We’ve compiled a list of best Myanmar travel guides and interesting books related to all things Myanmar. Historical books are always interesting to read before your trip to give you a better appreciation of the beautiful landscapes and their significance.


Travel Guides


travel guides book

Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma) (Travel Guide)
August 1, 2014

by Lonely Planet (Author), Simon Richmond (Author)


Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)is comprehensive book on popular destinations in Myanmar, with color maps, insider tips, and reviews for all budgets. Admire Shwedagon Paya's sheer size and mystical aura, visit the water-bound temples on Inle Lake, or float over Bagan's temple tops in a hot-air balloon; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Myanmar (Burma) and begin your journey now!


travel guide books

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Myanmar (Burma)
September 29, 2014

by DK Publishing (Author)


A new first-edition DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Asia's top travel spot.

Myanmar boasts mesmerizing temples, more than a thousand miles of pristine beaches, and a welcoming culture — all just a short flight from Bangkok — and DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Myanmar (Burma) includes everything a traveler needs to know.

Suggested itineraries highlight the sights not to be missed and help travelers plan trips by length of stay, including a two-week tour through Myanmar, two days in Yangon, and three days in Mandalay. Travelers also will find Information on cruising the Ayeyarwady River, from luxury cruisers to triple-decker ferries. And, practical information covers all the needs of travelers in this still-emerging destination, including local etiquette, banking and currency, getting around the country, and more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Myanmar (Burma) is organized by region, and expert travel writers explain the stories behind the sights and include overviews of the nation's history and culture, from its ancient past to the Colonial-era to the complicated political situation of today.

This book has hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps.


travel guides book

Myanmar (Burma) (Insight Guides)
April 1, 2013

by David Abram (Author), Andrew Forbes (Author)


With its glittering pagodas, timeless countryside and gracious people, Myanmar (Burma) is an extraordinarily beautiful destination which has been isolated from the rest of the world for decades. Finally, things are changing and tourism is set to explode in the coming years. This new edition of the Insight Guide Myanmar has been comprehensively overhauled to help inspire and inform, and guide you to the best that this little-known country has to offer.

Following on from the inspirational Best Of Myanmar section, the country’s rich past and cultural heritage are described in a series of lively essays. Contemporary aspects of Burmese life – the changing political situation, the economy, food, architecture, wildlife – are also covered in depth.

The Places chapters have been completely rewritten for this new edition, describing all the sights worth seeing – from the incomparable temples of Bagan, serene Inle Lake, the lost world of Mrauk U and the beaches along the Bay of Bengal to the fascinating cities of Yangon and Mandalay.

At the back of the book, the Travel Tips section contains all the practical information you'll need to make the most of your trip, including dozens of carefully selected hotels.


travel guide book

Myanmar (Burma): Temples of Bagan  (Travel Guide)
August 12, 2014

Approach Guides (Author), David Raezer (Author), Jennifer Raezer (Author) 


Bagan is one of the most magnificent and inspiring sites in Southeast Asia. With over 2,000 temples and stupas dotting its landscape, this ancient Buddhist capital provides travelers a unique opportunity to explore the evolution of Bagan's art and architecture over its 450-year history (850-1300).

In this Approach Guide, we explore the art and architecture of Bagan, looking specifically at the principle structures and artistic styles and highlighting why each is important to Bagan’s cultural history and how each evolved over time.

This Approach Guide is broken into two sections:

The first section, an overview, provides travelers with a deep understanding of the two types of religious architecture they will encounter in Bagan (temples and stupas) and the art forms used to decorate them (paintings and sculpture). To provide a complete picture, we provide floorplans, images that highlight specific features and decoration, descriptions of the prevailing Bagan aesthetic, subject matter, and stylistic development.

The second section provides detailed profiles of 21 specific sites that offer the quintessential examples of Bagan’s architecture, painting, and sculpture. For each site we first discuss the overall layout of the site, the exterior appearance and decoration, and finally the interior decoration and important architectural elements.

This Approach Guide contains:
* Over 120 high-resolution images.
* More than 20 floorplans with color highlights that make visual identification of key features easier.
* A high-level map of Bagan’s sites to ease navigation and plan your itinerary.

The overall goal of these site profiles is provide the traveler with what is most important, a framework for understanding each site and what makes it special.


Travel Related Books:


travel guide book

Golden Earth: Travels in Burma
December 19, 2003

by Norman Lewis (Author) 


Like most travelers in Burma, Norman Lewis fell in love with the land and its people. Although much of the countryside was under the control of insurgent armies-the book was originally published in 1952-he managed, by steamboat, decrepit lorry, and dacoit-besieged train, to travel almost everywhere he wanted. This perseverance enabled him to see brilliant spectacles that are still out of our reach, and to meet all types of Burmese, from District officers to the inmates of Rangoon's jail. All the color, gaiety, and charm of the East spring to life with this master storyteller.

Since this book was written in 1952, it is a very interesting historical reference, but not an updated travel guide for today.


travel guide book

To Myanmar with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur (To Asia with Love)
May 1, 2009

by Morgan Edwardson (Editor) Steve Goodman (Photographer)


Beyond politics, little is known about Myanmar (Burma). Highlighting the country's great beauty and hospitality, this bookis dedicated to the local residents whose warmth and encouragementare its inspiration. From helping a community library in New Bagan to breakfast with 2,700 monks in Mandalay, adventurers and armchair voyagers will discover the secrets of savvy expatriates, seasoned travelers, and inspired locals. With its unique insights into dining, shopping, sightseeing, and culture, To Myanmar With Love is a one-of-a-kind guide for the passionate traveler.


travel guide book

Moving to Myanmar: An expat guide to Yangon with resources and friendly advice

By Becky Cavender (Author), Douglas Long (Editor), ECHOPHYU (Illustrator)


What is it like moving to a country that has been all but closed to the world for the last half a century? The author wondered the same thing when her family decided to move to Myanmar, but information on what daily life would be like as an expat was hard to find. I’m sure you’ve noticed the same thing.

Moving to Myanmar is the first, the only, and the most definitive expat resource available outside Yangon for anyone considering a move to Myanmar.

Moving to Myanmar draws on the author’s experience and is crammed with information, resources, and practical tips from local Myanmar and expats to help you from the moment you first think about the move, to actually arriving and settling in. Whether you are a first time expat or a seasoned traveler, this book will make your move to the wonderful, magical and ever-so-slightly chaotic Golden Land easier.

Sections include the following within the Myanmar context: how to deal with culture shock; the pros and cons of raising third culture kids; how to connect with other residents; what it’s like if you’re single, gay, or a single parent; and how to take care of yourself; what to pack; useful websites, books, apps, and articles; list of international schools; housing agents and more.


Other Books about Myanmar:

travel guide book
Burmese Days

March 20, 1974


Orwell draws on his years of experience in India to tell this story of the waning days of British imperialism. A handful of Englishmen living in a settlement in Burma congregate in the European Club, drink whiskey, and argue over an impending order to admit a token Asian. 
This book is also available for free online at http://www.george-orwell.org/Burmese_Days/index.html


travel guide books

The Glass Palace: A Novel Paperback
February 12, 2002

by Amitav Ghosh (Author)


Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her. The struggles that have made Burma, India, and Malaya the places they are today are illuminated in this wonderful novel by the writer Chitra Divakaruni calls “a master storyteller.”


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Finding George Orwell in Burma
March 6, 2006

by Emma Larkin (Author)

In one of the most intrepid political travelogues in recent memory, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass. Going from Mandalay and Rangoon to poor delta backwaters and up to the old hill-station towns in the mountains of Burma's far north, Larkin visits the places where Orwell worked and lived, and the places his books live still. She brings to vivid life a country and a people cut off from the rest of the world, and from one another, by the ruling military junta and its vast network of spies and informers. Using Orwell enables her to show, effortlessly, the weight of the colonial experience on Burma today, the ghosts of which are invisible and everywhere. More important, she finds that the path she charts leads her to the people who have found ways to somehow resist the soul-crushing effects of life in this most cruel police state. And George Orwell's moral clarity, hatred of injustice, and keen powers of observation serve as the author's compass in another sense too: they are qualities she shares and they suffuse her book - the keenest and finest reckoning with life in this police state that has yet been written.


travel guide books

The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma
January 8, 2008

by Thant Myint-U (Author)


What do we really know about Burma and its history? And what can Burma’s past tell us about its present and even its future? For nearly two decades Western governments and a growing activist community have been frustrated in their attempts to bring about a freer and more democratic Burma—through sanctions and tourist boycotts—only to see an apparent slide toward even harsher dictatorship. Now Thant Myint-U tells the story of modern Burma, and the story of his own family, in an interwoven narrative that is by turns lyrical, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Through his prominent family’s stories and those of others, he portrays Burma’s rise and decline in the modern world, from the time of Portuguese pirates and renegade Mughal princes through a sixty-year civil war that continues today—the longest-running war anywhere in the world.


travel guide books

Where China Meets India: Burma and the Closing of the Great Asian Frontier
August 1, 2011

by Thant Myint-U


From their very beginnings, the civilizations of China and India have been walled off from each other, not only by the towering summits of the Himalayas, but also by the vast and impenetrable jungle, hostile tribes, and remote inland kingdoms that once stretched a thousand miles from Calcutta across Burma to the upper Yangtze River. In the next few years this last great frontier will likely vanish - forests cut down, dirt roads replaced by superhighways, insurgencies ended - leaving China and India exposed to each other as never before. This basic shift in geography is as profound as the opening of the Suez Canal. What will this change mean? Thant Myint-U is in a unique position to know. Over the past few years he has travelled extensively across this vast territory. In a region of long-forgotten kingdoms and modern-day wars, high-speed trains and gleaming new shopping malls have now come within striking distance of the last remaining forests and impoverished mountain communities. And he has pondered the new strategic centrality of Burma, the country of his ancestry, where Asia's two rising giant powers - China and India - appear to be vying for supremacy. Part travelogue, part history, part investigation, "Where China Meets India" takes us across the fast-changing Asian frontier, giving us a masterful account of the region's long and rich history and its sudden significance for the rest of the world.


travel guide books
Saving Fish from Drowning: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
October 18, 2005


A provocative new novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter. On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour-and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime. Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a fagade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions-both good and bad-and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others. A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes."


travel guide books

The Piano Tuner Paperback
August 19, 2003

by Daniel Mason (Author)


In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning, The Piano Tuner launches its protagonist into a world of seductive loveliness and nightmarish intrigue. And as he follows Drake’s journey, Mason dazzles readers with his erudition, moves them with his vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in the unbreakable spell of his storytelling.


travel guide books

From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey December 2, 2003

by Pascal Khoo Thwe (Author)


In 1988, Dr. John Casey, a professor visiting Burma, meets a waiter in Mandalay with a passion for the works of James Joyce, and the encounter changes both their lives. Pascal, a member of the Kayan Padaung tribe, was the first member of his community to study English at a university. Within months of his meeting with Dr. Casey, Pascal's world lay in ruins. Burma's military dictatorship forces him to sacrifice his studies, and the regime's brutal armed forces murder his lover. Fleeing to the jungle, he becomes a guerrilla fighter in the life-or-death struggle against the government. In desperation, he writes a letter to the Englishman he met in Mandalay. Miraculously reaching its destination, the letter leads to Pascal's rescue and his enrollment in Cambridge University, where he is the first Burmese tribesman ever to attend. From the Land of Green Ghosts unforgettably evokes the realities of life in modern-day Burma and one man's long journey to freedom despite almost unimaginable odds.


travel guide books

Life in the Valley of Death: The Fight to Save Tigers in a Land of Guns, Gold, and Greed Paperback
August 30, 2010

by Alan Rabinowitz (Author)


In 1988, Dr. John Casey, a professor visiting Burma, meets a waiter in Mandalay with a passion for the works of James Joyce, and the encounter changes both their lives.

Dubbed the Indiana Jones of wildlife science by The New York Times, Alan Rabinowitz has devoted—and risked—his life to protect nature’s great endangered mammals. He has journeyed to the remote corners of the earth in search of wild things, weathering treacherous terrain, plane crashes, and hostile governments. Life in the Valley of Death recounts his most ambitious and dangerous adventure yet: the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve.

The tale is set in the lush Hukaung Valley of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. An escape route for refugees fleeing the Japanese army during World War II, this rugged stretch of land claimed the lives of thousands of children, women, and soldiers. Today it is home to one of the largest tiger populations outside of India—a population threatened by rampant poaching and the recent encroachment of gold prospectors.

To save the remaining tigers, Rabinowitz must navigate not only an unforgiving landscape, but the tangled web of politics in Myanmar.

The resulting story is one of destruction and loss, but also renewal. In forests reviled as the valley of death, Rabinowitz finds new life for himself, for communities haunted by poverty and violence, and for the tigers he vowed to protect.


Dictionary & Language Aids:


travel guide books

Pocket Burmese Dictionary: Burmese-English English-Burmese (Periplus Pocket Dictionaries)
December 15, 2008

by Stephen Nolan (Compiler), Nyi Nyi Lwin (Collaborator)

Intended for use by tourists, students, and business people travelling to Myanmar Pocket Burmese Dictionary is an essential tool for communicating in Burmese. A great way to learn Burmese, it features all the essential Burmese vocabulary appropriate for beginning to intermediate students. ItÆs handy pocket format and easy-to read type will make any future trip to Myanmar much easier.

In addition to being an excellent English to Burmese dictionary and Burmese to English dictionary Pocket Burmese Dictionary contains important notes on the Burmese language, Burmese grammar, and Burmese pronunciation. All Burmese word are written in Romanized form as well as authentic Burmese script (mranma akkha.ra) so that in the case of difficulties the book can simply be shown to the person the user is trying to communicate with.



travel guide books

Lonely Planet Burmese Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Phrasebook: Burmese) Paperback – October 1, 2008

by Lonely Planet (Author)


The easy-to-use phrase book features:Two-way dictionary