Planning a family holiday? Myanmar is an ideal destination for families!
Not only are there a range of activities and hotels to suit all ages, but the country is also safe and extremely affordable. As an added bonus, the friendly nature of the local people helps kids (and adults!) feel welcomed and comfortable.
In this week’s blog we share with you some tips for a Myanmar family vacation: What to do, where to stay and other ways to ensure your holiday is enjoyable for all.
TEMPLES FOR KIDS: Myanmar is famous for its glittering pagodas and ancient temples. But younger travelers can get bored with visiting pagoda after pagoda after pagoda. To keep kids engaged and entertained, here are a few hints. At Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, kids can have their fortune told by local astrologers and make offerings on the shrine honoring their day of birth. There are also nearby lakes where kids can feed the massive carp that live in the murky waters- according to local belief, this brings good luck! In Bagan, there are more than 2000 pagodas to explore and adults will certainly want to include a Bagan visit on their Myanmar holiday. For kids, varying the transportation method makes temple touring much more fun! Horse-carts, electric bikes and regular bicycles are fun ways to criss-cross the temple plains and visit farms and villages along the way. You can also mix in a visit to a lacquerware shop, a hands-on cooking class, boat trips on the Irrawaddy River and visits to the countryside to prevent temple boredom!
ADVENTURE & NATURE: One of the best things about traveling in Myanmar are the unspoiled landscapes and rural villages. There are ample opportunities for adventure and exploring nature, suitable for small children all the way up to active adults. One of our favorite regions for soft-adventure in Myanmar is the Shan State, the highland area where Inle Lake is located. Easy walks through tea plantations and to local villages are great for families with small children. Or opt for an overnight trek with a stay in a village monastery for older, more active kids. These are great experiences, not just for the scenic views but also because they create opportunities for cultural immersion. For animal lovers, we highly recommend a visit to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp- spending a day with these retired animals is sure to be a highlight of your Myanmar family holiday.
If you prefer two wheels for adventure, then add a biking excursion to your Myanmar family vacation. Forgo the car and instead bike through the historic sites of Mandalay and Bagan. Or spend time pedaling through the countryside around Inle Lake or Yangon. There are a range of routes available depending on your fitness level and experience plus kids bikes and baby seats available in some destinations.
CULTURAL SHOWS & ACTIVITIES: Myanmar has rich cultural traditions, quite unlike those in the western world. Experiencing traditional arts or partaking in culture-focused activities are not only enjoyable for kids but also highly educational. One of our favorites is the Mintha Theater in Mandalay where nightly shows of traditional dance are performed. Even better, the dancers are all youth who are training to become professionals and they love interacting with young audience members. Another fun family evening in Myanmar is Htwe Oo Puppets in Yangon. The evening show features a variety of entertaining marionette performances with skilled puppeteers in an intimate setting (maximum 25 guests). Other options include cooking classes at a family home in Bagan, interactive village excursions and visits to cottage industry workshops to see weaving, lacquerware production, tofu making and more.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTELS: After spending the day exploring, kids and adults will appreciate a good night of sleep! Fortunately there are wonderful family-friendly hotels in Myanmar. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Bagan Umbra Hotel- This 3-star property has two swimming pools and a massive garden to play in, yet still feels cozy and calm. It is located near several major pagodas and has great restaurants within walking distance.
- Ann Heritage Lodge (Inle Lake)- located in a village on the edge of the water, this family-friendly Inle Lake hotel is sure to be a memorable stay for your family. Book a stilted bungalow for a chance to sleep ‘on the water’ and enjoy the refreshing swimming pool after a day of sightseeing. The staff are superb and you will feel right at home from the minute you arrive!
- Amata Resort (Ngapali)- Ngapali Beach is an ideal place to wrap up your Myanmar family holiday. With it’s prime seaside location, large rooms, leafy garden and pool, Amata ticks all the boxes for a family-friendly hotel.
- Rose Garden Hotel (Yangon)- This large hotel offers families a comfortable, affordable stay near the hustle and bustle of downtown. Although it is billed as three-star, Rose Garden offers 4-star amenities and a range of food options to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters! Nearby is Kandawgyi Lake and Park, a great place to take an evening stroll, and the adjacent Yangon Zoo means it is not unusual to hear elephants and other animals calling out!
Ready to plan your Myanmar family tour? Get in touch with the Odyssey team and we’ll start designing a custom kid-friendly Myanmar holiday for you! [email protected]