Myanmar is also known as Burma. It is a country widely known as the "Land of Festivals" due to the many religious and cultural festivities that take place all year round. Some of these festivities are celebrated all throughout the nation while others are exclusively around Yangon or in small district areas.

The dates of Myanmar's famous festival activities and events are usually scheduled to coincide with the full moon and generally to one particular temple, pagoda or district. If you want to visit Myanmar, this article will guide you on how to start planning your trip to this magnificent country.

Burma is a rich when it comes to natural resources like timber, fishery reserves and natural gas. It is also the leading source of gems such as jade. Due to weak infrastructure and Burma's human rights abuses including political oppression done by the ruling military junta, the country's tourism was also affected. But amidst the negative international outlook of the country, tourists from all over the world would still want to visit Myanmar due to it's captivating beauty.


Step 1

Ride the various transportation that the country can offer. Many tourists prefer sea transportation for a faster travel compared to the land transportation. You can also enjoy several cruise rides via the Irrawaddy River. Cruise itineraries may include stopovers at Rangoon (formerly Yangon), Bagan, Mandalay and Bhamo, and other places.

You can opt to choose those river cruise tour packages which include domestic airline flights within Burma. The "Road to Mandalay" cruise ship offers luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, lounge, bar service, swimming pool, a fitness room, spa treatments, cultural entertainment, a boutique and they even have a doctor on board. 

Enjoy the Pandaw River Cruises which operates in Myanmar on the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers. Their tour destinations include the Road to Mandalay which starts from Rangoon to Mandalay along the Irrawaddy including the upper Irrawaddy River which also begins in Mandalay to Khatha near Bhamo and the Chindwin River in northern area of Myanmar.

Tourists can experience the colonial replicas of the luxurious "Irrawaddy Flotilla fleet". This cruise ships provides a bar and restaurant including air conditioned cabins. Pandaw is cautious when it comes supporting small local contractors and domestic businesses because they want to avoid dealing with the dictatorial military junta which governs and controls the whole country.

The Ayravata Cruises is known for its boutique style river journeys on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers in Myanmar. They have two vessels which is the RV Pandaw (built in 1947) and the RV Paukan (built in 2007) with tour destinations that include the ancient Bagan, 7-night excursion to Bhamo , 9-night voyage to the Chindwin River, an other popular places in Burma. These two vessels offers guests the luxurious colonial style which include sun deck, cultural performances, a bar and restaurant, as well as movie or lecture room.

You can also take a ride in a rickshaw or a horse cart for a unique and authentic way to travel within the bigger cities of Burma. Just hire a rickshaw driver and you'll enjoy the sights and sounds of the local places within Myanmar.

Ride their taxicabs to get around Yangon. They are super cheap and the drivers of these taxi cabs will take you almost anywhere within the city just starting from one dollar ($1). You can also give any additional amount to offer as a tip.

View the beautiful temples of Bagan by taking a ride in a hot air balloon. You can also take the Rangoon to Mandalay express trains because they're comfortable and fast. These express trains are truly speedy and available for boarding at Rangoon. They usually depart promptly with loud whistles blown including those long low hoots coming from their locomotive.

Step 2

Visit the Yangon Zoo where you can see different species starting from trees and plants. They have various species of coconut and palm, shrub and vine, bamboo and grass including seasonal flowers. The Yangon Zoo accommodates various species of mammals and different species of birds, reptiles, land animals and other creatures living in their man-made habitats.

Zoo visitors may visit the Aquarium to see those beautiful sea creatures. Ever since the Government had upgraded the Yangon Zoo by building new fencing and buildings, visitors keep coming. The old roads were extended and improved.

The Yangon Zoo is open to the public. It provides a nice play ground and amusement centre for children. It has souvenir shops, restaurants, snack bars, and is open for the convenience of the people visiting the zoo. Tourists who are animal and nature lovers should see the amazing Yangon Zoo.

There are also wonderful rides and drives for children and adults like the electric train, horse and elephant carts. Performance from magicians and snake charmers can be seen during the weekends. The Yangon Zoo's green lawns and shady parks are so inviting especially during the hot season in Myanmar.

Step 3

Shop at the Bogyoke Aung San Market located in Yangon. You can view endless shops where you can purchase beautiful and unique dolls, cosmetic jars, traditional puppets, golden leaf embroidery, coco masks, precious stones like sapphires, rubies and jade. You can also buy intricate carvings of wood and stone including tribal handicraft bags, "Lungis" (Sarongs), and hand woven fabrics.

You can easily purchase precious jewelry once you'll arrive at the Bogyoke Aung San Market and they are inexpensive because you can negotiate the price with the local sellers. Make sure to bring extra amount of cash so that you'll able to enjoy the jewelry and lots of other product bargains available in their local market. 


Tips and Warning:


You can also book trains from outside Burma only through e-mail if you can find reliable travel agencies. These train tickets will be sent to your hotel and you'll just pay for them once you'll arrive to Burma.

A very small fee will be charged for this kind of service but it's worth it if you like traveling via train. Contacting a travel agency is advisable especially if you like those sleepers to be reserved for you and other people traveling with you via the Rangoon-Mandalay train.


Don't be surprised if you can see many women and children with painted faces that comes from "Thanaka", a bark paste which provides a yellowish wet looking powder. This is normal to the locals but to the tourists, they may look like smudges on their faces. The locals use this to protect their skin from the strong heat coming from the sun.

Buy products only from sellers who are authorized by the Government so that you'll be given an official receipt that is required for exporting any of those products. It's advisable not to bring your precious jewelry once you visit Burma, or if you brought some, declare those that you have with Customs Officials to avoid the risk of having to pay hefty duties.

Myanmar is situated in Southeast Asia, known for its beautiful green scenery and rich culture. If you're planning to visit Myanmar, it's advisable to read and check the latest travel guides and advisories for your own safety.