8 things to see and do in Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma) is without doubt one of the most stunning and untouched international locations in Asia stuffed with outdated empire opulence, grand pagodas, pure wonders and a predominantly Buddhist inhabitants famend for his or her friendliness and hospitality keen to share their historic customs.
To quote Rudyard Kipling “This is Burma and it will be quite unlike any land you know about”. If you’re planning a visit, right here’s our decide of the highest 8 things to see and do.
Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon)
The large Shewedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s gold-plated showpiece and probably the most sacred Buddhist web site in the nation (Buddha’s hair is alleged to be buried inside it).
The good, golden pagoda (the oldest in the world) standing shut to 110m excessive and coated in gold leaf and 4,531 diamonds are seen from throughout Yangon, with sundown the right time to go to.
The stupa glows in heat orange mild, the air is heavy with the scent of flowers and incense and the shuffling crowds move as one across the pagoda. Devotees participate in a lamp-lighting ceremony, the place a whole lot of oil lamps are lit every night to deliver good luck.
Take the highway to Mandalay – Myanmar’s second metropolis
Mandalay is Myanmar’s second largest metropolis, a cultural hub and dwelling to all things massive, from the most important ebook in the world, the tallest standing Buddha and the longest teak bridge.
The photogenic U Bein teak bridge winds for almost a mile throughout a shallow lake and you’ll typically catch a sea of pink robes swaying previous, monks on their late afternoon or early morning promenade.
Other Mandalay highlights embrace the Shwenandaw Pagoda with partitions adorned with beautiful woodcarvings, the Mahu Muni Buddha swamped in gold leaf, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, dwelling to the world’s largest ebook. Also, make time to catch the sundown at Mandalay Hill.
Cruise alongside the Irradwaddy River
Throughout Myanmar’s historical past, river journey has been an necessary a part of on a regular basis life. Today isn’t any completely different, take the sluggish and scenic route from Mandalay to Bagan, cruising alongside the Irrawaddy River and can watch native life unfolding alongside the way in which.
The 1,300-mile-long Irrawaddy (navigable all the way in which from Yangon to Bhamo, close to the Chinese border) is without doubt one of the world’s most fabled rivers, carrying barges and small passenger cruise ships. Many of the boats have shallow drafts in order that they will cease at small touchdown locations (typically only a collection of slippery mud steps), permitting passengers to stroll into villages and distant monasteries. Local ferries make the journey from Mandalay to Bagan in sooner or later however there are additionally extra snug choices alongside the identical route with in a single day stays and cabins out there.
Take a balloon journey over the temples in Bagan
Bagan, positioned on the east financial institution of the Irrawaddy River, is dwelling to the most important and densest focus of Buddhist temples, monuments and ruins in the world, over 2000 in complete with many relationship from the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Balloons over Bagan (a long-standing scorching air balloon operator) takes passengers in full security and consolation excessive above the area for 45 minutes. Seeing the 1000’s of historic temples spreading throughout the plains, showing by way of the mist because the solar rises is undoubtedly certainly one of Myanmar’s most spectacular websites and not to be missed. The flights solely function in the dry season between October and March.
Allow no less than a few days to additionally stroll, cycle, take a horse and cart or electrical motorcycle to discover the temples together with the spectacular temples of Ananda and Dhammayangyi, the most important temple Shwezigon and the tallest Thatbyinnyu.
Trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake
Located in Myanmar’s northeastern Shan State, Kalaw is an outdated hill station with a welcome cooler local weather. To absolutely admire the charms of rural Myanmar, trek over the rolling hills from Kalaw to close by Inle Lake.
Accommodation is fundamental, however the true deal, staying in monasteries, being lulled to sleep by chanting monks while through the day watch the farmers planting, tending or harvesting their crops – rice, chillies or corn relying on the season.
The trek, strolling for 5 – 6 hours a day is extra of an fascinating agricultural expertise, having fun with the bucolic panorama, paying homage to Tuscany than a difficult hardcore hike.
Marvel on the one-legged rowing abilities of the Intha folks on Inle Lake
The Intha fisherman with their uncommon one-legged rowing method, hooking a leg round an extended oar to scull throughout glassy blue Inle Lake is probably Myanmar’s most iconic picture and used to promote the nation worldwide. The finest manner to discover the lily dappled shallow waters of Inle Lake is on a day journey, slicing by way of the waters on a long-tailed boat. Tours embrace visits to fishing villages with their homes constructed on stilts and silk weaving and cheroot rolling industries. Stops are additionally made to watch blacksmiths and silversmiths at work and to see the floating market that strikes between the realm’s villages on a five-day rota.
Get off the overwhelmed observe and go to a Kayan tribe village
Closed for over half a century and solely lately opened to guests, Kayah state is dwelling to 9 distinct ethnic teams, which diversified and advanced from Karen tradition.
The largest teams are the Kayah, Kayan, Bre, Lahta, and Yinbaw. Many tribes nonetheless observe their indigenous customs, handed down for hundreds of years and gown in their conventional costumes together with sporting heavy brass neck rings. The sleepy capital Loikaw can also be value exploring.
Enjoy a spot of R&R on Ngapala Beach
After touring Myanmar’s fundamental websites, laid again Ngapali Beach is the place to calm down and get pleasure from a spectacular sundown from a virtually empty palm-fringed golden sand seaside, untroubled by touts. Unlike some resorts in neighbouring Thailand, Ngapali continues to be comparatively unspoilt with only a small variety of beachfront resorts.
Ngapali, supposedly named years in the past by a homesick Italian reminiscing about Napoli, is a spot to unwind, benefit from the balmy blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, take a ship journey for a spot of snorkelling and go to the standard fishing villages that line the coast.
BALLOON TOUR: Balloons over Bagan