Myanmar is slowly welcoming travelers after having closed its borders for years. It is a facinating time to travel to Myanmar and visit its golden temples, beautiful landscapes and friendly people. These are a few things you should not miss when traveling to Myanmar.
The Birmese capital Yangon is the biggest metropole in the country. Just like any Asian city it means millions of people, chaotic traffic and, unfortunately, pollution as well. Still, while traveling to Myanmar you should not miss out on a visit to Yangon. The biggest pagoda of the country, Schwedagon Pagoda, is a sight you cannot skip (eventhough entrance will cost you 8 USD).
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Probably the top attraction of Myanmar – and my personal favorite – Bagan is an archeological site scattered with temples and stupas. Bagan is to Myanmar what Ankor Wat is too Cambodia, minus the crowds. There are over 2000 temples to be explored. The best way to do so is by e-biking or ballooning. The Shwesandaw Pagoda is the best one to climb and see the the sunrise or sunset. If you have limited time in Bagan, make sure to see Ananda Pahto, Dhammayangyi Pahto and Gawdawpalin Pahto.
Mount Popa is one of the most sacred places in Myanmar. You can visit this extinct volcano as a day trip from Bagan. On top of the mountain there is a monastery. It can be reached by climbing the 777 steps barefoot. Just watch out for the monkies who are after your belongings! Another obstacle are the many locals who are asking for a contribution for their cleaning work.
Inle Lake is a hyped tourist destination because of the Intha fishermen. These fishermen row canoes with one leg and while standing up. Taking a boat ride to explore this waterworld is recommended. Most of them will give you the opportunity to have a closer look at the technique used by the Intha fishermen. Another way to explore this area is by cycling around the lake. Nyaungschwe on the northern shore is the place to go to if you want to spend some time in the area on a budget and join one of the tours.
Some travelers like to spend some relaxing time at a tropical beach after having explored temples, cities and natural landscapes. Eventhough Myanmar isn’t a renowned beach destination (yet), it has some idyllic stretches of white sand. Ngapali beach is easily to be reached by plane and can be a nice ending of your holiday in Myanmar. An alternative for Ngapali beach is the Mergui archipelago in southern Myanmar. This remote archipelago is located in the Andeman Sea. Downside is that these island can only be visited by joining a tour. On the other hand, it’s the main reason why this area is still mostly undiscovered.