Once you’ve made the decision that you want to visit amazing Myanmar, you’ll probably start looking at your different options for traveling through the country. Nowadays, there are many different options to suit all travel styles and budgets – but what is the best way to travel in Myanmar?
Today we’ll compare the three main options – traveling independently, privately or with a small group tour. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each option, to figure out how to travel in Myanmar in the best way possible.
How to travel in Myanmar: the options
We understand that every traveler is different, and what works for one person may not be the best option for someone else. However, with years of experience taking guests through our beautiful country, we do have some experience in how to travel in Myanmar!
Myanmar is a safe country filled with warm, friendly people and amazing cultural, natural and historic attractions. However you choose to explore the country, you are sure to have an incredible time discovering all of its wonderful sights and attractions.
Independent travel means taking the “DIY” approach to travel and forging your own path. From booking flights to navigating the bustling streets of Yangon, you’ll be the one solely in charge. For many travelers, this independence is exhilarating — but for some others, it can be stressful.
The main benefit of independent travel is the total flexibility it provides. You can take each day by the horns, determining your own itinerary and making last minute changes. If you’re the kind of person who likes to travel without a plan and make it up as you go along, then independent travel may suit you perfectly.
Independent travel can also offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to budget. You can easily devise your own budget and stick to it, whether that means staying in simple hostels or living lavishly at luxury boutique hotels.
On the other hand, there are some drawbacks of independent travel. As you are the one totally in charge, you’ll also need to respond to any issues or problems that arise, like last minute flight cancellations or road closures. You also might find yourself with questions about where you’re visiting, that can’t be answered by a local (or even Google!)
In addition, some travelers also find it more difficult to connect with local culture when traveling independently, as there may be language barriers or cultural considerations you are not aware of. Similarly, some people find independent travel to be on the lonely side, especially if you are traveling alone.
One option may be to combine some independent travel with shorter tours, offering the best of both worlds. At Pro Niti Travel, our tours start from just two days, so can easily be combined with a few days (or weeks!) of independent adventuring.
Summary – pros and cons of independent travel in Myanmar
Small Group Travel
Small Group travel is where you travel as part of a group, usually filled with other travelers from all around the world. Group travel tours are almost always led by a guide — we’re very proud of our friendly and professional local guides, who lead our small group adventures.
There are many reasons that group travel is one of the best ways to see Myanmar. You’ll have the benefit of a tour guide, who can help you learn about local culture and customs. As local guides speak the local language and have many local connections, they can help introduce you to local people and communities. You may have experienced during group adventures that are not available to you if you travel independently.
Another benefit of group travel is the “ready-made” group of friends accompanying you. Even if you are traveling on your own, you’ll soon have plenty of people to talk to! Many people make lifelong friends on small group tours, and you may find yourself with friendships all over the world! Best of all, you’ll always have these friends to reminisce with and talk about your experience in Myanmar.
As you are traveling with a group, small group tours can also be very budget-friendly, travel with like-minded people, especially when compared to a group tour. You may even find that small group tours are better valued than traveling independently, as tour operators often have access to special deals and discounts.
Yet another reason why small group travel is a favorite among many travelers is the peace of mind and convenience. Rather than going at it alone if you travel independently, you’ll have on-the-ground-expert taking care of all of the logistics. This means you’ll spend far less time planning and navigating through the practicalities, and more time being amazed by the wonders of Myanmar.
Along a similar vein, many people appreciate the peace of mind that comes with the safety of group tours. Although Myanmar is a very safe country, there are scams and risks in all places, and traveling as a group with a local expert can help ensure you and your property stay totally safe.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to choose a small group tour in Myanmar. There are, however, a couple of downsides that are worth considering. Traveling as part of a group does mean giving up some flexibility, as there will usually be set departure dates and itineraries.
We put careful consideration into our itineraries to try to make them as varied and enjoyable as possible, but there is a bit of compromise that can come with group travel. You might find stops that aren’t 100% your cup of tea, or on the other hand, wish you’d had more time to spend somewhere.
In addition, not all group tours were created equal! Unfortunately, some tours are prone to overbooking, which can mean you are part of a large group. While some travelers enjoy this, many find that it makes it hard to ask questions and get one-on-one attention. That’s why we recommend looking for tour providers (like us!) that keep group sizes small.
In order to ensure the best experience during your group tour in Myanmar, we recommend carefully researching both the company and the itinerary. A good quality tour operator that offers itineraries that suit your interests and travel dates will go a long way to ensuring that you have the best possible time on your tour. Did we mention that Pro Niti Tours recently started our own small group adventures?
Summary – pros and cons of group travel in Myanmar
A private tour is where you have a guide, and usually a driver, just for you and (if applicable) your group. Your group can be as few or as many as you like – perhaps just you on a fabulous solo adventure, or a big group of friends and family. However many you are, the main thing is that you’ve got a guide all to yourself!
For many people, private tours offer the best of both worlds as compared to independent travel or group travel. Like with group travel, private tours offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture. A good local guide will be able to help you to learn more about local culture and customs, due to their understanding of the local language, as well as connections to local communities.
In addition, private tours offer the same peace of mind and convenience — taking all the hard work planning off of your hands, so that you can simply sit back and enjoy your amazing holiday in Myanmar.
Unlike group tours, one of the main benefits of a private tour is that you have significant flexibility. While most group tours are fixed packages, private tours can be altered and crafted to fit your exact interests and requirements. In addition, it allows you to go at your own pace once you arrive; perhaps fit in a slower start or pack your day full of fun adventures. The choice is yours, and yours alone.
While there are many benefits to private tours, the major drawback is that this does generally come at a cost. Although even private tours can offer excellent value (thanks to the expertise and connections of tour operators), they do tend to come in at a bit higher cost than group tours and independent travel. If you’re on a tight budget, then private tours may not be the ideal option.
That said, the flexibility does mean that tour operator can often work with you and your budget to find a workable solution. Pro Niti Travel is proud to offer all different tours to suit different interests and budgets – and we love tailoring them so they’re the perfect tour for you. Why not take a look at our private Myanmar tour packages, or contact us with your queries?
Summary – pros and cons of independent travel in Myanmar
Conclusion: what is the best way to travel in Myanmar?
As you can see, there are numerous options for traveling in Myanmar. As for which is the best option — that will largely depend on you, and your interests and requirements! Pro Niti Travel is proud to help organize both private tours and small group adventures – why not take a look?