Are you looking for something a little unusual for your holiday this year? I think we all reach a point in our travel adventures when we want to see something different. If that’s the case for you, why not consider a visit to exotic Burma?
Green, lush, mysterious, and downright beautiful, Burma, also known as Myanmar, has only recently been opened up to western tourists, and because of this, it is fast becoming one of the world’s premier holiday destinations. In short, you need to get in on the action before it goes mainstream!
Why visit Burma?
There are many reasons why you should visit Burma, not least because it has a fascinating history due to it being ruled by various countries, including Britain and India, however, Burma has been independent since 1937. Culturally it has had many influences and now has its own unique blend of cultures. Buddhism is the main religion and some of the most beautiful Buddhist architecture in the world can be found here. Burma is also home to stunningly beautiful beaches, including some superb diving spots, as well as modern and vibrant cities. There’s not a lot Burma doesn’t have.
How do I prepare for my visit?
Although Burma is now opening up to outsiders, there are a few considerations you should bear in mind before you travel. Firstly, you need a visa to enter the country. Check ahead of time regarding arrangements for this, as it does vary depending on your country of origin, and which country you are traveling from. In some cases it may be possible to get a visa on arrival, so make sure you check with your tour operator about the exact requirements for you.
You should also be aware that travel is restricted in some areas, although naturally, the main tourist areas are easily accessible. Finally, and possibly most importantly, make sure you have travel insurance in case of any unexpected problems whilst you are there.
When is the best time to go?
Burma has three main seasons: the hot season (March to April), the rainy season (May to October), and the cool season (November to February). The most popular time for tourists to visit is during the cool season because temperatures rarely climb above the low thirties, making it much more comfortable to explore.
What are the must-see attractions?
You won’t be bored in Burma, because there are so many wonderful places to visit, and it’s hard to select just a few. Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is famous for its traditional pagodas and colonial buildings, as well as being the economic heart of the country. Mandalay was once the capital of the Kongbaoung dynasty and boasts the magnificent Mandalay Royal Palace, whilst Hpa-An has a bustling market and is ideal for exploring the surrounding caves and mountains.
If architecture is your passion, then head for Bagan with its overwhelming variety of pagodas, best seen on a sunset cruise on the Ayeyarwady River – this is certainly one for the camera. Make sure you travel to historic pilgrimage sites such as Shwedagon and the Mahamuni Pagodas, but the sacred Golden Rock temple is simply unmissable and jaw-dropping.
Nature lovers will adore Inle Lake, and those seeking perfect beaches will find it them and Ngapali and Ngwe Saung – ideal for a day’s R&R in beautiful surroundings.
With so many unforgettable sights, Burma is truly the place to go for the holiday of a lifetime with a distinct difference. Head there whilst it’s relatively undiscovered, and be the first to see the wonders of this beautiful country.