Archive for the ‘Travel Myanmar’ Category

Myanmar, stretching 2,500 kilometers from the eastern Himalayas in the north to palm-lined beaches of the Andaman Sea, Pagodas are encountered at every step. Not only Yangon’s 2500-year old Shwedagon Pagoda or ancient Bagan with more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plains, but also beautiful Ngapali destination (pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples).To get further information, you can click: Indochina tour

With its pristine, palm-tree-fringed white sand, the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali is premier beach getaway

With its pristine, palm-tree-fringed white sand, the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali is premier beach getaway

Ngapali is located on the Bay of Bengal coast in Rakhine State, its main feature is an idyllic stretch of white sand and palm tree-lined coast, with a number of resorts spread out next to traditional fishing villages. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. Unlike today’s beaches of Asia, it is free of noisy beachside bars, crowded people and hawkers persuading you to buy their things. There are only natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous marine animals and clean.

Do you like peace and tranquility, and visit places “far from the madding crowds?” As many of us now live in crowded cities with the stress and strain of over-population, we need periods of relaxation away from urban areas, and go back closer to nature. We just take a short 45-minutes flight from Yangon and 9 km (6 mile) drive by private transfer from Thandwe Airport to Mya Pyin Village. Renowned for its beauty, Ngapali Bay offers a warm tropical climate throughout the year. Escape to paradise on the soft white sands of our vast beach facing the bay of Bengal, with dark green forested hills as a patchwork backdrop of paddy fields. It serves as the best ground for sunbathing and recreation such as beach strolling, cycling and so on.

Ngapali is pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples

Ngapali is pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples

The best time to visit  

The best time to go to Ngapali beach is from October to May. From June to September (monsoon season): It is raining a lot, really a lot. During the monsoon season the weather can be very rough, the sea is not very quiet and the rain can be also 24hours. Most of hotels and small restaurants are closed during this period. Please be aware as well of the limited flight schedule between May and September.

How to Get to Ngapali Beach

By Air: Thandwe Airport is located about eight kilometers north of Ngapali Beach and is a 10 minute car journey away from most of the area’s resorts and hotels. Daily flights connect Ngapali and Yangon — the journey takes about 50 minutes.

Thandwe Airport is a domestic airport with no international flights. If you’re travelling from any other Southeast Asian country, you’ll need to travel to Yangon first before making your way to Ngapali Beach.

By Bus: Ngapali Beach is accessible by bus from Yangon. The journey takes about 14 hours and can be quite bumpy and comfortable due to Myanmar’s road network. Most travellers to Ngapali Beach travel from Yangon to Thandwe by air due to the far shorter travel time.

Ngapali Beach is in Rakhine State, Western Myanmar. This is flight from Yangon to Ngapali

Where to stay

Ngapali has the biggest number of luxury beachfront resorts. Room-renting services here are diverse. You can choose from a small hut on the beach to luxury villas. The number of mid-range or budget beach hotels is now shrinking as the new international tourism boom entices owners to redevelop older hotels to meet the more exacting standards of the international market – and thus collect the much higher room rates. Both room rates and standards in Ngapali are already well above other beaches in Myanmar and as this beach continues its up-market march, it is destined to remain the country’s premier beach destination for some years to come.

There are many hotels, resorts in Ngapali with prices ranging from luxurious to budget for your choice.

Here is the map of Ngapali beach so you can get an idea of where each hotel, resort is.


Ngapali is about relaxing and enjoying the sun, but other activities include taking trips on local fishing boats; kayaking; snorkeling or scuba diving amongst the brightly coloured fish; and cycling or motor biking down the beach and around some of the local villages. This place offers a wide range of activities and adventures, including private boat trips to Pearl Island, snorkeling, e-bicycle rentals for exploring nearby villages, excursions to Kin Pun Chone Village where the Elephant camp is located, visits to local art galleries and Thandwe Market.

Scenic view on Ngapali beach at sunset

• Relaxing: Indulge yourself by sitting back and unwinding with ice cold beer or a tropical cocktail while enjoying the sun. You also can take a traditional bullock cart ride along the beach.

• Kayaking; snorkeling or scuba diving: Explore many bays and mangroves, dance along with large schools of brightly colored fish.

• Bird watching around Nghet Pyaw Chaung Lake. There are 30 species of birds in this area.

• Playing golf: Ngapali has a beautiful 9-hole golf course located some kilometers North of the beach, between main beach resorts and the airport.

• Visiting fishing villages: There are two fishing villages here; one in the South of the hotels, and another further South into the next bay. You can delve into traditional local life in these villages. The first one can be reached by foot; you can explore the other by using a bicycle, motorbike or being in a fishing boat tour.

• Visiting Thandwe: If you like some time away from the beach, then visit Thandwe. Located 7 km from the beach, this little town has 3 interesting pagodas, a bustling market, a traditional longyi-weaving factory.

• Visiting a dead monk: Salone Monastery is the home to a late Buddhist monk who put himself in the meditative state of death over 10 years ago. Since then, his mummy has been kept under glass.

• Have hot air balloon ride: You can get on a hot air balloon for amazing views of Myanmar’s wildest and least-known reaches.

Fishing Village

Local women in fishing villages on Ngapali beach

Travelers called Ngapali Beach “a touch of paradise,” rating the stretch of sand for its relaxing atmosphere, gorgeous sunsets, and local village feel.

Come to see its charm where you will find serenity and peace of mind amidst beautiful scenery.


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Do you need a Visa when traveling to Myanmar?

Except for citizens of countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), tourists from other countries are required to apply for Visa when they want to enter to Myanmar.

Myanmar visa policy map

How is E-visa process working?

The Government of Burma’s E – visa program allows tourists to apply for a visa online rather than physically applying at an embassy or consulate. The system is launched on 1 September 2014.

E- visas are issued online for tourism within 3 working days. 90 days before from departure date, travelers can start to apply for the E-visa. Do not apply too soon because the E-visa is only valid and needs to be used within 3 months. The fee for a tourist costs US$50.

The official Government Website for applying is evisa.moip.gov.mm.  Be aware that non-official websites may be the scam.

Holders of E-Visas must enter from one of the following ports of entry:

  • Yangon International Airport
  • Naypyidaw Airport
  • Mandalay International Airport
  • Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint
  • Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint
  • Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint

Needed documents

You will need the following before you apply:

  1. Your passport validity must have at least (6) months.
  2. You have to upload one COLOR PHOTO (4.8 cm X 3.8 cm) taking during last (3) months.
  3. Visa, Master, American Express or JCB credit cards for the payment of USD 50.00.

After applying, you can check your E-visa status online

E Visa Myanmar – Approval Letter Sample

On arrival

When arriving at the Airport/Check point,  proceed straight to immigration counter. Tourists with E-visa don’t need to queue at Visa on Arrival desk. Present the E-visa approval letter and your passport to the Immigration officer and get the passport stamped. No stamping fees required.

Image result for immigration at yangon international airport

Show your passport to the Immigration Officer to get it stamped

Useful contacts

Official Government Website for applying Myanmar E-visa: evisa.moip.gov.mm

Embassy of Myanmar in Washington, D.C.

Address: 2300 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA – Phone: +1 202-332-3344

Embassy of The Republic of The Union of Myanmar in Canada:

Address: 336 Island Park Dr, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0A7, Canada – Phone: +1 613-232-9990

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Australia:

Address: 22 Arkana St, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia – Phone: +61 2 6273 3811

In the UK: Embassy of Myanmar, London

Address: 19 Charles St, Mayfair, London W1J 5DT, UK – Phone: +44 20 7148 0740

Myanmar Embassy in India:

Address: 3/50F, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri,, New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India- Phone: +91 11 2467 8822.
To get further information, you can view: Indochina itinerary

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Highly recommended destinations with great weather Hoi An, Vietnam

The beaches of Hoi An and Danang deserved in the list with good weather expected throughout the month. Average temperatures remain high at 30 °C and most of the days sunny and dry.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is likely to be at its the best of the weather of the year with yellow sunshine, blue sky, and white sand that also at peak season of domestic traveling.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui in August is the right time, right place. Most days are long and generally sunny, with 29°C temperatures and a comfortable level of humidity between 61% and 88%. The wind is mostly from the west and stirs up a few waves on that side of Samui, making it good for sailing. The popular east-coast resort towns still enjoy placed 28°C, perfect for swimming with young ones on their summer holidays.

August is good for beach relaxation

August is good for beach relaxation

Fairly good choice

Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia

Although the rainfall is almost at its peak, the showers tend to be short and intense, lasting for a few hours rather than all day. In the countryside, there is more lush and green, and water levels on the Tonle Spa Lake are high, making it possible to visit the flooded forests and floating villages by boat. The average temperature is a comfortable 26-27°C.

Pakse, Laos

Despite the wet weather all over in Laos, southern highlights of the 4000 Islands remain accessible by boat, with the region’s waterfalls (unsurprisingly) at their best. The Khone Phangpheng, the Mekong River biggest waterfall with stunning scenery is worth taking.

Khone Phapheng falls

Khone Phapheng falls – Source: internet

Be prepared with hit or miss

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The months of July – August often see sporadic hurricanes and storms, which may render cancellation and delay of your trip. In those cases, you can switch around by visiting another destination in the North of Vietnam and visit Halong Bay later (such as Sapa, Hoa Binh or Ninh Binh). These storms will not last longer than 3-4 days. However, the massive sales of cruises in low season is interesting for who doesn’t mind the weather.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Rainfall across much of Thailand is at its peak in August, with Chiang Mai and the north typically receiving their heaviest rainfall of the year. In the more rural northern regions, such as Nan and Chiang Kham, the rain can make traveling around fairly difficult. Temperatures continue to drop slightly although humidity levels will remain high at average 26-30°C.

Luang Prabang, Laos

High probability of rain and showers increasing in severity. Along with overcast skies, humidity levels can reach 85% in August and temperatures in Luang Prabang range from 25-30°C.

In the more remote regions, such as Phongsali and Muang Sing the heavy rain can make traveling around fairly difficult and tracks may become unpassable, with the risk of landslides in some areas. If it’s ‘off the trail’ it’s best avoided in August.

Be avoid

Phuket, Thailand

Rain can be expected almost every day on the islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood, and the west coast beaches of Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi will also be experiencing their wettest month of the year.

Mondulkiri, Cambodia

In the more rural north-east regions, such as Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri the heavy rain can make traveling around fairly difficult and tracks can become unpassable. If it’s ‘off the trail’ then it’s best avoided in August.

Landslide cut down a road in rural area


Rainfall will start to lessen towards the end of the month, however, wherever you travel in Myanmar you should expect heavy rains.

Temperatures remain high (averaging highs of 27 – 30°C) and the beaches on the west and southern coast are now closed with road travel across much of the country difficult, in many cases impossible.

To get more detail information, you can click: Travel Indochina

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I have arrived in Myanmar on a very auspicious date, the Burmese new year, or Thingyan, the most celebrated festival in the country. Thingyan, Myanmar Water Festival, takes place toward the end of the hot, dry season and ushers in the Myanmar New Year. This festival is also celebrated in neighboring Theravada Buddhist countries; Songkran in Thailand and Laos, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia. Taking place from April 13 to 16 each year, the Buddhist festival of Thingyan is celebrated over four to five days, culminating on the Lunar New Year Day.

Commonly referred to as the Water Festival, Maha Thingyan allows people to celebrate the Burmese New Year. Despite this, Maha Thingyan is observed in mid-April on the Gregorian calendar. While the Water Festival is a Buddhist event, the Burmese government has made it a legal public holiday. This ensures that many Burmese citizens have the opportunity to enjoy the Water Festival. Maha Thingyan is a time for happiness and friendly attitudes.

Thinngyan is the most unique and colourful with the merriest occasion in Myanmar. Standing on bamboo stages erected along the streets, people splash water on passersby. Powerful water pipes douse people driving by in jeeps and trucks. The people throwing water each other since the Myanmar believe that Thinngyan water has the power to cleanse the evil and sins of the old year. The water symbolizes the washing away of the previous year’s bad luck and sins. On New Year’s Day itself, all the water-throwing ends. This day is celebrated by releasing captive fish and birds as acts of merit, and special feasts are held for monks.

Thingyan Celebrations:
Thingyan Eve: The first Thingyan celebrations begin on the day before the Water Festival. Thingyan Eve, or A-Kyo Nei, is a time for observing Buddhist beliefs.

Fasting: Many Buddhists observe Thingyan Eve through fasting. People who decide to fast for Thingyan Eve usually eat a single basic meal prior to noon. This meal is often very bland.

Observing the Eight Precepts: During Thingyan Eve, Buddhists are expected to observe the Eight Precepts of Buddhism. These Eight Precepts are similar to the Five Precepts. While observing the Eight Precepts, Buddhists must do the following: Refrain from killing living creatures, Refrain from stealing, Refrain from sexual activity, Refrain from lying or using incorrect speech, Refrain from using alcohol or drugs, Refrain from seeking entertainment, Refrain from eating during fasting periods, Refrain from sleeping on high places

Offerings to Monks: Many people in Myanmar celebrate Thingyan Eve by visiting a Buddhist temple. When visiting these temples, it is considered proper to leave an offering of green coconuts and bananas. These kinds of offerings usually consist of a single green coconut surrounded by a circle of bananas.

Washing the Buddha: Burmese people will also wash Buddha statues with sacred water that has been scented with flower extract. When washing Buddha statues, people start at the top by drizzling water over the head.

Night Celebrations: After the religious formalities of Thingyan Eve have been observed, Burmese people begin to relax and enjoy themselves. There are many lively celebrations that occur during the night of Thingyan Eve.

Music, Song, and Dance: While the Eight Precepts prohibit Buddhists from enjoying entertainment of any kind during the daytime, people are allowed to party to their hearts’ content as soon as night arrives. In nearly every village, city, and town in Myanmar, large stages are erected for the purpose of enjoying entertainment. These stages are made of wood and elaborately decorated with papier-mache and paint. Woman will dance to classical and contemporary music while wearing flower skirts. In addition to these flower skirts, Burmese women often wear padauck blossoms in their hair. The padauck blossom is also commonly referred to as the Thingyan flower due to its rarity and use during Maha Thingyan.

Parade of Locals: After enjoying live music and dancing, people celebrating Maha Thingyan parade the streets of their town or city while enjoying alcohol and the company of their friends and family members. These parades often consist of vehicles and decorated floats. Gyat, a form of Burmese rap, is commonly performed during these parades. Gyat is fairly controversial because it is a popular way of expressing distaste for social and political issues through music.

Water Festival Celebrations
Thinngyan water festival time is the merriest time for Myanmar young and old. Almost the whole populations are in the most joyous mood; roam around the city in cars or on foot to throwing and splashing water each other. Children use water pistols to drench their friends, relatives, and anyone else in range – only monks and the elderly are safe.
The primary event of Maha Thingyan is the Water Festival. This huge event is meant to celebrate the descent of Thagyamin, a celestial Buddhist figure, to Earth. The beginning of the Water Festival, or A-Kya Nei, is marked with the firing of a water cannon into a public area. While the cannon is fired, people run out to collect the water with pots and buckets. The collected water is then poured over the ground. This is followed by a short prayer. Just like Thingyan Eve, these religious rituals are followed by festive activities. Water throwing with toy guns, balloons, and hoses takes place in many areas of Myanmar.

If you are planning to Myanmar tours, Thingyan is undoubtedly the best time of the year to visit. Besides the fun-filled activities and the festive atmosphere, you’ll be sure to meet lots of Burmese, who are always friendly saying “Mingalabar”

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The Legend of Bagan

The Legend of Bagan

I cannot say that I was born to travel,  but I often feel compelled to wander. Every year I make plan to travel as many destinations as possible. Some of these places, I visited just to know what they were like, and some of them I cannot wait to revisit. When I was asked where I want to revisit the most, my answer was Bagan, Myanmar without any question.

If you interest, please follow our relevant topic at: Indochina tours Myanmar

This ancient city is over a millennium old and home to tens of thousands of temples, pagoda, stupas and Buddhist ruins of the ancient Burmese kingdom. Time, historical events, conflicts, wars and people have made these massive heritages fade into oblivion, leaving only about 2,000 structures across this 42,000 kilometer area. More than enough to attract travellers though, no?


There are thousands of attractions in this city, but one cannot miss exploring the unique architecture, the ancient Buddha statues and time-worn Buddhist painting at Thatbyinnyu: the tallest pagoda, Ananda – the holiest pagoda, the famous temple Shwezigon, or daydream in the silvery sunset on top of the Shwesandaw pagoda. There are countless other pagodas you can only reach by horse carriage, through the winding peaceful dirt roads under the shades of ancient trees.


But Bagan is so much more than its temples. The Buddhists here are kind, honest, gentle and hospitable and provide travellers with comfort even though the temperature in Bagan can sometimes reach 40 degrees Celsius. Do not forget to pamper yourself during the pure morning hours by the gentle Ayeyarwardy River, or simply lie on the grass and listen to the birds chirping by the river flowing past the Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary resort.


Now, after four years, I still cannot explain why I was so impressed and fell in love with Bagan. Perhaps because it was easy to find empathy and see into your own soul in this quiet, spiritual and tranquil space. I will come back next year to visit Bagan!

When to go

Bagan is hot most of the year. The best time to visit is between November and February, when temperatures hit 30C (86F). Avoid March to May, when temperatures can reach 43C (110F). Rainfall is highest in June and October. In my experience, the photos are better from late Nov-early Feb, with the haze in the air getting in the way in mid Feb.  This is also the only time of the year that the famous Bagan hot air balloons launch.


What to do in Bagan

Bagan is known for its landscape of Pagodas. While you descent you will already see hundreds and thousands of Pagodas as far as the eye can see. Obviously, that is also why you are going there and so far this is also the only thing you can do: Watch Temples, Payas and Pagodas.

The easiest way to go and check them out is by bike or car. Two days are good to see the biggest temples and some of the small ones and see the sunset. If you have a lot of time in Myanmar and don’t want to rush things stay for two-three days. If you decide to rent a bike and bike around the country I’d recommend to bike from one part of town to the next and do a whole round: New Bagan – Old Bagan – Nyaung Oo – New Bagan.


Where to stay in Bagan

In short, you will find the most budget places in and around Nyaung U, the midrange places in New Bagan, and the priciest resorts around Old Bagan. Independent travelers will want to stay around Nyaung U, which offers the most restaurants and more of the bustling local life and markets.  New Bagan is pretty blah, and Old Bagan is filled with fancy resorts.

Have you been to Bagan or do you plan to visit it when in Myanmar? Let us know.

Photos credit by Tam Bui Photographer





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Myanmar is now beginning the hottest destination to worldwide travelers come to Asia.

After the country opens the door to promote economy, tourism… many travelers are eager to explore this fascinated land.

Among the destinations in Myanmar, Bagan seems to be the most well-known place.


Balloon over Bagan

Bagan is 4.5 scenic drive from Mandalay and Yangon or you can take the direct flight from Yangon to this city. This is the capital of Pagan from XI – XII centuries. All of temples are built around this time. The most famous temple/pagoda in Bagan that you shouldn’t miss are:  Shwedigon Pagoda, Kyansittha Cave Temple, Ananda Temple and Mingalazedi Pagoda – the best place to watch the sunset or sunrise in Bagan from the top of the temple however this activity has been stopped according to the new policy of local government to preserve the monuments of Bagan.

Bagan is divided into 3 places: Nyaung – U, Old Bagan and New Bagan. There are different hotels located at these places as well. Vietnam travel tours


Map of Bagan

If you are still wonder where is the best place to stay in Bagan? What would suit your needs the most?  Depending on your purpose and your interest, this post will give you general ideas regarding the hotels in Bagan.

  • Nyaung-U: At the North West of Bagan. It is close to the airport, this place is also called backpacker area gather most of young travelers and affordable accommodation. Unfortunately this place is a bit far from the monument but there are many restaurants are around this area. The best hotel in this area would be Bagan Emerald Hotel. The rest accommodations are mainly guest houses
  • Old Bagan: At the Northwest of Bagan. This is the closest place to the monuments. Some hotels also have some temples inside the ground area but most of them are expensive hotel for up-market. Many local restaurants are around this area. The best accommodation for my experience so far would be the Bagan Lodge. Next would be Aureum Palace Hotel. Its location is in the middle of Bagan temples. The hotel has spacious room with great pool with view to the temples
  • New Bagan: at the Southwest. This place was built recently to house the local population who were removed from Old Bagan to form the new village. Most of middle range hotels are around this area and it is quiet easy to transfer to the monuments by car. Among the hotels around this area, Arthawka hotel is an excellent choice for middle range budget travelers. It is in a very quiet location. The room is spacious and very airy, staff is really nice and the pool is really great.

Depending on your traveling budget, you can choose the hotel that suits your need the most. You can also visit some reputable traveling forum to have a look at obvious comments from worldwide travelers before making your decision. However, remember that from October until the end of December, it’s always peak season in tourism therefore the hotels are always fully booked. If you travel in this period, make sure to finalize your travel plan soon and make the reservation at least a couple of months in advance otherwise, all good hotels aren’t available.

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Phaung Daw OO Pagoda Festival (Inle Lake, Shan State)

Phaung Daw U Pagoda is the most famous pagoda in Inle lake region. The pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original forms cannot be seen.  The Phaung Daw U Pagoda Festival is held annually for a total of 18 days. It is one of the most famous festivals in Myanmar. Both locals and foreign visitors come to visit this traditional festival in Inle Lake, Shan State. Annually, during the Myanmar Month of Thadingyut, usually between September and October, the 18-days festival is held. The festival is held with the dates according to the Lunar Calendar of Myanmar.

A large boat with a Golden Hintha (Hamsa) Bird creation is built. The Buddha Images tour around the Inle Lake from village to village taking the whole 18 days on the way. During the festival, only four of the Buddha Images are moved onto the royal barge. One image always remains at the temple. The decorated royal barge is towed by several boats moving by leg-rowers of Inle. The barge is towed from village to village along the shores of the lake in clockwise fashion, and the four images reside at the main monastery in each village for the night. The high point of the festival is on the day when the images arrive at the main town of Nyaung Shwe, where most pilgrims from the surrounding region come to pay their respects and veneration by boats. There are hundreds of floating boats from near and far. Indochina tours Vietnam

The order of the procession is subject to late changes as there is no fixed route for the festival. Your guide throughout your period in Inle Lake will take you to the best locations to enable you to join in the festivities.

Phaung Daw OO Pagoda Festival (Inle Lake, Shan State)

Phaung Daw OO Pagoda Festival (Inle Lake, Shan State)

The festival is held with the dates according to the Lunar Calendar of Myanmar. A large boat with a Golden Hintha (Hamsa) Bird creation is built

The festival is held with the dates according to the Lunar Calendar of Myanmar.

Elephant Dance Festival (Ky Auk Se)

In celebration of these magnificent beasts, locals dress up in life-size elephant costumes to perform lively dances and impressive acrobatics. The artistry, fun, and sheer talent involved in this festival is sure to impress any visitor.

What is the Elephant Dance Festival?

The festival is celebrated every year at the end of Buddhist Lent, which coincides with October’s full moon. The festival is celebrated with intricate elephant costumes, each generally manned by two people. The costumes can take months to make and are crafted from a bamboo frame covered in cloth, paper, and foil.  The elephant costumes are further decorated in glitter, gold foil, satin, ribbons, and glass gems to create a true work of art. Workshops respect the artist’s mastery and each artist keeps his construction methods top-secret.

What to expect at the Elephant Dance Festival?

The festival lasts all day and includes both a parade and a dance competition. The day starts with a parade around the marketplace, with the elephants circling the market three times so that everyone can get a good look at the beautiful artwork. The competition begins in the morning and is judged by prominent town officials and distinguished local persons.

The elephants are judged on various details including the precision and harmony of the dancing, the teamwork of the dancers, the construction of the elephant, and the music and singing involved. Dancing can involve impressive acrobatics – imagine two people acting out an elephant standing on its front legs with its hind legs in the air. Winners are announced in the evening and the next morning pilgrims climb a nearby 975-foot-hill to offer cakes and fruits to their spiritual protectors.

Elephant Dance Festival (Ky Auk Se)

Elephant Dance Festival (Ky Auk Se)

The festival is celebrated every year at the end of Buddhist Lent, which coincides with October’s full moon.

The festival is celebrated every year at the end of Buddhist Lent, which coincides with October’s full moon.



Hot Air Balloon Festival 

As usual, the festival is held on full moon day of Tazaungmone. It takes at least for 5 days and widely famous for its hot air balloons with fireworks and fire  crackers, competing day and night during the festival. Nevertheless, the main significance of this festival is light, as many suppose this festival has existed even before the introduction of Buddhism in Myanmar, to honor the God of Light and the awakening of Lord Vishnu. Sparkle fireworks, fire balloons are sent to the sky and multicolored lanterns are lighted. It is also said that the Gautama Buddha would return to Tawadeintha on this day to visit his mother’s reincarnated spirit so people illuminate the path for him by lighting candles and lanterns. Also on this occasion, many people come back home to pay homage to elders. Almsgiving and charity consisting of sautuditha feasts are also common during this festival, regarded as merit-making activities.

Visitors can see competition, how beautiful and smart hot air balloons, fireworks and fire crackers that how high shapes and forms of animals such as elephants, ducks, fishes, birds, hens so also four legs animals like pigs, buffalos which are to be handmade of a kind of fire resistant paper for successfully long lasting while competing. The competition is celebrated in crowded people while others play happily traditional musical instruments and dance around. People from all parts of country love to come and enjoy this festival as the festival is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. tours in Vietnam

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloon Festival

It takes at least for 5 days and widely famous for its hot air balloons with fireworks and fire crackers, competing day and night during the festival

It takes at least for 5 days and widely famous for its hot air balloons with fireworks and fire crackers, competing day and night during the festival

Sky Lights

Sky Lights

Golden Rock Pagoda Festival

Mount Kyaiktiyo (Kyite Htee Yoe), famous for the huge golden rock perched at its summit, is one of the three most sacred religious sites in Myanmar, along with the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Temple. Pilgrims come here from far and wide to worship and add gold leaf to the rock, which seems to defy gravity by delicately balancing on the edge of the 1100-metre high mountain.

Golden Rock pagoda festival is one of the most famous one and nation-wide both for local and foreign visitors. It is held on the evening of December 31 in Golden Rock, Mon State. On the platform of Golden Rock pagoda devotees light nine thousand lamps to welcome the New Year and to give thanks to Buddha peaceful philosophy. The magical Golden Rock pagoda, a golden spire, sits on the top huge boulder covered with gold leaf and perched on the edge of a cliff.

It is of considerable celebrity and attracts crowds of worshippers annually beginning from October to March which is the seasonal pilgrimage period for worshippers Especially on the full moon day of Tabaung, the platform of the pagoda is lighted with ninety thousand candles offered to the Buddha and thousands of worshippers gather around the pagoda offering fruits, foods incense to the Buddha. Sometimes reflected rays of color from the Buddha’s image were said to have been observed by the worshipers.

Golden Rock Pagoda Festival

Golden Rock Pagoda Festival

Golden Rock Pagoda

Golden Rock Pagoda



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Ritual of Pouring Water on the Bodhi Tree (Bo Tree)

All the pagodas throughout the country celebrate on Full Moon Day of Kason. This ritual commemorates the date 2500 years ago when the Buddha gained enlightenment while mediation under a Bodhi tree. Pilgrims pour water on this tree in pagoda compounds to keep them fresh in the summer heat of May.

As the month of kason is at the middle of the hot reason, the earth is dry and people pour water at the Maha-Bodhi tree to make sure it does not die of drought during the hot summer. This has become an integral part of Myanmar culture and on every full-moon day of kason, the Buddhist people would march in a grand procession to the Bodhi tree or to the pagodas to pour scented water.

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Ritual of Pouring Water on the Bodhi Tree (Bo Tree)

There are so many banyan tress in various regions of Myanmar. The majestic trees give cool shade and grandeur as well as dignity. grace and charm. Water pouring ceremony to the Bodhi tree in the month of Kason had been performed successively since the time of Myanmar monarchs to the present day. The performance of the ceremony is supportive not only to the religion and tradition but also to keeping trees green and lush.

  • Date:   During May
  • Location: Countrywide
Ritual of Pouring Water on the Bodhi Tree (Bo Tree)

Ritual of Pouring Water on the Bodhi Tree (Bo Tree)

Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival

The weather in June may not support for outdoor activities through the country, even festivals. Only the biggest one – Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival takes place in Pakkoku, Central Myanmar. Pakokku is an old traditional town on the western bank of the Ayeyarwadt river. This pagoda festival is the most important for all towns west of the Ayeyarwady and produce from the region.

Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda

Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda

This festival is an occasion for farming communities in the Pakokku to come together and celebrate the end of the harvest season. Pakokku is the old town on the western bank of Ayeyawady River. This is the most important festival of the land. The festival is also occurred with a local market selling local specialties such as fried chili, tobacco, fiber bags. This is also areas growing the best quality of Tanakha, the plant to make traditional skin-protected cosmetic of Burmese people. Red robed Buddhist monks will collect alms from local people and attendees in the festival. All farmers and merchants will donate portion of their profits to the temple.

  • Date: from 8th Nayon month
  • Duration: 15 days
  • Location: Pakokku, central Myanmar

Waso Festival

The Waso festival is annually held on the full moon of Waso throughout the country. The festival commemorates the time when the Budha gave his first sermon, to five months. Pilgrims throughout the country gather wild flowers to offer at pagodas, and offer new robes to monks. The Buddhist Lent period is from the full moon of Waso until the full moon of Thadingyut.

During the Waso festival, Buddhist monks are not allowed to go outside overnight or longer and they have to stay at their monasteries. Often, monks begin their Lenten days on the full moon day of the fourth month of the Myanmar calendar and ends on the full moon day of Thadingyut, the seventh month of the Myanmar calendar. It lasts for three month in total.

The Waso festival is annually held on the full moon of Waso throughout the country

The Waso festival is annually held on the full moon of Waso throughout the country

The Waso festival is annually held on the full moon of Waso throughout the country

It is said in history that a group of monks set out on a journey to pay their respects to the Buddha in the agricultural season. Because many people complained that the monks walked across cultivated fields and destroyed the crops, the Lord passed a law to be followed by monks: no monk shall make a journey lasting a night or longer during the three monks of the monsoon rains. That rains retreat is the Buddhist Lent.

Following the law, monks spend more time and energy to the propagation of the Buddha’s teachings and the practice, that is, meditation, of the doctrine during that period. Laymen and laywomen try to gian merit through offering robes, alms and other essentials to the Sangha, it was a special donation to the monks during the Lent of absolute devotion to meditation. This annual occasion is called “Waso-pwe”, occasion of offering essentials to the Sangha, or “Waso-thingan-katlupwe”, occasion of offering robes to the Sangha.

From this time on, Buddhist experience three months by not drinking alcohol, making donation ceremonies, reciting the Buddhist chant, keeping precepts and practicing meditation. Morever,marriage and changing of accommodation during the period are not encouraged.

  • Date:   July (15th day of 04th Burmese month)
  • Location: Countrywide
Myanmar Waso Festival (or) Lenten Season

Myanmar Waso Festival (or) Lenten Season

Taung Pyone Nat ( Spirit ) Festival

There are number of annual Nat festivals celebrated in Myanmar, the Nats of the region accordingly. Taungpyone festival is the most attractive and important in a village near Mandalay. Annual festival is held in September or August according to the Myanmar Lunar calendar. The believers honour the two Taung Pyone brothers, Min Gyi and Min  Galay. In Buddhist lore, spirits or nats exit in many forms such as celestials or guardians of the faith, cities or villages, or even for each individual. The pantheon of 37 spirits worshipped by semi-animists are also called Nat but of a different kind. Most of 37 spirits met violent deaths as humans and by strong emotions of bitterness or anger could not pass through to their next life but remain in limbo. But rituals worship them in believing that they will be blessed and they could bring more wealth and good fortune to their daily life.

Taung Pyone Nat ( Spirit ) Festival

Taung Pyone Nat ( Spirit ) Festival

This village is known among Myanmar people thanks to the Taung Pyone Festival, which is the most famous festival of Nats (spirits) in the country. This is the festival where people are allowed to make fun of each other but not allowed to get angry or take the joke as serious for all visitors are expected to smile with joy and fun. All the Nat mediums or clairvoyance and those who believe and worship Nat’s gather in the village. The usually quiet village of Taung Payone becomes very crowded for the time of the festival with all the visitors coming to join the celebrations by car, train or on foot.

The village itself is a pleasant place to be. The beautiful landscape opens the view on mountains covered with palm trees. You can enjoy your stay in a traditional village hut fully made from a palm stem and leaves. Obviously the huts don’t have usual facilities – both showers and toilets are outside. So you will definitely have an interesting outdoor shower experience. Don’t forget to bring some extra longyi which will be necessary for the bathing. During the festival you can find many shops selling traditional crafts – handmade necklaces, bracelets, different children’s toys, snacks, local products.

Series of 37 Nat statues on the stands are offered food and flowers, but not pork products, cash and alcohol. The mediums entertain the crowds with Nat dance with the traditional Nat music and performance during night and day. The whole area is occupied with circus and cultural dances, music and magic shows, fortune tellers and tattoo shops. Thousands of people are visiting the Nats Pavilions to consult a medium for their future prospects and fortunes.

  • Date:   During August
  • Location: Taungyone, Mandalay Division
This is the festival where people are allowed to make fun of each other but not allowed to get angry or take the joke as serious for all visitors are expected to smile with joy and fun.

This is the festival where people are allowed to make fun of each other but not allowed to get angry or take the joke as serious for all visitors are expected to smile with joy and fun.

Manuha Pagoda Festival

Manuha Pagoda Festival is held annually one day before the Full Moon Day of Tawtalin. Depending on the Lunar Calendar. the festival is held in end of September or start of October. Manuha Pagoda Festival is celebrated for three consecutive days.

During two days festival, pretty village girls dressed in their best parade with trays of fruit and cakes to offer at the pagoda. During the afternoon, young men parade larger than life papier mache figures they have made of heroes, celestials and animals. At night, they put on dances and plays. The next morning at dawn, they offer foods at the shrine and also to the monks.

The parade of colourful paper mache figures roam around the city during the festival. The locals create colorful and beautiful decorations of images such as the Manuha King himself. tigers. cows. elephants. horses. and even some stars of today. The number of representation varies up to hundred. The parade goes on until the end of the day.

Locals and foreign visitors enjoy the sight of the colorful papier-mâché figures and also the lifestyle of the Bagan locals. There are other entertainments such as Zat Pwe and Anyeint at the night time. Villagers near and far never miss this opportunity of participating the Manuha Festival.

  • Date:   During September
  • Location: Bagan
The pretty village girls dressed in their best parade with trays of fruit and cakes to offer at the pagoda.

The pretty village girls dressed in their best parade with trays of fruit and cakes to offer at the pagoda.

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Yangon is the capital city of Myanma. This place is well-known for charming beauty with many heritages such as Botataung Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda and Convocation Hall. Being cultural and commercial heart of Myanmar, Yangon is really worth visiting. If you have an ideal of travelling to this pretty city, the first thing you should do is choosing the best time to start your trip to make sure that you will have wonderful days there with nice weather. Indochina tours Myanmar

Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda and Convocation Hall. Being cultural and commercial heart of Myanmar, Yangon is really worth visiting. If you have an ideal of travelling to this pretty city, the first thing you should do is choosing the best time to start your trip to make sure that you will have wonderful days there with nice weather.

Yangon – a beautiful and charming city of Myanmar

Yangon – a beautiful and charming city of Myanmar

Yangon has a tropical monsoon climate with a monsoon season and a dry season. The average temperature is above 25 degrees Celsius with the peak at approximately 40 degrees. There are big differences between 2 seasons in terms of temperature and rainfall.

Yangon in dry season

Dry season lasts for about 8 months (starts in October and ends in the next following May). During the dry months, there is a little rain. The temperature varies from 20 to 37 degrees so it is quite hot. The peak of hot weather is April with the temperature is rarely under 35 degrees and sometimes reaches to nearly 40 degrees Celsius. Travelling to Yangon in this time can avoid terrible rain that may spoil your vacation. Without rain, it would be so great because you have a chance to take the view of the Golden Sule Pagoda from downtown Yangon at night with the clear sky and billions bright stars. However, sometimes burning days can make you feel uncomfortable and tired.

Golden Sule Pagoda at night

Golden Sule Pagoda at night

Yangon in monsoon season

Monsoon season runs from June to September. In these months, it becomes cooler with the average temperature fluctuating around 27 degrees. Rainfall totals are much more higher than that in dry season. Sometimes, it is rainy and wet all day, especially in July and August.

Yangon looks more beautiful and attractive in monsoon months

Yangon looks more beautiful and attractive in monsoon months

Although rain may prevent you from going out when you are enjoying your vacation here, that does not mean that travelling to Yangon in rainy season is a bad idea. First of all, the cool weather at least makes you feel better than having to walk under the boiling sun with burning sensation.  You will enjoy feelings of refreshing during these cool days. An other advantage is that you may acquire knowlegde of Buddhist Lent (Vaasa) that begins in Waso month ( usually falling in June or July). Moreover, a lot of tourists is affraid to visit Yangon in these monsoon months so there is no croud of tourists, you don’t have to worry about the shortage of decent rooms or waiting for a long time at restaurants. Therefore, costs of visiting, booking hotel, transportation are certainly much cheaper. You see, there are also some advantages of going to Yangon this season.

Refresh beauty of Yangon in rainy season

Refresh beauty of Yangon in rainy season

In general, many people say that the months from November to February are the best time to visit Yangon; however, it means that you will not have a comfortable space due to too many tourists. Personally, I’d like to go there in June, the weather is cool and it does not rain too much. You should think carefully before deciding when is the most suitable time for you.

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Myanmar is a veritable land with full of colorful festivals and special events, mostly cultural and religious, all are always pleasurable. Most festivals are celebrated nation-wide all over the country. As Myanmar traditionally goes by 12 month lunar calendar, the dates of festivals and culture events are determined by the lunar New Year. Once you come and experience the festivals, you will not forget that moment. Myanmar also have festivals all around the year, at least one in each month of the year.


Ananda pagoda festival (Bagan):

Symbolizing the limitless wisdom of Buddha, there is a month long sanctified festival for the temple Ananda, the most beautiful one out of 2000 holy monuments in Bagan, Myanmar. It is usually falls on January every year. The busiest day of the festival is on the full-moon day of the lunar month. Villagers and pilgrims around Bagan roll in the sacred site of Ananda for the consecration.

Ananda pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Bagan. Built by King Kyansittha of the Bagan dynasty in late 11th century, it is also rated as the most aesthetic and artistic structure in Bagan. The temple’s name means the endless wisdom of Buddha. The pagoda festival is held annually on the full moon of Pyatho (January). This annual festival has been around for more than 2,000 years and even now people from surrounding villages come to the festival by the traditional way in bullock carts. They also stay the whole 7 days duration of the event, camping under the spreading acacia trees around pagoda. There are stalls too, selling everything from daily necessities to cosmetics and food stalls of course. The festival ends with the traditional donation ceremony for the monks on the full moon day of Pyatho.

This is also the best time to see not only the ritual of Buddhists but the festival is also meant for social gathering, reunification, propagation and perpetuation of the religion that is Buddhism. During the festival, walk around in sea of vendors and shops that sell traditional Myanmar food-staff and enjoy the local atmosphere in locality.

  • Date: usually starts the first week of January
  • Location: Bagan
  • Duration: 15 days
Ananda pagoda festival

Ananda pagoda festival

Kachin New Year festival (Manaw – Kachin State):

Kachin is one of the states which has a delightful festival known as Manaw, one of the largest ethnic races of Myanmar, live in the northern part of the country. The Kachin state is the roof of the country inhabited by the different Kachin races of Jainphaw, Azi, Rawang, Lashi, Mashu and Lisu. The land is swept by chill breezes blowing from the Himalayas and the streams with crystal clear and icy water of melted snow. The races dwell in villages by rivulets or in valleys or on the hill tops, each with their own language, customs and culture. Every year in January, the Kachins hold a Manaw ( traditional commemorative festival) to welcome in the Kachin New Year. Manaw simply means “festival” in the Kachin (Jinpaw) language, and is a gathering to celebrate the harvest, New Year, or a wedding with feasting and dancing. The traditional Manaw poles decorated in Kachin motifs are at the centre of the festival compound where the dancers dance around to show of gratitude to their ancestral spirits and their wish for a bright future. All the visitors are warmly welcomed to join the dance.

Kachin, the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar, celebrate Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. The festival is usually held in January. This festival has been held for more than three decades. Manaw festivals is the celebration of the New Year, Victory in battles, reunion of the tribes etc. Everybody in town joins the spiritual dance lined up behind one another.

The traditional Manaw poles are decorated in colourful Kachin motifs and are centered in the middle of the festival ground. All who came to the festival wear their best traditional costume and the main feature of the festival is dancing around the erected Manaw poles, quite similar to the totem poles of North American Indians. Manaw festival is held in Myitkyina and Putao in Kachine State.

  • Date:   Around first week of January
  • Location: Myitkyina, Kachin State.
Kachin New Year festival

Kachin New Year festival

Naga festival (Chin State):

Numerous Naga tribes spread throughout the north-western hills of Myanmar. Most of the Naga are from the Chin State. But the festival place falls in the Sagaing Division, next to the Chin State. The places where the Naga inhabit are Khamti, Lashe, Lahel, and Nanyun in the Sagaing Division. There are 64 clans of the Naga tribe. Naga New Year festival is one of the most breathtaking and exciting events among many festival in Myanmar. The Naga is one of national races who live in Naga land. Their annual New Year festival is celebrated in the mid of January and participated by about 30 Naga clans. Naga national group gather at one of their towns to celebrate their New Year. Dressed in their finery of breads, feathers, fur, bear and tiger, they parade into town after walking several days over mountain and through valleys. One can also enjoy the unique songs and dances that may never be seen before. To all visitors, Naga New Year festival is a different world and amazing land to be visited and observed. Indochina tours Myanmar

  • Place:  Chin State
  • Time:   During January of every year, depends on Lunar calendar
Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival (Mandalay):

The pagoda festival celebrates  on 14th Waxing Moon day and 15th full moon day of Tabodwe in Mandalay. The coldest month in Myanmar and during the festival, devotees light bonfires and cook huge pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut and sesame to offer monks at the Maha Muni pagoda. In other parts of the country, sticky rice is cooked as a celebration of the harvest and distributed within communities.

Glutinous rice (which is a delicacy) contests are also held on the pagoda’s platform. A variety of incense sticks are burnt for the Myanmar Buddha image on the full moon day. During this festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy. Locals from far and near come to pay homage and respect to the Buddha image and enjoy the festival. Many street vendors sell, Thanakha, Myanmar made toys, Mandalay food and many more. It is very crowded in the pagoda’s compound.

  • Place:  Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, Mandalay, Mandalay Division
  • Time:   During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar
Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival (Yangon):

It is one of the wonders of the world today, was believed to have built over 2005 years ago where Buddha’s relics were enshrined. The festival is usually held on the full moon day of Tabaung which is being in March. Many people in the country contributes funds for the repairing and a great number of people pay homage every day. There are many festivals throughout the year. The pouring water to the sacred Bo-tree, the overnight weaving contest for the yellow robes, the donation of golden leafs in a buck and many others are unnoticed festivals in each occasion. The traditional snacks and local products are displayed and sold in many stalls along the side ways to Shwedagon pagoda. It is worth moment for visitors to see how bustling Myanmar people enjoy their holiday and how they participate in religious activities of festivals. The renovation works were greatly done and the escalator on the western stairway and the elevators in all others are beautifully forced and the elevators in all others are beautifully forced and the spires are rebuilt. Even the campy is renovated with modern techniques. Visitors from all over the country enjoy the festival at such a time. They come to donate offertories

  • Place: Yangon, Yangon Division
  • Time: During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar
Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival (Southern Shan State):

Well known for its extensive limestone caves over million of years ago. Shwe Oo Min cave pagoda festival is as well celebrated on full moon day of Tabaung, starts a week before full moon day. Thousands of devotees from villages around the area come to pay homeage to the images of Buddha in the cave. There are some 6,000 Buddha images and interesting stalagmites.

  • Place: Pindaya, Southern Shan State
  • Time: During March
Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival

Kakku Pagoda Festival (Taungyi, Sounthern Shan State):

Annualy, Kakku pagoda festival is also held on full moon day. The devotees come from Pa-O village to the pagoda for praying respect and enjoy the days under very huge banyan trees surrounding the pagodas. There are over 2,000 ancient pagodas in Kakku pagoda compound. The Pa-O people dress up their best costume and getting to know each other while others come by their bullock carts to the festival.

As it is, all the people of the region arrive by the thousands, dressed in their traditional costumes. Some come in bullock carts while others arrive by more modern conveyances, on the village tractor. But the most interesting time to visit this place is to get there before dawn of the full moon day of Tabaung where the Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.

  • Place: Kakku region, near Inle Lake, Shan State
  • Time: During March
Kakku Pagoda Festival

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival (Nation Wide):

The most famous festival of Myanmar is the Thingyan Water Festival, which is held from 13 April to 16 April every year. Thiangyan water festival, the greatest and the merriest, celebrated all over the country which goes together with Myanmar New Year. It features water throwing by the way of relieving of the intense heat of the season and washing away the sins of passing year. It is believed that water festival washes away sins and welcomes the New Year. The water festival represents the most popular, raucous and colorful celebration of the year for more than 120 million people who will abandon any thoughts of work and bring their nations to a standstill. People around the country gather together again and visits pagodas, offers and pay homage to the monks, play traditional games and celebrate with their joyous spirit.

Young and not-so-young people have great fun throwing at one another, teasing, singing, dancing and shouting during the festival. If you take part this festival, you will feel really awesome. But Thingyan is not all for fun and play. It is also a time for performing meritorious deeds. Some do religious deeds at monasteries. As a whole, during Thingyan period everything becomes dear. After playing around and having fun throughout the country, the city-dwellers welcome the New Year on the 17th by cleaning the floors of the pagodas and monasteries, washing old and aged people’s hair, helping to cut them their nails. Some offer free food and drinks for everyone who visits the pagodas, some make other donations. If you can be here with us, you will never forget the true joy.

  • Place: Countrywide
  • Time: April 13 to April 16 every year
Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival


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