Major Tourist Attractions: Shwedagon Pagoda, Kyaikiyo Pagoda, Mount Nuang, Mount Jerai, Sule Pagoda
As a country that is still a mystery to many, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is surely not your typical Southeast Asian destination. Myanmar's culture and history is a complex yet interesting mishmash of settlers and invaders from all fronts, and you can see this in their daily life routine, which still expresses their strong old traditions.
Women with thanakha painted faces work in the fields, the markets, and stroll around the street; fishermen at Inle Lake paddle their boats with their foot, as it is done traditionally there; monks walk the streets and temples from dusk until dawn; and farmers and goatherds work tirelessly in their fields surrounded by ancient temples and ruins.
Myanmar still doesn’t have a developed tourism infrastructure and many areas of the country are still restricted to tourism. The main tourist routes still have that off-the-beaten-path feel, and when you decide to go off-the-beaten-path in Myanmar, you’re truly up for an exotic expedition-type of vacation.
Due to the lack of infrastructure, there’s a shortage of hotels in most towns and cities, so the few hotels available tend to be slightly expensive for Southeast Asia standards and often full in high season. On the other side, food is rather cheap and so is local transportation – which I can assure you is an adventure and an experience on its own.
Here are a few things you should not miss when in Myanmar:
- Visit the most majestic, large temples in Bagan and discover dozens of smaller and even more interesting temples. There are over 2000 temples, most from the 11th century.
- Watch the sunrise and sunset on top of a temple in Bagan
- Watch the sunrise or sunset from U Bein Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in the world, located in Amarapura
- Ride a boat on Inle Lake and watch the traditional leg-rowing fishermen and the floating village
- Relax at Ngapali Beach; the most famous stretch of sand in the country
- Catch one of Myanmar's frequent Buddhist festivals
- Enjoy Kyaiktiyo and its Golden Rock Pagoda
- Go hiking or trekking in Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park and Hlawga National Park, among other natural reserves
- Eat Mohinga; their national dish made out of fish soup with noodles
- Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Sule Pagoda in Yangon
Address: 110 University Ave
Kamayut Township, Rangoon, Burma.
Phone: (95)-(1) 536-509, 535-756, 538-038