Myanmar (Burma) is one of the most remarkable destinations in Asia, a land where the Indian subcontinent meets South East Asia and a country that has almost been frozen in time, only opening up in recent times. Tourism in Myanmar is still in its infancy, but recent investment has seen new luxury hotels opening up, and more remote boutique lodges established allowing you to get even further off-the-beaten-track in Burma. Myanmar (Burma) is exceptionally diverse, from the bustling colonial cities of Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay, the beauty of Inle Lake and the sheer magnificence of the pagoda temples of Bagan.
You can also enjoy sailing around the remote Mergui Archipelago to the south and relaxing on the palm-fringed beaches of Ngapali after a luxury tour of Burma. At Millis Potter, we love to showcase Myanmar (Burma) in unique and innovative ways providing immersive experiences to bring the destination to life. This always means hand-picking the best guides but also tailoring the day-to-day experiences fully around your interests. You might like the idea of taking a leisurely bike ride around Bagan or flying high with Balloons Over Bagan or driving into remote villages to meet the locals before returning back to a luxury boutique hotel at night. It means finding the perfect ship to cruise along the Irrawaddy River, or simply weaving an itinerary around seeing the Burmese Water Festival. Anything is possible and just look through our suggested itineraries using them as a starting point to build a fully customized itinerary.
Myanmar (Burma) Accommodation
This is just an overview of the hotels and lodges we feature, from characterful boutique lodges to luxury hotels. We do have a range of other hotels that we use, so if you don't see from our portfolio what you are looking for, we almost certainly know about it and can help plan an itinerary using it.
Myanmar (Burma) Experiences
This is a selection of experiences that allow you to see the destination in new and interesting ways. Almost all our experiences include a private guide, and can be then tailored to your particular interests. Indeed, many of the experiences we offer are created individually for our guests, so this list is by no means conclusive. In fact, we leave a couple of our best ideas up our sleeves for when you enquire with us.
Ngapali Beach is located on the Bay of Bengal and is a wonderful beach destination, fantastic for some R&R after a tour of Burma. It retains a sleepy fishing-village vibe, with a long stretch of beach and waters that you can easily take swim. Hop on bikes and explore the villages, or just sit back and enjoy the setting.
The Irrawaddy, or Ayeyarwady as it is all known, runs from the snow-capped Himalayas, through the fertile plains in Burma past Mandalay and Bagan and down to the Indian Ocean. On its banks, you will see the timeless charm that hasn’t changed in centuries: bullock-carts and ox-ploughs working the fields, teak Buddhist Monasteries and glistening golden pagodas straddling the hillsides.
Bagan never ceases to make people simply go ‘wow’. With over 3000 temples and pagodas drifting off into the distance, wth the might Irrawaddy drifting past. At sunrise, take a balloon and see the sheer expanse of it all and at sunset, clamber on to one of the tallest pagodas to see the light shimmer and change against the various structures.
Mandalay was the former capital of Burma before the British moved it to Rangoon and has a long history of exotic rulers and colourful Burmese empires. At its heart of the old royal palace, which dates from the 1850s, but just outside of Mandalay you find Ava, Amarapura and Sagaing which are all former capitals.
Inle Lake is located in Shan State to the north-west of Yangon and is a large freshwater lake, home to the Intha people. They live on the lake, building their houses on stilts, with an array of cottage industries in evidence such as cheroot rolling, silk weaving and metal work.
Hpa-An is the capital of Karen State in Burma and is located to the west of Yangon and is very much off-the-beaten track, and with a visit to Golden Rock, you can see a part of Burma that few others visit.
Yangon (Rangoon) is Burma’s largest city and was founded in the 11th century by the Mon people and was a small community built around the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda. It was conquered by King Aluangpaya in 1755 who was reunifying Burma from his base in Ava, near present day Mandalay.
Myanmar (Burma) Info
Flights: There are no direct flights from Europe, USA or Australia, so most flights go via the Middle East (Qatar Airways or Emirates) or Bangkok and the Far East (Thai Airways, Malaysian, Singapore Airways). It is possible to fly with British Airways to Bangkok and hop up to Burma. There are two main airports in Yangon and Mandalay, meaning you can easily fly into one, and out of the other, making a tour route work slightly better. Flying time from the UK is about 14.5 hours in total.
Time Zone: Burma is 6 hours 30 minutes ahead of GMT.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in January
January is a great month to for Burma holidays, with warm and dry conditions, and the beaches fully open to end your Burma tour.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in February
Temperatures are almost perfect in February in Burma, and it is also dry, making it one of the best months to travel.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in March
March in Burma gets a little warmer, and during the heat of the day, it's best not to be out for too long. That said, it's the most popular time to travel for Burma holidays, with dry conditions.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in April
The temperatures begin to rise fairly steeply in April, and can get over 40°C in some areas. Therefore it's important to see the sights early in the morning and late afternoon.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in May
The temperatures continue to rise throughout May, until a freshening breeze comes in from the Indian Ocean, bringing with it showers that help to calm the heat.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in June
June is a change-over month as the breeze and short showers turn into the monsoon later in the month. It's still very possible to travel, but it's not the best time of year for burma holidays. The beach resort close down for the summer, reopening in October.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in July
The monsoon hits the south of the country, but you can escape to the north-east which is still fairly pleasant. The Chindwin River is fully navigable and there are a number of cruise departures during July and August.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in August
Again, August is the best time to cruise the Chindwin River for your Burma holiday, but monsoon dampens the opportunities to travel elsewhere.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in September
September is when the monsoon starts to come to an end in Burma, and can be an interesting time for Burma holidays where you might get a little rain, but on the whole its absolutely fine. That said, the beach resort are yet to reopen but you find a beautiful lush, green countryside. Temperatures have dropped to the high 20s.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in October
October is the first month of the new season as the beach resorts reopen, and guests can see the lushness left over after the monsoon. Temperatures are great for seeing the country, and the rainy season is over.
Visiting Myanmar (Burma) in November
Temperatures are perfect, being in the mid 20s by day, so great for exploring. It is dry, and a wonderful time to explore Burma.
The best time to visit Burma is from October to May when the country is not being affected by the monsoon and the beach resorts close down. Before the monsoon breaks in June, it tends to get hotter and hotter, so if you like easy-going temperatures and dry weather look at mid-October to mid-April. That said, the summer is the only time you can cruise the Chindwin River, where you can truly get off-the-beaten track into the remote areas of Burma.