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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

The sprawling city of Rangoon, or Yangon, is no longer Burma’s official capital but is still the nation’s largest and most important city by far and very much its commercial, cultural, historic and geographical centre. Rangoon is congested, hectic, noisy, grimy, frequently smelly; pavements are obstacle courses, street lighting is to say the least erratic and much of its wonderful…

Rangoon’s magnificent and iconic Shwedagon Paya, (Pagoda), is the City’s best known tourist destination and indeed Burma’s single most prestigious religious site. If you only see one temple in the country then you’d better make it this one! The sprawling temple complex is considered to date originally from the Mon period some 1,500 years ago but has been updated, repaired…

Rangoon, (Yangon’s), famous circular, or circle, train leaves from the City’s Central Station describing a 30 mile loop through the inner city and suburbs before returning to it’s point of departure some 3 hours later. The train is scheduled hourly and alternates between clock-wise and anti-clockwise circumnavigations and the price is a couple of hundred kyat for the round trip….

The harsh light of Bagan can make temple photography during the middle of the day somewhat hard work and for your more atmospheric and photogenic opportunities you’ll be restricted to those relatively short early morning and late afternoon times. Don’t worry during the intervening period there are more manageable village and rural life subjects since villages, farms and contemporary temples…

If you’re reading this you may have noticed we’ve made a few changes on our homepage recently with live Twitter and Instagram feeds and direct click-through destination windows so firstly a big thanks to Brett at pixelonpixel for his hard work. We’ve also added a livechat option and we reckon between the UK and Southeast Asian offices we should have…

Estimates of the precise figure vary but suffice to say there are the best part of 2,000 temples, pagodas, stupas, chedis and monasteries scattered across the wide plain between the Irrawaddy to the east and the range of low hills to the west. Differences between the categories of religious sites can also be somewhat vague and may depend upon which…

A fantastic Yunnan tour covering a range of scenery, sites and cultures from the borders of tropical Southeast Asia to the Tibetan Plateau and foothills of the Himalayas. This geographical range has a corresponding climatic range though, making schedules tricky! We don’t want you hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge in a downpour or visiting Shangri La with 2m snow drifts…

Mandalay – a very evocative name but as with say Casablanca or Shangri La, (which is of course mythical but which the Chinese government has now seen fit to locate in northern Yunnan Province), the reality may not live up to the expectation and these days Burma’s 2nd largest city is busy, grubby and to many visitors, somewhat lacking in…

Generally included in any standard Inle Lake tour itinerary we reckon this fascinating site, located slightly up river at the southwestern corner of the Lake, is one of the highlights of the region. The boat trip is picturesque, the surrounding scenery buccolic, the ancient pagodas highly photogenic and the friendly local Pa-O people welcoming and fun. In Dein is a…

Located in Burma’s western Shan State and famous for mountain scenery, floating gardens and the unsual rowing techniques of local fishermen Lake Inle is certainly one of Burma’s top tourist destinations. Either a very long drive from Mandalay or Bagan – or even longer from Rangoon – most visitors inevitably arrive by Heho Airport, an hour or so from the…

The first thing to bear in mind is that Burma is a relatively large country, at least in Southeast Asian terms, with a poor transport infrastructure so when composing any itineraries don’t be too ambitious! The antiquated rail system can get pretty arduous after the first couple of hours and the only  ‘highway’ worth the name is the long central…

Including a festival in your Burma itinerary may sound like a great idea: lots of colour, activity, local people doing unsual or exotic things, great photo opportunities. Well that’s true but bear in mind it’s not always so simple and does require some serious forward planning. Firstly the majority of the festivals will be religious festivals and invariably timed according…

A frequently asked question but not an easily answered one and at the risk of doing some unapologetic fence sitting we’d say every season has its pros and cons. Broadly speaking Burma’s climate falls into 3 general seasons: rainy, dry cool and dry hot, though of course in such a large and geographically varied country exceptions are numerous. The former…

Guide: “Ok, next I’ll take you to visit some people who make rubber bands”. “Really?! And that’s interesting to see is it?” (It’s hot, the ‘roads’ are appalling and I’m carting around heavy camera gear.) Guide. “Yes – everybody likes it”. (Not convinced) “Errr ok then – so you always take tourists to see rubber bands do you?” Guide: “Sure,…

Another of our off the beaten track Burma suggestions is the small, picturesque and highly photogenic town of Hpa-An in Karen State. Posessing a magnicifent setting on the banks of the scenic Salween River, surrounded by dramatic limestone, karst scenery and home to one the best local markets we know in the country this is another, little known, yet superb…