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Anne Cruickshanks

Myanmar is not an ordinary country. And it would be a waste of time to see Myanmar the ordinary way. For the last ten years, I have been creating and leading trips through this beautiful country that I call home. I know that the 'sites' are amazing- and I would never want a visitor to miss the chance to gaze in awe at Shwedagon Pagoda or capture the sunset over Bagan. But I also want to make sure each visitor gets into the local culture by experiencing Myanmar with all five senses.

Eating, cycling, and trekking are the best way to do this in my opinion! Our company, Myanmar Pure, was founded with this in mind. Leave your guide books behind and let us plan the perfect adventure for you.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Myanmar is where I call home and I have been fortunate to travel throughout the country. We specialize in the area around Mandalay and north but have experience from north to south, east to west. We specialise in getting you in to the heart of the country and feel that adventure is the best way to do this. In the true sense of the word, this is cycling and trekking but we also think adventure is found in personal encounters, local food tastings and slowing down and soaking up the rhythms of Myanmar."

How did you get involved in travel?

"In retrospect, it shouldn't be surprising that I ended up working in travel. My great aunt was obsessed with travel- saving every penny she made to go off on random adventures- and I was captivated by her stories. After my first big trip, an independent adventure through Southeast Asia, I returned to the US in search of work. The job market was not great and on a whim I applied for a tour leading gig in Vietnam. I signed an 18-month contract. And then another. And another. Over a dozen years later I am still in Asia and still working in tourism. And I don't regret a single moment of it. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"There are too many that I can't chose just one. But it is the personal connections that really mean the most. You can take photos of amazing sites and colourful sunrises and enjoy them over and over again. You can replicate the taste of amazing food and capture the smells of incense burning in an ancient temple. But you cannot match the feeling that comes with connecting with a person. Even though there may be a language barrier, I feel I have made friends all over the world by sharing smiles, laughs and even tears. Travel reminds you that at the end of the day, we are all the same no matter where we are from."

Featured trips & expertise

Sunset over ancient pagodas in Bagan

How Many Days Should You Spend in Myanmar?

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to explore Myanmar. If you have less time, you can still have a great experience but it requires careful planning. At a minimum, five days is enough to give you a taste of the country’s history and culture by visiting two of Myanmar’s “Big Four” destinations.

Kalaw, Shan State

Local Highlights of Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake - 8 Days

This 8-day itinerary provides a local perspective on the main highlights of Myanmar — Yangon, Bagan, and Inle Lake. You'll dine with a local family, visit lively markets and places of pilgrimage, and enjoy the company of knowledgeable local guides who will share their stories and insights.

Young novice monks

Magical Myanmar Cultural Tour - 10 Days

Experience the remarkable culture of Myanmar on a 10-day journey through the 'Golden Land'. From Mandalay to Bagan and on to Yangon, each day you'll connect with the country's friendly people and rich traditions. This tour focuses on unique experiences that go beyond the classic sightseeing holiday.

Young Buddhist nuns preparing offerings

Essential Myanmar - 2 Weeks

Discover the best of Myanmar at a relaxed pace on this two-week itinerary. You'll start and end in Yangon, stopping along the way to wander through the ancient temples of Bagan, explore the former royal capital of Mandalay, and gaze upon the spectacular waters of Inle Lake. We've also included a few local neighborhoods and hidden corners not featured in most ordinary Myanmar journeys.

Indein

Eastern Myanmar: Off-the-Beaten-Path in 7 Days

Discover the eastern part of Myanmar, with its numerous breathtaking historical sites and gorgeous nature. Wander through magical Buddhist monuments at Indein and Pindaya, visit Inle Lake, and explore untouched places by boat. You'll enjoy the stunning nature while getting a taste of local life among the villages and markets of Myanmar.

Recent trip reviews for Anne

Myanmar adventure, Myanmar - Oct 28 - Nov 11, 2017

Traveler: Sara P. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

From the initial inquiry to Kimkim - which was answered in less than half an hour - to the final moments of our stay in Myanmar, our experience was over-the-top excellent. I have traveled extensively, doing most of the planning myself, so it was with a few qualms that I turned the planning over to Anne. I needn't have worried - every aspect of the experience was even better than I could have planned myself and far exceeded my expectations. Anne really listened to what we wanted and... read more

From the initial inquiry to Kimkim - which was answered in less than half an hour - to the final moments of our stay in Myanmar, our experience was over-the-top excellent. I have traveled extensively, doing most of the planning myself, so it was with a few qualms that I turned the planning over to Anne. I needn't have worried - every aspect of the experience was even better than I could have planned myself and far exceeded my expectations. Anne really listened to what we wanted and translated it into a brilliant experience - from the things we saw (temples, incredible temples, beautiful countryside, towers of firecrackers) and did (e bike through Bagan, soaring in a balloon over Inle Lake, feeding the retired elephants), we had a great time. The best part though was the people we met - our local guides were knowledgeable and fun and made sure that we got to see the real country and not just tick off a bunch of boxes. Special thanks to Anne for making the whole thing run like clockwork, Nay in Mandalay, Arkar in Bagan, Htun in Kalaw and Inle and Hla in Bagan for making our experience unforgettable. As the kids would say, 11/10 would do again.

I also want to make one comment about the Rohingya situation - it is terrible, for sure, but not reflective of the people and attitudes we encountered in the rest of the country. Myanmar is poor and just starting to figure out how to be a more democratic and progressive country, and they néed your support. Visit, while the place is still unspoiled and you can make a real impact on everyone you encounter.

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for the feedback Sara! We really had fun planning your trip as you and Kenton have such a great spirit for discovery and cultural interactions. Our guides loved exploring their hometowns and sharing their lives with you - I am glad you enjoyed their company!

And thank you for your note on the Rohingya crisis. We are deeply saddened by it but want guests to come to support the local economy in the smaller communities and continue the cross-cultural exchanges that are so valuable in developing countries.

Jezuh tin ba deh!

A week in myanmar, Myanmar - Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2017

Traveler: Bruce M. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

To me culture includes many things not just religion. I would have loved to have finished the day with a beer watching a game of caneball. (or any other unusual/different sport.)

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your review, Bruce! Our guides enjoyed showing you around their hometowns and sharing their insights on Myanmar's history and culture… And thanks for your feedback that we could offer more alternatives of things to do. We’ll be sure to focus on this more for future requests. Good idea to offer a game of chinlone (caneball) to round out the day - we hope you can return and enjoy this experience!

Bagan by road, Myanmar - Sep 24 - Sep 27, 2017

Traveler: Carlos A. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

I'm very thankful with the service you guys provided to us. You made me feel more relaxed during my stay in Myanmar.

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Carlos for the kind review and for traveling with us! I am glad you felt relaxed on your holiday in Mandalay and Bagan and hope next time you can come back for a longer stay in Myanmar!

Myanmar in one week, Myanmar - Jun 26 - Jul 3, 2017

Traveler: Alison C. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

Everything on my trip was planned so thoroughly and the whole trip went very smoothly. I was very impressed that the hotel staff and tour guides knew our itineraries as well -- when the bus from Mandalay to Bagan wasn't at Mama Guesthouse at 7:30am, I asked the man at the front desk to call the bus company, only to find out that he already called for me! Little gestures like this made me and my mom feel very well taken care of and safe.

Anne was wonderful to work with -- very responsive and... read more

Everything on my trip was planned so thoroughly and the whole trip went very smoothly. I was very impressed that the hotel staff and tour guides knew our itineraries as well -- when the bus from Mandalay to Bagan wasn't at Mama Guesthouse at 7:30am, I asked the man at the front desk to call the bus company, only to find out that he already called for me! Little gestures like this made me and my mom feel very well taken care of and safe.

Anne was wonderful to work with -- very responsive and enthusiastic and really wanted us to experience and enjoy Myanmar in a way that most tourists might not be able to. Anne also came to welcome us at our hotel when we first arrived, which was a very sweet and personal touch.

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Alison, thanks for the feedback! It was fun planning your trip with you and we are so glad that you and your mom had a great time. Our guides and drivers really enjoyed showing you around Myanmar and we hope to see you here again in the future!