The Myanmar Story
The Golden Land of Shwedagon and Bagan, of Orwell and Kipling. For centuries, Burmese names alone have induced an irresistible romance amongst the susceptible: Mandalay, Rangoon, Inle and the Irrawaddy. Khiri expertly guides you through this still seldom visited and exotic land, with signature experiences as diverse as biking in Shan State, picnicking amidst the thousands of medieval temples in Bagan, and elephant trekking in Kalaw.
Bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand, Myanmar is larger than France, and yet remains the least developed country in Southeast Asia. The mountains and fertile plains of the Ayeyarwady River wind through the country for 2,170 kilometres, and one-third of Myanmar’s total perimeter forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Myanmar is home to some of the earliest civilizations of Southeast Asia, including the Pyu and the Mon. Burmans entered the Upper Irrawaddy Valley in the 9th Century and soon established the Kingdom of Pagan, still known today for its thousands of awe-inspiring temple and pagoda structures concentrated at Bagan, the medieval capital of the First Burmese Empire.
In the 13th Century, Kublai Khan invaded Burma, extending the reach of the already massive Mongolian Empire. In the 19th Century, Myanmar was again colonized. British rule brought immense change to Burmese society, and the country has seen differing forms of governance since declaring independence from Britain in 1948.
Myanmar remains one of the world’s most untouched, authentic, culturally enriching and mysterious countries. Khiri tours allow you to travel through Myanmar in a way that broadens your own horizons while enriching the knowledge and livelihoods of the Burmese people.
Travel by boat or kayak across the vast Inle Lake with a specialist that can spot the many different bird species of the region. The Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of the area around Inle Lake to conserve natural vegetation and wildlife.
Wildlife highlights: Many unique bird species including Jerdon’s babbler, glossy ibis, purple swamphen, and the blue-eared kingfisher. There are also wetland birds and fresh water fish in the lake.
Nat Ma Taung (Mt Victoria) Wildlife Sanctuary
Take a boat or trek through the Nat Ma Taung National Park and experience the unspoiled natural mountain scenery of the third highest mountain in Myanmar. There are many species of birds as well as larger animals in this sanctuary.
Wildlife highlights: There is a chance to observe 159 species of birds including five indigenous species. You may even see the rare Jerdon’s babbler, the blue-eared kingfisher. There are also leopards, tigers, wild boar, gibbons and the extremely rare Blyth’s tragopan, a type of pheasant recognizable by its red head and brightly colored feathers.
A former colonial British hill station, Kalaw, offers year round cool temperatures and green scenery. The area is known for birds, butterflies, orchids, teak and bamboo. There is also an elephant conservation project that creates a natural habitat for elephants in the wild.
Wildlife highlights: Over 189 bird species have been spotted in Kalaw including the Burmese yuhina, ashy bulbul, and chestnut bunting to name a few. There are also many butterflies and an elephant sanctuary in the region.
Myeik (Mergui) Islands
In this area there are over 800 remote islands scattered across the Andaman Sea waiting to be explored. There is a sea route through a collection of coastal islands called the Myeik Archipelago with deserted islands and untouched beaches. Take a live aboard cruise with snorkeling, scuba diving to visit white sand beaches and Moken, sea gypsy villages.
Wildlife highlights: The area is abundant in marine life and coral reefs.
Take a boat on the Irrawaddy River to the Myayzun village where travelers may spot dolphins along the way. This village is famous for using a fishing technique with the dolphin’s collaboration. Watch as the fishermen make a tapping sound on the boat that communicates with the dolphins to approach the boat.
Wildlife highlights: The chance to observe the unique and endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins and see how the fishermen and dolphins communicate.
Moeyungyi Wetlands Bird Sanctuary
Study the wetland environment by boat and watch resident and migratory birds in their natural habitat. November through March is the best time to visit when the Moeyun Gyi wetlands host over 20,000 migratory bird species.
Wildlife highlights: There is an opportunity to watch resident and migratory water birds in their natural habitat including herons, pelicans, cranes and cormorants.