Ask Lonely Planet: British Columbia perfect for a road trip

British Columbia's landscapes make for a spectacular road trip. Photo / Thinkstock
British Columbia's landscapes make for a spectacular road trip. Photo / Thinkstock

A couple of years ago I took a coach tour via Kamloops, Banff, Jasper and Calgary. British Columbia was absolutely stunning and I would like to see more by rental car or campervan. Can you recommend the best period to travel and a suitable route?

-Peter

Lonely Planet's Sarah Bennett & Lee Slater write:

British Columbia is a wonderful region for a road trip, where amazing landscapes and outdoor adventures abound. During the summer (June-August) warm, sunny weather prevails. April to May, and September to October, are less busy and accommodation is cheaper.

BC's a campervanner's dream as there are thousands of campgrounds. During high season, though, motorhome rentals aren't particularly cheap, costing around C$165-$265 a day. this is another good reason to visit off-peak. Hiring a car is certainly cheaper: you'll likely pay C$35-$65 a day for a compact car, but you have to factor in accommodation costs or bust out the tent.

For a memorable two to three-week tour, start in Vancouver and take the short ferry ride to Nanaimo before going north to Telegraph Cove to whale-watch.

From Port Hardy, rejoin the mainland at Bella Coolasitting at the end of a long fjord. From here, take a side-trip south and hike to the Odegaard Falls, before catching a river float and losing count of the grizzlies onshore.

Go east through the lonely Chilcotin region and onto the alpine waters of Nimpo Lake, or take one of many tributary roads to lose civilisation altogether. After saying yee-ha to cowboy country at Williams Lake, go south on Caribou Highway - also known as the Gold Rush Trail - to Lytton, for white-water rafting. Further south warm up at Harrison Hot Springs; before taking the easy ride back to Vancouver.

Lonely Planet's British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies guidebook will help you get the most from your adventure.

Isolation at an end

Please advise what to look for and where to find it in Myanmar/Burma.

-Sukerna Amirapu

The writer Rudyard Kipling described Myanmar as "quite unlike any place you know about".

How right he was. It has changed little since British colonial times. It's also a country of incredible, sometimes surreal sites.

In Yangon at night the Shwedagon Paya's golden zedi (stupa) is floodlit. By day, tour the city on foot then take a bus or flight to Mandalay, a great base for visiting ancient city sites. Travel on to Pakokku to board the afternoon boat to Bagan. Set aside a few days to explore thousands of ancient temples.

Fly or settle in for a long bus ride to beautiful Inle Lake, where dugout canoes take you to floating markets. Make a day trip to the Shwe Oo Min Cave near Pindaya to see 8000 buddha images before returning to Yangon.

From 1996 to 2010, Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD) urged foreigners to stay away in protest at the ruling dictatorship. But now the NLD encourages visitors and the country is set to become a hot destination.

- NZ Herald

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