Burma (Myanmar) Tours

Travel to the Golden Land of Asia with Buffalo Tours

In 1898, poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling described Myanmar as "quite unlike any place you know about". Over a century later, after decades of seclusion from the outside world, Myanmar also known as Burma, has begun to open up. To the delight of most travellers, Myanmar still retains the same aura of mystery that once capitivated the famous wordsmith. Timeless, mysterious and utterly magical, Myanmar is one of the last remaining destinations in Asia that allows travellers to feel as though they have travelled back in time.

Explore the people, architecture, history and cultures that makes Myanmar unique. Wander vast landscapes dotted with ancient temples, visit vibrant cities that still swell with colonial charm and experience the uncommon warmth of the locals. In Asia's most enduringly idyllic nation, rediscover the thrill and colour of true adventure.

At Buffalo Tours, our expertly-crafted itineraries are designed to highlight those incredible historical destinations and cultural icons while offering unique opportunities for cultural connection. We can customise each of our tours to match your preferred travel period, touring needs and budget for an unforgettable journey.

As a top tour operator in Myanmar specialising in tailor-made travel, we craft our Myanmar tours packages to match your unique travel style. Click on any of our itineraries to get started in creating your tailor-made journey to Myanmar.

 

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Burma (Myanmar) Travel Guide

All essential information about Burma (Myanmar) that you’d need to know prior to your Burma (Myanmar) tour

When to visit Burma

Weather

Burma has a tropical Monsoon climate with three seasons: hot, rainy and cool. The hot season begins in March with temperatures climbing up to 36 °C plus humidex. This weather is perfect for a beach break along the southern coast, as well as a good time to venture to cooler northern regions

June ushers in the rainy season, which cools down temperatures slightly, but it is unadvisable to travel to Ngapali Beach as many resorts and hotels close during this period. Instead, head to the central areas which are the driest - Mandalay is a great destination during this season.

In terms of exploring Burma, the best time to visit is usually from November until February when the cool season begins. Temperatures are milder and more pleasant, although a bit further north in areas like Mandalay, it can reach as low as 10 °C. This season is perfect for discovering the temple-dotted plains of Bagan!

Please note: The weather can be unpredictable in Asia and we suggest you carry an umbrella or raincoat with you no matter which season you choose to travel.


Festivals and National Holidays

Burma has a large number of festivals and public holidays, either religious or politically significant. Many festivals are based upon the lunar calendar, and therefore, the date changes each year. Thingyan is the largest festival, preceding the Myanmar New Year. This five-day new years’ celebration begins in mid April, and is also known as the Water Festival. Water symbolises the cleansing of the past year’s sins, and is traditionally practiced by sprinkling it upon others. Nowadays, it’s become more of a water fight, as fire hoses, buckets, water balloons and water pistols shower the crowds!

Thadingyut, or the Festival of Lights, takes place towards the end of October and is the second biggest festival of the year. Held at the end of Buddhist lent, locals light up their homes with lanterns and candles to symbolically welcome Buddha’s descent from heaven. For three days, the streets fill with food stalls and performances of dance and music. Some regions set off fire crackers and balloons as well.

A second festival of lights occurs in November to celebrate the end of the rainy season, Tazaungdaing. This day is celebrated at major temples where robe weaving competitions are common, as makers work through the night creating specialty yellow robes. While being a country-wide festival, in certain regions like Inle Lake and the Shan state, hot air balloons filled with candles are released into the air to drive away evil spirits.

Other important holidays include:

  • Independence Day, 4 January
  • Union Day, 12 February
  • Magha Puja, 27 March

Top places to visit in Burma

Yangon

In a country more well known for its sleepy rural landscapes than its cities, Yangon offers a unique perspective into the urban life of Myanmar. Its fading colonial architecture, vibrant streets, fascinating historical sites and abundance of glorious temples make it  perfect for urban exploration. From the the hoards of newspaper stands, tea shops, and betel leaf vendors to the  curious and friendly traditionally-dressed locals, Yangon is bursting with culture, making it one of Southeast Asia's most unique and compelling cities.


 

Inle Lake

Sitting at about 900 metres above sea level, Inle Lake offers welcome respite from the stifling heat of lower areas in Myanmar. It's also the second largest lake in the country. Aside from the breathtaking mountain scenery, one of the most compelling reasons to visit Inle Lake is the unique culture and abundance of colourful ethnic communities living there. The largest ethnic group, the Intha people, are best known for their unique style of rowing. Inle Lake is said to be the only place in the world where this practice is done, and it is a large contributing factor to Inle Lake's repuation as being one of Asia's most photogenic places.  


Mandalay

Mandalay is the former royal capital of Myanmar, and the second largest city in the country. Surrounded by a giant moat with a Royal Palace at its centre, there are also the ancient capitals of Amarapura and Sagaing,  the ‘Leaning Tower of Ava’ in Inwa and the famously photogenic Ubien Bridge nearby. A bit further afield are partially excavated remains of the Pyu Ancient Cities, which date back to as early as 200 BCE. The allure of these sites, as well as the distinct local culture of Mandalay, combine to make it one of the country's best places to learn about and experience the fascinating cultural and historical heritage of Myanmar.


Bagan

Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Bagan was once a bustling capital city in the heart of the ancient Silk Road trading route between India and China. At its height the Kingdom of Pagan was one of Asia's most illustrious cities, a fact that's still apparent by some 2,200 religious structures, dating from the 9th to 13th centuries, that dot the horizon. Famous for its other-worldly sunrises and sunsets, Bagan is widely regarded to be one of the best places in Asia for both historical exploration and fantastic photo opportunities.

Top Things to Do in Burma

Hike Up to Golden Rock

Overlooking the small town of Kyaikhto, approximately 200km east of Yangon, is a gold-leaf covered granite boulder perched precariously on the edge of a mountain 1100 metres above sea level.  Golden Rock, or Kyaiktio Pagoda, is a one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. Believed by locals to be suspended on a single hair of Buddha, a ride or hike to the top is also thought to bring good fortune to those who do it. Although the Golden Rock is certainly impressive in its own right, for many, it's the religious fervour and colourfully dressed locals surrounding it that make the trip truly worth while.


Relax on the Coast

When travellers consider beach holidays in Southeast Asia, Myanmar isn't typically high on the list of options - and that's precisely what makes it so amazing. Due to being closed off from the outside world for decades, beaches dotting the coast of Myanmar remain some of the most unspoilt and undiscovered in all of Asia. With over two thousand kilometers of coastline, thousands of remote paradise islands, abundant clear water and unique cultural vibes, Myanmar may be the best place to go in Asia for beach lovers in search of peace and serenity. Venture to Ngapali Beach, Ngwe Saung or the Myeik Archipelago to discover an entirely different side of Myanmar and Asia.   


Float above Bagan

Discover the mystical majesty of Bagan with a bird's-eye view of thousands of pagodas while drifting over the dusty ancient kingdom in a hot air balloon at sunrise. The experience is widely considered to be one of the most thrilling in Asia while also promising to be a once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunity. For those looking to take home compelling photos of their adventure in Asia to show off to friends and family back home, a float over Bagan by hot air balloon is the ultimate experience.


Trek in Kalaw

A trek from Inle Lake to Kalaw crosses through some of the most picturesque rural scenery in Myanmar. Along the way, pass by tribal villages and meet friendly locals in areas rarely frequented by outsiders. While enjoying the famed hospitality of locals during charming homestay experiences, share laughter and a cup of tea or two before heading onward through narrow valleys and over rolling hills to experience one of the best outdoors adventures to be had in Myanmar.


 

Cruise Inle Lake

Experience the diverse and vibrant local life of Inle Lake, where inhabitants maintain centuries old traditions. Drift by the floating villages, temples and gardens, as you pedal along this immense lake. See the traditional blacksmiths working silver all, learn how to roll a cheroot cigar, one of the local delicacies of Burma. Rolled with a cheroot leaf and tobacco, these cigars also contain a variety of local herbs and spices and are an aromatic experience. Even non-smokers will be affixed watching women systematically roll hundreds with ease.


U-Bein Bridge

Take a walk across U-Bein bridge, the longest and oldest teak bridge in the world. A short trip from Mandalay, U-Bein spans over a kilometer across the shallow waters of Taungthaman Lake. Be sure to stroll over during sunset and admire the stupas scattered across the hills of Sagaing.

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