Still known to much of the world as Burma, South-East Asia's bad boy military government makes for a traveller's dilemma. On the one hand, the country has a collection of stunning Buddhist monuments, bucolic Asian countryside, and a capital irresistibly unsullied by tourism. But an angel on other shoulder speaks with the voice of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, democratically-elected leader, now political prisoner: don't come. Whether one's tourist dollars do harm by funding a brutal dictatorship, or bring help and exposure directly to the people is a matter of debate. Either way, a visit to Myanmar is a decision to be carefully considered - there is more at stake than just a vacation.
Classic Burma Adventure (ABCB)
As a relative newcomer to adventure travel, exploring the mysterious nation of Burma (also known as Myanmar) often feels like setting foot on a foreign, untouched planet. With few other travellers to contend with, the natural and man-made wonders of this underexplored part of South East Asia often feel like they’ve been placed here just for you. And what wonders they are: Inle Lake’s unique ‘floating gardens’, the staggering imperial ruins of ancient Bagan, the incomparable palaces of Mandalay and enveloping forests throughout. Unknown pleasures await – come find them.
Highlights: Explore intriguing Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, stroll Mandalay's temples, float down the Irrawaddy River, experience the ancient ruins of Bagan, relax at Inle Lake
Burma Adventure (ABBA)
After decades of controversy, friendly Burma (also known as Myanmar) is opening up to travellers, which means the adventurous can experience a curious nation unbiased by hordes of tourists. This 12-day adventure offers comfort level hotels and travel between sights by plane, boat and private buses or vans. Discover the floating gardens of Inle Lake, incredible ruins of ancient Bagan, ancient capitals around Mandalay and the refreshing hill station of Kalaw. Not all of Asia follows the same beat, join in Burma's unique rhythm.
Highlights: Enjoy connecting with Burmese culture by meeting local people, explore the pagodas and monasteries of this ancient land, visit a toddy farm and have a local lunch, step back in time at Bagan's archaeological zone, explore floating villages and daily life on tranquil Inle Lake