It is high time you took your much-awaited Burma holidays folks because Myanmar, erstwhile Burma, is currently the hottest holiday destination in South East Asia. Thrown open to tourists only a few years ago after decades of isolation from the world, it is relatively less commercialized and pristine.Holidays in Burma is thus an ideal way of escaping the hustle and bustle of city life. Burma has a widely resonant culture with settlers from India, Britain and Tibet having made it their home over many centuries.
Rich concoction of the colonial and the modern
Burma’s biggest city and tourists’ main point of entry into the country, Yangon (or Rangoon) was the British colonial capital and to this day boasts of the largest number of colonial buildings in all of Southeast Asia, while housing several modern high-rise office towers and hotels too. The Singuttara Hill is Yangon’s greatest tourist attraction, crowned by the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda, a 2,600-year old gilded Buddhist stupa. Nearby are the Kandawgyi Lake and Nature Park and the Yangon Zoological Gardens, ideal for lazing around and for recreation.
Some miles to the north, in the Shan state of Burma, is the Inle (or Inya) Lake, surrounded by stunning mountains and home to entire villages built on stilts. A boat cruise in and around the floating villages and craft workshops can be a fascinating experience. One can also shop for souvenirs to take back home, creating much-needed income for the impoverished rural Burmese artisans and farmers.
The Land of Temples and Pagodas
Mandalay, home to about half of the country’s monks, is its spiritual and cultural centre. Travellers can spend a leisurely couple of days of their Burma holidays visiting the many pagodas and hills that dot the cityscape. The Mandalay Palace with its ornate carvings and wooden structure is a magnificent sight. Mandalay Hill offers a great hilltop view of the city and the adjacent countryside.
Bagan is another ancient religious city on the banks of river Irrawady. This 16 square miles of plain land is said to house as many as 2,200 temples and pagodas today, down from some 13,000 during its golden period. Ananda and Dhammayangyi Temples are the most popular. Sunrise and sunset views of the Bagan landscape are breathtaking. An evening cruise along the mighty river is quite relaxing too.
Plan your Burma Holiday well
Burma holidays should be taken during the cool dry season between December and February, as the rest of the year sees either high temperatures or excessive rain. While there, make sure to try the food which is a unique blend of Indian, Thai, Chinese and local cuisines. Medical facilities up to western standards are unavailable, so it is advisable to carry along any necessary medicines and to get your vaccinations in order before embarking upon a Burma holidays.
Check out Shanti Travel’s Tailormade Burma holidays to unwind yourself in a country where the 21st Century world has barely intruded. Off the beaten trips are here: http://www.shantitravel.com/en/burma-travel/