I had the great privilege of visiting Myanmar (Burma) on a Study Tour with Abercrombie and Kent in April of 2017. I honestly can’t say enough how visiting this amazing country changed my life– the culture, the beauty, the people who live there and the people I met traveling with me.
Our journey began in Yangon, the country’s capital, where we stayed at the amazing Belmond Governor’s Residence; which was my favorite hotel we visited in Myanmar. The pool and the rooms were like a dream (and don’t miss the breakfast on in the gardens).
On to Inle Lake, which is a short flight from Yangon. Inle is known for its floating gardens. It truly spectacular to see how the villagers weed, fertilize, and harvest their fruits and vegetables from boats . After Inle, we took another short flight to famous Bagan- known for its 1000s of Pagodas and temples. It was here that I so wished I had invested in a better camera; generally I use my iPhone out of convenience, but Bagan is so spectacular I would recommend buying or borrowing a DSLR.
While visiting the land of 10,000 temples, Abercrombie and Kent arranged for our group to visit a novitiation ceremony. This was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me and I would encourage anyone traveling to Southeast Asia to add this to their list.
In Bagan we boarded the Sanctuary Ananda to cruise the Road to Mandalay. This was my first River Cruise experience and after sailing on the Ananda, I think I may be a bit spoiled to river cruising. The chef onboard was formerly a chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and I had some of the most delicious food onboard that I have ever tasted. The rooms were very well appointed and the onboard activities were perfect for this short 3 night cruise.
The cruise ended in Mandalay where we spent one night before returning to Yangon. Although many regard Mandalay as Myanmar’s prettiest city, I preferred Bagan and Inle to Mandalay. No trip to Myanmar would be complete without a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is where we ended our trip.
My take away from Myanmar was the kindness of the people, the beauty of the country, and (to my surprise!) the amazing food. Burmese food isn’t something that it easy to come by in Texas and I find myself craving it often!