●Orcaella – 800-237-1236; orient-express.com/web/orc/orcaella.jsp; Irrawaddy River cruises.
●Sanctuary Retreats – 60 Strand (London); 011-44-020-7190-7728; sanctuaryretreats.com; 11-day Mandalay-Bhamo-Bagan voyage on upper Irrawaddy River; 21-suite luxury river boat.
●Trails of Indochina – 10/8 Phan Dinh Giot Street (Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Binh District); 011-84-8-3844-1005; trailsofindochina.com.
●Aureum Palace – Min Nanthu Village (Nyaung Oo, Mandalay Division, near Bagan Viewing Tower); 011-95-61-60046 or 011-95-61-60047; aureumpalacehotel.com; 40 guest rooms and 72 villas sprawl across 27 acres.
Sights & Sites
●Dhammayazika – Pwasaw (within Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone); 12th Century bell-shaped pagoda.
●Aureum Palace Inle – Mine Thauk Village (Nyaung Shwe); 011-95-81-209-866, 011-95-81-209-877, or 011-95-49-359-191; aureumpalacehotel.com/index-inle.html.
●Golden Island Cottages – 85 Circular Road (Nampan Village); 011-95-81-209-390; gicmyanmar.com; serene walkways to guestrooms on stilts.
●Inle Princess Resort – Magyizin Village; 011-95-81-209-055, 011-95-81-209-363, 011-95-81-209-364, or 011-95-81-209-365; inleprincessresort.net; 46 chalets with teak furnishings and bamboo roofs; owned by former political prisoner.
Sights & Sites
●Inle Lake – locals fish while standing on narrow, canoe-like vessel, and maneuver vessel with one foot coiled around paddle; harvest fish from beneath hyacinths; also, note floating gardens.
●Kakku Pagodas – Kyaing Tong (Taunggyi); myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-inle/kakku.htm; special day-trip requires private guide; accessible through canals and by lengthy hike; among Asia’s largest and most spectacular ancient monuments; over 2K stupas with origins dating back many centuries; testament to religious devotion of Myanmar ethnic minory people, Pa-Oh.
●Sedona – 27th Street; 011-95-2-36-488; sedonahotels.com.sg/Where/SedonaHotelMandalay/tabid/109/Default.aspx; on 4 landscaped garden acres; faces Royal Palace and Mandalay Hill.
Sights & Sites
●Kuthodaw Pagoda – 62nd Street; houses largest book in world, inscribed stone tablets housed in 729 whitewashed stupas.
●Mandalay Palace – original constructed between 1857-59 in traditional Burmese palace design, inside walled fort surrounded by moat; is replica rebuilt in 1990s with some modern materials.
●U Bein Bridge – teak.
●Andaman Resort – Macleod Island; 011-95-59-51046 (Kawthaung) or 011-95-1-549-234 (Yangon); myanmarandamanresort.com; beautiful diving and pristine beaches.
Sights & Sites
●Lampi Kyun Marine National Park – Lampi Island; protectedplanet.net/sites/8035; demarcated marine national park governed by Myanmar Nature & Wildlife Conservation Division; typical habitats are coral reefs, mangroves, and tropical evergreen forests; also beach and dune habitats, as well as sea grass beds that feed dugongs.
●Amara Ocean Resort – Gaut Village Road (Ngapali Beach); 011-95-1-663-347; 28 traditional style luxury bungalows in palm grove, privately distributed; on Andaman Sea.
YANGON (formerly Rangoon, includes Putao)
Bars & Nightclubs
●Captain’s Bar – 129 Dhammazedi Road (at Savoy Hotel); 011-95-1-526-289; savoy-myanmar.com; favored expatriate watering hole.
●Maw Shwe Li – 316 Anawrahta Road (Lanmadaw); 011-95-1-221-103; restaurant that doubles as bar; can be dark; locally supported.
●Governor’s Residence – 35 Taw Win Road (Dagon); 011-95-1-229-860; governorsresidence.com; 47-room, 1920s teak mansion.
●Malikha Lodge – 41 Golden Valley (Putao, Bahan); 011-95-1-503-831; malikhalodge.com; easternsafaris.com; gorgeous thatched bungalows, Himalaya views; good food; spectacular scenery; 8 bungalows (giant teak tubs, wood-burning stoves, soft linens); rafting, elephant trips, hikes; open October-April, with November-December being driest months.
●Savoy – 129 Dhammazedi Road; 011-95-1-526-289, 011-95-1-526-298, or 011-95-1-526-305; savoy-myanmar.com; faux colonial, German-run, intimate hotel; best choice.
●Strand – 92 Strand Street (Kyauktada); 011-95-1-243-377; ghmluxuryhotels.com; in same vein as Raffles; Myanmar’s grandest hotel; excellent on-site boutique.
●Golden Duck – 222-224 Strand Road (on river); 011-95-1-249-421 or 011-95-9-861-4554; Chinese.
●Huan Lau Lau – 416-18 Strand Road (Latha); 011-95-1-226-513; try spicy mutton and dumplings.
●Junior Duck – Pansodan Jetty (on river); 011-95-1-249-421 or 011-95-9-861-4554; Chinese.
●Maw Shwe Li – 316 Anawrahta Road (Lanmadaw); 011-95-1-221-103; curries are excellent and cheap; Shan specialities include pei pot kyaw (sour bean condiment) and hmo chawk kyaw (fried mushrooms); doubles as bar; can be dark; locally supported.
●L’Opera – 62D U Tun Nyein Street (Mayangon); 011-95-1-665-516; operayangon.com; lakeside setting and good Italian food.
●Le Planteur – 22 Kaba Aye Pagoda (Bahan); 011-95-1-541-997; leplanteur.net; among most expensive restaurants in town; Swiss; panfried foie gras.
●Destination Asia – 02/01 2nd Floor, Pearl Condominium A (Bahan, corner Kaba Aye Pagoda Saya San Roads); 011-95-1-556-641; destination-asia.com; can arrange English-speaking guides.
●Bonton – Bogyoke Aung San Road, #149-150 (Pabedan, at Bogyoke Aung San Market, Central Hall); 011-95-1-542-874; antiques, including vintage photographs.
●Burma Chindits Co. – 79 Mingalar Street, 4th Floor (Sanchaung); 011-95-9-514-5900; items made from reclaimed teak.
●Inya Gallery – 50B Inya Road; 011-95-1-534-327 or 011-95-1-524-818; Aung Myint’s gallery; in 2-room garage; experimental and modern art.
●New Treasure Gallery – 84A Thanlwin Street, Golden Hill Avenue (Bahan, Golden Valley); 011-95-1-526-776; highly-stylized Buddhist monk paintings by Min Wae Aung that fetch high prices in West; also display “Old Burmese Masters,” rarely seen in West.
●River Gallery – 92 Strand Street (Kyauktada, at Strand Hotel); 011-95-1-243-377, ext. 1821; rivergallerymyanmar.com; figurative and semi-abstract works.
●Studio Square – F.36, 1st Floor, Pearl Condominium (Bahan, at corner Kaba Aye Pagoda and Saya San Roads); 011-95-1-557-448, extn. 865; studiosquaregallery.com; contemporary art.
●Tai Minn Silver Ware – Bogyoke Aung San Road, #41-42 (Pabedan, at Bogyoke Aung San Market, Central Hall); silver.
Sights & Sites
●Bogyoke Aung San Musuem – 15 Bogyoke Aung San Lane (Bahan township); closed between 1999-2007; where Gen. Aung San lived between WWII’s end and his assassination 2 years later; 1921 structure with circular verandas, elaborate turrets.
●Bogyoke Aung San Market – Bogyoke Aung San Road (Pabedan); bogyokeaungsanmarket.com; also known as Scott Market; sprawling, 70 year-old market.
●Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda – Shwe Goh Taing Road (Tamwe); 6-story Buddha image built in 1966 to replace old image built in 1907, appearing to wear garish red lipstick.
●High Court – between Maha Bandula Garden & Pansodan Streets (Kyauktada); Queen-Anne style brick castle with gloomy clock tower.
●Koe Htat Gyi Pagoda – Bargayar Road (Sanchaung); 9-story Buddha image.
●New Zero Art Space – Room 202, United Condo, Alanpya Pagodar Road; 011-95-1-7312-9520; newzeroartspace.org; modern art cooperative with periodic artist-in-residence programs.
●Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda – Shwe Goh Taing Road (Tamwe); 5-story Buddha image.
●Shwedagon Pagoda – Shwedagon Road (Dagon, between People’s Park and Kandawgyi); shwedagonpagoda.com; built between 6th and 10th Centuries; decorated in diamonds and gleaming in gold.
●Sule Pagoda – Sule Pagoda Road (Kyauktada, at Mahabandoola Road); over 2K years old, it occupies city’s center.
●Tomb of Bahadur Shah Zafar – 8 Zi Wa Ka Street; Muslim shrine dedicated to last Mughal Emperor.