The buttons below link to details of our visit to Myanmar. The gallery link takes you to photos of our trip and 'About' includes travel practicalities as well as a reading list.

Introduction Yangon to Mandalay Places - Bagan and InlePeople Crafts about Gallery

Vicky's blog has a lot more detail and colour. You can read the first episode here

We travelled with Panoramic Journeys.



Shwedagon spireMyanmar is still well known as Burma, an exotic country of teak forests, rivers and temples sandwiched between India and China. After years of isolation under a military junta it is now changing fast. Since 2011when military control was loosened the country has discovered ATMs, mobile phones, affordable cars and a rapidly growing number of tourists. Peak season is November to January and when we visit in November 2014 it is pretty busy. As the country becomes increasingly popular the authorities will have a challenge to preserve its beauty and charm.

This is a huge country stretching from Himalayan peaks in the far north to tropical forests on the Thai border. There is also a huge diversity of people with over 135 ethnic groups in the population of 60 million. The Bamar, or Burman, make up around 68% but on our travels we come across Shan, Palaung, Intha, Pa-O and Rakhaing. We visit six very different locations in our two week visit which gives us a great introduction to the country although there are still great areas that we are unable to visit.

Shan village house

Our trip starts in Yangon (Rangoon) before flying up to the Shan Plateau in the North East for some trekking around Hsipaw. We then take the train and a bus to Mandalay, crossing the amazing viaduct at Goktiek. After exploring Mandalay we take a river boat down the Ayeyarwadyto the temples of Bagan. A flight to Inle Lake and then another to Ngapali Beach on the Indian Ocean complete our trip.

Inle Lake fishermen

On our travels we take trains, planes, buses, boats, pony traps, and a motortrike taxi. Our lovely guide Ghi-Ghi ("gigi") tells us much about Myanmar ancient and modern and our meetings with local people, particularly in the Padaung village that we stay in for a night on our trek, gives us insights into village life. We see hundreds of stupas, pagodas and monasteries and learn about successive Burmese empires. This is an amazing country with a rich history and culture. The pages that follow give my impression in words and images of this rapidly changing country. On Tommy's request I also include a map showing the places we went below.

Village kids


Map of Myanmar