Myanmar beckons the most curious traveller to explore its gold-leafed temples, colourful markets, ornate palaces, inspirational landscapes and Buddhist culture. While Myanmar is slowly beginning to unfold as a tourist attraction, you can still enjoy some of its best-kept secrets without the touristic frills.
The landmark city of Bagan is breathtaking with its ancient temples and stupas spiralling through the clouds. The capital of Myanmar’s first dynasty in 1044, Bagan boasts over 2000 temples, comprised of traditional carvings, fresco paintings and Buddha images. Seeing the sites by balloon is a popular way to take in the splendid views of this ancient city.
Yangon is the popular gateway to explore Myanmar’s religion and culture. This developing metropolis is home to gorgeous architecture in the form of Victorian and Georgian buildings, with lakes, parks, open-air markets and mosques peppered throughout the city. Yangon revolves around the Shwedagon Pagoda – a Buddhist masterpiece with shimmering gold embellishments. Visit the Bogyoke Aung San market for some traditional souvenirs.
A hop to the east you’ll find the peaks of Mount Kyaiktiyo – home to the towering Golden Rock.
Home to numerous pagodas, monasteries and the former Royal Palace, the city of Mandalay is the cornerstone of Burmese culture.
The capital city, Naypyidaw, deserves a day to peruse its stately palaces and parliament buildings.
For interesting trekking, the highlands of Kalaw offer beautiful scenery, simple guesthouses and delicious food markets! Similarly, the rustic town of Hpa-an offers stunning mountain trails winding between spice-infused roadside kitchens and coffee bars.
Inle Lake is a scenic snapshot of stilted villages, pagodas and hand-crafted canoes sailing through aromas of fresh herbs and spices. The salt-washed fishing villages and beaches along the coastline are equally as charming. The popular Ngapali beach is a dreamy, sun-kissed paradise of beach bars, loungers and water sports.
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