In recent years, Myanmar – once an oppressive military dictatorship – has opened its doors to western tourism. This once-closed state in Southeast Asia is a gold mine for those who enjoy the ancient Buddhist culture of the region. Compared to its neighbors, the landscape of Myanmar has been left largely unspoiled. There are so many reasons why Myanmar is amazing and has been rated one of the top Asian tourist destinations for 2019. Here are six of them:
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
As far as pagodas are concerned, this is one of the most revered in Myanmar. This massive 325 – foot Buddhist shrine is surrounded by smaller shiny – gold pagodas. It is believed that some of the hairs of Gautama Buddha are enshrined in here. Yes, the Shwedagaon Pagoda is a wondrous sight to behold. It’s a must-see destination that should be on your itinerary.
Long Neck Tribe of the Hill Country
These women – who are identified by their long necks that are stretched by brass neck coils from an early age – have become world-famous. You’ll find this tribe in the mountainous north of the country, especially in Chin state. This custom dates back to ancient times when tribesmen – who were always at war with neighboring tribes – put neck coils on their women to prevent them from being taken as spoils of war. These days, the long-necked women are used to seeing foreigners, who make the trek to this isolated region of Myanmar for the express purpose of seeing them.
People who have visited Inle Lake have stated they felt as though they had traveled back in time. Yes, fishermen still use ancient techniques. Local farmers continue to do things the way they’re ancestors did. There are quaint villages along the shores of this lake, which is surrounded by forested hills that can be mercilessly roasting during the hot season.
It probably comes as no surprise that Myanmar has a growing beach culture due to the influx of tourists and expats who are quickly moving to the emerging tourism and economic powerhouse.
Thandwe is major seaport in Rakhine State, in the far west of Myanmar. Jungle-covered mountains surround the city, which has some of the most stunning beaches in all of southeast Asia. Come here to relax or swim in the Indian Ocean.
Buddhist temples make up much of the cityscape of this ancient Burmese city. Everywhere you go are reminders of the country’s deeply religious heritage, which also includes temples that are monuments to Pagan Kings. See archeological sites and explore the other ancient buildings in the area. Overall, Bagan is one of the most interested and visited places in Myanmar.
This dusty, hot hub of trading and commerce for Myanmar is both fascinating and exciting. You’ll never find a shortage of things to do here. Temples. Medieval – era castles. Buildings from the country’s colonial British past. There are over 600 monasteries and nunneries in the Holy Hills of Sagaing, which overlook Mandalay. The city also has a pulsating nightlife which will be an attraction for many.
Inspired to plan your trip to Myanmar? Explore other destinations in the region: