Myanmar, once known as Burma, has had a troubled history of occupations, war and ethnic tension. Until recently, the country was effectively shut out from the outside world. However, in 2015, Myanmar held its first democratic election and the country is booming. As the country’s opened up, it’s wonderful ancient sites & astonishing natural beauty have revealed themselves to the world. It’s a really exciting time to visit ; the whole country has a buzz around it that’s hard to ignore.
In Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the ‘Winking Wonder’. It’s an iconic part of the city’s skyline and easily one of the most striking examples of Buddhist architecture to be found in any of Asia’s cities. The intricacy of its design and its sheer size will impress you, but its peaceful and tranquil religious nature is humbling. Yangon is also home to Myanmar’s best nightlife, with a spattering of quirky bars & restaurants mingling with more traditional offerings.
Most visitors to Myanmar come to see ancient Bagan and its 4,000 stupas strewn throughout the plains, some dating back to the 9th century. This area is an archaeological marvel to rival Angkor Wat in Cambodia, just with fewer tourists!
For somewhere a bit ‘off the beaten track,’ visit the Golden Rock, otherwise known as the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda; it sits right on the edge of a chasm in a very precarious position, but never falls off. Be sure to experience Myanmar’s stunning natural side too. From the floating villages of Inle Lake to the rolling hills & wildlife of Kalaw, to the secluded paradise islands of the Mergui Archipelago – Myanmar has something for everyone.
Much of Myanmar is yet to be fully opened up, so it has the ability to surprise and amaze even the most experienced travellers. During your stay, you’ll see elements of traditional life like the men wearing longyi, women using thanaka as sunscreen and trishaws running around the city life. This shows that the simple life still exists here, although many other parts of Asia have lost it.
A trip here will never be dull, but it won’t be too hectic either. Mass tourism hasn’t quite reached Myanmar yet, so make the most of it while you still can.
Plan your trip to Myanmar today.