Myanmar Travel Guide | Few places still have a certain magic and mystique around them the way Myanmar does. Steeped in history and culture, and having only opened its doors in recent years, it remains relatively unexplored by the rest of the world compared to neighboring Cambodia or Vietnam.
Still unconvinced? Here are four reasons why you should book your flight tickets and plan an adventure to mystical Myanmar.
One of the world’s largest archaeological sites, Bagan in central Myanmar is a sight to behold, and can rival the likes of Machu Picchu in Peru and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The best part? At least for the time being, there’s still a chance you’ll have a temple all to yourself when you visit. The vast plain is still home to two thousand temples that rise among trees, distant mountains in the background. Climb one of these temples for a majestic view of the hazy, temple-dotted horizon that’s almost other-worldly in its magnificence.
Most popular among the temples in Bagan are the That Byin Nyu, Dhamma Yan Gyi and Shwegugyi Temples. If you want to explore a temple with fewer tourists, visit Nagayon Temple, found on the road that connect Old and New Bagan.
Myanmar’s capital of Yangon seems like any other Southeast Asian capital at first glance, but a closer look and a willingness to explore on foot can lead to the most pleasant discoveries.
Walk along the many stalls of Bogyoke Market and you might chance upon Bambi Hot & Cold Drink, a stall that provides a respite from the punishing Burmese heat and humidity. Their drinks are refreshing, cheap, and with a Burmese flavor.
Also within the corridors and alleyways of Bogyoke Market is a flight of stairs where local artwork for sale adorn the walls. The portraits depict the everyday lives of the Burmese in full color.
The Burmese are warm and welcoming toward travelers. Unfortunately, recent reports of ethnic cleansing taking place against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine are rather devastating, but it’s safe to say these horrible actions do not represent the entirety of the Burmese population.
The locals you will come across Bagan and Yangon often have a smile on their faces, are willing to help foreigners or pose for a photo. They are as curious about those from other parts of the world as travelers are of them. Should you visit Myanmar, don’t forget to interact with the locals as much as you can to gain insight of a fascinating people.
Bagan owes its mystique to the golden haze that seems to blanket the expansive plain of temples and pagodas as the sun rises, and a trip to Myanmar won’t be complete without witnessing it with your own eyes. Climb one of the sunrise temples for the best view and revel in an amazing sight as the horizon becomes bathed in that golden, Burmese glow. The early call time is well worth the view.