As the winds in Myanmar are slowing down, the newly announced UNESCO town of Bagan is preparing itself for the upcoming ballooning season. This year the balloons will start flying on 1st October 2019 till 10 April 2020 and is, therefore, the longest season ever. It not only attracts people who want to experience a picturesque balloon flight over the astonishing temple ruins of Bagan. It also attracts every morning hundreds of people who want to see the Instagram worthy spectacle of hot air balloons passing over the ancient temples.
“Myanmar is one of the best places in the world to enjoy ballooning,” says Edwin Briels, a former GM with one of the balloon companies operating in Myanmar. “The weather is generally very stable so there are few chances on cancelling the flight and the scenery looks like coming out of a fairy tale.” He continues “since you travel with the speed of the wind the whole experience is a very quiet one as there is no wind buzzing in your ears”.
There are currently 4 ballooning companies operating in Myanmar and apart from flights over Bagan, some of them also offer flights over Inle Lake, Mandalay, Loikaw and Ngapali beach. Since the first launch of a hot air balloon in Bagan almost 20 years ago there has never been any incident with ballooning in Myanmar; it’s a very safe activity using foreign licensed professional balloon pilots.
In July 2019 Bagan was awarded Unesco World Heritage site and it is possible to visit the ancient temples running the whole year-round. When the balloons are not flying due to windy conditions, the area is known for the green vistas over the temples and the often spectacular sunsets from May till September with dramatic clouds.
Myanmar is no stranger to balloons; one of the first balloonists in the country lived till 1939 in Dawei in southern Myanmar and flew at several locations in what was then called Burma with his self-made balloons.
Yearly balloon festival
Every year a huge festival in Taunggyi and in Pyin Oo Lwin is organized during the Tazaungdaing festival (03rd to 12th November 2019). Huge papier-mâché hot air balloons (in different shapes) are launched from the festival field. Once the balloon reaches a height of about 20 meter the fireworks attached to the balloons are launched in all directions. A fun and spectacular festival which you should try to join if you’re in Myanmar.
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Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) aims to promote Myanmar as a sustainable tourism destination that can be visited the whole year-round. It is part of the Myanmar Tourism Federation and is mainly privately funded by key members of the tourism industry in Myanmar. The MTM team is happy to assist the press and media to publish more about tourism in Myanmar.
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