Travel to Myanmar
More and more people are staring to discover the unique and fascinating destination of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Located in Southeast Asia on the Bay of Bengal, this country is full of natural, cultural and historical beauty.
The true feeling a person gets from visiting Myanmar can possibly be best summed up by the words of Rudyard Kipling: This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”
From breathtaking lakes and mountains to unique temples and museums, Myanmar is sure to surprise you. The 5 star hotels and luxury resorts in Myanmar will only add to the mystique and charm during your Asia getaway.
Myanmar tours and activities
Known as the city of four million pagodas, Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. A visitor “must see” is Nyaung Oo market and the pagodas that are the most culturally significant and best preserved including the Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilo Minlo and the amazing Ananda temple.
Yangon, where colonial charms and a modern energy mix and linger decades after British departure. One of the top local sites is the Reclining Buddha Pagoda, which houses a 230-foot statue, and a monastery where 600 monks live. Other top sites include Shwedagon Pagoda (an architectural masterpiece of gilded stupas and mythical beasts said to be 2,500 years old), Botataung Pagoda (an unusual, hollow pagoda that allows for close-up inspection from the inside) and the National Museum to view ancient Burmese art and stop at the Bogyoke Market.
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Inle Lake reflects some of the country’s most simple, pure natural beauty. Getting on the lake will open your eyes to unique local methods of farming and fishing. Spot fishermen rowing by in a unique method — standing up at the helm and propelling their boats forward with one leg wrapped around an oar. While in the area, visit Phaung Dao U Pagoda, Jumping Cat Monastery and the five-day market (which changes locations to suit various hill tribes).
River Cruising in Myanmar
Cruising Ayeyarwady (Irawaddy) River is a great way to see and experience the true way of life in Myanmar. The river serves as the country’s backbone and plays a significant role everyday transportation and commerce. The river offers opportunities to visit Sagaing (the living center of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar), see famous silversmiths who still work much the same way their ancestors did, explore Bagan (full of temples and pagodas) and much more.
Shopping in Myanmar
Myanmar has several unique treasures that are great for those looking to shop. Watch for Myanmar lacquerware (from plates to tables), hat-shaped brass gongs and quality relics. Myanmar puppets (marionettes) can be beautiful and cost a fraction of what they’d sell for anywhere else in the world. Kalagas, heavily embroidered Myanmar-style tapestries, are a good buy.
Dining in Myanmar
The cuisine is similar to that of other Southeast Asian countries and consists mostly of curries and rice. Popular local dishes include lethok son (spicy vegetarian rice salad) and oh-no khuak swe (rice noodles with chicken). When eating out, the people of Laos often prefer Chinese cuisine.
Myanmar – Insider tip:
One of the most exhilarating ways to see the mystical temples in Bagan is from 1,000 feet in the air in a hot-air balloon ride. Sunrise rides are particularly stunning.
Myanmar Fast Facts:
Population of Myanmar
Languages in Myanmar
Burmese and ethnic languages. Some English is spoken.
Religions in Myanmar
Time Zone in Myanmar
6.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+6.5 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Voltage Requirements in Myanmar
Currency in Myanmar
Myanmar kyat (MMK)
Weather in Myanmar
The central part of the country is drier than the coast. The weather is best October-February, with daytime temperatures in the 70s-80s F. The rainy season lasts from mid-May to October.
Myanmar has two distinctive geographic regions: the northe (upper) mountain and forest area, and the south (lower) relatively flat delta. The most prominent river is the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy), which has its headwaters about 1,200 miles north of the Andaman Sea.
Safety in Myanmar
Use common sense and caution just as you would any other international destination. Keep valuables out of sight and your wallet or purse close by at all times.
Myanmar Fun Facts:
- Today’s inhabitants of Myanmar (formerly Burma) are descendants of a tribe that migrated from Tibet and China in about AD 800.
- Many of the islands in Inle Lake actually float. The islands form when clumps of weeds and water hyacinths come together to form a substantial pile of muck. When the “island” reaches a certain size, the people of Inle Lake anchor the new island in place with bamboo poles until the land is solid enough for growing crops.
- Most of the world’s remaining teak is in Myanmar.
- The sarong-style cloths worn by the Burmese are called longyis.
- Myanmar’s Sandoway Beach (“Thandwe” in Burmese) is considered among the great “secret” beaches of the world.