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With a beaming welcome and a delicate bow, hands pressed together as if in prayer, the gentle people of Burma – or Myanmar as it is now known – put the visitor at immediate ease. A delicious extravaganza of cultural and culinary delights awaits discovery in a land still blissfully free of Western influences.
Attractions abound, from the colonial buildings of Yangon to the plethora of gilded temples where the Burmese display their devotion through elaborate ceremonies swathed in scent and smoke. Most spectacular of them all, Shwedagon Pagoda is for many a once in a lifetime pilgrimage, with thousands more temples and stupa rising through the dawn mists on the mesmerising plains of Bagan.
For a sight beyond superlatives, climb to the top of a pagoda to watch sunset over the Ayeyarwady River. Still the sights come thick and slow…the floating tomato gardens, long-tailed boats and leg-rowing fishermen of Lake Inle…with the dazzling white sands of Ngapali Beach to round off an overload of visual splendour. Burma is a top destination, too special to miss, an experience to plan for while Burma still stands at its unspoilt best.
When to go
The best time to visit most areas is during the cooler season from October to February. The hottest months are from March to May when the rainy season begins. The rains last from mid May until the end of September and are followed by cooler, more comfortable weather.
Approximate flight times
Bangkok to Yangon: 1 hour 25 minutes.
Passports & Visas
British passport holders must obtain a visa prior to arrival.
A tailor-made multi centre itinerary is highly recommended to cover Burma’s highlights, with the services of a private driver and guide. Burma also makes an ideal combination with Bangkok and Thailand’s beach resorts.