Thứ Hai, 13 tháng 8, 2018

Myanmar’s unique Novitiation Ceremony

In burma, boys all ought to experience one or several times of “monk-hood”. They will leave their home and be sent to a monastery or pagoda to practice previous deciding whether to become a lifelong monk or give up the robe after that.

Novitiation ceremony (or Shinbyu Pwe) is the most important ceremony in a whole life of a Burmese men. To them, since they were born, if they have not ever gone into a pagoda or monastery once, they have not been a great Buddhist yet. Also according to the belief of Buddhists here, the fact that their son become monks can create a big career for family.

Shinbyu Pwe - special ceremony

In early morning, new novices are applied makeup, wearing Burmese traditional costumes, and are taken to a unique site to start the ceremony. This is an occasion that parents be able to be proud of their children.

Organizers will announce the Shinbyu Pwe ceremony and open music to call upon people to donate alms bows and robes for new novices. After the announcement, the children ride horse decorated splendidly, shielded from the sun by a parasol, and marching around their neighborhood to the monastery or pagoda. The horse is led by an orchestral band headed by a clown with a moustache called U Shwe Yoe holding a parasol and dancing merrily.

The children have to wear the costumes like a royal prince or king and usually ride horse. They symbolize the image of prince Siddhartha when he renounced the world, as he left his palace (also his family, wife, newborn son, his title and the world he used to be) to go into the forest and commence the intense meditation until becoming the enlightened person (Buddha hood).

However, some novices could be taken on the shoulder of their shut relatives if they cannot afford to ride horse, while it may be exaggerated by letting the children ride on elephant back or more glorious on Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus depending on budget of every family. In fact, the form of riding horse around neighborhood previous going into a pagoda now just takes place in rural areas or small cities. In large cities such as Yangon, families usually use cars to carry their children into pagoda.

In a procession of Shinbyu Pwe, parents of the novice stand at top, carrying all necessary items that he will need at the monastery (robe, alms bow, hand fan, water filters and razor, all that 5 requisites) and some add-ons (not a must) such as grass mat, pillows, blanket, etc. Behind, sisters or the most beautiful belles will carry on their hand a betel box and flowers. The father of the novice usually holds a triangular bell, remarkable at a certain pace in accordance with his walking time. He will say “Amyah” (means I share my merit by making this deed) while citizen who hear the bell ring can say Sadu for three times (means well done…well done… well done).
A boy on horse back shielded from the sun by a parasol

And a boy on elephant back

U Shwe Yoe - clown dance (Photo: Moe Swe via flick)

A Shinbyu procession, the father holds a triangular bell and strike,
attractive belles take on hand a betel box or flowers. (Photo: Moe Swe via flick)

Shinbyu Pwe ceremony in details

In monastery, Buddhist monks will explain the benefit of novitiation to parents and children. Subsequently, boys will be shaved their head, wearing a Buddhist robe. As from that moment, the child will not inclue any property. With bare-head and bare-foot bringing along a bowl, he will go to beg for alms every morning. In the remaining time, novices will learn Burmese scripts, Buddhist scriptures by Pali language and everything concerning to Buddhism. Burmese citizen inclue the notion that “when a child be able to drive birds away in fields, it means that he or she can go into a monastery or pagoda”. But in fact, children be able to become a Buddhist novice as they are able to recite Buddhist scriptures by Burmese and Pali language. Boys normally must go into a monastery or pagoda by the age of 20.

Time length of monk-hood of a child is various, can be few days, few weeks or few years. A child also may become a novice in tremendous times. Numerous children after going into a monastery or a pagoda, if this life is not suited to them or they want to return the secular life for further study or to be married, they will return home. Every month, monasteries and pagodas all possess novices secularizing to come back to the normal life. Of course, children getting diseases of cancer, scabies or asthma will not be permitted to become a Buddhist monk.

Formerly, novitiation ceremony was held lavishly in each family, so it is known as a costly festival. Burmese parents consider holding this ceremony as making merit. If parents do not own enough money to hold this ceremony, their relatives and friends will support a part of budget for them. Thingyan festival is the favorite occasion to conduct this Shinbyu Pwe. But today, it is held all year-round, depending on selection of the ideal day and month of each area.

Trek Kalaw and encounter Ethnic citizen

Kalaw is a former colonial British hill station in western Shan State of myanmar (Burma), at 1320m above the sea level, 50 km from Inle lake.

Kalaw has natural atmosphere, cool and refreshing climate, and breathtaking sight. It is well-known as a trekking mecca of burma and an suitable region for colorful hill tribe and agricultural life discovery.

Kalaw town is set amongst glorious pine forests. Many colonial-era buildings constructed by British in Kalaw remain with diverse states of decay. They are quaint, eerily tranquil and seemingly undisturbed.

Kalaw blends influences of Indian and Nepalese culture. This region has a significant population of Nepali Gurkhas, Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who were brought to Kalaw by the British to build the railway line.

As an untouched and pristine region, trekking and visiting villages in Kalaw is an incredible way to acquire impressive experiences. These are some featured places that you be able to trek in Kalaw.
++ Suggested tour: Trekking from Kalaw to Inle lake in 7 days with price begin from $730/person

Trekking between Kalaw and Inle lake or to surround hills

From Kalaw, you be able to trek to Inle, setting foot on beaten tracks and getting tastes of the life of the local Danu, Pa-oh, Palaung, Shan and Taungyoe ethnic groups.

Hiking Kalaw is an endless series of ups and downs through lush bamboo and teak forests but none particularly steep. You will be impressed by brilliant cultivated land, pine trees, tea, cheroots, oranges, bananas, canola, loveable rice fields, corn, cabbages, eggplant, potatoes, other vegetables and expansive views of surrounding hills. On trekking roads, you will meet really non-touristy scenes of the local life, farming, cooking and even bathing. Children contain impartial smiles, although they are carrying their siblings on their back. Young teenagers harvest tea leaves. Palaung citizen sing Burmese songs happily without understanding the words and making numerous mistakes. And it is fine if you are welcome to cultivate local trees for forest recovery.

Specially, along the street, beside villages, you can relax for lunch and spend night in monasteries. Going toward Inle lake, you be able to be overnight at Buddhist temples or local tribe farmsteads.

In villages, there are tremendous families living in a long house, about 7 families with over 60 people. For privacy, each couple of parents has a small walled enclosure where they sleep. Inhabitants in some villages produce a stack of handy craft and weaving products like fabric, scarves, hats, etc. Just only about five villages in Kalaw are permitted to host foreigners.

++ Suggested tour: Untouched Loilaw trek to Kalaw in 06 days with price start from US$650/person

Local markets

many local markets are rotating markets, typical outdoor markets, with nothing for tourists and everything belongs to locals like meat, agriculture products, herbs and spices.

Villagers from the surrounding hills come to the large central market in Kalaw town to sell their produce. There are plenty of charming and cheap handy crafts you can buy. Most of the town’s restaurants and food stalls stand surround the market and proposal a wide range of food. Tremendous dishes contain origin from India and Nepal.

Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp

Founded in 2011, this area has been well conserved scenery, and is a attraction of Kalaw go to. Local ecology, elephants and traditions of indigenous citizen are protected. Green Hill valley is the habitat of diverse birds, butterflies, orchids and bamboo forests.

Taking a splendid trek to Shan countryside in Green Hill valley, you be able to learn skills of the mahout (elephant driver) and carry knowledge about habit of elephant keepers. Joining in bathe duties for elephants if you want. Mahouts do not encourage elephant riding, but short rides may be carried out depending on the weather and health of elephants. Baskets must not be used on elephants.

Other special locations

Also in the centre of Kalaw town is the Aung Chang Tha stupa, which glitters by silver and gold glass mosaics. You may head up to the Thein Taung Pagoda, which is in the northern Union Highway (the main road through Kalaw).

A pleasant walk south of the central market takes you to the Hnee Pagoda, where you will find a 500-year-old bamboo Buddha, and the Shwe U Min Pagoda (Shwe Oo Min Paya), a cave filled with golden Buddha statues. On these steps in the surrounding hills, you will realize reminders of British colonial times, such as restored cottages and a different thoughtful of religious monument – Christ the King Church. This is a wonderful instance of active Christian worship in burma, with known for daily mass and Sunday services.

Kalaw has the Tazaungman Full Moon Festival, which takes destination in late October or early November, and features street parades, music and fireworks.

Trekking in Kalaw could be enjoyed at any time of year, despite cool season is the most agreeable. Occasional rain shower could makes the trek tougher a bit.

Joining a trek in Kalaw, you could stub a toe, catch a cobweb and probably slip in mud, but the rewards are spectacular view, the plain and quiet village life or, well, just a lonely quiescent moment hearing twitters of birds and far rumble voices gone with the wind reaching you.

Chủ Nhật, 12 tháng 8, 2018

Myanmar's beautiful street Food

As an enigmatic country, burma is also pretty for its original cuisine based on distinctly indigenous ingredients. Strolling around the streets in the country and trying some featured dishes, it is not picky to see this characteristic.

1. Burmese sweet snacks

Commonly known as “moun”, Burmese sweets are not used as desserts like in the West but rather as snacks, particularly taken with tea in the morning or afternoon.
And, while sweets elsewhere in Southeast Asia are coated with sugar, sweet flavor of “moun” are gotten from the local ingredients such as coconut, jaggery, palm, rice, tapioca, fruit, etc.

Here are some prominent Burmese sweets:
- Sanwin makin: a semolina cake made of semolina flour, sugar, butter, eggs, grated coconut and coconut milk; walnut and raisins are optionally supplemented.
- Beinmoun: Burmese-style pancakes or poppy seeded pancake; a round, yellow fried cake with its ingredients including rice flour, jaggery, coconut, poppy seed and butter. This is a fragrant and tasty pancake.
- Mote Lone Yay Paw: Burmese floating rice balls stuffed with palm sugar and put grated coconut on top. The dish is served free on the streets during Thingyan New Year Festival.


2. E Kyar Kway (Burmese youtiao)

The cake is made of bloating-fried rice flour, quite famous and having a strange taste. It is a favorite breakfast dish of the locals. It charming looks such as “quay” of Vietnam, Chinese doughnut and “kway” of Malaysia. However, burmese people usually dip it in tea or coffee. This dish is really easy to encounter on burma’s road.


3. Deep-fried stuffs

A wide-spreading, available kind-hearted of food on the streets of Yangon is deep-fried stuffs. In burma, it is practically unable to avoid fried foods.
Some main stuffs easily found on the Burmese streets – spring rolls, meat, aquatic food, fruits, vegestables, tofu, sweets, breads - are deep-fried, crispy or crunchy.
One deep-fried dish definitely worth seeking out is “buthi kyaw”, battered and deep-fried chunks of gourd. When served hot, the thin, crisp layer hides a soft, slightly watery interior of tender gourd. The fritters are typically served with a sour, sweet dip made from tamarind, added bean flour, and then the savory is awaken.

Deep-fried shrimps

An Indian seller offers deep-fried banana and potatoes

4. Shan-style rice

Shan-style rice is a wonderful dish of Shan citizen, one of the main ethnic minorities in burma. It is known in Burmese as “nga htamin” (fish rice). Rice is cooked with turmeric and squashed into a plate; then it flakes of freshwater fish and garlic oil is put on top. Formerly, fish is marinated with garlic and chili peppers.
This dish is pungent and extremely spicy but it brings again an extraordinary feeling. Oily and savory, Shan rice may be served with leek roots, raw garlic, deep-fried pork rinds, roasted peanuts, boiled eggs or seasonal vegetables. Shan rice be able to be found in nearly food-stalls on the streets.


5. Nangyi thoke

A typical dish of noodles that travelers could see on the streets and markets in myanmar from morning until evening. Noodles are made of rice flour similar to “pho” of Vietnam but “nangyi thoke” fibres are quite thick and round, served with chicken, thin slices of fish, boiled eggs and par-boiled bean sprouts. In processing, the ingredients are seasoned with a mixture of roasted chickpea flour, turmeric and chili then tossed by hand. The dish is served along with a bowl of broth and pickled vegetables.
Nangyi thoke is considered as the Burmese version of spaghetti.


6. Mohinga

A beloved breakfast dish in burma, but “mohinga” is sold by mobile street hawkers and roadside stalls, generally available at any time throughout the day and in most part of the country. As a result, it is unofficially dubbed as the myanmar’s national dish.
Mohinga is fine, round rice noodles served with fried fish and glamorous broth, often supplemented with the crunchy stem of the banana tree. Some its noticeable ingredients are chickpea flour, lemongrass, ginger and fish sauce.
Optional toppings comprise a sliced hard-boiled egg, fish cakes, deep-fried crispy veggies (onions, chickpeas), corianders and spring onions. The dish is additionally seasoned with a squeeze of lime and flakes of dried chili depending on every personal palate.


7. Shan-style noodle

Another Shan-style dish could be found on the streets, which is a combination of thin, flat rice noodles in a pure, peppery broth with marinated chicken or pork, garnished with toasted sesame, peanut and a drizzle of garlic oil. It is served with pickled vegetables. The "dry" version, with a bowl of broth served on the side, is also common.
Compared with most Burmese noodle dishes, it’s quite simple, attaining to a mild taste, but is reassuringly pleasant and obviously yummy.


8. Samosa salad

Samosa salad or “samosa thoke” is the main dish in Burmese culinary. Not such as other kinds of salad made of vegetables, samosa is made of bloating fried cakes. Every stall will own a differently own flavor but in basically, it still includes sliced samosa (a triangular cake stuffed inside potatoes, turmeric, beans), green peas, cabbages, garlic chives and tomatoes.
When serving, the buyer will add a little coriander and lemon juice to waken up the aroma.


9. Tea leaf salad (lahpet thoke – lahpet: green tea; thoke: salad)

maybe fermented or pickled tea leaf salad, known as lephet thoke, is the most popular Burmese food. The tart leaves are eaten on an have way - salad.
To make the dish, the sour, slightly bitter and soft leaves are mixed by hand with shredded cabbage, crunchy deep-fried beans, crisp roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, a splash of garlic oil and pungent dried slices of chili and garlic. Chopped tomatoes and dried shrimps are also added optionally. All the ingredients are served separatedly into individual piles so that guests may choose ones they such as then mix in their possess way.
The dish is flexible. It be able to be a snack, an appetizer or coupled with a plate of rice as a meal. It’s also considered a stimulant: the Burmese says that eating too much “lephet thoke” be able to prevent rest.


Mandalay - Land of burma ancient Capitals

The area around Mandalay city is very magnificent in old capitals, which leave countless valued historic and religious relics. Thanks to this, it is considered as the most important cultural hub of burma.


Mandalay is now Myanmar’s second largest city, but if pull out the history in 19th century, it may realize that its role was not less important than it is today. Mandalay imperial capital was founded at the foot of Mandalay Hill by King Midon in 1857, ostensibly to fulfill a prophecy of the foundation of a Buddhism metropolis in an exact destination on the 2,400th Buddhism jubilee. To construct this new capital, the former royal palace of Amarapura was dismantled, and materials were moved by elephants to the new location.
The capital is surrounded by four rivers. For the following 26 years, Mandalay was the ultimate royal capital of Konbaung Dynasty, the final own Burmese kingdom prior its last annexation by British Empire. It ceased to be the capital in 1885.

Relics till current days
Mahamuni Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mahamuni Paya (Mahamuni: the fantastic Sage; Paya: Buddhist temple)
This pagoda is one of Myanmar’s most important pilgrimage sites, founded in 1785 and located southwest of Mandalay. Mahamuni image, which was taken from Mrauk U after Konbaung Dynasty conquered the Kingdom of Mrauk U, is very much deified in here. It is highly venerated such an extent that Burmese devotees have pasted thick layers of gold leaves on it, morning ritual of face cleansing of Mahamuni takes site daily, and women are forbidden to approach it.
Kuthodaw Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Kuthodaw pagoda (Kuthodaw: royal merit)
Settled on the foot of Mandalay Hill and constructed by King Midon in 1868, Kuthodaw pagoda contains the world’s largest book, which stands upright, sets in stone, and spreads on the pagoda’s ground with 729 stone tablets carved Burmese Buddhist scripture.
Mandalay Royal Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar
* Mandalay Palace
It is the ultimate imperial palace of the ultimate Burmese monarchy, the main royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw, the two final kings of the country. It was built between 1857 and 1859 after King Midon’s decision to relocate capital.
Shwenandaw Monastery (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Shwenandaw Monastery (or Golden Palace Monastery)
Built in 1880 by King Thibaw Min, son of King Mindon Min, it is very well-known thanks to its teak carvings of Buddhist myths on the walls and roofs. It is a typical construction of traditional Burmese architectural style.

* Sandamuni Pagoda
Situated southwest of Mandalay Hill, this pagoda was erected by King Mindon in 1874, with aim to be memorial to Mindon's younger brother, Kanaung Mintha, who was assassinated along with other three princes, Malun, Sagu Minthu, and Maingpyin during the 1866 Myingun Prince rebellion. It covers the graves of these four murdered Princes and an iron image cast in 1802.


Amarapura was founded by King Bodawpaya of Konbaung Dynasty in 1783 as his new capital and also a center of Buddhist reforms and learning. It was the capital of myanmar twice during Konbaung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859) previous eventually being supplanted by Mandalay in 1859.

Due to the royal treasury depleted by the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, Mindon decided to reuse as many materials from Amarapura as possible in the construction of Mandalay. Its palace buildings were disassembled and caried by elephants to the new location, and the city walls were pulled down for use as building materials for roads and railways.
Until now, part of the moat is silent recognizable close to the Bagaya Monastery.

Relics till current days
* U Bein bridge: It spans over Taungthaman lake and is just the world’s oldest and longest teak wood bridge.
When the capital shifted to Mandalay, the residents in Amarapura made use of teak wood from the imperial palace to erect this bridge. It is 1.2km long and consists of 1086 main pillars and thousands of boards. It was curved in the middle to resist assaults of wind and water.
U bein bridge, Mandalay Myanmar


It is an old imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms for nearly 360 year, on five separate periods, from 1365 to 1842.
Inwa became the capital of Ava Kingdom, the main polity of Upper burma from the 14th to 16th centuries. After undergoing repeated attacks and sieges in the last time of Ava Dynasty, it was chosen as a royal capital again on four periods of Toungoo and Konbaung Dynasties (16th to 19th centuries).
Throughout history, it was sacked and rebuilt tremendous times. The capital was lastly abandoned after it was completely destroyed by a series of significant earthquakes in March 1839, and King Tharrawaddy decided to rebuild a new palace in Amarapura in 1842. However, few traces of its former grandeur remain until now.

Relics till current days
Inwa Myanmar by HIT Indochina

* Nanmyin Leaning Tower: a watchtower
* Yadana Hsimi Pagodas - A small group of stupa ruins left after the earthquake.
* Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery: A brick monastery built in 1818 different from traditional Burmese monasteries, which are constructed with wood, not masonry.
* Bagaya Monastery: This teak wood monastery was first built in 1593. After burnt in the fire in the reign of King Bagyidaw, it was reconstructed in 1992. It’s known as “Monastic college" where the royals were educated.


With tremendous Buddhist monasteries, Sagaing is a meaningful religious and monastic center of myanmar. Notice again the past, it used to be the imperial capital of Sagaing Kingdom (1315–1364), one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan Dynasty.
During the Ava period (1364–1555), this city was the common fief of the crown prince and senior princes. It also had a brief time to be the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 under the reign of King Naungdawgyi (Konbaung Dynasty).

Relics till current days
U Min Thonze Cave - Myanmar Mandalay
* U Min Thonze cave
This pagoda comprises of 45 charming gilded Buddha images in a crescent-shaped colonnade, partly built on the side of Sagaing Hill. Each Buddha statue is unique in different sizes and facial expression.
Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Soon U Ponya Shin pagoda
It is based on Nga-pha Hill, one of the southern hilltops of Sagaing Hill. According to a legend, it was built overnight in early 1300s.
This pagoda features a central 97ft-high gilded stupa, some delightful paintings and statues, and amazing views over the sight below. It is originally decorated with glass tiles for an unlikely shimmering effect.


The city was the origin of the Konbaung Dynasty, established by King Alaungpaya in 1752, which was the i political force in burma after the mid-18th century. It served as Alaungpaya's capital from 1752 to 1760.
Up to 1752, Shwebo was a village, called Moksobo. In 1752, the chief of the village - Aung Zeya - founded the Konbaung Dynasty to resist the upcoming invasion of Lower myanmar and renamed his village as Shwebo. Over the following eight years, Alaungpaya led the reunification of myanmar with Shwebo as his capital. Shwebo lost its capital status after Alaungpaya's death in 1760. The successor Naungdawgyi moved the capital to Sagaing closer to Irrawaddy river. The region then was usually held as an appanage by the most senior princes.

Relics till current days
* Shwebo palace (Shwebonyadana Mingala Nandaw)
* Myodaung Pagoda
* Shwe Chattho Pagoda: built in the site where King Alaungpaya was born.
* Mahananda Lake
* Tomb of Alaungpaya
* Shwetaza Buddha Image
* The auspicious ground (Maha Aung Myay)


* From 1790, King Bodawpaya (6th king of the Konbaung Dynasty) ordered to construct a gigantic pagoda, a gigantic bell and a gigantic couple of lions during his reign until he was died in 1819.

Relics till current days:
Mingun Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mingun Pahtodawgyi (or Mantalagyi - fantastic Royal Stupa)
This incomplete monument stupa is a massive construction project started from 1790. However, when the king was died, it was intentionally left unfinished and halted. Mantalagyi had attained a height of 50 meters, one third of the intended height. A huge earthquake in 1839 caused huge cracks on it.
Mingun Bell (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mingun bell:
It was cast to go with Mantalagyi in 1808. Until now, Mingun bell has been in splendid ringing condition with no cracks. It does not make clangs but is rung by outstanding the outer edge. In history, it had been the world’s heaviest functioning bell at several times. The primary weight of the bell is 55,555 viss. This number is conveniently remembered by tremendous Burmese citizen as a mnemonic, and carved on the surface of the bell.

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, Mandalay, Myanmar
* Kaunghmudaw Pagoda (in Monywa)
This pagoda was constructed from 1636 to 1648 during the reign of King Thalun (8th king of Toungoo dynasty), very well-known for its rare egg-shaped design, which stands out more the traditional pyramid-shaped style of Burmese pagodas. The yellow domed house is 46m tall, featuring a large white marble Buddha image in its core and a relic chamber. Over 800 stone pillars along with image-filled niches circle it.

Hsinbyume Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Hsinbyume Pagoda
It was constructed in 1816 by King Bagyidaw (7th king of the Konbaung Dynasty) in north of Mingun to commemorate his original consort and also cousin, Princess Hsinbyume, who was died in childbirth in a site nearby. This pagoda was painted in white and modeled the physical description of the Buddhist legendary mountain, Mount Meru. Seven concentric terraces symbolizes for the seven mountain ranges going up to the Mount.

Myanmar Tour FAQs updated

This is our newest update about Myanmar travel settings with 23 FAQs for the updated infomation. Check it out for the best preparation of your excited coming Myanmar holidays.

1. Burma or Myanmar? Where is the country?

Both names mean exactly the same and suffer the same insufficiency as both assigns the name of the ruling ethnic group (namely the ‘Bamar’, or ‘Burmans’, or ‘Myanmar’) to the whole country, thus repeating a pattern of discrimination or complacency towards minorities.
The name ‘Myanmar’ was adopted by the regime in 1989 without any democratic legitimization. While we don’t actually mind using ‘Myanmar’, we would definitely prefer if this change would retrospectively be confirmed by a genuinely democratic decision.
Myanmar is the largest country in mainland of Indochina Peninsular. The country shares border with: China in North East, India in North West,Bangladesh in South West, Laos in Central East, Thailand in South East.

2. Is Myanmar safe for travel?

Yes, definitely. The country is very safe for travel, even travel alone. The people mostly follow Buddhism and practice the Buddha’s lessons in their daily lives. Then they are very friendly, honest and willing to help others.
Myanmar is the colonial of UK for centuries. English is the second nationwide language after Burmese.

3. What is the best time to take a tour to Myanmar?

Roughly saying, the best time is about from October until April next year. It does not mean that from May to Sep, you cannot travel in Myanmar. During this time, the weather is quite hot (as in Bagan) or there is heavy rain that makes most of the beaches shut down, balloon services as Balloon over Bagan stopped. With good preparation and avoiding beach activities from May to Sep, the remaining parts of the country are big and beautiful enough for your Myanmar tour and it is even more joyful while you may get sweet, amazing discounts.

4. Myanmar is a big country, which places do you recommend?

Discover the whole Myanmar can cost you 1 month or more. For regular travelers, there are 4 most highlighted places you should take into your account:
  • Yangon: the former capital city with iconic symbol of Myanmar - Shwedagon pagoda
  • Bagan: The largest archeological site with 2200 stupas.
  • Inle Lake: the magical lake on mountain – the true heaven for nature and adventure.
  • Mandalay: the ancient city with Royal relics.

Those four places can be done within 8-9 days tour as a minimum for best enjoyment. You can do it longer in each depending on personal interest. The extensions from those places can be Ngapali beach, Mawlaymaiy, Kengtung, Putao, Mrak U, Mergui and more.

5. How many days I should spend in Myanmar?

Mostly recommended Myanmar package tours is running from 10 – 14 days. This is quite enough time for you to explore the best highlights of the country while still have sometimes for insight discoveries at each stop. We can do it longer or shorter very much depending on your requests

6. Can you do Visa for me?

Since Sep 2014, all tourist visa can be done via Internet portal None of the travel agents can do it in another way. If you find any difficulties, you can send us your personal information and we could submit on your behalf. The processing fee is 50$ as indicated on the portal.

7. Is it expensive to travel to Myanmar?

To be frank, a package tour to Myanmar will cost you higher than similar standard tours in Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia. The reason is all of the limitation of available services, especially in high season. We take an example: good 3-star hotels in Vietnam is around 40$/room/night, in Cambodia can be as cheap as 30$ while in Myanmar, you have to pay up to 70$/room/night for the similar standard.
The good news is that with just a few years opened to the world, there have been several international hospitality companies entering Myanmar to seek for investment opportunities. We observed the remarkable, positive changes since late 2014 and do expect the service rates in Myanmar soon inexpensive within few coming years.

8. It's quite out of my pocket. Can you offer the cheaper option?

Yes, of course. We inspected and stayed by ourselves in small, budget hotels to carefully pick the most suitable ones. We definitely can offer you an affordable package with comfortable enough stays. (more myanmar accommodation)

9. Is HIT Indochina a local company?

Yes, we are. HIT Indochina Travel Limited Company Myanmar is a local organization and a branch of HIT Indochina Company based in Vietnam. Our business license is 1352-2015/2016 (YGN) and Myanmar International Tour license is KHA-2959 (more about us)
We separate our process in two phase: Pre-Tours – Salesman in Vietnam handles the quotes and customized requests due to their excellent experiences, quicker Internet, safer Online payment gateway – and On Tours that handles by our branch office with our local Burmese staffs who are always available on phone or meet you in person if requested.
HIT Indochina contacts directly to all suppliers in Myanmar such as hotels, transportation companies, guides etc. And delivers those services to you. You don’t have to pay extra for any "middle man".

10. How long we should book a Myanmar tour in advance?

In other destinations, we often say the sooner the better but this fact somehow is NOT true in Myanmar. Just because the suppliers cannot provide their rates for too far future. We believe that from 2 – 4 months is the best. The minimum booking time should not be within 2 weeks to arrival date, especially in high season.

11. I want to join in a group. Do you offer?

We are sorry that we do not offer joined-group tours until this post updated. All our tours are offered on customized and private basis.

12. I travel alone - do I have to pay the single supplement?

Yes, you do. Myanmar is a newly opened country and the service suppliers seem not single-travelers-friendly that much. You will have to pay single supplement while we will try our bests to minimize the costs.

13. How can I pay you?

You can pay us via Cards: VISA, MASTER, JCB and Amex with our secure Online Payment Gateway named Onepay or Bank transfer to our bank account. Those are our favorite payment receiving methods. We are very open to your convenient choice, too.
You will pay via those methods the deposit only (often running from 20 – 30% total booking value). The balance will be paid when you ARE in Myanmar..

14. Why the payment page is ""? is the secured payment gateway that takes the advantages of SSL technology – similar to Paypal. Onepay is simpler than Paypal and doesn't need any account sign-up or login. HIT Indochina assigns to Onepay to process all our online transactions on our behalf. (more on payment processing).

15. I don’t want something classic. Can you offer anything different?

Yes, we can absolutely. HIT Indochina has a section of real adventure since 2006 then we definitely know how to make your trip to Myanmar completely a different adventure. We can deal with mountain trekking in Putao, hiking in Kalaw, kayaking in Mergui and/or cycling tours in Myanmar etc. Contact to our team for details.

16. After deposit, how do I know you processed the services for me?

Each of our tours, when confirmed, will be given a tour code eg: MTC150215Angie. This code is sent to all suppliers included in your tour. The easiest way to check up your services ready yet is to call to the hotels, for instance, and tell them about the code + our company name. You will find out our bookings for your Myanmar package.

17. What is the room included in the tour quotation?

Room included in our Myanmar package tours are twin/double shared room at 3 star standard hotels in main cities. At more remote areas where standard hotels are not available, clean rooms with en-suite bathrooms in good guest houses are our choice. (more Myanmar accommodation)

18. How is about the meal included?

We often include one (01) welcome dinner in our tour quotes. The meal is often in a fine restaurant with Burmese cuisines. The Burmese cuisine is much influenced by Indian style with many types of curries, spicy taste but blended to fit local ingredients.

19. The vehicles in Myanmar are out-of-date, aren’t they? What would be used in my tour?

We must admit so. Myanmar government does not allow to import brand new vehicles while their domestic automobile industry is not much until this post updated. We suggest you should not expect something sparkling or shining but our vehicles are all high hygiene, good quality, strong A/C, comfortable seat and safe in performance. (more Myanmar transportation).

20. Can I used credit/debit cards when I am in Myanmar?

Yes, we are confident to confirm “you can use credit cards” in main cities and most hotels from 3 stars up. The fee for processing is running from 3 – 5%.

21. What is currency here? Should I use local currency or US$?

The local currency is Kyat (pronounce: chat). The exchange rate is around 1USD = 1360Kyat. Kyat will be accepted in all transactions regardless of the note conditions.
You can use USD for most of the transaction with locals there. But please note your USD notes must be new, clean, unmarked, unfolded and notes with series from 2003 up to now is preferred.
ATM available in most main cities of Myanmar. The currencies available for withdrawal are USD, AUD, SGD and Bath Thai.

22. How about the communication in Myanmar?

The mobile communication in Myanmar now is very popular and cheap. The network is based on GSM technology – SIM based devices. The 3G is good enough for web surfing and facebook. The SIM card can be obtained easily at malls on streets as cheap as 3-4$ each. The favorite provider is Ooredoo.
Wifi hotspot is available at most of the hotels with free of charge. However, the signal strength may not be as strong as your expectation. Most of the fine restaurants offer free wifi too.

23. What if I am in a medical emergency?

Under any case of emergency, you can call immediately to our hotline in Myanmar +959 420 13 64 70/ +959 254 13 2825 (Mr. Si Thu) or 84-90-224-3637 for more support.

Disclaimer: The information is true at this time of posting updated - Aug 2018 . Even though we check up our surrounding conditions quite often but the country changes so quickly that some details in this post can be wrong just next few months. HIT Myanmar welcomes all re-correction notes or/and encourages you to contact to our team for the latest update.

Thứ Bảy, 11 tháng 8, 2018

Government Bans Tourists from Climbing on Pagodas in Bagan

nearly the pagodas in Bagan will be prohibited to ascend on top since March 01 2016.


Watching the sunset from the top of a pagoda is one of Bagan’s delightful travel experiences, also rated as a “must-do” when taking a journey to burma.

Nonetheless, on ultimate February 22, 2016, Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture announced its decision to ban visitors from climbing on old pagodas in this world-renowned archaeological zone, after publication of a video showing an indecent show on top of one structure in Bagan.

The cause starts from a fact happening in the second week of this February, as a medical company had conducted a cultural singing- and-dancing show on Pyathagyi Pagoda, as the Mimistry said, had a “negative impact” on the nation’s culture.

The number of locals and foreign tourists to Bagan has grown quickly recently, doubled from 120,000 to 250,000 between 2011 and 2015. This means hundreds of visitors ascend the temples everyday, placing strain on the old structures. Said by the Ministry, the ban will ensure the pagodas are “maintained for the long term”.

The ban will be effective from March 01, 2016.

However, the decision then received scathing criticisms from tourism business operators and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. They assume that this forbiddance will damage the industry and the image of Bagan because the major reason travelers reach here is to admire landscape from the pagodas. They want the decision to be reconsidered.

before this objection, yesterday, the Ministry of Culture clarified 5 pagodas exempt from the climbing ban.

next to the Ministry, the ban will not be applied on the 5 pagodas, namely Shwesandaw – the most favorite spot for sunset scenery, Pyathard Gyi, South Gunni, North Gunni and Thitsaw Wati.

Note: Based on the decision of Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture, sunset viewing on Shwesandaw Pagoda in the adventure programs of is still carried out as usual. However, travelers need to pay attention not to climb on the other pagodas in Bagan without the 5 pagodas as we showed above.

Stay updates with SEA WANDER if there are new announcements coming out.

Visiting Bagan - Beyond Pagodas and Stupas

Bagan owns over 2,200 pagodas and stupas. Apart from learning religious and antique architecture, there are tremendous active activities for travelers to uncover other sides of burma country like culture, people and landscape.

1. Ballooning ride

This is the best, funniest way to catch the panorama of Bagan. Unparalleled aerial spectacle from hot air balloons will actually bring splendid moments to travelers as contemplating this majestic construction ensemble. Balloon journeys usually departs on early morning, the featured time in a day to observe rich sunrise, when primary sunbeams shine down roof of old stupas. Surely this way will captivate photographers. With a location on a balloon, you can possibly capture great shots and create amazing photos.
Myanmar Balloon ride
Important note: Balloon ride is not avalable from April to Sep due to weather conditions. The most captivating time in day for ballooning is early morning (from 5AM)

2. Biking on semi-dessert, sandy paths or up to mountains

A new way to admire quaint pagodas and stupas, on two wheels, as breezes drift over you. By pedaling, you could stop at anywhere you want to talk to locals you meet, who could be in way to pasture, adventure market or farm. Your cycling trip may be interrupted by herds of cows or goats ambling on roads.
For travelers who indulge in tours get to, you be able to bring a mountain biking trip, heading to Mount Popa and its spectacular hilltop temple, the best holy destination for meditation in myanmar. This exotic mountain used to be a volcano, which is 1518m high and located 50 km from southeast of Bagan. On the cycling tours to Mount Popa, you will find jungles, green fields and golden temples spires. Pedaling around the mount, you be able to uncover rustic villages and palm gardens.
Bagan biking tours

3. Wonderful Cooking class

If you such as to understand partly Burmese cuisine (soup, salad, curry), let attend a cooking class. The teachers will show you different types of herbs and vegetables which are typical food materials in Burmese cooking. You be able to get to market with the teachers to select and purchase ingredients as well as spices. On the class, the chef will show you the traditional preparation and cooking methods. Habits of eating and traditions of the Burmese are explained as well.
Toddy juice, which is gotten from the buds in early morning, is a featured nice of food in Burmese cuisine. The favorite white-liquor, palm sugar and a local afternoon Sky Beer are made from this juice. A cooking class will carry you to encounter toddy palm climbers, observe their simple life and daily routine in palm gardens.
Cooking class in Bagan

4. String Traditional Puppet performance

Puppetry is called “yoke thé” in Burmese. “Yoke thé” performances originated from the royal art and were gradually adapted for the wider populace. Bagan is an antique capital so it is also the land of puppetry. Burmese marionettes are greatly intricate and delicate as they own 18 or 19 wires for male and female characters in turn. Every puppet is controlled by only one puppeteer.
You may notice puppet performance in Bagan at restaurants or hotels.
String puppet show in Bagan

5. Touring by ox-cart or horse-cart

Ox-cart and horse-cart are the traditional modes of transport in Bagan. You should try traveling as a real Burmese by a horse-cart or ox-cart ride. It is really fun which surely bring you a new experience. A cart ride can lead you to off-beaten-track temples and plain villages for authentic discovery.
bagan horse cart ride

Suggested tours:
Photos in this post credit to SEA WANDER Team