7 Reasons to Visit Myanmar in 2016
We have recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the launch of Sanctuary Ananda, our luxurious all suite ship that takes passengers on voyages of discovery on the mysterious rivers of Myanmar. We asked Tim Buma, one of our managers on board the ship, for his top reasons to visit Myanmar and he said: “It is the friendliest nation in the world, the temples in Bagan are like visiting Angkor Wat ten years ago and cruising the way between Mandalay and Bagan is the most convenient way to travel between the two.”
But don't take our word for it, over the past year we have been lucky enough to host many top journalists from across the globe and here are their reasons to visit Myanmar on Sanctuary Ananda.
Experience how the nation is changing
Harriet O'Brien of The Independent wrote: "It's a far cry from my very first encounters with Burma. I spent part of my childhood in this fairy-tale-pretty country: my father was a diplomat here in the 1970s, which was a particularly stagnant period of isolation and military repression. As an adult I'd returned on several occasions, most recently in 2011 when the first meaningful reforms in decades were taking effect. It was a joyous time and the Burmese people I met were riding high on euphoria.
In the three years since then, things have moved on apace, not least with a host of new hotels (some say too many, and with plenty more in the pipeline); with ATMs, unknown in 2011, which have popped up across urban centres; and with hundreds of thousands of new imported cars - most of them in the principal city Rangoon (or Yangon)."
Take a balloon ride over Bagan
Laurie Werner of Forbes Life wrote: "Bagan, such a spectacular stop on the boat's itinerary. You need time: there are over 2000 temples in the archaeological site and even though you can't possibly visit them all, you need time to just absorb those vistas. If the weather is clear (they don't fly when it isn't), doing a daybreak balloon ride affords spectacular views but even taking a bicycle or a horse cart in the early morning mist around the site, watching the villages come to life and seeing the temples without tourists flooding out of buses to do the same is so beautiful, it's almost otherworldly."
Enjoy a room with a view and a personal butler
The Daily Telegraph wrote: "Cruising the Road to Mandalay - less romantically known as the Irrawaddy River - between Bhamo and Yangon, Sanctuary Ananda looks every bit as exotic as the country it sails through. The Owner's Suite features a king-size bed, separate dressing and living areas and a large private veranda. The bathroom has a monsoon shower and occupants will be treated to a personal butler and private tour guide."
Travel on a boat that reflects the unique character of Myanmar
Curtis Ellis of the Boston Globe wrote: "Built entirely in Myanmar with local materials and craftsmanship, the ship's 21 suites feature hand-woven textiles from the Shan, Chin, Akha, Naga, Karen, Rakhine, and Kachin regions. Decorative pillows, handmade furniture, and bronze Karen frog drums embellish the ship's lounge areas. All cabins have balconies from which to take in the timeless landscapes."
Enjoy the best food in the country
Keshia Hannam of Foodie wrote: "Perhaps the best food in the country can be found aboard the Sanctuary Ananda. This comment is reiterated time and again by visitors to the ship who spend weeks scurrying about the largely unknown land, as well as local and natives familiar with Burmese food.
Festooned with first class amenities, the triple deck boat has delicately balanced exploring flavours and ingredients of the local land and bringing Western fine dining to its patrons on board. It is here that exploration gets a 6 star make-over. Indiana Jones meets Coco Chanel and this is their lovechild."
Low impact travel
Judith Elen of The Australian wrote: "Our cruise is small scale and environmentally aware, blending with local culture, employing local people. Our guides provide insights into recent events."
There is a great danger you will have the perfect holiday!
Stan Cullimore of the Daily Mail wrote: "On our last evening we were treated to a candlelit feast under the night sky. As I sat there thinking nothing could improve my world, a flurry of shooting stars whooshed overhead. Moments later, a harvest moon peeped over the horizon, lighting up the river.
I actually had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Our host, Daniel, saw my dazed look and asked if I could think of any way, no matter how big or small, in which the company could improve my holiday experience.
I'll be honest, I tried. I really did. I gave it my full attention. I desperately tried to think of something I would have changed. But I couldn't think of a thing. Not a single, solitary one.
I had to turn to Daniel and admit the truth. It had been the perfect holiday."
For all our Myanmar media coverage please see the Sanctuary Ananda Press page.