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Myanmar (Burma) - Best Tours & Trips 2019

138 trips to Myanmar (Burma) tours from 82 tour companies. 329 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
After opening up to the world, Myanmar (Burma) is now one of the hottest destinations in Southeast Asia. A wonderland of Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries, it can be toured by land or by the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country from Yangon (Rangoon) to Mandalay. Myanmar hasn't changed much for decades -- yet -- so now is a great time to go.
All Myanmar (Burma) tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Rivers & Seas

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Continents & Regions

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A Taste of Myanmar

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 391 / day
$ 3,125
From : $ 3,844
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Explore Yangon
  • Visit National Museum
  • Discover Ananda Temple
  • Visit Inle lake
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the Irawaddy
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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The Heart of Myanmar (Burma)

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 250 / day
$ 2,999
From : $ 3,689
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Talk with a monk about buddhism and daily life
  • Learn the basics of burmese cuisine with a cooking demonstration from a local chef
  • Travel past floating villages on tranquil inle lake
  • Explore the pagodas and monasteries of this ancient land
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Burma: Land of the Golden Pagoda

12 days
$ 822 / day
$ 9,865
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Stunning boutique Myanmar hotels in traditional Burmese style
  • Attend a traditional Shan State tribal market
  • Revel in a classic overnight Irrawaddy cruise on a boutique barge
  • See the 16th century ruins in Shan State
  • Discover the hidden princely hamlet of Sagar, far off the tourist radar
  • Marvel at the graceful Intha leg rowers on Inle Lake
  • Explore Bagan's thousands of 1,300-year old ruins
  • Tour leadership by an expert on Burmese culture
Visits:
Bagan, Inca Trail, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Myanmar Highlights

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 159 / day
$ 1,560
From : $ 1,933
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Spend an afternoon touring the temple town of Bagan by bicycle. This is a fantastic way to see the thousands of spectacular temples, stupas and pagodas
  • Join a homegrown master of Burmese cuisine as you stock up on market ingredients, cook up a storm in a cooking class, then feast on the results – all the while supporting a community library initiative
  • Enjoy an action-packed activity schedule in Mandalay. Visit the magnificent Mandalay Palace, tour a local village and monastery, and discover the hill-top pagodas of Sagaing
  • Explore Inle Lake on a peaceful canoe trip, followed by a boat tour of its floating islands and local village industries
  • Be dazzled by Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. Myanmar's religious crown jewel comes alive in the dusk, with thousands of glittering diamonds on its golden stupa
Visits:
Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Golden Treasures of Myanmar

AMA Waterways
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 381 / day
$ 5,339
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Spend two nights in Yangon, transfer to Pyay and embark upon your 10-night cruise to Mandalay. Conclude your journey with a short flight back to Yangon for another overnight stay.
  • Explore Yangon
  • Visit Yokesonekyaung, built in 1882
  • Explore Tant Kyi Taung Mountain to visit its famous pagoda
  • Discover Bagan opportunity to see Archaeological Zone, like Shwezigan Pagoda and the Ananda temple
  • Tour through Sagaing visit the famous monasteries
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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A Week in Myanmar

Global Basecamps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 325 / day
$ 2,272
From : $ 2,795
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Seven day option allowing you to dive into the rich culture and vast history of Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan
  • A great stopover if you are visiting another country within Southeast Asia
Visits:
Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Myanmar Adventure

Adventures within Reach
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 199 / day
$ 1,595
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
  • Bagan
  • Trekking in Kalaw
  • Inle lake
Visits:
Bagan, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Mergui Archipelago Sailing Adventure departing fr ...

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 262 / day
$ 2,355
From : $ 3,179
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore the beautiful unspoilt Mergui Archipelago, meeting local wildlife, local fisherman, and the nomadic seafaring community of the Moken along the way
  • Disconnect from the modern digital world and find a different kind of buzz on an incredibly relaxing journey through the islands of Myanmar
  • Sit back and soak up some of the best beaches in the world, and enjoy a BBQ on a secluded stretch of sand with fish caught fresh that day
  • Anchor in the calm waters surrounding local islands, where you can kayak, paddleboard and snorkel among stunning marine life
  • Embrace the sea-faring life with hammocks on deck, spectacular sunsets, and nights spent out beneath the stars
Visits:
Phuket, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand
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Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia: Borobudur, Bagan ...

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
17 days
$ 411 / day
$ 6,995
From : $ 7,811
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit Salay and Gubyaukgi Temple in Myinkaba
  • Explore Yangon and see the Sule, British colonial buildings, National Museum, meditation center, circular train ride, River Gallery
  • Visit Salay and Gubyaukgi Temple in Myinkaba
  • Visit Minnanthu Village for sesame and peanut oil
  • Discover Bangkok
  • Visit healer and stroll through Ubud
Visits:
Angkor Wat, Bagan, Bali, Banyon Temple, Lake Inle, Shwedagon Pagoda, Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia
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Thailand to Myanmar – Bangkok to Mae Sot to the ...

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 320 / day
$ 5,125
From : $ 6,919
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover Ayutthaya
  • Visit caves in Hpa An
  • Explore Sukhothai and Mae Sot
  • Visit Shampoo Island and Mudon
  • Explore Yangon and Bago
Visits:
Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand
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Touring Myanmar's Highlights

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 349 / day
$ 2,795
From : $ 3,438
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Explore Yangon
  • Visit Taunggyi
  • Explore the town and take a 4-hour boat trip to Kyauk Gu U Min
  • Visit Flying Tiger Ma Shwe Wa
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
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Myanmar Odyssey: Bagan, Inle, Monywa, Ngapali and ...

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
19 days
$ 263 / day
$ 4,995
From : $ 5,694
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Circular train ride in Yangon
  • Sunset at Shwedagon
  • Visiting villages and people around Inle Lake
  • Exploring Pindaya Caves
  • Buddha Washing in Mandalay
  • Visiting Monywa and the Phowin Taung Caves
  • Climbing Mt. Popa
  • Experience Boat Ride on the Irawaddy
  • Balloon over Bagan
  • Time on Ngapali Beachj (optional)
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

In-depth Travel to Myanmar

16 days
$ 133 / day
$ 2,133
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit popular Yangon's attractions and surrounding city;
  • Enjoy the jungle life at the Elephant Camp with Elephant ride;
  • Take an adventurous train journey to Naung Pin passing over the amazing Gokteik Railway Viaduct;
  • Visit popular pagodas and temples in Bagan;
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake passing through colorful market; floating garden and fishing villages
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

10-Day Best of Myanmar

10 days
Check price
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Discover Myanmar
  • Enjoy sightseeing of the Inle Lake
  • Visit Mahamuni Pagoda home to one of the country's most
  • Visit Mahagandayon Monastery, the largest teaching monastery in Myanmar
  • Explore Bagan’s most significant shrines - the Shwezigon Pagoda and Htilominlo Temple
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Glimpse of Myanmar & Singapore

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 208 / day
$ 2,649
From : $ 3,374
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit the larger-than-life gold Shwedagong Pagoda in Yangon
  • See some of the many incredible temples around the ancient city of Bagan
  • Explore Kuthodaw Pagoda, often referred to as “the world’s biggest book
  • Take boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River in Mandalay
  • Marvel at Singapore’s awe-inspiring landmarks
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar), Singapore
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Top Myanmar (Burma) Experiences and Attractions

Top Myanmar (Burma) Experiences

Cruising the Ayeyarwaddy, or Irrawaddy, River, which divides Myanmar in half as it flows to the Andaman Sea. Travelers can take a river cruise from Mandalay to Bagan.

Visiting to Bagan, Mandalay Region  to view the ancient Burmese art and architecture.

Trekking the Kalaw, Shan state.

Lounging on the beach in Ngapali on the Bay of Bengal, the most popular resort town in Myanmar. The best time to visit is November to March.

Exploring Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay, also known as the Golden Palace.

Visit the temples, pagodas and stupas of Bagan by foot, bicycle or electric scooter. The famous Ananda temple is here.

Watching the distinctive leg-rowers and photographing the stilt houses of Inle Lake, one of the top sightseeing attractions in Myanmar.

Seeing the 1,000-year-old Shwemawdaw Paya, or Great Golden God, in Bago, renowned in Myanmar and worldwide for its glittering gold exterior and diamonds on top. It contains several artifacts belonging to Buddha.

Gliding in a hot air balloon over an expanse of shimmering gold pagodas, among colorful pink and purple hues at dawn in Bagan. 

One of the most popular sites for those on a Myanmar guided tour, the Taung Kalat Buddhist monastery is perched atop an extinct volcano plug. Climbing 777 steps to the top for breathtaking views.

Accepting a warm invitation for coffee, inside the bamboo thatched homes of local villagers.

Standing awestruck in the presence of the colossal reclining Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda Buddha in Yangon.

Touring the Shwedagon, or Great Dragon Pagoda, in Yangon. This is the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar and a must for any guided tour of the country.

Bargaining for intricate ruby, sapphire, emerald, and gold jewelry in Yangon's expansive Bogyoke Market.Seeing Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo Zedi - a pagoda that sits atop a huge boulder. Like all the visitors before you, you’ll stand, captivated, wondering how it’s not about to careen off the side of the cliff. Tours that visit Golden Rock involved a five-hour drive from Yangon and a long walk, including stairs.

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Myanmar (Burma) Trip Reviews

329 Myanmar (Burma) Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 240
Great 70
Average 14
Disappointing 5
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Amazing experience

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

My wife first used them 2 years ago when she went to India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka solo. When we were planning our trip to Myanmar we wanted it to be perfect. we reached out to John and he organized an amazing private tour of Myanmar: hitting all of the sites, allowing enuough down time, meeting the locals, indulging in the food, and having very knowledgable tour guides take us around and make sure we were safe and having a blast. throughout the whole process John was there to make sure everything was going well. big shout out to our most excellent tour guides: YuYu in Mandalay, TinTin in Yangon, and Hahn in Bagan. we will defonetly use Odynovo again and be back in Myanmar soon.

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Operator Indochina Odyssey Tours

India Tour

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

The whole experience of our visit to India and Shimla was amazing highly organized, saw lots, experience incredible -don’t go expecting a relaxed holiday it’s busy but then what you see and experience is out of this world.rebecca our tour guide was so informative and helpful - my first time with Riveria and it won’t be my last the sighting of the tigers was the icing on the cake.

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Operator Riviera Travel

Fantastic small tour

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Fantastic small tour with Max. The desing of the tour as well as the care for the participant is great and Max the guide did really go the extra mile for us. Really recommended!!!!

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Operator SpiceRoads Cycling

An unforgettable trip

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

May was an excellent guide, very kind and always wanting to help, great attention to detail

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Operator EPG Travel

Tun was a great help in dealing with Thai Airway when they lost my luggage

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

He was also an excellent guide with a great knowledge of all things Burmese and a good friend by the end of the tour. I (and the rest of the tour group) couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

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Operator On The Go Tours

Our travel consultant Emily so understanding

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We booked a 16 day private tour to Vietnam and Myanmar in the last minute. Our travel consultant Emily so understanding, that she answered all our questions and emails almost immediately. She organized our tour that consists of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Mai Chau, Hoi An, Saigon, Mekong delta, Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake flawlessly. Our trip also included the five star Hotels/Cruises and flights. The tour guides in each location were very friendly and informative. For them our comfort was the top in their agenda. The countryside was spectacular and the local food was great. Not only we learned a touch of history, but also about their religion Buddhism in person and I have to say that was fascinating. The people that we came in contact with or people we saw were smiling at us. Our trip was so beautiful and we would definitely recommend this tour and MWT to anybody who wants to visit Asia.

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Operator My Way Travel

Myanmar (Burma) Tours and Travel Guide

Myanmar (Burma) Attractions & Landmarks Guide

After opening up to the world, Myanmar (Burma) is now one of the hottest destinations in Southeast Asia. A wonderland of Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries, it can be toured by land or by the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country from Yangon (Rangoon) to Mandalay. Myanmar hasn't changed much for decades -- yet -- so now is a great time to go.

You think you’ve seen it all in Southeast Asia, until you hear of a country called Myanmar. The crowds and global restaurant conglomerates haven’t yet arrived, and it is still largely untouched by tourism.

Other-worldly and ethereal. Unusual and in ways unique. Timeless yet changing.

Even the name of the country – today Myanmar, formerly Burma --  suggests how this intriguing destination is keeping one foot planted firmly in its past, traditions and ways of life as it moves, tentatively but steadily, toward the future.

Myanmar - The Land of Pagodas

Myanmar is known as “The land of pagodas,” and the visitor soon learns why. No one knows how many Buddhist pagodas, temples, monasteries and stuppas are scattered throughout the county.

What you soon realize is that if at least one Buddhist holy place isn’t within sight at any given time, it will be soon. Whether exploring a vast religious complex or coming upon a tiny roadside memorial, the pervasiveness of the religion that the great majority of people practice is everywhere.

For non-Buddhists an itinerary that includes a seemingly endless array of  religious places may threaten to cause a bit of pagoda overload. But don’t let that thought discourage you.

Some holy places belong on any “must-see list. Many others have their own special appeals. Wherever there is an image of Buddha there are people prostrating themselves, praying, chanting and presenting offerings that range from fruit to flowers, incense to candles.

If the pervasiveness of religion in the everyday life of the people leads one to assume that Myanmar is only about Buddhism, think again. It’s a multi-racial country with interesting cities, fascinating villages, stunning nature and attractions sure to excite and delight. This variety isn’t surprising in an area about the size of France and Great Britain combined.

Temple Etiquette in Myanmar 

Relatively new to the world of tourism, Myanmar may be excited to show off its country and culture, yet this also means dealing with foreigners who don’t understand nor adhere to local customs. Take the time to research Myanmar’s religious customs and traditions, making yourself a better global citizen and being respectful of your destination. 

  • Understand that most Burmese citizens are devout Buddhists and be respectful of their traditions when visiting temples in Myanmar. Do not touch a monk’s robes, don’t disturb those who are praying or meditating and wear appropriate clothing at temples and religious sites. You might even try to wear local Burmese clothing, an effort that will be appreciated by Myanmar residents. Look for the Longyi (for women) and the Pasu (for me) as a replacement for pants or skirts. (More on what to wear to a Buddhist temple in Myanmar below.) 
  • It’s OK to take photos of stupas, but do not photograph local people without asking permission first. Do not photograph meditating monks. 
  • Do not disrespect the Buddha - it’s the law. Residents (and visitors) can be imprisoned for “insulting religion” and “hurting religious feelings.” 

Let’s revisit what to wear and do when visiting temples in Myanmar. This is one of the top Burmese sightseeing activities, so it’s important to be respectful so that foreign travelers continue to be welcomed in this fascinating area. 

  • Take off your hat and shoes when entering a temple. 
  • Dress conservatively and cover yourself appropriately. Cover your shoulders and knees. Wear long pants, not shorts.
  • This should go without saying, but turn off cell phones, take out headphones, speak quietly and do not smoke or chew gum.
  • Stay off the Buddha statues and the platforms on which these statues sit. Do not point your feet away from the Buddha. This means - yes - that you should walk backwards as you are exiting and then, when there is a respectable amount of distance between you and the Buddha, you may turn around. 
  • Do not point at things or people in and around a temple. Instead, use your right hand, with your palm facing up, to point something out.
  • If you’re visiting a temple in Myanmar and a monk or nun shows up, stand up as a sign of respect. Remain standing until their praying or meditation is complete.
  • Women, especially, should be aware that they are not to touch or hand a monk any item.

List of Temples in Myanmar

Buddhist temples are one of the main sightseeing attractions in Myanmar…and there are countless ones to see. Add these to your bucket list:

  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon
  • Tooth Relic Pagoda, Yangon
  • Golden Rock,  Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
  • Ananda Temple, Bagan
  • Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan
  • Dhammayan Gyi Temple, Bagan
  • Shwezigon Temple, Bagan
  • Htilominlo Temple, Bagan
  • Mount Popa, near Bagan
  • Hsinbyume Pagoda, Mandalay
  • Mandalay Hill, Mandalay
  • Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay

From Occupation to an Historic Election

Britain controlled Burma from 1824 until the country gained its independence in 1948.   A military junta that took control in 1962 suppressed dissent and allowed the economy to stagnate largely isolated from the rest of the world.

When the ruling generals permitted free elections to take place in 2015, the political party of Aung San Suu Kyi won a resounding victory. She is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, but whose advocacy for democracy resulted in her being under house arrest for 15 years until her release in 2010. She now serves as State Counselor and has instituted new freedoms and economic reforms. However, Myanmar’s constitution still gives the military a strong voice in governance of the country.

Since August 2018, there have been continuous news reports about atrocities by Myanmar’s military forces against Rohingya Muslims who live in Rakhine Province.   The Rohingyas originally came from the neighboring country of Bangladesh, and have been viewed as interlopers since they arrived. The unrest is confined to a narrow strip of land along the border with Bangladesh, so it is safe to travel throughout most of the country.

Ancient and Modern Life Meet

Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city and commercial center of Myanmar. It boasts the highest number of colonial-era buildings in southeast Asia.

Mandalay was the last seat of Burma’s kings before the British colonization. It’s known as a center of arts and crafts, with different neighborhoods devoted to various trades.

The setting is very different in villages located throughout the countryside, where in many ways people live much as their forebears did. Modest houses made of intertwined bamboo line narrow dusty lanes. Domesticated animals wander along the streets.

Yet even in the tiniest, most isolated hamlets, as elsewhere throughout the country, vestiges of change are emerging from the traditional lifestyle. Cell phones are as ubiquitous as in any major U.S. city. Children of all ages use a smartphone to play games, and it’s not uncommon to see a monk retrieve a cell phone from his saffron robe to make or take a call.  

Wherever the visitor may be in Myanmar, the gradual evolution from traditional ways of life to increasing hints of modernity is one of the most interesting aspects of the country.   The result is an immersion in a rich and colorful past combined with the comforts and conveniences of today.

Top Cultural Attractions in Myanmar 

Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is blossoming after 50 years of dictatorship and perfect for small-group guided tours with travelers hoping to explore and experience this region of the world.

Richly satisfying, with its fascinating cultural history and the ambience of a bygone Asian era, the Golden Land, as Myanmar is affectionately called, makes history- and culture-minded travelers delirious with excitement. Read on for the top cultural attractions in Myanmar.

1. Shwedagon Pagoda: Yangon is the biggest city in Myanmar, and the massive, golden Shwedagon Pagoda is its main pagoda. The people of Myanmar are incredibly proud of this top Burmese tourist site, and for good reason.

Enter by way of four separate entrances, then look for the eight planetary posts for each day of the week (two for Wednesday), each ruled by an animal. You’ll likely see Burmese Buddhists, who come here to pray at the post for which day they were born.

Delve further into the history and culture of Yangon with a small-group walking tour. Start at the Shwedagon Pagoda, then venture out toward downtown, past colonial buildings, as you get a feel for the architecture and daily life of the area - your expert Myanmar guide will answer any questions you may have along the way.

2. Inle Lake: Explore serene Inle Lake in a long boat, powered by the region’s famous leg rowers, where your stay might include a hotel on stilts or a visit to the floating gardens north of Nampan. The farmers tend to the gardens as they glide past in their canoes. This is one of the best places to fully immerse yourself in Myanmar’s daily rural lifestyle and traditions. 

3. Bagan Temples: Look for guided Myanmar tours that spend at least a few days in Bagan. Tour the Bagan Temples in the 26-square-mile archaeological zone, exploring the ruins of 2,200-plus Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries.

Ask your guide if it’s possible to see the Bagan temples by motorbike, bike or horse-drawn cart, as the area is quite large. The sunrises and sunsets in Bagan are legendary, and the temples are innumerable.

Expert tip: Look for Bagan temple tours that include a hot-air balloon ride, the very best way to see the temples. 

4. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda: This awe-inspiring pagoda is a must-see in Myanmar and one of Burma’s most sacred Buddhist sites - it clings to the edge of a steep cliff west of Yangon and overlooks the forest of Mount Kyaiktiyo. 

5. Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung): Many visitors to Myanmar include a visit to the Golden Palace Monastery for its intricate, teakwood design, elaborate roof and depictions of mythical creatures, dancers and Buddhist legends.

6. Chaukhtatgyi Buddha: It’s hard to look away from the massive, reclining Chaukhtatgyi Buddha, a top attraction in Yangon. And massive it is, at 213 feet long and 52 feet high - it took from 1899 to 1907 to complete it. Take particular notice of the beautiful jeweled crown.

7. Ananda Temple: Visit Ananda Temple to see one of the most well-preserved examples of Bagan architecture. This popular temple in Myanmar is respected for its delicate stone facades, pyramid structure, gilted woer and original murals. To fully immerse yourself in your Ananda Temple tour, consider an ox-drawn cart excursion, traveling as the ancient citizens once did.

8. Dhat Zoam Doi Pagoda: Take a guided tour of this ancient, hilltop pagoda for insight into the culture, beliefs and traditions of the Khmer people. Your expert guide can also accompany you to Myanmar’s Akhe and San tribal villages. 

9. Mandalay’s Mingun Ruins: Consider a private boat excursion along the Irrawaddy River, observing river life as you glide along and stopping to explore the Mantara Gyi Pagoda (Mingun) ruins. Take note of the huge Mingun Bell, more than 90 metric tons of copper.

Outdoor Travel in Myanmar

Wondering what you can do for outdoor and adventure travel in Myanmar? Active travelers are finally getting the chance to uncover the Golden Land’s many outdoor travel opportunities, from caving to hiking. Your active travel guided tour of the Burmese landscape can be as rugged or low-key as you wish - this is an adventure destination awaiting your discovery.

Here are a few favorite outdoor activities to do when on a Myanmar guided tour

1. Hike in the Himalayas. If jagged mountains make your heart swell, look for a Myanmar hiking tour that visits Putao in Kachin State. The admittedly challenging treks in this area are guided by local porters and include meals and accommodations - and they take two to four days to complete. If you’re an avid hiker going to Myanmar, this is for you. 

2. Trek through rice paddies near Kengtung. For trekking on the lighter side, take a walk through the countryside of Pin Tauk, perhaps getting the chance to meet residents of the local hill tribes in the Lahu, Akha and Ann villages. You’ll learn about their customs, dress and daily life. This is a great opportunity to try Shan khao swe, a delicious noodle soup and regional specialty.

3. Hike Mt. Zwe Ka Bin. Another accessible trek is renowned Mt. Zwe Ka Bin, a two- to three-hours climb - you might glimpse a monkey or two on your way up. 

4. Whitewater rafting in Kachin State. Fans of river rapids might consider a Myanmar whitewater trip - check with your tour operator for up-to-date access and availability as the government regulations are in flux regarding this relatively new adventure activity. If you can, raft the beautiful sections of Mula Creek and the Malikha River. 

5. Bike Bagan. With so many temples to see and such a large area to cover, explore Bagan by bicycle. Pedal at sunrise and just before sunset to take advantage of the beautiful light and cooler temperature. Venture out from Bagan on a guided biking tour and visit quiet villages and rice paddies, from Nga Tha Yauk to Set Set Yo. 

6. Rock climb in Hpa-An. Experienced rock climbers will find plenty to do in Myanmar - the Burmese climbing community is really taking off. Look for rock-climbing tours near Mandalay and Hpa-An for the most options for all skill levels.

7. Adventures on the water. Go diving and snorkeling in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago to see rainbow-hued marine life, or book a sailing tour through the islands. Or, head to the southern tip of Myanmar and go sea kayaking on the Andaman Sea. Stop at little islands for a picnic or a hike and revel in the gorgeous ocean scenery.

8. Trek to Inle Lake. Guided hiking tours near Inle Lake bring you to the area’s temples, markets, villages and local tribes. Look for the leg-rowing Intha people, unique to this area.

Cuisine in Myanmar 

One of the perks of visiting a country that has been all but invisible to travelers for the past 50 years is being one of the first to try its distinctive cuisine.

Burmese cuisine has been heavily influenced by South and Southeast Asia and just like in those countries, you’ll find that particular restaurants or food stalls typically specialize in one type of food. Burmese food is more salty and savory than sweet and spicy, and typically involves a lot of side dishes.

And if you love salad, you’ll love dining in Myanmar - you’ll find sour, spicy, even crunchy, salads with just about any ingredient, including rice, noodles, vegetables. 

Try these top Myanmar foods, from tea leaf salad to the unofficial national dish, mohinga. 

1. Tea Leaf Salad: The salad is comprised of lephet (fermented tea leaves), cabbage, tomatoes, deep-fried nuts (more on Myanmar’s fascination with deep-fried food in a moment), garlic oil and chili.

2. Mohinga: Try this favorite Burmese dish for breakfast, as it’s typically enjoyed, or really any time of day or night that you happen to come across it. A broth-based vessel for round rice noodles, it can be topped with lentil batter, hard-boiled egg or - you guessed it - deep-fried vegetables. 

3. Shan Rice: The Shan are one of Myanmar’s main Buddhist ethnic groups and this rice is one of their traditional cuisines. It’s also known as nga htamin (fish rice) in Burmese. Rice is cooked with turmeric, then flattened into a disk and topped with bits of fish and a splash of garlic oil.

4. Curry: So you’ve had curry before, but it’s unlikely you’ve had curry like this. During your guided Myanmar tour, make it a point to dine at a traditional Burmese restaurant, where you can order a meat- or fish-based curry that will then be accompanied by more side dishes than you may be able to eat in one sitting.

Expect tea leaf salad, deep-fried vegetables, soup, rice and dips to be eaten with fresh vegetables. This is the best way to taste the traditional flavors of Myanmar, all in one meal.

5. Deep-Fried Everything: Your culinary tour of Myanmar isn’t complete without myriad deep-fried foods. Just about everything you find to eat in a restaurant, tea shop or on the street is fried in oil, from samosas to spring rolls, breads to noodle dishes. One of the best deep-fried dishes in Myanmar is the buthi kyaw, pieces of gourd that have been battered, then fried - don’t miss it.

Top Myanmar (Burma) Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

Is Myanmar Safe to Visit?

The short answer is, yes, Myanmar (Burma) is a safe destination for foreign travelers. Not only that, but after nearly 50 years of invisibility from the rest of the world, Myanmar is eager to share its culture, history, cuisine and traditions with guests. 

Here’s what to keep in mind to stay safe during your tour to Myanmar: 

  • Stay with your tour and and heed the instructions and guidelines of your Burmese tour guide. This includes off-the-beaten-path areas of the country, where locals and authorities may not be used to seeing foreign travelers. 
  • Check with your Myanmar tour operator about which areas of the country you’ll be visiting and which are off-limits for various political or safety reasons, including landmines in restricted areas.  
  • If you’re on a hiking tour of Myanmar, be prepared for mosquitos with lots of repellent and mosquito nets. In addition, watch out for snacks in the brush and forest - there is a high incidence of fatal snake bites in Myanmar. 
  • In caves and near Mt. Popa, do not feed the monkeys you see. As cute as they may be, bites are possible. 
  • Use caution when walking with your tour in a crowded area, especially when crossing the street. Most local drivers are fairly lax about following traffic rules.
  • To avoid confrontation with authorities and so as not to offend the Burmese people, do not ever disrespect Buddha. Visitors have been thrown in jail for posting offensive or inappropriate images of Buddha on social media. Be respectful of local religious practices and sensitivities.

When is Monsoon Season in Myanmar?

If you’d like to avoid the monsoon season in Myanmar, travel between November and March. The summer monsoon months are responsible for about 80 percent of the region’s rainfall - and while vitally important to the people and crops of the area, can be less than pleasant for tourists.

Located in a monsoon climate, Myanmar has three seasons - the hot period, the monsoon itself and then the cool, dry winter (when it’s most optimal to visit). 

If you do travel to Burma during the monsoon season, your experience will depend on where in the country you travel. The most rain will fall on the coastal zones and beaches. If the Myanmar monsoon season doesn’t put you off, just be flexible, bring appropriate rain gear and waterproof footwear and be prepared for a lot of rain, though not necessarily every day and not all day.

What Language Is Spoken in Myanmar? 

The official language of Burma (Myanmar) is Burmese, although there are about 100 hundred languages spoken throughout the country. Six language families exist in Myanmar, including Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Tai-Kadai, Indo-European, Austronesian and Hmong-Mien.

What Other Countries Should I Visit When I Go to Myanmar?

While Myanmar itself can make an incredible and insightful tour opportunity, if you have the time and the means, consider an extended Southeast Asia vacation. Look for group tours that combine Myanmar with neighboring India, the southern region of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

All Myanmar (Burma) tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Myanmar (Burma) trips.

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