Family Trip: Planning A Family Holiday To Burma
*in collaboration with InsideBurma
Burma is one of those exotic places in South-East Asia which remains somewhat untapped as a destination for many tourists, let alone family travellers. For me, this makes it more appealing, as it turns a holiday into more of an adventure. Cathy from Mummy Travels visited with her three-year-old. She explains, “In fact, the country is a fantastic destination to visit as a family: children are the centre of attention wherever you go, there’s a huge amount to see from beaches and boat journeys to historic temples and elephants, while it’s easy to discover on a budget or to get a taste of (nearly) five-star mod cons for less than neighbouring countries.”
Top Activities For Kids in Burma
Below are several recommendations for your family trip. This excellent interactive map gives you a really good idea about the places too!
Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon
The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the previous Buddhas. It is truly magnificent in size and the very top is decorated with glistening diamonds and crimson rubies.
Temples of Bagan
The temple city of Bagan has over 2000 temples, stupas and pagodas scattered throughout the sometimes barren and sometimes green landscape. Depending on the weather you can cycle or if hot and humid a private car can drive you around this impressive site.
Kalaw’s Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
Green Hill is a family owned refuge for ex-working elephants. The focus is primarily on providing care for elephants that are no longer fit for work. Finally, every visitor is invited to plant a tree.
Mandalay Expedition cruising on the Irrawaddy River
By boat, you can see a unique side of Burma; Stunning temples loom out of the mist at daybreak and if you are visiting during the rainy season, experience the lush green views as you enjoy a relaxing ride.
Thingyan Water Festival (13-16th April 2018)
Commonly referred to as the Water Festival, Thingyan allows people to celebrate the Burmese New Year. The primary event of Thingyan is the Water Festival. The beginning of the Water Festival, or A-Kya Nei, is marked with the firing of a water cannon into a public area. Water throwing with water guns, balloons, and hoses takes place in many areas of Myanmar and tourists are prime targets!
Mount Kyaiktiyo is famous for the huge golden rock at its summit. It somehow defies gravity as it balances somewhat precariously on the edge! The walk is quite strenuous so very young children would need to be carried. Only men are allowed to touch the rock.
Kayaking or hot air ballooning on/over Inle Lake
Experience kayaking on the lake or hot air ballooning and get a unique perspective of the area. Another option is to explore the lake in a traditional manner, with a longtail boat.
Pwin Oo Lwin
The botanical gardens are 177 hectares of lush vegetation, trees, and flowers. A perfect way to spend some time in areas of shade and for younger ones to burn off some steam. Admission includes the aviary, orchid garden, and butterfly museum.
Ngapali has pristine white sandy beaches and is home to some beautiful resorts. Clear waters and the palm-lined coast make it the idyllic beach! Surrounding the area are fishing villages, water sports, and delicious seafood restaurants.
If you are wanting to visit a number of places for your family trip to Burma- it may well be worth considering using a reputable travel agency such as Inside Burma Tours to facilitate this for you. Accommodation and transport can be organised along with set or tailor made tours – so it is often worth enquiring to work out your dream itinerary.
Best Time To Visit
Peak season begins in November and continues through to March. Although most people try and avoid the rainy or ‘green season’ which occurs between May and October, it’s a good time to visit if you want to avoid higher air fares, higher accommodation charges and the majority of tourists. The temperatures are also cooler during green season, tending to be lower around Bagan and Mandalay and average around 30 degrees compared to 40 degrees in peak season. Although you will need to pack lightweight macs, and plan for brief periods of wet weather – you will often have some of the attractions to yourself.
You will need a visa to travel if you are from certain countries and your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Burma. For information on inoculations, visit the NHS Fit For Travel website.
Pack holiday essentials such as hats, sunscreen, essential toiletries and mosquito spray.
How To Get There
Using a travel booking portal such as GoEuro or Skyscanner will help you find the most practical airlines to get you there or you can ask InsideBurma to take the stress out of organising flights when booking as part of one of their Small Group Tours or Tailored Journeys. There are currently no direct flights from the UK, but you can transit via Doha or Dubai if you want a break mid-journey or complete most of the journey to Yangon by flying to Singapore or Bangkok first.
Where To Stay
Self-catering places are not really a thing in Burma, so hotels are the main option. There are some mid-range hotels but if you want certain facilities, expect to pay more. InsideBurma provides some very useful tips to help you find the right family accommodation, including a useful tip on whether your child is old enough to use a hotel swimming pool!
Getting Around & About
Don’t expect smooth roads and highways. If you are intending on exploring large areas, then domestic flights will be a good option to explore, but they do often leave very early in the morning. Ngapali Beach and Putao are best accessed by air.
Private cars are more comfortable and practical for young families and boats can be fun too!
InsideBurma provides lots of practical information on their website – including video guides and a regularly updated blog.
This post is sponsored by Inside Burma. All photos courtesy of Inside Burma.
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