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Best Things to do in Myanmar

Best Things to do in Myanmar

Myanmar exudes a stronger sense of exoticism compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts,
evident in the vibrant colors of its land. The country is stuffed with amazing pagodas and
temples, untouched tropical paradise beaches and so many hidden natural wonders.
A trip to Myanmar means a great local welcome, unlike travel experiences and much more. If
you want to see Myanmar at its best, here are the most interesting things to do in Myanmar
that you should not miss:

There are so many things to define the distinctive culture of Myanmar. From thousand-year pagodas to characterful historic sites, from fascinating villages to the on-water communities, you`ll easily find new experiences in Myanmar.

Starting a journey in Myanmar typically involves arriving at Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, which remains more recognizable by its old name. Although Yangon is beginning to showcase cosmopolitan elements, such as modern bars and increased street traffic, the colonial downtown area retains its untouched grandeur. This aspect sets it apart from other Southeast Asian cities that have undergone development and lost their historical charm. In this beguiling city, you`ll be charmed by the golden stupa of Shwedagon, the interesting National Museum, vibrant streets and so much more.

Another thing you should do in Myanmar is to admire the holy land of Bagan. Many travelers tend to focus their attention on the larger temples, typically visiting four or five of them. The highlight of the visit is often watching the sunset from the top of the Shwesandaw temple, which may be challenging for those who are afraid of heights. However, the lesser-known Pyathatgyi temple, located in the heart of the area, offers an easier approach to the platform with an equally breathtaking view of the temples illuminated by the evening sun.

Inle Lake is the gem of Shan state. The second largest lake has something to attract you from floating gardens to the vibrant markets which are full of hill tribe’s encounters. Inle has wide range of activities which are mostly unusual in Asia to make your days occupied: boat trip to Phang Daw Oo pagoda, photograph 1 leg rowing fishermen, first-class hand-on cooking classes with Shan dishes, visit to the premier vineyards.
To organize your days in Inle Lake, check our Inle Trip Planning   witness silversmiths, blacksmiths, and weavers creating metal, silk, and cotton goods in workshops beneath their homes. Things to do in Inle Lake are plenty ranging from exciting boat tours to the enjoyable bike ride through hidden villages.

The Mandalay Palace is the ultimate royal palace of the Burmese monarchy, serving as the last residence of the kings. Constructed between 1857 and 1859, as a component of Mindon’s establishment of the new royal capital, the city still resonates with the grandeur of its regal past. Its narrow lanes echo with the sounds of skilled artisans, ranging from marble carvers to silversmiths to gold leaf makers. Unfortunately, World War II ravaged the magnificent Royal Palace at the center of Mandalay.
Today, only a watchtower, the Royal Mint, and the Shwenandaw Monastery remain from the original construction. Nevertheless, the reconstructed palace, utilizing contemporary materials in the 1990s, still provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of Burma’s royalty. The palace follows the traditional design, featuring a walled fortress enclosed by a moat.

If you come to Myanmar for some amazing Instagram photos then these places are just among the best:

The town of Hpa An, situated in Mon State, is home to numerous wonders such as the Saddan Cave. This cavernous expanse is adorned with Buddha statues, pagodas, and murals. Though mostly harmless, there are some bats within the cave that may become startled and flutter about if sudden movements occur. As with all caves and temples in Myanmar, shoes must be removed, allowing your toes to feel the muddy floor of the cave, which can flood during the rainy season. Visitors must either retrace their steps through the cave or hire a small boat to ferry them back to the entrance. The cave is open seven days a week from 6am to 6pm.
Recommended Myanmar Journey to Hpa An cave: Myanmar Photography tours.

The U Bein Bridge, constructed in 1850, is the world’s oldest and longest bridge made entirely of teak wood. As you walk across it at sunset, along with hundreds of other visitors, the bridge can feel a bit unsteady. Despite the recent surge in tourism, the beauty of the bridge remains undiminished. The bridge stretches for 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) across the picturesque Taungthaman Lake.
For a perfect travel plan to Mandalay, U Bein bridge should be on your list of the best things to do in Myanmar.

The architecture of the Hsinbyume Pagoda sets it apart from other temples worldwide. It features multiple tiers that resemble undulating waves, symbolizing the seven mountain ranges encircling Mount Meru – a sacred site at the center of Buddhist cosmology, believed to be the universe’s core.
This pagoda is just one of the most photogenic sites in Myanmar that you should stop by.

When you think about something thrilling, something extraordinary, Myanmar has something to tempt you. If rugged mountains with cascading waterfalls, and an awe-inspiring national park do not please you then think about the uninterrupted beaches with rich marine life in the southern sea of Burma.

Mount Victoria, also referred to as Nat Ma Taung can be found in the lesser-known Nat Ma Taung National Park. This region is famous for its rare and endangered flora and fauna, as well as the ethnic groups that feature women with tattoos. The park’s exceptional ecological diversity has earned it the esteemed title of an ASEAN Heritage Park, and it has also been acknowledged by UNESCO for its exceptional universal value.

Mergui is a very emerging destination for 2019 -2020 period. The archipelago consists of over 800 islands with wealthy marine life, hidden waterfalls, private beaches for you only.
Mergui is hardly affected by massive tourism, it remains one of the most unspoiled sailing points in Asia. It is a perfect place to explore multiple islands and engage in snorkeling, and scuba diving to their heart’s content.

There are 2 popular way to uncover Mergui: taking a road trip to Dawei Peninsula (less expensive) and set sail from Kawthaung for private Mergui cruises.

Recommended reading: Mergui Archipelago Tour Packages.

Experience the mystical and breathtaking views of Bagan or Inle Lake from high up in a hot air balloon basket. This exhilarating adventure is not recommended for those with a fear of heights or for backpackers on a tight budget, as it comes at a hefty price tag ranging from U$300 to U$400. Nonetheless, the awe-inspiring scenery of the pagodas below is worth the splurge for those seeking an unforgettable experience. See more inspiration at Bagan Balloon

Although train rides in Myanmar are reputedly uncomfortable, daring travelers frequently choose to prioritize adventure over comfort. This railway bridge, located between Pyin Oo Lwin and Lashio, is a prime example. The Gokteik Viaduct is not only the tallest bridge in Myanmar but was also the largest railway trestle on the planet at one time. The scenic views of the mountainous terrain and local villages are unparalleled, all for the cost of just a few dollars.

Kalaw, a picturesque hill station in Shan State, is just a few minutes away from Inle Lake and offers a range of trekking experiences from two days to a week. These treks involve staying in local homestays where you can enjoy authentic home-cooked meals. Trekking through the lush green forests and hills provides a unique opportunity to see a different side of Myanmar, away from the traditional pagodas and dusty roads. There are several trekking companies that offer affordable tours and work closely with local families to provide an immersive experience.
Our Kalaw Trekking Tour: Kalaw to Inle lake 3 days trekking.

Just a short journey east of Yangon lies Mount Kyaiktiyo, home to one of the most sacred Buddhist relics in Myanmar – the Golden Rock. This impressive granite rock is perched on a ledge atop the lush forests and green hills of south-central Burma, seemingly defying gravity. Legend has it that it’s held in place by a single strand of Buddha’s hair, and male pilgrims come to climb the winding steps to leave gold leaf and gain spiritual inspiration. The site is surrounded by a temple and pagoda complex, which includes immersive shrines to lesser-known Buddhist deities.

Further reading: Golden Rock Travel Guide.

It is said that your Myanmar Trip is incomplete without spending some days on one of its sandy beaches. Believe it or not, Myanmar has an abundance of secluded beaches to delve into.

The beach is arguably the most beautiful one in the country. It is stuffed with comfortable seafront resorts, and amazing waterways to soak the sun, sand, and sea. Ngapali offers great options for water sports including snorkeling and scuba diving. It does not mean you cannot go around. In contrast, things to do in Ngapali for culture or adventure are numerous.
For a day outing, you can see Thandwe town or hike the Amata mountain which is treated with a grand view.

Nestled in the scenic southern part of Myanmar, Ngwe Saung Beach boasts stunning, sun-drenched beaches and a plethora of activities. For numerous tourists, Ngwe Saung stands out as the ultimate destination for pursuing diving lessons. Additionally, the beach presents an array of adventure and water sports options, catering to various preferences.

Dawei is a serene and delightful town, offering an ideal retreat for beach enthusiasts seeking to escape the hustle and bustle. Dawei boasts numerous breathtakingly gorgeous Myanmar beaches, featuring pristine white sand, crystal-clear waters, picturesque sunsets, fresh sea breezes, and delectable seafood. It’s truly a paradise for those seeking relaxation and tranquility.

Expect to see the wildlife in Myanmar? There are 9 big national parks where wild Asian elephants and many other animals’ lives are available for your visit.

Located a bit off the typical tourist route, this breathtaking waterfall is enveloped by picturesque rice fields and verdant forests. With its various tiers and cascading waters, the Haipa Waterfall is just as awe-inspiring as Vietnam’s Ban Gioc Waterfall.
The ideal mode of transportation to reach Haipa is by car, while a boat ride is the best way to access the waterfall itself. Do take note that the waterfall is closed for a month every year during the monsoon season. For more stunning waterfalls in Myanmar, refer to the related articles.

Established in 1915, this meticulously cared-for 435-acre botanical garden was created by Turkish prisoners who were captured by the British during WWI. It boasts an impressive collection of over 480 species of flowers, shrubs, and trees. One of its most enchanting features is how the blossoms and dangling branches frame breathtaking views of Kandawgyi Lake’s wooden bridges and a small gilded pagoda. Admission to the garden includes access to its various attractions such as the swimming pool, the aviary, the orchid garden, the butterfly museum, and the peculiar Nan Myint Tower.

This Myanmar national park sprawls over 128 square kilometers of forested land on the slopes of Mount Popa, an extinct volcano. The name Popa is derived from the Sanskrit word “puppa,” which means flower. One of the highlights of the mountain is the magnificent Popa Taungkalat Shrine, situated at the summit, which can be reached by climbing 777 steps barefoot.
Established in 1989, this national park is now one of the most popular destinations for a Bagan day tour.

For those who want to define the authentic cuisine of Myanmar, participating in a cooking class in Yangon is a perfect option. This hand-on experience allows you to soak up the atmospheric Yangon market, get demonstrated by some of the top-rated chef then make Burmese dishes your way. Not patience for a cooking time? here is our alternative suggestion: Yangon food tour

Burmese cuisine is also very characteristic. It has different influences from India, the Chinese but it also has its own identity. One of the things to do in Myanmar is to feed you appetize with typical Burmese dishes. Here are there:

The sour leaves, commonly consumed as a dessert, are also utilized in the preparation of lephet thoke, a salad made of pickled tea leaves. The salad includes a combination of flavors and textures such as shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes, crispy deep-fried beans, nuts, and peas, all mixed by hand with sour and slightly bitter leaves. A dash of garlic oil, along with spicy slices of chili and garlic, completes the dish. Lephet thoke can be enjoyed as a snack, an appetizer, or even as a meal when paired with a serving of rice. It is known to have stimulant properties, and locals believe that overindulging in this dish can lead to insomnia.

The focal point of the meal is curry, as implied by the name, however, once you select one of the options available – usually, a curry consisting of pork, fish, shrimp, beef, or mutton – an unending array of accompanying dishes follows.
These comprise rice, a tangy salad, a plate of stir-fried veggies, a bowl of soup, and a generous platter of freshly cooked and par-boiled vegetables and herbs to be enjoyed with different dips.

Mohinga is a staple dish in Myanmar and is often referred to as the country’s unofficial national dish. It consists of round rice noodles served in a flavorful broth made with fish, shallots, and herbs. Some variations also include the crunchy pith of the banana tree. Mohinga is traditionally eaten as a breakfast dish, but it’s popular as a snack sold by mobile vendors at any time of day or night. For extra flavor and texture, sliced hard-boiled egg and akyaw, deep-fried crispy vegetables, and disks of lentil batter can be added as toppings. A squeeze of lime and/or dried chili flakes is used to season the dish according to taste.

The Shan Noodles dish is a flavorful and popular Burmese cuisine made with sticky rice noodles and served with chicken tomato sauce. It is typically garnished with delicious toppings such as garlic, chili, and pickles. Originating from the Shan state in eastern Burma, this noodle dish has gained widespread popularity throughout the country.

For a perfect holiday to Myanmar, there are things you need to know to plan it well.

Visitors can apply for Myanmar visas through the Myanmar Embassy or through the online portal for Evisa. The updated visa policy requires not only travel insurance but also a vaccination certificate.

Travel by air is the main way to get into Myanmar. The biggest international airport that receives foreign visitors is Yangon international airport.
It is understandable that you may not find direct flights to Myanmar since the flight network of the country is still limited. In this case, take a connecting flight via Asia flight hubs like Bangkok, and Singapore.
Border crossing through India and Thailand is not an ideal option in 2023. For a Myanmar caravan trip, please contact our travel expert for the latest trans-border condition.

Myanmar is a very budget-friendly country. You`ll find your money has good value while traveling here.
It is obvious that your travel style also decides your travel expenses. While in some areas, there are cheap hostels with $10/ person/ night, there are still a wide array of middle-range and luxury hotels to choose from. In general, compared to Thailand or Vietnam, Myanmar is a cheaper travel destination.

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