Yangon and Bagan are 2 out of 4 most typical tourist destinations of Myanmar. The former is the largest city and the latter is the most important archaeological sites of the country. Most international visitors spend several days in Yangon and its surroundings and then travel to Bagan on their Myanmar tour. How to get to Bagan from Yangon? It depends on your budget, timing and also your adventure mind. Here is useful information for transportation from Yangon to Bagan.1. Overnight Bus from Yangon to BaganNormally the overnight bus will take around 9 – 10 hours to complete the 611-kilometer journey between Yangon and Bagan. The road condition is quite good and the quality of overnight buses is better than you imagine or hear about transportation services in Burma.
Traveling by overnight bus from Yangon to Burma can help you save money quite a lot (it costs 15,000 – 18,000 kyat for a ticket bus and you can also save 1-night hotel). It is a very good choice if you don’t suffer from motion sickness and can sleep in noises as the driver turns on Burmese music very loud until midnight.
The bus normally leaves the downtown Yangon at 6.00pm each evening and arrives in Bagan around 4.00am (the next day). So make sure to book your hotels in Bagan in advance and prepare for the transfer from bus station to your hotel. If not, you may have to stand around with the cockerels and cows for several hours until a more sociable hour!
2. Local Train from Yangon to BaganDuring Myanmar travel, the journey from Yangon to Bagan by train is very time-consuming (15-17 hours) and mostly unpleasant. The train is noisy and hot, and your bed in the cabin is quite hard to sleep. In addition, the speed is incredible slow.
It’s a little odd that you can not buy train tickets at the train station. Instead, you have to buy them from some travel agents in Yangon center. It will cost 16,500 (17 USD) kyat for an upper-class sleeper ticket, 12,000 (12 USD) kyat for an upper-class seat ticket. If you must travel as cheap as possible, an ordinary class seat ticket of 4,500 kyats (4 USD) may be an economical choice. However, remember that it will not be a particularly enjoyable journey. Food and drink is served throughout the journey, but they are not included in ticket price. Trains normally leave Yangon station at 4.00pm, and arrive in Bagan around 10.00am (the next day).
3. Short Flight from Yangon to BaganFor Burma tours, a Bagan-Yangon flight is an easiest and most time-saving way to travel between two sites. The Air Bagan is probably the best airline flying the route of International Yangon Airport and Nyuang U Airport (the closest airport to Bagan), but you can also choose from Air Mandalay and Myanmar Airways.
Flying from Yangon to Bagan will cost you around 95 – 155USD/ ticket, depending on which airway company you choose and booking time. Note that Nyuang U Airport is 7 km far from Bagan, so check to see if your hostel or hotel will pick you up.
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It can be said that cuisine, especially street food, is one of the most standout characteristics of Yangon tourism. The city seems to be built for snacking with delicious dishes that are equally diverse compared to any street food heavens in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam or Thailand. You can find the best street food in Yangon at temporary carts set up by vendors each morning, and the snacks and stews are sold throughout the day, reflecting a wide cross-section of different and ethnicities and cultures. Here are the best courses of stress food you should not miss on your tours in Yangon.MohingaThis is the unofficial national dish of Myanmar. A pungent fish broth is flavored with turmeric, pepper, and lemongrass, which swirls around slippery thin noodles. If you taste the dish for the first time on your tours in Yangon, you will hardly recognize fish immediately; it’s mixed with chickpea flour to make an appetizing thick stew usually served for breakfast.
The assault of flavors in the early morning is the perfect way to start your day tour day tour Yangon. Although mohinga is sold all over Yangon by vendors, at Myaung May Daw Cho shops, the broth is brighter, thicker and pungent with ginger. In terms of food safety, it’s more comforting to know your fish broth was at least made in a kitchen with walls. The famous mini-chain of mohinga shops has several locations in Yangon, one of which is located 5 minutes walking from the Shwedagon pagoda, and it will cost you $3 to have a mohinga serving. Note that mohinga usually sells out by 9 a.m., so it’s better to you to get up early.
Myaung May Daw Cho
118A Yay Tar Shay Old Street, Bahan
Mont Lin Ma YarRoughly translated as “husband and wife snacks,” these tiny bites are a visual delight for your Myanmar travel. Skillful vendors add dollops of rice flour batter to a large sizzling cast iron pan which resembles a muffin tin. Toppings such as roasted chickpeas, quail eggs, scallions are added to half of the dollops, and then, the two halves, like a husband and wife are joined to make a little cake.
The Mont Lin Ma Yar version with quail eggs is the perfect breakfast food. Although you can find Mont lin ma yar vendors all over the downtown Yangon, the place you will find out the best vendor on your tours in Yangon is on Anwaratha between 29th and 30th. Here the quail eggs are cooked perfectly, not oily or dry like at other vendors, and the fried bites are extra crisp.
Nameless Street Vendor
Anawrahta between 29th and 30th Streets, near Bogyoke Market, Dagon
Grilled SkewersLocated on 19th street between Anawrahta Road and Maha Bandoola Road are a variety of Barbecue restaurants, where storefronts display skewers of meat, fish, and vegetables ready to be rushed back into the kitchen and then they’re grilled over intense flames. Grab a plastic basket, fill it with raw skewers, wait your turn and it’s sure that you will have one of the most wonderful cuisine experiences on your tours in Yangon.
Kaung Myat, easily identified by its bright green interior matching the label of the omnipresent “Myanmar” beer, will first serve you a particularly appetizing skewer of peeled baby potatoes. Then there are delicate strands of enoki mushrooms, clumped together along with broccoli and okra; all are marinated in the same sweet lime chili sauce. A whole grilled fish is another mouth-watering course here. The fish is cut into sections, so you can easily peel away with chopsticks. When you run out of beer, make kissing sounds to draw the attention of waiters.
110 19th Street, Latha
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Shan NoodlesThe Shan state in Eastern Myanmar shares borders with Thailand, Laos and China. It has been a region of civil war and conflict since Burmese independence in 1948. Chinese factors have affected not only by the politics but also on the cuisines.
Shan cuisine has various variations of a simple noodle course with a thin broth of black pepper and fragrant garlic. The noodles of this region are usually of the thicker rice variety, and they’re tossed in a spicy and sweet pepper-based sauce with bits of pork or chicken meat. The red pepper sauce reminds of a Thai sweet chili sauce, but it’s more fragrant as if mixed with Chinese five-spice powder.
If you want to enjoy a real San noodle bowl on your tours in Yangon, go to Aung Mingalar, a bright and airy restaurant located just behind Bogyoke Market. Here there is an English menu that makes it easy to order. The sticky chicken noodle salad is extremely delicious. Thick rice noodles sit in brown sweet soy based sauce and served with a side of a herbaceous clear soup and a tiny plate of pickled greens.
Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Restaurant
Bo Yar Nyunt Street, Dagon
Special street food has made tourism in Yangon more attractive and likely. Enjoying these dishes on your tours in Yangon, you will not only have memorable experiences but better understand Burmese cuisine and culture as well in your Burma tours.
Click herYangon – or Rangoon as it was known – the former capital of Burma, is the bustling city full of colors, amazing sights, and wonderful experiences. It is also a great place to shop – handicrafts, antiques, textiles jewels and the beautiful lacquerware that Burma is famous for. Here is our guide to the best popular places to go shopping on your Yangon tour.1. Augustine's SouvenirsThis treasure used to be called Augustine’s Antiques; however as the Burmese government doesn’t allow antiques to be sold outside the country’s border, its name has been changed. Today, the shop concentrates on newer items but the quality remains to be guaranteed. Visiting Augustine's Souvenirs when you tour Yangon, you can find carvings from Mandalay workshops, colonial-style furniture, lacquer from producers in the Shan States, gilded wooden statues and some beautiful 20th-century silver and brass temple offering bowls, which are sold by families in need of the cash. Make sure that you receive a receipt and a stamped letter proving that the items you purchase are not antiques.
Address: 23 Attiyar Street, off Thirimingalar Street, Kamayut Township, Yangon, Burma
2. Shwedagon PagodaThe stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, nicknamed “the jewel of Yangon”, is considered the symbol of Yangon tourism and an absolute must-see for any visitor to the city. The pagoda symbolizes the cultural and religious life of the former capital in particular and Burma in general. Additionally, it’s an amazingly wonderful place to shop. Lots of small stalls line the staircases up to the pagoda selling exquisite flowers religious icons and votive offerings, as well as handmade crafts and other unique souvenirs.
Address: Shwedagon Pagoda, Dagon, Yangon, Burma
3. Bogyoke Aung San MarketThe Market is commonly included in the itinerary of any Yangon tour. Built by the British in 1926, the market was considered as the larger and oriental version of London’s Covent Garden market. It’s now largely given over to stalls designed to draw tourists: woven textiles from the Chin and Naga tribes, woodcarving from Mandalay and lacquerware from Bagan. Friendly saleswomen will size you up for a traditional longyi skirt and blouse, made-to-measure upstairs in minutes. Make your outfit more perfect with a pair of traditional velvet slippers which are sold on the south side during your Myanmar travel. Along the west side is a range of antique shops although much is new-made-old these days. Some negotiation on prices seems to be acceptable and expected. If you go with a local Yangon guide, sellers will tend to quote fair prices. On the south side are also several currency shops with goods with good rates for changing dollars into kyats. Do not pay attention to the roving moneychangers.
Address: Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan Township, Yangon, Burma
4. Myanmar Gems MuseumThe Myanmar Gems Museum plays exactly the role of a museum; however, it also houses 82 vendors over three floors, selling high-quality raw gems and finished pieces with sapphires, rubies, jades and pearls, semi-precious stones, gold and silverware - some exquisite pieces of jewelry here such as Burmese carved jade.
Address: 66 Kaba Aya Pagoda Road, Yangon, Burma
5. Myanmar Traditional Manufacturing CompanyIn your Burma tours, you can see umbrellas everywhere in Burma. People are using colorful ones to protect themselves from rains and sunlight. Moreover, they hold religious and cultural significance that the ornamented final on pagodas is called Hti (which means “umbrella in Burmese language) and history the umbrella was part of royal regalia. It still denotes high honor in Burmese monastic life. If you want to bring back beautifully decorated, traditional handmade Pathein parasols from your Yangon tour as original souvenirs for your beloved, friends and even yourself, the shop will be an ideal place to purchase them.
Address: 276, Strand Road, Pabedan Tsp, Yangon, Burma
The addresses mentioned above may help you have good decisions on shopping in Yangon. We will provide you with more Yangon tourist information in other articles so that you would get wonderful travel experiences in the city.
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Rangon (or Yangon), the former capital of Myanmar, is a fascinating blend of buildings that have gone unchanged for nearly a century, plus modern café and bar. Many travelers consider Rangon as the first stop on their Myanmar tours and spend two or three days exploring the city and its outskirts. Here we suggest some useful tips for Rangon tourismTop three tourist sites around RangonShwedagon PagodaThe pagoda is the most important Buddhist shrine in Myanmar and considered as the symbol of Yangon tourism, nicknamed “the jewel of Yangon”. Surrounding the main gilded 95-metre stupa topped with a thousand diamonds is a wide platform filled with shrines and pavilions. Here visiting nuns, monks and pilgrims from all over the country pray, chant, eat and snooze beneath beautifully carved eaves.
A visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda can last all day or half of day. You do not need to worry about the shortage of things to see as there are various mini-museums and photo displays throughout the pagoda. It will cost you $8 for an entrance fee.
Bogyoke Aung San MarketThe market is another attractive destination of Yangon tourism. The market, built in 1926 under a design from the British colonial period, is a wonderful destination for shopping. In need, you will be able to find almost all products there such as souvenirs, artwork, handicrafts and Burmese dresses. More particularly, the market is a famous address in selling jewelry and gemstones.
beforeA day trip to Bago is a great way to get away from the busy and dusty Yangon and admire a dozen impressive pagodas during your Myanmar travel. To get around and explore the city, it’s best to hire a Tuk Tuk (a motor with a cart attached with wood planks on which to sit) for the day. The Tuk Tuk drivers know the many temples know the most typical temples and where tourists want to go. They also know the good local restaurant to stop for a quick lunch.
Restaurants in YangonThe diverse cuisine is a bid plus point for Rangon tourism. Here you can find from the street food to fancy places that prices of those in large European cities. One that is worth visiting multiple times, for price, taste, and ambiance is Shan Noodle 999. The restaurant is located behind city hall, having appetizing and very low priced food (vegetarian-friendly). And like all friendly people you will meet in Myanmar, their staff are amazing. They will even help you mix noodles if they see you do that incorrectly.
If you want somewhere to spend an afternoon reading, writing, or just relaxing, Pansuriya is a great place. They have great tea and tasty traditional food. Their co-owner is often there during the day and is always willing to chat with you.
Rangoon Tea House offers good food at prices which are a little higher than the other two, and the ambiance is similar to any hipster hang-out in the USA. Its highlight is chocolate-filled samosas with so delicious taste.
Others tips for Rangon tourismMoneyATMs seem to now be readily available in Yangon and dispense kyat. However, many of them are sometimes out of service. As a result, it’s better to bring along some cash. US dollars can be exchanged but they must be pristine with no marks, creases or damage (any kyat in this condition is rare). Some locations will accept payment in US dollars.
Getting AroundIf you travel in a group of 3 or 4, taxis will be a good reasonable choice. They are very inexpensive with the average price of 2,000 kyats in town. Remember to get business cards from your hotel so that you can show it to the driver if they do not know the place by name. It’s much easier than trying to show them on a map and they will likely call directly to the hotel for directions.
Buses are common but the drivers and you may misunderstand each other due to their low capacity of English. Walking is also common to see with sidewalks on most streets, often shared with vendors but still enough room to roam. Just e sure to watch the traffic as well as the lights – or better yet, cross with locals as they understand the traffic patterns.
PeoplePeople’s friendliness and hospitability are the most valuable beauty of Rangon tourism. You will even meet complete strangers who actively ask if you need help and offer detailed instructions.
AccommodationsYangon has a wide variety of accommodations for your Burma tours at this point. Allegedly, it is one of the more expensive than other cities in South East Asia, but you can find affordable places, some of which may be further outside the main hub of the city. Note that room rates increase remarkably in the high season of Rangon tourism, so book your room at least a month in advance.
We expect that the useful tips for Rangon tourism will help you have great experiences in the hectic city. Do not stay your home and hear “someone say something about Yangon”, come hear and feel by yourself.
Mandalay is the second largest city and one of 4 tourist highlights in Myanmar (besides Yangon, Bagan, and Inle Lake). The city not only is the sacred land for major Buddhists’ pilgrimages but also contains many mysterious things that await being discovered. Here we provide you with Mandalay tourism useful information so that you could have best travel experiences in the city of Mandalay and its outskirts.The best time to tour MandalaySummer in Mandalay lasts from March to May, and then temperature cools down in the rainy season. Because Mandalay is in the central dry zone, it receives far less rain than the more tropical south. Winter lasts from November to February. The peak time of Mandalay tourism season is in between October and December when it’s cool and dry. However, traveling in the high season may be much more expensive, so you can visit Mandalay in late winter (January and February) and early rainy season (June and July) when the weather is relatively good.
How to get thereBy plane: Mandalay International Airport organizes flights to most cities in Myanmar and some cities abroad, such as Thailand or China. However, the airport is 45km far from the city, and you will have to take a taxi for about 10USD.
By train: You can reach Mandalay from Yangon via the rail network service. Nevertheless, the journey lasts 15 hours and may be a little unpleasant. The price for a first-class ticket is of 5USD. In your Myanmar travel, you can also come to Mandalay from Lashio, Hsipaw, Pwin U Lwin and Myitkyina. However, trains are often slow and crowded.
By bus: There are three main bus stations in Mandalay. You can reach them from Pyin U Lwin, Kyaukme, Hsipaw and other cities of the country (of course including Bagan and Inle Lake).
The journey from Yangon consists of a night bus which takes 9 hours to go to Mandalay. The VIP bus (18USD) offers the best value for the journey between the two biggest cities of the country.
By boat: You can reach Bagan via one of the many companies that offer this route. It takes about 10 hours to go there with the price of 40USD. Note that this service is stopped between April and June when the water level is low.
Get aroundTaxis: If you are travel in groups of 3 to 4, taking a taxi is a good choice. Taxi drivers, who can speak English quite good, will take you to some famous attractions in Mandalay within a day and charge you about $10 - $12/person/day.
Motortaxis: Motorcycle taxis are a cheap alternative, and will usually give you a cheap helmet to wear as well. A day of sightseeing in the city (north and south sights) should cost around 10,000 kyats, and a three-city tour (Sagaing, Amarapura, Inwa) costs about 15,000-20,000 kyat for the day.
Motorbike rental: If you are an experienced rider. Renting a motorcycle it is a great way to see the city or nearby villages. Note that motorcycles are usually not really new, so it’s better for you to check them carefully before you hire. It costs you about 12,000 – 15,000 kyat for renting a motorcycle per day.
Bike rental: Cycle hire is much cheaper at USD1-2 a day. It is a very feasible option if you make a small tour to main sights in the city center. Buy a Mandalay tourist map so that you would not get lost in this “grid” city.
Trishaws (cycle rickshaws) are a convenient way of getting around in Mandalay, and if you find a driver who speaks good English you can have a tour guide and transport together for a reasonable price with a little bargaining.
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What to see and what to doThe city of Mandalay: Golden Palace Monastery, Mahamuni Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay Hill, Gem Market (Mahar Aung Myay), etc.
The outskirts: There townships of Amarapura, Sagaing, and Innwa. Particularly, U Bein Bridge, the longest teak in the world, is the symbol of Mandalay tourism and where you can admire one of the most stunning sunset scenery in the world.
Dee Doke Waterfall: About 60km from Mandalay you will find the waterfall of Dee Doke, formed by a lava flow thousands of years ago. It’s suggested that you should visit it between November and February when the water is clear and pure.
Food and drinkThe cuisine is one of the most standout and attractive features of Mandalay tourism. Indeed, Mandalay has a notable array of specialties both from various regions within Myanmar as well as from other countries thanks to its history as a former capital of Myanmar, and its position as a major trading center between Myanmar and its neighbors in China, India, and Bangladesh. Cuisine from the Shan State (usually including fermented pastes, meats, and vegetables) is popular in Mandalay which has a notable Shan minority. Muslim Chinese noodles, pronounced pan-THEI-kao-sweh (flat thin noodles mixed with chicken and an array of spices), are also famous in Mandalay as well as the surrounding hills. Regardless of where you eat, try and leave space for Htou moun (to-moh), a traditional Burmese dessert which is only sold in Mandalay. Note that it is extremely sweet and contain a lot of oil.
AccommodationsHotels and guesthouses in the city are very available for the development of Mandalay tourism. Many hotels are located in the Palais Royal area. However, finding accommodations with reasonable prices may be problematic during the high season of Mandalay tourism, so you should book your room at least one month in advance of your Burma tours.
As the royal capital of Burmese Kingdom, Mandalay delights visitors with its wealth and diversity of monuments that can be found throughout the city. Keep the useful information in your mind when you tour Myanmar to have a favorable and exciting stay in the city.
Mandalay was once the last imperial capital of Burma. It’s now the second largest city and recognized as the main religious center of the north of the country. It is said that half of the Myanmar monks live in and around Mandalay. Being one of 4 “classic” tourist destinations of Myanmar (besides Yangon, Bagan, and Inle Lake), a Mandalay tour is a great opportunity for you to explore the Burmese cultural and spiritual life. We recommend 8 places you should not miss when you tour Mandalay.1. Golden Palace MonasteryMost travelers choose Golden Palace Monastery as the first stop on their Mandalay city tour. The structure was originally a royal apartment built by King Mindon. After his death in 1878, his son, King Thibaw, moved it to the current location as he believed that his father’s ghost still lived there. Five years later, it became a monastery and has kept that role until now. The Golden Palace Monastery is famous for its unique and magnificent beauty, formed by teak carvings depicting tales from Buddhist mythology from roof to walls. In addition, it has a historically special meaning for being the only remaining wooden building of the ancient Royal palace complex.
2. U Bein Bridge - AmarapuraU Bein Bridge, stretching over scenic Taungthaman Lake in the township of Amarapura, is one of Burma's most iconic sights as well as a highlight for your Myanmar travel. It is credited for the creation of the bridge in the 1850s, using scavenged teak pilings from the discarded palace of Amarapura when King Mindon moved the capital to Mandalay. U Bein Bridge is 1.2 km, considered as the longest teak bridge in the world. As an ideal destination to admire stunning sunrise and sunset and take photos, the bridge should not be missed on your Mandalay tour, especially if you are a photographer.
3. Mahamuni PagodaMahamuni is the holiest pagoda in Mandalay and the second important one in Myanmar (just after Shwedagon, Yangon). Every day, a large number of pilgrims visit the pagoda to honor the giant golden Buddha, which is said to be over 2000 years and was brought to Mandalay by a Burmese king after sacking the Rakhine capital of Mrauk U. The statue was so large that it had to be divided into small parts and then reassembled. In addition, you will be able to find here inscription stones from all over the country, the sophisticated mosaic ceiling and gilded columns of the main pagoda, and a number of bronzes originally from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
If you plan to visit your Pagoda on your Mandalay tour, note that the dress code is very strict at Mahamuni. Shoes are left at the main entrance, shoulders are covered and ankle-length trousers must be worn. Sarongs/longyis are for hire at the main entrance for both men and women. In addition, only men are able to witness the growing Buddha body up close; women are not allowed to cross the threshold. You also have to pay 500 kyats for camera fee.
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4. Kuthodaw PagodaIf you are interested in Buddhism, especially Buddhist philosophy, visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda on your Mandalay tour will be certainly a wonderful thing. Situated at the foot of Mandalay, religious complex takes itself pride in possessing the “world’s largest book”. Indeed, the complete text of the Tripitaka (the most sacred text of Theravada Buddhism) is inscribed on 729 marble slabs, each of which is located in a small stupa and arranged in lines around the ground. The pagoda was started to construct in 1860 at the order of King Mindon Min.
5. Mandalay HillAfter 45 minutes walking through covered stairs from the foot, you will reach the summit of Mandalay Hill, which is 120 meters above sea level. Here you can visit Sutaungpyi Pagoda, one of Burma's major Buddhist pilgrim destinations and admire panoramic views of the city. If are not interested in a walk (especially when the weather is bad) or you do not have enough time, taking moto taxis (5,000 kyats) or taxis (10,000 kyats) will be a better choice.
6. Gem Market (Mahar Aung Myay)If you are an enthusiast for jewelry and sparkle things, you cannot miss a visit to the largest jade market in the world on your Mandalay tour. Here you will find jades in various shapes and size, whose colors are commonly in semi-translucent greens, ranging from pale turquoise to emerald green and sometimes in pink, orange and several other colors. Foreigners need to pay an entrance fee of one dollar to watch the trading, observe the process of creating jewelry and other items from jade blocks, and then you can purchase them to support the local economy during your Burma tours.
The beauty of Mandalay is characterized by the harmonious cultural mixture and Buddhism spirituality. Visiting these places when you tour Mandalay will help you better understand the city as well as its hospitable citizens.
Myanmar, the charming country with stunning natural scenery, splendid gilded pagodas and friendly people, has become one of the hottest tourist destinations in Asia for the recent year. Taking a Myanmar vacation will be certainly a wonderful travel experience. However, traveling to Myanmar is quite expensive compared to some destinations in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam or Thailand. If you want to save your money, we suggest 5 following tips so that you can book cheap Myanmar vacation packages.
1. Book during the Off-SeasonThe low season is between April and October when it’s hot and rainy, and the high season is from November to February when it’s cool and dry. You will have more chance of booking cheap Myanmar vacation packages in the low season, especially in July and August (the peak of wet season). However, note that some regions become inaccessible in this time and some, such as Ngapali Beach, close altogether in preparation for the high winds and heavy rainfall that batter the coast. In addition, you should also not book the packages including hiking and biking activities as heavy rains will destroy your trip.
We suggest you should choose packages to Bagan or Mandalay in low season because those are the driest regions of the country, avoiding much of the annual rain.
2. Opt for a less expensive destinationYangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake are the key destinations in Myanmar, which is synonymous with the fact that almost all tourist services are expensive. Particularly, the price of accommodations for in Mandalay is extremely high, which contributes considerably to the high total cost of packages. As a result, it’s better for you to choose less expensive destinations such as Kalaw, Taunggyi, Pyin Oo Lwin and Monywa in your Myanmar travel.
3. Take advantage of early booking bonusesLock in your vacation plans earlier and you’ll pay less. Early booking bonuses can sometimes save thousands of dollars on the cost of Myanmar vacation packages for your family. You’ll also likely have your pick of accommodations and dates.
4. Go the last-minute routeSee more: http://www.hellocoton.fr/mapage/voyagebirmanie
If you’re not traveling at peak times (such as New Year’s Day, based on Gregorian calendar) and you’re flexible about where you go, you can get some terrific last-minute deals. Note that Burmese people celebrate their New Year in early April. You should not travel to Myanmar at this time as most units such as shops, restaurants, and banks are closed.
5. Look for deals for kidsTraveling with the kids? Keep your eyes peeled for package deals where kids stay and eat for free.
The mentioned tips may help you book Myanmar vacation packages at a better price. However, keep in your mind that price is not the most important criterion to choose a package. Do not book “cheap packages” of disreputable travel agencies as your Burma tours may become a disaster with low-quality services and turns out to be expensive.
Fishermen who maneuver their boat by only one leg, beautiful floating gardens and houses on stilts, tranquil villages with ethnic minorities, it’s a small part of the Inle Lake’s magnificent universe. Traveling to Inle Lake will leave you with a lasting impression. These are 5 reasons you shouldn't miss Inle Lake on your vacation in Myanmar.
1. Life on the lakeLife on the shallow, 13.5-mile freshwater lake is utterly enchanting. No busy like Yangon, no noisy like Mandalay, and hot and dusty like Bagan, Inle Lake is far different from any other place you could visit on your Myanmar vacation. With no roads or sidewalks, visitors and locals alike get around in one-person-wide wooden boats outboard propellers which emit a noisy whine when at full throttle and can be raised and lowered depending on water levels of the lake. The villages full of charming single and two-story wooden stilt houses are situated on active waterways. Fishermen working on the lake use a unique rowing technique you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Tomato farming with the hydroponic method is also large-sized here, based on an aqua biotic system in use since the 1960s. Cruising along channels surrounded by floating gardens is simply amazing.
2. Over-the-water hotels and restaurantsYou can find a lot of airy over-the-water bungalows on Inle Lake in your Myanmar travel. Even if you don’t stay in one of these memorable hotels, enjoying delicious dishes at their restaurants is a must. Tea is used as a type of drinks all over the world, but only on your vacation in Myanmar, you will realize that it can be processed into a mouth-watering course: the spicy tea leaf salad. Hospitable students from all over Shan state come to intern at Heritage House, a really beautiful colonial-styled house doing triple duty as a hotel, restaurant, and cat sanctuary. On the lake is also Golden Island Cottages run Pa-O, an important local minority group. Its thatched-roof terrace restaurant offers stunning views of both lake and sky. Besides, you can attend cooking classes or make a visit to the organic vegetable garden.
3. Stupas galoreBagan isn't the only place to your Myanmar vacation where you can see astounding stupas. The ruins of stone pagodas over 1,000 years old are crammed together on an overgrown hillside behind a small Inle Lake restaurant. Recently revealed from the jungle, they show an astonishing sight: small, delicate, and closely knit. They’re much more intimate than those at Bagan and very easily explored through a walking tour.
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4. Unusual monasteriesAmong 200 monasteries dotting the lake, the unusual Nga Hpe Kyaung is the most famous and may be one of the strangest places you would visit on your vacation in Myanmar. It’s more commonly known as Jumping Cat monastery where the dozens of resident cats are trained to "jump" through hoops by monks in their free time. The cats don't do much jumping on command anymore; they do walk the rafters, stretch out on the floor and wander about at will—as cats like to do. The monastery dating back in 1890 is a splendid wooden stilt structure. Besides smart cats, it also houses an impressive collection of ornate buddhas, which were originally owned by area residents. During World War II, they took the Buddhas to the monastery and never got back.
5. Hand-woven textilesInle Lake has been a major Myanmar weaving center for over a century and its chief artisans live in Inn Paw Khon Village. As you come into dock, you'll hear the looms clicking away through open-air windows. Everything, from the dyes to the finished scarves and longyi skirts (Burmese traditional costume) is made here by hand, by women at all of the ages who are alleged to be more precise than men). There's no retiring age: the eldest women approve dying techniques and designs. Their taste and experience are still invaluable, even as their eyesight is no longer good. While woven textiles can be found throughout Southeast Asia, it’s only Myanmar that makes lotus fabric, and Inle Lake is ground zero for it, as its shallow waters create ideal growing conditions for planting lotus. Do not forget to buy lotus fabric, the most authentic, made-in-Myanmar souvenir, on your Burma tours directly from the source here.
Quiet and vast, the Inle Lake seems to be out of all the noises and chaos of modern life. Do not miss the wonderful destination on your Myanmar vacation.
What will you do in your tour to Burma? Common answers are to visit majestic gilded temples sparkling in the sunlight, admire stunning natural landscapes, explore unique local cultures and enjoy delicious traditional Burmese cuisine. You may forget the equally interesting activity: shopping. You can find everything at a multitude of shops and markets all over Myanmar, especially souvenirs such as silk, lacquerware, wood carvings, and gems. We suggest 5 places you can visit in your tour to Myanmar to purchase unique presents for your beloveds, friends and even yourself.
5 Addresses For Shopping In Your Tour To Burma1. Monument BooksIn contrast to Bagan Book House where you can find old books about Burmese history, this large modern bookshop has a good selection of books on contemporary Burma. There are also sumptuous photographic works. The bookshop is located just a few minutes walking from the Savoy Hotel, and next door is Yangon's leading toy store. On a hot day, a lot of visitors and locals stop here for a drink since it has a very pleasant air-conditioned café together with internet access.
Address: 150 Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Township
Contact: 00 95 1 536 306; monument-books.com
Getting there: walk or take a taxi
Opening times: daily, 9am-8.30pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
2. The Five-day MarketLocal produce markets rotate on a five-day cycle among groups of villages and towns around the tranquil Inle Lake (except on Full Moon days when there are no markets). Although the floating market of Ywe Mah is the most famous, it’s better for you to avoid the market in your Myanmar travel as it’s awash with camera-totting tourists. Nyaungshwe's daily morning market which swells to three times its size every fifth day would an ideal place to learn about the daily life of some Burmese ethnic minority groups in your tour to Myanmar. Go before 9 am to see it in full swing: fresh vegetables and fruits, an array of freshly-cooked and irresistible snacks and Pa-O tribeswomen in their red plaid headscarves.
Address: Main Road, Nyaungshwe
Getting there: walk or hire a boat
Opening times: daily, 6am-1pm, excluding Full Moon days
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
3. King Galon Gold Leaf WorkshopDuring your tour to Burma, you will see many temples and Buddhas covered in gold leaves. Gold leaf is much in demand as Buddhists place the sheets on important images of the Buddha as a way to acquire merit. King Galon Gold Leaf Workshop is the most accessible in Mandalay. Here you can watch the manufacturing process, entirely done by hand. Packets of coin-sized pieces of pure gold are beaten into gossamer-thin leaves by men wielding sledgehammers, and them the leaves are carefully cut and packed by women. A packet of ten squares costs about $5 dollars.
Address: 143, 36th Street, near junction with 77th Street, Mandalay
Getting there: take a taxi
Opening times: daily, 8am-6pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
4. Myinkaba VillageLocated between Old Bagan and New Bagan, this large village is full of small, family-run, lacquerware makers. As soon as you stop here, young girls who can speak English surprisingly well will run up and ask if you would like a tour. It’s well worth taking up the offer. You will see how lacquerware is made every day by using plastic molds, and the design painted on instead of incised. It’s also a great way to find out about village life as your young guide may invite you to visit their home and enjoy tea and snacks. If you don’t buy anything, a small tip is necessary. In case you want to get the top-quality lacquerware in your tour to Burma, visit Golden Cuckoo workshop in the village.
Address: Myinkaba Village, Bagan
Getting there: hire a horse cart or cycle
Opening times: daily, 8am-9pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
5. Pakokku MarketThe market is situated in a busy Burmese town, an hour’s drive from Bagan. It has retained its authenticity as few tourists come here. It’s worth spending a couple of hours at the market in your tour to Myanmar - try to arrive before 11am - as there’s so much of interest: umbrella makers, basket sellers, stalls of thanaka powder (used as a sunscreen in Burma) as well as the most exotic range of fruit and vegetables, arranged as works of art. Buy a bag of the appetizing toddy-palm jaggery, balls of sugar mixed with sesame and coconut for your Burma tours.
Address: Myoma Market, Pakkoku
Getting there: Take a minibus from Bagan (Ks 2,000)
Opening times: daily, 8am-4pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
Shopping in your tour to Burma is not only to get typical Burmese items but also to better understand the culture and daily life of the Golden Temple Country. Do not forget to visit these places in your tour Myanmar and purchase special souvenirs.
For recent years, the remarkable development of Burmese tourism has been synonymous with the rapidly increasing number of travel agencies who operate various tours throughout Myanmar. If you want to tour Myanmar, but you are confused about choosing the best Myanmar tour operator for you tip among thousands of travel units, the following tips may help you.1. Determine your travel styleAlthough most of the tour operators offer a variety of tour types, each of which has their own strength in particular areas. So, you need to determine clearly which type of tour you want. Is it budget, mid-level or luxury tour? Is it private, guided or small group tour? Is it discovery or adventure tour? The more you clarify your want, the more you choose a really suitable Myanmar tour operator. Pick about 5 units before coming to the next steps.
2. Verify QualityMake sure that the Burma tour operators you chose have a history of providing services with good quality. The best measurement is what past clients said about their own experience. Do online research on the third-party site such as Tripadvisor, which have reviews and forums that can be very useful for you. This step is a little bit consuming, as you will do read a huge amount of information to filter out potentially ‘fake’ reviews that are either overly negative or positive.
In case you have the time, the better way to narrow down your list of tour operators you are considering is to require the Myanmar tour operator for 10 past client references that you can personally contact. Select a few and call them to ask their experience with the tour operator.
In addition, ask the tour operator to send you the copies of licenses which prove that they legally run your intended Burma tours. This is particularly important in case you plan to visit the restricted areas for foreigners and tourists in Myanmar. Make sure that you will be fully supported to get permission from the government to enter these areas. Pay attention to the validity & dates of the licenses to make sure that they are not expired.
4. Ease of doing businessYour interaction with the Myanmar tour operator during the booking process will be a good criterion to evaluate how well they run your intended tour. You can assess this in several aspects, such as:
Responsiveness – One of the most important features for working with any company is how responsive they are. Really good tour operators are always easily assessable via multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, and even social networks, and respond your contact quickly.
Friendliness – Are their representatives friendly? Do they listen carefully to your needs and wants? It’s better for you to choose the tour operator who has an open conservation with you to determine what they could do for you so that you would experience the best journey rather than only tries to persuade you to buy their tour.
Payment Terms – How easy is it to pay for their services? A prestigious tour operator in Burma commonly requires a deposit along with advanced payment of the balance at the booking time (about 25-50%), and the rest will be paid one or two weeks before the actual departure day. In some cases, they are quite flexible to require the balance payment on arrival at the first destination.
5. Responsible TourismEcotourism is a growing trend among travelers. It’s about more responsible travel, not only for the environment but also for the local community. This means using local hotels, guides and other services, and making sure to reduce waste and bad effects on the local habitat. In addition, look at the local organizations and community programs the tour operator has supported to assess whether they are really a responsible business which tends to offer more interactive and better tours that also give you a good degree of autonomy.
Making a right choose of Myanmar tour operator is certainly an important factor to bring about the success of your Myanmar travel. We expect that you will take advantage of these tips to find out the best.
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