kind Myanmar Digital Photography Tour, trips organized around attendeing the vibrant Inle Lake Phaung Daw Oo Festival, to private escapes for solitude or an unforgettable honeymoon retreat nestled against the Himalayan foothills. Our latest focus is on the artist community in Yangon, as the community emerges during this exceptional period of Burmese glasnost.
Aside from exceptional, original experiences, longtime travelers know the guide makes the trip and this even truer in Myanmar where there is a dearth of experienced guides. However, you can expect the very top escorts along with an attentive and efficient office. Let us plan your trip to this remarkably untouched place during this special window in time when Myanmar is opening up to the world. We can recommend when to travel, possible festivals to attend, as well as arrange your international airlines, and take care of that difficult Myanmar visa. Read more below or browse ideas for your private trip on our Myanmar trips page.
Myanmar Touring Highlights
Like the other places we travel, in Myanmar we focus on experiential and there are few other countries in the world that are equal for immersive and authentic person-to-person experiences. Although our travelers are awed by the wonderful scenery and sights of, it is the friendliness, warmth, and endearing nature of the the people that are the most enchanting aspect of visiting the country. The gentle nature of the people in this Buddhist country are a delight to mingle with against the backdrop of shimmering golden pagodas, brick red monasteries, and stunning landscapes on the sublime Inle Lake. We feel the experiences below offer the best of Myanmar, but also browse our other ideas for other trip ideas.
|Few places in the world are as spiritual and pure in their beliefs as Myanmar. For the most part, Buddhism is Burmese culture. Let us plan a journey that reveals the deep religious expression of not only the Burmese, but beliefs of ethnic people in remote areas such as the Intha tribe on Inle Lake. Explore the importance and expression of meditation in Burmese life, with the option to experience it yourself. Special focus on Sangha, Myanmar's form of strict Buddhism and one of the purest, with private visits to monasteries and a Buddhist University in Mandalay meeting with novice and elder monks. read more >||During the 1990s Indochina Travel pioneered private photography travel in Indochina and we've been focusing on Myanmar for over a decade now. If you're not able to join our annual photography tour of Myanmar with award-winning photographer Mark Tuschman, but are interested in photography. Let us organize our trip to include man of the places we photograph during this trip with an escort who specializes in photography and will facilitate taking personal photos with people of all walks of life. Read more about our Myanmar photo tours below. read more >|
|When we began our first arts tours of Vietnam in the 1990s, it was a period during which artists were still emerging from isolation. What few artists who were scraping a living from their work alone were primarily centered in Hanoi. What a difference a decade makes. Vietnam's artists are now thriving and their works have been placed firmly on the international stage. Myanmar today is much like Vietnam was that early period, with a small group if artists spread widely over Yangon working primarily from home galleries. Read more below. read more >||Myanmar is one of the most undeveloped and unpopulated countries in Asia, featuring spectacular landscapes from the red plains of Bagan, to lush green river valleys along the Irrawaddy, into the magnificent high-mountain scenery in the Shan State. Explore these vivid landscapes by bicycle, foot, train, boat and balloon (above). Indochina Travel organized the first cycling tours of the country over a decade ago and we can blend in a mix of active sightseeing in just the right amounts for your trip. read more >|
When to visit?
The most pleasant weather in Myanmar is October though March, when it is cooler at lower elevations (averaging about 18-24 C° or 64-75 F°), but our Myanmar tours can be enjoyed nearly year round, escaping to the higher, cooler elevations such as the beautiful Inle Lake in the Shan mountains and Pyin U Lwin. The hottest season falls between March and May (23-33 C° or 77-99 F°). Light, afternoon rains begin in June with cooler weather (not an unpleasant time to visit and when tourists avoid the country). August brings monsoons that last through mid-September.
The vibrant festival season in Myanmar runs through October and November is an outstanding time to visit and worth planning your visit around, but you should plan to do so well in advance, flights and accommodations can fill up to a year in advance.
Pull up our weather chart for more information on the weather in Myanmar and throughout the region. Despite press that implies the contrary, Myanmar is a very safe, welcoming place to travel.
Why choose Indochina Travel? We take you to places, organize experiences, and introduce you to local people that no one else does. Whether celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon, or planning a family journey, our journeys offer unforgettable experiences in Myanmar, the Land of Gold.
Read on to plan your perfect Myanmar tour? Contact us by clicking below or calling us in San Francisco at (415) 731-4377.
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