Myanmar – also known as Burma, is found nestled in southeast Asia next to Thailand. The country is a well-known destination among seasoned travellers, and it offers plenty of unique places and experiences to enjoy.
From immersive culture to stunning ancient temples and breathtaking beaches, there’s quite a lot to explore!
There are many reasons to visit, so here are some top places to visit in Myanmar.
1. Enjoy A Balloon Ride In Bagan
This ancient city, once the shining capital of the first Burmese Empire – is historically significant to the Burmese people. But, it also offers modern adventure experiences like electric cycling around the scenic city and hot air balloon rides.
Here’s your chance to ascend to the morning skies, with the rising sun, and enjoy an epic balloon ride above the breathtaking ancient landscape. You will never look at Bagan the same way again!
2. Ananda Temple
Bagan has approx. 5000 temples and pagodas scattered around the city. The Ananda Temple is one of the four main temples remaining. It is also one of the most stunning temples to visit. Built in 1105 AD, the construction shows a strong Indian influence.
From its cruciform layout to the four standing Buddha statues adorned in gold leaf, each Buddha facing one of the four main directions, it truly is an architectural wonder worth exploring and definitely one of the top places to visit in Myanmar!
3. Mandalay Hill
This famous tourist attraction holds a profound religious significance. Mandalay Hill is a popular pilgrimage site that homes an abundance of striking pagodas and monasteries worth seeing.
Climbing 1729 steps to the very top is a vital part of the experience. At the top, you can witness the picturesque cityscape of Mandalay city.
If you make your way to the top at dawn, don’t forget to catch the stunning sunrise – if you missed that, then there’s always the enchanting sunset.
4. Mahamuni Pagoda
The Mahamuni Pagoda (built in 1785) is another popular place you should visit while in Mandalay. What makes this temple rather special is the unique Mahamuni Buddha image housed here. The Buddha Image is highly revered and visited by Buddhists from Mandalay and around the world.
You can also visit the Mahamuni Museum to learn more about the history of the Buddha.
5. Inle Lake
This fresh waterbody is the second-largest lake in Myanmar. Located in Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State, the Lake is popularly known for its floating garden cultivations, floating villages and Burmese fishermen rowing with one leg.
It is also a famous sanctuary for approx. 20,000 migratory birds. So many different experiences, with the stunning lake as the centre. Worth a visit? Absolutely!
Ngwesaung is located on the west side of Myanmar. If you are looking for a quiet, beach holiday – then voilà! No loud party vibes here.
Incredible local cuisine and tranquil beaches are the main stars. Enjoy long beach strolls and a dip in the calm beach waters.
And if you like to explore a bit, there are some stunning mountain ranges and lush tropical nature trails to traverse nearby, so make the most of it!
7. Ngapali Beach
Like Ngwesaung, the flight route to this palm tree beach paradise isn’t direct, which helps avoid the generic tourist crowds – leaving this tropical coastline clean and breathtaking.
It is renowned as one of the most scenic beaches in southeast Asia – hardly surprising.
There’s much to do here, cycle around the beach town, enjoy fresh seafood, and even catch the sunrise on an early morning boat tour! Sheer beach bliss awaits!
8. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
This famous Burmese pilgrimage site is found in the Mon state. While it draws massive crowds of locals and foreigners alike, the temple is globally known for its extraordinariness.
Visitors will be welcomed to a 7. 3-meter pagoda built on a granite boulder, which is merely perched on the tip of a hill. The legend claims that the rock remains in balance with the support of a strand of Buddha’s hair.
Thanks to its gravity-defying stance, it is a very popular tourist attraction and one of the top places to visit in Myanmar.
9. Ko Min Kalaw Trekking
This is one of the best ways to enjoy Myanmar’s lush verdant paradise.
Set off on a 3-day hike to Inle from Kalaw along this incredible off-beat track and witness countless panoramic sceneries and the authentic lifestyles of the Burmese people.
To truly make this unforgettable, visit the tribal natives and get a first-hand experience of their way of life!
10. Mount Popa
This extinct volcano is another scenic tourist attraction for many. To reach the summit, visitors must climb 777 steps, and on top is a charming temple and monastery that was established in the early 20th century.
Mount Popa is also home to a fascinating range of bird species and other endemic wildlife thanks to its varied ecosystems.
Immerse in the magnificent mountain sceneries of the Mandalay region – a worthy visit especially if you love wildlife!
11. Botataung Pagoda
It is one of Yangon’s most distinguishing tourist attractions. Built approximately 1500 years ago, King Sihadipa of the Thaton kingdom assembled 1000 armed generals at the temple to welcome the arrival of Gautama Buddha’s hair relics to Yangon to be enshrined.
While the original pagoda was obliterated during world war II, the newly built temple is home to some of the most ancient religious artefacts.
12. Shwedagon Pagoda
If you are heading to the south of Myanmar, don’t miss a visit to this sacred land of golden pagodas. Shwedagon is considered to be one of the holiest Buddhist pagodas in Southeast Asia.
It is believed to host relics of four of the previous Buddhas – making this cultural spot exceedingly ancient.
The main pagoda is covered with golden plates, giving it a warm glow day and night. If you are lucky, you might even witness some of the most sacred rituals performed here!