'For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say
'Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!'
In the nation now known as Myanmar, visitors can expect to be dazzled by shimmering cities of gilded temples and enlivened by emerald green landscapes that allow you to step back into a bygone era where influences from the Western world are often missing. The friendly Burmese are entering a new era and ready to welcome visitors from afar.
Yangon, the former British capital of Rangoon, with its tranquil lakes, retains its faded colonial charm and bustling markets, as well as staggering sights such as the gold-leafed Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's holiest monument which dominates the city skyline. In Bagan, the country's medieval capital, an astonishing 3,000 temples rise from the plains on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
A highlight is Inle Lake on the edge of the Shan Mountains where the fishermen practise leg-rowing and the ethnic tribal minorities still wear colourful tribal dress as they gather at the daily markets to trade and sell their wares.