Jun 11, 2013

Hot Destination: Myanmar (Forbes Lifestyle)

Our hot destination at the moment is Myanmar. After a long period of inaccessibility, this once isolated nation at the cross roads to India and China has finally opened its doors to new frontier type travelers.

Myanmar is now easily reachable from London by flying via Bangkok with Thai Airways or from New York via Seoul with Korean Air. Alongside this, two modern internal airlines have upgraded and expanded their networks meaning that new destinations off the beaten track can now be reached; From mountain trekking and rafting in the far north, to world class diving and sailing amongst the 800 islands of the Mergui Archipelago in the south.

The hidden world of Myanmar is virtually untouched by mass tourism, with pristine white beaches, sparkling blue lakes, serene Buddhist architecture and vibrant cities. Spanning a rich and glorious heritage of over two thousand years, the ancient cities attest to a culture which is home to 125 different ethnic groups.


Start your trip in the bustling former capital of Yangon by exploring the Bogyoke Aung San Market to pick up textiles, antiques and precious stones, in particular Burmese rubies.

Take a hot air balloon at dawn over Bagan, and watch the gold robed monks starting their morning prayer sessions and look out over the dramatic landscapes of thousands of temples and pagodas. It is also worth spending time exploring the exquisite Stupas (Buddhist monuments) by horse and cart.

Take a trip to Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset as this golden Stupa is Myanmar’s most iconic structure. Take a guide and learn about the history of the unique architecture and incredibly rich heritage.

Visit the U Bein Bridge, a long and rickety bridge crossing the Taugthaman Lake. Here you can observe thousands of monks at the Mahagandayon Monastery. It is one of the most tranquil places on earth.

Visit the fascinating Loikaw Market to mingle amongst the hill tribes.

Take a trip to Kalaw, and hike through the lush jungle clad hills and pine forests stopping off in Shan State villages.

Take a journey from Mandalay to Bagan by boat, and you will see some of the most stunning scenery in the world.

Take your pick from one of the stunning beaches on the idyllic palm fringed stretch of coast, situated amongst the tiny fishing villages of the Andaman coast.

Take a visit to the floating villages and bustling local markets, and take in the beauty of Myanmar’s eastern Shan region.

Take a cooking lesson for a taster into typical Shan-style food.


The Governor’s Residence
The Governor’s Residence is an imposing Burmese mansion restored to its former imperial glory. Surrounded by a lush lotus garden, this hotel resumes the same style as when it was an official residence.

The Strand Yangon
Located on the banks of the Yangon River, The Strand is housed in a restored Victorian mansion that exudes history and grandeur.

Shangri-La Traders Yangon
This Shangri- La property dominates the skyline, offering fabulous views over Yangon.

Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
Bagan Thiripyistaya Sanctuary Resort is situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy, perfectly located for panoramic river views and glorious sunsets.

Inle Lake View Resort Hotel
The Inle Lake View Resort is a beautifully designed, boutique hotel on the shores of Inle Lake, built on 24 acres of gardens encompassed by trees and flowers.

What to Read Before You Go
Finding George Orwell in Burma, by Emma Larkin (2004), documents the year the American writer spent tracing the steps of Orwell, who lived in British-ruled Burma (Myanmar) in the 1920s.

Source: Forbes