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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.