Yangon, former capital of Myanmar, is a vibrant cosmopolitan city of Myanmar full with shimmering golden pagodas & temples, modern business building & bustling markets, serene gardens &lakes, variety of restaurants & food stalls. It is also the home for numbers of timeless architectural designed colonial buildings. The magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the city skyline, while at street level Yangon is a paradise for hunting out a variety of exotic arts and crafts. Sule Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, Kandawgyi national park, Karaweik are must for every visitor and so is the Bogyoke Aung San market (also called Scott’s Market) where you can browse all arts & crafts, precious gems, jewelry and souvenirs in one place. Yangon is the major gateway for ins and outs of international and domestic passages.
Mandalay, the last Royal Capital, is the largest city in upper Myanmar and situated between the Irrawaddy River and the Shan plateau. It is the religious and cultural centre of Myanmar, home to many famous pagodas and monasteries, as well as the best place to the production of traditional handicrafts, such as silk longyis, wooden marionettes and embroidered tapestries. It is surrounded with abundantly rich in historical memorials sites of ancient cities; Innwa (Ava), Mingun, Amarapura and Sagaing. Major attractions include Mandalay Royal Palace, Golden Monastery, Mandalay Hill, over 200 years old U Bein wooden bridge, ruins of Ava, Mingun Temple and Bell. Mandalay is also the gateway for both international and domestic travel.
Bagan, remarkable heritage site and the wonder of Myanmar, features about 3,000 ancient temples and stupas, dating from the 11th century, still adorn the vast arid plain on the east bank of the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. Views across the red brick Pagodas are stunning, unique and memorable. As a former centre of Buddhist spirituality and learning, there were 10,000 temples at Bagan, largely constructed of brick between the 11th and 13th centuries. Enjoying sunrise and sunset over such thousands of centuries old pagodas will be the most astonishing experience you will ever get in Asia.
Inle Lake, one of the most picturesque spots in South-East Asia, is surrounded by hazy Blue Mountains of Shan plateau. This lovely lake is home to the Innthar people, who construct villages on silts over the surface of the lake and farm floating islands created from mud and reed. The Innthar are also famous for their unique leg rowing. Some highlights of Inle are Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda (home to five Buddha images, said to have brought back to Myanmar from Southern Thailand over 700 years ago), Inn Paw Khon Village (Home of hand-woven textiles), Ywama Village (where various kinds of fruit and vegetables are sold by small boats at floating market day), Intein Pagoda home to the ruin pagodas of 500 years old built in Ancient Shan King era.
Kalaw, 50 km away from Inle Lake, is located at an elevation of 1320 meters. It is a former colonial hill station with the atmosphere of cool weather and famous for trekking through the mountains and the villages of Palaung and Danu tribes. Trekking through the serene nature and pure lifestyle of tribes will give you the memorable experience you will ever get in South East Asia. Train ride from Kalaw to Shwe Nyaung(Inle Lake) is recognized for its picturesque landscape along the ride.
Taunggyi is a well-known tourist destination in Myanmar and also the capital city of the Shan state. Tourists are fascinated Taunggyi as there is the fire balloon festival which is celebrated every year in the month of November. The balloons can be different animal shapes such as ducks, fishes, elephants, birds and dragons which carry a large number candles and fireworks are flying over the sky of Taunggyi. It is worth watching festival as you will not have experience in other places.
Kyaing Tong, a capital of the Golden Triangle, lies in the valley between Mekong and Thanlwin Rivers. This mountain town abounds with genuine local atmosphere, with colonial architecture mixing with Shan and Chinese buildings, the idyllic natural lake surrounded by the beautiful hill sides. The majority of the city belongs to Khun race. This town is also well known for trekking as travelling in any directions from Kyaing Tong will provide access to numerous ethnic groups’ villages including Akha, Eng, Lahu, Palaung, Shan and Wa.
Nat Ma Taung, also known as Mt. Victoria or Khaw-nu-soum, is the highest mountain in Chin state which stands at the height of 3,053 metres above sea level and a prominence of 2,231 metres. It is also one of the ultra-prominent peaks in Southeast Asia. Pure lifestyle of Chin people and their unique traditions, untouched natural settings with various bio diversities and 360 view of Chin Hills from the top of Nat Ma Taung are what it is recognized for.
Putao, a small, quiet place is located in the north of Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State and can be reached only by air from Yangon and Mandalay. Putao is in the restricted area and a special travel permit is needed to get into there. The city is surrounded with the breath-taking high mountains and the weather is quite cold around the year. Mt. Hkakaborazi, the South-East Asia’s highest mountain is located in Putao and the mountain is concealed with snow. This region is famous for its natural beauty and the variety of flora and fauna which can be seen in the evergreen forest around Putao. Good news for trekkers is that aside from Mt Hkakaborazi there are so many icy high peaks which can be found around the area. The northern part of Myanmar is full of adventurous experiences for both international and local travellers.It is home for Kachin, Lisu, Bamar, Shan, other small tribes. The weather is cold all the year round thanks to its surrounding snow-capped mountains. Various endemic birds and rare orchids as well as trekking activities are the most famous in Putao.
Mrauk U was a prosperous city in the 15th and 16th centuries, with a lot of canals allowing large boats access to the area. A Dutch visitor in the 16th century is said to have described it as one of the richest in architecture among Asia cities. The city throve for about four centuries. Although lacking in luxury, Mrauk U certainly abounds with historical, cultural and natural interests. The most well preserved temple in Mrauk U is Shithaung Pagoda (80,000 Pagodas), built in 1535 by King Minbar, the most powerful of the Rakhine Kings. Apart from the temple, the area is surrounded with Koethaung Pagoda (90,000 Pagodas), Ratanabon Stupa, Htukkan Thain and the ruins of the royal palace and city walls.
Ngapali Beach is situated about 7 km away from Thandwe, one of the ancient Rakhine capitals. It is famous for its natural and unspoiled beauty up to this day. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It serves as the best ground for sun-bathing and recreation such as beach-strolling, cycling and so on. Unlike the today’s beaches of Asia, it is free of noisy beachside bars, crowded people and hawkers persuading you to buy their things. There are only natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, the white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous animals, clean and clear with gentle waves.
Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, known as Golden Rock, perches on the edge of a cliff at the top of Kyaikhto Mountain, part of the Eastern Yoma. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist shrine in Myanmar. This magnificent “Golden Rock” is the most meditative and popular tourist attraction in Mon State, which only 4 hours drive away from Yangon. Natural surroundings, forests and cool climate are also the essence of the area.
Hpa An, the capital of Kayin State, is located on the east bank of Thanlwin River. The setting of the town, the surrounding caves and mountains make it as an emerging picturesque destination in Myanmar. It is well known for natural lime stone caves with century’s old Buddha image curving walls and mountains. It is also the home of the Kayin tribe and their lifestyle. The highlights of the area include Mt. Zwekabin; a symbol of Kayin state and the tallest of the lime stone mountain chain, Kyauk Kalap Pagoda; unique rock formation crowned by a pagoda, Saddan Cave and Kaw Gun Cave. Viewing sunset over the Thanlwin River is one of the must do in the area.
Myeik, also known as Mergui, is placed in Tanintharyi Division in Myanmar. From the sixteen century, the city was an essential seaport and trading centre especially for Europeans who want to go to Ayutthaya. There are so many ethnic group in the city such as Mon, Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Karen and Moken (Salone) who speak Burmese language but with a strong accent. Myeik Archipelago, one of the world’s hidden tourism destinations, includes over 800 offshore islands dotted throughout the Andaman Sea along the south Tanintharyi coast. Some of the islands have magnificent white sands beaches and incomparable to any of the beaches around the world. There are a wide variety of flora and fauna above and underwater coral reefs and marine life. The visitors can take part in the activities of Eco tourism such as snorkeling and scuba diving in this area.