The Wonderful experience of a lifetime

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ITINERARIES
Art of Traveling

Myanmar Odyssey
13 days tour of Myanmar with beach extension

Myanmar Immersion
9 days tour of Myanmar
 
Cultural and Scenic Diversity
7 days in Myanmar

Green Hills of the Golden Triangle
9 days in Myanmar

Mon Delights
7 days in Myanmar

Mysterious Mrauk U
5 days in Myanmar

 
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Meet the People.

Myanmar is a land of stunning mountains and gorgeous beaches, of glimmering pagodas and ancient ruins, but its most precious resource is its people. One of the most exciting aspects of any trip to Myanmar is the chance to meet local residents from among the more than 130 ethnic groups that dwell within the country’s borders.

The diverse cast of people who make up the country’s population of more than 50 million can be seen anywhere that people congregate, from city streets to rural markets. The best way to truly interact is to take the time to trek to ethnic villages to see firsthand how the people live. Myanmar is a country full of beautiful pagodas and striking natural scenery, but it is the people you meet and befriend who will make the most lasting impression.

 

Mandalay

Mandalay was founded in 1857 and served as the royal capital of the last Myanmar kings. It now maintains its status as the country’s heartland of traditional Buddhist culture.

Mandalay is also home to many of the country’s most skilled artists, artisans and craftsmen. Any tour of the city should include visits to a few of the many workshops where you can learn about the production of traditional handicrafts, such as silk sarongs, wooden marionettes and embroidered tapestries. In one neighbourhood you might see dozens of artisans carving huge Buddha images from blocks of granite, while just around the corner skilled workers can be seen using age-old methods to produce paper-thin gold leaf used to gild pagodas.

The process of gilding can be observed at Mandalay’s famous Mahamuni Pagoda, where a steady stream of pilgrims rub gold leaf on the central Buddha image to gain merit. The pagoda grounds are also surrounded by a lively, mazelike bazaar where visitors can shop for an endless array of handicrafts and souvenirs.

 

Inle Lake

Inle Lake in southern Shan State is home to a number of fascinating ethnic groups, including the Intha, Shan, Taung-yo, Danu, Kayah, Danaw, Bamar and Pa-O.

The best way to get a local’s perspective is to take a boat tour on the lake, floating under the open sky among the stilted villages of the Intha people. The Intha are expert swimmers and fishermen who practice a distinct form of rowing in which one leg is used to push the paddle through the water. Many make their living in an equally unique manner – by growing vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers on floating farms out on the lake.

The best way to get a local’s perspective is to take a boat tour on the lake, floating under the open sky among the stilted villages of the Intha people. The Intha are expert swimmers and fishermen who practice a distinct form of rowing in which one leg is used to push the paddle through the water. Many make their living in an equally unique manner – by growing vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers on floating farms out on the lake.

 

Myeik Archipelago

Myeik Archipelago, a collection of nearly 1000 islands jutting out of the warm waters of the Andaman Sea, is home to a unique group of nomadic seafaring people known as the Salon or Moken.

During winter and summer these so-called sea gypsies live on their boats, surviving by fishing, as well as by gathering and selling seashells, pearl oysters, sea cucumbers and seaweed. The Salon are well known for their ability to swim to depths of up to 60 metres and stay submerged for many minutes as they forage for these materials.

In the rainy season, when seas are rough, the Salon move into stilted houses in shallow coastal waters. In addition to foraging in the sea, they also walk the islands looking for honey and medicinal plants to sell.Visitors to Myanmar can get a closer look at the Salon lifestyle during the Sea Gypsy Festival held during the second week of February at Ma-Kyon-Galet village in Myeik Archipelago.

 

Kengtung

Kengtung in eastern Shan State is the kind of place that adventurous travellers yearn for: short on overcrowded, wonder-of-the-world landmarks but teeming with genuine local atmosphere. Colonial architecture mixes with Shan and Chinese buildings, while many pagodas exhibit Siamese influences.

The town is also centrally located in a region peopled by a number of diverse ethnic groups – including Lahu, Akha, Akhu, Eng, Palaung, Shan and Wa – with varied religious beliefs, making it the perfect starting point for trips to fascinating traditional villages.

To walk for just one day through the region’s wooded hills and terraced valleys is to amass a collection of sensory experiences too numerous to catalogue. In some areas it is possible to trek through small villages that, although often only a few minutes apart, each has its own distinct character. In the course of a few hours you might pass through villages settled by Akha Christians, Akha Buddhists, Eng animists, Eng Buddhists and Eng Christians before circling back to the Lahu Christian town where you started.

 

Natmataung (Mt Victoria)

At 3095 metres, Natmataung (also called Mt Victoria) is the highest peak in the Chin Hills of western Myanmar, as well as the only mountain in the country higher than 3000 metres that is never covered in snow.

The area around the peak is protected as a 722-square-kilometre national park that is home to an astonishingly diverse array of plant and animal life. The pine and deciduous forests on the mountain’s slopes play host to a menagerie of big mammals such as leopards, bears, deer and wild boars, while nearly 300 bird species have been identified, including several that are threatened with extinction.

This natural bounty makes Natmataung the perfect destination for trekking trips and exceptionally bountiful bird-watching tours. It is also one of the best places in Myanmar for visitors to observe the customs of the Chin people, including the curious tradition among women of wearing facial tattoos of various patterns.

 

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Our Contact
Phone : + 95 9 512 0848
+ 95 9 5029601
+ 95 9 5040966
maythu@myanmarwonderstravel.com philippe@myanmarwonderstravel.com inkyin@myanmarwonderstravel.com

Myanmar Wonders Office
No. 256/266,
Room No. 10 D, Shine Tower,
Seikantha Street (Upper Block),
Kyauktada Township,
Yangon, Myanmar.
www.myanmarwonderstravel.com

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