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Myanmar is one of the mysterious countries in South East Asia and because of its cultural and geographical diversity has retained much of its historic and unique character. With the country poised on the brink of modernization and the decades-old tourism boycott finally at an end, there's never been a better time to visit Burma - Southeast Asia's perennially down-at-heel, but defiantly proud, outlier. Top places to visit are Yangon and the south, Bagan and Mandalay, Elsewhere in central Burma, and The west.


Buddhist festivals fall all year round in Myanmar and usually coincide with the full moon. There are also many festivals that are specific to particular villages or temples. The best source of accurate information concerning these festivals is the Myanmar Embassy. Temple fairs or pagoda festivals, lasting a week or longer, are the equivalent of western fun fairs, with entertainers, magicians, puppeteers, musicians, clairvoyants, healers and patent medicine purveyors moving from one fair to the next bringing excitement, colour and a much-earned break to the lives of local people. Spirit festivals, known as Nat Pwes, whilst having only a tacit connection to Buddhism, have equal significance and share a tendency to coincide with the full moon. Major festivals fall during March, Buddhist Lent (July-September) and December.


The culture of Burma (or Myanmar) has been heavily influenced by Buddhism and the Mon people. Burmese culture has also been influenced by its neighbors India, Thailand and China. The traditional arts are silk weaving, pottery, tapestry making, gemstone engraving, and gold leaf making. Temple architecture is typically of brick and stucco, and pagodas are often covered with layers of gold leaf while monasteries tend to be built of wood (although monasteries in cities are more likely to be built of modern materials).


It is the quiet mystique of Myanmar that proves so compelling. From walking the lush countryside, to strolling through ancient villages and spectacular temples, to navigating narrow canals in a long boat, we take in this remarkable country at a pace that reflects its gentle character and reveals a land that will forever live in your imagination.


The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as that of some ethnic minorities in Burma like the Mon.