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Hsipaw

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.

Hsipaw

Putao

Famous for its endemic bird species and rare orchid varieties, Putao is a small town surrounded by snow-capped mountains, freshwater streams and luscious forest. Putao is located in a valley near to the borders with Tibet and India. The Namlang River cuts through the town, the Himalayan Mountains loom in the far distance and rugged hills surround the town. It’s easy to imagine the tranquility of such a remote spot! Unique attractive place one is Hkakabo Razi, the highest mountain in South East Asia. The Namlang and Malikha Rivers are another playground for outdoor enthusiasts with clear water flowing at a moderate speed with a few fast stretches of rapids. In the calmer waters, bamboo rafting is a fantastic way to soak in the scenery and, for more of a thrill; white water rafting can be arranged. Due to the facts that there are hilly, snow-capped mountains, streams, rivers and luscious forest, visitor can try a range of adventurous excursions including trekking, mountaineering and white water rafting.   The limited number of Putao bound flights means that it is necessary to coordinate your plans around the dates available – that said, access is still not guaranteed as airlines will only operate if there are sufficient passenger numbers to justify flying. Arriving by plane, as road travel is not permitted for foreigners, you will be struck by the contrast in landscapes of Myanmar. The flight passes over dry zones, lush hills, winding rivers and lands just miles from the Himalayan Mountains. This is certainly a rewarding journey.
Putao

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

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.

Bago

Dawei

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.

Dawei

Kawthaung

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.

Kawthaung

Inle Lake

Roughly 20 kilometres long, Inle Lake is a silvery pool of outstanding beauty and inhabited by many different ethnic nationals of the area. Floating gardens filled with colourful flowers and various vegetables like tomatoes, beans and cucumbers are beautifully grown on the lake. Local villages and markets are always interesting. With the Shan mountain range in the background, both sunrise and sunset over the lake are truly enchanting moments. Aside from the breathtaking landscapes, it is also home to many ethnic groups including the predominate Intha, Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O, Danu, Kayah, Danaw and Bamar. Living in the surrounding hillsides and floating villages, the Intha are best known for their unique rowing technique with a single foot pushing the boat oar - a practice that's become one of the most sought-after photo opportunities on the lake. The Inthar and other lake residents are known for several cottage industries including silversmiths, blacksmiths, cigar rolling and weaving. The best time to visit Inle Lake is September and October. This is mainly because of the ceremonial Phaungdawoo Pagoda Festival, the most important event held there. The pagoda’s most revered images and relics are displayed on the grand golden Karaweik, a replica of the ancient royal barge, and are taken to several villages around the lake. It also features the famous Inle Boat Races, a spectacle that attracts travellers from near and far. Further away from the main part of Inle Lake, the stupa-covered hill of Indein, on the lake’s western shores, are of historical interest but also a fun boat trip. Hundreds of stone and stucco stupas fill the hill and the journey there takes you through a jungle-like canal. To the far south of the lake, around 2.5 hours from the top of the lake, the Pa-oh village of Sagar (also referred to as Samkar) has ancient stupas that are often ‘sunken’ under water. The town is also noted for its pottery and is interesting to explore on foot. If you are a nature lover, there are several species of birds and in the early morning is a good time to catch a variety of them soaring above. The hills surrounding the lake are ideal for trekking and half day or multi-day programs can be arranged to the Pa-Oh, Shan and Palaung villages in the highlands. As well biking around the lake shores is a fun way to explore as rice paddies, sugar cane fields and even a vineyard can be discovered amongst the local villages The best and common way of travelling to Inle Lake is by plane because all the other routes to the area are time-consuming. Heho is the entrance to the Inle Lake region, and all major airlines fly to this destination
Inle Lake

Myeik

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

Hpa-An

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.

Hpa-An

Mawlamyine

Mawlamyine or Moulmein as it was once known is located 300km southeast of Yangon and it is the fourth largest city in Myanmar. Not only was Mawlamyine the first British colonial capital (1826-1852), but it also features in the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, Mandalay. At this page you can find more info on Senior Research Fellow Max Polyakov. It reads, “By the old Moulmein, pagoda lookin’ lazy at the sea, there’s a Burma girl a-settin’ and I know she thinks o’ me”.   Located at the mouth of the Thanlwin (Salween) River, Mawlamyine is the charming tropical capital of Mon State and one-time administrative centre of British Burma which has many old colonial buildings lining its quiet streets. It is also the major center of Mon culture.   Mawlamyine is an attractive and pleasant port with a ridge of hills on one side and the sea on the other. Its focal point is Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda which overlooks the town and offers great views of the surrounding area. Click here to view more facts. Other attractions that are of historical and cultural interest in Mawlamyine are St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, the Soorti Sunni Jamai Mosque and the abandoned, red brick St Matthew’s church.   30km away is the small town of Thanbuzayat, the terminus for the infamous Burma-Siam railway linking Thailand and Myanmar during the Japanese occupation. Dubbed the “Death Railway” by those who were forced to build it, many allied prisoners of war lost their lives here – whilst emotional, a trip to the 3,771 graves at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery is well-worthwhile.   Taking an enjoyable boat trip from Mawlamyine will bring you to Bilu Island where you can get around by motor-bike taxi (locally called tuk-tuk). The island, Bilu Kyaung or ‘Ogre Island’, makes for an excellent day trip with around 70 villages home to local cottage industries such as wood carving and pipe making. As cars are not allowed, you will need to travel by bike, horsecart or motorbike (tuk-tuk).   Mawlamyine is easily accessible by train or car from Yangon. Travel by car (around 5 hours) is more convenient.
Mawlamyine

kalaw

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.

Kalaw

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

ngwe saung

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.

Ngwe Saung

Kyaig Tong

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.

Kyaig Tong

ngapali

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.

Ngapali

chaung tha

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 .

Chaung Tha

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Booking procedure

After we have received your acceptance of the itinerary, price, and payment procedure, we will make necessary arrangements that normally take about three working days. We will then send to you the confirmation or the availability of the services that you want us to make arrangements.

1. The contract agreement

When you make your booking, you must complete a booking form accepting on behalf or all your party the terms of these booking conditions. By sending the booking form (and paying the deposit if needed – subject to clause 3) you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the following terms and conditions. All persons named on the booking form shall be referred to collectively as either “the client(s)” or “you”. If the booking is made through a travel agent, all communications from the company will be with the agent who acts as agent for the client in regard to all communications from the company to the client.

2. The contract

No contract will exist between the company and the client until the specified deposit (if needed – subject to clause 3) has been paid and the client’s booking made on the booking form has been confirmed in writing by the company with ‘confirmation invoice’

3. Payment

Before you make a booking with the company, you will be informed if a payment is needed. Depending on the type of hotels and the kind of tour services you use1 we will let you know whether you will need to wire a certain amount of deposit or not. In most cases, we accept the full payment of the tour cost upon your arrival to Myanmar. In some cases, we might ask you to wire the full amount of tour cost no later than 60 to 180 days prior to your arrival date to Myanmar. If the client(s) fails to deposit the required amount, the company may treat the booking as being cancelled by the client. All monies paid by the client to a travel agent under or in contemplation of a contact with the company are held by the travel agent on behalf of the client until such time as the company issues a confirmation invoice in acceptance of the booking. Thereafter, the travel agent holds the client’s money as agents of the company until such time as payment is required by the company

4. Cancellation by you

Cancellation of a booking must be made in writing, by the person who completed the booking form, and is not effective until such cancellation is received by the company. As the company is dealing with several hotels and transportation or tour services, the company will have to practice the same cancellation policies of such hotels and services. Some hotels and cruise services required full payment upon confirmation of the service and have a policy to pay from 10% to lose of full payment if cancelled less than 60-days prior to the commencement of the services. In such case, the company will try the best to negotiate to get the maximum possible amount of refund. The company will not take any advantages or the administration charges except the actual expenses levied if a cancellation is needed by the client(s).

5. Alternation to itineraries

All itineraries operated by the company are the suggested only. It is unlikely that the company will have to make any changes to the client’s suggested tour, but the arrangements are planned many moths or weeks in advance. Occasionally changes may be made, which the company reserves the right to do at any time. Most of these changes are minor and the company will endeavor to advise the client of them at the earliest possible date. When a major change becomes necessary, notification of such alternations will be sent to the client’s agent or to the client’s last known address as soon as the company becomes aware. If a major change to an itinerary is necessary prior to commencement of the tour, the client will have the choice of either accepting the change of arrangements, and taking another best available tour from the company, or canceling the tour and receiving a full refund. However the company reserves the right to alter itineraries after departure, without payment of compensation or a refund if it is in the interest of the client to do so. Furthermore, compensation or a refund is not available if the company is forced to cancel or in any way change the tour due to force majeure, namely war, riot, civil strife, political unrest, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions or other material or external circumstances beyond the company’s control.

6. The cost of making changes to the tour

If a client needs to change the confirmed arrangements, any additional cost incurred by the company will be levied. Most hotels and some transportation services do not accept the changes 60-days (a few up to 180-days) prior to the commencement of the service, and these changes will be treated as cancellation to the confirmed arrangement. In such case, the company will try best to negotiate with the service provider to obtain the best possible result. The company will not take any advantages or the administration charges for making changes to the tour except the actual cost claimed by the hotels, third party tour service providers and transportation services.

7. Prices and surcharge policy

After we have confirmed your booking by issuing our ‘confirmation invoice’ i.e. the prices for the arrangements in Myanmar, you will be fully guaranteed and will not be subject to any surcharges. However, the company reserves the right to alter the price if the company need to do so to reflect the changes in factors relating to the increases in transportation costs such as fuel surcharges for domestic flights, sightseeing/transfer cars, and sightseeing/transfer boats that are beyond the company’s control. However, the company will make fullest endeavor to keep up the original arrangements as agreed upon to the best of its capacity and upon the satisfaction of the client.

8. Liability: Clients’

bookings are accepted on the understanding that they appreciate the possible inherent in any cultural, trek, safari, adventure tours and travels provided by the company at their own volition. The company acts as the agent for the client(s) in regard to travel whether by rail services, motor-coach, boat, airplane or by any other means of transport and assume no liability for any loss, injury or damage sustained by the client(s) including those occurring outside touring programs. The company accepts no responsibilities for losses or additional expenses due to accident, delay, sickness, weather, strike or other causes beyond the company’s control

9. Travel Insurance

Although travel insurance is not mandatory, we would highly recommend arranging his or her insurance with a reputable insurer, with protection for the full duration of the tour, to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and the expenses associated with cancellation or curtailment of a tour. If a client becomes ill, all hospital expenses, doctor’s fees and repatriation costs are the client’s responsibilities and the company shall not be liable for any refund of the tour cost.

10. Complaints Procedure

If the client has a problem during the tour, the client should inform the relevant local suppliers, or tour leader or local tour guide immediately who will endeavor to put things right. If the client’s complaint cannot be completely resolved locally, the client must wire toYangon Head office within 28-days of the completion of the tour.

11. Information

Information given in all brochures, leaflets, advertising, and during itinerary planning is given in good faith by the company, and is based on the latest information available at the date of release. The company reserves the right to change any of the facilities or vehicles described in any of our printed materials without becoming liable for compensation or refund.

12. Travel Documentation

It is the responsibility of the client to be in possession of a valid passport, visa permits and other medical certificates in time as required for the whole of the tour. The company doesn’t accept responsibility for changes in regulations for visas or any particular requirements for visas. The company cannot be held responsible for the failure of the client to obtain the necessary visas.

13. Special requests

All the special requirements that the client may need during the tour must be advised in writing to the company when the client make a booking. The company will attempt to provide the client’s special requirements, however, these cannot always be provided

14. Exclusion from the tour

The Company shall not be responsible for or be liable to any client who commits an illegal or unlawful act in Myanmar. He or she may be excluded from the tour, without any refund of the tour fare.

15. Photography Rights

Clients must be aware that our authorized tour leader and representatives may take photographs and files of our clients whilst on any of the tours which the company reserves the right to use such material for any advertising or brochure production without obtaining further consent. The company also reserves the right to use any comments clients make regarding the tours on any questionnaires or complimentary letters, to use in future promotional literature.

16. Personal Information

The client acknowledges that he/she will provide Road To Burma from time to time with information about the client of a personal nature (personal information). The client consents to Road To Burma using any personal information for the purpose of making and completing airline bookings and travel related arrangements on behalf of the client.

17. Jurisdiction and Law

All disputes, claims and litigation regarding the services shall first be settled by way of negotiation and mutual understanding. In the event such effort would fail, the contract shall be finally settled by laws and arbitrations of the Union of Myanmar

18. Interpretation

Headings are for convenience only and shall not affect the construction of any provision. Except where the context otherwise indicates, words denoting the singular include the plural and vice versa; words denoting persons include firms and corporations and vice versa.

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.

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visa information

Myanmar requires a visa for all foreigners visiting the country. It is valid for 28 days starting from the day you enter the country, three months from the date of issue. You can obtain a visa from Myanmar Embassies in the various countries. The international points of entry and exit Myanmar are Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport. Show your passport with valid entry visa, disembarkation card on arrival to the Immigration officer at the International Airport (Yangon or Mandalay).

passport

A valid passport with Entry visa is required for all tourists & businessmen, applicable at Myanmar Embassies and Consulate General Offices abroad.

general information

Myanmar requires a visa for all foreigners visiting the country. It is valid for 28 days starting from the day you enter the country, three months from the date of issue. You can obtain a visa from Myanmar Embassies in the various countries. The international points of entry and exit in Myanmar are Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport. A valid passport with Entry Visa is required of all visitors. A tourist visa allows a stay of 28 days, no extendible but visitors can make as overstay person up to 90 days and he or she will have to pay 3 USD per day for overstay. A business visa allows a stay of 70 days, extendible up to 6 months on a case by case basis(1st time extend up to 90 Days / 2nd time extend up to 90 Days, 3rd time extend up to 6 months) for single entry visa only. Visa on arrival is granted to both FITs and Package Tourists with the assistance of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Overland entry is permitted to Thai tourists with border pass and for third country tourists with visa at Tachileik, Three Pagoda pass, Myawaddy and Kawthaung check points along Myanmar-Thai Border; and Chinese tourists with border pass and third country tourists with visa at Lweje, Nam Kham, Muse, Kyukoke, Kwanlong, MongLar Myanmar-China Border along. Show your passport with valid entry visa, disembarkation card on arrival to the Immigration officer at the International Airport (Yangon or Mandalay).

type of visa

Tourist Visa – a single-entry visa for tourists

applying online visa & requirements

This is a 100% online process. No documents are required to be sent or mailed but need to fill up your passport details and personal details on the form. Round Trip flight tickets and JPEG format photo of you are needed to show for online visa.

visa fees

A JPEG format file of a recently taken photo of you. Please keep the image’s dimensions smaller than 150 pixels in width, and 150 pixels in height.

validity & length

The length of stay (and validity of visa). You must enter before the expiration of the visa. Tourist Visa – 28 days (valid for 90 days).

who need to apply?

Diplomatic and Official passport holders from ASEAN countries, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation do not need to apply visa as agreed by the existing bilateral consular agreements. The rest are required to apply visa

valid port of entry

Currently, entry into the Union of Myanmar for visitors with valid online-approved visas is limited to 2 ports – Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport.

visa online

“Visa Online” is a web-based entry visa application service. The website allows visitors to the Union of Myanmar to apply for their entry visas online, right from their home or work without having to appear at a consulate in person. Below is the step-by- step guide to applying for an entry visa online, and what to do after it’s been approved.

visa on arrival

When you plan to visit Myanmar, first of all, you should contact your tour operators for visas and other necessary matters. Some tour operators can provide you with Visa On Arrival (VOA). Before applying for VOA, one should submit the following requirements to the tour operator about 2 months before arrival to Myanmar.

requirements

1. A complete personal information form, available online.
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.

procedures

1. Once theses needs are met, your tour operator will carry out the rest of the procedures such as sending required information to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism. When approved from the Ministry, your tour operator will inform you and will send you the authorization letter from the authority via fax or email.
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

Your valuables (jewelry, electronic equipment, etc.) should be declared on your customs declaration form upon arrival. Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.

health and insurance

Health officials require certification of immunization against cholera, and against yellow fever if you have arrived within nine days after leaving or transiting an affected area. Proof of smallpox vaccination is no longer required. There are several hospitals and clinics in Yangon, some of which are under the Ministry of Health and some are privately owned. There is a wide range of variety in quality, expertise, expenses and services offered. The Pun Hlaing International Hospital is the first international hospital in Myanmar.

foreign currency

Foreigners are recommended to bring US Dollars into Myanmar because they are easily exchangeable for Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC) at authorized money changers, who can also exchange directly into Kyat. Euros may also be exchanged into FEC at authorized money changer. Please be warned that torn, dirty and stained notes might not be able to accept.

credit cards

Both tourists and business travelers holding an international Master Card, Visa, Maestro, Union Pay or Cirrus card are now able to withdraw money from ATMs in all major locations all around the country. For the time being we advise clients to count on their cards only as an emergency back-up. The exchange rates and the commission on foreign transactions vary, and the issues have been reported on the compatibility with all foreign banks. We would like to suggest keeping bringing sufficient cash for the duration of the trip just in case of any malfunctions.

myanmar currency

Myanmar Kyat is the national currency with denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000 available. At present, 1 US Dollar is worth approximately 1300 Myanmar Kyat. Previously it was possible to pay for most purchases in US Dollars, but as of October 2015, the government announced the revocation of foreign exchange licenses in a move that hopes to encourage the widespread use of Myanmar kyat as opposed to US dollars. Now you should expect to pay for all purchases using local currency. Even though most hotels accept cards, we would always recommend keeping enough money handy to cover any additional purchases at checkout.

travellerscheques

Traveller Cheques are not accepted at present.

electricity

When you plan to bring some electronic devices, make sure that these work with our Domestic power A.C 220 – 250V 50Hz. The Power Line is 440V.

phones and internet service

Local SIM cards are now available to purchase at the airport or local convenience stores for domestic calls only. International roaming is not widely accessible in Myanmar and we suggest you contact your local telecom provider for more information. International subscriber dialing is available at all major hotels although very expensive. Internet access is available in most major tourist areas as well as larger hotels, restaurants and airports. Connections are relatively slow by western standards and can be unstable from time to time. Myanmar International postal services delivering worldwide, mostly route through Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul. DHL is also available for express deliveries.

weather

Myanmar has a tropical Monsoon climate with three seasons, hot, rainy and cool. The coastal regions have an average temperature of 32 °C and northern region, considered the coolest an average temperature of 21 °C. The central areas are the driest, while Yangon and the coastal areas receive the most rain during the monsoon season. During the monsoon resorts and hotels at Ngapali Beach are closed. Mar - May - Hot Season; hot, humid Jun - Sep - Rainy Season; cloudy, humid Oct - Feb - Cool Season; mild, sunny Please note: The weather can be unpredictable in Asia and we suggest you carry an umbrella or raincoat with you.

vaccination

Most travelers will need vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and polio, as well as medications for malaria prophylaxis and travelers’ diarrhea. Other immunizations may be necessary depending upon the circumstances of the trip and the medical history of the traveler. Insect repellents are recommended, in conjunction with other measures to prevent mosquito bites. Before travelling, please ensure you have adequate protection against disease. Contact your doctor or health clinic for the latest medical advice on the vaccinations you need, no less than two months before your departure. Malaria is common in SE Asia and is mainly confined to remote and rural areas.

what to wear

• Light, casual cotton wear because of hot weather
• 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

• Insect repellent
• Sun block, sunglasses, hat, umbrella
• Personal medical kit
Note: Most of the necessary goods are available at supermarkets and nearby stores.

language

The majority of the people speak Myanmar (Burmese) and English is widely used.

left luggage

Our office (or your Yangon Hotel – if you are returning there) will be happy to store luggage or belongings which you do not need to take upcountry.

food & drink

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Myanmar. Bottled water is cheap and widely available. Some hotels provide it on a complimentary basis. Myanmar food is a mixture of Indian and Chinese cuisine, with curries, soups and rice as staples. The national dish is Mohinga, a fish broth with rice vermicelli, onion, garlic and lime that is served with fish cakes and fritters usually eaten for breakfast.

gratuities and tipping

Myanmar people are genuinely happy to help foreign visitors and don’t expect anything in return. But if your guide, driver or any other person during your trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.

airport facilities

YAGNON: Yangon International Airport is located 20 km from downtown Yangon. The Arrival Terminal is located separately from the Departure Terminal and the Domestic Terminal and simplified procedures ensure that on arrival and departure, international passengers are processed quickly through immigration and customs. The Yangon International Airport works 24 hours daily. 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
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.

limousine service

A Limousine Service Counter is located in the Arrival Hall. Major hotels provide transfer services; and taxis are also available. Passengers are advised not to use the services of touts for taxi or other services

business hours

• Government Offices 09:30 to 16:30 hrs. – Weekdays Mon to Fri.
• 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

driving

International Driving Permit required which must be presented to the authorities to endorse or issue a Visitor license.

domestic traveling

Domestic Flights The main tourist centers are located at a distance from Yangon, and it is convenient for visitors to travel by domestic flights. Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Asian Wings, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Mann Yadanarporn Airline are privately operated airlines flying throughout Myanmar. There is a 20 kilo limit for baggage per person and excess baggage fees may be charged. We suggest you leave items not needed upcountry in Yangon and collect them upon your return.

rail service

Yangon-Mandalay is the main rail link with four express trains running daily between Yangon and Mandalay. Furnished coaches (Cherry and Padauk) for a group of 4 or 8 persons are available. From Thazi on the Yangon- Mandalay line, a branch line runs to Shwenyaung (the nearest station to Inlay Lake) and to Taunggyi. From Mandalay, there are rail services to PyinOoLwin, Lashio, Monywa and Bagan. There is also a rail service from Yangon to Bagan which operate on alternate days.
• Dagon-man 951-277503
• Station Enquiry 951-274027
• Malikha-Mandalar 952-21385
• San Thaw Tar 951-221460
• Goods Train 951-222700

road transport

Most tourist sites are also accessible by road. There are 12 Highway Bus services running between Yangon and Mandalay using air-conditioned coaches. Traveling time is about 12 hours with brief stop via Nay Pyi Taw, Meikhtila. Limousine taxis and mini-buses are available in Yangon for sightseeing and up country tours.

inland waterways

Myanmar has many rivers and a large delta in which the Inland Water Transport operates a huge fleet of double and triple-decker boats. There is a regular service between Bhamaw and Mandalay and between Mandalay and Pyay (Prome) via Bagan.

medical treatment

If any tourist gets sick inspite of all the precautions, many hospitals can cater for foreigners medical needs. Some are as follows:
• 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

ticket confirmation

Make sure that you check your air ticket confirmation with respective airlines before you leave. Domestic, International and Offline air ticket centers are available in Yangon and can be communicated very easily. You can also check with your respective travel agents, so that they can arrange for your holiday in Myanmar as well as check up on your flight schedules. For further information you can view in the Airline Offices.

customs

Gems and jewelry purchased from authorized dealers (with vouchers) are allowed to be taken out. But antiques are not allowed to be taken out of the country. The following items are illegal to take out of the country:
• Prehistoric implements and artifacts
• Fossils
• Old coins
• Inscribed stones
• Historical documents

airport tax

The airport tax is US$ 10 for international passengers, payable in FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates). There is no airport tax on domestic flights.

duty free allowance

Two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars and half liter of perfume are allowed per person. Yangon Airport arrival hall has a selection of duty free shops with a full range of items at a good price.

insurance

Road To Burma Travel does everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, travel inevitably involves some risk and this should be recognized by holiday-makers. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and belongings should any problems occur, such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind. Please ensure you have adequate coverage for any adventure related activities.

ananda pagoda festival

The Ananda Pagoda Festival is held from 7 - 12 January. The entertainment includes Zats: A colourful round dance with singing, short and long theatre performances; Anyeints: open-air performances lasting several hours, during which comedians caricature current events. Traditional dances and popular films are shown in between. During the festival, there is also a popular market that takes place, where a variety of items and many local products are sold. An interesting feature of the festival is the caravan of ox carts on the grounds of the pagoda situated under the shade of trees. The most popular time to visit the festival is full moon day, on the 12th January

kachin manaw festival

Kachin is one of the states that hosts a wonderful festival known as Manaw. The Kachin, the mountain people or the ‘The Scottish People of Burma’ celebrate the Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. This festival has been held for more than three decades. The different versions of the Manaw festival celebrate the New Year, battle victories, the reunification of tribal groups and much more. Everyone in the town gets involved in the spiritual dance, in which people form a line one behind the other.
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

In Kham-Ti and the surrounding villages of Kham-Ti, the annual Naga New Year's Festival is held from 12 - 16 January. On 14 January, there is the opening ceremony of the Naga New Year Festival with various competitions and traditional sports, along with the coming together of the Naga subtribes. These were once feared warriors in their bright and exotic festival costumes, celebrating with rice wine and grilled meat and accompanied by ancient tribal dances and a loud drumbea.

Mahamuni Pagoden festival

The festival falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe and, as a rule, lasts for 14 days. Competitions are also held on the pagoda platform for the production of sticky rice (a delicacy in Myanmar). On the full moon day (11 February), a variety of incense sticks are lit in front of the Mahamuni pagoda. During these festivals, thousands of visitors make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni pagoda. The pagoda is always the centre of activities. On a full moon day it explodes with energy. Evening entertainment like Zats (a variety of dances, song and short theatre performances) and Anyeints. The event lasts for several hours. Comedians also poke fun at current events. The event is broken up by traditional dances and open-air films. During the day, Burmese snacks are sold on small stands.

nyan taw pagoda festival

Similar to other pagoda festivals. It is one of the most popular festivals in Maymyo. Shan and other ethnic groups descend from the hills during the festival, to visit the festival or to buy its products.

indawgyi festival

Located approximately 200 km from Myitkyina, approx. five hour drive to Indawgyi. The festival is celebrated every year over 10 days. One impressive feature is the two sandbanks, which appear from the lake just in front of the festival, allowing people to pass from the riverbank to the pagoda. The locals reserve a sandbank for the people. The second passage is meant for the gods. Shortly after the festival, both sandbanks disappear again into the water.

pindaya cave festival

During the festival at the Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Cave in Pindaya, thousands of believers besiege the cave to pay homage there. Hundreds of little stands offer delicious local food, Shan handicrafts, all types of ‘cheroots’ (Myanmar cigars), Shan umbrellas and much more. Diverse ethnic groups from across the Shan state visit the festival in their traditional costumes.

kekku pagoda festival

On the full moon day (12 March), the indigenous Pa-O come to give alms, dressed in their traditional black costumes. There is also a market during the festival days.

thingyan-festival

Before the Burmese New Year is celebrated, the four-days water festival is held. From morning to night, it is mostly young people who splash and pour water over one another, while elder people retreat into the monastery. There are copious celebrations for four days. People travel in open top cars through the city. There are many stages along the streets, where not only traditional dances are performed. Almost everything is closed during the festival days: restaurants, businesses, markets, museums etc.
On Burmese New Year's Day, the people of Myanmar visit family and go together to the pagoda.

popa festival

Nat dances on Mt. Popa. It is very crowded and difficult to get up the mountain.

sand stupa festival

Over the course of one night, stupas are built from sand in three different districts of Mandalay. A stupa consists of five parts which are positioned above one another and supported by bamboo mats and posts. Every district holds its building ceremony on a different date.

chin lone festival

The Chin Lone (a ball made of bamboo or rattan) tournament is held in Mandalay, on the site of the Mahamuni Pagoda. Players from all parts of the country take part in this event. The aim of this ball game is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible without using your hands. The players have had tremendous practice at this game and their acrobatics never cease to amaze onlookers. The games are accompanied by native music.

taung byone nat festival

The Taung Byone Nat or Spirit Festival is a very popular celebration, which is held during the rainy season (July-August). Taung Pyone is situated about one hour's drive north of Mandalay. The homage celebration is now held annually, to appease the spirits, as it is believed that the Nats can make wishes come true, protect against illness and danger and bring their worshippers wealth and success. According to legend, two Indian brothers named Byat Wi and Byat Ta received extraordinary powers after eating the body of a dead alchemist. Byat Wi, the older brother, lost his supernatural power after walking under a clothesline on which women’s skirts used in childbirth had been hung. He was captured and killed after his mistress had offered him a betel nut and a glass of water. Byat Ta was killed by King Anawrahta’s magical lance after returning late for the third time with fresh flowers from Mount Pop for the royal audience. As a result, his wife Popa Medaw died of a broken heart.
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

The most famous festival at Inle Lake. The images of Buddha from the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda are paraded around the lake on a ceremoniously decorated barge. They stop at every village to give believers the opportunity to pay homage. The festival is colourful and full of traditional influences. Traditional dances and boat races are held - there is something here for everyone. The festival normally lasts up to three weeks. For the programme of events for the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

elephant festival

This unique and exotic festival of dancing elephants is the annual high point of Kyaukse, which is located approximately 50 km south of Mandalay. The entire town takes part in the competition, in which it is not just about the best ‘elephant dance’, but also the most beautifully decorated ‘elephant’. As part of the dance, two men hide within a life-size elephant made from papier mâché and sing and dance while accompanied by music.

thadingyut festival

The Thandingyut or Festival of Lights is celebrated across the country. It begins one day before full moon and ends after three days. Houses and streets are beautifully illuminated. The nation’s pagodas are very crowded. It is not only a festival of joy, but also a time to give thanks to parents and teachers, and to ask those who you wronged during the year for forgiveness.

balloon festival

The Hot Air Balloon Festival is celebrated once a year on the second Festival of Lights after Buddhist Lent, and lasts for four days. Traditionally, it is the festival in which the natives pay homage at the Sulamani Temple by releasing decorative balloons towards the heavens. The paper balloons are between 4, 5 and 6m high, and are decorated on the outside with colourful lanterns made of cellophane. Lights are attached to the lanterns, giving the balloons a different pattern. The hot-air balloon rises quickly because of the flame heating the air inside the balloon - a 3 to 5m long trail with various fireworks being dragged along behind which constantly explode. Take a look at how the small children's balloons are made, along with the competition between the different groups, for whom it is all about the most beautifully decorated and the highest ascending balloon. For the programme of events for the Hot Air Balloon Festival

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RTB Tour Map


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