Myanmar is renowned the world over mainly on the spiritual side for its numerous rich temples, pagodas and other religious historic sites. Besides Spiritual attractions this South East Asian country is also home to some natural wonders such as lakes, waterfalls and hill stations.
Myanmar was formerly known by the name Burma and has diverse people from diverse ethnic backgrounds including Tibetans and Indians. The predominant religion in Myanmar is Buddhism and the official language is Burmese and the government calls it Myanmar.
Getting to Myanmar is very easy and foreign visitors entering this country need to secure a visa before landing here. I recommend securing an e-visa as it is the quickest and most hassle free process for getting a visa without visiting the Embassy, all you have to do is get online the official Myanmar site and lodge an application online. You will be getting your e-visa in just 3 days time and you’ll have to print it out for using it as a proof of permit. Alternatively you could visit the embassy in person and apply for one.
For your expenses I suggest allocating USD 150 per day for your daily expenses in Myanmar and use the cheaper hostels and B&B style accomodation for your night stay instead of luxury hotels, this way you’ll be saving a lot of money during your holiday.
If you are flying out from a different country or continent you’ll most likely be landing at Yangon International Airport, a thing to note is Myanmar has two other international airports: Mandalay International Airport and Nay Pwi Tau International Airport. Your landing airport mainly depends on your place of origin.
Getting around Myanmar
For your sightseeing activities you must be interested in these cities in Myanmar:
- Bago- This Myanmar city is home to a lot of temples and pagodas
- Hpa-an- This city is famous for caves and mountains
- Kawthaung- Head here for exploring some natural wonders of Myanmar
- Mandalay- Mandalay is home to Myanmar’s commercial market and the Royal Myanmar Palace
- Yangon-Head here to explore Pagodas and colonial architecture
You can get around these cities by car, bus, rail, motorcycle, bicycle, ferry and plane. Getting around the places by plane is what I recommend because the roads in Myanmar aren’t anywhere close to the European standards and often they are bumpy so flying out would be a wise decision to explore the cities. That said, motorcycles and bikes are also not a bad means for exploring the country side of Myanmar’s roads, it is easy and not so expensive to rent one of these. Yangon is the only Myanmar city that bans the usage of bikes and motorcycles so you won’t be able to use either bikes or motorcycles in this city. The other alternative is using the inexpensive ferry wherever there’s connectivity. Using a combination of plane, motorbike, bicycle and ferry for getting around will workout best for you in a country like Myanmar.
Another word of caution for travelers, besides bad bumpy roads some roadways in Myanmar have restricted access to commuters due to various reasons such as unrest in the region due to terrorists and so on. So be watchful and plan your trip carefully if you are planning to travel by car.
When you are in Myanmar taking a tour of the temples is a must-do thing for you. For this you must travel to Bago where you can sight numerous Buddhist temples and other religious sites. The main attractions here are: Shwethalyaung Buddha, Shwemawdau Pagoda, Kyaikpun Buddha, Kanbawzathadi Palace, Kalyani Ordination Hall and Mahazedi Pagoda.
Hpa-an is only 250 km away from Yangon, the ancient capital of Myanmar, a popular Myanmar tourist spot for exploring caves and mountain scenery. Of particular significance is the monastery- Kyauk Kalap which is located on top of a rocky formation that will leave you enchanted, from the monastery you can go hiking to climb Mount Zwegabin for taking pictures of the the surrounding sceneries from atop of this mountain.
Kawthaung is the beach town located in the Southern tip of this country. A must do activity for you when you are in Kawthaung is visiting the casino in the nearby Andaman Club Resort Hotel where you can do some gambling on your money. Besides gambling you must visit these iconic local attractions: Mey Paw Kyan- a tree covered rocky outcrop with a pagoda on top overlooking the Kawthaung waterfront and the Maliwan Waterfall.
Yangon is the city mainly popular for watching the beautiful sunset s at Shwedagon Pagoda , a lot of tourists flock to this spot just for this. Apart from sunsets the other attractions for you are: Inya lake, mysterious Kyay Thone Pagoda and China Town for shopping and eating some regional food.