7 best places to visit in MYANMAR
Myanmar, an extraordinary land in Southeast Asia, was off-limits for foreign tourists until 2012. Before that, it used to be one of the most isolated countries in the world.
Now citizens of the European Union and so many other countries can travel to Myanmar without too much bureaucracy.
As Myanmar opened up to the world only recently, its tourism industry isn’t booming (yet) like it is in Thailand. And that’s why now is a good time to visit Myanmar. To see its beauty without the countless tourist crowds truly is an unforgettable experience.
But what to see in Myanmar? To help you with the task of planning a trip to Myanmar we have made this list of some of the best places to visit in Myanmar.
7 best places to visit in Myanmar
1. Inle Lake
Being one of the most picturesque places in Myanmar, Inle Lake is one of the best places to visit in Myanmar. By the way, it is the second largest lake in the country.
As Inle Lake is quite large, there are quite a few things you can do there.
One of the most popular attractions is to hire a boat and to admire the beauty of the lake and see fishermen in action. They have mastered the act of catching fish to such a high level it seems like a performance.
Head to Indein village to see hundreds of ancient stupas. There are two groups of stupas – Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein Paya. The stupas are weather-beaten and ruined – truly a spectacular sight.
Kakku is another place you shouldn’t miss when traveling to Inle Lake. It’s yet another place to see ancient stupas. Only there it’s way more of them – in total 2478 stupas.
2. Old Bagan
Old Bagan (or Bagan Archaeological Zone), an ancient temple town in central Myanmar, is one of the main attractions in the country.
Bagan Archaeological Zone occupies an impressive 104 km² area and is home to over 2200 temples and pagodas. But these 2000 religious monuments are only one fifth that remained – there used to be over 10000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries in Bagan in the 13th century.
If you can afford it – fly in a hot-air balloon over Bagan! It’s truly an unforgettable experience.
3. Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda is a stunning gilded religious monument in Myanmar’s largest city Yangon, and one of the wonders of Myanmar.
Being the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, it attracts visitors and Buddhist pilgrims from all around the world. It is believed that the pagoda contains relics of the four previous Buddhas.
Shwedagon Paya stands 99 meters tall and dominates the downtown skyline.
4. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock)
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, or Golden Rock, is probably one of the most unusual sights in the whole of Southeast Asia. Also, it’s a very popular Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Perched on a large boulder, the Golden Rock is about 7.6 meter in height and has a circumference of 15 m. The pagoda on top of the Golden Rock is about 7.3 meters high.
This landmark is so unusual and gravity-defying, it’s a bit scary to look at! Also, the views from the boulder are magnificent.
Enjoy the beauty of the countryside along the road to Pindaya!
The most popular landmark in Pindaya, however, is the Pindaya Caves. The caves are located on a limestone ridge and are a very important Buddhist pilgrimage site and a tourist attraction.
At the entrance to the southernmost cave, Shwe Oo Min Pagoda is located. It is a large limestone grotto filled with thousands of gilded Buddha statues.
6. Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago
You’ll be surprised to know that Myanmar has some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Asia.
To see these gorgeous beaches with the clearest water, head to Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago.
It’s not yet a popular tourist destination, but totally worth a visit, especially if you love diving and snorkeling.
To visit the archipelago you have signed on to a boat excursion or a diving tour, and these tours are rather expensive.
Also, there are day trips to Nyaung Oo Phee Island. It is a beautiful little island with unspoiled white sand beaches, clearest waters, and extensive coral reefs.
7. Ngapali beach
Looking for an affordable beach location? Head to Ngapali, a beach in Western Myanmar.
It’s the most famous beach in Myanmar and a very popular tourist destination.
While it’s not super cheap, like some places in Thailand, you still can find decent accommodation for around 25-30 EUR. There are no cheap wooden bungalows, though.
There are several good 4 and 5-star hotels in Ngapali beach.
Myanmar travel tips
- You’ll find ATMs at international airports and all major cities, as well as in tourist hotspots. But still, bring some cash with you (preferably USD or EUR, and the notes should be in good condition), just in case – if the ATM is not working, or you can’t get to one.
- WiFi is bad, so we suggest you to buy a local SIM card and purchase a data package. You can purchase a SIM card at the airport.
- It’s quite easy to get a visa for Myanmar. It can be done online. Single entry tourist visas last 28 days, and you must travel to Myanmar within 90 days of receiving your eVisa. You should apply for a visa a month (or three weeks) before your trip.
- If you are traveling during the high season (November – February), book accommodation in advance.
- Dress modestly – cover your knees and shoulders!
- Carry a torch for blackouts.