Hot air ballooning over Inle Lake isn't the first to come to mind when thinking of flying experience in Myanmar. When most think of hot air ballooning in Myanmar, pictures of colorful balloons rising up over the temples of Bagan come to mind. As it should... people (and pilots) come from all over the world to experience that glowing sunrise view from above the temples with nearly 1000 years of history to them. But there is a open secret that all of the hot air balloon pilots in Bagan talk about, and that's the hot air balloon flight over Inle Lake.Read More
The Tazaungdaing Fire Balloon Festival (Festival of Lights) had such a reputation that I avoided going for years. Now, each year... I can't stay away from the awe-inspiring madness and beauty.
Read all about what the festival is about, and how to see it for yourself in 2019.Read More
I hear from so many travelers to Myanmar who want to make sure that their money goes to the people, and not to the government or croonies. In the past few years, there has been a big boom in creative social enterprises in Myanmar, and I wanted to shine a light on them. Find the best places to spend your money and make the biggest difference.Read More
The old British hill station village of Kalaw is easily one of my favorite places in Myanmar. While seen as most as just the place to start the very popular Kalaw-to-Inle trek, it's so much more than that.
The cool mountain air, mixed with the beautiful pine forests and a relatively mellow vibe make for a great stop on your Myanmar adventure. The biggest mistake people make in coming here is that most only stay for a single night.Read More
For years, I've been photographing all around the world. But in all that time, there hasn't been a place that has grabbed me in the way that Myanmar (Burma) has.
After years of research and experience on the ground in Myanmar, it's finally time. I've spent months planning and preparing with my team to create a trip you won't soon forget, and I'm very excited to invite you to join us.
This is an extraordinary time to visit Myanmar. So if you've ever thought about a journey to Myanmar... I'm telling you that now is the time.Read More
Transportation is a funny thing in Myanmar (Burma). Slow, loud and dirty are adjectives you could use to describe most of them, and safety is pretty questionable as well. But the sheer variety available makes for a fascinating combination of new and old methods you should check out for yourself during your next visit to the country.Read More
This guide contains many months of personal, on-the-ground research to help you enjoy the best sunrises, sunsets and adventures in Bagan thanks to the info that I've gathered on many trips between 2013 and 2018.Read More
Updated October 2017
Seeing hot-air balloons flying over Bagan is one of the iconic images of Myanmar / Burma. The massive scale of the over 3000 temples on the Bagan plain mean that you can only truly witness the scale of it all from the air, and a slowly floating over is the best way of doing it.
For years, there has been only one company providing the experience. Balloons Over Bagan and their red balloons can be seen in any number of a photo, including a bunch in my house. However, in 2013, Oriental Ballooning began flying their balloons as well, bringing some much needed competition to the space. I've flown with both, and I'll give you my take on them.Read More
Updated Feb 2014
I'll start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of guidebooks. In the age of the internet and nearly limitless access to information, the printed word is often out of date by the time it's still hot off the presses. For example, the latest Myanmar Lonely Planet (11th ed.) was published in Dec 2011, with much of the research likely done 3-12+ months prior. As of May 2013, the information could be 2+ years out of date.
That said, I've had my Lonely Planet for Myanmar since my first big trip to the country in early 2012, and...Read More
UPDATED October 2017
While in the country, you'll use a mix of US dollars and Myanmar kyat. Most hotels, domestic airfares train tickets, and entrance fees will be in USD, while everything else (food, souvenirs, uses etc) will be paid in kyat.
Until very recently (Nov 2012) there were no ATM's in Myanmar due to the economic sanctions...Read More