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A&K might have Myanmar's (Burma's) best vehicle fleet, but we're always open to expanding and improving it - even if it's just a temporary addition, purely for your enjoyment. When our guide, Goldene, saw her party admiring the Yangon (Rangoon) colonial era buses, she worked some instant travel magic. While everyone tucked into lunch, she slipped away to flag down a driver and negotiate a private charter. The guests emerged to find one slightly dilapidated, but seriously photogenic, wooden bus waiting to return them to their hotel. 'It made our trip,' they wrote
The knowledgeable and charming Goldene - she has guided the likes of George Soros and Mick Jagger - is one member of our brilliant team offering an authentic taste of Burmese life, where surprises and spontaneous excursions are par for the course. You've also told us about four-hour hikes in the central mountains that ended up taking double that time because every single village wants to host a welcome meal; and golf courses where caddies disappear into lakes to fetch your wayward drive before placing the ball on a perfect fairway lie. Myanmar is truly unique.
Yet for all it unexpected treats, divine landscapes and rich Buddhist culture, this blossoming East Asian flower remains a challenging place to visit, with a young infrastructure. Choose an Abercrombie & Kent Myanmar (Burma) holiday in 2015, 2016 and you're in the safe hands of one of the country's oldest private travel companies. Established in 1997, it's part of an experienced, superbly connected regional network of staff on call 24 hours a day.
They'll show you Yangon's (Rangoon's) cobbled streets and elegantly fading architecture, before heading north to Inle Lake's stilt houses, where fishermen make one-legged rowing look ludicrously easy. There's Bagan's plain of 2,230 temples, a site to rival Angkor Wat, and you can cruise the Ayeyarwaddy or Chindwin rivers, gliding serenely past villages, paddy fields and pagodas.
They're wonderful sights, truly wonderful, but we're pretty sure you'll remember the people most of all. A&K arranged for one guest to visit the tattooed village ladies near Mrauk U. Forget bland formalities, she heard their passionate views about river damning and very real fears of flooding. Myanmar (Burma), as we say, is a holiday like no other.
Best time to be thereMyanmar (Burma) has three clear seasons: from March to May are the very hot summer months, the wet and humid monsoon runs from May to October and the cold dry winter lasts from November to February. The best time of year to visit is late November early December when the rains have gone, the landscape is lush and green and the skies are crystal clear. However any time from late November to March is a good time to travel.
Yangon (Thai Airways via Bangkok)
12 hours 55 minutes via Bangkok
GMT +6 1/2 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area
Suggested itineraries in Myanmar
Nights: 10 | from £4,115
Three nights aboard the luxurious Sanctuary Ananda,Arrive in Yangon to a lavishly restored antique Chevrolet for your transfer to your hotel and Lunch on a floating restaurant in the middle of magical Inle Lake
Quintessential Myanmar (Burma)
Nights: 10 | from £2,925
Explore extraordinary Myanmar on this 10 day itinerary, taking in gilded pagodas, historic monuments, bustling markets, ancient ruins and hidden villages.
Hilltribes of Myanmar (Burma)
Nights: 11 | from £2,995
Visit the hill tribes of Burma, visit colonial hill stations, meet the Shan people and spend a night in a local village.
Highlights of Myanmar (Burma)
Nights: 11 | from £4,395
Discover thriving Yangon, explore the Bagan temples, drift along the River Ayeyarwady, visit enchanting Inle Lake and relax on Ngapali Beach on this 11 night adventure.
Sanctuary Ananda 10 Nights Mandalay – Homalin – Bagan
Nights: 10 | from £2,750
Spend 10 nights on the Sanctuary Ananda, cruising past charming villages, lush paddy fields and mystical pagodas towards the temple city of Bagan.
Sanctuary Ananda 7 Nights Mandalay - Bagan - Mandalay
Nights: 7 | from £1,225
A magical 7 night adventure aboard the luxurious Sanctuary Ananda travelling along the great rivers of Myanmar, visiting temples, monasteries and cities along the way.
Sanctuary Ananda 3 Nights Bagan – Mandalay
Nights: 3 | from £695
Enjoy 3 nights aboard the luxurious Sanctuary Ananda, exploring beautiful pagodas, bustling markets and the ancient capital of mystical Myanmar.
Sanctuary Ananda 4 Nights Mandalay – Bagan
Nights: 4 | from £795
Hop aboard the Sanctuary Ananda for a 4 night cruise from Mandalay to Bagan, viewing magnificent monasteries, ancient cities and colourful markets.
Luxury Small Group Journeys - Myanmar & the Irrawaddy
Nights: 10 | from £4,755
Myanmar & the Irrawaddy, visiting Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay,The Irrawaddy River And Bagan
Sanctuary Ananda 7 Nights Bagan - Mandalay - Bagan
Nights: 7 | from £1,225
Absorb the cultural and religious heritage of Myanmar in luxurious comfort as you drift along the Chindwin on this unforgettable 7 night cruise.
Suggested accommodation in Myanmar
The Governor's Residence
Inle Princess Resort
Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort