Today, Myanmar is attempting to forge a new modern identity, but is still a quite undiscovered and mysterious country with a culture that is among the most authentic and charming in the region.
This is a spectacular destination for the Myanmar holidays with its centuries old temples of Mrauk-U and Bagan, northern snow-capped mountains to the tranquillity of Inle Lake and the cacophony of Mandalay.
A visit to Myanmar gives a perfect opportunity to experience the varied travel experience that can transport the traveller back in time. This is an intensely religious country that follows Buddhism and has countless ancient monuments and temples that were built thousands of years ago.
Myanmar remains a very traditional country, although there are a few western remnants that date back to the era of British colonial rule and consist of grand architecture in Yangon.
The country of Myanmar has people of several different ethnicities, such as the Myanmarns or Bamar at about 65%, with the Shan at 10%, the Kayin at 7% and a variety of small tribes like the Mon, Chin, and Kachin. Also, within the border of Myanmar there is a sizable population of Indian and Chinese. A high percentage of the Bamar are based in the lowlands while the other ethnic minority groups are living at the higher elevations.
Theravada Buddhism is the major religion in the county and has been ever present since originally introduced in the 11th century. Nearly 90% of the local Myanmar people follow the Buddhist religion. Plus, there are a high number of people that also believe in animist spirits or nats. Other religion in the country includes Muslim and Hindu communities, as well as the Christian hill tribes.
The dance scene in Myanmar is split between nat, village, folk and dramatic dance. Each of these styles has its own distinct characteristics. Many of the traditional dances took influence from neighbouring countries, like Thailand, but over the years unique qualities have been introduced to more distinguish the regional styles, which can include more focus on pose (not movement), energetic movements, and fast paced.
The country of Myanmar has the largest geographical area in Southeast Asia and shares a border with India and Bangladesh to the north, by Thailand and Laos to the east, by China to the east, and the Indian Ocean to the south and west. The country has the Ayeyarwaddy River running through its centre, which spreads out to create several tributaries. The Shan Plateau is rich in citrus, vegetable and fruit crops and farmed using an intensive irrigation method. An estimated 50% of the country is made up of natural ecosystems and preserved forests. Also, part of the Himalayas reaches into this country, with the tallest peak standing at 5,889 m.
The country has a 2,000 km stretch of coastline that faces the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to make this country a great destination for the relaxing Myanmar travel experience. Also, there are plenty of islands of the Mergui Archipelago that created a fantastic place for diving and snorkelling.
The hot season falls between the months of March to May with a temperature in the region of 25° C to 38° C. The rainy season runs from June to October which includes the monsoon weather with temperature in the region of 23° C to 33°C, and high rainfall. From November to February the weather is pleasant for the day (18° C to 24°C), but cools in the evening with the near freezing weather in certain areas like around Inle Lake.
The staple dishes for the Myanmar people consist of curries, rice noodles, and rice – though the food isn’t as spicy as those served in Thailand or India. Plus, the majority of meals are accompanied by hingyo which is a clear type of soup. Also, there is ngapiye which is a fermented fish paste or sauce that helps to add an extra touch of flavour. Most of the tourist places visited on the Myanmar travel packages will include several restaurants serving European, Indian and Chinese food. Nearly 75% of the local diet is made up of rice.
It is advised to avoid drinking the local tap water because it can leave you feeling quite unwell. So, it is practical to buy and carry the bottled water. Also, it is best to avoid ice unless eating at one of the better quality hotels or restaurants.
Myanmar continues to be a developing country with many of the local people quite persistent when it comes to making money, and will target the foreign travellers who are perceived to be wealthy. While is it acceptable to bargain in the art galleries and antique stores, the sellers on the souvenir or handicraft stalls make little money, so it is best to just pay the marked price (or close to it).
The men in Myanmar wear an outfit that consists of a longyi (much like a sarong), an overcoat, and a white shirt with no collar. Most of the women prefer to wear cotton or silk dresses with a blouse and a longyi. Other choices include wearing the western style of top with a traditional longyi in a favoured design or colour on the bottom. For the visitors to the country on the Myanmar customized tour, it is practical for the women to avoid wearing shorts, while proper undergarments should be worn under t-shirts. Also, for the travellers visiting the religious buildings it is important to wear appropriate clothing, which means garments that cover the shoulders and knees.
Sights of Myanmar
Myanmar is a unique and charming country that has been hidden for many years, but once opened to the tourists the unparalleled cultural heritage and astonishing natural splendour was there for everyone to see. This country has sublime landscapes to explore and magnificent temple architecture to discover with the ancient city of Bagan having over 2000 temples to see by land or hot air balloon.