Myanmar tourist attractions are quite unilke any land you know about, isolation and pride help maintain Myanmar’s traditions, which delight even before leaving the airport. Myanmar’s two biggest cities move at different paces. The bustling, more-worldly modern capital of Yangon features the famed 2500-year-old Shwadagon Paya, caked in gold leaf. Explore the vast, ancient ruins of Bagan, voyage up myriad waterways by riverboat, relax at a remote tea house or sample fresh seafood beside white-sand beaches while staying at luxury resorts. Find out Top 10 Things to do in Myanmar to get to know the land better and more.
Kite-shaped Myanmar has long been grounded by isolation and international fallout following the ruling regime’s lock up of its most famous resident. Find out Top 10 Things to do in Myanmar to get to know the land better and more.
Top 10 Things to Do in Myanmar
# 10 Irrawaddy River
The Irrawaddy River is one of the great rivers of whole Indochina peninsula and perhaps in Asia. The Irrawaddy River is a great passageway for those looking to visit Myanmar’s former capital of Mandalay. Cruise past small fishing villages and admire everyday life of the river as you hear the morning bells of nearby monasteries, watch elephants and water buffaloes extracting timber from the forest, bargain with local market vendors and spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins!
# 9 Pindaya Caves
One of the best Myanmar tourist attractions and a strange and somewhat kitschy mix of the artificial and natural and the commercial and holy, the Pindaya Caves, in a limestone ridge overlooking the lake, are announced for miles around by temple like structure covering the ramp and lift to the entrance. Once inside the cave its difficult not to succumb to Buddha fatigue, as over 8000 Buddha images – made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement – have been arranged over the centuries to from a sea of serene faces in the labyrinthine cave chambers.
# 8 Kyaiktiyo – Golden Rock Pagoda
The sublime balancing boulder stupa called Kyaiktiyo (Goden Rock), is a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhist and tourists a like. Legend states that the boulder maintains its precarious balance due to a precisely places Buddha hair in the stupa. The small golden rock, just 7,3 m high, sits atop the rock, a massive, gold-leafed boulder delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff at the top of Mt Kyaikto.
# 7 Ngapali Beach
Myanmar most popular beach destination features a 3KM palm-backed stretch of pretty quite, pretty empty white sand public beach. Named, some say, by a wayward Italian thinking of his Naples home, local life still shares the sand with mostly European tourists, no topless or nude bathing is allowed. Surfing is possible during monsoon season from mid May through mid September.
# 6 Mrauk U
Simply the journey to the ancient Rakhaing capital of Mrauk U – 65 KM by boat from Sittwe on an increasingly narrow waterway gives a sense of time and place to this lovely area in the foothills of the Chin mountains. Just east of the main strip of Maruk U village, the onetime Royal Palace of Maruk U now is mostly crumbling walls still stand 3.5 m high and gateways of sandstone blocks. It’s a good place to get your bearings with Haritaung just north, golden Shwetaung on the hill to the southeast.
# 5 U Bein bridge
Located in Amarapura region and its the biggest draw for the time being and also easily one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites. This remarkable 1.2 KM long teak footbridge leading across the shallow Taungthaman Lake which is named for an ogre who supposedly came looking for Budhha here. The bridge is still very strong after 200 years, the world’s longest teak span sees a lot of life. The best time to visit the bridge are just after sunrise or just before sunset, when hundreds of villagers commute back ad forth across it.
# 4 Bagan
Officially known as the Bagan Archaeological zone, this 42-sq-km area, 190 KM south of Mandalay and 690KM north of Yangon, include a principal areas Nyaung U, old Bagan and New Bagan. The area not immediately a breeze to get to grips with. Sunset chasing in Bagan isn’t restricted to tops of temples. An interesting alternative is a dusk boat trip on the Ayeyarwady. Also, the 45 minute sunrise or sunset flight over Bagan valley with Balloons is another popular way to appreciate the awesomeness of the area.
# 3 Inle Lake
Inle lake is 22 KM long, roughly 11KM wide, 875 m above sea level and a complete mirage. Facts notwithstanding when you fist encounter the lake – its placid flatness in stark contrast to the peaks on either side – it seems like a real-life Atlantis where the plug has been partially pulled and you must hop in a boat to gossip with neighbors only a few meters away. The hard working Intha are famous for propelling their flat bottomed boats by standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. This strange leg rowing technique offers relief to the arms which are also used for rowing during the log paddles from one end of the lake to another.
# 2 Tuang Kalat
Mt Popa (Popa Daung Kalat in Burmese) is said to be the core of an extinct volcano last active 250,000 tears ago. It’s a popular and worthwhile half day trip from Bagan. Sometimes described as the ‘Mt Olympus of Myanmar’. Atop the impressive rocky crag clings a picturesque complex of monasteries, stupas and shrines that you can climb to via a winding covered walkway, complete with some misbehaving monkeys.
# 1 Shwedagon Paya – Yangon
The Shwedagon Paya has achieved iconic status for Yangon and, along with Bagan, for the country as a whole, however, unlike the monuments of those western cities, the majority of the pilgrims visiting Shwedagon are local, its meaning deeply religious and rather than being a beacon of the modern, it proudly stands for the ancient and timeless. The great golden dome rises 98 m above its base. According to legends, this stupa – of the solid zedi type – is 2500 years old, but archaeologists suggest the original stupa was built by the Mon, sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries.