Myanmar Holidays & Holidays Guide
Myanmar, or Burma, has had a troubled relationship with travel. In the fairly recent past, tour companies have been criticised for taking tourists into the country, which is run by a military junta. However, the release of opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has encouraged foreigners to visit, and there is a debate amongst pro-democracy groups about whether tourism should be encouraged. The general advice is that foreign visitors should seek to minimise the amount of money that flow into government coffers by avoiding corporate hotels and restaurants and eat and stay with the locals. You'll find beautiful temples, cool hill stations, steamy jungles and hospitable people.
Myanmar Holidays Planner
Yangon, which is perhaps better known as Rangoon, is the main tourist centre. The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the city's most famous sites, and one of the holiest places in the whole country. It's a place for relaxation and socialising as well as being a hub for the spiritual life of the city. There are numerous other temples and pagodas, as well as cathedrals built during colonial times. Yangon also has sights associated with the pro-democracy movement, including Aung San's former house and the residence where Aung San Suu Kyi spent years of house arrest. However, they are not always open – check ahead before you go.
Next to Yangon, Mandalay is the city best known to foreigners, and the second-largest city in Myanmar. However, it's a relatively new city, and much of the construction was done under British colonial rule – however, you can still visit the Royal Palace. Mandalay also has numerous temples, and you can climb Mandalay Hill for a magnificent view of the city. You can also catch a performance by the Moustache Brothers, a comedy duo who are only allowed to perform their satirical sketches to tourists. More generally, its worth nothing that current government changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar, which is what locals currently refer to their country as. Foreign governments have largely stuck with Burma.