Bagan is a truly astonishing landscape with over 4,000 ancient temples and stupas scattered across the jungly plains.1/35
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.2/35
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.3/35
Just one of the hundreds of impressive religious statues you'll discover in Burma.4/35
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.5/35
There are often offerings and blessings ceremonies with special costumes happening around the stunning gold-leafed circular stupa at the Shwedagon Pagoda.6/35
Burma's most sacred Buddhist site, the Shwedagon Pagoda. A glittering gold 2,000-year-old pagoda, in the heart of Yangon.7/35
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.8/35
Meet some fantastic local people in Bagan, like this lady we met wearing extraordinary head gear!9/35
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.10/35
Sail around the little-known Mergui Archipelago in style, on the sleek and sexy catamaran, Meltimi.11/35
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.12/35
Be welcomed by warm and friendly locals as you explore Burma's countryside.13/35
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.15/35
Relax and recharge by the reflective pool at Belmond Governor's Residence Hotel, Yangon - a firm Ampersand favourite.16/35
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.17/35
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.18/35
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.19/35
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.20/35
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.21/35
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.22/35
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!23/35
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.24/35
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.25/35
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.26/35
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.27/35
If you get a chance, watch a traditional Marionette show using hand-made puppets, customary age-old entertainment in Burma.28/35
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.29/35
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.30/35
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.31/35
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!32/35
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’.33/35
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.34/35
Daily life for the Burmese people carries on as usual within the archaeological site of Bagan.35/35
Burma: Best time to go
Burma (Myanmar) has three seasons: from September to February the daytime temperature is about 20-24°C with cool evenings; March to May is hot (about 30-35°C) but dry; and June to September is the rainy season with temperatures of 25-30°C. Burma is best visited between November and April, but it is possible to visit Burma all year round, even during the wet season. Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and Southern Shan State is usually quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February. Flights to Ngapali Beach often don't operate from June to September and hotels here close during this period.
N.B. All information given here is to the best of our knowledge, however, changes do occur, sometimes at short notice. Ampersand cannot be held liable for such happenings. Of course, if you have any tips that you feel would benefit other travellers, please pass them onto us and we will add them.
The best routes to fly from the UK to Yangon are via Bangkok, Dubai and Doha.
It is your responsibility to check visa requirements and organise your own visas.
British, most European and US passport holders require a visa to enter Burma. Apply on-line at www.evisa.moip.gov.mm. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date and you will need to upload one colour passport photo (4.8 cm X 3.8 cm). Your visa will be valid for 90 days from the issue date and the processing time is 3 working days, however you will receive a confirmation email within 1 hour of submitting your application. Visas cost $50. You can also organise your visa at the Burmese embassy in London. This costs £35 and will be ready for you to collect within 5 working days. Visit www.londonmyanmarembassy.com for details.
If you would like to use a visa service to process your visa on your behalf, we recommend CIBT Visas. They have expert knowledge in visa requirements, and are dedicated to ensuring that obtaining your visas is as efficient and hassle-free as possible.
CIBT provide various levels of visa service, including detailed information about which visas and documentation you and your party require, clear and user-friendly application forms, and a full concierge service to manage your application from start to finish. There is a team of experts on hand to offer advice, and liaise with embassies on your behalf.
Ampersand can personally endorse the services CIBT provides, and our partnership secures a 20% discount on all CIBT services fees for our clients. We would highly recommend speaking to a specialist at CIBT to determine which service would best suit your needs.
You can begin the process of finding out which visas you require and how to apply by following this link. This will log you in to the Ampersand CIBT account, securing your dedicated discount. For more information, please contact the CIBT visa team on 020 7593 6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or discuss with your Ampersand consultant.
It is essential to visit your GP as soon as possible to check if you need any vaccinations prior to travel. Risk for vaccine preventable diseases can change at any time. MASTA (Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad) can supply a quick and easy online Travel Health Brief. This includes easy to understand vaccination advice for single or multi-country trips. Their website is www.masta-travel-health.com
London - Yangon: There are no direct flights from London to Yangon. There are three reliable routes which fly via Dubai, Doha and Bangkok. With a short connection, the flying time is usually 13 hours 40 minutes.
We highly recommend you reconfirm your onward and return international flights at least 72 hours prior to departure.
- Leslie Siben, India
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