Experiencing Burma in luxury

photo by CC user slapers on Flickr

With Burma experiencing a change in leadership over the past several years, this mysterious Southeast Asian nation’s isolation has been ended, resulting in its rapid modernization.

This has made luxury travel easier, yet it is important to get in and experience Myanmar before development has it feeling like just another nation in the rest of the region. In that spirit, the following ideas will help you experience Burma in luxury before it catches up with the rest of us.

Sail through the Mergui Archipelago

While the rest of Southeast Asia developed throughout the latter part of the 20th century and in the 21st century, the islands of Burma’s Mergui Archipelago remained largely off limits to foreigners. While places like Phuket and Langkawi turned into tourist playgrounds, many of the islets of this Myanmar chain are as pristine as their contemporaries were 50 years ago.

As such, those looking for the prototypical tropical paradise will find them here in abundance. Many tour companies offer multi-day sailing tours through the remote south of Burma, which will have you setting foot on lightly touched beaches, mingling with sea gypsies in their increasingly rare villages and enjoying local seafood under the stars, which will be unencumbered by urban street lights in this undeveloped part of the world.

Surveying the temples of Bagan

Many travelers have found Buddhist temples in Asia to be some of the most exotic religious structures in the world, which makes the massive collection of structures at Bagan a major attraction for travelers all over the world.

5,000 brick temples are scattered over a 26 square mile site, and while many rent bikes to pedal through the many roads that thread their way through the ruins, the best way to experience them in style is by taking a hot air balloon ride at dawn above the mist-clad land, which makes the perfect backdrop for admiring the scale of this site for those that the means to do so.

Lounge in luxury at Lake Inle

One of the most peaceful destinations in all of Burma is Lake Inle, which is a large but shallow body of water that has supported various tribes over the years. Watch fishers go about their business in their rickety boats, pour over the wide variety of handicrafts made by the area’s skilled artisans, or simply admire the placid nature of the lake from hotels like Inle Lake View Resort, which offers some of the best dining in the country to go along with its unforgettable views.

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