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Some destinations in Burma will always be popular: the mist-cloaked pagodas scattered across the plains of Bagan; great, glassy Inle Lake with its floating villages; the “winking wonder” of Shwedagon Pagoda watching over Yangon. But Burma is one of the fastest-changing countries in Southeast Asia, and every year we see new areas open up to tourism, new routes into previously little-known regions, and exciting new cultural experiences to savour. So where will we be going in 2017?
What’s hot in 2017?
The deep south
Word is spreading in the travel world about the beauty of Burma, and the country’s big ticket destinations are becoming more and more accessible. But if you want to get away from the increasing crowds, there are still many options available to you. Head south, for instance, and you’ll have the freedom to explore incredible sites such as the Golden Rock on Mount Kyaiktiyo, the atmospheric caves of Hpa An, and the sleepy seaside town of Dawei.
Our Southern Burma Uncovered itinerary is the perfect introduction to this lesser-known part of the country – click here to read more.
One of the newest destinations to be added to our repertoire, Loikaw is a quiet town in the north of Kayah State – yet it holds bags of interest for the visitor. It’s hard to believe it now, but this unassuming town was once the seat of a powerful “Sky Prince” whose former palace (now a monastery) still stands in Loikaw today. Don’t miss the town’s centrepiece, Taung Kwe Pagoda, which sits balanced on a jagged rock formation in the heart of town, and keep a lookout for the Padaung women, who use brass rings to elongate their necks according to the local custom.
A new trek at Inle
As Burma embraces democracy since the free elections in 2016, more and more community-run programmes are cropping up to allow travellers to get a real taste of life in the country. This trek, which takes you from the shores of Inle Lake to the Pa’O minority village of Hti Ne, is just one of those projects. Run by a local community organisation, the trek takes you away from Inle’s tourist crowds and into its rural backwaters, channelling profits back into the local villages. A wonderful way to get off the beaten track!
Our Hidden Trails of Burma itinerary will introduce you to the charms of Loikaw and lead you into the hills of Hti Ne, and much more besides – click here to find out more.
It’s been many a year since Thailand’s islands could be called “unspoilt”, but travel a little further north along the coast of Southeast Asia and you’ll come upon what may be the region’s last untouched tropical paradise: the Myeik Archipelago. Composed of over 800 jungle-covered islands, most of them uninhabited and nearly all of them undeveloped, this region of Burma is the perfect place for a boating holiday – as you island-hop from white-sand beach to mangrove forest across the turquoise sea. With access to the south gradually getting better, both from the north and via border crossings with Thailand, it is becoming a lot easier to get a slice of paradise.
Our Sailing the Andaman Sea itinerary is a blissful introduction to the beautiful Myeik Archipelago – to find out more, click here.
If you’re ready to begin planning your holiday to Burma, all you need to do is click here to get in touch with one of our travel consultants for a free consultation and proposal. Just let us know what you’re interested in, and we’ll do the rest!