While most first-time visitors to Burma head understandably north from Yangon to the much acclaimed sights of Mandalay, Bagan and Lake Inle, for those who head south an altogether different and less visited world awaits.
On this epic journey, which will take us from the Burmese capital to its very southern tip, we’ll not only discover the cultural treasures around Hpa An and Mawlamyaing but also the rural charms of Bilu Island and the thought-provoking World War II cemetery at Thanbyuzayat. More notably, perhaps, upon arrival at the remote southerly town of Myeik, we’ll head out into the Andaman Sea and charter our own boat for a 5-day journey through some of the stunning 800 islands that make up the tropical Mergui Archipelago. Here, amongst the fading world of the Moken, the so-called “Sea Gypsies” - a tribe of maritime hunter-gatherers who have made this region their home over the last 4,000 years – we’ll mingle with the isolated fishing communities who inhabit this area of Burma that was, until recently, almost impossible to gain the necessary permits to visit.
This tour offers an insight into a very different Burma and as well as offering ample opportunities to relax in the warm waters of Southeast Asia, it will be certain to appeal to those who prefer their adventures a little bit more unscripted.
Tours that fall into this category are likely to involve at least a few challenging days and are often in destinations where tourism is still in its infancy.
You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.
These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section
With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.
Talk to us about Myanmar (Burma)
Carry a torch when visiting the temples of Bagan; some involve climbing steps in the dark.