Off the beaten track
From November to March, Burma can be frustratingly congested but even at this peak time you can escape to parts few foreigners have seen in the past 50 years.
“There’s lots to explore, but bear in mind you’ll need to be flexible about itineraries if any political problems suddenly look likely,” says James Moreton of Panoramic Journeys (01608 811183; panoramicjourneys.com). The company’s 15-day Lost Cities, Hidden Trails tour takes in the crumbling splendour of Yangon and Bagan before heading east to the Kekku area of the Pa-O tribe. The £2,400pp cost includes domestic flights, board and guide, but not international flights. For a £300pp supplement you can also take a balloon ride over Bagan. Or take a trip to the Chin Hills with Bamboo Travel (020-7720 9285; bambootravel.co.uk), which offers 22 days taking in Yangon, a cruise from Bhamo to Mandalay, the hill station of Pyin U Lwin, Bagan and the Chin Hills at £3,895pp with Heathrow flights, board and transport.