Intriguing and mysterious, Burma, also known as Myanmar, (the name given to it by its military government), is relatively undiscovered, making it perfect for those with an appetite for adventure. With a cultural heritage, spanning over two thousand years dominated by the Buddhist faith, the landscape is peppered with magnificent temples.
The Irrawaddy River (also known as the Ayeyarwady) is the country's lifeblood, connecting many of the best places to visit. Starting in the south, Yangon (also known as Rangoon) is often called the ‘Garden of the East’ for its parks and streets lined with trees and the Burmese culture is much in evidence here in the imposing golden Shwedagon Pagoda and Chaukhtagyli reclining Buddha. Do visit Bogyoke Aung San Market, where traditional handicrafts, including lacquer ware and silver ware, can easily be purchased.
Following the river north, the ancient city of Bagan, a World Heritage Site, boasts in the region of five-thousand monuments, while Mandalay is steeped in royal and spiritual history, epitomised at Golden Palace Monastery and Mahamuni Pagoda. Bhamo's market attracts the Kachin,Shan, Lisu and Palaung people, in their traditional dress, while Lake Inle is also worth visiting. Supporting over two-hundred villages, some built on stilts over the water, you can see the 'leg-rowers' who row with one leg.