• Myanmar
2 - 12 weeks
Program Categories
Volunteer Abroad
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment


Price Details
Cost does not include international airfare.
Dec 20, 2019
Oct 23, 2019
6 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Even though Rustic Pathways started full-time operations in Myanmar in 2002, the country has only recently opened to general tourists, which means its spectacular beauty is still largely untouched. All of our Myanmar program managers are native Burmese, enabling us to take students off the increasingly popular tourist track and into the villages and homes of their family and friends.

Largely cut off from the Western world for decades, Myanmar can feel a little like a land lost to time. Its colorful cultures, stunning landscapes, and complex history make it fascinating destination. You’ll witness a nation wrestling with issues of globalization, internal politics, technological advancement, and cultural sovereignty, all while gaining an authentic look into the lives of locals.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Rustic Pathways.

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Embark on this classic backpacking trip through unique and off-the-beaten-path locations throughout Southeast Asia. You will have the opportunity to experience rural village life in some of the most beautiful corners of Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand. Remember, this is a highly-rewarding, travel-intensive itinerary, so pack light and get ready.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Backroads of Southeast Asia with Rustic Pathways

I had been looking at this trip for many years, it was always so intriguing to me as I have already, luckily, been able to explore many asian countries such as: Indonesia, Singapore, Mongolia, China etc. However, the prospect of being able to visit some of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia and the World in this case intrigued me greatly to this trip.
Backroads explores Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand, each country having its own quirks and qualities. On this trip we were able to truly experience some of the most rural villages where we were able to fully immerse ourselves into their culture. To me, it is greatly important that whilst in a new place, experiencing totally new things, my intentions are to experience every moment of every day to the absolute fullest, and this trip for sure allows you to do so.
Having visited Mongolia the year before (also with Rustic) I knew that to fully immerse myself I were to disconnect from my regular life as much as possible and this trip for sure allowed me to do so. There was always something to see or do, so I would highly recommend putting your phones down and just look and listen to what is going on around you because it is such a special experience.
Furthermore, on my trip we had the most amazing trip leaders, I will never forget how great they were. They allowed us to see and do as much as possible every day, as well as that, I have always found it interesting hearing about all the adventures my trip leaders have been on. This proves that you can honestly learn from every aspect of your Rustic Trip.
Overall, the trip was a once in a lifetime experience and something I will never forget. However, I did realise that the trip doesn't exist anymore, which is a shame, it was absolutely incredible.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Immerse yourself fully every day, put your phone down, talk and listen to the people around you. You can truly learn from everyone, no matter the language barrier or the age difference. Also, as I am a big foodie, I recommend, eat anything and everything whether it be a bite or the whole thing. You won't experience anything as unique and traditional as right there in the moment, and that is a fact.
55 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life

I was in Myanmar this past summer for two weeks. I have travelled to many different countries including Fiji, Costa Rica, Thailand, South Africa, Mozambique, and many more. However, nothing can beat Myanmar. There is such a rich history in this country that I had no idea about. I was here with the Mystery Trip so I did not know anything about it until I got there. The staff here were absolutely incredible. We all still talk in our group message every day. The people here were some of the friendliest I've ever met. It was many of their first times seeing foreigners in their whole life. We went inside a refugee camp and it was truly something I'll never forget. Talking to the students there and hearing their stories was heartbreaking but amazing at the same time. A huge piece of my heart will always be in Myanmar. I'm already counting down the days until I get to go back in two years. I would recommend going here 1000000%.

What would you improve about this program?
There is no way to improve this program. It was perfect.
52 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience of My Life

I was so nervous with the days leading up to the trip but I cannot stress enough how much of an eye opener this trip was for me. I traveled with my sister which was huge plus but we both our own separate friends so when I got home sick I had her, but my new family was so welcoming. The staff was so friendly and welcoming and encouraged each of us to go beyond our comfort zone. We rode bikes through the temples of Old Bagan, and swam in waterfalls in Pinn Oo Lynn. Best experience of my life and I cannot wait for my next trip. I signed up 2 weeks after I got home. The friends I made are ones I will never forget and the memories are ones I will always cherish.

What would you improve about this program?
Since the program I choose was brand new that year, there was a lot of unplanned activities we did. They weren't bad and really supported the Rustic motto of "Live in the Moment" but for me personally, it was pretty stressful not knowing where I was going, if I was dressed according the country's customs, and not knowing how long I would be gone.
52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Eye-opening experience

I did the Tribal Issues Program with Rustic Pathways. It was one week in Thailand and one week in Burma.
I recommend this program to anybody interested in journalism, video, photography, or just somebody that is intrigued to hear a different perspective from people of another culture.
We interviewed/visited various people/places in both countries. We went to NGO'S, schools, interviewed a the head man of the village, monks, Burmese teenage immigrants living in Thailand to get an education (their stories were heartbreaking but so incredibly inspiring). We even interviewed people at the local border market, a tomato farmer, local families, so may people with first-hand stories that will amaze you.
The living conditions are great for the most part, in hotels (the beds are hard but that is common in SE Asia and it just part of the experience!). The home stay in Thailand was a great experience. The families all loved having us and I felt at home with them. The staff was incredible so supportive and helpful whether it be with the history of a country or revolution, journalism techniques, or video. They were also on top of all medical issues big or small.
I would recommend Rustic really to anyone because they have so many different programs for people with different interests. Also, Southeast Asia is just a great place to travel to because of the beautiful places full of rich history and the people you will meet that will change the way you define happiness.

What would you improve about this program?
interviewing less monks and maybe going to visit more organizations or schools
49 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Rustic Pathways Burma

Traveling in Burma changed my life in unimaginable ways. I had barely ever heard of the country and now I am speaking the language, studying current issues and affairs, and find the word Burma slipping off my tongue multiple times a day.
Stepping of the plan in Yangon was a whirlwind for me. On these programs I explored everything from the big cities to the small villages, from the U Bien Bridge, to the temples of Bagan, and watching the sunset on the Irrawaddy to practicing Burmese with the locals.
Learning about the current affairs in Burma can be both heart wrenching and eye opening. It doesn't seem that somewhere so beautiful filled with the kindest of people, could be facing such turmoil. Traveling with David and the staff on these programs, you can learn so much. Asking questions and listening will be your best friend and you will go home with a new binder full of knowledge and experience to put on your life shelf.
This country and this program fosters a fun and light hearted way to experience a deep and complex world, that is Burma.

What would you improve about this program?
In this program, I worry that it is more for the students benefit than it is for the people of Burma. It is so important to learn and this program does that, but there should be one more step. I would change the conversations that happen into more of an education about how to help the issues in Burma and how to work with the Burmese people. Tourism is great, but so is offering a hand that is stemming from a person with new found knowledge.
48 people found this review helpful.
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Questions & Answers

12 years old. We have programs for 12-22 year-olds!

12th grade