Myanmar, the former Burma, is known as Golden Land in Southeast Asia. People said that Myanmar is golden because of the ripe paddy fields and the pagodas covered in gold. But, there are many reasons why Myanmar is golden about and try to explore. Moreover, it is on the midway to undergoing urbanization. So, the mix of modern and old will give you incredible days. To make the days perfect, here are the top ten places to visit in Myanmar.
1. Colorful Yangon and its famous attractions
Yangon is the largest commercial city and the former capital of the country before Nay Pyi Daw. Functioning as the major deep sea port city, there is no need to say that it is the center of trading and most populated city. Despite the modern buildings, it still occupies the ancient pagodas and rich culture. Moreover, it stands as the one which has the most colonial buildings in the Southeast Asia. So, the mix of ancient, colonial and modern life makes the city more attractive and alive. The glorious Shwedagon Pagoda exists on a hill, glittering with gold so that it is visible from all direction of Yangon. Inside it, the Buddha hair relics are enshrined and it has been through several years. The pagoda festival usually falls in March. The Sule Pagoda is a landmark in the city center. According to the history, it was built during the Buddha lifetime, dating back to 2500 years. Its surrounding scenery is remaining as a perfect match with modern infrastructures, colonial buildings, market and road. Other attractions such as Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, national museum, City Hall, Kandaw Gyi Lake also will complete your perfect holiday. You can also drop in the Bogyoke Market to see the local stores, to taste the local food and try to make the bargain. Taking a circular train will give you the chance to realize the daily life of local people. Walking around the downtown area is really a nice experience while you are in Yangon. It will carry you a blissfully happy holiday, allowing to look around many colorful colonial buildings. Another good thing to be in Yangon is you can extend your visit to surrounding destinations such as Thanlyin, Dala, Bago, Golden Rock, etc. So, create your wonderful trip in Yangon.
2. Smart City Mandalay and its surrounding ancient towns
With the achievement of the Smart City Winner of Southeast Asia 2019 recognized by ASOCIO, Mandalay is the second biggest city. It is not only the cultural domain of Myanmar but also the economic center of Upper Myanmar. Many ancient cultural monuments are scattering all over the city because it was the last kingdom of Myanmar. During these years, the regional government of Mandalay has done many projects to make the city smart, clean and develop such as conservations, renovations, creation. The cooperation of the government and local people, it is rapidly become developed and smart and got the Smart City Winner award. The Royal Palace surrounded by the moat is the pride of the city. All the whole compound is well decorated and provides the pleasant view with the Mandalay Hill background. Every morning, people walk along the moat platform and do exercises because the moat is 2 miles long on each side. In evening, its environment is alive with people’s relaxing walk. Around the palace, Kuthodaw pagoda deserves your visit. It is the UNESCO’s World Memory with hundreds of white pagodas .The Golden Palace Monastery and Athumashi Monastery are closely located to the pagoda and you can explore the world’s best wood carving there. Moreover, do not miss to enjoy the sunset at the Mandalay Hill. Sunset from the hill is extremely beautiful and peaceful. If you look through the south part of the city, Mahamuni Buddha Image is the remark of the city which was casted when the Buddha was alive. For everyboday who comes to Mandalay, it is a must-see one. With respect to the pagoda, one thing you should try is to see the face washing ceremony of the image that happens on the early morning at 4:00 AM. You can offer the flowers and fruits to the image and donate some gold leaves to cover it. If you wish, you can also enjoy the gold leaf making workshop. If you keep moving to the south, you are being well received by the world’s longest teak wood bridge called U Pein Bridge. It is built crossing over the Taungthaman Lake and it is hundred years old. Like the Mandalay hill, the bridge is the best place to enjoy the sunset and sunrise of Mandalay. At the west bank of the lake is Maharganderyone Monastery where you can see the thousands of monks are having their lunch together. Besides all of these attractions, some activities such as foodie tour at local market, enjoying puppet show are also worth your holiday. Moreover, the ancient city Inwa, Amarapura, Sagaing and Mingum can be easily accessible from Mandalay for day return trip. The most interesting one is Lin’s Family Experience Cooking Class tour innovated by our company, LM Travel. For the cooking class, you need to take a boat trip to the village and cook Myanmar traditional curries and the cuisine that is taught by our senior chef. If so, why don’t you join these extensive activities of Mandalay.
3. Rich Culture of Bagan and Near Mt.Poppa
The ancient picturesque Bagan is well known worldwide and its main fame is because of its thousand ancient pagodas. It was the capital of the very first Myanmar kingdom founded by King Anawyahtar on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. And, we can also say that King Anawyathar initiated the Buddhist religion at Bagan and spreaded it throughout the country. So, in the former time, Bagan was a very great and grand kingdom. People in former Bagan built pagodas and temples as the sign of their consecration. Although it costs too much to build a pagoda, there were millions of pagodas. Thus, it no needs to say how grand the Bagan is. Nowadays, it still has thousands of pagodas and Buddhist monuments. The compound which is filled with thousands of pagodas has been now recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and will make you amazed when you see them. These monuments are thousand years old, dating back to 13-19 centuries. Bagan is said the heart of Myanmar and people said every Myanmar people must have ever been to Bagan. Everyday Bagan is alive with many people coming from all over the world. It is the sacred place of Myanmar people. Drive around the pagodas and listen to the impressive history of the antique pagodas. Wandering around thousands of pagodas by e-bike will give you an enjoyable holiday. Enjoying the sunrise by riding Hot Air Balloon over Bagan is extremely stunning, leaving you the lifetime moments. If you get bored from pagodas, there are also a number of options for you. You can drive to the surrounding villages and explore the village lifestyle and their livelihood. Among them, the so-called Sat Sat Yo village is famous for their unique hairstyle called ‘ Sanyitwine’ which is unlikely to no one. Before colonial rule, all of the country’s boys and girls wore their hair in this manner. However, Sat Sat Yo village is the only place left in Myanmar where children still have their hair tied in this traditional style. For more activities, you can go to the Mt.poppa, an extinct volcano over 1500 m high, which is about 48km south east of Bagan. There, enjoy an excursion of stupas, monasteries and Nat worship shrines.One of the most important things you should not miss is to visit the lacquer ware shop. Lacquer ware is the sign of Bagan and it produces the remarkable ones around the world.
4. Spectacular Inle Lake and wonderful Kakku pagoda
Inle is not just a lake but also home for Intha people.It is surrounded by Shan mountain ranges. It is the second largest one in Myanmar. Everything you see will be strange in the lake. When you take a boat ride into the lake, you can see the interesting floating villages, floating gardens and traditional leg-rowers. Intha people live in stilted villages on the lake for many years. Paung Daw Oo pagoda is one of the famous attractions that is worth your visiting. Many people who come to Inle Lake do not miss the pagoda. Inside the pagoda, there are ancient Buddha images and the 18-days pagoda festival is held annually, usually fall in October. You can aslo extend your trip to Indein villages on the southwestern bank of the lake. There are cluster of hundred pagodas dating back to many centuries. Along the creek to the village are pleasant green paddy fields. You can also visit the ancient wooden Nga Phe Chaung monastery. In the former time, the monastery is a big attractive because the monks taught the cats how to jump through hoops. But, now, visitors cannot see anymore the popular cat jumping because some think it is a kind of animal abuse but still good for the best wood carving and collection of antique Buddha images. The traditional handicrafts, silk weaving on wooden handlooms and a blacksmith shop are more choices for you to pay a visit. Visitors to Inle, should go to Kakku Pagodas. The pagoda complex with thousands of pagodas is peaceful and calm. When you get there, you will feel delightful, mysterious and amazed. Near Inle Lake, there are many beautiful towns like Taunggyi (the third largest city), Kalaw and Pindaya.
5. Peaceful Kalaw and Klaw trekking
After tourism is blooming in Myanmar, trekking becomes popular among the travelers. People find the paths for trek and among them, kalaw trekking is very popular and really meets the traveller’s need. You can trek to Pindaya or Inle Lake or surrounding villages. So, kalaw is famous for trekking and is one thing you should do during your visit in Myanmar. Expect to see the green paddy fields and stunningly pleasant scenery along the way. By a stroke of luck, you may see some orchids and beautiful flowers in the forest to the Inle lake. You also have to stay overnight at local house or monastery that will give you a chance to explore the local lifestyle. Moreover, Kalaw is a famous attraction itself. It is a hill station founded by British during British colonial era. This quaint town is lovely and peaceful, situated on the Shan mountain ranges 1320 meters high above sea level. The coexistence of the colonial and modern buildings makes the town colorful and alive. Walk along the clean and flower-lined streets,look up to blue mountains, pine woods, bamboo groves and local tribe villages. Wander around the British colonial buildings and observe the Kalaw local market. If you like the elephants, visit the Kalaw Elephant Camp. It is the best place to see the responsible tourism meets the sustainable tourism. In this elephant camp, you can explore about the elephants and the life of the mahouts with their families. You can see the elephants, feed them and join for washing elephants when they take a bath in the river. And, you can also take part in planting a regional tree for forest recovery project of the camp. To explore more about the elephants, learn the elephant skeleton. There, you can also trek around the conservation area of the forest and have an opportunity to see the exotic plants, orchids, birds and butterflies. And, other famous attractions include Kalaw Hnee Paya and Shwe U Min Pagoda.
6. Pleasant Ngapali Beach and range of activities
Myanmar occupies many beautiful beaches around the country. All of them, Ngapali is a tranquil and unexploded one throughout the country. It is the most beautiful beach with white sand and palm-tree lined coast in Rakhine State. If you are looking for a calm and uncrowded place, the beach is the right one for your holiday. There, you can do a wide range of activities -kayaking, fishing, boat to fishing villages and Thandwe Market, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, exploring elephant camp, etc. Take a boat along the river and green scenery and the crystal blue water will make you fresh. See the underwater marine life by snorkeling among sea plants and animals underwater. You will see abundance of colorful corals when you make diving. Don’t miss to visit the elephant camp. There, you can help the elephants in their bathing in the river and walk them to the camp (No riding elephants & cruelty free) through the forest. When we arrive at the camp, we just take a rest and enjoy soft drinks, some beer and water. After that, we will feed the elephants.. Look around the Thandwe Market, and see their lifestyle and how they trade their products. You can also enjoy kayaking along the beautiful river and observe the fishing villages and fishing farms.
7. Loikaw’s tribal culture, tradition and lifestyle
Loikaw is a remote, clean and quiet town and recently opened to foreigners. It is home for Kayah people, locating on Kayah hill. According to the legend, people said Kayah tribes are descendants of hybrid of human and Keinnari (mythological half-human and half-bird creature). Until now, the lifestyle, tradition and culture of the people are still different, compared to other parts of the country. The special thing reason to visit Loikaw is its people and it is also rich in natural landscape such lakes and caves. So, if you are crazy for exploring distinctive tribal culture and if you are a nature lover, Loikaw is a gem for you. The Taung kwe Pagoda is the glory of the town, locating on Thiri Mingalar Hill. It holds in great respect. The sunset and night views from the hill is really stunning. If we say Kayah State, we see Ngwetaung Dam, first. The Seven Stages Lake is surrounded by small mountains and its scenery and view will make you fresh and relaxed. Behind the lake, there is an interesting ethnic story. There are more attractions such as Hti Pwint Pond, Hti Se Khar Waterfall, Kyat Cave and Seven Stages Lake. It is also one of the glories of the town. The mountain scenery from the dam is really pleasant. For community based tourism, visit Panpet village which is attractive because of its Padaung (Kayen) whose‘long-necked’ womenfolk have a tradition of sporting coils around their necks. In the village, you can buy the beautiful handicrafts, see the weaving and taste the Kaung Ye (traditional alcoholic beverage locally made from red millet). You can also have a sound music played by the Padaung old lady. For more tribal culture, visit Htekho village where the womenfolk are wearing the big earring rings and have a tradition of sporting coils around their legs. So, the people of Kayah State are really friendly and nice. I’m sure you can’t wait to see this.
8. Wild Natural beautiful of Chin State
Chin State is well known for its Nat Ma Taung National Park (Mt.Victoria ) and Rih Lake. It is the central to trekking and hiking. Hill tribes deserve your holiday. The Nat Ma Taung National Park is located in Kan Patlet and Matupi Township, about 10200 high above sea level. The park covers 72,300 hectares of the Chin Hills and contains Mt. Nat Ma Taung. It is recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2012. The park preserves wildlife, rare species of orchids, flora and fauna. It is the home for over 150 bird species including reptiles, butterflies and wild boars. People around the park are also educated to conserve the park and wildlife. Forests include hill evergreen forests, moist upper mixed deciduous forests, pine forests and hill savannah. So, the park can be said the ecotourism attraction for visitors. You can hike up the mountain from November to April. The best time to hike is from December to February, being covered with red rhododendron in full blooming all the whole way. The sunrise from Nat Ma Taung is wonderful but to catch it, you need to start the trip pretty early (around 4 AM). Firstly, the whole horizon is coming red and the sun comes out beautifully and slowly behind the mountain ranges. At the same time, the sea of clouds is forming. So, imagine the beautiful and wonderful sunset view with mountains and sea of clouds background. Bird watching is also included in top trending. Next attractive place is Rih Lake which represents the heart of Chin State and is also in the shape of heart. It is located in Rih Khaw Dah Town of Chin State near Myanmar- India Border. It is exactly heart shape and mysteriously exists on the mountain ranges, over 2900 feet above sea level. It occupies a fascinating story. The scenery around the lake is really beautiful and pleasant. And, if you like you can trek to the remote Chin ethnic villages and explore their genuine culture and tradition. The facial tattooed Chin tribes are very popular worldwide. So, there is no reason to skip the Chin State for your trip.
9. Grand Mrauk U and its ancient pagodas
Mrauk U is located on the green hill tops and the Lay Myo River is lying next to the town, making the perfect scenery view. The town is relatively small and quiet rounded by paddy fields and vegetable plantation. With respect to Rakhine, we know the Ngapali Beach well and Rakhine Montti (traditional Rakhine rice noodle) is popular all over the country. But, you will realize what is real about Rakhine when you see Mrauk U. As Bagan is the heart of Burma, Maruk U is the treasure of Rakhine ethnic group. But, the different thing from Bagan is that almost all of the pagodas and Buddhist monuments of Mrauk U are built of stone. After Ankorwat, Mrauk U is the only place where the pagodas and temples are constructed of stones. In the former time, Mrauk U was the great Arakan kingdom and glorious with millions of pagodas. It was the last kingdom of Rakhine and the center of archaeology in Rakhine State. There you can explore the classic and amazing architectures. Pagodas are everywhere in Mrauk U and you can see the ogre statues at the entrance of most of the pagodas and temples. The statues are very alive and interesting. The must-see places includes Shittthaung Pagodas, Koethaung Pagodas, Ananda Sandra Pillar, Andaw Thein temple, Yadanarpon temple, Dukkanthein or Htoke Kan Thein, Five Victory Pagodas, Palace Site, the ancient ruins of Mrauk U period and Mrauk U Museum. Although there are many places for beautiful sunrise and sunset, that of Mrauk U is stunning in its own way. Because the region is hilly, the town is covered in a blanket of fog and mist in the morning and evening, shrouded in more fog in winter. So, imagine the pleasant and impressive view for your sunrise and sunset. And, the peaceful town with hundreds of ancient pagodas is remaining unknown to the world and is defying the weather. Some of the pagodas have been destroyed by the earthquake and by lack of conservation but still many pagodas. And, now, it has been on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Recognization and need more conservation. You should go and observe this hidden treasure of Myanmar.
10. Pyin Oo Lwin Hill Station and beautiful colonial buildings
This lovely town is a hill station, 3510 feet high above sea level. It is also called as May Myo which is named after the British Colonel May (Myo means town). The weather is cool all year around and the colonial style buildings are making the city attractive and colorful. It is also famous for flowers and the flower festival is annually held during December. The town is known as the summer capital of Myanmar. And, during the British colonial era, the governor and the government officers temporarily move to Pyin Oo Lwin to avoid the high heat and humidity of Yangon. Because of the cool weather, the town and its surrounding scenery are pleasant and beautiful. And, the vegetable, fruits and flowers grow well in Pyin Oo Lwin. You can see coffee, strawberry and pineapple plantation at the hillsides and May Myo Flowers, chrysanthemum and Dahilia are decorating the town. The pinewood and oak trees can also be seen. The product of Pyin Oo Lwin is wine and you can visit many wineries around. Sweater knitting and cow rearing are also the local business of Pyin Oo Lwin. You can also take a beautiful horse-drawn carriage around this picturesque town. Many interesting attractions are spreading all over the town, including Kandaw Gyi Botanical Garden, Pwe Kauk Waterfall, Peik Chin Maung Cave, Dattawgyaik Waterfall, Mahar Ant Htoo Kan Thar Pagoda, Governor’s House, Pyin Oo Lwin Market. Moreover, you can also take the train to Gokteik Viaduct and can also extend the trip to Hsipaw where you can do trekking. If you are visiting Myanmar, Pyin Oo Lwin is the one you must go around.
Our LM travel Myanmar offers wonderful trips to these interesting destinations and an extensive range of activities, creating the unforgettable memories. So, do not hesitate to contact us anytime for the best services.