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Top Myanmar (Burma) Experiences

Cruising the Irrawaddy River.

Visiting to Bagan, Mandalay Region  to view the ancient Burmese art and architecture.

Trekking the Kalaw, Shan state.

Relaxing in Ngapali Beach.

Experiencing the peace and tranquility of Inle Lake and its fishing society

Gazing at the Shwedagon Pagoda's beauty and grandeau, as it lit up Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, at nightfall.

Gliding in a hot air balloon over an expanse of shimmering gold pagodas, among colorful pink and purple hues at dawn in Bagan. 

Accepting a warm invitation for coffee, inside the bamboo thatched homes of local villagers.

Standing awestruck in the presence of the colossal reclining Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda Buddha in Yangon.

Bargaining for intricate ruby, sapphire, emerald, and gold jewelry in Yangon's expansive Bogyoke Market.

Gazing at the precarious incline of the gilded boulder that is Golden Rock in Mon State

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Top Myanmar (Burma) Attractions

Bagan

Shwedagon Pagoda

Lake Inle

Yangon

Mandalay

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Myanmar (Burma) Attractions And Landmarks Guide

After opening up to the world, Myanmar (Burma) is now one of the hottest destinations in Southeast Asia. A wonderland of Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries, it can be toured by land or by the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country from Yangon (Rangoon) to Mandalay. Myanmar hasn't changed much for decades -- yet -- so now is a great time to go.

You think you’ve seen it all in Southeast Asia, until you hear of a country called Myanmar. The crowds and global restaurant conglomerates haven’t yet arrived, and it is still largely untouched by tourism.

Other-worldly and ethereal. Unusual and in ways unique. Timeless yet changing.

Even the name of the country – today Myanmar, formerly Burma --  suggests how this intriguing destination is keeping one foot planted firmly in its past, traditions and ways of life as it moves, tentatively but steadily, toward the future.

Myanmar - The Land of Pagodas

Myanmar is known as “The land of pagodas,” and the visitor soon learns why. No one knows how many Buddhist pagodas, temples, monasteries and stuppas are scattered throughout the county.

What you soon realize is that if at least one Buddhist holy place isn’t within sight at any given time, it will be soon. Whether exploring a vast religious complex or coming upon a tiny roadside memorial, the pervasiveness of the religion that the great majority of people practice is everywhere.

For non-Buddhists an itinerary that includes a seemingly endless array of  religious places may threaten to cause a bit of pagoda overload. But don’t let that thought discourage you.

Some holy places belong on any “must-see list. Many others have their own special appeals. Wherever there is an image of Buddha there are people prostrating themselves, praying, chanting and presenting offerings that range from fruit to flowers, incense to candles.

If the pervasiveness of religion in the everyday life of the people leads one to assume that Myanmar is only about Buddhism, think again. It’s a multi-racial country with interesting cities, fascinating villages, stunning nature and attractions sure to excite and delight. This variety isn’t surprising in an area about the size of France and Great Britain combined.

From Occupation to an Historic Election

Britain controlled Burma from 1824 until the country gained its independence in 1948.   A military junta that took control in 1962 suppressed dissent and allowed the economy to stagnate largely isolated from the rest of the world.

When the ruling generals permitted free elections to take place in 2015, the political party of Aung San Suu Kyi won a resounding victory. She is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, but whose advocacy for democracy resulted in her being under house arrest for 15 years until her release in 2010. She now serves as State Counselor and has instituted new freedoms and economic reforms. However, Myanmar’s constitution still gives the military a strong voice in governance of the country.

Since August 2018, there have been continuous news reports about atrocities by Myanmar’s military forces against Rohingya Muslims who live in Rakhine Province.   The Rohingyas originally came from the neighboring country of Bangladesh, and have been viewed as interlopers since they arrived. The unrest is confined to a narrow strip of land along the border with Bangladesh, so it is safe to travel throughout most of the country.

Ancient and Modern Life Meet

Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city and commercial center of Myanmar. It boasts the highest number of colonial-era buildings in southeast Asia.

Mandalay was the last seat of Burma’s kings before the British colonization. It’s known as a center of arts and crafts, with different neighborhoods devoted to various trades.

The setting is very different in villages located throughout the countryside, where in many ways people live much as their forebears did. Modest houses made of intertwined bamboo line narrow dusty lanes. Domesticated animals wander along the streets.

Yet even in the tiniest, most isolated hamlets, as elsewhere throughout the country, vestiges of change are emerging from the traditional lifestyle. Cell phones are as ubiquitous as in any major U.S. city. Children of all ages use a smartphone to play games, and it’s not uncommon to see a monk retrieve a cell phone from his saffron robe to make or take a call.  

Wherever the visitor may be in Myanmar, the gradual evolution from traditional ways of life to increasing hints of modernity is one of the most interesting aspects of the country.   The result is an immersion in a rich and colorful past combined with the comforts and conveniences of today.


Related Categories

Continent:                  

Asia

Local Attractions:              

Bagan, Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Zedi), Taung Kalat, Mrauk U, Ayeyarwady River, Yangon and Many More

Top Activities:            

Explore Culture & River Cruise

Similar Destinations:      

Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

454
Myanmar (Burma) Tour Reviews - Summary
99% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 324 Great 111 Average 14 Disappointing 5 Terrible 0
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

E

Recommends

This trip was the most out standing your I have been on, last one last April was also a great tour, the young people who took so much care with so much information and looked out for those who needed help along the way, I have told so many people about your GAdvwntures . November 2015

5.0

Burma Adventure

The best ever...

Operator G Adventures

J

Recommends

The trip was well planned and ran smoothly thanks to organisational skills of our tourguide,Pi. November 2015

4.0

Classic Myanmar Adventure

A great tour in an incredible country with many highlights.

Operator G Adventures

E

Recommends

Would have to understand what they are interested in specifically. November 2015

4.0

Classic Myanmar Adventure

Really a beautiful country with many unforgettable sites. With G Adventures we were able to make good use of our time. In addition to the top sites, we were able to see some other sites that most tourists did not visit. I can easily say that with G Adventures and our CEO our expectations were exceeded. We would consider G Adventures for future trips. Read more

Operator G Adventures

J

Recommends

well organised, good itinerary, good group. The set up is just what I look for. October 2015

4.0

Burma Adventure

A good, well organised experience.

Operator G Adventures

J

Recommends

Our guide Joseph was so helpful and October 2015

5.0

Best of Myanmar

Our guide Joseph was so helpful and managed everything for us so well

Operator Intrepid Travel

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