Myanmar Cruise Tours
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“This agency was recommended by my friend - Mr Jito and they really provide good service. Mr Thang helped us all the way from the moment we touch down the airport until the last day we go home, he never disappoint us and we really enjoy very much. all the itinerary they planed for us never go wrong. this...”
“Many thanks Jito for your kind support! My and husband's dream to visit Ha Long Bay was finally fulfilled. Tham from JTA Tours provided a good deal and clear itinerary during for visit Ha Long Bay. It was a last minute deal since we were already arrived in Hanoi and seems most good cruise was no longer...”
“Hi Suharjito, we are now fine in Indinesia. Thanks so much for amazing trip to the north of Vietnam including Hanoi, Halong& Ninh Binh also. Excellent experience and very high-level service. JTA Tours took amazing care of us from the moment we landed. Were very open for changes and for every...”
“Dear Thang, we have now returned back to Australia and the chores of work! – We have very pleasant memories of the sights, sounds, food and people of Vietnam….. We shall treasure for a lifetime I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our group to say we had a wonderful time – the...”
“Hi Thang, I do apologize that it has take me so long to email you and thank you for yet another super lot of organization on your part which helped to make our time in Vietnam so enjoyable. We really do appreciate so much your professional and reliable services which make our job in taking our small...”
““Our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia was superbly organised by JTA Tours. We were met promptly and efficiently by very friendly and helpful guides at each stage of our holiday. Our hotel in Seam Reap, Hoian & Hanoi was lovely. The trips were well organised and in formative. The floating villages were...”
““We wanted to write to you personally to let you know how much we enjoyed our holiday in Myanmar and to thank you for organizing this memorable trip. We had such an amazing time discovering your diverse and beautiful country, it's people and of course the strange food. We found your tour was so well...”
“Hi Mr. Thang, “BEST SELLING VIETNAM FAMILY TOUR - 17 DAYS" with JTA Tours, just a quick note to say thank you for an amazing experience! Our participants commented on how wonderfully it was organized and we received lots of positive feedback (along with a few suggestions but it was overwhelmingly positive)....”
“I search into Goggle for Vietnam & Cambodia tours, I contacted approximately 5 different companies, it was my contact with Ms Na Na that made me select your agency. She was superb in every way and a pleasure to work with, she had excellent suggestion for myself and three Granddaughters. She is truly...”
“Hi, thank you for your note. I would also like to make special mention of two of your staff – Mr Thang who prepared the tour for us and the second tour guide that we had, who I only knew as Phuong (he was our guide in both Dalat and Nha Trang). The service we received from both of these people was...”
“Hi Mr. Thang, We are doing fine. We want to let you know that our guide Mr Nam was excellent. He saw to all of our needs and had us back to our hotel on time for our dinner with or tour group. I would highly recommend Mr Nam to anyone that needed a private guide while visiting Vietnam. And, thank...”
Myanmar TRAVEL GUIDE
Have you come up with the idea of traveling to Myanmar , but don’t know how to plan it? The following travel guide may help your idea to go a bit further.
Myanmar has not been a popular tourist destination until recently because during the military rule, it was largely inaccessible to foreigners. Now that Myanmar is opening up to the rest of the world, what are good reasons to go and visit Myanmar? After all, there are other Southeast Asian destinations with cheaper budget.
Below are our top reasons why you should visit Myanmar.
Myanmar opened up much later than other Southeast Asian countries. While large cities in neighboring countries have rapidly been modernized and had countless skyscrapers built, Myanmar’s development has been relatively delayed.
Now the economy is starting to pick up pace, but Myanmar still has an old-world charm, with its ancient religious relics and historical architecture.
Some say that if you want to get the feel of a Southeast Asian country 30 or 40 years back, you can visit Myanmar and experience its old-world charm.
Myanmar is also an ideal destination for visitors interested to experience a Buddhist atmosphere, as the Buddhist faith permeates into every aspect of their lives and made its mark on Myanmar’s history and landscape.
Myanmar has a diverse and varied culture, which is reflected in Myanmar’s performing arts. One of them is the Burmese puppet show.
You can also experience Burmese culture through their festivals. Many Burmese festivals are to do with their practice of Buddhism. The most popular festival amongst visitors is the Water Festival, celebrated just before the Burmese New Year, during which people splash water on each other as a symbol for washing away bad luck.
More than just exotic culture, Myanmar also has gorgeous landscapes, from pristine beaches and majestic rivers to tranquil lakes and ancient plains.
Myanmar is a haven for photographers seeking to capture stunning photographs. Whether scenic panoramas of Myanmar’s majestic temples, or casual portraits of local people, you will surely not run out of images to capture.
Myanmar is a good place to have a culinary adventure, since its food is rich and diverse but not yet wel- known internationally. Myanmar food has been influenced by its neighboring countries such as India, China, and Thailand. However, there are also characteristics which are uniquely Burmese, for example the use of Ngapi, which is fermented fish or shrimp.
One of the things that will surely make your trip memorable is your encounter with the Burmese people. Burmese people are known for their genuine smile, and are in general very welcoming and hospitable, especially towards tourists.
Less crowded destination
If your idea of adventure doesn’t include flocking with swarms of tourists, Myanmar is your ideal destination. Previously untouched, it’s only in the beginning stages of developing their tourism industry.
While Myanmar is still a less-visited destination, compared to its neighboring Southeast Asian countries, the numbers of tourists are increasing rapidly. It is only a matter of time before it will become main-stream as well. So, now is a good time to visit Myanmar!
Myanmar (Burma) climate is tropical monsoon climate with three main distinctive seasons: Cool season, hot season and rainy season. The very best time to visit is the cool season between November and February. However, a visit in the other seasons can reward those planning to discover just top places at lower cost and in more solitude.
November to February — cool season and the best time
This is the best time to visit. It is warm and dry by day, with average highs hovering around 30°C in the top Myanmar destinations – Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Bagan and Ngapali Beach. Temperatures haven’t yet reached stifling, therefore providing perfect weather to visit temples, and to see amazing sunrises and sunsets.
This is the peak travel season. Always book the flights and accommodation as early as possible, like three months in advance. Because of the limited seats, it is wise to book the hot-air-balloon ride half a year ahead of time. At night the temperatures may drop to 15°C, so prepare some warmer clothes.
March to May — hot season
From the beginning of March onwards, the heat builds up steadily, with temperatures exceeding 40°C by the end of the month. It’s still dry throughout the country. Myanmar New Year in mid-April (Thingyan Water Festival) is a rewarding highlight. It’s interesting to participate in the water-fights. Pouring water over someone is regarded as performing a cleansing ritual.
June to October — rainy season/wet season
The southeast monsoon brings rainfalls to the whole country with average temperatures of 30°C, especially between June and August on the Bay of Bengal, in Yangon and the Irrawaddy Delta. Ngapali Beach closes down completely. You can still travel to key places – Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Bagan (except for the hot-air-balloon ride).
Myanmar (Burma) has a tropical monsoon climate with three distinct seasons: the cool season from November to February; the hot season from March to May; and the wet season from June to October.
The cool season is warm and dry with moderate temperatures hovering around 30°C. Blue skies are at their clearest and waters are turquoise, making it a great time for visiting archeological zones and beaches.
As temperatures increase to 40°C during the hot season, it feels intensely hot, especially the central region, making exploration of the archeological sites challenging at this time.
By the end of May, showers increase and monsoon storms sweep into the country bringing high rainfall. Certain places such as Yangon and the southern coast are wet, but the Mandalay region doesn’t see a lot of rain.
Myanmar(Burma), a little-explored country with fascinating cultural gems open to discovery, keeps enticing visitors. Most of the recommended activities below would be best experienced during the peak tourist season from November to February.
It takes at least 9 days to discover the enchantment of Myanmar on a classic tour covering Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. To extend your trip and relax for another two or three days, Ngapali Beach would be a nice option.
1. Stand in Front of the Most Sacred Glittering Pagoda
Yangon - Recommended time: two or three hours at sunset
In a country full of Buddhist monuments, to see the most sacred is to see the essence of the monuments. The Shwedagon pagoda is the most sacred. Standing almost 110 meters tall, this 2,500-year old pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and its top is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds. The pagoda shines magnificently in sunlight and it’s particularly impressive at sunset when the lights come on.
Walking around the surrounding terrace leading to the principal monument, you can explore a forest of elaborately decorated subsidiary shrines. A stream of pilgrims comes here to worship every day, proceeding in a clockwise direction and making offerings along the way. Some devotees just kneel at the terrace and pray facing the pagoda. At dusk the atmosphere is especially intense.
A knowledgeable local guide will provide an insider’s view, revealing stories behind this work of art. Bring your camera for some good photographs.
2. Take a Hot Air Balloon to See Thousands of Temples
Bagan - Recommended time: one hour on a scheduled morning flight
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Bagan is one of the richest archeological sites in Asia, with over 2,000 ruins of religious sites. Observing this majestic landscape by soaring in a hot air balloon through the delicate mist at sunrise is the experience of a lifetime.
Bagan hot air balloons
Operated by experienced ballooning companies, these magical flights run in the early mornings, when the weather conditions are more reliable and the scenery is beautiful. The flights provide visitors a unique experience flying over the Bagan complex, enjoying the panoramic view from an unrivaled perspective. Accompanied by a professional pilot, you will be inspired by a new horizon of discovery, while drifting serenely across the skyline.
3. Watch a Sunset from the Longest Wooden Teak Bridge in the World
Amarapura - Recommended time: two or three hours at sunset
At Amarapura, the sight of people walking or sitting along the wooden bridge watching a sunset, with sunlight intensifying the orange hues of the lake, has became iconic. The magical sunset can be seen in different colors - sometimes red or violet, yet most of the time a peerless orange.
The bridge is the U Bein Bridge, a 1.2-kilometer teakwood structure said to be the longest and oldest of its type in the world. It remains a central part of the community, as every day red-robed monks stride across and villagers wearing straw hats cycle across. Walk along the bridge and touch the teak planks or just rest there, watching the people pass by. If you are looking for an opportunity for good photos, take a boat trip on the lake.
4. Explore the World’s Largest Unfinished Stupa
Mingun - Recommended time: half a day
“Had it been [completed], the stupa would have risen even higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt”; David Abram, an author from DK Eyewitness Travel.
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, the Mingun Pahtodawgyi is the world’s largest unfinished stupa. Construction began in the 1790s, but was never completed. Visitors are welcome to climb up and see spectacular views of the nearby area; especially of the Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white pagoda unique in design.
In front of the south façade of the great stupa lies a whitewashed pagoda, the Settawya Pagoda, which is said to house a marble footprint of the Buddha. Along with the pagoda sits the second largest ringing bell in the world, known as the Mingun Bell and weighing 90 tons. Meanwhile, an hour-long boat trip upriver from Mandalay to Mingun provides insight into life along the Irrawaddy River.
5. Cruise the Irrawaddy River
Mandalay to Bagan - Recommended time: three to four days
The Irrawaddy River, one of the most important waterways in Myanmar, flows for around 2,170 kilometers from north to south. The best time for cruising is during the dry season from November to February. Once aboard the cruise, start your journey to discover the civilizations that sprung up on the riverbank and let the tenderness of the surrounding natural beauty melt your heart.
Bhamo, a city at the northernmost stretch of the river, is where visitors catch ferries south all the way to Yangon. The cruise from Bhamo to Mandalay reveals stunning Upper Irrawaddy scenery. The cruise from Mandalay to Bagan usually lasts two or three days. It is the most popular and classic excursion, filled with wonders. Enjoy your life on board, as your boat sails the most scenic stretches of the river.
6. See Floating Gardens and Fishermen Standing in the Leg-Rowing Position
Inle Lake - Recommended time: one day
Situated in a valley and surrounded by the Shan Hills, the Inle Lake region is quite different from the rest of Myanmar. The unique living conditions and lifestyle of the local ethnic group have made the lake one of the most popular attractions.
The Intha people live in traditional stilt houses and grow vegetables in floating gardens. They have developed a unique way of life over the water, perfectly adapted to the seasonal flow of the waterline. The scene of a fisherman steering his boat in the leg-rowing position and holding a conical net over the rippling lake has become a classic image of this region.
Take a boat trip to start your day skimming across Inle’s glassy surface. Watch villagers cultivate their vegetables, which are fixed to the lake bed by long poles in the unusual floating gardens. Visit two or three local villages and see cheroot factories, bustling markets and weaving workshops, including an opportunity to see how fine silk spun from lotus stalks is made into vibrant costumes. If you’re looking for souvenirs, traditional handicrafts might be just the job.
7. Observe the Gravity-Defying Golden Rock
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (the Golden Rock) - Recommended time: one day
Ranked as the third most sacred religious site in Myanmar after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and the Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is a pilgrimage site well-known for its iconic gravity-defying golden rock. Perched on a ledge, the golden rock, with a gilded pagoda sitting on top, seems about to roll down the hill and plunge into the void.
A lower terrace has been built around the base for female visitors to admire the golden rock from a distance; while male visitors are allowed to stand next to the rock and fix gold leaves onto it. There are a few observation decks nearby, from which you can gain an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding forested valley. The summit can be crowded during the peak season, when pilgrims from all over the country come here to worship.
8. Relax on the White Sand of Ngapali Beach
Ngapali - Recommended time: two or three days
With its clear turquoise water, pristine white sand and lush palm tree backdrop, Ngapali Beach owns a reputation as Myanmar’s premier beach destination. Here, it’s all about relaxing. Take a leisurely walk on the beach or try other activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or taking a small boat to explore the nearby fishing villages.
As for accommodation, the area has some chic resorts, providing good service and amenities, such as beach chairs under grass umbrellas for enjoying the stunning coastal views. One of the special local treats is to taste the fresh seafood. Most resorts own a beach view restaurant offering a wide variety of drinks and a menu of both local and western food. The peak season for the beach is from November to March.
People of most nationalities require a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma).
Loss of your visa/passport could result in a fine and curtailment of your travel plans. Asia Highlights recommends customers to keep a photocopy of their passport and visa somewhere safe and/or keep electronic versions on an accessible device.
Passport holders from the following countries are giving visa exemption for 14 days and are only permitted to enter via the international airports:
Passport holders from Singapore are giving visa exemption for 30 days for entering and exiting from the international airports.
Two Popular Ways to Get a Myanmar Visa
The easiest way to get a Myanmar visa is via the online eVisa system. Both tourist visa and business visa applications are accepted online.
If you plan to enter Myanmar at a seaport or at a border crossing point, however, we recommend you apply for your visa at a Myanmar embassy or consulate, which is a cheaper and more flexible option than applying online.
1. Online eVisa System
Myanmar’s eVisa system is a project launched by the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population. The process from application to approval is performed via the online platform.
2. Myanmar Embassy or Consulate
A Myanmar visa can be applied for at a Myanmar embassy or consulate abroad. Each applicant must complete the visa application form and submit it to the embassy together with:
- A passport with at least 6 months’ validity
- Two recent color photo (4.8 x 3.8 cm)
- One photocopy of the passport page showing the applicant’s photo
- Letter of Invitation to you from a registered company in Myanmar (when applying for a Business visa)
- Letter of Recommendation to you from a registered company in your own country (when applying for a Business visa)
- Other documents if and when necessary