It’s difficult to say how the best Myanmar tours are. Each traveler has their own criteria for a wonderful traveling experience in the Golden Temple Country. Someone likes the majestic temples and pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan while another is enchanted by pristine white beaches along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It’s totally up to you! In general, 10 following destinations are popularly chosen to visit in the best Myanmar tours.
10. Shwemawdaw Paya Pagoda (New)
Shwemawdaw Paya Pagoda is often referred to as the Great Golden God Temple, as it is moved in glittering gold which can be seen from afar. The diamond-studded top also contributes to its magnificence. Shwemawdaw Paya is the tallest pagoda in Myanmar, which is almost 114 meters high. It’s particularly meaningful to Buddhist followers because it contains some relics of the Buddha.
9. Ayeyarwady River Cruise (Bagan – Mandalay)
A River Cruise on Ayeyarwady, also known as the Irrawaddy, may be one of the most memorable experiences in your Myanmar travel. The Burma’ longest river originates the Himalayas, carving Myanmar in half on its way to the Andaman Sea. The cruise runs between Mandalay and Bagan, two of most important cities in Myanmar where there are plenty of temples, pagodas, and statues of Buddha. On the river journey, you can see tranquil villages by the river and beakless dolphins, as well as go through jungles and deep gorges.
8. Shwenandaw Monastery (Mandalay)
Shwenandaw is a historic Buddhist monastery in Mandalay city, known as the Golden Palac. The monastery used to be part of the Mandalay Palace complex, the royal apartment of a king. However, his son moved it outside the palace after his death because he believed that it was obsessed by his father’s spirit, and then it became a monastery. The Shwenandaw Monastery has its unique exterior, covered with ornate teak carvings representing Buddhist myths. In addition, throughout the structure are other ornate carvings made from different materials.
7. Ngapali (Rakhine State)
Know as one of two most beautiful beaches in Burma, Ngapali Beach is always included in the best Myanmar tours, especially for relaxation. The town of Ngapali is the premier resort of Myanmar, with white sand beaches lining the Bay of Bengal and upmarket hotels. It’s said that the town is named after Napoli (Naples) in Italy. The high season here is from November to March (of the following year). In the rest of the year, it’s a sleepy beach town due to rough weather.
6. Mrauk U (Rakhine State)
As the second important archeological site in Myanmar, just after Bagan, Mrauk U should not be your neglect in your Myanmar tours. At first, archaeologists thought that Mrauk U was a fortress because of its thick walls. However, the fact that the walls were made to protect temples from the strong winds, not invaders. The town was once an important Arakan capital and trading city in medieval times. Here you can find a lot of majestic ancient stone temples.
5. Inle Lake (Shan State)
Famous for stunning natural landscapes the unique culture of ethnic minorities, Inle Lake is one of the top tourist attractions that you should not miss in your Myanmar tours. A typical day-trip on the lake by a long and narrow boat with a noisy outboard motor will take you to the northern reaches of Inle Lake. Included the trip are visits to small souvenir shops in stilt villages, ancient pagodas and monasteries and probably a floating market. You are also likely to see fishermen propelling their boats with a unique leg-rowing technique.
4. Taung Kalat (Bagan)
To reach the monastery, you must climb the 777 steps, as it was built an extinct volcano plug. The special location make the Buddhist monastery of Taung Kalat is one of the most breathtaking sites in Burma. On your ascent, you can see a lot of Macaque monkeys expecting treats. Standing on the top of Taung Kalat, visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic view of the ancient Bagan. Making a visit to Taung Kalat, you may understand why it’s always in the itinerary of the best Myanmar tours.
3. Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon)
The Shwedagon Pagoda is considered the most sacred site for Buddhists in Myanmar, as it contains a strand of hair and other relics of the Buddha. The Pagoda is believed over 2,500 years old, covered in gold leaves, and its stupa has 4,531 diamonds. As you visit the pagoda in your Burma trip, you are expected to follow a dress code (T-shirts with elbow-length sleeves, trousers) and enter the temple barefooted.
2. Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo)
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda also named the Golden Rock, is one of the strangest wonders in the world, since it is situated on a top of a huge boulder that appears as if it’s about to fall off the edge of a cliff. Both the pagoda and the rock are covered in gold leaves. The local people believe that the rock, which is 1,100 meters above sea level, is held in place thanks to a miracle of Buddha, as in the rock is a strand of his hair. It takes 5 hours driving from Yangon and a long walk to reach the pagoda. For travelers who are particularly interested in Buddhism, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is an unavoidable stop in their Myanmar tours.
Bagan is the most popular destination in the best Myanmar tours. Indeed, Bagan is the home of 13,000 Buddhist temples pagodas and stupas, more than any other place in the world. Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire between the 9th and the 13th centuries, described as the “gilded city” by Marco Polo. Thousands of religious sites remain, including the magnificent Ananda temple famous for its sparkling gold spires.
Nicknamed the “beautiful sleeping girl”, Myanmar contains other thousand of secrets besides the most popular destinations mentioned above. Discover them in your Burma trip!