Myanmar is quickly becoming Southeast Asia’s backpacker destination. With incredible natural landscapes and and ancient temples, visitors are enchanted with just one visit. Here are 6 places not to be missed on your trip to Myanmar!
1. Shwedagon Pagoda at Yangon City
From the eight-meter high Sihasana Lion Throne where the last King of Burma sat, to the gleaming Sule Pagoda which sits right at the center of the city, to the National Museum, Yangon is the seat of Burmese history and culture, and shouldn’t be missed on your first trip to Myanmar.
With a unique mix of British colonial architecture, modern high-rise buildings, and gilded Buddhist pagodas, Yangon’s city skyline is truly a breathtaking sight. End the day by watching the sunset on the Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s biggest and grandest pagoda, and its most sacred homage to Buddha.
Book a Yangon City Half Day Tour.
2. The Golden Rock on Mount Kyaiktiyo
It’ll take a 45-minute pilgrimage up Mount Kyaiktiyo before reaching Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, or better known as Golden Rock. The famous Buddhist pilgrimage site sits at the very edge of the cliff, appearing to be a slight nudge away from rolling down into the city. Legend has it a single strand of Buddha’s hair is what keeps the Golden Rock in place.
3. Kyauk Kalap in Hpa-An
Hpa-an is a peaceful and incredibly scenic village surrounded by caves and mountains. In the middle of a small artificial lake sits Kyauk Kalap, a small Buddhist monastery compound with one of the most unusual pagodas—it’s mounted on top of a tower of rocks. Or go underground by heading over to Saddan Cave, another geological wonder filled with countless Buddha statues and intricate clay carvings. Just make sure to watch out for the bats!
4. U-bein Bridge at Mandalay
At over a kilometer long, U-Bein bridge is the world’s longest teak footbridge and offers some truly incredible sites. During the summer, you can see the Mandalay rice fields from the top of the tall wooden poles. But all of it turns into a single lake once the rainy season begins, the water lapping just below the planks. Walk the bridge together with the monks and villagers, then take a back.
KKday recommends going on a full day tour Discovering Amarapura & Mandalay.
5. Inle Lake
It’s difficult to say where the water finishes and the marshes begin. Inle Lake is a tranquil body of water which you appreciate either from the floating gardens, the markets on the shore, or the temples close by. Take the time as well to bird watch at the Inle Wetland Bird Sanctuary which is right by the lake, and is a government recognized sanctuary.
Book an Inle Lake Full Day Tour
With over 2 thousand temples and pagodas that are centuries old, Bagan is easily on of Myanmar’s greatest tourist attractions. The temple town spans around 70-square kilometers, with the Ayeyarwady River flowing on its northern and western sides. With wide and winding dirt roads, the best way to explore is to get up close to the temple town is by bicycle!
From the serenity of Inle Lake to the spectacle of Bagan’s temples, Myanmar offers some of the best sights in Southeast Asia. So if you’re looking for a place to go backpacking, this should be it!