The perfect destination, unspoiled and unsoiled, a peaceful getaway to cool off your feet, Myanmar, the unexplored haven of Southeast Asia is waiting to be discovered.Overshadowed by fancier tourist places and often overlooked by tourist, Myanmar is a curious unsullied destination who opened its door to the world only from 2012. A country that is lost in time, it the perfect escape for any tourist who loves to explore.
Now, lets take a quick peek into what Myanmar has in store for you.
A MUST-VISIT four major tourist attraction :
Yangon : A city of the past, Yangon is the first city that you will land as you enter Myanmar. It still bears the colonial architecture like the victorian style buildings (from the days when it was first colonized), tree lined avenues, colorful street vendors and more. The city is also well known for the ancient and most revered buddhist shrine- Shwedagon Pagoda, believed to be 2000 years old.
Yangon has air links from the following cities: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Dhaka, Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Chiang Mai, Taipei, Gaya, Nanning, Guangzhou and Gaya.
P.S. Motorbikes are banned in Yangon.
Bagan – The city of over 2000 temples, it doesn’t get any holier than this. Scattered are the temples in the vast land of Bagan, where you can tour in hot air balloons, horse carriage or even motorbikes. This archeological zone covers over 25 square miles. It is said that Bagan had over 10,000 buddhist monasteries during the 11-13th century of which roughly 2200 temples remains.If you plan on visiting this city, either travel at night or stay the night in the hotel. No safety issues, just the sunset is pretty alluring to miss out.
Mandlay – The last royal city of Myanmar, Mandalay is still believed to be the center of Burmese cultures where a lot of trades go down in this city. An early bicycle ride around the five mile concrete walls of the then royal palace is another must-do during your visit there. Mandalay offers you a walk through the world’s largest book that stands outright- Kuthodaw Pagoda with 729 satellite stupas with each having a page inscribed in stone. The best thing about Mandalay is the fact that it connects you to many far flung areas with its traditional train ride. And that means you have the chance to visit the Mingun Pagoda, which is the World’s largest stack of brick.
Inle Lake – As every tourist who have visited Myanmar would say, your trip to Myanmar is never complete without a boat ride at the famous Inle Lake. Inle lake is famous for one legged boat peddlers, its floating vegetable market, and floating gardens like tomatoes fields etc… set against the alluring mountain ranges.
Apart from these four famous destination, Myanmar also has a host of beaches such as Ngapali beach (45 mins flight from Yangon), Ngwe Saung beach (5 hour drive from Yangon) and Silver Beach which is one of the longest beach in Asia.
Few Facts about Myanmar that will help you in your trip:
- There are over 600 ATMs found in airports, markets, hotel lobbies and bank branches. (Judging by how there were no ATMs during the Military regime, it sounds like a hefty progress.).
- Watch out that your money is not greased! A little torn, folded or even a little shabby notes are rejected by the money changers.
- The country sadly still has power cuts which is why it is advisable to carry flash lights in case of emergency.
- You are granted Visas to Myanmar for as long as 30 days. However, you are to produce the round trip ticket as a proof of departure.
- Backpackers will have to settle for hotels or guest houses as there are no backpacker hostel. Accommodation may cost you anything between $10-$15.
- Myanmar now has internet connection, even access to Youtube and Gmail as well. (The Myanmar Post & Telecommunications claims to have internet speed of 10 Gbps (however, it takes almost 3-5 minutes to load a simple facebook inbox).
- You can take the help of Routofy and plan out your travel route to Myanmar. Routofy will give you the exact schedules, duration and price of any direct/indirect connections of the day in just one click.