Couldn't make a decision where exactly to spend your vacation in Myanmar? Myanmar is one of the most interesting and wonderful destinations with breathtaking beauty and stunning charm that is steeped in amazing history, traditions and cultures. There are so many places for the visitors’ choices, hence, researching and preparing the list of the most interesting destinations for you is an essential suggestion to make your plan of travel easier.
The most important and remarkable archeological site in the arid plain of middle Myanmar is where the city of Bagan lies representing spiritual heritage of ancient Burma. Over 2.000 temples and pagodas covering an area of around 40 square km offer the visitors a unique and memorable experience. Impressive landscape of ruins and restored monuments surrounded by maize fields, toddy palms, and the small mountain ranges in east and west, gives an incomparable scenic view - especially at sunset.
Once the capital city has recently been relocated as the commercial capital of Myanmar and is the international gateway to the country. The city is still charming with green atmosphere compared to other Asian cities. The center of Yangon still retains many colonial buildings from British period. The Shwedagon Pagoda is a must of every visit to Myanmar. Visitors can find many handicrafts and souvenirs at the famous Scott Market also called Bogyoke Market in the center of the city. In conclusion, Yangon is a beautiful city of gardens and tropical lakes, colorful local markets, and integrated life of ancient traditions and spiritual heritage.
The last capital of Burmese kingdom founded by King Mindon of Koneboung dynasty, Manday is the second largest city of Myanmar today and situated in the central region of the country. It is considered to be the cultural heartland of the country for its long lasting historical context, being home to the most important pagodas and finest handicraft workshops such as silk and cotton weaving, bronze forges, marble and wood carving etc. Notable sites here are the Maha Muni Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagodas, the Royal Palace and the scenic view of Mandalay city and surrounding from the 230m high Mandalay Hill. Visitors can also enjoy Burmese life in every corner on the streets here in Mandalay.
4. Inle Lake
The 22km long and 11km wide Inle Lake comfortably lies ringed by the Shan mountain ranges with outstanding beauty of its natural inhabitants and unique living style of Inthar. Stilted houses built over the lake, floating gardens of flowers and vegetables, fishing by big net made of bamboo and leg-rowing techniques of Inthar are the main factors which make this area well known among the visitors. Shan State community markets held on a traditional rotating basis according to the Buddhist Sabathdays are interesting sighting spots. These markets provide opportunities to see members of national races, such as the Danu, Pa O and Palaung, coming to trade.
5. Ngapali Beach
Ngapali is a 3km long white sandy beach located in Rakhine State and it takes about 20 minutes drive from Thandwe Airport. The best season to travel this beautiful beach is from November to April. There are scheduled daily flights to Thandwe in the high season. Cycling or walking along the beach, visiting to nearby small fishing villages and taking a boat to the offshore islands are the enjoyable activities during your stay.
6. Ngwe Saung Beach
Situated in Ayerwaddy division, Ngwe Saung Beach is accessible by road about 5-hour drive from Yangon. You can stop by at the busy trading town of Pathein. It is a newly opened sandy beach fringed with beautiful palm trees.
Kalaw is the former British hill station on the western edge of Shan plateau. It is a small, picturesque town surrounded by pine forests in tranquil atmosphere and reminiscent of colonial time. Kalaw is also a good starting point for trekking and hiking possibilities to the neighboring hill tribe villages observing their daily life and the tea harvesting. The roads leading to Kalaw and Pindaya offer breathtaking sights of the landscape.
Hsipaw is a nice hilly town which has retained Haw or Shan Palace where Sawbwas lived, and good base for treks in northern Shan state. The scenic journey by train over Gokteik Viaduct is the particular wonder. The Central Market at Hsipaw is one of the best markets with national tribes involving in trade of different household utensils, foods and clothing. The market usually takes place early in the morning around 3:00 am and last about three hours. Some special things to see in the surrounding villages are waterfalls, farmlands, fresh water pools, natural hot-springs and also friendly local people in their laid-back style.
9. Hpa An
The capital of Kayin State located on the bank of the tranquil Thanlwin River, Hpa An, is a bustling commercial center in this border region although it is indeed a small town. It was recently opened up for the tourists and famous for the caves in which interior walls are decorated with thousands of Buddha images sculpted of all sizes and materials.
It is the capital of Mon State formerly known as Moulmein, it was once a thriving teak port and the administrative capital of British Lower Burma. The town’s significant places in this area include the Mahamuni & Uzina Pagodas, Kipling's Kyaikthanlan Pagoda and the Mon Cultural museum. It is considered to be off the main tourist trail for most travellers to Myanmar though the town does have a charm of its own with its rich history, buildings with colonial style architecture, World War II era wooden buses, and its proximity to the infamous Siam-Burma "death railway", making it a fascinating place to visit!
11. Kyaik Htee Yoe
A four hour drive to the east of Yangon is a visit to Golden Rock, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites of Myanmar, located about 160km from Yangon. Rising 1100 meter above sea level, this small golden stupa stands on the top of a huge gold-gilded boulder. The Pagoda is balanced precariously on top of the mountain. It is said that the rock maintains its balance due to a precisely placed Buddha hair in the 7.3 meter high stupa. In auspicious weather condition, enjoying sunset and sunrise view from Mt. Kyaikhtiyo is the most stunning.
12. Pyin Oo Lwin
This charming town located 80Km north east of Myandalay, is the former British hill station of Maymyo also named Pyin Oo Lwin. The town is famous for its cool weather, eclectic architecture of colonial buildings, natural parks, waterfalls and caves. Exploring the town on antiquated horse-cart is the most pleasant in its cool and clean atmosphere. Major tourist interests are Peik Chin Myaung cave, which houses many Buddha images and National Kandawgyi Botanical Garden founded in 1915.
Mergui Archipelago comprises over 800 beautiful islands and located in southernmost part of Myanmar. Its surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora & fauna and very beautiful underwater scenes and marine life. Dense brush and rainforest cover most areas above the high-tide line, while vast stretches of mangroves and magnificent white-sand beaches are interspersed with rocky headlands, tidal creeks and a few freshwater rivers. Though several of the larger islands are home to small communities of Moken 'sea gypsies,' the vast majority are uninhabited and largely untouched by humans. The diving here has tremendous potential. We offer adventure trips in Mergui Archipelago, combining sailing, snorkeling, diving, beach-combing, island exploration and, in some cases, kayaking. It is too early to say what this area's long-term prospects are, but hopefully, increasing interest in ecotourism will provide enough incentive for the authorities to take action on environmental threats by blast fishing with dynamite and protect the reefs before it is too late.
14. Mrauk U
The important free trade port in 16th Century and once the capital of the powerful Rakhine Kingdom, Mrauk U is now an interesting archeological site with several ancient temples and buildings from its prosperous time. The most highlight point here is the massive Shitthaung Pagoda enshrined with 80000 images of Buddha and over 1000 figures are engraved on its interior walls. The only accessibility to Mrauk U is to take a flight from Yangon to Sittwe and then a five-hour long boat trip on the Kaladan River. The Royal Palace and the archeological Museum are also interesting. Chin villages, home of tattoo-faced women, can also be visited from here. Before travelling to the area, make sure there are no travel restrictions. Information can be obtained from your travel agency or through the Myanmar embassy in your home country.
15. Chin State
To visit an area where people are still in tune with nature and tradition, the women with a face full of tattoos which is a sign of beauty and to experience a way of life which has to be seen to be believed as it is totally different from everyday Myanmar life, the Chin state at the western of Myanmar surrounded by magnificent pine forests will be a great adventure for those who love to explore such remote lands with indigenous hill tribes. The state with its famous Mt. Vitoria in Kanpet-let, Mindat and Matupi is popular for trekking while exploring the nature of remote hill tribes and Naga festival held around mid January is also well known for visitors thought the region is not easily accessible. It is a remote big state with 14 townships and it capital is Hakha. There is a beautiful heart shape lake called "Reh" close to the Indian border.
Located one of the least visited Kayah State, Loikaw can be reached by road or by flight from famous capitals of Myanmar. The best way of travel over land to here is from Inle Lake. This small town is naturally decorated the picturesque lakes, hill scenery and distinctive tribal cultures. The most internationally famous "long-necked" Kayan tribes home on this beautiful land.
You will discover the life style of Kayah people by enjoying activities in the tribal villages such as Hta Nee La Leh, a farming village with tradtional Kayah totem poles and a Kaetoebu village hall, where the village shaman makes predictions and Pan Pet, which offers opportunities for scenic hikes and chances to meet the local villagers - including the long-neck women and there are village stalls wherelocal handicrafts can be purchased, including bracelets and colourful scarves.
International Trade Center (ITC), has been working actively in this region for the development of the local community by creating tourism projects and here is the internationally awarded video clip at the ITB 2016.