Best Places to Visit in Myanmar

Myanmar is an intriguing country over in Asia and it is filled with so many incredible sights.  As you wander around the different areas of Myanmar, you will quickly see how numerous traditions have been carried down through the generations.  Add in the simple pleasures in life, which the locals prefer, and you will quickly realize why you should have visited this part of the world so much sooner.

The Burmese language is the official language of Myanmar and it is spoken by more than forty million people.  There are approximately one hundred languages in this country and many of them are very similar to Burmese.  Thankfully, during your visit, you will find that many of the locals do speak a little English as well.  However, it is still best if you know some Burmese prior to your arrival.

Myanmar Travelers Guide

Mandalay

Mandalay often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, which is too bad, because it is full of history.  You should begin near Mandalay Hill, because that is where you can venture to the top to see the fascinating sights of the entire city.  As you are gazing at everything in the city below, you can orient yourself to the rest of the major attractions in Mandalay.  A couple of the best attractions include the U Bein Bridge and the Mahamuni Pagoda, and they will be very easy to find amongst all the rest.  If you have time, you must walk over to the Jade Market.  While you can do a little shopping there, you may be too intrigued by how the jade is crafted to do anything else.

Golden Pagoda on Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar
Sagaing hill, Mandalay, Myanmar
Mya Thein Tan Pagoda

Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin used to be called Maymyo many years ago, and while the name has changed, the history has not.  One of the first things you must do after arriving in this city is visit the Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens.  There are at least three hundred different types of orchids there and you will love wandering around seeing them all.  The highest bridge in Myanmar, at the Goteik Viaduct, can be found not too far from Pyin Oo Lwin.  It is quite the experience to take a train ride over the bridge and you may find yourself closing your eyes more than once during the journey.  If you plan on doing any shopping while in this city, you must go to the Wet Market before the sun rises.  The reason for this is the vendors light candles in their stalls and it turns the entire market into a beautiful glowing space.

pyin-oo-lwin
Pwe Gauk Waterfall Pyin Oo Lwin
Food Market at Pyin Oo Lwin

Nyaungshwe

Nyaungshwe offers picture perfect views, but your favorites will be of Inle Lake.  While you can spend hours looking out towards the water, it is recommended that you board a boat for a tour of not only the lake, but the nearby silk farms and floating markets.  Afterwards, you can ride a bike along the streets before heading out to the local vineyard.  It is there that you can do a little wine tasting, as the sun is setting in the sky.

Nyaung Shwe, Inle lake
Hotel at the inle lake

Bagan

There are more than two thousand temples and pagodas within Bagan, so most of your time will be spent exploring at least a few of them.  If you are not sure where to begin, you can always sign up for one of the numerous tours that are available.  Once you have explored Bagan from the ground, it will be time to see it from a new perspective.  A hot air balloon ride is the perfect option, because it will have you high above the city looking at gorgeous panoramic views.  The afternoons are quite hot in Bagan, so you may want to consider staying inside during that time and getting a massage or enjoying a bite to eat.

bagan-market
Bagan, Ananda temple

Yangon

You will see many business people in Yangon, which shouldn’t be surprising since the airport is located within the city.  While it can get quite crowded in Yangon, you can still find the peace that you crave as you are walking near some of the not-so-well-known attractions or doing a little shopping for books.  A visit to the Bogyoke Aung San Market will have you spending ample time with some locals, which will allow you to ask questions and find out exactly what you should do during your visit.  Before you leave Yangon, you must stop at the Shwedagon Pagoda.  The pagodas, temples, and statues are all shiny gold, creating an energetic look and feel that you won’t be able to resist.

Yangon Skyline
Swal Taw Pagoda. Yangon, Myanmar
Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha

These are the best cities to visit in Myanmar and as you are exploring each one, you will quickly realize how they all offer something different than all the others.  It is for that reason that you must visit them all when you are visiting the country, because missing at least one will have you losing out on something wonderful.