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Exploring Tourism in Myanmar
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Myanmar Popular Places to Visit

Gokteik Viaduct

If the history of Myanmar is something that intrigues you, then you definitely want to visit Gokteik Viaduct. The best way to reach this bridge ride is by taking the train ride across the longest railway bridge in Myanmar. The entire bridge was completed building around in 1901 which further adds to the overall excitement and the history of the place around. The entire bridge is around 2300 feet in length and is situated around 30 miles away from Pyin Oo Lwin. 

You will encounter this bridge on the way to Mandalay and the overall experience riding through is something you would be a complete fool to miss out on. The stunning gorge and the mystique beauty of the greenery around while traveling on the train is something you would be a fool to miss out on.

Shan State, Myanmar

Shan State

While you might often come across destinations to visit in and around the Shan State, you won’t necessarily come across someone suggesting you explore the Shan State itself. Once you are done exploring around the popular sites of attraction in and around Shan, make sure to keep a day or two to simply and casually stroll around the Shan State and get engrossed in its beauty altogether. 

The place is known around for its picturesque landscape, immaculate sceneries and the best part about this place is the wide range of delectable cuisine you get to try around in here. The tiny villages around in the Shan State add to its beauty and authenticity even further. One of the most popular sites to visit while there is the Keng Tawng Falls that often go unnoticed by the majority of the tourists because of the fact that it is often a lot less unexplored.

Shan State, Myanmar

Mrauk U

Yet another one of the picturesque and popular sites of attraction around in Myanmar is the off the beaten track destination of Mrauk U. It is often considered as one of the best alternatives to visiting Bagan because of the kind of similarities both of these places inflict on the geography of Myanmar. It is located between the majestic hills of the Rakhine State, in the far western reaches of the country. 

The place is rich of a wide range of stupas and temples which is what makes up for the primary source of attraction in that specific tourist site. You must also visit the age-old Arakanese religious building which is situated there. It grew to become a popular site of being a powerful merchant center during the late Middle Ages, trading between India, Portugal and several other places.

Bagan, Myanmar

Naypyidaw

Naypyidaw or Naypyitaw is a unique city in the region. It is a fully constructed large city but with very few inhabitants compared to its size, so you can experience the amazing and unprecedented. Naypyitaw is the modern capital of Myanmar (Burma), north of former capital, Yangon. Owing to the mesmerizing beauty of the place around. It is not a destination like every other one that you will come across. The place was announced as the capital of Myanmar back then by the Burmese military leader Than Shwe back in 2005. The decision was made rightfully so because of the littered presence of a wide range of government buildings and nationalist monuments that are found around the place. While there, make sure that you visit the parliament complexes along with the infamous Uppatasanti Pagoda to add to the already vivid experience you will have there.

The huge and impressive parliament building with a 20-lane highway (usually empty) leading up to it. You can only watch it from a little distance since you cannot cross the bridge leading to it.

National Herbal Park has exhibits of plants having medicinal applications from all of the major regions of Burma. There are thousands of plants at the park, representing hundreds of different species. There is no entry fee.

The Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens opened in 2008 with some 420 animals and a climate-controlled penguin house. It is the largest zoo in Burma. It is said that most of the animals were relocated from Yangon zoo, at the same time as the government officials were making the same journey. 

Uppatasanti Pagoda also called the "Peace Pagoda" is a prominent landmark in Naypyidaw. The pagoda, which houses a Buddha tooth relic from China, is a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and stands 100 metres high. It also has Maha Hsutaungpyae Buddha Image in Maha Pasadabhumi Gandhakuti Chamber, Four jade Buddha images in the pagoda's hollow cave, 33 metre high flagpole, Bo tree Garden with Maha Bo Tree and the images of the 28 Buddhas, Marlini Mangala Lake with the chamber of Shin Uppagutta and Pagoda museum.

Naypyi Taw, Myanmar

Mergui

The Mergui Archipelago is known around the globe with its pool of the destinations it showcases. Some of its scattered parts around in the Andaman Islands are often regarded as the Myeik Archipelago and the Pashu Islands. Each one of these places has a unique character of its own which is what sets it apart from the others. 

The beautiful sand that glistens under the direct rays of the sun further adds to the beauty of the place. Not just a relaxing day in there but even a good chunk of the activities around in here include that of the amazing sailing expeditions. More and more people are relegating to the yachts to have an even better time on this piece of land.

Myanmar

Hpa-an

Hpa-An is a very popular traveler town around in Myanmar which is not necessarily a lot visited around by the tourist but does make up for providing you with an amazing experience altogether. The rugged and rustic vibes from this specific town are what makes it unique and loved by the majority of the tourists who visit it. It is nestled across the tranquil and reflective waters of the Thanlwin River. 

One of the most important and popular spots to visit around in Hpa-An is the Zaydan Road which is littered around with coffee joints and amazing spots to just sit down and have a relaxing day. The lakeside of Kan Thar Yar is yet another of the amazing spots to be around in and make sure to enjoy the reflective transparency of the water when you walk along it. The other important site to visit around is the Mount Zwegabin and the monastery that is located there.

Hpa-an, Myanmar

Hsipaw

As hard to spell as the name is, Hsipaw is an enthralling location which is loved and adorned by the tourists the entire year around. This is every adventurer and trekker’s dream destination in Myanmar owing to the amazing range of trekking trails they sport. It was the royal capital of the kingdom of Shan back in the days which then slowly became a trekking spot for the tourists over the course of years. It is even fighting off to take the place of Kalaw as one of the most loved trekking spots around in Myanmar. The mystique views of the sun-scorched forest along with the rich cultural traditions can often keep you locked with its beauty longer than you could have possibly imagined. Check out the town’s Central Market around for an amazing experience and to get along some gifts.

Hsipaw, Myanmar

Mahamuni Buddha Temple

The Mahamuni Pagoda or Mahamuni Buddha temple is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Burma, an important pilgrimage site that houses one of the most revered Buddha images, a 13-foot tall sculpture. It’s covered in gold leaves so much so that parts of the sculpture appear distorted. The temple complex is also home to the Mahamuni Museum that educates visitors on Buddha’s life. There are also shops selling offerings in case you come without.

The Mahamuni museum on the temple grounds tells about the history of Buddhism. The museum displays information about the various places in the life of the Buddha, from His birth place in Nepal, the site where He reached enlightenment and the site of His passing into final Nirvana. There are also maps that explain about the spread of Buddhism across Asia during the last 25 centuries.

The Mahamuni, which means the Great Image is seated on a very ornate 1.80 meters high pedestal. The image in the Bhumisparsha Mudra posture is 3.80 meters high and weighs about 6½ tons.

Every morning at around 4 am the Buddha image ritual is performed. Witnessed by a great number of Buddhist devotees, the men up front, the women behind a rope, a very senior monk of the Mahamuni temple assisted by a number of helpers washes the face of the images and brushes the teeth. The ritual is performed in great detail and takes considerable time.

The Mahamuni Pagoda is located between 82nd street and 84th street. Best way to get there is by private taxi or rickshaw. The temple grounds are open daily from 6 am until 8 pm. Entrance fee is US$ 4 (price may change) per person.

Mandalay, Myanmar

Kakku Pagodas

A visit to Kakku Pagodas, believed to date back over 2,000 years, makes you feel like you’ve stepped into another world, one that’s filled with stupas and little else. Almost 2,500 of them dot the hills near Inle Lake. Some of them have fallen into ruin but many are well-preserved. You can also see a few restored stupas.

The Kakku Pagoda festival is held during Tabaung, the 12th month of the traditional Burmese calendar (March), which marks the end of the cool season. During the 9 day festival the Pa-Oh people dance in traditional costumes and bring food offerings and pay homage to the pagodas.

The Kakku complex is located in the hills South East of Inle Lake. The 60 kilometer drive from Taunggyi takes 1½ to 2 hours; from the West end of the lake it takes another hour extra. Alternatively, a very scenic but challenging trek through the hills takes 5 to 7 hours, depending on the starting point. Admission to the site is US$ 3 (price may change) per person. To visit the site, visitors must hire a Pa-Oh guide in the town of Taunggyi, who charges a fee of US$ 5 (price may change).

Inle, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda

No Myanmar sightseeing is complete without a visit to the fabulous gilded Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s considered to be one of the most sacred pagodas in Myanmar. Over 2,000 years old, with hundreds of gold plates and more than 4,500 diamonds encrusting the top of the stupa, it’s an architectural wonder that will take your breath away. If there’s only one pagoda you can visit during your travel and tour in Myanmar, this is it!

The very impressive pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is Burma’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage site. The main stupa enshrines sacred relics of the Gautama Buddha as well as the three previous Buddhas.

There are four entrances to the complex, all of which except the Eastern one have either an escalator or an elevator. All are guarded by enormous Chinthes, Burmese mythological lions with a white body and golden colored head. The upper part of the walls at the entrances to the complex are decorated with beautiful Burmese style depictions of the Jataka tales, the stories about the previous lives of the Buddha.

Since the Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred place for Buddhists in Burma, large numbers of devotees come to the Shwedagon every day. They walk around the stupa and make offerings to the Buddha. 

Dhammazedi, King of the Pegu Kingdom during the end of the 15th century had an enormous bell cast in the year 1484. The bell, that is believed the largest bell ever cast weighing almost 300 tons was installed in the Shwedagon Pagoda.

The Shwedagon Pagoda is located in downtown Yangon on Shwedagon Pagoda Road on Singuttara Hill, Dagon township, just West of Kandawgyi Lake. A taxi from the downtown are to the pagoda. The temple is open daily from 6 am until 10 pm. Admission is US$ 5 (price may change) per person. A guide for a couple of hours will cost about US$ 5 - 10 (price may change). Please dress respectfully meaning no revealing clothes, no shorts. Longyis (long cloth worn by Burmese men) are available at the ticket booth. Before entering the temple grounds, please remove shoes and socks. Leave them at the entrance or carry them with you in a plastic bag. The grounds can get very busy, especially during weekends and Buddhist holidays.

Yangon, Myanmar