Myanmar
Myanmar

Description Myanmar

08-05-2020 1.594 Views

Burma, renamed Myanmar, is a land that still remains secret and mysterious today. Myanmar is without a doubt one of the most fascinating countries in Southeast Asia.

Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia, bordered by India to the northwest, China to the northeast and Laos and Thailand to the east. This extraordinary country both by its culture and its reliefs reserves you many surprises. If you want to travel to Myanmar, there is something for everyone, from cultural circuits to sports circuits.

Although Myanmar has been opening its doors to travellers for some years now, it has nevertheless retained its deep authenticity. In the centre of the country, discover a country rich in culture, history, religion and geography. Indeed, you will discover the pagoda fields of Bagan, the unmissable city of Mandalay and the great royal cities of Mingun and Sagaing. The west of the country is more reserved for relaxation: white sandy beaches, turquoise water, coconut trees and Bay of Bengal. To the south, discover the incredible capital, Rangoon and its extraordinary pagodas, without forgetting to take the road towards the famous Golden Rock that will amaze you.

You will also discover markets where the profusion of colors rivals that of the most subtle perfumes; you will meet a mosaic of ethnic groups with ever-living traditions; the wonderful landscapes of Inlé Lake are still the setting of a traditional life, between trap fishing and floating gardens.

Myanmar is a world out of time, where sincerity, hospitality and kindness punctuate the life of the locals, a world that will awaken your curiosity and leave you with wonderful memories in mind.

Have a nice trip to Myanmar !


EXTENSION TO THE GOLDEN ROCK

The gem of Myanmar
Discovery of the four great statues of the Pagoda Kyaikpun (Peyathonzou) Kyaiktiyo Gold Rock discovery Visit of the former Royal Capital Môn Visit of the beautiful Shwemawdaw Pagoda
  • Myanmar
  • 2 Days 1 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

EXTENSION TO BAGO

Discover the former royal capital of Môns
Visit of Hlawga Wildlife Park Discover the 4 great statues of the pagodas Kyaikpun, Shwethalyaung and Shwemawdaw Visit of Kyatkatwine Monastery
  • Myanmar
  • 1 Days 0 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

EXTENSION TO THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Explore the unknown side of Burma
In the middle of the Golden Triangle, there is a crossroads of migration from China, South Kengtung, one of the most beautiful towns in Shan state, it is the gateway to a region inhabited by ethnic groups Wa, Akha, Lahu ... This extension, including trekking or easy ballades far from the beaten tracks, is approachable to every person who can normally move.
  • Myanmar
  • 3 Days 2 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

Extension to Arakan

The different faces of Myanmar
In the west of Myanmar, in the province of Arakan, the ruins of the ancient medieval city of Mrauk U, later archeological site and less known than Bagan, but which deserves the detour when the season allows it.
  • Myanmar
  • 4 Days 3 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

Extension to Ngapali beach

Relaxation and sunbathing
Relax at beautiful beaches in Myanmar
  • Myanmar
  • 3 Days 2 Nights
  • Over the water

GOLDEN BURMA

Discover Myanmar treasures
This tour will take you to the most beautiful places of Myanmar : first in Yangon, the capital of the famous pagodas, then Mandalay, ancient capital with rich cultural heritage. You will also see Mount Popa, an amazing sacred mountain constituting an important pilgrimage site, as well as the wonderful site of Bagan and its thousand and one pagodas. You will then discover the famous eight thousand Buddhas caves of Pindaya, then make an excursion to Inle Lake before returning to Yangon.
  • Myanmar
  • 10 Days 9 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

MYANMAR AS YOU WISH

Fear ruins pleasure, so let's get rid of it
To discover Myanmar without worrying about technical problems. Hotels, transfers and domestic flights booked, you can enjoy your trip and be free to explore the land of golden Myanmar.
  • Myanmar
  • 11 Days 10 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

MYANMAR DREAMS

With peace of mind
This trip shows very comprehensive, one by one, witnesses of a long glorious part, strung along the legendary Irrawaddy, before turning to the Inle Lake, in the lush green mountains of the Shan Plateau. A succession of magical moments, illuminated by the golden pagodas and Myanmar smiles.
  • Myanmar
  • 13 Days 12 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

IN THE HEART OF MYANMAR

Moments of history
The dazzling golden domes of the pagodas and Pagan temples evoke the rich hours of Myanmar, a very preserved country. From the Irrawaddy Delta to the shores of Inle Lake, each step is a moment of grace.
  • Myanmar
  • 12 Days 11 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

FASCINATING MYANMAR

And everything is revealed to you
Myanmar formerly known as Burma is one of the few truly original travel experiences remaining in this much-traveled world. Decades of isolation have preserved many of the traditional features that have been lost in other Asian countries. Fascinating Myanmar is a carefully designed single-country program giving an in depth picture of the wealth of cultural and scenic attractions this country has to offer.
  • Myanmar
  • 20 Days 19 Nights
  • Classic & cultural
Culture
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POPULATION :
 

The Burmese culture was influenced by Buddhism as well as by the Mon people. Its culture is very similar to that of its neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.

Myanmar is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, with more than 130 different ethnic minorities, grouped into 7 national «races»: the Shans, the Mons, the Karens, the Karenni, the Chins, the Kachin and the Arakanais.

RELIGION :

85% of Burmese are Buddhists. They practice the so-called Theravada school (or "Little Vehicle"), the traditional form of Buddhism corresponding to the first teachings of Buddha Sakyamuni. There are about 250,000 monks in Myanmar.

 

Beyond this traditional Buddhism, many forms of shamanism still exist between jungles and mountains of Myanmar. The belief in spirits called "Nats" is the most widespread. This animistic cult, coming from India, consists in uniting with the spirits of the mountains, lakes or forests by sacrifices and offerings.

CUSTOMS :

  • One of the Burmese specialties is traditional dance. Indeed, this tradition occupies an important place in the Nat celebrations. The Burmese dances, very typical, are solo dances of women dressed in long dresses high in color and that they project in the air with the help of their heels.
  • Also know that respect for the elders is at the heart of the culture, so pay attention to your behavior towards them.
  • Remember to take off your shoes and socks when you go into a temple or home.
  • Women must keep a certain distance from monks on sacred sites. In addition, you should not shake the hand of a monk and one must not give food to a monk after noon.
  • To finish the few rules of manners, you do not sit back to a Buddha and it is very badly perceived to point your feet in his direction.
THE FOOD :
 

The Burmese cuisine is a mixture of different cultures: it was inspired by Indian and Chinese cuisine but also by its local ethnicities. This cuisine is based on rice, like many Asian countries, whether served with vegetables, fish, shrimp, poultry or sheep. Often, you will find your meal accompanied by a soup.

To finish your meal, you will be served a variety of fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, strawberries, pineapples and coconuts. A thousand and one flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.

Here are some of Burmese specialties :

  • Laphet Thoke: this is a traditional Burmese salad. This salad is composed of fermented tea leaves accompanied by garlic cloves, tomatoes, peanuts, grilled sesame and dried shrimp.
  • Aung le pine: mix of various shellfish and crustaceans.
  • Shan noodles: wheat noodles or rice noodles with grilled chicken and peanuts. This dish is very common in Myanmar.
  • Mohinga: this is the Burmese national dish. Delicious fish soup with vermicelli, served with cilantro, ginger, eggs, onions, lemongrass and peppers. It is a spicy but delicious dish, test it!
  • Fried noodles: fried noodles with vegetables and a fried egg.
  • Kakatik: fish in sauce.
  • Ohn no khaukswe: noodles with chicken and coconut sauce.
  • Seikhtar hin: sheep curry.
  • Sanwin-ma-kin: egg cakes, semolina and coconut.
Before leaving
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PASSPORT & VISA
  • In order to enter the Burmese territory, you must be provided with a valid passport and still valid for 6 months from your date of entry into Burma. Your passport must have at least three blank pages.
  • The visa is mandatory to return to Burmese lands for French, Belgian and Swiss nationals (for other nationalities, do not hesitate to contact us for more information).
  • Burma no longer issues a tourist visa upon arrival at the airport, so you will have to apply either to the Burmese Embassy in Paris or on the Internet.
  • The embassy of Burma in Paris can issue you a tourist visa for a period of 28 consecutive days after study of your file (it must be complete if you want to get the visa for Myanmar).
  • Since September 2014, it is now possible to apply online (e-visa) on the website dedicated to the issuance of a Burmese visa. This procedure is valid for tourist visas (tourist visa, validity 28 days) or business (business visa, validity 70 days), and the period of instruction of the application is three days. The visa is then issued at the time of arrival, but entry into the territory must be made by air.
  • Since April 2018, an express procedure has been opened for tourist visas only. The visa has a duration of 28 days and is valid for 90 days. This procedure allows you to get the visa in 24 hours; the price is a little higher (US $ 56).
HEALTH AND VACCINES
  • No vaccination is required for Burma. Note that for travelers from countries where yellow fever is present, the vaccine is mandatory in this case.
  • However, some vaccinations are recommended: make sure you are up to date in your usual vaccinations (including diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis (DTP), rubella, mumps and measles in children).
  • We strongly advise you to make an appointment with your doctor, or with a vaccination center, because in some cases the vaccine against hepatitis A may be recommended for a stay in Burma. Depending on the conditions of your stay, vaccinations against hepatitis B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and typhoid can be advised by your doctor.
  • It is important to protect yourself from malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. For more information, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. Make sure you do not forget about anti-snake repellents for your comfort.
  • We also advise you to provide a small pharmacy kit with some basic products, this will be very useful in case of first aid.
CLIMATE
  • Myanmar lives to the rhythm of 3 seasons:
  • From June to October, the monsoon season where you will find permanent rains in Rangoon throughout the months of July and August. It is at this time that the Burmese coast can experience cyclones, so we advise you not to travel at this time, despite the fact that the center of the country is drier.
  • The season from November to February is the best time to travel to the heart of Myanmar. Indeed, it is a dry season, always sunny without the temperatures being excessive.
  • The months of March, April and May define the hot season, temperatures can sometimes climb beyond 40 °. In Bagan and Mandalay, it is sometimes very difficult to withstand the heat, which is why there are many fewer tourists and hotels are cheaper at this time compared to the rest of the year.
  • Note however that whatever the time of the year, it can snow above 3 800 m altitude.
INSURANCE
 
All travelers have the obligation to take out an insurance policy for their trip before participating in our tours. In order to cope with hospitalization costs and sometimes very high health expenses abroad, it is highly recommended to have an assistance contract or insurance to cover all medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization ...) and medical repatriation, at the risk of not having access to care, including in the event of a vital emergency. These costs can not be supported by the embassy or consulates general of France on the spot.
 
MONEY 
 
Be sure to ask your bank about the use of your credit card and the fees for using it. Travel options exist, so consider traveling at no extra cost.
 
ELECTRICITY 
 
The voltage is 220 volts, the same as in France, but you can find plugs of different models. Take a universal adapter with you. Also know that in Burma power cuts are quite common, so remember to bring a flashlight.

On the spot
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THE NATIONAL CURRENCY: the kyat (MMK)
  • Kyat is the official currency in Burma.
  • Note that only new, untainted, undisclosed and unfolded tickets will be accepted for change in the local currency.
  • This currency only gathers notes and no coins. You can find tickets for 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5,000 and 10,000.
  • The current exchange rate is 1 EUR = 1,700 MMK (and 1 USD = 1,470 MMK).
PHONE 
  • To call Burma from France dial 00 95 + city code (without the 0) + number of the correspondent.
  • To call France from Burma, dial 00 33 + number of the correspondent (without the 0).
BANKS
  • You will find many vending machines in the big cities but also in small towns and sites frequented by tourists. Many banks and exchange offices will be at your disposal to allow you to change your euros without problem.
  • Withdrawals are capped at a certain amount, in Burma it is 300 000 kyat (about 300 euros).
  • However, plan enough cash on you and avoid the number of withdrawals too frequently, as you will be charged a commission (on the spot as well as by your bank).
INTERNET 
  • You will find an internet connection very easily in cybercafés, airports, shops, hotels and restaurants.
  • It is true that Internet connections are growing in Burma, but they are still of mediocre quality.
  • In the countryside, the connection is more restricted, but almost all hotels have their own Internet connection (sometimes the connection is very slow), but it is always possible to stay connected during your trip.
  • Be sure to think about disabling your "Cellular Data" on your mobile abroad to avoid the bad surprise of the bill when you return to France.
  • If you want to stay connected, you can also buy a prepaid local sim card and buy one of the packages offered by many operators in Burma (Telenor, MPT, MC Tel, Oredoo). Be careful though, because you will not be able to receive your messages and calls on your usual number.
THE WATER 
  • Be very careful about the water you drink. Never drink tap water, always drink bottled water and check that it is properly capped. It is necessary to be vigilant also with ice cubes, consume exclusively cubic ice cubes or with a cylindrical hole form in the middle.
TRANSPORT ON SITE
  • The car: all the vehicles used for our tours are modern and air-conditioned vehicles, which range from the classic car to the bus for 45 people.
  • The boat: between small local boats or collective boats, you can easily make cruises on the Irrawady. You will also frequently take the boat when you are at Inle Lake.
  • Airplanes: Given the size of the country and the state of some roads, you can fly regularly during your trip. The different companies in Burma are: Yangon Airways, Air Bagan, Asia Wings. Note that sometimes you will face delays or cancellations of flights.
SOME USEFUL WORDS
  • Hello / Good evening: Mingalarbar
  • Goodbye: Tat tar
  • Sorry: Ngar taung pan par deh
  • Welcome: Gyo so bar deh
  • Thanks (a lot): Jay zu tin bar deh
  • I do not understand: Ngar nar ma lae bou
  • Yes / No: Hoe tale / ma hoe bou
  • No thanks: My yu tot bou. Jay zu bae
  • Nothing: Ya bar deh
  • How much is it ? : Dar bé lao lè?
  • I would like to buy ... this, this one: Ngar ... wal chin deh

Attractions
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Myanmar is one of the most enchanting countries in Southeast Asia. Indeed, through your visits, you will discover a country full of grandiose sites and new things to discover. To appreciate this serene country, you will discover religious monuments, vibrant cities, villages and many different populations. It will be a journey that will make you succumb to the charms of Myanmar!

THE ATTRACTIONS

Yangon

The Golden Rock

Sittwe

Mrauk U

Mandalay

Mount Popa

Temples of Bagan

Inle Lake

Hpo Win Caves

YANGON

Officially called Yangon since 1989, the city is the economic capital of Myanmar, as well as the largest in the country, with some 4.5 million inhabitants.

Founded by the Mons in the 6th century by the Mons, the city evolved from small village to capital of British Burma, then independent from 1853. Although since 2007 the capital has been moved to Naypyidaw, Yangon remains the emblematic city of the country, containing many important monuments and many traces of the colonial era.

The visits :

Shwedagon Pagoda: located on the Singuttara hill, the pagoda is in the middle of a religious ensemble as beautiful as the pagoda itself. With its 98m high stupa and covered with gold leaves, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most important religious centers of Burma. One does not stop there at the level of riches, since the arrow of the stupa also includes 1,065 golden bells, 420 silver bells, precious stones, thousands of diamonds and a 76 carat emerald. Its origin is estimated between the 6th and 10th centuries. The Gautama Buddha (the original Buddha) would be at the origin of its construction, and the pagoda would contain 8 of its hair, as well as relics of 4 ancient Buddhas, making the pagoda a very important place of pilgrimage in South East Asia.

The Bogyoke Market Aung San (Scott Market): large central market built in 1926 by the British, it differs from its counterparts in other Asian cities by its colonial architecture and its cobbled inner lanes. You will find a wide variety of shops selling everything, always in the special and endearing atmosphere of the markets in Asia.

The Buddha of Chaukhtatgyi: the temple is known to house a 66m long statue of Buddha, one of the largest in Myanmar and Asia.

Lake Inya: originally created by the British, this lake, north of the city centre, was the scene of some of the many fragments of the history of Burma and the city of Yangon. Today, it is a place of relaxation and walk surrounded by the richest district of the city, as well as the most beautiful residences of the country, such as that of Aung San Suu Kyi, that of the late president Ne Win, or that of the ambassador of the United States.

Kandawgyi Lake: also an artificial lake created by the British, this lake also has a nice setting for relaxation, surrounded by the Kandawgyi Park, the Rangoon Zoological Park, as well as decorated by the Karaweik, a replica of a royal barge, where you can dine in an enchanting setting!

The Sule Pagoda : located in the center of the economic capital, is said to be more than 2500 years old. It is important in the politics of the country because often chosen for demonstrations.

THE GOLDEN ROCK

6m diameter at 1,200 m altitude, the Golden Rock is located in the state of Mon, in the south of the country. This rock would have been placed there by two mats and would hold in balance thanks to a hair of Buddha. Covered by the small Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, the pilgrims gather there to cover it with gold leaves.

A high place of pilgrimage, the Golden Rock evokes the shaved head of a monk, a sign of his religious commitment. Unfortunately, as in other Asian countries, women cannot approach or touch it. Indeed, Buddhism keeps women away to preserve the purity of monks. Thus, a monk should meditate and fasting for several days if he were to be touched by a woman.

SITTWE

Located in the state of Arakan, Sittwe is an important port city of the country. With the British occupation, what was originally a small fishing village became an important trading platform. The British used it mainly for rice exports. Very close to India, the city today mixes Burmese, Bengalis and Chinese, which, unfortunately, is a source of conflict as in the rest of the country.

The visits :

Payagyi Pagoda: this pagoda contains a bronze Buddha statue of more than 8 tons.

Ahkyaib-daw Pagoda: high holy place, this pagoda would contain a piece of the Buddha’s jaw.

The Buddhist Museum: established in a monastery that has a superb collection of ancient Buddhist statues and votive tablets or terracotta pipes.

The Sittwe Fish Market: full of life from the first hours of the day, you will discover the heart of the city’s activity, before embarking on a small cruise on the Kaladan River.

MRAUK U

Located in the north of Arakan State, Mrauk U was previously the capital of the Arakan Kingdom. Beautiful town surrounded by green hills, Mrauk U is a treasure trove of history and culture, with its many temples and stupas, dating from the Arakan era. These numerous buildings most often mix the Hindu and Buddhist style, and resemble fortresses.

The visits :

Shitthaung Temple («Temple of Victory»): built in 1536 to commemorate the conquest of Bengal (territory located on India and Bangladesh today), this temple resembles a fortress with its 27 stupas in total, the main of which is 26m high.

Andaw-Thein Temple: built in 1515, this temple contains a sacred relic, a tooth of the Buddha from Sri Lanka. Its numerous stupas, characteristic of the site’s buildings, are all surmounted by an arrow representing a lotus flower.

The Dukkanthei temple: also called the Hukkanthein temple, it is a fortress-temple built in 1571. Built of sandstone and brick, it is a building of enormous proportions, 32 m long and resembling a real castle-fort.

Laymyetnha temple: first temple built in Mrauk U.

Ratanabon Pagoda: built in 1612, its name means «the pile of jewels». Indeed, legend has it that the king of Arakan and his wife hid a real treasure under this pagoda, although nothing could prove it to this day!

The Letkaukze and Bandola monasteries: these museums house a beautiful collection of ancient statues, which will give you the opportunity to see more about the art of the different civilizations of Myanmar.

MANDALAY

Burma’s last capital before the arrival of the British. Created by order of King Mindo in 1857, the former capital unfortunately suffered the numerous destruction of its original buildings and some of its monuments, despite the efforts of renovation and conservation. However, there are still traces of the splendour of the «city of jewels» of yesteryear to be discovered. Originally conceived as a metropolis of Buddhism, the city will unveil treasures among the most important religious monuments in the country.

The visits :

The Mahamuni Pagoda («Great Sage Pagoda»): this beautiful pagoda is an important place of pilgrimage, as well as one of the most revered in Burma. Solar, its golden roof is divided into 7 levels. The statue of Buddha Mahamuni which is exposed, is 4 m high, composed of more than 6 tons of bronze and about 3 tons of gold. It is 2,500 years old and is considered alive and is washed every day by monks and covered with gold leaves by pilgrims

The Shwenandaw Monastery: considered as one of the most important buildings of the city, it is actually a part of building that was part of the royal palace of the former capital of Amarapura. It was indeed moved by King Mindon who died there, then his son King Thibaw had it dismantled because he thought that the building was haunted. Finally, this part of the building was rebuilt as a monastery in honour of King Mindon and after the fire that completely destroyed the Royal Palace in 1945, became the only «original» building of the remaining royal palace.

Kuthodaw Pagoda: to see in Mandalay, this pagoda houses «the greatest book in the world». Indeed, the sacred Buddhist text of the Tipitaka is engraved on 729 marble steles, protected by small white stupas, in the middle of which the children play hide-and-seek.

Mandalay Hill: this hill is part of the legend of the city’s origins. Indeed, King Mindon had received a prophecy saying that he was destined to build a Buddhist metropolis there in honour of the 2,000th anniversary of religion. Thus, the royal palace of the former capital of Amarapura was moved to the future city at the foot of Mandalay hill. It is also an excellent vantage point over the whole city and the sunset.

Discovery of the manufacture of gold leaves used to cover statues.

MOUNT POPA

In the centre of Myanmar, on an ancient volcanic chimney, is the Taung Kalat Monastery, a high place of pilgrimage. The temple is indeed known as home to the 37 nats of Myanmar. In addition, the many natural advantages due to its position have allowed both flora and fauna to develop in the surroundings. It is even possible that you may see monkeys during your visit!

TEMPLES OF BAGAN

Bagan is a bit like “Angkor in Myanmar”, with over 2,200 monuments and temples (about 10,000 at its peak). It is 50 km2 of heritage on an incredible site, above which hot air balloons fly over the pagodas under the setting sun.

Located in the Mandaly region, the site was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom. Many earthquakes have damaged the site throughout its history, but thanks to donations, renovations and conservation efforts keep the site in good condition. Bagan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019.

INLE LAKE

Inle Lake is one of travelers’ favourite destinations in Myanmar! Indeed, it is a place with beautiful scenery and where life resumes its quiet course, with the water. With its 12,000 hectares, it is the second largest lake in Myanmar and a real treasure of fauna and flora. Indeed, recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 2015, the lake is home to many species, unfortunately more and more threatened by the increase of the population and the pollution of their environment.

Located in the mountains of Shan State in eastern Myanmar, Inle Lake is surrounded by 17 villages on stilts, whose inhabitants are devout Buddhists. There are more than a hundred pagodas and religious buildings in the vicinity of the lake.

The unique way to row of the fishermen from Inle Lake is to stand on one leg to allow them to see over the plants that populate the lake. The inhabitants have also developed a gardening technique using their environment. The fruits and vegetables are grown in floating gardens that rise and go down as the water level, making them extremely fertile.

HPO WIN CAVES

25 km from Monywa in the Sagaing region is a complex of 492 caves with approximately 2,600 Buddha statues and numerous wall paintings. Most of these caves would have been dug by man to make it a place of pilgrimage, between the 14th and 18th centuries.

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