The best of Burma's colonial architecture and numerous temples
Now back on the tourist map, Burma's crumbling colonial architecture, countless overgrown temples, stunning landscapes and locals with shy friendly smiles await in this fascinating country. We visit all of the most fabled destinations such as the temples of Bagan, the 19th century capital of Mandalay, a city synonymous with Kipling and the British Empire, Inle Lake with its famous leg-rowing fishermen, and Rangoon (Yangon) famous for its skyline of golden spires.
We also take time to cruise on the Irrawaddy River and mingle and interact with commuters on local trains. Experience this incredible country before mass tourism returns.
Articles in the Press about Burma ...
Daily Mail: Chris Lawrence writes about Discovering Burma (March 2013).
What makes this trip responsible?
There are many sensitive issues in returning to Burma and many questions asked about whether tour operators such as ourselves should be going back following years of boycott. George Orwell's famous novel 'Burmese Days' based on his experiences there during British rule includes the lines 'Free speech is unthinkable. All other kinds of freedom are permitted. You are free to be a drunkard, an idler, a coward, a backbiter, a fornicator; but you are not free to think for yourself. Your opinion on every subject of any conceivable importance is dictated for you by the pukka sahibs' code'. Applying this quote to politics today and replacing 'pukka sahibs' with 'military junta' would arguably give an accurate reflection of life in Burma. The debate will continue to rage on if anything has changed under the current ruling junta but the simple answer is we still do not know; although we can research supply chains and try to ensure as much benefit as possible filters down directly to the people and communities there will be monies flowing into the military regime (junta).
Why we have chosen to return
Why we have chosen to return is on the back of a press release from the National League for Democracy in May 2011, this stated 'the NLD would welcome visitors who are keen to promote the welfare of the common people and the conservation of the environment and to acquire an insight into the cultural, political and social life of the country'. This statement echoes true with Exodus' long standing responsible tourism policy that, amongst other things states:
We will design and operate our holidays in a way that gives the highest degree of long-term economic benefit to the host communities, whilst also maintaining and/or improving the environment.
We will attempt to operate our holidays in a way that encourages positive cultural exchanges.
We will attempt to impart an insight and understanding of the host culture and community to our clients so that they can gain more from visiting them.
We have also taken advice from industry experts and organisations on our stance, Justin Francis the respected Managing Director of Responsibletravel.com and a leading voice in sustainable operations has endorsed our return stating 'The message from Aung San Suu Kyi is clear - she only wants tourism that will help the people of Burma and the conservation of the environment. Exodus, past winner of our Responsible Tourism Awards, has always excelled in this regard and I support their return to Burma and continuing commitment to responsible tourism.'
Please see our Responsible Tourism Policy for full details.
U bein bridge at Amarapura ,Mandalay