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Cultural experiences in Myanmar

Myanmar Destination Highlights

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Looking to enjoy a week long Myanmar tour? First take a look at some of those main highlights to get a feel for which destinations best fit for your travel tastes.

Yangon – The largest city, but not yet modernized. Visit this bustling metropolis with lively street vendors and colorful markets. Be sure to visit the most sacred Buddhist site in all Myanmar here, the Schwedagon Pagoda, which is said to contain a strand of Buddha’s hair along with other religious relics.

Mandalay – The last “royal” capital of Myanmar, located between the Ayeyarwaddy River and Shan Plateau. Considered to be the center of Burmese Culture the city also holds the Royal Palace, pagodas and monasteries including Shwenandaw Monastery. Local artisans and handicrafts here are some of the best in the nation.

Pyin Oo Lwin – Drive a few hours outside of Mandalay to visit this scenic landscape that takes one back to the English colonial era. Pine trees and English style houses cover the landscape with well-maintained gardens, old style shops, and horse drawn carriages.

Bagan – Former capital of the Kingdom of Pagan (11th-13th centuries). Explore the remains of 2200 temples and pagodas still intact today, the remnants of some 10,000 Buddhist temples, monasteries and pagodas constructed. Climb Taung Kalat, a monastery built on the summit of an extinct volcano, for an amazing view of the city of Bagan.

Ayeyarwaddy River (Or Irrawaddy River) – Enjoy a cruise along this stretch of water, which travelsf rom the Himalayas to the Andaman Sea. Many cruises run between Mandalay and Bagan, connecting these two “must – see” destinations.

Inle Lake – The lake, while pristine on its own, is home to the Intha people and many other ethnic minorities who share a unique way of life. See the fishermen row their shallow row boats using their feet, all the while checking traps for the fish. Watch locals maintain floating gardens anchored to the lake beds with bamboo poles. Visit nearby Pa O village and interact with local monks here.

Kalaw – This tiny region is full of minority villages and offers the best trekking opportunities in Myanmar. Trek down to Inle Lake or to Pindaya from here.

Pindaya – Famous for caves which hold more than 8,000 Buddhist images whose origins are mysterious and unknown.

Mrauk U – An important stop for archeology buffs, this tiny town was once an important city with strong walls creating a fortress to serve as protection from the strong winds. The remote location and higher than average rainfall in the region ensures that only the truly adventurous make the journey to see it.

Ngapali Beach – Myanmar’s premier resort town, this stretch of sand lies along the Bay of Bengal. Stroll to visit a nearby fishermen’s village or head to nearby Thandwe for a more modern town experience. Venture a bit further south to explore the pristine Ngwe Saung Beach.

Mergui Archipelago – Located in southern Myanmar, the archipelago consists of over 800 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Explore sandy beaches and lush rainforest on a cruise around the islands setting out from Kawthaung.

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Two young monks read on the steps of a temple



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