Bagan has many temples that rival those of Angkor in Cambodia and its surroundings.
Steppes Travel has been crafting and designing Myanmar holidays for over 20 years. Despite having endured years of isolation and dictatorial rule, the people of Myanmar have retained a gentleness and charm.
There is still an innocence that has not been corrupted by western ideals and the remote tribal areas, which are now opening up, is a vanishing example of times gone by.
A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Myanmar.
Stroll through the towns bustling market, a place few visitors reach, for an insight into real daily life.
Journey by train over the staggering 250 metre high Goteik Viaduct. Shipped from America to Myanmar and built by the Pennsylvania Steel Company in 1900 it expanding the British Empire’s influence in the region.
See the famous Inle Lake leg rowers. Their iconic one legged stance allows them to wrap one leg around the oar to guide their boat while keeping both hands free to cast their conical net into the water
Explore hidden temples by e-bike stopping for a picnic.
Visit the five-day market, which travels from village to village based on the lunar calendar.
Take to the air over Bagan in a hot air balloon for an aerial view of the ruins at dawn.
Journey into the remote Mergui archipelago for a stay at Wa Ale Island Resort. Walk through pristine rainforest, snorkel in azure waters and kayak through mangroves.
Explore this eastern province of Myanmar bordering China and Laos – discover little visited rural villages, monasteries and palaces and delve into the history of the last Shan Princess.
Explore the shores of the Irrawaddy from the comfort of a luxury cruise.
Explore the hundreds of golden pagodas and mingle amongst the pink and saffron clad monks of Sagaing.
Booking a tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you. Get in touch with our experts to start planning your next journey.
There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Myanmar and our experts have first hand knowledge of many of them. Here are a few of our favourites but talk to us to find a property that suits your style and budget.
Located close to Inle Lake, Sanctum Inle Resort looks more like a European Monastery than a Burmese Hotel but the renaissance style and verdant grounds provide a lovely base to explore. The 94 rooms are spacious…View Property
Wa Ale is located on a 9,000-acre island, one of 800 islands within the Lampi Marine National Park in southern Myanmar. This privately owned eco-tourism project occupies a remote and little-visited island and has been built with…View Property
The Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel is an imposing two-storey Burmese mansion dating from the 1920s. Located in the quieter Embassy district, adjacent to Shwedagon Pagoda and set amidst tropical gardens. The 47 rooms overlook either the…View Property
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.
Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.
Your expertise helped us with our choices of activity, and we were often pleasantly surprised by some of the things arranged - the boat building at Inle was fascinating, we loved eating in the Burmese houses and thought that a real highlight and adored the ballooning in Bagan.
Having only recently opened its doors to the western traveller, Myanmar is one of the safest places to travel in Asia. Having been closed off to the outside world for so long, its people are genuinely pleased to share their country.
It is more likely you will be chased down the road for leaving your wallet behind rather than falling foul of a pick-pocket however we always advise caution wherever you are in the world.
When visiting monasteries and pagodas, there is a strict dress code. Bare shoulders and legs should be covered up, and shoes must always be removed so bringing a bag with you to put them in is a good idea as it may take a while to find them again! For women, a shawl is great for covering up shoulders and arms.
During the hotter days when touring, loose shirts and trousers/skirts are ideal, although in Yangon, which is more up to date with the western world, skirts below or on the knee are acceptable and now replacing the traditional Longyi by some younger women.
The current popularity of Burma holidays has stretched the infrastructure to breaking point and we cannot stress enough the importance of booking well ahead. Hotels are few and far between and the good ones are even more scarce – hence if comfort is important, start talking to us a year before you plan to visit Burma on holiday.
It is hard to ensure that all of your money does not go to the Burmese Government or larger businesses. Eating at locally run boutique restaurants and shopping at local markets is a good way to start, and talking to locals is a great way to find out if you are looking for something specific.
Remember to shop around as well – paintings that can be bought in local markets go for more than double the price in some of the luxury hotel galleries.
You might be surprised to find a handful of very good hotels. Although Myanmar doesn’t claim to be competing in the luxury hotel market there are a number of new hotels springing up in the cities and Inle Lake. Be prepared for a more modest offering in the hill villages. The road system is fragmented making the surprisingly good internal airline the transportation of choice, although modern luxury river boats are also providing a relaxed and comfortable way of visiting other areas. Where road travel in remote regions is essential 4x4s are available.
The best person to speak to is your doctor or nurse practitioner as the advice can change. Malaria is not present in Yangon and Mandalay, although it is throughout the rest of the country.
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