Myanmar was also called the Golden Land for its rich cultural history and natural resources. Myanmar has recently opened its doors to the world after decades of isolation and now is the time to explore this fascinating country. Here are some must-do activities when visiting this enchanting country.
Visiting Shwedagon Pagoda
“There are those who travel but never really arrive. Those who visit a place but never know the people. Travel is so much more when you get closer to life and how it is lived.” With Myanmar Shalom Travels you will be able to experience an authentic experience of Myanmar.
Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. No visit to Yangon is complete without a visit to one of the most famous pagodas in the world. This massive golden icon can be seen from most rooftops in the city. It is a symbol of pride for the people of Myanmar.
A visit here is absolutely breathtaking and magical. There are four entrances, each leading up a flight of steps to the pagoda’s platform. The exterior of the stupa is plated with 8,688 solid gold slabs, its tip set with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, sapphires, and topaz. A huge emerald sits in the middle to catch the first and last rays of the sun. At the pagoda observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon pagoda.
ABOVE: Historical walking tour of Yangon
Walking is the best way to get a sense of Yangon. Despite being a little chaotic and unapologetic, the downtown sights and colonial buildings are beautiful. Yangon is one of the finest places for viewing colonial architecture, as it has the highest concentration of colonial buildings in the world.
Although some of the structures are in bad condition, there are efforts to restore them, led by the Yangon Heritage Trust. YHT’s goal is to promote and protect Yangon’s past, while advising on restoration, and create a plan for Yangon to be one of the most livable cities in Southeast Asia. Visiting Yangon will transport you back in time, where you have the opportunity to view these outstanding pieces of colonial architecture.
Please join our Old Rangoon & New Yangon Experience
ABOVE: Wondering around The temples of Bagan
Just like Shwedagon Pagoda, no visit to Myanmar is complete without a few days in Bagan. The Bagan temples are a great legacy and built between 1057 and 1287 AD. Over the course of 250 years, Bagan’s rulers and their wealthy subjects constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3000 monasteries) in an area of 104 square kilometers (40 sq mi) in the Bagan plains. Bagan is one of the most remarkable archaeological sights in Asia
ABOVE: The view of Bagan from the basket of a hot air balloon
Imagine . . . floating over thousand-year-old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun sinks slowly behind distant mountains. You will witness quite possibly the best panoramic views of Bagan and its surroundings. Flights last around 45 minutes but the entire experience lasts about two and a half hours. Please check out Balloon Experience
ABOVE: Walking on the world longest teak wood U Bein Bridge
U Bein Bridge is the world’s longest and oldest bridge, erected in 1850. It is made of teak wood and feels rickety when you walk along it at sunset with hundreds of other people. In recent years, the amount of tourists coming to this place has skyrocketed, but even the crowds don’t detract from the beauty. The bridge runs 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) across Taungthaman Lake.
ABOVE: Reading the World’s Largest Book
Located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda is a landmark of the city. It is renowned for housing the largest book in the world; 729 amazing marble slabs, inscribed with Buddhist teachings. The pagoda is surrounded by hundreds of shrines, creating their own particular serenity.
ABOVE: Traversing the historic Gokteik Viaduct
A train ride across Myanmar’s longest railway bridge, reaching over 300 feet in height and nearly 2,300 feet in length, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This railway bridge is nestled between Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) and Lashio. Completed in 1901 Gokteik Viaduct is the highest bridge in Myanmar and was once the largest railway trestle in the world. Landscapes through the mountains and local villages are amazingly beautiful.
ABOVE: Photographing The unique leg rowers of Inle Lake
Perhaps the biggest draw to Inle Lake in Shan State is its leg rowers. The leg-rowers of Inle Lake will bring joy to any traveler. Balancing on one leg at the back of a small wooden boat while rowing with the other leg to get around is more than a sight to see. It’s an art form.
ABOVE: Walk barefoot in caves
Hpa An located in Mon State (about 5 hours drive from Yangon) holds many splendors like Saddan Cave. This enormous cave is dotted with Buddha statues, pagodas, and drawings. All caves and temples in Myanmar require you to take off your shoes, so your toes will feel the cave’s muddy ground that sometimes floods during rainy season. The only way to return to where you started is either through the cave again or on a small hired boat that takes cave-goers back to the entrance.
ABOVE: Discovering Petra of Myanmar
Monywa is one of those places that makes you realise just how much there is to discover in Myanmar beyond the famous tourist sites. It’s in mid-way between Bagan and Mandalay, Monywa rarely features on itineraries – and in fact, most visitors leave Myanmar without ever having heard of it. Po Win Taung (about 30 minutes from Monywa) is one of Burma’s most important historic sites – and yet almost nobody has heard of it. It consists of hundreds of man-made caves carved into sandstone across the hillsides, and is thought to have been constructed over hundreds of years, beginning in the 14th century and concluding as late as the 18th century.
Another one Shwe Ba Taung is Po Win Taung’s younger. Shwe Ba Taung’s excavated caves are flanked by huge, ornately carved doorways, some a full six metres tall, and all painted in bright pastel colours. It is these great doorways that have earnt the site comparisons with Jordan’s Petra and Ethiopia’s Lalibela – but what really makes them fascinating is their unusual fusion of colonial influence and native design.