myanmar

Myanmar is, quite simply, Asia's hidden gem. This is a land with 2,500 years of history; where the men still wear traditional Longi's (skirts) and ox-carts and bicycles litter the streets. It is also a treasure trove of delights.

 

 Cave ShrinesFishermen on Inle LakeHot air balloon over the plains of BaganKyaikhtiyo Pagoda, The Golden RockLive Stock, BaganMonkU Bein Bridge, Amarapura

Wonder in awe at the 2,000 temples that make up Bagan, observe Buddhist rituals at the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, marvel at the fishermen's skill on Inle Lake and discover the country's best kept secret - Ngpali Beach. And for a reallateralescape, visit Mrauk U. Take time to meet with the Burmese. They will leave some of the richest memories; the gentle, shy smile from a child that turns to giggles and laughter and the older men and women so eager to talk and learn and listen.

Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is often the arrival point. Dominating the city is the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Glittering bright gold in the harsh daytime sun it turns a delicate crimson gold come evening. Wandering around its inner sanctums you will gain an inkling into the role Buddhism plays in the Burmese way of life.

Burma's greatest architectural site is Bagan. Temples and spires stretch as far as the eye can see. Be spellbound as you fly in a hot air balloon over the temples and watch as the light changes the landscape from a golden hue to a dusky amber and then a deep purple. Explore further by day and marvel at the craftsmanship, hidden stairways and colourful murals. Remember that all this was created in only 250 years.

Sometimes referred to as 'little Bagan', Mrauk U is definitely alateraltrip. Rarely visited by tourists, it cannot fail to delight. Sharing the land in peaceful harmony with the inspiring temples are goat herders and farmers. The boat ride to get there is a trip in itself.

Another timewarptime warp can be discovered at Inle Lake. It is home to stilted house villages, floating gardens and a wonderful travelling market.

Situated on the Bay of Bengal, and a world away from the awe-inspiring pagodas and temples is Ngapali beach. It is the prefect place to unwind, relax and be indulged. Your only companions on the palm fringed, white sand beach will be the local fishermen and the odd ox.

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