Luxury Burma Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Arguments about travel to Myanmar--and the proceeds from luxury Burma tours--cut two ways. Both are political. Those protesting tourism argue that the harm it does to the economy will force the military rule toward reform. Those advocating tourism argue that it is vital to the pro-democracy movement struggling there in some part because of the information channels it opens.

The key is to avoid government sponsored facilities and shops. Quality luxury Burma tours, however, deal only with private guesthouses and facilities, which resolves that sensitive issue. As far as paperwork is concerned, you'll need a passport with at least six months of remaining validity as well as a 28-day visa. As far as weather is concerned, November through February is ideal, with little rain and moderate temperatures. May, June, and September are the least crowded months. It is suggested that you check with your traveler's clinic for proper inoculations prior to departure.

What to See on Luxury Burma Tours

Sandwiched between India to the north and Thailand to the south, Myanmar faces the Bay of Bengal to the west and China to the east. Its capital city of Rangoon (population about four million) lies in the south, about 20 miles inland along the Yangon River. Despite the decay of the old colonial British architecture in the city center, Rangoon is undeniably one of Asia's more charming cities. Its gold-plated Shwedagon Paya, which Rudyard Kipling called a beautiful winking wonder, was built in the 18th century and overlooks the city.

Luxury Burma tours will certainly include the deserted city of Bagan, which lies on the banks of the Arawaddy River. Sacked by Kublai Khan in 1287, it was never rebuilt, but the sadly decaying ruins of as many as 5,000 magnificent temples and pagodas are breathtaking. Mandalay, the country's second-largest city and its capital before the British arrived, offers its Shwenandaw Kyaung, the remnant of a once massive palace complex and another glimpse into Burma's amazing and very long history.

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