Highlights of Myanmar tour
£2300 including domestic flights only
Description of Highlights of Myanmar tour
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOn this vacation you’ll explore the beautiful Buddhist pagodas of Bagan, which are protected as part of the Bagan Archaeological Zone, with a local guide. Authorities recently introduced a ban prohibiting visitors from climbing the temples in order to preserve the ancient ruins, as well as to prevent potential accidents for those attempting to climb them. You’ll see that the temples have ‘do not climb’ signs in place and we ask that you respect these signs.
This itinerary also includes a visit to Ngapali Beach, located on the Bay of Bengal coast. Here you can snorkel in the clear waters and explore the colourful coral reefs, however we urge our clients to take care not to touch, kick or stand on the coral.
Myanmar has a huge litter and waste disposal problem. We ask our clients to help keep the country clean and within our detailed pre-departure packs we suggest that our clients take items, such as empty shampoo bottles and batteries, back home with them and recycle them in their own country.
PeopleThis vacation offers plenty of opportunities to engage with the local communities, either by stopping for a pot of tea at a homestay or visiting many of the local handicraft shops. For example, in Bagan we visit a family-run Toddy Shop to observe the process of making the rich and caramel-like toddy candies from the sap of the toddy palms, as well as visiting the Flat Mango Village, home to Danu families, an ethnic group of the Shan people. Your day is spent meeting the villagers and learning more about their typical rural life which helps to support them, as well as a fascinating cultural experience for you.
Myanmar is a very conservative and religious country, therefore we ask our clients to ensure that they dress modestly and respectfully. In our detailed pre-departure pack we inform our clients that men and women should have their legs and shoulders covered, especially when visiting rural villages or religious sites.
We visit numerous Buddhist pagodas and monasteries on this vacation and we ask our clients to respect the Buddhist beliefs and observe the temple etiquette. Our local guides are on hand to inform our clients of certain dos and don’ts when visiting these religious sites, for example you should remove your shoes and socks before entering pagodas or monasteries, you should refrain from stretching your legs in public or pointing your feet, and you should never touch Buddhist monks or their clothes and never hand objects directly to them.
We strongly encourage our clients to interact and engage with the Myanmar people. It is important to remember that tourism in Myanmar is still relatively new and the locals are curious about visitors and they welcome any opportunity to engage with them, however we do remind our clients that many people feel uneasy talking about politics - if someone is willing to talk about politics, then you can ask questions, but you should not impose your own views.
If you want to gain a true insight into the local way of life we suggest that you get up early. The people of Myanmar are most active early in the mornings and if you go out and about before breakfast you’ll see fishing boats out on Inle Lake, vendors setting up their stalls in the markets and horse and carts heading to the Bagan temples to beat the crowds.
We encourage our clients to spend their money locally rather than in government-run establishments. Our local guides will take our clients to local markets and villages where it is possible to buy authentic handmade products such as Marionettes (a Burmese tradition), silks, cotton fabrics, bags, wood carvings, lacquerware, pottery and silver jewellery – and this will ensure that the money goes directly to the local people and not to the government. Shopping at the zei (markets, often spelt zay) can be great fun and it offers a fantastic opportunity to interact with the locals.
The final days of this vacation are spent at Ngapali Beach, located on the Bay of Bengal coast. One of the properties we have chosen to work with at Ngapali Beach is Pleasant View Resort as they are strongly committed to supporting their local community. The resort employs villagers from the surrounding communities, including carpenters, cooks and cleaners, which has meant that local people have been able to secure employment rather than bringing in people from the cities. The resort currently employs approximately 100 people from the neighbouring communities. Pleasant View Resort also supports their local communities by providing safe drinking water for the public, medical care and treatment for the poor, and books for the local school library, plus they also make financial contributions to the Home for the Aged in Sandoway Town. During your stay here the resort are very happy to arrange visits to local villages to get an insight into the culture and daily life of the local people.