Top 9 Things to See in Myanmar – From Balloon rides to Pagodas

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Hot air balloons dot the morning sky in Bagan, Myanmar, things to see in Myanmar
Hot air balloons dot the morning sky in Bagan, Myanmar

With its majestic Himalayan regions, aerial view from a hot air balloon, the beautiful coastline and the tranquil Buddhist sites, there are a million reasons to fall in love with Myanmar. So here are the Top 9 things to see in Myanmar.

1. Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon - Myanmar, Things to See in Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is located on the bank of River Yangon, about 30km from the Gulf of Martaban. This is the largest city and the former capital of Myanmar. Yangon is home to the glistening Buddhist pagodas like Shwedagon, Botataung and Sule. Yangon is south Asia’s boomtown with increasing popularity among international travellers.

2. Mandalay
Temples with gold roofs at Mandalay, Myanmar
Temples with gold roofs at Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay is a former royal capital located by the Irrawaddy River. The city offers spiritual experience featuring pagodas with beautiful architecture, monasteries and royal palaces. Mandalay Hill is the popular tourist attraction. There is a place called Amarapura which is 11km away from Mandalay. It is famous for U Bein Bridge across the Taungthaman Lake, pagodas and cotton and silk weaving cottage industries.

3. Mrauk U
Tunnel with ancient ruins of Buddha statues in Kothaung Paya temple in Mrauk-U city, Rakhine state, Myanmar
Tunnel with ancient ruins of Buddha statues in Kothaung Paya temple in Mrauk-U city, Rakhine state, Myanmar

Mrauk U is famous for archaeological sites, temples and ruins around the town. Located in Rakhine state, this river-side town hosts a lush and hilly countryside. You can reach here by taking a domestic flight from Yangon to Sittwe and board a boat from Sittwe against the Kaladan River, which is a wonderful experience altogether.

4. Hpa-an
Amazing Buddhist Kyauk Kalap Pagoda under the afternoon sky
Amazing Buddhist Kyauk Kalap Pagoda under the afternoon sky

This river-side small town is a capital of Kayin State. Refreshing countryside, lush paddy fields and Buddhist caves are some of the highlights of this place.

5. Golden rock pagoda
The Golden Rock (also called the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) in Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar
The Golden Rock (also called the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) in Kyaiktiyo

Witness the miracle as the golden rock refuses to obey the laws of gravity. The balancing rock is located in Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Mon state which is one of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Legend says that buddha’s hair enshrined in the pagoda is preventing the rock from rolling down the hill.

6. Inle Lake
Myanmar: Tourist Cabinas on Inle LakeMore photos of Myanmar religious structures are in
Tourist Cabinas on Inle Lake, Myanmar

It is a freshwater lake located in Shan state. Inle has a rich cultural significance and attracts visitors with its authentic appeal. Enjoy the traditional boat trips to explore the greenery of Shan state. The place has a reputation for some popular local food.

7. Mergui
Myanmar, Mergui Archipelago, island
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

Mergui’s unspoiled ecosystem is a treat for visitors who crave for a breath of fresh air in the unadulterated nature. The islands of Mergui is quite off the tourist ladder and ensures peaceful solitude from the touristy hustle and bustle.

8. Bagan
Hot air balloons dot the morning sky in Bagan, Myanmar
Hot air balloons dot the morning sky in Bagan, Myanmar

Balloon trip is a favourite tourist attraction and definitely one of the best things to see in Myanmar. The mesmerising mist filled view of dotted ruins, temples and mountains are sure to make your day. The hot air balloon trip costs around 340 to 360 USD for a classic trip. There’s also a premium trip which is slightly more expensive than the classic. The balloon trips are operated by well-trained pilots from the UK.

9. Pindaya
View from the Pindaya caves on the plateau of Kalaw, Things to See in Myanmar
View from the Pindaya caves on the plateau of KalawMore

Trek up the limestone ridge in Myelat region. It is one of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites and a major tourist attraction. There are three caves with thousands of Buddha images.

Apart from the fact that these are the best things to see in Myanmar, the country is so cheap that you would love to visit again.

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