Myanmar is known for its iconic balloon flights that paint the sky harlequin and offer riders a surreal panorama of the region. In Myanmar, balloon rides are found in many regions. Their unique locations offer different, but equally mesmerizing vistas of ancient stupas, lakes, beaches, rainforest, or Bay of Bengal.
Why limit your vacation to the grounds or the bay, when you can also enjoy the soaring adventure of a lifetime with Myanmar hot air balloons! When in this beautiful country, head straight to Mandalay to experience the unforgettable bird-eye views.
Here are 3 must-take rides for everyone.
Bagan Balloon Ride
Beyond being a tourist activity, Bagan balloon ride is now almost emblematic to Myanmar. It is impossible to picture this ancient city without hot air balloons dotting its sky. Its ancient beauty, that rivals the popular archeological sites like Machu Pichu and Angkor Wat, is best witnessed from 600 meters above the ground.
The rides start early in the morning, before the sunrise. A bus picks your up and drops you at the site from where Bagan hot air balloons take off. Depending on the crowd and provider, every balloon can board around 10-12 passengers in it.
The flight sails smoothly in the sky, creating an unreal experience that you are bound to remember forever. Depending on the providers, the flight can last between 30-45 minutes. Throughout this duration, you will have plenty of time to admire the stupas that hove into sight as the balloon surges.
Daybreak will add a dramatic view to the entire scenario. Every moment will be worth a thousand pictures!
The best time to balloon in Bagan is between early-October through mid-April.
Inle Lake Balloon Ride
A flight over Inle Lake will unleash a picturesque view of the green environs. You watch the fishermen catch their first fish, small huts sitting at a distance from another, and the green fields.
The riding a hot air balloon over Inle Lake has a more modest appeal compared to Bagan. It has a countryside vibe which is more serene and quiet, perfect for nature lovers. Plus, since it is less popular, you might even get a balloon to yourself even during peak season – mid-October to March.
Just like Bagan flights, balloon rides in Inle Lake also start early in the morning. You will reach the site via a short boat ride on the lake, which adds to the excitement all along.
Once you reach the balloon and everything is ready to take off, you leave for the azure. As the sun rises, the illuminating views before you are bound to leave you speechless. Keep your cameras ready!
The balloon will sour to a mind-blowing height of up to 2400 meters and float for an hour before descending, creating an indescribable experience for you.
The same two companies, Oriental Ballooning and Balloon Over Bagan operate in Inle Lake also. So, rest assured your tour in the sky will be safe and hypnotic.
Ngapali Balloon Ride
While Bagan flight offers the historic views of stupas and Inle Lake presents picturesque landscapes, Ngapali balloon ride flies you over the aquamarine coast of the country.
Another beautiful aspect of the Ngapali balloon ride is that it gives you access to the untouched rainforest that inhabits its unique biodiversity but is off-limits for the tourists.
Similar to the other three rides, this balloon ride in Myanmar also takes off before or during the sunrise. As it soars overs the inaccessible region unveils itself before you, making the moment purely magical.
Look closely, take your cameras, because it is not uncommon for the riders to spot exotic birds, monkeys, and other wildlife when crossing the rainforest.
The jungle canopy also adds a serenity to the view. Breathe in the fresh, early-morning air that smells like dewy leaves and wet foliage.
The flying season in Ngapali is between November through March.
Oriental Ballooning is your best option to go ballooning in this coastal region. The flights can cost from $320 to $390, depending on which package you choose.
Know Before You Book the Balloon
Note that no matter which balloon ride provider you hire, the flights can get canceled anytime due to weather problems. To ensure that you experience the endless views of Myanmar without any obstacle, check the weather before making the bookings.