BURMA - Mandalay layer

A visit to the vast Royal Palace whilst staying in Mandalay is highly recommended. Wander through these ornate moat walls to discover the ‘Forbidden City’, which contains teak palaces, throne halls and pavilions.

1/41
BURMA - Bagan, hot air balloons.jpg

Bagan is a truly astonishing landscape with over 4,000 ancient temples and stupas scattered across the jungly plains. 

2/41
BURMA - Inle Lake, Shan State.jpg

Inle Lake is a place of heart-stopping beauty… Slice through the water on a long-tail boat and observe the unique method of rowing with one leg used by the Inle fisher-folk.

3/41
BURMA - Mergui Archipelago (2).jpg

Sail around the little-known Mergui Archipelago in style, on the sleek and sexy catamaran, Meltimi.

4/41
BURMA - Mergui Archipelago.jpg

The Mergui Archipelago, a group of 800 islands scatted in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of Burma’s remote south, is one of the last untouched and unspoilt tropical destinations left on earth.

5/41
BURMA - Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon (2).jpg
BURMA - Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon.JPG

Burma's most sacred Buddhist site, the Shwedagon Pagoda. A glittering gold 2,000-year-old pagoda, in the heart of Yangon.

7/41
BURMA - bull and cart.jpg

The bullock cart is a common means of transportation in Burma, and they are still used today where modern vehicles are too expensive or the infrastructure does not favour them. 

8/41
Burma Banner 4
BURMA - religious statue

Just one of the hundreds of impressive religious statues you'll discover in Burma.

10/41
BURMA Ngapali Beach

Relax on one of Burma’s emerging coastal resorts. Ngapali is a beautiful and largely undiscovered beach with soft golden sand, set on the Bay of Bengal and backed by tropical palm trees.

11/41
BURMA Balloons Over Bagan

Enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon journey over the temples of Bagan with extraordinary views over hundreds of ancient ruins and pagodas which peek out from this remote jungle. It's a truly unforgettable experience and the best way to appreciate this archeological wonder.

12/41
BURMA Bagan Temple 4

Bagan has a truly astonishing landscape. It is a mesmerising moment when you first set eyes on so many ancient temples peeking out from this vast horizon stretching as far as the Irrawaddy River. Climb a viewpoint and take in over 4000 stupas scattered across the jungly plains. 

13/41
BURMA Bagan Burmese Local

Meet some fantastic local people in Bagan, like this lady we met wearing extraordinary head gear!

14/41
BURMA - Bagan - buddhist monk

At the frontier of adventurous Asian travel, Bagan leaves other cultural destinations in the shade. Her temple-strewn landscapes are guaranteed to fill you with both awe and spiritual calm.

15/41
BURMA - Mandalay - Mingun white temple

If you head 10kms up the Irrawaddy River, you’ll be rewarded with the arresting sight of the breath-taking white Mingun pagoda, with its unusual wave-like terraces.

16/41
BURMA Ngapali Beach 2

Welcome to Ngapali, Burma's best beach with a wide and inviting stretch of golden sand. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a hectic schedule of temple-tours and even better, you’ll still find very few tourists here.

17/41
BURMA Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon is a beautiful, glittering gold 2,000 year old temple in Yangon. It is Burma's most sacred Buddhist site and draws in local people from within the city and afar. Yangon's early history is tied very closely to its magnificent Pagoda, where eight of Buddha's hairs are said to be enshrined. 

18/41
BURMA RV Paukan Irrawaddy River

A journey aboard the RV Paukan is a wonderful way to take in the Irrawaddy River. This spacious, boutique boat has over 30 crew members to take care of you. 

19/41
BURMA Pyin Oo Lwin

Discover the delights of Pyin Oo Lwin, a scencic hill town in the centre of rural Burma. Learn more of its colonial past from buildings that still exist from British colonial rule in Burma.

20/41
BURMA Bagan Temple 3

At dawn, watch the sun bring Bagan to life, picking out details on the intricate stupas and temples. Although there are around 5,000 monuments, no two are the same.

21/41
BURMA Ngapali Beach Sandoway Resort

Feast on fresh seafood at this breezy beachside restaurant at the Sandoway Resort, overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

22/41
BURMA Ngapali Beach Ngapali Bay Villas Pool

Ngapali Bay villa’s have an enviable location overlooking a perfect stretch of beach on  the Bay of Bengal. Villas are dotted around surrounding tropical gardens; the best are on the seafront with private deck and plunge pool.

23/41
BURMA New Moon Festivities

The New Moon Festival is celebrated in Burma with traditional clothing, processions and offerings. If you’re lucky enough to witness a festival in Burma you’ll notice towns get very busy and the Burmese are in a playful mood!

24/41
BURMA Maymyo Market

Escape the heat of the coast in Maymyo, a cool, colonial hill station and admire the wide range of vegetables grown in this fertile climate.

25/41
BURMA - Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda 2

Watch a holy procession snake its way through Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, one of Burma’s most sacred sites.

26/41
BURMA - Yangon - reclining Buddha

Find peace in Burma’s capital Yangon when visiting this graceful reclining Buddha and marvel at its size – this Buddha is over 26 metres long.

27/41
BURMA - Pyin Oo Lwin - horse and cart

Take a ride in a horse and cart, unique to Pyin Oo Lwin, and visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, which thrive in this cool climate. 

28/41
BURMA - Mrauk U

We recommend a visit to atmospheric Mrauk U soon. Although smaller than Bagan, it has an undiscovered feel to it and apart from a few farmers you might have the place to yourself.

29/41
BURMA - Mingun - local taxi

Hail a taxi, Burma style! Get to grips with this method of transport in Mingun, where a bullock and bamboo cart is waiting to take you to your destination. 

30/41
BURMA - Marionette Show Bagan

If you get a chance, watch a traditional Marionette show using hand-made puppets, customary age-old entertainment in Burma.

31/41
BURMA - Mandalay - Mingun Stupa

Admire the remains of what would have been the world's largest religious monument, Mingun Paya, if work on it hadn't been halted by an 1838 earthquake.

32/41
BURMA - Irrawaddy River

Idle away time on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, observe local families who use the river as means of transport and enjoy Burma's great birdlife .

33/41
BURMA - Inle Princess, Sun set deck

Enjoy this serene view of Inle Lake from the Inle Princess Resort, framed by the magnificent backdrop of the Blue Mountains and edged by lush paddy fields. 

34/41
BURMA - Inle Princess, Chalet, room

Not only does the Inle Princess Resort provide stunning views over Inle Lake, its chalets are more than comfortable too, with spacious bedrooms and private terraces.

35/41
BURMA - Inle Princess - View from Balcony 207, Min Yu

Admire the reflections in the crystal clear waters of Inle Lake from the privacy of your balcony in a lake front view Chalet at the charming Inle Princess Resort.

36/41
BURMA - Inle Lake cigar rolling

Take part in this fascinating custom in a local home on the shores of Lake Inle and learn how to roll a cheroot style cigar, made from crushed tabacoo and wrapped in tree leaves. Here is Ampersand's MD, James, having a go!

37/41
BURMA - Inle Lake - traditional long neck ladies

Discover more about the little-known minority villages that bank on the shore of Inle Lake. These tribeswomen add rings to their necks to give the impression of ‘long- neck ladies’.

38/41
BURMA - Bagan temple 2

Daily life for the Burmese people carries on as usual within the archaeological site of Bagan. 

39/41
BURMA - Bagan - Shwezigon Paya

There are often offerings and blessings ceremonies with special costumes happening around the stunning gold-leafed circular stupa at the Shwedagon Pagoda. 

40/41
BURMA - Amarapura - Buddhist nuns

Here we visited a school for nuns in Amarapura, which is a fascinating experience. Burma is absolutely packed full of novice monks and nuns who are completely focused on what they’re doing. The discipline and faith of the Burmese people is really very touching.

41/41

Hotels

Emerging Burma is an explorer’s dream – fascinating natural phenomena, mystical temples toppling into the riverbanks, and undiscovered tropical beaches. Discerning travellers will find an array of good hotels, but they do need to be booked well in advance due to the increase in tourist numbers to Burma. Expect colonial Grand Dames, hotels with stupa-studded vistas and bamboo-clad lakeside lodges. Browse our portfolio of hand-picked hotels, lodges and resorts in Burma, listed alphabetically by location:

  • All
  • Beach & Islands
  • The north - Mandalay & Inle Lake
  • Yangon & South
  • Bagan & river cruises

Amara I ,
Bagan

The Amara I is a traditional Burmese riverboat that cruises up and down the beautiful Irrawaddy River. Cruises mainly go...

View here

Amara II ,
Bagan

The Amara II is very similar to her sister boat, the Amara I. Launched in 2008, the Amara II has...

View here

Amara Mountain Resort ,
Kalaw

A colonial cottage which dates from 1909, the Amara Mountain Resort is easily the best hotel in town, and certainly the...

View here

Amara Ocean Resort ,
Ngapali Beach

The Amara Ocean Resort stretches along the pristine shoreline of Ngapali Beach on the west coast of Burma. The 28 spacious...

View here

Aureum Palace ,
Bagan

Aureum Palace is a sprawling property of 87 rooms and villas, overlooking a dreamy scene of Bagan's pagoda-studded landscape across...

View here

Aureum Palace Inle ,
Inle Lake

Aureum Palace Inle is an impressive 65 room resort located on the eastern banks of Inle Lake. All of the...

View here

Bagan Lodge ,
Bagan

Bagan Lodge was launched in late 2013 and it has great promise. Part of the Apple Tree brand, who also...

View here

Chatrium Hotel ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

The Chatrium Hotel is located next to the historic and well known Kandawgyi Lake in the heart of Yangon. International...

View here

Hilton Ngapali Resort & Spa ,
Ngapali Beach

Overlooking the turquoise seas of the Bay of Bengal, the Hilton Ngapali Resort & Spa is only a few minutes’...

View here

Hotel by the Red Canal ,
Mandalay

Opened in 2006, the Hotel by the Red Canal is a compact boutique hotel near many of Mandalay's main sites....

View here

Hpa-An Lodge ,
Hpa-An

Located at the foot of Mount Zwe Kabin in the heart of south eastern Burmese province of Kayin, Hpa-An Lodge...

View here

Inle Lake View Resort ,
Inle Lake

Inle Lake View Resort is a stylish Burmese-French owned resort situated on the eastern shores of Inle Lake. This boutique...

View here

Inle Princess Resort ,
Inle Lake

This peaceful Burmese-owned resort is the perfect base for exploring Inle Lake. Jutting over the eastern shores of the lake,...

View here

Kandawgyi Hill Resort ,
Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

Kandawgyi Hill Resort is in a good location, with the botanical gardens and a selection of the town's finest colonial...

View here

Kandawgyi Palace Hotel ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

The Kandawgyi Palace Hotel is a large modern international style hotel situated on the banks of the Kandawgyi Lake, and...

View here

Malikha Lodge ,
Putao

Malikha Lodge is the perfect introduction and final farewell to Northern Kachin State. Perched high above the Nam Lang River...

View here

Mandalay Hill Resort ,
Mandalay

Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is centrally located at the foot of Mandalay Hill meaning that rooms offer panoramic views of...

View here

Mountain Top Hotel ,
Kyaikhtiyo

This basic hotel is the best available for stays in Kyaikhtiyo, rooms have fans, and have garden and mountain views....

View here

Mr Charles Hotel ,
Hsipaw

A simple guesthouse well located in the centre of Hsipaw, Mr Charles Hotel is currently the best property in town,...

View here

Mrauk U Princess ,
Mrauk U

Mrauk U Princess is the charming sister property to the Inle Princess Resort at Inle Lake, and is by far...

View here

MY Drenec ,
Mergui Archipelago

Originally built as a working boat designed to spend long weeks on the open seas, the Drenec underwent a major...

View here

Ngapali Bay Villas & Spa ,
Ngapali Beach

The Ngapali Bay Resort re-opened in 2011 and is one of the best properties on the beach. The beach front...

View here

Novotel Inle Lake ,
Inle Lake

Spacious, contemporary in design and adaptable, each room at the Novotel Inle Lake is perfect for both business and leisure....

View here

Belmond Orcaella ,
Bagan

Orcaella, named after the friendly faced dolphins native to South East Asia, is the newest addition to Belmond's range of...

View here

Pyin Oo Lwin Hotel ,
Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

Deep in the Shan Highlands east of Mandalay, in the scenic hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin, formerly Maymyo, lies...

View here

Riverside at Hsipaw Resort ,
Hsipaw

Set along Hsipaw's picturesque riverside, the Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort is comprised of a series of charming brick cottages with...

View here

Royal Kalaw Hills Resort ,
Kalaw

Originally built in 1898, the Royal Kalaw Hills Resort is a charming, English style country house hotel located at the...

View here

Rupar Mandalar Resort ,
Mandalay

Rupar Mandalar Resort is a delightful member of the Mandalay hotel scene, tucked away amidst landscaped gardens in the east...

View here

RV Kindat Pandaw ,
Bagan

This classic 187 ft river cruiser is full of Burmese charm and appeal, and has all of the on board...

View here

RV Pandaw II ,
Bagan

The Pandaw II is a replica of a colonial era river steamer with an ultra shallow hull, allowing access to...

View here

RV Paukan ,
Bagan

Paukan is the ancient name of Bagan, the old city of two thousand temples on the bank of the Irrawaddy...

View here

RV Strand ,
Bagan

Burma’s most historic hotel, The Strand Hotel in Yangon, is launching it’s very own cruise ship, RV Strand. First sailing...

View here

Sanctuary Ananda ,
Bagan

First sailing in December 2014, the luxurious and stylish all-suite Sanctuary Ananda ship will take you on voyages of discovery...

View here

Sanctum Inle Resort ,
Inle Lake

Launched in 2015, the Inle Sanctum is a 96-room luxury resort on the eastern shore of Inle Lake. The look...

View here

Sandoway Resort ,
Ngapali Beach

  Sandoway Resort is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Beach Hotels Nestled amongst coconut palms on Ngapali Beach, the Sandoway Resort...

View here

Sedona Hotel ,
Mandalay

The Singapore-owned Sedona Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Mandalay opposite the Royal Palace and within walking distance...

View here

Sedona Hotel Yangon ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

With its newly opened Inya Wing, the Sedona Hotel Yangon is impressive in both its size and stature. Conveniently located...

View here

Sule Shangri-La ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

Part of the prestigious Shangri-La hotel group, opposite Scott's Market, the Sule Shangri-La is a well located modern luxury hotel....

View here

SY Aventure ,
Mergui Archipelago

Sleeping up to 6 guests in a master cabin and 2 guest staterooms with queen-sized beds, Aventure is one of...

View here

SY Meltemi ,
Mergui Archipelago

SY Meltemi is a great catamaran for couples, groups of friends or families as there is plenty of space to...

View here

SY Meta IV ,
Mergui Archipelago

Sleeping up to 8 guests and with a crew of 4 people, Meta IV sails Burma’s stunning and undiscovered Mergui...

View here

SY Raja Laut ,
Mergui Archipelago

Over 100 feet in length Raja Laut is an antique gentleman’s yacht built in the tradition of the 19th century...

View here

SY Scame ,
Mergui Archipelago

Scame is a timeless 72 foot sailing yacht with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. With three double cabins, she is...

View here

SY Sunshine ,
Mergui Archipelago

Sleeping up to 6 guests in two main staterooms and a spacious aft cabin, Sunshine is the ultimate in luxury...

View here

The Anawrahta ,
Bagan

First sailing in early 2016, the opulent Anawrahta, a four-deck paddle-cruiser, boasts the largest cabin space and the highest crew...

View here

Belmond Governor's Residence ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

  The Governor's Residence is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Lux City Hotels Our favourite hotel in Yangon, The Governor's Residence,...

View here

The Hotel at Tharabar Gate ,
Bagan

Nestled amongst the temple complex of Old Bagan, opposite the beautiful and iconic Ananda Temple, the Hotel at Tharabar Gate...

View here

The Loft ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

Opened in 2014, The Loft is a boutique city hotel in the heart of Yangon. With a chic and modern...

View here

Belmond Road to Mandalay ,
Bagan

The Road to Mandalay is the most comfortable and luxurious way to explore the Irrawaddy River. After being damaged in...

View here

The Savoy ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

Overlooking the glistening Shwedagon Pagoda, the centrally located Savoy is a throwback to colonial times. Partly renovated, part new build,...

View here

The Strand ,
Yangon (Rangoon)

Originally built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers on the banks of the Yangon river, mere minutes’ walk from the...

View here

Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort ,
Bagan

Situated just outside Old Bagan, the spacious Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort has a brilliant location on the banks of the Irrawaddy...

View here

Villa Inle Resort & Spa ,
Inle Lake

Villa Inle Resort & Spa is a charming boutique hotel located on the eastern shores of the iconic lake. Featuring...

View here