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Bagan is a truly astonishing landscape with over 4,000 ancient temples and stupas scattered across the jungly plains.

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BURMA - Mandalay

A visit to the vast Royal Palace whilst staying in Mandalay is highly recommended. Wander through these ornate moat walls to discover the ‘Forbidden City’, which contains teak palaces, throne halls and pavilions.

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Inle Lake is a place of heart-stopping beauty… Stay at a hotel nearby like Sanctum Inle Resort to glide through the water on a long-tail boat and observe the unique method of rowing with one leg used by the Inle fisher-folk.

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BURMA - Bagan - buddhist monk

At the frontier of adventurous Asian travel, Bagan leaves other cultural destinations in the shade. Her temple-strewn landscapes are guaranteed to fill you with both awe and spiritual calm.

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Welcome to Ngapali, Burma's best beach with a wide and inviting stretch of golden sand. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a hectic schedule of temple-tours and even better, you’ll still won't find too many tourists here.

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BURMA - religious statue

Just one of the hundreds of impressive religious statues you'll discover in Burma.

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BURMA - Bagan - Shwezigon Paya

There are often offerings and blessings ceremonies with special costumes happening around the stunning gold-leafed circular stupa at the Shwedagon Pagoda. 

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Burma's most sacred Buddhist site, the Shwedagon Pagoda. A glittering gold 2,000-year-old pagoda, in the heart of Yangon.

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BURMA Balloons Over Bagan

Enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon journey over the temples of Bagan with extraordinary views over hundreds of ancient ruins and pagodas which peek out from this remote jungle. It's a truly unforgettable experience and the best way to appreciate this archeological wonder.

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The Mergui Archipelago, a group of 800 islands scatted in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of Burma’s remote south, is one of the last untouched and unspoilt tropical destinations left on earth.

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BURMA Bagan Temple 4

Bagan has a truly astonishing landscape. It is a mesmerising moment when you first set eyes on so many ancient temples peeking out from this vast horizon stretching as far as the Irrawaddy River. Climb a viewpoint and take in over 4000 stupas scattered across the jungly plains. 

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Inle Lake is a place of heart-stopping beauty… Slice through the water on a long-tail boat and observe the unique method of rowing with one leg used by the Inle fisher-folk.

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The bullock cart is a common means of transportation in Burma, and they are still used today where modern vehicles are too expensive or the infrastructure does not favour them. 

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Sail around the little-known Mergui Archipelago in style, on the sleek and sexy catamaran, Meltimi.

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BURMA Bagan Burmese Local

Meet some fantastic local people in Bagan, like this lady we met wearing extraordinary head gear!

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BURMA - Mandalay - Mingun white temple

If you head 10kms up the Irrawaddy River, you’ll be rewarded with the arresting sight of the breath-taking white Mingun pagoda, with its unusual wave-like terraces.

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BURMA Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon is a beautiful, glittering gold 2,000 year old temple in Yangon. It is Burma's most sacred Buddhist site and draws in local people from within the city and afar. Yangon's early history is tied very closely to its magnificent Pagoda, where eight of Buddha's hairs are said to be enshrined. 

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BURMA RV Paukan Irrawaddy River

A journey aboard the RV Paukan is a wonderful way to take in the Irrawaddy River. This spacious, boutique boat has over 30 crew members to take care of you. 

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BURMA Pyin Oo Lwin

Discover the delights of Pyin Oo Lwin, a scencic hill town in the centre of rural Burma. Learn more of its colonial past from buildings that still exist from British colonial rule in Burma.

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BURMA Bagan Temple 3

At dawn, watch the sun bring Bagan to life, picking out details on the intricate stupas and temples. Although there are around 5,000 monuments, no two are the same.

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BURMA Ngapali Beach Sandoway Resort

Feast on fresh seafood at this breezy beachside restaurant at the Sandoway Resort, overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

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BURMA Ngapali Beach Ngapali Bay Villas Pool

Ngapali Bay villa’s have an enviable location overlooking a perfect stretch of beach on  the Bay of Bengal. Villas are dotted around surrounding tropical gardens; the best are on the seafront with private deck and plunge pool.

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BURMA New Moon Festivities

The New Moon Festival is celebrated in Burma with traditional clothing, processions and offerings. If you’re lucky enough to witness a festival in Burma you’ll notice towns get very busy and the Burmese are in a playful mood!

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Escape the heat of the coast in Kalaw, a cool, colonial hill station and admire the wide range of vegetables grown in this fertile climate.

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BURMA - Yangon - reclining Buddha

Find peace in Burma’s capital Yangon when visiting this graceful reclining Buddha and marvel at its size – this Buddha is over 26 metres long.

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BURMA - Pyin Oo Lwin - horse and cart

Take a ride in a horse and cart, unique to Pyin Oo Lwin, and visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, which thrive in this cool climate. 

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BURMA - Mrauk U

We recommend a visit to atmospheric Mrauk U soon. Although smaller than Bagan, it has an undiscovered feel to it and apart from a few farmers you might have the place to yourself.

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BURMA - Mingun - local taxi

Hail a taxi, Burma style! Get to grips with this method of transport in Mingun, where a bullock and bamboo cart is waiting to take you to your destination. 

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BURMA - Marionette Show Bagan

If you get a chance, watch a traditional Marionette show using hand-made puppets, customary age-old entertainment in Burma.

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BURMA - Mandalay - Mingun Stupa

Admire the remains of what would have been the world's largest religious monument, Mingun Paya, if work on it hadn't been halted by an 1838 earthquake.

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BURMA - Irrawaddy River

Idle away time on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, observe local families who use the river as means of transport and enjoy Burma's great birdlife .

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BURMA - Inle Princess, Sun set deck

Enjoy this serene view of Inle Lake from the Inle Princess Resort, framed by the magnificent backdrop of the Blue Mountains and edged by lush paddy fields. 

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BURMA - Inle Princess, Chalet, room

Not only does the Inle Princess Resort provide stunning views over Inle Lake, its chalets are more than comfortable too, with spacious bedrooms and private terraces.

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BURMA - Inle Princess - View from Balcony 207, Min Yu

Admire the reflections in the crystal clear waters of Inle Lake from the privacy of your balcony in a lake front view Chalet at the charming Inle Princess Resort.

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BURMA - Inle Lake cigar rolling

Take part in this fascinating custom in a local home on the shores of Lake Inle and learn how to roll a cheroot style cigar, made from crushed tabacoo and wrapped in tree leaves. Here is Ampersand's MD, James, having a go!

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BURMA - Inle Lake - traditional long neck ladies

Discover more about the little-known minority villages that bank on the shore of Inle Lake. These tribeswomen add rings to their necks to give the impression of ‘long- neck ladies’.

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BURMA - Bagan temple 2

Daily life for the Burmese people carries on as usual within the archaeological site of Bagan. 

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BURMA - Amarapura - Buddhist nuns

Here we visited a school for nuns in Amarapura, which is a fascinating experience. Burma is absolutely packed full of novice monks and nuns who are completely focused on what they’re doing. The discipline and faith of the Burmese people is really very touching.

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Be welcomed by warm and friendly locals as you explore Burma's countryside. 

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Discover Luxury Holidays to Burma (Myanmar)

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 Myanmar beach holiday 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 trips to Burma 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 holiday in Myanmar. The country'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, exploring this country will make for an intriguing and beautiful tailor-made tour to Burma.


Our suggested tours in Burma

China & Burma: Style, Substance & Spirit

BURMA - religious statue

15 days from £5,600

China and Burma, both substantial cultural identities, yet despite being neighbours, are lightyears apart. Discover the magic of these two...

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Burma... Return to the Golden Land

BURMA Governors Residence Yangon 13

13 days from £4,400

With so much to see and experience, Burma is not a one-time destination. This itinerary is perfect for those looking...

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Sanctuary Ananda Cruise… Iconic Burma in Luxurious Style

Sanctuary Ananda Cruise Burma 1

15 days from £5,395

Combine the very best of Burma’s iconic sites with a luxurious voyage down the Irrawaddy River aboard one of the...

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Undiscovered Burma... Luxury Sailing in the Mergui Archipelago

Mergui Archipelago Burma 1

12 days from £4,283

Are you looking for a new way to experience Burma? We have the answer: a 12-night luxury adventure featuring her...

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Best-of-the-best Burma... The Ultimate Luxury Tour

BURMA Governors Residence Yangon 17

17 days from £5,297

It is no secret that Burma is a cultural treasure trove, but for those of you who love luxury too,...

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The Golden Land of Burma… A Luxury Tour

BURMA - Bagan - Shwezigon Paya

13 days from £3,990

Having recently returned from Burma, James & Mark have put together their ideal trip to the 'Golden Land' using their...

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Wonders of the Ancient World... Grand Archaeological Tour of Indonesia, Burma & Cambodia

Wonders Of The Ancient World Itinerary 11

13 days from £6,874

If you are interested in ancient history and love to travel in style, this is the ultimate itinerary for you....

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Balloons Over Burma

Balloons Over Burma Itinerary

11 days from £4,250

The perfect “taster” itinerary of Burma taking in all the major sites including a sunrise balloon trip over Bagan with...

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The Ultimate Burma Tour... No Stone Left Unturned

BURMA - U Bein Bridge, Mandalay

22 days from £5,950

This is our definitive Burma itinerary. As well as taking in all the major sites, this journey showcases all of...

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Belmond's Road to Mandalay... Burma by Boat

The Road To Mandalay Bagan Burma 1  (1)

12 days from £3,945

Meandering up the Irrawaddy on a luxury river boat is a wonderful and relaxing way to experience Burma. As this...

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Grand Colonial Tour of Asia: India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam & Singapore

Grand Colonial Tour Of Asia 2

15 days from £8,490

Experience Asia's diverse colonial heritage on this 15-day whirlwind tour designed for those with an interest in the history and...

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CASE STUDY: ‘World Monument Fund’ Tour of Cambodia & Burma

CAMBODIA Victoria D Angkor VAK Citroen

16 days from £POA

Ampersand occasionally arranges special trips for some of the world’s most acclaimed museums and organisations who rely on us to...

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Some of our favourite hotels in Burma

Sandoway Resort ,
Ngapali Beach

Sandoway Resort, Myanmar 1.jpg

  Sandoway Resort is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Beach Hotels Nestled amongst coconut palms on Myanmar's Ngapali Beach, the Sandoway Resort...

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Amara Mountain Resort ,
Kalaw

The Amara Kalaw Burma 9

  Amara Mountain Resort is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Secret Gems.  A quaint colonial cottage which dates from 1909,...

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Inle Princess Resort ,
Inle Lake

Inle Princess Resort Inle Lake Burma 5

  Inle Princess Resort is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Eco Retreats This peaceful family owned resort is the perfect base...

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Rupar Mandalar Resort ,
Mandalay

Rupar Mandalar, Mandalay, Burma (10).JPG

Rupar Mandalar Resort is a delightful member of the Mandalay hotel scene, tucked away amidst landscaped gardens to the east...

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Belmond Governor's Residence ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

Belmond Governor's Residence, Yangon, Burma Myanmar 2019 (3).jpg

  This property is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Lux City Hotels Without a doubt our favourite hotel in Yangon, the elegant...

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Belmond Road to Mandalay ,
Bagan

Belmond Road to Mandalay, Burma (13).jpg

The Belmond Road to Mandalay is arguably the most luxurious and romantic way to explore the tranquil Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River....

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Some of our favourite places of interest in Burma

Putao

Malikha Lodge, Putao, Burma 2

Malikha Lodge is situated in the northern Kachin State, Myanmar's greenest and most remote state. Access to Malikha lodge is...

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Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

Maymyo Pyin Oo Lwin Burma (2)

Pyin Oo Lwin, formally Maymyo (literally May’s town after a colonel), was used by the British in colonial times in...

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Ngapali Beach

Ngapali Beach, Burma (Emily).jpg

Located in the southern state of Rakhine, Ngapali Beach is a 15 mile stretch of beautiful coastline, dusted with fine...

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Mergui Archipelago

Mergui Archipelago Burma 12

The Mergui Archipelago is one of the last untouched and unspoilt tropical destinations left on earth. Eight-hundred islands are scattered...

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Yangon

Yangon, Burma, Myanmar.jpg

This former capital was known by its colonial era name Rangoon until 1989 when the ruling military regime changed it...

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Mandalay

BURMA - Mandalay

“For the wind is in the palm trees, and the temple-bells they say: Come you back, you British soldier; come...

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Related Blog Posts

Read some of our hand-picked blog posts for Burma


Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka

From our Instagram

Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
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📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
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The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
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In #Japan, the lesser-known plum tree (‘ume’ #梅) blossoms in February - March 🌺
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Visit at this time to admire these special flowers and beat the crowds that swarm the country during cherry blossom peak season 🌸
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