Myanmar has become one of the hottest travel destinations in Asia for recent years. There’re many reasons for that such as the development of tourism infrastructure and the more open policy for international travelers. Particularly, the integration of tourist eVisa since 2014 has facilitated the procedure for entering Burma. To provide you with a comprehensive overview of what should not be missed when you tour Burma, here are the 10 most famous Myanmar tourist attractions.
10. Pindaya Caves
Pindaya Caves, which is situated on the outskirt of Pindaya town in Shan State, Eastern Myanmar, are a Buddhist sacred pilgrimage site. There are hundreds of Buddhist statues and statuettes sheltering inside the deep and dark cave; the oldest dates back to 1773. Rumor has it that if you follow them until the other end of Pindaya Caves, you will be led to the Burmese former capital of Bagan which hundreds of kilometers away to the west.
9. Kakku Pagodas
Imagine being teleported to the middle of the Kakku pagodas, you will surely be amazed by the mazes of surrounding stupas. There seems to be a countless number of well-preserved stupas, most of which are almost 500 years old, in such a very small area. In Kakku, you will feel like as if you were thrown back into the past.
8. Shwenandaw Monastery
This is one of the most characteristic Myanmar tourist attractions in terms of Burmese traditional architecture. The Shwenandaw Monastery was originally the royal apartment of King Mindon Min who died in 1878. Two years after his death, the fine teak structure was dismantled by his own son, King Thibaw Min as he believed that his father’s ghost still lived there. However, it was reconstructed 5 years later to become a monastery. Shwenandaw Monastery is an ideal place for travelers who are interested in Burmese royal history.
7. Mount Popa
Mount Popa belongs to the top of hard-to-conquer tourist attractions in Burma. Indeed, it takes you 777 steps with your bare foot to reach the peak of a 1.500-meter-tall mountain, where there is a stunning gold stupa. The stupa is so standout that it can be seen even if you are on a Irrawaddy river cruise, which is 60 km away. Standing on the peak, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular view of the surroundings, which can be a highlight of your Myanmar travel.
6. Kuthodaw Pagoda
Built at the foot of the Mandalay Hill by King Mindon Min, the pagoda is well known for housing the biggest book in the world, which is a collection of 729 stone-inscription stupas. There is also an enormous gilded stupa, which is 57 meters in height, modeled after Shwezigon Pagoda near Bagan.
5. Mrauk U
The city is the second most important archeological sites in Burma. In spite of being nicknamed “Little Bagan”, Mrauk U is unique in its own way. First, the walls of structures in Mrauk U were made of thick stone to cope with the fierce winds while the stupas in Bagan were built by brick. Second, the relics in Mrauk U are located in the middle of an inhabited site. Mrauk U is less-visited than its sister Bagan, but it’s still one of the most famous Myanmar tourist attractions, which is particularly suitable for one who wishes to get off the beaten path in Myanmar.
4. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, as known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, is always included in the list of top tourist attractions in Myanmar, and regarded as one of the most bizarre world’s religious structures. This “gravity defying” gilded rock is also one of the most sacred sites of pilgrimage in the Golden Temple Country. If you are a Buddhist follower, a visit to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda will be certainly a great privilege. And just like Mount Popa, the view up here is extremely breathtaking.
3. Inle Lake
It’s only Inle Lake which is not a religious site in the top 10 Myanmar tourist attractions. Inle Lake is a great place to find tranquility and relaxation when you tour Burma. Besides the stunning natural landscapes, there are lots of interesting activities here, such as taking a boat ride, kayaking whilst gazing at the one-leg rowing fishermen, visiting a local market at dawn, joining a cooking class at a local house or exploring the villages of ethnic minorities living around the lake.
2. Shwedagon Pagoda
No trip to Myanmar is complete without a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the grandest pagoda in the country. The fabulous 100-meter tall gilded stupa is so massive that it’s visible from almost every corner of Yangon, even at night. The best time to visit Shwedagon is at dawn or sunset to avoid tour groups and enjoy the surrounding view at its best during your Burma tours.
1. Plain of the Old Bagan
It’s easy to understand why this incredible archeological site sits at the top of 10 tourist attractions in Burma. There used to be over 10,000 temples, pagodas, and monasteries dotting a plain area, which was just a little bit larger than Manhattan along the Irrawaddy River when Bagan was the capital of Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th century. After hundreds of year, more than 2,200 remain today. You can choose among a variety of ways to get around and discover Bagan, from walking, biking, motorbikes, tuk-tuks to a bumpy ride of traditional horse cart on the dusty and bumpy paths. For a luxury tour, a hot air balloon ride over Bagan may be a wonderful choice.
Myanmar has an immensely powerful attraction for travelers from all walks of life in the world. If you tour the Golden Temple Country, do not miss these Myanmar tourist attractions.