Saturday, 20 September 2014

Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival in Myanmar

Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival 2014

This October, Myanmar holds a fanciful festival named Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival. This festival is both unique and eccentric for people participated in the festival dance while wearing an elephant figure made of paper and bamboo. The participants of Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival decorate the elephant’s dummy as pretty as possible to win the competition deciding the best elephant’s costume is held during the festival. Not only participants with the best elephant’s costume but also participants with the best dance performance will receive a prize from the local committee of the festival.

When is Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival 2014?
Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival 2014 will be held for 2 days starting from 07 October 2014 until 09 October 2014.

The Elephant’s Dance Performance
It is quite difficult to dance in harmony with the music of Dobat and Drums while the dancer is inside a huge and heavy elephant’s figure. People inside the figure can hardly see anything outside, so they are more likely to use feeling and instinct while moving rather than sighting. A good balance and physical endurance are needed in order to keep the dummy stands sturdily. This elephant’s dance performance in Kyaukse is quite similar with the Lion Dance from Chinese, the difference lies on the figure utilized in both festival. While the Chinese Lion Dance wears Lion costume, the Kyaukse Elephant’s Dance use the elephant’s dummy as a costume for the dance.

Rules of the Elephant’s Dance Competition
Certain rules are carried out to give marks to the participants of Elephant’s Dance Competition in Kyaukse Elephant Dance. First, there are three types of the Elephant’s Dance and the participants should choose which type of dance they are eager to enter. Each participant is not supposed to take part in the other type of dance, once they’ve chosen which the kind of dance they enter. Second, before the competition starts, the participants wearing the elephant’s dummies have to walk around the market place to show their costumes and decorations to the spectators for three times. The last one, the judges will rate the dance performance, back sound music, harmony between dance and music, and teamwork.

The festival usually takes place for a whole day, and the announcement of the Elephant’s Dance Competition winner will be held at night.

Happy Kyaukse Festival 2014!

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Festivals In Myanmar 2014


Manaw Festival
Where : Myitkyina, Kachin State
When : January 10 2014
Duration : 1 day
Traditional Kachin Manaw Festival to celebrate the New year. All the Kachin clans will congregate at Myitkyina to celebrate this event.

Naga New Year
Where : Layshi Township, Sagaing Division
When : 12 January 2014 to 16 January 2014
Duration : 2 days
One of the most colourful ceremonies of the country. Different tribes of Naga gather by the hundreds in their colourful costumes to perform ritual dances.

Anada Pagoda Festival
Where : Ananda Pagoda, Bagan
When : One week preceding the full moon day of Pyatho ( 9 January 2014 to 15 January 2014)
Duration : 1 week
One of the most popular festivals in the country. Bowls of alms filled with crips are offered to monks who all wait in a ling line. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country bullockcarts can be seen.


Mahamuni Ceremonies
Where : Mahamuni precinct, Mandalay
When : 14th - 15th waxing days of Tabodwe ( 13 February 2014 to 14 February 2014 )
Duration : 2 days
Glutinous rice delicacy contests are held late on 14th Waxing day ( 8 Feb ). On the morning of 15th Waxing day ( - Feb ), increase is burnt in large flames in a symbolic gesture of offering heat to the great image.

Bonfire Ceremony
Where : Pyay
When :Full moon day of Tabodwe ( 14 February 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshippers then proceed to Pho-U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival
Where :Thanlyin ( formerly Syriam )
When :8th Waxing day of Tabodwe White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshippers then proceed to Pho-U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.
A Typical Buddhist Religious festival like a country fair


Maw-din Festival
Where : Pagoda Point, Pathein
When : 1st waxing day of Tabaung( 1 March 2014 to 15 March 2014)
Duration : 15 days
Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and Cabe Negrais is haven both for beach lovers and beachburms alike.

Kakku Pagoda Festival
Where : Kakku Pagoda precinct, Taunggyi Township
When : 9th waxing day of Tabaung( 9 March 2014 to 16 March 2014 )
Duration : 8 days
Pa Oh people from all the surrounding villages come in their best costumes to pay homage to the pagoda. Some comes in bullock carts and make camps under the huge banyan trees.

Pindaya Pagoda Festival
Where : Pindaya Township, Southern Shan State
When : 10th waxing day of Tabaung( 10 March 2014 to 15 March 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
Traditionally a pagoda festival in honour of the Buddha statues inside the Pindaya Cave.

Nan-pan Ceremony
Where : Inle Lake, Shan State
When : 12th waxing day of Tabaung (12 March 2014 to 16 March 2014)
Duration : 5 days
The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offerings is striking.

Tabaung Festival
Where : Throughout the country
When : Full moon day of Tabaung (15 March 2014)
Duration : 1 days ceremony
Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival
Where : Yangon
When : Fullmoon day of Tabaung ( 9 March 2014 to 15 March 2014)
Duration : Approximately one week preceding the fullmoon day.
It is a draditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festival in the country.


Thingyan Festival ( Water Festival )
Where : All over the country
When : 13 April 2013 to 16 April 2014
Duration : 4 days
Traditional Myanmar New Year Celebrations people pour water over each other in a symbolic gesture of cleansing oneself of sins from the old year. Youths go out for enjoyment while elders take retreat in monasteries and pagoda precincts to perform meritorious deeds. The most festive places are Mandalay & Yangon.

Myanmar New Year Day
Where : All over the country
When : 17 April 2014
Duration : 1 day
Celebrated all over the country to commemorate the Myanmar New Year. This is a deeply religious occasion observed mostly at pagodas and monasteries. Buddhists young and old alike, spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as releasing animals, offering to monks, paying homage to elders, etc
Shwemawdaw Festival
Where : Bago
When : 8th waxing day Tagu(7 April 2014 to 19 April 2014)
Duration :13 days ceremony
Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.

Elders' Day Ceremony
Where : Kabar Aye Hillock and elsewhere
When : 13th waxing day of Tagu ( 12 April 2014)
Duration : 1 day
An elderly man and an elderly woman from every township in Yangon city areas are invited to Kaba Aye Pagoda Hillock to be presented with various articles and are shampooed and nail-cut as a symbolic gesture of paying respect.


Popa Ceremony
Where : Popa
When : 3rh waxing day of Kason( 1 May 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.
Shwe-kyet-yet Event
Where : Mandalay
When : 14th waxing day of Kason During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.
Duration : 1 day
Full-dress, large-scale procession followed by water-pouring on the sacred Bo-tree, significantly, on the 14th waxing day of Kason, a day before normal watering day.

Kason Fullmoon Day
Where : All over the country
When : Fullmoon day of Kason ( 13 May 2014)
Duration : 1 day
Buddha is said to have attained Enlightement under the Bo Tree and Buddhist flock to pour water on this sacred tree to gain merit. Seen at most prominent pagoda and monastery precincts all over the country on the Fullmoon Day of Kason ( May )

Shite-thaung Festival
Where : Mrauk U, Rakhine State
When : Full moon day of Kason ( 13 May 2014 to 20 May 2014 )
Duration : 8th Waxing Day of the month of Nayon to 10thWaning Day of the month of Nayon ( 5 June 2014 to 22 June 2014 )
The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.


Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival
Where : Pakokku, Magway Division
When :8th Waxing Day of the month of Nayon to 10th Waning Day of the month of Nayon ( 5 June 2014 to 22 June 2014 )
The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.


Waso full moon festival
Where : All over the country in July
When : Full moon day of Waso ( 11 July 2014 )
Buddha is said to have attained Enligntenment and preached his First Sermon, the Dhammasekya, to the five disciples on the Fullmoon day of Waso (August). It is also the first day of the Buddhist Lent during which the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside of their monasteries. Religious ceremonies are held at monasteries to offer holy robes to the monks.
Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe
Where : Mingun, Mandalay
When :1st waxing day of Wagaung ( 27 July 2014 to 29 July 2014 )
Duration :3days
Myanmar's last barter market where natives trade by exchange of commodities. Marine vessels, big and small, gather to pay respect whilst plying around on the Ayeyarwaddy. Spirit dances included.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - cutting down htein tree


Taungbyone Nat Festival
Where : At Taungbyone village near Mandalay
When : 10th waxing day of Wagaung( 5 August 2014 to 10 August 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
The most famous of the Nat ( super natural beings that reward believers ) festivals in Myanmar. This event is visited by all those who worship Nat, especially the traders and merchants who want help for more profits! 6days ceremony ending Sep 1. Held for worshipping two Taungbyone spiritual figures. Major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. Spirit dances are rempant.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - ascending the throne
4th day - presenting roast rabbit
6th day - cutting down htein tree
Yadana Gu Nat festival
Where : Ratanagu Pagoda, Amarapura Township, Mandalay
When : 10th waning day of Wagaung ( 20 August 2014 to 24 August 2014 )
Duration : 5 days
This is a festival to honour the mother of the two Nat brothers of Taungbyone. Known as mother of Taungbyone festival. Most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Popa. Medaw, Mewanna who came back from Taunbyon Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit-camp.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - ascending the throne
4th day - daughter of Mahagiri reels on the ground in grief
5th day - closing by cutting down htein tree


Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Where : Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Southern Shan State
When : 1st waxing day of te Thidingyut ( 24 September 2014 to 11 October 2014 )
Duration : 18 Days
Very coloruful festival when the 4 Buddhas Statues ( out of 5 ) from Phaung Daw oo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a gilded Karaweik royal barge. Leg-rowing boat races are held throughout the event.


Elephant Dance Festival ( Dummy Elephant Festival )
Where :Kyaukse, Mandalay Division
When : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 8 October 2014 )
Duration : 2 days
Papier mache elephants carried around the town towards the pagoda on the Kyaukse Hill. A dance competition features these elephants. Numerous life-size dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.

Kyauk-taw-gyi Festival
Where : Mandalay
When : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 10 October 2014 )
Duration : 4 day festival
The image was cast out of a single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of King Mindon.

The Thadingyut or Festival of Lights
Where : Througout Myanmar
When : 14th waxing day of Tindingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 9 October 2014 )
Duration : 3 days
To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.

Kyaikhtiyo Season
Where : Kyaikhto, Mon State
When : Full-moon day of Tindingyut ( 8 October 2014 )
Duration : Approx: 9 months long season The boulder standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. Famous as pilgrimage and holiday outing spot.
Shwezingon Festival
Where : Bagan
When : 8th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 30 October 2014 to 1 November 2014 )
Duration : 2-3 days
Candle lights and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda


Hot Air Balloons Festival
Where : Taunggyi ( Shan State )
When : 10th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 1 November 2014 to 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
Traditionally it is to pay homage to the Sulamuni Pagoda in the abode of the Celestial Beings by sending up lighted Hotair Balloons. Now this traditional is combined with a competition to send up the most elaborate and beautiful balloons of every shape and size. Hot-air balloons are released day and night, competing over their beauty and the altitude they again. Day-time flying is meant for competition of animal figures and night-time is for beautiful fireworks.

Lights Festival and Robe-weaving Contest
Where : Shwedagon, Botataung, Kyaikkasan and elsewhere
When : 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon( 5 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
On the 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon, groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be vinished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the imaes around the pagodas.

Kahtein Robe Offering Ceremony
Where : Taunggyi
When : Full-moon day of Tazaungmon( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
Holy robes are offered to the monks at the monasteries. This offering of robes enable the monks to acquire new robes in place of the old ones that were soiled during the monsoon season. The best time to see is from 8 - 11 Am.

Parade of Lights
Where : Taunggyi
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
The people of Taunggyi and its environs march through the town with decorated floats and lighted candles to the Sulamuni Pagoda at the edge of the town.

Tazaung-daing Festival of Lights
Where : Taunggyi & throughout the country
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon( 6 November 2014 )
Having fine weather and clear sky, and having the first crip harvested, Myanmar celebrate the night with various kinds of illuminations.

Candle Light Event
Where : Ko-dad-gyi Pagoda in Yangon
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
On full-moon day, 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit. At midnight, visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.

Kaung Hmu Daw pagoda Festival
Where : Sagaing
When : The Fullmoon day of Tazaungmon (6 November 2014 to 11 November 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
The best sopt to watch Myanmar puppet as at Sutaungbyi pagoda festival in Monywa. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.
The Spectacled Image Festival
Where : Shwedaung, Pyay
When : 8th waxing day of Nadaw (29 November 2014 to 6 December 2014 )
Duration : 8 days
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a cartain donor in colonial time.


Christmas Day
Where : Throughout the country
When : 25th December
Christianity is the largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism.

Click here for more information regarding Burma Festival Tours, Festival Tours in Burma

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Remembrance Tour in Burma (Myanmar)

Many soldiers joining the war between British Kingdom and Burma (Myanmar) in the past now want to return to see how the country has changed since those days. Also, they want to pay their respects to fallen soldiers at Htaukkyan, Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin), Mogok, Thanbyuzayat WWII cemetaries which contain almost thousands of graves.

Check out our Remembrance Tour Burma for better information.

Day 01 Yangon arrival

Upon arrival in Yangon you will be met by your guide and driver and chauffeured to your hotel in the city and enjoy the rest of your morning at your leisure after your long haul fligh. The highlight of the day is a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the most outstanding and revered Buddhist pagoda in Burma, whose golden stupa dominates the skyline of Yangon. This is also the most ideal spot from which to watch the sunset in Yangon. Return to the hotel for rest and free to discover the city at night.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Welcomed dinner

Day 02 Yangon Sightseeing

Today we set out to explore the fascinating city of Yangon and its famous colonial British buildings and religious monuments. Highlights include Chaukhtagyi Paya and Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park, City Hall and the High Court. After a break for lunch we visit the Naga Cave monastic school. End the day with a visit to Scott's Market.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 03 A visit to Htaukkyan Cemetary

Visit the Taukkyan War Cemetery, a memorial to the Allied soldiers of the British Commonwealth who died in Burma during the Second World War. Here the four battlefields of Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw were brought together, as their original locations were deemed too difficult to access. After paying our respects to the fallen soldiers we head to visit the Botantaung Pagoda and Nanthida Jetty.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 04 Visit Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

This day we spend the morning at leisure. After lunchtime, attend Evensong Rangoon's Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Free at leisure or to discover the night life of Yangon capital.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 05 Yangon - Maymyo

Morning flight to Mandalay then transfer to Maymyo, now called Pyin Oo Lwin, after a scenic two-hour drive. You will find out many reminders of the colonial era still present now in Pyin Oo Lwin, including brick and timber houses. Lay back on a leisurely traditional horse and carriage ride through the town and walk around to see the beautiful recently renovated Botanical Gardens. You also have chance to visit the local market in the center of the town near to the clock tower. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to the Railway Station and impressive Anisakan waterfalls, north of Pyin Oo Lwin.
Accommodation in Pyin Oo Lwin
Meal: Breakfast

Day 06 Mandalay Sightseeing

The highlights of this day include Mahamuni Image Pagoda, Imperial Palace. After lunchtime, we will continues with another visit to the Shwenandaw Monastery which is well known for its exquisite wood carvings, followed by Atumashi Monastery and Kuthodaw pagoda - the world’s largest book with its 729 slabs of Marble engrave with Buddha scriptures. The evening ends with a stunning view treated at Mandalay Hill.
Accommodation in Mandalay
Meal: Breakfast

Day 07 Mandalay - Fly to Myitkyina

Fly to Myitkyina and check in at Pansun Hotel. Local tours of old barracks, polo field site and former RAF/USAAF airfield.
Accommodation in Myitkyina
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08 On train to Mandalay

Depart Myitkyina by charter train to Mandalay passing through Blackpool, White City, Nankwin and Hopin with some stops en route. Overnight on board train.
Accommodation on train
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09 On train to Mandalay

Continue train journey to Mandalay passing through Mawlu, Indaw and Wuntho with some stops en route. Overnight on board train.
Accommodation on train
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Mandalay - Fly back to Yangon

Arrive Mandalay. Travel to Ava, Amarapura to discover the Maha Aungmye Bonzan, Gabaya Monastery, Leaning Nam Myint Tower and the nearby attractions. Enjoy a walk over U Bein bridge, the longest teak wood bridge in Burma (Myanmar). Transfer to the airport for your flight to the ancient capital of Bagan, one of Asia’s most extraordinary destinations. Fly to Yangon in the late afternoon.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Yangon departure

Rest on your own until the driver pick you up for the departure flight.
Accommodation not included
Meal: Breakfast

Burma Caravan Tours
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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Myanmar land border crossing

It is now possible to travel freely over land between Myanmar and Thailand, China and India as long as we have a special pre-processed permission documents issued by Myanmar Government.

When travelling over land to Myanmar, you must always obtain your visa at an embassy or consulate beforehand; it is normally not possible to get Myanmar visas at the border.

More information on individual crossing points can be seen at the Burma Senses Travel & Tours website.

Thailand crossings

Four Thai/Myanmar border points are now officially open to foreigners for through travel, although permission is subject to change from the Thai and Myanmar authorities. Infrastructure on the Myanmar side of the border crossings is very basic, and roads can become impassable during the rainy season.

Thailand offers visa-free travel for the citizens of many countries, but the length of the stay period depends on what country you are from – varying from 14 days to 3 months.

Mae Sot/Myawaddy

The Mae Sot (Thailand, Tak Province) / Myawaddy (Myanmar, Kayin State) crossing point is the most practical place to cross for onward travel into Myanmar, because of its relative proximity to the main Myanmar transport network and places of interest such as Mount Kyaiktiyo (the Golden Rock), Hpa An and Mawlamyine.

At the passport control points (located on either side of the ‘Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge’ river crossing), there are separate windows for foreigners – you do not have to stand in the same (sometimes long) line as the locals. The border is located about one kilometre from Myawaddy bus station on the Myanmar side and five kilometres from Mae Sot town on the Thai side; there are usually plenty of motorbike taxis on both sides. Mae Sot has daily direct flights and frequent buses to Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Mae Sai/Tachileik

Foreigners can cross the border at Mae Sai (Thailand, Chiang Rai Province) / Tachileik (Myanmar, Shan State) and travel as far as Keng Tung in Myanmar. To travel over land further than this you may need a permit, or you may not be allowed at all. However, Keng Tung does have an airport with internal flight connections to destinations such as Mandalay and Yangon.

Tachileik’s economy is based on cross-border trade and tourism, and Thai baht – not Myanmar kyat – is the main currency. To find out more about onwards travel from Tachileik into Myanmar, go to Keng Tung.

Phunaron (for Kanchanaburi)/Htee Kee

This remote border crossing allows access between Phunaron (Phu Nam Ron) (Thailand – nearest town Kanchanaburi) and Htee Kee (Myanmar, Tanintharyi Division – nearest town Dawei).

There are four buses per day from Kanchanaburi to the small border town of Phunaron (70 baht), which has one guest house. The Thai and Myanmar border posts are separated by six kilometres of no-mans land that can only be crossed by vehicle (walking is not permitted); you can take a motorbike taxi (around 100 baht) or try to hitchhike.

From the Myanmar side of the border, it takes 4 to 5 hours to get to Dawei. There are usually cars or minibuses waiting, costing around K30,000 (bear in mind that if you arrive late in the day there may be no transport, and the road can become impassable during the rainy season).


The crossing between Ranong (Thailand, Ranong Province) and Kawthaung (Myanmar, Tanintharyi Region) offers options for further travel in Myanmar – both cruises in the Myeik Archipelago and public boats on to Myeik and Dawei. Overland travel may be possible, but is extremely slow.

There are regular longtail boats between Ranong and Kawthaung, taking 20 minutes and costing around 100 Bhat.

If you are on a short stay or visa run from Thailand, you will not need a Myanmar visa, but you will need your passport and a copy of the photo page, plus US$10 in crisp notes.

Sangkhla Buri/Payathonzu – the Three Pagodas Pass

Currently the crossing at Sangkhla Buri (Thailand, Kanchanaburi Province) and Payathonzu (Myanmar, Kayin State) is not open to foreigners. Even when it has been, it has only been on the Thai side, with foreigners not allowed to travel further into Myanmar.

China crossing

To cross the land border at Ruili (China, Yunnan Province) / Muse (Myanmar, Shan State), you will need to arrange a special tour package by filling out this form; the package will include a guide and mandatory private transportation. An alternative is to go to a travel agent in Kunming.

Getting the permit to cross from Myanmar to China can be difficult, but from China to Myanmar is usually straightforward – although you will need to apply at least one month in advance of your travel date. The Myanmar consulate in Kunming may tell you that the border is officially shut, but this, in fact, will probably not be the case.

The Muse/Ruili border point is expected to fully open to foreigners (with no need for a permit) sometime in 2014.

Yangon, Mandalay and Kunming all have embassies or consulates where you can apply for the relevant visa (Myanmar or Chinese). For details, go to embassies and other useful information. The Mong La border crossing is currently shut.

India crossing

In the remote north of Myanmar, a crossing exists between Moreh (India, Manipur state) and Tamu (Myanmar, Sagaing Division). Locals are allowed to travel between the countries at this point on day trips, but currently foreigners require special permission from a Myanmar embassy, which can be difficult to obtain. However, permission is no longer required for foreigners to travel in these parts of Sagaing Division (Myanmar) and Manipur State (India) in general.

The Bangladesh and Laos crossing

Border crossings at Bangladesh and Laos are currently shut.

Entering Myanmar with your own vehicle

Crossing into Myanmar with your own vehicle (motorhome, car or motorbike) requires special permission which can be difficult to obtain and is expensive (likely around $10,000 – although costs can be reduced with larger groups). You will also have to be accompanied by a tour guide and a Ministry of Hotels and Tourism liaison officer. Self-drive motor tours can be arranged by filling out this form.

Burma Caravan Tour
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Friday, 20 June 2014

A Holy Limestone Cave in Karen State

Lush green paddy fields and limestone cliffs create a beautiful landscape in southeastern Burma’s Karen State, home to the ethnic Karen people. The Kawgun cave, a natural limestone cavern, is about two miles from the state capital Pa-an, and can be reached by motorbike on a cement road. Along the way, a bridge crosses over the Salween River, where police and military officers once checked the IDs of anyone who passed, though the checkpoint has been removed since the political reforms of 2011.

Many visitors who take the Burma cultural tours from Burma Senses, including foreign tourists, stop at the Kawgun cave, which is filled with Buddha statues and Buddhist artifacts dating back to the seventh century. Ethnic Mon people also travel to worship there, driving cars and motorbikes from Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, which borders Karen State.

During a visit by The Irrawaddy, Karen monks were taking care of cave grounds. Some monks
said the cave had been damaged by a government-owned cement factory that is situated on the west bank of the Salween River. They said the cement company routinely blasts the mountains of the Kawgun area to extract limestone. Buddha images in the cave have been cracked as a result. At a swimming pond near the cave, local people and youths splash and play in the water.


Myanmar Classic Tours
Myanmar Package Tours
Myanmar Cruise Tours

Monday, 16 June 2014

Burma Unique Adventures

Burma offers the excellently unique adventures that you may not know. Here below as some of the best ones:

1. Motorbiking in Mandalay/ Pyin Oo Lwin/ Mogok/ Shan State
Cultural Mandalay City is an undispensible spot to visit when travelling to Burma (Myanmar). Most of travellers assume that it is illegal to ride motorbikes in Myanmar, but it is true to apply to certain areas. In fact, this experience is top-notch. It shows you the landscapes without glasses, everything is simply face to face. From Mandalay, you can ask Zach, who is an expert in motorbiking in Mandalay, he can help you to arrange self-drive journey or guided motorbike tours to explore the less-know sides of Mandalay region including some hidden waterfalls, nice villages. Zach offers new step-through style 125cc motorbikes, brand new fleet of 125cc Honda XR Enduros and Honda CRF250L. The bikes are in perfect working order and meticulously maintained by our mechanic.

Most customers are traveling from Mandalay to places all over the country. They are traveling up into the mountain of Shan State, South to Mon State, West to Monywa and Pakokku and north to Shwebo.

Unfortunately, some areas are off limits to motorcycle travel. Bagan and Inle Lake are off limits for foreigners on motorcycles without a permit. In Yangon the permit doesn't help because only certain government workers are allowed on motorcycles. The good news is that Zach can arrange a permit for you but it takes a few weeks.

He put some maps that he makes using Google Maps up on here occasionally to give trip ideas to clients but He also helps people plan right from his home with maps spread out across our dining room table. You can let him know what you want to see while in Myanmar or where you would like to go and he will help you plan as much as he can.

2. Kayaking in Putao
So far, many visitors to Putao simply follow the Putao tour packages which are adventurous but Putao is home to so many beautiful river valleys located under the foothill of Himalaya range, the water from this mountain range is abundant to feed the rivers and surely offering chances to enjoy rafting or kayaking every time you visit.
Head north and book a free package with kayak, raft courses from a Burma local tour operator like Burma Senses Travel & Tours, you will have much fun here.

3. Travel by bus to Mrauk U
It is not new that when you ask for a tour to Mrauk U, majority of tour operators in Yangon will suggest yo to take a flight to Sittwe then connect with a river cruise to Mrauk U. Reaching Mrauk U by bus from Yangon or Bagan passing by Sittwe requests more about your personal effort to deal with local bus, drivers who do not speak English.
The rewarding time on the bus will be the landscapes of remote Rakhin state.

Note: to visit Myanmar, you need to obtain Myanmar Visa in advance.

Burma Trekking Tours
Burma Luxury Tours
Burma Cruise Tours
Myitkyina Manaw Festival Tours

Visa on arrival for Burma Myanmar

In this article, we would like to show you the instructions to do Myanmar Visa on Arrival and Visa Extension for tourists coming to Burma (Myanmar). This Myanmar Visa on arrival (VOA) in other name is called Pre-arranged visa on arrival in Myanmar.

Myanmar pre-arranged visa on arrival

Myanmar pre-arranged visa on arrival is actually linked with an Burma authorized tour operator who has license to offer you the service. All you have to do is to send the visa application form and your photo to your choosen tour operator, they will help you to obtain a document stating Visa on Arrival, allowing you to get visa upon arrival.

We will require the following facts together with p/p size scan photo from each applicant is as under:

Your full name as in your p/p
Gender (sex)
Father's name
p/p related 5 data: passport (a) number (b) issue / expired date (c) place of issue & (d) issuing authority
Date of birth (D - M - Y)
Place of birth
Occupation in native country
Full address in your present native country -- (not PO Box No. or C/o address)
Purpose of visit to Myanmar
Arrival / departure dates to / from Myanmar
Flight number & airline that you will fly in / out of Myanmar
Personal related four data, colour of your (a) hair (b) eyes (c) complexion & (d) your height

Important : We also require your tour plan and hotel booking which is a must for us to be able to apply your Myanmar Visa on Arrival at the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. We can also book Hotels for your stay in Myanmar.

If approved, we will send you the ‘Approval Letter’ that you have to show upon arrival at the Yangon International Airport. Note: we let you know in advance that visa fee is not yet collected and to be paid on arrival at the Immigration Counter at the Yangon Airport.

Visa Extension 

Visitors can apply Visa Extension (2 weeks extension only) as below:

A. Fill in th Extension form  we provide.

B. If you are sure you will be need Visa Extension before you arrive, you can give us the form, your original passport and 2 photos and USD 50 for 2 weeks extension.

C. If you are not sure, print out this form and call us at +84977343986 when you are in Yangon. We will collect recommendation for your hotel the form, passport, 2 photos and 50 USD for 2 weeks extension.

D. For Visa 1st one must obtain a letter of endorsement from Ministry of Hotel & Tourism and then submit to Ministry of Immigration. It will take at least 2 days and max 5 days to get Tourist Visa extended.

E. If you home any Further Question Please refer to our FAQ section or send us an e-mail.

Up to date:
Since 10/03/ 2014, Myanmar Visa on Arrival for tourist is suspended. Almost Burma travel agencies cannot help you with this issue but we are entirely able to assist if you book Myanmar Tour Package or Burma Tour Package via us.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ngapali Scuba Diving

While many travelers head to Ngapali to enjoy the best beach of Burma which has abundance of white sand, fascinating village, some come to experience the scuba diving which is totally in good condition. To its best, Ngapali has more things to offer than that.
Those who fancy a short hike through jungle, rice fields or historical monument, Thandwe town which is just 20 minutes far way is a good choice to do so. From here you can enjoy the river cruise trip, knowing some traditional work by the Bay of Bengal. This area is very likely to offer some inspiration to make a part of Burma Photo Tour with unique villages and colorful culture.
Above all, there is a great chance to do Scuba Diving in Ngapali both near the shore and off shore.

Easy Scuba Diving
08:30 Pick the clients up from Hotel to Jetty by car.
09:00 Boat Leaves from Port/Harbour and head to Maung Shwe Lay Village and then proceed to Local Dive site.
10:00 Dive briefing and enjoy Dive No.1
11:00 Up to the surface and get back to the boat. Refresh yourself and discuss for next dive.
12:00 Start and enjoy Dive No.2
13:00 Back to the boat and have a shower & Lunch.
14:00 Visit to the fishing village” Mg Shwe Lay” to see the lifestyle of the local fishermen.
15:00 Leave the village and back to Lone Thar Jetty.
16:00 Arrive and transfer to Hotel.

In Depth Scuba Diving Trip
07:30 Pick the clients up from Hotel to Jetty by car.
08:00 Boat Leaves from Port/Harbour and head to Off Shore Dive Site. Dive briefing about the dive sites on the way and relax.
11:30 Start and Enjoy Dive No.1
12:30 Back to the boat and relaxing
13:30 Start and Enjoy Dive No.2
14:30 Back to the boat and have a shower & Lunch.
15:00 Way back to Jetty to Lone Thar Jetty
18:00 Arrive and transfer to Hotel.

These tours are best booked in advance to know if you can share the trip with other travelers.
In Burma, you can also Diving in Mergui with our introduction of Mergui Diving Tour