Sometimes, when you’re on the road, it’s hard to find time to schedule a workout amidst all your sightseeing. But keeping healthy is important no matter where you’re exploring.
If you so choose to visit Myanmar, I urge you to document yourself fully with regards to what is currently happening with the Rohingya Muslim minority. They are being persecuted and are fleeing the country in mass and it is for you to decide if you wish to visit and contribute to the country’s economy. Myanmar is a beautiful but very troubled country.
That said, the best way to stay in shape while visiting Myanmar is to combine it with your adventures. Whether you use it to explore local nature, see indigenous wildlife or experience nearby towns and villages, get out and see the country you’re visiting with active tours.
If travelling solo in Myanmar, consider joining a local cycling tour. Riding bicycles allows for quicker travel time, but it also provides a variety of health benefits, like increased cardiovascular health, joint mobility and muscle strength in addition to reducing both body fat and stress.
Various bicycle tours are available to Myanmar travellers—both that traverse a specific town or that aid visitors in hopping from village to village. Loop through Hsipaw’s city center and past Buddha images and local markets or zip from Nyaung Shwe to the Mine Thauk village or from Dala to Yangon.
With plenty of little-explored nature in Myanmar, there are some stellar hikes for avid adventurers. Like cycling, it can be incredibly beneficial for the heart and can help enhance muscle strength, but it can also control weight.
Some Myanmar tours take travelers to nearby nature spots filled with forests and waterfalls for either full-day or half-day exploration. Whether visiting Yay Pyan Taung or the Nam Tok waterfall, travelling to neighbouring water holes can provide an added chance for fitness—swimming in their calm pools.
More serious hikers can take to the mountains. With the icy Himalayans crossing the northern part of the country and Mount Victoria rising near the western border, there are jagged peaks and uphill trails galore. Other spots, like the natural caves near Myin Ma Hti Mountain, local forests and the valleys within Myanmar’s seven mountains are also home to outdoor hiking tours.
Though it does require a certification before you embark, scuba diving can be an exciting way to stay active while travelling. Aside from the respiration benefits, scuba diving can also lower blood pressure and aid in flexibility.
But, more than that, it offers a chance to experience the world of local underwater wildlife. Myanmar tour guides offer both local and off-shore diving experiences near Ngapali Beach, where visitors will get up close and personal with various kinds of fish, sharks and rays.
For those that can’t manage quite as much activity but still want to keep their heart healthy, strengthen their muscles and improve their balance and coordination. This low-energy workout is another popular mode of transportation in Burma-based tours.
Whether trekking through the Hsipaw area’s rice paddies and streamside meadows, or its crop fields and plantations, many of the local tours are completed on foot. This may still be too strenuous for some, as a few of the trips traverse steep rocky streets.
Other walking tours include those to Akha and Enn villages, as well as those that belong to the Palaung and Myin Dike Danu hill tribes.
Kayaking and Snorkeling
Finally, consider a combination kayaking and snorkelling tour. While snorkelling offers many of the same benefits as scuba diving, the added kayaking element offers increased muscle strength in the back, arms and shoulders as well as increased cardiovascular health.
The Burmese kayaking and snorkeling tours explore spots like the 115 Island group, Thay Yae Island, Taung La Bo Island, Nga Man Island, Kyun Phila Island, Myauk Ni Island and Ko Phawt Island.