Our diary

Discovering Pyin Oo Lwin

If you like to walk across the countryside meet locals and see beautiful places here is a suggestion of a one week-end city trip to Pyin Oo Lwin

Planning your trip to Myanmar

Myanmar is an expansive and unique country. Here are some suggestions for the intrepid traveler eager to explore this Southeast Asian gem.

Colorful Traditional Dresses of Myanmar

Traditional clothes in Myanmar are very important and since there are many different ethnic tribes, the dress can vary from region to region.  Four of these regions include Kayah State, Shan State, Mon State and Rakhine State.  They have their own unique...

Colorful Traditional Dresses of Myanmar

One of the most unique things about Myanmar is the fact that it is a melting pot of people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Myanmar is home to seven district ethnic races and the country has been geographically divided to represent races by states....

Taste of Myanmar: Food and drinks

Many travelers can agree that when traveling, tasting the exotic food and drinks of different countries is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of their travels. Myanmar will not disappoint with its variety of local dishes and drinks that set it apart...

Taste of Myanmar: Shan Noodle

One of the most exciting parts about traveling is being able to experience delicious delicacies from around the world.  Myanmar offers the intrepid traveler an array of unique culinary delights that will tantalize your taste-buds. One of these options is Shan noodles....

Five things to do in Mandalay

Myanmar is a great travel destination for families. Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and is home to many important Buddhist temples and ruins that are an important part of Myanmar culture which makes it a great place to put on your itinerary. Here are...

Things to do in Inle Lake

Inle Lake is nestled in the mountains of Shan state and is a place not to be missed during your trip to Myanmar. Inle Lake is one of the top destinations in the country and for good reason; Inle is home to many indigenous people who have made their livelihoods on the...

Myanmar: Thadingyut Festival

Every year in Myanmar the Thadingyut Festival is celebrated by locals with enthusiasm.   Thadingyut is a Buddhist celebration of the end of the Buddhist period of Lent and is held during the Full Moon of the Thadingyut month which is typically in October.  Buddhists...

A visit to Pindaya

Located in Taunggyi district in Shan State, Pindaya is a quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Pone Talote Lake. The town is well known for many different products and its limestone caves where thousands of Buddha images have been revered for many decades. It...

A Myanmar beach break to Ngwe Saung

Yangon, Myanmar isn't exactly known for being a cool city weather-wise. During the hot season, the temperature soars, rain is scarce and finding motivation to venture outside an air-conditioned building can be tough.  So, in an attempt to cool off, we decided to take...

Loikaw: A mystic destination where the time stopped

Discover the mysterious Loikaw Loikaw is located in remote Kayah State, surrounded by mountains and shrouded in relative mystery as it has just recently opened to tourists. After a 3 hour boat ride from Inle Lake, I arrived in Pekon (Taunggyi Division, Shan State),...

5 Fascinating Temples and Pagodas to visit in Myanmar

There are innumerable temples and pagodas in Myanmar, so for one to stand out it has to be truly exceptional.  The temples and pagodas in this article are certainly that, yet they are famous primarily for their unique and fascinating peculiarities rather...

Things to do in Bagan

When traveling to Myanmar, one can not miss visiting the ancient city of Bagan which is one of the most well-known and most-visited spots in Myanmar!  But don't be deterred by its popularity; Bagan is a sprawling and vast landscape dotted with temples and...

Waso Chinlone Festival

Waso Chinlone Festival   The Waso Chinlone Festival is an exciting and uniquely Myanmar event that takes place every year. Chinlone means “basket rounded” and it refers to a sports game that is over 1,500 years old and was once played for Burmese royalty. The...

Visiting colorful local markets in Yangon

In Burmses, the word “zay” means market and in Myanmar there is no shortage of markets! Markets could be considered the lifeline of the country, selling everything from food to clothes and household goods. Many locals not only purchase goods here, but this is also how...

Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp

The Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp is definitely an interesting place in Myanmar worth visiting. Situated in the mountainous city of Kalaw, this breathtaking site is a haven for old elephants. It is a retirement camp for elephants that worked for the...

Night Out in Yangon – Burmese Nights

Myanmar is not known night life, but the vibrant Yangon can offer a multitude of nice places perfect for those who love a good party. The perfect place to start for an amazing night is the always “in”, 19th street! The perfect setting for dinner with you friends as...

A Glimpse Of Ayerwaddy Delta Feeling

Myanmar is a charming country with a culture that has been shaped by their ability to keep together thousands of people of different ethnicity, religions, languages and even architectural styles. If you want to truly experience and understand this melting pot, then...

Myanmar: A French Photography Tour Promotion

Alternez les sites incontournables et les destinations méconnues. Ce programme spécial vous plongera au cœur des traditions birmanes grâce au festival Phaung Daw Oo et à la fête de la danse de l’éléphant à Kyauk Se. Vous aurez la chance unique d’être au premier rang d’un des festivals les plus populaires du pays dans un cadre des plus magnifiques : le lac Inle. Cette promotion exclusive mêle culture, traditions et nature pour une découverte totale du Myanmar.

 

Myanmar Traditional Sport: Lethwei

There are many kinds of games, activities and sports in Myanmar, and some of them hold special positions in society, due variously to their beauty, history, or religious and cultural significance. Lethwei (traditional kickboxing) is one of the most...

Travel by cruise in Myanmar

There are many modes of travel, and each person has their own preference. Some prefer the speed of planes, some the sights and sounds of trains. For us however, nothing beats a leisurely cruise among spectacular scenery, and where better to do this than along the...

Thanakha – A Myanmar traditional cosmetic

If this is your first time visiting Myanmar and you see Burmese people wearing a yellow-white paste on their face, you’ll probably wonder what it is and why they apply it. It is called “Thanakha” - a traditional make up or cream. While Thanakha is most commonly used...

The best souvenirs to bring home from Myanmar

Myanmar is a land of vibrant cultures, peoples and colours. The array of souvenirs and mementos a tourist can take home is so diverse it can be a little overwhelming; subsequently, buying great quality goods for a reasonable price can be difficult. The...

5 spiritual places to visit in Myanmar (Burma)

Visiting Myanmar (Burma) without a list of the best places to visit is inviting disaster – there are simply too many to choose from! Yet pagodas and temples form the spiritual and historical backbone of the country and the Burmese people, and as a result are an...

6 things to know about Myanmar culture

It is always good to learn about a country’s culture before traveling in it; every culture has its own rules and customs that visitors need to adhere to. Doing so ensures the warmest possible welcome from local people and stops any small misunderstandings...

Hsipaw, one of the best Myanmar places to visit

Hsipaw is one of our favourite Myanmar places to visit for one particular reason – incredible trekking. Most tourists head to Kalaw for this activity and while Kalaw is undoubtedly stunning, there is something particularly appealing about how isolated...

The best ways of travelling in Myanmar (Burma)

Travelling in Myanmar (Burma) can still be extremely difficult, and unless you are prepared to pay a lot for a flight, time-consuming. Road conditions can be poor, transport can break down and you may find yourself arriving at your destination at strange...

The 10 best places to visit in Myanmar

Myanmar has many faces; from urban explorers to temple fans, nature lovers to beach boys there is something here for everyone.  Here are our top ten places to visit while traveling in Myanmar: 1. Bagan   Bagan is the jewel in Myanmar’s crown, some 2000 ancient...

Tea Shops of Yangon

In our part one of this series we told you about our favorite evening options for local Burmese food. But why should you wait for dinner to enjoy some Burmese delicacies?! From breakfast to afternoon snack, tea shops are the place to sit if you need a break in a busy...

Taxis story in Yangon

Many expats will tell you that a country truly unveils its character through the day to day quirks that are such a part of local life that the locals do not think it is odd. Tourists don’t stay long enough to pick up on these little details that make life so different...

10 Helpful Phrases for your Holiday in Myanmar

The best way to get to know the people of a country is to share a common language. Sometimes this is just a smile. But if you can learn a few basic phrases you will not only have an easier time getting around but you will also get a warmer response from the locals. In...

Fruity Myanmar

As a kid growing up in the American south I remember how excited we would get when peach season came around. It coincided with the end of the school year and my sister and I would eagerly wait the day when my grandfather would come over with the first fruits off the...

Indulge Myanmar: Mandalay

Mandalay's former royal capital is these days a buzzing trade city that can feel chaotic at times. The sites are spread out so during a visit you may spend more time than normal in cars and on foot. We suggest the following ways to splash out or indulge in Myanmar's...

Myanmar’s Music Scene: Iron Cross

Ask any Myanmar resident who is the most famous band in their country and they will undoubtedly reply 'Iron Cross'. Although unknown beyond borders, the band is popular with locals of all ages and their logo can be found on everything from hats to motorbikes to phone...

A Visit to Yangon’s Drug Elimination Museum

If it is bizarre you seek, the Drug Elimination Museum is the place to go. Located in northeast Yangon, I had heard strange stories about the museum from a few expats who had visited and decided it was time I had to go see for myself. What I thought was casual...

Myanmar food: Mohingya

If there is one dish that could be named as the 'culinary icon' of Myanmar, it would have to be mohinga. From north to south and everywhere in between, Myanmar residents start their mornings with a hot bowl of this soup. Given it's popularity, I set off on a quest to...

Village Farming Experience on Inle Lake

This morning begins with an excursion to discover the traditional agricultural methods of Inle Lake. Take a scenic walk through Thale U, a typical lakeside village, to enjoy the scenery and observe the traditional ways of life. Continue to Alae Myaung village, where...

Our Myanmar Travel Tips: Best Places to meet Locals in Bagan

Bagan is a must on any visitors list. And for good reason- the 2000+ temples and pagodas are breath taking. Perhaps because of its development as a tourist town, and the remarkably good English spoken by the vendors, tourists often feel they did not 'connect' with the...

Charity and Visit of a typical seaside Village in Ngapali

After breakfast, around 8AM, you will be picked up by your local guide and travel by wooden motor boat to the hidden paradise of Maung Shwe Lay (approx. 1 hour).  As you cross St. Andrew’s Bay, enjoy breathtaking views of the clear blue sea and Ngapali beach.  On...

Myanmar’s Centre of Buddhism: Visit Hidden Sagaing

Most tourists to Mandalay make a trip across the Irrawaddy river to the town of Sagaing. Known as the centre of Buddhism in Myanmar, this small town has more than 300 religious buildings. It is a beautiful place - peaceful with lush, tree-covered hills - but most...

Lunch with Nuns in Sagaing

Visit a nunnery in Sagaing, a peaceful compound where the Buddhist nuns live, study and pray. Many of the nuns are orphans who come to the nunnery to have a better life. The nunneries are sustained on donations from the community and there is an option to make a...

People of Myanmar – Meet the Shan minority

If there is one ethnic group you are almost guaranteed to encounter during a Myanmar holiday it is the Shan: they are the most numerous of Myanmar's ethnic groups with an estimated 6-7 million people and the Shan State covers more than 25% of the landmass of Myanmar....

Miles of Smiles in Taungoo

At Myanmar Diaries we love unusual, off-the-beaten tracks destinations and we want to discover every inch of this beautiful country. We often decide on the whim where to go for the weekends, but it almost always ends up being a fantastic trip with amazing...

Our Myanmar Travel Tips: Best Places to meet Locals in Yangon

Myanmar people are some of the most friendly, hospitable people I have ever met. It is easy for travelers to interact with them even if there is a language barrier- a smile is all it takes to start a 'conversation'. Yet many tourists want a chance to get even more in...

8 Great Reasons to Come to Myanmar in Rainy Season – Part Two

For all of you who were not convinced by our first four reasons, as promised four more good reasons why coming to Myamar during rainy season is worth it: Reason # 5: It's not raining everywhere! One of the biggest misconceptions about Myanmar's rainy...

8 Great Reasons to Come to Myanmar in Rainy Season

Rainy season has set in and our Yangon team is trying to stay as dry as possible. Of course there are some days where fail to stay positive about the rain when flooded streets block your way to work or a passing car splashes you on your way to dinner. But we also love...

Escape to the Caves: Visit Hpa An

Once in a while we feel the need to be immersed in nature and recharge our batteries. Hpa-An with its wonderful landscapes is the perfect escape from the buzz of city life in Yangon. Since it is only a 6-hour bus ride away, Hpa An is an easy getaway and...

Myanmar Transportation Guide: Travel by VIP Bus

Until 5 years ago traveling in Myanmar by long distance bus was not a comfortable affair. But with the introduction of JJ Express, the first ‘VIP’ line of buses, and the completion of Highway 1, overland travel got a major boost. These days VIP buses run...

People of Myanmar – Part 2: The Chin

The Chin are a Sino-Tibetan race with more than half a million people living in Myanmar. The majority of this group resides in the state of the same name. Bordered by Bangladesh and India, the Chin State is located in the western edge of Myanmar and is a...

A Golden Morning

One of the most popular excursions to visitors to Myanmar is a tour of Shwedagon Pagoda. The golden pagoda dominates the skyline of Yangon, reflecting the suns rays in the day time and illuminated in the evening. Most tourists go in the late afternoon to...

Fever Pitch – Attending a Myanmar Football Game

My football  (soccer to Americans) loving friend was hesitant to join me on a trip to Myanmar in 2006 as the planned dates were during the World Cup. He was afraid, based on the unreliable power supply, that he would miss the chance to see his beloved...

People of Myanmar – Part 1: The Kachin

One of the unique parts of traveling around Myanmar is seeing the diversity of the landscapes and sites as well as cultures. There are estimated to be more than 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar which are divided in to 8 main ethnic races each of which has its...

A Day at the Mandalay Riverside

  Much is written about cruises on the Irrawaddy River but not every visitor is interested in, or has time for, a boat trip. In trying to find new ways to experience the river’s importance to the Myanmar people, I spent a day on Mandalay's Strand...

Beer Stations and Barbecues

Discovering a country is of course not only about traveling to different places and doing sightseeing. Mouth-watering meals, new dishes, unknown ingredients and exotic spices are probably as important to understanding a new culture as historical visits and adventurous...

Golden Rock: One of Myanmar’s most celebrated Pagodas

For our recent visit to Golden Rock, one of Myanmar’s most celebrated pagodas, we decided to travel by train so that we could enjoy the scenery. The slow-moving train took us out of the crowded Yangon in to the middle of green fields and small villages...

Ngapali Beach: More than just Sand and Sea

Ngapali Beach has earned its reputation as Myanmar's best beach thanks to its stunning blue waters, white sands and a tranquil atmosphere. And after a Myanmar holiday, a beach extension is the perfect way to round out the trip. However we realise that not...

Happy Thingyan from Myanmar!

April is an eventful month in Myanmar. If like me you are lucky enough to arrive in the country at the middle of the month, you will be the lucky witness of the unmissable Thingyan or Myanmar Water Festival. Celebrated at the end of dry season, Thingyan...

Christmas Greetings from Myanmar Diaries

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home! -Charles Dickens May this Christmas end the present year on a...

A Trip to Naypyidaw – Myanmar’s Modern Capital

It was a spontaneous decision to visit Naypyidaw for the weekend. What I had heard about it was not really inspiring - mostly that it’s an empty city in the middle of nowhere with nothing to see or do. In fact, when you tell a Myanmar person that you’ve...

Taungoo

The densely forested area of Taungoo is rich in history and natural resources. Located a bumpy 5-6 hour journey north of Yangon, Taungoo has many religious monuments of note but most guests are drawn to Thargaya, one of Myanmar's logging camps where massive elephants...

Loikaw

Isolated from the modern world, Loikaw is a place of rich traditions and natural beauty. Situated south of Inle Lake on the edge of the Kayah state, the scenic landscape is dotted with limestone karsts and distant rolling hills. Yet the real attraction is the resident...

Kyaing Tong

Myanmar is a massive country that is full of hidden jewels only discovered by intrepid tourists. Kengtung is one of these jewels. Not far from the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos converge, this vibrant town is a melting pot of various ethnic groups...

A Local Bus Experience

One of the best ways to experience a country is to travel the local way- making the journey, rather than just the destinations, a memorable part of a holiday. Although infrastructure in Myanmar is still developing, you still have a variety of different...

Punk vs. Hip Hop

„After coming over Thaketa bridge from Tamwe side turn left – the warehouse by the river“- are the directions presented on the Jam it! Facebook event “Punk vs. Hip Hop” – a combination that would hardly work in Europe. Whatever I expected before getting...

Who’s heard of Chin-Lone?

Ok, so who’s heard of Chin-Lone? Not many of you we suspect. Chin-Lone – or Cane Ball is an extraordinary mixture of performance and sport that has been played in Myanmar for over 1500 years. Teams of six players form a circle of about six meters with one player in...

Mergui Archipelago And Kawthaung

Located in the far-south of Myanmar in the Andaman Sea, just off the coast of Thailand, the Mergui Archipelago is one of the few remaining untouched paradises remaining in the world. Comprising of more than 800 islands, these virgin islands remain mostly undeveloped, and are the perfect place for relaxing.

Lashio

Lashio is a teeming trade town located near the Chinese border. With its mix of Shan, Chinese and Burmese residents, its vibrant market place and picturesque countryside, Lashio is an interesting place to spend a day or two. Lashio sits at the terminus of the Burma...

Kyaukme

Located between Pyin Oo Lwin and Lashio in the northeast of Myanmar, the town of Kyauk Me is a spectacular starting point for an outdoor adventure. Yet, perhaps because of its basic infrastructure, the town is often overlooked by visitors. Those who do venture to...

Chaungtha

If your looking for a unique beach experience, Chaung Tha may be exactly the answer. Popular with local Burmese and with a fishing village atmosphere, Chaung Tha offers a mix of relaxing beach time with cultural interaction. Chaung Tha is located on the edges of the...

Taung Gyi

A thriving trading town and the capital of the Shan State, Taunggyi is low on sites but still an interesting place for a visit thanks to its diverse peoples and buzzing economy. Its high elevation – more than 1000 metres above sea level- ensures pleasant temperatures...

Shwebo

Shwebo is often overlooked by tourists but it makes for a great excursion from Mandalay. Ancient ruins, traditional pottery villages and the spectacular Ayeyarwaddy River are part of the lure of Shwebo and it will not be long before its a regular stop for visitors....

Pyin Oo Lwin

With its cool temperatures, unspoiled natural landscapes and laid-back atmosphere, its no wonder Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular weekend destination for Myanmar residents. Established as a hill station by the British during the colonial era, Pyin Oo Lwin still has an...

Pathein

Pathein has a charm that is hard to describe yet impossible to miss. It is the sort of place where at first glance you may dismiss it as 'just another town' however after a short while wandering around you will be captivated by the place and its people. Situated in...

Naypyidaw

Gleaming, modern and situated in the centre of the country, Nay Pyi Daw is Myanmar's proud capital city. Although all of the buildings and pagodas are less than a decade old, Nay Pyi Daw is an intriguing- and slightly bizarre- place to stop on an overland journey. In...

Myitkyina

Located in the far northern reaches of Myanmar, just 50 km from the Chinese border lies Myitkyina. Although lacking in monuments, Myitkyina is a charming town with a diverse population, famous jade mines and a strong trade economy thanks to its riverside location....

Pyay

Home to UNESCO heritage ruins that date back to the 5th century BC, Pyay is a wonderland for history and architecture lovers. Located half way between Yangon and Bagan it makes for a great stopover for land travelers. Perched on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River,...

Popa

Home to Myanmar's nat spirits, Mount Popa is a mystical hilltop shrine located an hour's drive from Bagan. Looming over the flat, dry plains below, Popa is a good place to learn about the mystic legends and cultural traditions of the Burmese people. Mount Popa is an...

Mandalay

Mandalay is a city of contrasts: its a place where modern buildings stand alongside wooden monasteries, where tattooed youth solemnly place flowers at the foot of a shrine and where the solitary beauty of the Ayeyarwaddy River is interrupted by modern cruise ships. In...

Golden Rock

Perilously sitting on the edge of a cliff, the aptly named 'Golden Rock' is a surreal site that is both spiritual and mysterious. Witnessing local pilgrims pay homage to the gold-covered boulder in the quiet early morning light is an unforgettable and uniquely Myanmar...

Bhamo

Tucked away in the far north east of Myanmar, the riverside town of Bhamo has a captivating beauty. Although the town does not have a lot of sites per se, a day spent enjoying the scenery, history and the people is worth the stop if you are visiting the region. Being...

Sunrise over the Temples of Mrauk U

Awake early to capture a memorable sunrise over Mrauk U. Transfer to an elevated area which offers great views of the famed temples, villages and distant hills. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea as the sun gradually rises in the distance, illuminating the Mrauk U landscape...

Kayaking on Inle Lake

Discover the unique culture of Myanmar's Inthar people as you spend a morning kayaking amid the calm waters of their neighbourhoods. Rather than pass by in a motorboat, the kayaks allow you to access smaller water ways and without the noise created by the motorised...

Hot Air Balloon Ride over Mandalay

It’s an early start today as you will be picked up before the sun has risen. Transfer to the balloon launch site, a drive of 5-30 minutes depending on your hotel location, where your pilot and crew will be waiting to greet you. In the solitude of the early morning,...

Hot Air Balloon Ride over Inle Lake

Awake early as you will be picked up by boat in the pre-dawn hours to transfer to the balloon launch site. While the crew is preparing the balloon for flight, you will be treated to coffee and pastries. Once the balloon is inflated, your pilot will provide a detailed...

Green Elephant Project in Magwe

Today you will venture in to the lush hills of Myanmar for a unique nature experience. During the course of the day you will learn about conservation efforts, reforestation and the history of Myanmar logging elephants as well as interact with the gentle giants. After...

Discover Yangon the Local Way

Delve in to Myanmar culture as you explore a variety of local daily activities: from public transportation to fresh markets, tranquil neighborhoods to bustling tea shops.

Cooking Class in Mandalay

Learn about the intricate flavours of Burmese cuisine and the culture of food in Myanmar with an interactive cooking course.

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