From the ancient pagodas in Bagan to the floating villages on Inle Lake, there are countless reasons why you should have your family vacations in Myanmar. The country’s off-the-beaten-track reputation makes it a daunting destination for families and the perfect start for your family vacation in Myanmar.
But Myanmar is not all rustic, old-town charm. Bustling cities like Yangon and Mandalay are full of fantastic family attractions such as nature parks, museums, markets, and lots of temples. However, if you want a truly memorable family holiday in Myanmar, head to the countryside for its picturesque landscape of rice paddies, shimmering lakes, undulating mountains, and tracts of rainforests.
Traveling with kids could be challenging, but the wealth of incredible experiences the country offers makes a family vacation in Myanmar all worth it.
Why Myanmar is great for family holidays?
Natural beauty, fascinating culture, great weather, friendly people: Myanmar has it all. Plus, the country has less crowd compared to other destinations in Southeast Asia. It is perfect for families seeking reprieve from the bustle of big cities.
Children can take a break from their gadgets and participate in nature-oriented activities, as well as immerse themselves in meaningful cultural experiences.
Myanmar has a low crime rate and is very safe for visitors. Although there are restricted areas, these are far from well-known tourist attractions. The Burmese people are genuinely warm and innately fond of children. A family holiday in Myanmar allows your kids to learn about other cultures as they interact with the locals.
While Myanmar is mostly known as the Land of Golden Pagodas, it is not all temples and shrines. If beaches are your thing, the country has hundreds of empty and pristine beaches suited for relaxation and exploration.
How to Get to Myanmar with kids?
The quickest and easiest way to get to Myanmar with your family is by air. You will land on either Yangon or Mandalay. There are no direct flights from outside Asia, so tourists from Europe or the U.S. should first fly to a hub in Southeast Asia before transferring to Myanmar.
Yangon receives direct flights from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Singapore, while Mandalay hosts arrivals from Chiang Mai and Kunming, as well as Bangkok. Airfares are the most expensive from December to January, the peak season. To save money, fly to Bangkok then book a budget airline going to Myanmar.
Best Time to Travel with Kids for Family Vacations in Myanmar
As a tropical country, Myanmar is mostly sunny all year round. However, if you plan to do a lot of outdoor activities, the best time to visit is between November to March. During these months, the days are pleasantly warm, with little to almost no rain — perfect for trekking, swimming, cycling, or touring temples. The evenings, usually breezy, are best for strolling night markets or enjoying an open-air dinner. Remember, it can get quite hot and humid during April and May.
Monsoon season is from late May to early October. Beach areas close from June to September because of frequent thundershowers, but river cruises on the Chindwin peak during these months. The water level rises and allows vessels to reach remote places such as jungles and forgotten villages near the Indian border.
How Long to Travel Myanmar with Kids?
A two-week family holiday in Myanmar is enough to cover the country’s best tourist attractions, which include Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Lake Inle. A well-planned 10-day itinerary lets you see and explore the highlights of each destination. You can spend the remaining four days enjoying the empty beaches in Ngapali or discovering off-the-radar stops along the way.
How to Get Around Myanmar with Kids?
The most convenient, albeit expensive, way to get around Myanmar is by plane. Airfares cost around US$50-$100 each way for local flights.
With the tourism boost in Myanmar, the road network (the major highways, at least) has significantly improved over the years. If you are with older kids and don’t mind spending eight to nine hours on the road, then traveling by bus is for you.
For extra comfort, choose a VIP luxury coach, where you get a meal, blanket, and pillow.
Within the major cities, taxis and ride-hailing services, such as Grab (similar with Uber), are your best options for getting around. Remember that most vehicles do not have car seats, so you might consider bringing a portable one if you’re traveling with small children or toddlers.
Best Kid-Friendly Things to Do on Family Vacation in Burma
- Ride the Circular Train in Yangon
Unlike adults, kids are usually not keen on walking around hectic streets to learn about local culture. By riding the Yangon Circular Train, they can look into the daily routine of the locals, as well as discover the unexplored parts of the city in a uniquely exciting way. Train rides take around three hours to complete the 32-mile route and cost 1000 kyats which is less than a dollar!
- Fly on a Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Bagan
A sunrise hot air balloon ride over 3000 stunning temples and monuments is an adventure your kids will cherish for a lifetime. The tour has been around for seven years and is safe for children (must be aged eight and above). But even if your children are still too young to go on a balloon ride, visiting Bagan should be top of your travel list.
After all, it is one of the most exceptional archeological gems in the world. You can explore the vast plains by horse carriage, mountain bike, or e-bike. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the world-famous Bagan sunset!
- Experience Elephants in Kalaw
At Green Hill Valley in Kalaw, your kids will get the rare opportunity to bond with elephants in a safe, sustainable, and ethical environment. The camp houses and cares for abandoned, disabled, and old elephants that are no longer fit to work in the logging industry. Bathe, feed, and play with the elephants before trekking the surrounding jungles to discover beautiful flora and fauna. It would be one of the best experience during your family vacation in Myanmar.
- Explore Inwa on a Horse Carriage
Riding on a horse cart can add a new twist to your temple excursion. Located in the heart of Mandalay, Inwa, the old capital of Myanmar, is home to stunning reminders of the glory days of 19th-century Burmese kingdoms.
Inwa has plenty of remarkable landmarks, including pagodas and curious ruins. But among the most famous ones are the Nan Myint Tower, the sole surviving structure of a royal palace, and the Bagaya Monastery, a building made of intricately carved teakwood.
- Escape to Ngapali
The white sand, palm tree-fringed coastline of Ngapali is every beach lover’s dream, but some of the most fantastic activities in this paradise are on the water. The beach is not only ideal for lounging in the sun all day. It is also suited for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and other watersports adventures.
Take time to visit Ngwe Saung, a popular destination for expats families in Myanmar, for the ultimate tropical family holiday in Myanmar or drive to a nearby village to learn about local fishing traditions.
- Go Boating on Inle Lake
Inle Lake packs in myriads of incredible sights – colorful markets, tribal villages, house on stilts, floating gardens, golden pagodas, and fisherfolk paddling boats with one leg.
The district is also great for hiking and cycling, as well as visiting shops for silk-weaving, cheroot-making, and boat-building. For cat lovers, Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, also known as the Jumping Cat Monastery, is a must-see. You will unlikely see any cats jumping through hoops, but there are still a few of them wandering around the beautiful complex.
- Wander Around Pyin Oo Lwin on a Horse Cart
Yet another horse cart adventure around a town frozen in time, but this time in an old-fashioned carriage painted in dazzling colors of bright reds, pinks, purples, and greens.
Established as a mountain retreat by the British in the 19th century, Pyin Oo Lwin preserves hints of its colonial past through its Edwardian-style buildings and tree-lined streets. Its most iconic attraction, however, is the National Kandawgyi Gardens, a 435-acre botanical garden that grows over 480 kinds of flowers, shrubs, and trees.
What to eat in Myanmar with Kids?
Burmese cuisine varies from region to region, but rice and noodles are staples, and fresh fruit is everywhere. If you are an adventurous eater, check out the local specialties: sticky rice in Shan State, pork skewers in Mandalay, tea leaf salad in Yangon, fresh seafood in Ngapali.
Despite its Chinese, Thai, and Indian influence, Burmese food features strong, sour, and savory flavors, instead of the sweet and spicy combination so common in other Asian dishes. The distinct taste of the local cuisine might not appeal to the palate of young children.
Don’t worry; you have plenty of Western food options available for picky eaters.
How to pack for a Family Vacations in Myanmar?
As Myanmar has tropical weather, keep your outfits light and comfortable but bring a jacket or shawl because some nights can get chilly. Make sure to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples and other sacred places. Since you will be taking off your footwear during temple visits, opt for slip-on sandals, flip flops, or anything easy to remove.
Even if you skip the beach, always have sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, especially if you’re doing your family tour in Myanmar during summer. Be sure to have a first aid kit, stomach tablets, insect repellant, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes. Also, throw in a portable charger, torchlight because some places have dismal lighting, and some cash as ATMs are not available everywhere.
Where do stay during your Family Vacation in Myanmar?
Since Myanmar has fully opened for tourists back in 2011, the offer for family rooms and good options for family hotels in Myanmar have increased every year. We have write a full guide for hotels which are suitable for families in Myanmar. Check in here!