I regret that for the moment I feel I need to put my trips to Burma/Myanmar on hold.
The country is starting to rebuild itself after years of military dictatorship. But here are still major political issues including vicious ongoing wars being waged against a number of the minority cultures who live near the borders, such as the Kachin, Shan, Mon, and Rohingya. I do think that individual travelers should go and engage with the country mindfully, but at the moment I don’t want to take a group there. If you’re reading this, hoping to go with me, do consider going on your own. It’s not scary! Leave yourself time to explore.
The itinerary I’d planned, and that I hope to do again another year is as follows: We meet in Rangoon (Yangon) on a Monday afternoon in early February.
We have a day in Rangoon to explore, shop a little, and get acquainted, then on the Wednesday we fly to Bagan, a remarkable and enchanting World Heritage site on the Irrawaddy River. There we stay in comfort near the ruins, explore the temples and ruins, take a trip out to Mount Popa, and a sunset sail on the Irawaddy.
After two days and nights we fly on to the Inle Lake area. We head north from the airport to see the Pindaya Buddha caves, and stay nearby for one night. Then for the next two days we stay down near the lake, travelling by boat to visit markets, as well as silk weavers, local food artisans, and other craft people. The local markets are intense, vibrant, and a wonderful place to get an idea of the life and food and agriculture that characterise this fertile beautiful region.
We fly back to Rangoon on the following Monday, and after a farewell dinner, departure is the next day, though some people choose to stay on for further travels in Burma.