Burma with kids

Traveling in Burma with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

Markets provide a sensory overload for inquisitive minds, while the mountains, lakes, rivers and forests provide ample space for exploration – most are filled with pagodas and temples of all shapes and sizes, allowing little legs to wander off and discover their very own piece of history.
In many places, westerners are a rare sight, and those in Burma with kids even more so, meaning they are likely to be fussed over and welcomed.
Be prepared for heat, chomping insects and stomach upsets – but there are so many colourful distractions that children will have their mind taken off tummy troubles soon enough.

Activities for families in Burma

What to do in Burma with kids

Burma encourages travelers to stretch their legs with hikes and climbs – but to get a little further than you can on foot, you can rent bikes. Bagan is flat and filled with hidden temples, staircases and miniature carvings and paintings; families can cycle amongst the ruins, finding their own favourite temples to play hide and seek in.
Sail on a long tail boat around the spectacular Lake Inle. Children – and adults! – will be charmed with its floating markets and vegetable gardens, stilted villages and leg-rowing fishermen.
Burmese markets are a whirlwind of colours, smells, tastes – and smiles. Kids can squeal at stinky dried fish, sample the crazy-looking fruits and marvel at the wonderful local dress of the hill-tribe people who come to trade in the towns.

Tips for families

responsibletravel.com asks the experts

Lesley Schofield, from our supplier All Points East, shares her advice on traveling in Burma with kids:
“I don’t feel that very young children would get that much out of it, but I do think that from ten or eleven onwards it’s a great destination. You’ve got a very safe environment with extremely friendly, welcoming people who care about children and feel that they are important. There’s a great variety of things to see and do in Burma – particularly for older ones. It’s also a tremendous eye-opener for them to see how happy and different other children’s lives are.
You see children without every electronic gadget that they can possibly have – but they’re happy. And I think that’s quite a nice introduction to the rest of the world – without traumatising them with how dreadful other people’s lives are. They see things in a different way – and with a different point of view of things like possessions.”
Liddy Pleasants, from our supplier Stubborn Mule, travelled in Burma with her two young children. She shared her advice on a vacation in Burma with kids:
“Burma was amazing with children. The people are just so interested and delighted and hadn’t seen very many people traveling with children, so they were just unbelievably welcoming and bent over backwards every step of the way to help you, they’d give up their seats on the bus... often in restaurants we couldn’t communicate if they had no English menu, so they invited us into the kitchen so we could point to the different ingredients.
The other thing that’s really nice is that there’s lots of very different ways of doing sightseeing that work for children. So you can cycle round Bagan, take a boat around Inle Lake, take a horse drawn cart around the ruins near Mandalay, you cruise up the river to Mingun... so all the time you’re doing sightseeing which ticks the adult boxes, but in a fun way which makes the children happy as well.”
Photo credits: [Children: Liddy Pleasants / Stubborn Mule Travel] [Bike: Paul Arps] [Stilt houses: Esme Vos] [Market: Kathy] [Boat: Liddy Pleasants /Stubborn Mule Travel]
Written by Vicki Brown
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