Best Things to Do and See in Myanmar

A trip to Myanmar can be one that you will never forget. This Southeast Asian nation is renowned for its vibrant culture, magnificent temples, and amiable citizens. The historic city of Bagan, Inle Lake, the Shwedagon Pagoda, and the bustling city of Yangon are some of the nation’s top tourist destinations.

With its numerous temples dispersed around the plains, Bagan provides a window into the rich history and culture of Myanmar. On the other hand, Inle Lake is where the renowned leg-rowing fishermen live and gives breath-taking views of the mountains in the area.

The largest city in the nation, Yangon, is a busy metropolis that has kept much of its colonial history intact. The Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most significant Buddhist sites in the world, is located in the city.

The cuisine of Myanmar is particularly well-known for its distinctive fusion of Indian, Chinese, and Thai flavors. A food lover’s heaven, the nation’s marketplaces are brimming with exotic fruits, vegetables, and spices.

Travelers should be aware that Myanmar is still a developing nation and that there are certain security issues. It is crucial to investigate the area beforehand and take the appropriate safety measures. In conclusion, visiting Myanmar may be a really fulfilling and eye-opening experience. In this article, we will explore some of the things you should do and see when you visit Myanmar.

  1. Explore the Temples of Bagan

For everyone visiting Myanmar, touring Bagan’s temples is a must-do experience. More than 2,000 temples and pagodas that were built in the 11th and 12th centuries may be found in this historic city, which is a part of the Mandalay Region.

By bicycle or e-bike, the ideal way to tour the temples. It is simple and economical to rent one, and it lets you travel at your own pace. Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, and Shwezigon Pagoda are a few of the most well-liked temples to visit.

One of Bagan’s most stunning and well-maintained temples is the Ananda Temple. It has four over 30 foot tall standing Buddha statues and was constructed in the first half of the 12th century.

The Dhammayangyi Temple is the biggest temple in Bagan and is a must-see because of its enormous size and magnificent construction. Legend has it that the king blinded the temple’s builder in order to stop him from creating a temple that was more spectacular than the monarch’s palace. The temple is known for its elaborate brickwork.

One of Myanmar’s oldest and most revered pagodas is the Shwezigon Pagoda. It is believed to contain Buddha relics and was built in the first century of the eleventh century.

Aside from providing an opportunity to learn about Myanmar’s rich history and culture, exploring Bagan’s temples also offers a chance to take in the breath-taking beauty of these historic buildings.

  1. Take a Boat Trip on Inle Lake

One of the most well-liked activities for visitors to Myanmar is a boat cruise on Inle Lake. The renowned leg-rowing fishermen call this beautiful lake in the Shan State, which is surrounded by lush green mountains, home.

You may see the distinctive way of life of the Intha people, who live on the lake’s borders in stilt homes, by taking a boat tour on it. Visit nearby villages to observe conventional trades like silk weaving and cigar production.

The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which houses five venerated Buddha statues, is one of the most well-liked destinations on a boat journey. As a significant place of worship, the pagoda draws several visitors every year.

A boat excursion on Inle Lake also offers the chance to observe the renowned leg-rowing fisherman at work. To move their boat forward, these fisherman stand on one leg and encircle the other leg around the oar. It is a distinctive and captivating sight to witness.

An opportunity to see Myanmar’s natural beauty and cultural legacy in a singular and fascinating way provided by a boat excursion on Inle Lake.

  1. Experience the Yangon Nightlife

Anyone visiting the main city in Myanmar must experience the nightlife in Yangon. The nightlife in Yangon is thriving and diverse, with something for everyone.

The well-known Bogyoke Aung San Road, popularly referred to as “Bar Street,” is one of the most well-liked destinations for nightlife in Yangon. Numerous taverns and eateries serve a variety of food and drinks along this area. It is a terrific area to meet locals and other tourists and take in Yangon’s vibrant nightlife.

The Chinatown neighborhood, which comes alive at night with street vendors offering food and beverages, is another well-known place for nightlife. The neighborhood comes alive during the Chinese New Year festivities when the streets are decked out in crimson and lanterns.

The rooftop bars in Yangon provide beautiful views of the city and a posh environment for those seeking a more upmarket experience. The Gekko Rooftop Bar and the Yangon Yangon Rooftop Bar are two of the most well-known rooftop bars.

Overall, taking part in Yangon’s nightlife is an opportunity to get to know both locals and visitors while seeing another side of Myanmar’s largest city.

  1. Visit Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Anyone travelling to Myanmar should make time to visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. One of the most significant Buddhist sites in the world and a recognisable landmark of Yangon is this magnificent pagoda.

The Shwedagon Pagoda is reported to contain relics of the Buddha, including strands of his hair, and is thought to have been constructed more than 2,500 years ago. The pagoda encrusted with thousands of diamonds, rubies, and other valuable stones and wrapped in gold leaf.

The platform of the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is encircled by smaller shrines and temples, is accessible to guests. At sunset, when the light is fading and the golden stupa shines, the pagoda is especially lovely.

The pagoda also hosts numerous ceremonies and rituals throughout the day, including as the burning of lamps and the dousing of Buddha sculptures in water.

In general, going to the Shwedagon Pagoda is an opportunity to experience the spiritual and cultural significance of Buddhism in Myanmar and to see one of Southeast Asia’s most stunning and recognizable landmarks.

If you would like to book a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda, click here or on the Klook image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Trek in the Shan Hills

Adventurers visiting Myanmar frequently go trekking in the Shan Hills. This beautiful area in the east of the nation is home to picturesque panoramic views, mediaeval villages, and lush green hills.

Trekking through the Shan Hills offers the opportunity to observe the traditional way of life of the Shan people, who reside in small communities and work in agriculture and animal husbandry. The walking paths lead you into undeveloped, distant regions where you can find beautiful waterfalls and unspoiled forests.

The trip from Kalaw to Inle Lake is one of the most well-liked trekking routes in the Shan Hills. This multi-day trip gives you the chance to see the Shan people’s traditional way of life up close as it passes through isolated communities and breath-taking scenery.

Trekking in the Shan Hills offers a unique opportunity to see Myanmar’s natural beauty as well as get insight into the vibrant culture and history of the nation. It is a special and remarkable way to explore a part of Myanmar that the majority of visitors never get to see.

If you would like to book a tour of the Shan Hills, click here or on the Viator image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over Bagan

Anyone visiting Myanmar should take a hot air balloon ride over Bagan because it is an unforgettable experience. A hot air balloon trip offers a singular and amazing view over the historic city of Bagan, which is renowned for its magnificent temples and pagodas.

Typically, the hot air balloon ride happens just before sunrise in the early morning hours. Be treated to a breath-taking view of the sun rising over the horizon and the temples and pagodas of Bagan gleaming in the soft light as the balloon ascends into the air.

A hot air balloon flight over the historic city gives you a bird’s-eye view of the numerous temples and pagodas dotting the surrounding area. It is a one-of-a-kind and spectacular way to experience Bagan’s grandeur from a fresh angle.

Not anyone travelling to Myanmar should pass up the opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride over Bagan. It is an opportunity to experience one of Southeast Asia’s most stunning and recognizable sights in a singular and unforgettable way.

  1. Visit Mandalay

The second-largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay, is a bustling metropolis with a variety of historical and cultural landmarks to explore.

The Mandalay residence, which was constructed in the 19th century and functioned as the royal residence of the previous Burmese monarchy, is one of Mandalay’s most well-known landmarks. Visitors may see the spectacular architecture and delicate detailing of the structures as they stroll through the palace grounds.

The Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay, which holds a well-known Buddha statue wrapped in gold leaf, is another must-see destination. One of Myanmar’s most significant Buddhist sites, the pagoda is a well-liked place of worship for both residents and tourists.

The Kuthodaw Pagoda, which houses the largest book made of marble slabs in the world, and the U Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world, are two other points of interest in Mandalay.

It is possible to enjoy Myanmar’s rich culture and history while in Mandalay and see some of the nation’s most famous landmarks.

  1. Beaches in Myanmar

The coastline of Myanmar is lined with immaculate beaches that provide a tranquil haven and a window into the unspoiled splendor of nature. These beaches, which run along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, are a hidden gem for tourists looking for peace and quiet.

A crown jewel, Ngapali Beach is renowned for its fine white sands and crystal-clear blue seas. It offers a relaxed ambiance ideal for relaxation and leisurely strolls, surrounded by palm trees and picturesque fishing villages.

Ngwe Saung Beach, which is located further south, has a 15-kilometer stretch of shoreline with fine sand and calm surf. This pristine sanctuary is perfect for water sports, beachcombing, and watching stunning sunsets over the water.

For adventurers and aquatic aficionados, the Myeik Archipelago offers a tropical paradise with its collection of uninhabited islands. This is a diver’s paradise and has immaculate beaches and coral reefs that provide vistas of rich marine life.

The beaches in Myanmar maintain a sense of peaceful authenticity amidst the natural beauty since they are still relatively undiscovered in comparison to other tourist sites. The friendly friendliness of the inhabitants is available to guests, and they may enjoy the wonderful seafood that these coastal districts are famous for.

In conclusion, the harmony of the sand, water, and sky provides a tranquil setting for lifelong memories on Myanmar’s beaches, offering an escape from the busy world.

  1. Festivals in Myanmar

Myanmar’s festivals are a vibrant mix of spirituality, cultural history, and social celebration. These celebrations retain a particular place in the hearts of the people due to their rich fusion of Buddhist traditions, ethnic diversity, and historical significance.

Thingyan, the Burmese New Year Water Festival, is among the most well-known celebrations. Joyous water battles and purification rites are a part of this celebration, signifying the washing away of the old and embracing of the new. Another eye-catching event is the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival, during which elaborate paper lanterns lit around the nation to symbolize spiritual enlightenment.

The center piece of Myanmar’s festival calendar are Buddhist rituals. With illuminated pagodas and donations, the Thadingyut Festival commemorates the Buddha’s ascent to heaven. Thousands of worshippers flock to Inle Lake during the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival to see venerated Buddha statues carried around the lake.

Festivals like the Karen New Year Festival, which highlights the distinctive traditions of the Karen people, and the Taunggyi Balloon Festival, which features large hot air balloons decked out with fireworks, highlight the ethnic variety of Myanmar.

These celebrations develop cultural ties as well as provide a time for fun, allowing both residents and visitors to experience Myanmar’s rich history.