Last Updated on 13/10/2021

Myanmar – also known as Burma, is found nestled in South-East Asia next to Thailand. It’s a well-known destination amongst seasoned travellers, and it offers plenty of unique places and experiences to enjoy. From immersive culture to stunning ancient temples & cultural spots to breathtaking beaches and mouth-watering cuisine. There are many reasons to visit, so here are some top places to visit in Myanmar, you consider exploring.


Balloon Rides in Bagan

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 1 - Bagan
Photo by Thien Kim Nguyen Trinh on Unsplash

Location

This ancient city, once the shining capital of the first Burmese Empire – is extremely historically significant to Burmese people. But, it also offers exciting 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!

Old Bagan aerial footage


Ananda Temple

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 2 - Ananda Temple
Photo by Vincent Dörig on Unsplash

Location

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!


Mandalay Hill

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 3 - Mandalay Hill
Photo by David Stanley on Wikimedia Commons

Location

This famous tourist attraction holds a profound religious significance. The Mandalay Hill (224 meters) 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. But, if you so in the dawn, you can catch the stunning sunrise – if you missed that, then there’s always the enchanting sunset.


Mahamuni Pagoda

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 4 -Mahamuni Pagoda
Photo by Paul Arps on Flickr

Location

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. This image of Buddha is said to be one of the only five likenesses of Buddha still in existence. The Buddha Image is highly revered and visited by Buddhists from Mandalay & around the world. You can also visit the Mahamuni Museum to learn more about the history of Buddha.


Inle Lake

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 5 - Inle Lake
Photo by Edmundas Stundzius on Unsplash

Location

This fresh waterbody is the second-largest (surface area 44.9 Sq. Miles) 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

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 6 -Ngwe Saung during sunset
Photo by Rostislav Karyakin on Unsplash

Location

It’s 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 trolls, 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!


Ngapali Beach

Top Places to Visit in Myanmar Number 7 - Ngapali beach
Photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash

Location

Like Ngwe Saung, 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 listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in South-East 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!

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

Photo of the iconic Kyaiktiyo pagoda
Photo by James Antrobus on Flickr

Location

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. When you visit you will find 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.


Ko Min Kalaw Trekking

Photo of a busy street in Kalaw
Photo by Go-Myanmar on Wikimedia Commons

Location

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 with 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!


Mount Popa

Aerial photo of the iconic Mount Popa
Photo by Louis Valiente on Pixabay

Location

This extinct volcano (1518 metres) is another scenic tourist attraction for many. To reach the summit, you must climb 777 steps, and on top, you’ll find a charming Temple and Monastery – established in the early 20th century. At the top, you’ll find yourself immersed in magnificent mountain sceneries of the Mandalay Region. Mount Popa also homes a fascinating range of bird species and other endemic wildlife thanks to its varied ecosystems. A worthy visit, especially if you love wildlife!


Botataung Pagoda (translates “1000 military officers”)

Photo of the Botataung pagoda at night
Photo by Win Naing on Flickr

Location

It is one of Yangon’s most distinguishing tourist attractions. Built approx.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 WWII, the newly built temple homes, some of the most ancient religious artefacts that you will never get to witness anywhere else.


Shwedagon Pagoda

Photo of the iconic Shewedagon Pagoda in Yangon
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Location

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 Buddhists pagodas in South East Asia. It is believed to host relics of four of the previous Buddha’s – making this cultural spot exceedingly ancient and one of the best places to visit in Myanmar. 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!

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