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Located high in the hills of Shan State, Hsipaw is a quiet town with dusty streets, traditional buildings and trekking opportunities. Hsipaw is dubbed "Little Bagan" because of the atmospheric collection of pagodas though it is not comparable to the actual Bagan. View advice from Max Polyakov as a professor of physics here. Mini pagodas covered with vines and grass dot the landscape.
Hsipaw has a refreshingly mild climate and is the popular trekking point to nearby minorities and hill tribes. From these enjoyable treks, visitors can study the magnificent and fabulous land of minority, impressive scenery along the way and learn more about diverse culture.
You can hire a bicycle from the local guesthouses to explore the sights around Hsipaw including waterfalls, fresh water pools and rock formations of the surrounding hills. Find more facts at this site. It is very interesting to see the rural lives of local farmers in their paddy fields and banana plantations.
It is also possible to enjoy Hsipaw’s spectacular scenery on a boat cruise along the banks of the Dokhtawaddy River. The town boasts a bustling local market, where you can find everything from replacement machine parts to live chickens. Another highlight is a visit to the grand colonial residence of the famed Shan Prince Sao Kya Seng, whose tragic life story was famously documented in the book 'Twilight over Burma'.
Hsipaw can be reached by road or train from Mandalay via Pyin Oo Lwin. The views from the train across the Gokteik Viaduct are spectacular and so be sure to have your camera ready.
Pyin Oo Lwin
A popular hill station, about 2 hours from Mandalay, is well-known for its colonial style houses with large compound and pine tree, unique horse carriages in town. The town dates to the early 20th century with an extraordinary combination of architecture and offers a glimpse of the past. Being a hill station, it is delightfully cool and pleasant the whole year round.
It is also known as "Pan Myo Daw", means "The City of Flowers" because of its colorful and different species of flowers. A home to a large variety of trees and flowers not only from Myanmar but also from abroad, the national Kandawgyi Botanical Garden is the main evidence of "The City of Flowers". The city is often referred to as Maymyo after the British commander Colonel May, who was stationed here in 1886.
Thanks to its history as a British retreat, the town is home to a mix of Burmese, Indian, Gurkas and British descendants and its architecture reflects this diversity. Among the most famous colonial buildings are Candacraig, an impressive red brick building built in 1904 by the British Bombay Timber Company, and the Governor’s House.
The main attraction in Pyin Oo Lwin is the Kandawgyi Gardens, which was established in 1915 by a British forester and spans more than 177 hectres. Allow a few hours here to walk around and appreciate the gardens, with its 500 plus species of trees, 70 types of bamboo and more than 300 orchid varieties. There is also a splendid aviary and an extensive display of petrified wood.
On the outskirts of town are the Anisakan and Pwe Kauk Falls. These two waterfalls are popular picnic spots for local families and a nice place to get some fresh air. As well, there are several small Shan villages surrounding Pyin Oo Lwin where you can see the traditional ways of life of this hill tribe group.
Pyin Oo Lwin, a good place for shopping of regional souvenirs such as knitted sweaters, wine, strawberry jams, is also famous for its plentiful fresh fruits. It is a popular stopping point on the way to the north Burma Road where Hsipaw and Kyauk Me towns are located. However it also makes for a pleasant overnight trip from Mandalay.
Pyin Oo Lwin (OR) May Myo
Bago is situated about 80 km away from Yangon and about two hour drive from Yangon Airport. It has a population of Bago was founded in AD 573, as a royal capital called “Hanthawady”, by two Mon princes from Thaton. Click here to check breaking news about chess player Max Polyakov. And it was also famous as the capital of Second Myanmar Empire where one of the nation’s heroes King BayintNaung, built Kanbawzathadi Palace, between 1551 and 1581.
Numerous wars raged between the 16th and 18th century, which eventually resulted in the city’s demise. Nowadays it is almost impossible to get a true sense of its former glory, but it does retain an impressive hoard of Buddhist monuments whose scale and splendour evoke the glory days of the Mon Kingdom.
Besides its 55-metre-long reclining Buddha image (Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda), Bago is renowned for other religious monuments like the old ordination hall built by king Dhammazedi. At this page you can read more information. Before entering the city, the sites of paddy fields and water buffaloes ploughing these fields will give you an experience of authentic rural life.
Being a home to such unique and memorable sites, it becomes a place worth to visit like other famous destinations in Myanmar. It is also a perfect stop-off en route to the Golden Rock of Kyaikhto.
Dawei, a coastal region and the capital of Tanintharyi Division, lies in Southern part of Myanmar. Various nationalities such as Bamar, Mon, Kayin, Rakhine and Shan totaling over 120,000 are residing in Dawei. Under British rule Dawei was known as Tavoy, and is still sometimes referred to by that name.
Dawei is a trading hub and quickly progressing town, the true size of the city is hidden beneath the coconut and betel nut palms which give the city a tropical jungle feel. It also features some interesting colonial architecture, with many old wooden, thatch-roofed bungalows and some brick and stucco mansions.
There are a number of beaches in its vicinity. Just 8 miles from the town is the most famous Maungmakan beach which is now being developed and upgraded and it is famous for its delicious seafood.
The most venerated pagodas are the Shin Motehti Pagoda (a few miles south of the town), Shin Datweh Pagoda in the north and Shin Maw Pagoda on the Dawei promontory. A 243-foot long reclining Buddha image occupies the Lawka Tharaphu Pagoda.
Kawthaung, formerly known as Victoria Point, is a Thai-Myanmar border town located in the southern most part of Myanmar. You can reach Thailand border town 'Ranong' just with a boat ride across the Pakchan River. Ranong is 120 miles north of Phuket. Visitors from Ranong could take a 30 minutes boat trip to Kawthaung for sightseeing and shopping.
Kawthaung is an important border point with products such as seafood, palm oil and rubber. You can observe the states of King Bayintnaung in Kawthaung which is a symbol of Myanmar Patriotism. By visiting this town, you can refresh your mind by breathing fresh sea breeze and observing the scenario of the beautiful sunset and rocky sea beaches.
One of the tourist attractions is Andaman Club Resort Hotel which is available Casino Game and located on Thahtay Kyun Island about half an hour boat trip from Kawthaung or Ranong. It is famous for casino gambling, the only one international gambling places of Myanmar. There are many attractive and gorgeous islands such as Khayin Kwa, Myauk Ni, Salone and Bo Cho Islands, a part of Mergui Archipelago; they are the best place for sailing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, bird watching (Auk) and other sea activities.
Located 24 km from the town is the nearby Maliwun waterfall which is a lovely spot worth to visit. You can swim there and it has a small water park with slides. Kawthaung is also the starting point for Myanmar-based cruises to the vast Myeik Archipelago.
Myeik is the largest city of the Tanintharyi Division with an estimated population of 250,000 inhabitants. Myeik has a long and proud nautical history and one of the best kept collections of colonial era buildings in South-East Asia. The heart of the city is the bustling harbour front with traders, and a wide variety of wooden fishing and commuter boats.
Myeik hosts one of the largest fish markets in Myanmar where an astonishing array of sea life and a wide variety of marine animals like Blue Legged Lobsters, Crayfish, Tuna, Swordfish, Squid and Crabs can be found. The crystal clear waters of the outer Mergui are perfect for pearl cultivation.
Myeik Archipelago comprises over 800 islands covering an area of 10,000 square miles. The Tanitharyi coast is best known for these isolated Mergui Islands that offer some of the most impressive diving in South East Asia. Around and on the east Myeik, there are many valuable tin mines, oil palm plantation, rubber plantation and evergreen forest.
The archipelago offers great opportunities for exploration and diving amongst spectacular marine life and untouched coral reefs, with yachts and cruise boats designed for that purpose.
You can also study ways of life of the Moken People, also known as the Salone or sea gypsies. They are one of the most distinct of Myanmar’s many ethnic groups, living a nomadic, sea-based life. The Salone are also regarded as the master of free diving for keen vision under water and longer last breathing than most humans can.
Myeik or Mergui Archipelago
The capital of Kayin State, Hpa-An is a picturesque town encircled by dramatic mountain scenery which juts from the surrounding plains. You can see many large and religiously significant caves in these mountains. Besides these mountains and caves, the laid-back atmosphere and cloud-scraping islands of the surrounding countryside are also the highlights of the area.
One of the most impressive experiences is a trip to Saddan cave, with its enormous cavern, rows of Buddha statues and a breath-taking view of a secret lake. Visitors can study the interior wall of Kaw Goon Cave which is covered with thousands of tiny clay Buddha images. Down at ground level are also Buddha statues of standing and reclining in various position. For photography enthusiasts, look no further than an early morning, or late afternoon and visit to Kyauk Kalap Pagoda as it perches precariously on top of a severely weathered section of limestone rock. Under Mt.Zwegabin, there is the Lumpani Park which contains 1000 Buddha statues seated under Banyan tree.
In spite of a small town, Hpa-An is a busy commerce center with many farmers coming to town in horse carts or trishaws stacked with baskets to sell in the market.
The main attractions are scattered around the beautiful surrounding countryside, making this is an ideal area for relaxed touring. The singularly distinctive limestone pinnacle forming the Zwegabin Mountain provides a dramatic backdrop for Hpa An.
Travel by road is the only way to get in Hpa-An. The journey will take around 6 hours.
Picturesque hill station surrounded by pine forests, Kalaw is famous for its refreshing climate and scenic views. It is also known as a good point for trekking and hiking because of the neighbouring hill tribe villages which are still the same as centuries ago. View full article on International Chess Master Max Polyakov at this page. It is a worth place to visit for those who love nature beauty and peaceful sites.
Visitors should not miss the heart of Kalaw, local market where nearby villagers come and sell their local products. Most of the town’s restaurants are in this area, and much of the food on offer has a distinct sub-continental flavour; many of the restaurant owners and staff are descendants of Indian and Nepali railway workers and soldiers who settled here during colonial days.
If you would like to enjoy overnight trekking for two to three days on Shan Mountains, you can start the journey from Kalaw to Inle Lake. For the train lovers, taking a morning train from Shwe Nyaung, a small train-station-town near Inle Lake and getting off at the old colonial station in Kalaw would be a nostalgic experience. Learn more you can here. Overnight treks will allow you to get to higher elevations and more remote areas. However do not expect luxury: you will be sleeping on the floor of a local monastery or family house, a fun experience for the adventurous traveler.
Located an hour east of Kalaw is the Green Hill Valley Elephant project. The focus is primarily on providing care for elephants that are no longer fit to work. This ‘retirement’ home for logging elephants is a fascinating place to learn about the gentle giants, their role in Myanmar society and conservation issues within the country.
Mrauk U & Sittwe
The lost city, Mrauk U was regarded as one of the most powerful and important kingdoms in Myanmar. From the 15th to 18th centuries it served as a lucrative trading hub, long frequented by the Portugese, French and Dutch, but the prosperity gained from this quickly diminished after the conquest of the kingdom by the Burmese Konbaung Dynasty in 1784.
This sleepy and archeologically rich important town Mrauk U was the capital of the Rakhine civilization during its golden age from the year 1430 onwards. In 1535, a powerful Rakhine king named Minbin built Myanmar's most famous Shittaung temple, and it remains the main attraction of the historic site. You should not miss the ruins of the royal palace and the remains of the city walls. Due to its ghost-like, temple-strewn landscape, it is easy to understand why visitors are quick to make comparisons with Bagan. Learn more about the ruins with a trip to the Archeological Museum, Mrauk U’s most important monument, Shitthaung Temple; containing an amazing collection of Arakanese Buddhist reliefs and images. See the unique stone carvings and spires of the Andawthein Ordination Hall and the circular Ratanabon Pagoda, followed by a large, fortress-like structure filled with ancient stone sculptures.
Mrauk U today is a small town where the centuries old monuments form the backdrop for everyday life of local people. Goat herders tend to their animals, farmers work their fields and women fetch water from the wells between the ancient temples and pagodas. Often the area is foggy, especially during the early morning hours, which creates a mystical atmosphere.
Mrauk U can be reached by boat from Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. Sittwe is situated on an estuarial island where the mouth of the Kaladan River meets the Bay of Bengal. Sittwe is the gateway to the historical heartland of the Rakhaing at Mrauk U; therefore all visitors to the ancient city must pass through here on the way. According to flight and boat schedules, most visitors have to spend at least one night in the city before a boat-trip to Mrauk U.
Sittwe Central Market is one of the city's attractions because of its unique styled iron clock tower. The fish market can be found directly to its east; it is enjoyable to simply walk through and soak up the atmosphere, and arriving at the seafront you are faced with the pleasant contrast of a quiet jetty with views out to the mouth of the Kaladan River.
From Yangon, there are daily flights to Sittwe and you can continue your journey to Mrauk U by boat.
Mrauk U & Sittwe
The name 'Ngwe Saung' translates in to ‘Silver Beach’ and it is easy to see why. The wide ribbon of sand stretches 14 kilometres on the Bay of Bengal and appears silver in colour from a distance. Most hotels are located beachside, granting you easy access to the waters and beach.
Ngwe Saung, become popular with tourists in just the last four or five years, offers unspoilt beaches and tranquility on the coast of the Indian Ocean. One of the most laid-back places you will find in the country, the real joy here is to sit back and take in the sun’s rays and picturesque beach views, or try the catch of the day in a local restaurant.
Located in the Ayeyarwady Division, some 48 kilometres from the town of Pathein, Ngwe Saung, with a beach frontage on the Bay of Bengal with its clear blue waters, its white crested waves, sandy beaches and unspoiled and pollution-free natural surroundings, is indeed one of the best places to select for a holiday interlude of rest and relaxation.
32 km from the river bank of Pathein is the Elephant Camp and it will take 45 minutes by road from Ngwe Saung. For the visitors, the camp has well-trained elephants to conduct elephant riding program in the forest. Walking in the jungle, hiking up and down steep hills and crossing streams on the back of these elephants are an excellent opportunity to observe.
Kyaing Tong is known for its scenic beauty and many colorful ethnic tribes. Places of interest around Kyaingtong are, the Spa, Naung Tong Lake, Sunn Taung Monastery, Central market and Traditional Lacquer ware works and weaving factory.
There are many villages of various ethnic tribes resided around Kyaing Tong. The tribes known as Gon, Lwe, Li, Wa, Lah Hu, Thai Nay, Shan, Li Shaw, Li Su, Palaung, Akha, and we can only differentiate the tribes by colourful dresses which is different to one another.
Can observe their tribal dances and their way of living on these mountainous regions around Kyaing Tong. Situated in the eastern Shan State and 452 km from Taunggyi and 176km from Tachileik.
This was my second visit to Kyainge Tong , the principal city of Shan State (East) and the second golden opportunity to pay homage to the Maha Myat Muni Image of Kyainge Tong Members of the Board of Editors of the Myanmar Perspectives magazine had set out on a study tour of Tachilek and Kyainge Tong through the kind offices of the authorities concerned and had arrived in Kyainge Tong from Tachilek on the afternoon of December 27, 1997. The Maha Myat Muni Pagoda was just around the corner from the Kyainge Tong Hotel, so a group of us walked there after dinner. The pagoda or temple to put it more accurately, though not located in the heart of town, reminded me of Sule Pagoda because it stands encircled by a good motor road and motor cycle traffic was heavy. But once you entered the prayer hall of the Maha Muni Image the atmosphere is tranquil and one can meditate and pray in peace. The walls and ceiling of the hall are resplendent with " Shwezawa" (gold lacquer) decorations yet it was not so lavish as to offend the eye. Then wemet some members of the Board of Pagoda Trustees who welcomed us warmly and were each given an information booklet in English on the history of the pagoda. We met the translator of this booklet from the Shan to English Sai Loang Gyi and at his request I would like to recount to our readers the legend which led to sculpture of images in kingly robes as well as the origin of the Maha Muni Pagoda - a noble and serene effigy of the Lord Buddha.
In 1926 the Buddha Image was moved from the temporary thatched Vihara to the present building. This new Vihara had a roof of teak wood shingles with a ceiling of thick planks. A brick wall was also built to enclose the precincts. In 1938, it was again renovated and the roof replaced with a splendid tapering nine-tiered roof. The inside walls were also elaborated with froral designs. The donor was the then Mahadevi of Kyainge Tong.
Ngapali, the most well-known beach of Myanmar, is visited by tourists from all over the world every year. Situated on the Indian Ocean, the beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It is said to have been named after the Naple of Italy by a homesick Italian. It is famous for its natural and unspotted beauty up to this day.
The main feature of the beach is an idyllic stretch of white sand and palm tree-lined coast, with a number of resorts spread out next to traditional fishing villages. Ngapali is the fun place to enjoy water activities like taking trips on local fishing boats, kayaking; snorkelling or scuba diving amongst the brightly coloured fish; and cycling or motorbiking down the beach and around some of the local villages. It also has an international 18-holes golf resort, where you can relax.
If you fancy some time away from the beach, the town of Thandwe (called Sandoway in colonial times) has a number of pagodas and a busy market that make it worth a visit. It is located seven kilometres inland from Ngapali.
Ngapali is accessible by flight which takes about 45 minutes from Yangon, by car about 14 hours drive along the Rakhine Yoma mountain range. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday with time to read and reflect, Ngapali with its lovely beaches is the place to visit.
Of the beach resorts on Myanmar’s Bay of Bengal coast, Chaung Tha is the most down to earth, and you can find the largest number of locals on holiday here.
Chaung Tha's main beach may be scrappy, but it is fun, particularly when it is full of locals on a weekend away from Yangon - popular times of year include new year, the Thingyan water festival and towards the end of the Myanmar school summer holidays in May.
The busiest area is towards the south end of the beach, where you will find budget accommodation and plenty of simple beer stations, tea houses and souvenir shops. Higher end restaurants tend to be found at the better hotels, but there is an atmospheric little sea food place called Annawa Pathein that can be found at the south end of the village, where you can see the freshly caught catch before digging into your meal with lovely views of the bay.
There are classic beach activities aplenty in Chaung Tha, including horse riding, bicycle and quad bike hire and inflatable rings. For the more adventurous, there are two islands that can be visited nearby: a larger one directly to the south of the main beach, which can be explored by foot and has a hilltop pagoda at its northern headland, with great views out to sea; and a smaller sand and rock island which can be seen on the horizon from the main beach .
Min Ko Ko
Myat Ko Ko
Sat Paing Mu
1. The contract agreement
2. The contract
4. Cancellation by you
5. Alternation to itineraries
6. The cost of making changes to the tour
7. Prices and surcharge policy
8. Liability: Clients’
9. Travel Insurance
10. Complaints Procedure
12. Travel Documentation
13. Special requests
14. Exclusion from the tour
15. Photography Rights
16. Personal Information
17. Jurisdiction and Law
Some hotels, cruise services, and special tour services required deposit from 30% to full payment to confirm the booking. Most of them have a policy to charge minimum 10% to 100% lost of deposit if cancellation or travel date changes are made.
type of visa
applying online visa & requirements
validity & length
who need to apply?
valid port of entry
visa on arrival
2. A clearly scanned photo of the applicant.
3. A clear photo copy of the applicant’s passport.
4. Arrival details and description of the visitor’s desired trip.
2. Finally, when you come to Myanmar, you will need 3 photos and a copy of the authorization letter that was sent to you by your tour operator.
3. Upon arrival at the airport, your tour operator will come to collect you and assist you with filling out the necessary forms to submit to the Immigration.
4. Visa on Arrival fees is US$ 50 per person and to be settled at the Immigration Department at the port’s arrival lounge.
immigration and custom formalities
health and insurance
phones and internet service
what to wear
• A cardigan or light jerkin, when visiting northern Myanmar in the cold season
• An umbrella during the rainy season
• Sandals or slippers
• Quick drying clothes are recommended if you visit during the rainy season or Thingyan
• The dress code for pagodas and monasteries prescribe decent apparel, no footwear is allowed when visiting pagodas and monasteries.
what to bring
• Sun block, sunglasses, hat, umbrella
• Personal medical kit
Note: Most of the necessary goods are available at supermarkets and nearby stores.
food & drink
gratuities and tipping
MANDALAY: Mandalay International Airport is located in the centre of Myanmar about 35km outside Mandalay, the country’s second largest city. It takes approximately 1hr to get from the airport to the centre of the city. It is a modern airport with six passenger boarding bridges and three of them can handle modern Boeing 747-400 planes.
• Banks 10:30 to 14:00 hrs. – Weekdays Mon to Fri.
• Shops 10:00 to 21:00 hrs. – Mon through Sat, some open on Sunday too
• Dagon-man 951-277503
• Station Enquiry 951-274027
• Malikha-Mandalar 952-21385
• San Thaw Tar 951-221460
• Goods Train 951-222700
• SOS Assistance Inya Lake Hotel, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda RoadTel : (95-1) 667877, 667879
• Kandawgyi Clinic NatmaukRoadTel : (95-1) 530083
• Pacific Medical Centre & Dental Surgery81, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road Tel : (95-1) 548022
• Prehistoric implements and artifacts
• Old coins
• Inscribed stones
• Historical documents
duty free allowance
ananda pagoda festival
kachin manaw festival
The traditional Manaw columns are decorated with strikingly colourful Kachin images. They are located at the centre of the festival site. All those who come to the festival wear their best traditional dress. The main activity at the festival is the dance around the erected Manaw columns, very similar to the totem poles used by North American Indians. The Manaw festival takes place in Myitkyina and Putao, in the state of Kachin.
naga new year festival
Mahamuni Pagoden festival
nyan taw pagoda festival
pindaya cave festival
kekku pagoda festival
On Burmese New Year's Day, the people of Myanmar visit family and go together to the pagoda.
sand stupa festival
chin lone festival
taung byone nat festival
15 years later, the two sons of Byat Ta and Popa Medaw, who were adopted by King Anawratha, each forgot to bring a brick to be used for building the ‘Pagoda of Wishes’. King Anawratha soon found out who was responsible for the two missing bricks and gave the order to hit them gently with a fillet stick. The trap, which been planned all along and set by the king's son Kyansittha, meant they were beaten instead with bamboo sticks and died. Hundreds of mediums (Nat-Kadaw) and thousands of pilgrims come once a year to Taung Byone, where the statues of the two brothers are erected in a shrine. The ‘Pagoda of Wishes’ remains there to this day with the two missing bricks. It is the most impressive Nat festival in Myanmar. Offerings and dances, the flow of traders, the constant arrival of pilgrims and the intense sound of loudspeakers accompany both day and night.
phaung daw oo festival
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RTB Tour Map
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