Burma

Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a cultural gold mine: the Bagan plains are strewn with thousands of temple ruins stretching as far as the Irrawaddy River; Mandalay and Yangon are heaving with colonial buildings and glittering stupas; Inle Lake is a place of heart-stopping beauty where no electricity flows; and the gorgeous golden sands of Ngapali provide a quirky beach break to complete your adventure.

Rudyard Kipling wrote that Burma is 'quite unlike any land you know about', and this still very much applies over a century after it was written. With a civilisation that is more than 2,500 years old, Burma is a mysterious and magical land with magnificent temple architecture set in timeless and sublime landscapes. Tailor-made Burma tours have been largely off-limits to tourists for decades ensuring that its astonishing natural beauty and charm have remained one of the world's best-kept secrets. Ox carts, locals dressed in traditional longyis and women with tree-bark paste decorating their faces all add to the sense that time has stood still here, even in the cities. Once again opening up to the world, this intriguing country is blessed with a unique natural environment of snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes, mighty rivers, lush tropical forests and unspoiled beaches. Bordered by China to the north-east, Laos to the east, Thailand to the south-east, Bangladesh to the west, India to the north-west and the Bay of Bengal to the south-west, the Andaman Sea and its 1,199 mile uninterrupted coastline define Burma's southern periphery.

The Burmese culture, heavily influenced by neighbours, is based on Theravada Buddhism intertwined with animist elements called nats, which are spirits that hold dominion over a place or person. Burma's diverse population (there are over 135 ethnic groups) has played a major role in defining its politics, history and demographics in modern times. In 2011 Burma fully opened her doors to travellers, who came from far and wide to explore Myanmar. Now there is extraordinary demand for a limited range of luxury hotels, and recent investment has allowed for some wonderful new luxury properties to open, meaning travellers needn’t compromise on luxury during their Myanmar Holiday. Burma's hospitable, open, inquisitive and friendly people provide visitors with their most memorable moments, and despite limited access to the internet or (for many) a proper education, the Burmese are remarkably well informed about outside events. From the busy city of Yangon to the royal city of Mandalay, the thousands of temples and pagodas in Bagan to the natural grace of Inle Lake, Burma is indeed an intriguing and beautiful land.

Asia, Tailor-made . . .
'Luxury is in the experience'

We love luxury and style at Ampersand Travel, but we also love to engage with our destination. If that means the odd bumpy road or eccentric hotel in order to see something truly special, that's fine by us. Most of our clients agree (they know that luxury isn't far away, after all), and for those that don't, we are happy to arrange super-luxe holidays from start to finish.

James Jayasundera

Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel

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Ampersand's Travels

We're always re-visiting our destinations. Visit Ampersand's blog here to find out the latest news hot off the press.

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Seeking Ancient Japan

Japan: renowned for its pioneering technology, buzzing metropolises and quirky fashion trends. But equally as intriguing is her ancient history and rich culture. This itinerary will take you off the beaten path to the Izu Peninsula – a land of hot-springs, cloud-shredding peaks, empty coastal headlands and hospitality traditions unchanged for 400 years. This trip follows in the footsteps of Stanley Stewart’s How To Spend It article, “Taking it Izu”

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Hotels in Rajasthan

Of all the states in India, Rajasthan is undoubtedly its most regal and majestic. It is home to some of the finest hotels in India and the world – from princely royal palace hotels and historic havelis to opulent modern classics and stylish tented camps. Here are Ampersand’s Top 10 Hotels in Rajasthan.

TopTen: Cultural Holidays View Here
TopTen: Romantic Journeys View Here
TopTen: Family-friendly Itineraries View Here
TopTen: Private Villas in Asia View Here
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Ampersand launches its new Southern Africa portfolio

Since 2003 Ampersand has established itself as a leader in luxury holidays to Asia and the UK, Scotland & Ireland. In keeping with our desire to share the places we know and love best, we are thrilled to add Southern Africa to our portfolio of destinations – including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Mozambique. Experience the wonders of Africa in classic Ampersand style on your own tailor-made holiday.

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Ampersand, The Bespoke Luxury Travel Experts

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At Ampersand we believe that “luxury is in the experience”. We love travelling in style but are not afraid to step off the usual circuit in order to experience something more rewarding. We specialise in exclusive tailor-made holidays that are perfect for honeymoons, cultural tours, family trips, wildlife adventures, sabbaticals and multi-generational holidays.

Since 2003 Ampersand has established itself as a leader in luxury Asia holidays to the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the Far East. In keeping with our desire to share the places we know and love best, we are thrilled to add the British Isles to our portfolio of destinations, as well as Southern Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

Our clients are mostly private individuals who recognise that time is their most precious asset and want to entrust it to experts with a well proven track record. This smoothes out the planning process and ensures that they have the most rewarding and memorable experience possible. We also look after some of the world’s most acclaimed museums and organisations who rely on us to arrange once-in-a-lifetime group tours for their most important patrons.

Why book with us:

Local knowledge & contacts: We are a team of knowledgeable and well-connected individuals who have lived and /or travelled extensively in the destinations we offer.

First-hand experience: We personally visit all the hotels and locations we recommend and can provide you with first-hand information and opinions on them.

Easy to reach: We personally answer all phone calls (during office working hours). You will never be answered by a machine or be frustrated by multiple options. All our clients also receive our personal mobile numbers which they are welcome to use outside working hours.

Financial protection: Ampersand Travel is ATOL bonded meaning that the money spent on your holiday is protected.

Personal service: You will be looked after by one consultant from your initial enquiry until your safe return home from holiday.

Reliability: 80% of our business is from repeat clients and friends they have recommended to us.

Small by choice: We send up to 500 clients a year on holiday. We have deliberately chosen to remain small so that we can look after our clients to the best of our ability and enjoy the process as we go along.

Totally independent: We only sell places we love. Unless we would be happy to stay there we will not sell it – it’s as simple as that.

Owner run:  Ampersand is owner run and, interestingly, most of our carefully selected ground handlers are too. We feel that this creates a far more passionate and personal service and a greater sense of accountability, which are key to providing the best possible service.

We love travel: This will become obvious as soon as you contact us!