Call Us

Call Our

Travel Consultants

UK opening times today: 08:30 - 18:00
Call Our Travel Consultants

  • Caribbean & Mexico 01244 897 991
  • Europe & North Africa 01244 897 771
  • Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf & Middle East 01244 897 881
  • Luxury Villas 01244 897 441
  • The Americas (Canada North & South America) 01244 897 221
  • Ski & Snowboard01244 897 331
  • Africa 01244 897 111
  • Luxury Cruise 01244 897 200
  • Asia & Australia 01244 897 551
  • General Enquiries 01244 897 505

Call One of Our Travel Consultants


Belmond Road To Mandalay

Belmond Road To Mandalay

Belmond Road To Mandalay

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on: 01244 897505

Request A Quote

A Sentimental Journey - Part 1

By Julie Sturzy

Senior Marketing Content Executive

Posted: 21 February 2014

Julie Sturzy was both excited and a little apprehensive about her luxury trip to Burma (Myanmar). She'd heard so much about it from friends and colleagues – that it was an intriguing and mysterious land with amazing landscapes, as well as the turbulent politics, limited communications coverage, power shortages and unreliable transport! However, she went with an open mind. She's glad that she did because, the impressions she formed of Mandalay were so completely vivid and so entirely her own – sultry days, lingering blood-orange sunsets, dusty paths, mysterious relics dotted across vast plains and people working with ox and horse carts, in contrast to the hectic city of Yangon (Rangoon).

Escorted from Burma's international airport in a relatively modern vehicle (a bonus in a country where vehicles are subject to a massive import tax), off she travelled along the busy airport road, passing vans laden with goods and people hanging off overcrowded buses and coaches. Continuing to her first stop her eyes were bombarded with unusual sights: men wearing skirt-like ‘longyi’ and ladies faces covered with a pale yellow powder called ‘thanakha’; barefoot monks and nuns in pink robes carrying parasols; children precariously balanced on bicycles, crouching street-sellers and red-stained teeth from Betel-chewing. Sugar plantations, teak, gems, oil and silver all form part of Burma’s naturally rich resources that over the years have attracted many races (not only the British), their migration resulting in a cultural mixing pot, exemplified in the Indian and Chinese Quarters. The crumbling architecture of Yangon, echoing the country’s Colonial past and hinting at its troubled history, sat in stark contrast to the newly placed, large advertising boards for western-style products and brands, including one for Daks Clothing which, given the surroundings, made Julie laugh out loud.

Julie arrived at Belmond Governor’s Residence , an impressive teak residence set within beautiful, peaceful gardens with lily ponds, dancing dragonflies, butterflies and giant parasols, for her stay. A calm oasis within the Embassy Quarter and only ten minutes from the city centre, the luxury hotel features traditional ceiling fans, walls adorned with modern art, stylish boutiques, generously sized rooms, and an outside courtyard with pool, a luxury no other hotel in Yangon has. She was treated to a half-day city tour followed by an evening visit to the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda. Over two-thousand years old, it contains many religious relics, including strands of Buddha’s hair, making it a place of pilgrimage for many Buddhists and should be considered essential viewing for everyone. Nothing could have prepared her for the disparity between the outside chaos and the serenity of the interior with its lakes, villas, gold leaf and diamonds.

When Julie's stay in Yangon came to an end, she flew to Bagan (about an hour-and-a-half), where she joined the Belmond Road to Mandalay .

To Read Julie's 'Sentimental Journey - Part 2', click here

About Julie

Having worked at Elegant Resorts for over twelve years, Julie is no stranger to long-haul travel. An explorer at heart, she’s at her happiest when discovering ancient cultural sites or getting up-close-and personal with the natural wonders of the world. She counts everywhere in the southern hemisphere, from South Africa to New Zealand, and Asia (Burma and Indo-China in particular) amongst her favourite places in the world and loves to experience wildlife encounters. 

Why Choose Elegant Resorts


As the foremost British pioneer of luxury travel – and boasting an ever-increasing collection of prestigious accolades that celebrates this – Elegant Resorts is a tour operator with the expertise, knowledge and reputation to deliver only the very finest tailor-made luxury holidays to our clients, honed by thirty years of experience in this niche travel business.

Read More
Luxury Island Holiday
Elegant Resorts Phone App

The Elegant Resorts
Luxury Travel App

Our travel app is the perfect companion to take with you on your Elegant Resorts Luxury holiday and is the perfect complement to our personal luxury travel expertise.

Read More
Available on Android and Iphone

Available on Android and iOS