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Petit Futé

ballon à air chaud, taungyi

Hot Air Balloon festival and contest in Taungyi - Myanmar - Burma - 6 - 11 Novembre 2019


It is really one of our favourite festival in Myanmar. You have a lot of people (99% local), it is very spectacular, very friendly. If you can, arrange your journey in Myanmar to go and visit Taungyii hot air balloon festival and it you are in Myanmar between 17 - 22nd November 2018, you really should come in Taungyi for the festival. A real must to see.

There is more and more people going to the balloon festival and it is more and more difficult to get an hotel room not too far, or a taxi (they usually double their normal fare if you just try to grab a taxi in Nyaung Shwe at the last minute).

We strongly recommend to organize and book with Ananda travel in advance if you are interested by this festival. Hotels are usually fully booked, local taxis are practicing crazy high prices in you book at the last minute.
Hot air balloon festival and contest.

In fact, the festival is mainly a hot air balloon contest. The festival and contest last three days, the last night is the most spectacular with the biggest hot air balloons.
During the day (afternoon), you will see mostly small shan paper balloon built by "amateurs". Nice to see also.
At night, it is the main contest that last all the night, shan paper balloons are very big, they carry a lot of candle and fireworks. The team which has the nicest balloon, which reach the highest point and fly the best wins the contest.

Also, during the hot air balloon contest, you have the local pagoda festival (same place) which attracts twenty thousands of more people. Very interesting also.

.You must book and hotel - where staying r ?

The Taungyi hot air balloon festival attracks thousands of Burmese tourist and hotels are often fully booked long time in advance. At Ananda travel we book one year ahead, but even like this it is difficult to get the best room.

- The closest to the festival and the most convenient is the Aytha Aye Golf Resort. Rooms are good, not too expensive, very quiet and you are located at the bottom of Taungyi hills, so only 20-25 minutes away from the festival. That is why this hotel is booked long time is advance.

candle  light on a balloon taungyi

- Inle Lake or Nyaung Shwe Village. This is the second choice if AyTha Aye Golf resort is full or if you want to stay in one of the finest hotel of the lake (Inle Princess, Inle resort, Inle Lake View). You will need 45 minutes drive from Nyaung Shwe village to the festival + 15 to 30 minutes if you have to take a small boat from one of the hotel on the lake. It makes the trip to Taungyi a little long, especially when you come back late at night, with the very very cold weather. Nevertheless, some hotels are full at the lake during the festival.

ballon la nuit à taungyi
When is the hot air balloon festival of Taungyi?

This year (2019), the festival starts the 6 to 11 november..
We strongly recommend the last night, 11 Novembre (the day before you can go to Kakku, there is also a day festival)

How to arrange your program - what to do ?

As Taungyi is located near Heho airport and Inle Lake, it is very easy to include the hot air balloon festival in your Myanmar program. You can either start by Taungyi and then proceed to Inle and other places in Myanmar, or arrived in October in Myanmar and finished your journey by the balloon festival.
As it is the full moon, you have also other very interesting festival around Taungyi, we recommend Kakku with is one day before Taungyi festival (perfect for the program).

Our recommandation.

- Visit of Inle Lake before or after the 11 of November.
- 10 November : Kakku, and festival of Kakku (you can reach Kakku by car from Inle or by walking 6-8 hours).
- 9 November : morning and early afternoon, visit of Inle Lake, late afternoon and night, hot balloon festival at Taungyi (plan to have your "diner" - very local- at the festival).
what do you take with you?

The hot air balloon is in Novembre, on a plateau at an altitude of 1 500 meter..

It is freezing, really freezing, especially because your going to stay still, watching the festival during hours, believe us, it is very very cold......
Take hot clothes, gloves, socks etc... There is no seat, so if you have to seat, it is on the ground... cold ground.
You can easily find local food at the festival, near the pagoda festival, but the crowd is hude, it is difficult to walk at night, it could be a good idea to carry some hot tea or coffee and some snacks.


Very important that should not stop you to come at the festival, nevertheless, you have to be very very cautious during the festival, especially when you take pictures of the balloon.
There is absolutely no security problem with the locals, but there is problem with the balloons. They are made of Shan paper, they are big and carry a lot of fireworks (more 30 or 50 kg of fireworks...)

It is common that a balloon cath fire before taking off.... fireworks then exploded on the ground.... So it is quite dangerous if you are very close to the balloon, taking photos, please be very careful.
There is a fence at 200m from the lauching place, but hundreds of people (probably you) cross the fence and come very close to the balloons.
We guaranty you that you do not want to try the local emergency room.... Just be careful.

fire truck taungyi festival
Fire truck during the Taungyi festival...

air balloon in fire, taungyi festival
Hot air balloon - Luckily, there is no fireworks attached
to the balloons in the afternoon.