Myanmar (Burma)

Map of MyanmarSee Myanmar while it is still unspoiled and authentic!

Planning Your Holiday

Before you start packing your bags, it is well worth reading stories about Myanmar in several of our newsletters: www.clubsanook.com/newsletters/. Myanmar's new openness has caused a virtual stampede of foreign visitors who no longer have to feel guilty about traveling there. This has put a good deal of stress on the tourism industry there and hotel rooms have been hard to come by lately. So our best advice to prospective visitors is to plan as far in advance as possible,

With nearly two decades of experience and inside knowledge, our attention to all of the details, and Myanmar's best local guides, you are sure to have a much more rewarding experience in Burma than if you spend your time attempting to deal with transportation, language and other logistics on your own.

Convenient Modular Programs

Whether you are a first time visitor to Myanmar or return guest. Purple Dragon offers all-inclusive travel programs to Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and beyond. Our Classic Yangon package is great for guests who have limited time but want a taste of Myanmar. These four packages, Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle lake, plus numerous optional side trips and other options. A luxury cruise between Mandalay and Bagan?  Absolutely!

Classic Yangon ▸ Our two-night introduction to Burma's colorful capital. In addition to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, you will see traditional markets, the National Museum and some of Indochina's loveliest colonial architecture. If you make advance arrangements you can even visit the country's School of Fine Arts.

Royal Mandalay ▸ A three-day, two-night tour of an exotic ancient kingdom. Mandalay is probably Myanmar's most colorful, most interesting city. We take you to monasteries, pagoda's and a magnificent palace as well as Amarapura, which was twice the capital when Burma was a kingdom. Or you may want to see Mingun, a massive, abandoned pagoda.

Bagan, Wonder of Asia ▸ One, two or three days in a breathtaking lost city. You can see Bagan as a one-day side trip from Yangon. However, there is so much to see that you will want to spend at least two days there. This ancient, abandoned metropolis of massive temples is vast and on the scale of AngkorWat, Borobudur and Khajuraho.

Shimmering Inle Lake ▸ Take a  three-day dip into the Shan States' great lake. Inle Lake's shores are dotted with ancient and colorful villages.

Grand Burma Tour ▸ This extended itinerary merely illustrates how you can combine the packages above to create a longer tour. We can customize this itinerary just about any way you like by adding other destinations and activities. To see the most you should plan to spend ten to fourteen days.

Custom Tour Options ▸  Choose from many options to make your visit to Myanmar everything you hoped for. Look here for many additional places to visit and transportation options.

Optional Side Trips

Purple Dragon has designed unique side trips that fit easily into your Myanmar itinerary:

Mandalay ▸ Mingun, Amarapura and Inwa are offered as optional add-ons in Myanmar's second largest city.

Mount Popa ▸ A day trip to one of Myanmar's most sacred sites can be added to your Bagan adventure.

Also see our Custom Tour Optionspage for plenty of additional suggestions and a suggested "Grand Burma" itinerary.

Gay Life in Myanmar

Gay and transgendered people in Myanmar are rarely openly apparent, except for spirit mediums who channel the energies of revered and feared nat spirits. You will likely not see people expressing their sexuality through dress or behavior. Ladyboys, commonly seen and tolerated across the border in Thailand, are virtually absent here. The government works hard to prevent the rise of a sex industry and to control nightlife which encourages this. It is common to see men holding hands as they stroll. Charming, yes, but they are probably not sisters.

There are no specifically gay nightlife venues in Myanmar. Cruising does take place and some nightlife venues provide social opportunities for gays and lesbians. Myanmar is not a place to visit with the expectation of a romantic encounter. That said, a cheerful smile and good humored flirtation are a great way to make new friends anywhere.

Visas

A visa is required to enter Myanmar. Visas are now easy to arrange online. You can read details on our Visas page.

Weather

Myanmar has three seasons: rainy, cool, and hot. The rainy season is from May to mid-October, with temperatures 25-30 centigrade. The cool season is from November to January. Average temperature swill be 20-24 degrees centigrade. The hot season is March through May, and average temperatures are 30-35 C.