Places to visit

This post is also available in: Italian

Yangon

Yangon_City_Hall_2Yangon is a big and yet not modernized city, with Victorian buildings, tree-lined avenues, lakes and parks and a bustling city centre of friendly vendors, colourful stalls and people going about in their daily chores dressed traditionally in their Longyi and flip-flap sandals. The Bogyoke Aung San market (also called Scott’s Market) is a must for every visitor and so is the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda – the prominent landmark of Myanmar. The first fundament of the Shwedagon is believed to have been built more than 2000 years ago, and the pagoda is revered by Buddhist and non-Buddhists alike. Yangon is the gateway to Myanmar and has direct air links with Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Doha, Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Guangzhou, Kunming, Nanning, Gaya and Dhaka.

Thanlyin

thalyinIt is located on the other side of Yangon River and approximately(30)minutes drive from Yangon. It was an important trading centre in early 17th Century under the Portuguese and the ancient seaport of Myanmar as well.Thanlyin (Syrium) and its vicinity offer many attractions such as Kyaikkhauk Pagoda; can be able to go hill up by escalator and YelePaya; it set on a tiny island amidst the middle stream of the river and the ruin of Catholic Church built by an Italian missionary in the 18th century can still be seen today. There is also the National Races Village across the river.

Pyay

pyayNorth 285 km for approximate drive (6) hours from Yangon, can reach Pyay, formerly known as Prome, is located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. In 5th century AD (Pyu civilization), Pyu tribe built the very first Buddhist pagodas in the area of Sri Kestra close to nowadays town of Pyay where can observe Hmaw-zar Museum, the archaeological zone of Sri Kestra, some prototypes of later Bagan-vaulted pagodas. As for other highlighs of Pyay, are Shwesandaw Pagoda (Payagyi), Hsehtetgyi Pagoda, Baw BawGyi Pagoda, Be BeGyi Pagoda, PayamaStupas,Shwebonetharmuni Pagoda, Wyutkyawedawpyay Pagoda. Two hours boat trip along mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, can reach "Ahkauktaung" is reputed for Pyay, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the trip. It is in Htonebo, a former custom gate for merchant's sailing boats, noted for its Buddha statues curved out of a rock wall since two centuries. Return to Pyay, en-route stop over Pandaung to observe pottery cottages and drop in at MingyiTaung to observe the remains of Sri Ketra era.

Bago

bagoAn ancient capital of Mon Kingdom in 15th century is located north of Yangon (80 km) where can be able to make just day return trip from Yangon and most of the Kyaikhtiyo two day trips include Bago sightseeing. Apparently, Mons were the first to the settle at this site. The ancient capital of "Hanthawadi" said to have founded in 573 AD by two Mon princes from the capital Thaton. In 13th century Bago became the centre of the Mon Kingdom of "Ramanadesa" which consisted of all lower Myanmar. Reclining ShweThaLyaung Buddha Image(55 metres long), Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda, KyakhetWyneMoastery, KlyaniSima (Ordination Hall), the four giant Buddha Images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and Kanbawzathadi, the palace of famous King Bayinnaung are highlights of Bago trip.

Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda

kyaikhtiyoeAs Golden Rock Pagoda is situated on the top of the Golden Rock, a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees and the rock itself is precariously perched and seems to defy gravity as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of plunging down the mountainside, it makes most wonderful.It is famous as the jewel in the crown of the Mon State and one of the most sacred places in Myanmar and is supposedly held in place by a delicately placed hair of the Buddha as well. Once drive approximate drive for (5) hours from Yangon, can reach Kinpun based camp nearby Kyaikhto town of Mon State. Afterwards, hill up through the pilgrimage road to Golden Rock by opened truck. It can be allowed a drive to Ya-thae-taung (Mt. Ya-thae-taung, 2nd camp) (10 km) to the 1200 metres high, then walk the final part of the climb for about (45) minutes working (just soft hiking) to Golden Rock. Alternatively, one can walk the whole way up the lightly wooded hillside from the trail-head (Kinpun based camp) to Golden Rock for approximately five hours and makes amazing along with pretty scenery, panoramic landscape and another in the legend of the pagoda.

Mawlamyaing

mawlamyine1Mawlamyine,capital of Mon State and Myanmar's third largest city.In colonial times known as Moulmein and trading port of teak logs."By the old Moulmein pagoda lookin' eastward to the sea. There's a Burma girl a-sittin', and I know she thinks o' me......" South of Mawlamyine was the end of line of the Thai-Burma 415 km railway built under Japanese occupation during WWII ("Bridge of River Kwai"). Near the site is a cemetery for some of many allied prisoners of war who died while building it.

Hpa An

Pagoda-near-Hpa-AnHpa-An is the capital of Kayin State, is located at 270 km east of Yangon, the population is about 50,000 people and most of them are Kayin race. Recently, removed from the restricted list of travel destinations and reachable by road from Yangon across a new Bridge (Thanlwin) over the Thanlwin River. Fifty percent of the region is covered by forests where can see the world famous teak grow. Limestone hills with numerous caves are the natural attractions for tourist- Mt. Zwekabin; the most meaningful natural hill, Kyaikalatt which is small rock hill formed like a wine glass and Lombumni Garden with 1000 Sal trees along with a 1000 seated Buddha images underneath each Sal tree at the base of Mt. Zawekabin are the signature landmark of Pha-An and other highlights are BayinNyiNaung Cave and Saddan immense limestone cave and Shweyinmyaw Pagoda; at the bank of Thanlwin River. Once return to Yangon, en-route visit Zinkyaik Waterfall and Shwesaryan Pagoda in Thahton town.

Taungoo

phoekyarTaungoo is located at 220 km from Yangon and on Yangon - Mandalay main road, it is one of the main gateways to BagoYoma and its teak forests, its remote location in the fertile Sittaung River valley, flanked on one side by the Bago Mountains and the other by the Kayin Hills. It was once the centre of one of the most powerful post-Bagan kingdoms, and virtually nothing visibly historic remains to indicate its former 15th to 16th century glory and it was reputed the old Kaytumadi city of King Mingyinyo as well. Chance to visit city tour includes Shwesandaw Pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake, Mya-saw-nyi-nayng pagodas (two twin pagodas which one is top of the mountain and the other is on the base); which are 4 miles of Taungoo. As other activity, explore to Pho Kyar Elephant Camp for a few kilometers from Taungoo where can observe how elephants work in the forest, how elephants take a birth and enjoying elephant riding within forests and one night stay in Pho Kyar Elephant Camp is recommended.

 

Bagan

baganBagan, the capital of Myanmar’s first dynasty, was built by King Anawrahta in 1044. It is located about 193 km south of Mandalay. There are over 2000 temples and stupas spreading in 42 square kilometers of desert like plain on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. All those red bricks and stucco religious monuments were built during 11th to 13th century. The magnificent temple architecture, incredibly fine mural or frescos paintings, brilliant stucco carvings, and the most elegant Buddha images, all are telling motifs of the sublime culture of the ancient Bagan dynasties.

Mt.Popa

popaDistance 50 km southeast of Bagan is Mt.Popa, 1500 metres high with staircase about 700 steps to the top of the mountain, is an extinct volcano. It is the legendary home of the ' nats ' or spirits and important nat worship center as well as a major pilgrimage destinations Mt. Popa hosts two major "Nat Pwe", spirit festivals in May/Jun and Nov/ Dec. The Mt.Popa area has also been designating as a National Park, a perfect place for eco-tourism and it persuades the birth watching tourists as well.

Monywa

monywaMonywa, is located in Sagaing Division, in Myanmar, and geographically 136km northwest of Mandalay along the eastern bank of River Chindwin. It will take 3 hours drive from Mandalay via Sagaing in order to get to Monywa. There are many places to visit around in the area and one of many attractions is the Poewindaung mountain caves where visitors can observe the incredible stone curving and mural paintings all over the cave.

Sagaing

Sagaing-Hill-0It lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay, on the west bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing is one of the ancient capitals of Myanmar and also famous as a religious centre of Myanmar where is home of 3,000 monks. The Sagaing Hills are dotted with about 600white-painted pagodas, over 500 Monasteries and 100 meditation KaungHmuDaw Pagoda, Soon U Ponnya Shin Pagoda, U Min Thoneze Pagoda and nearby Ywahtaung Village (home of the silversmith's craftsmen); can be able to observe the process of making silversmith are all worth a visit.

Ava

avaInwa (Ava), the capital of Myanmar Kingdom for nearly 400 years the longest serve capital of Konebaung Dynasty located across Myitnge River, lies 20 km south-west of Mandalay. It was founded by King Thadominbya in 1364 (during the Second Myanmar Empire). Once across small Myitnge river, can see the attractivetour sites by pony-cart are Nanmyint Watchtower; known as "the learning tower of Ava"; a look at 88 foot high watchtower, Bargaya Teak Monastery; built in 1834 which is famous for its teak pillars amounting to 267 in total, MahaAungmyeBonzan, HtilaingshinPaya, the workshop making the lacquerware alms bowls of monks and the remains of the royal palace and fort.

Amarapura

amarapuraAn ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and situated about 11 km south of Mandalay. King Bodawpaya founded this city in 1783 and it was also the site for the first British Embassy in Myanmar in 1795. Mahagandayone Monastery; a famous for Buddhist monastery where is thousand of monks are live and study Buddhist literature, silk weaving workshops and wonderful 200 years old U Bein Teak Bridge which cross Taungthaman Lake; built in 1782 by the time Amarapura was Royal Capital, all are its highlights.

Mandalay

mandalayMandalay was the last Royal Capital of Myanmar and is located nearly 700 km north of Yangon between the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River and the Shan plateau. Mandalay is considered the centre of Burmese culture, a city of artisans and a trading centre of goods in all directions. The geometric laid out streets, the many bicycles riders, the 8 km long moth and wall around the former Royal Palace, the pagodas and monasteries abound and the sacred Mandalay Hill towering over it all, are some of its most visible features. In the vicinity of Mandalay are the former royal capitals and religious centers of Amarapura, Mingun, Inwa (Ava) and Sagaing, each worth visiting. Mandalay is another gateway to Myanmar and has direct air links with Bangkok, Singapore, Kunming and Chiang Mai.

Pyin Oo Lwin

pyinoolwinPyin Oo Lwin (formerly called May Myo) is one of the most famous Hill Station of Myanmar. Its fine, pleasant weather and fresh cool air makes it a popular summer resort. It enjoys another name given affectionately by the local-Pan Myo Daw, or Royal Flower City due to its variety of colorful flowers growing in abundance all over the town. This beautiful resort is situated only some70 km away from Mandalay. Some of the highlights are enormous waterfalls-Pwe-kauk, Dat-taw-gyaik, the famous Botanical Garden and the Chinese Temple. Being rich in natural scenic spots, Pyin Oo Lwin is the favourite place for nature lovers, photographers, artists, and movie makers. Besides, it is also on the way to the border towns of Lashio and Muse.

Hsi Paw

hsipawHsipaw was once the centre of a small Shan State of its own culture and it is situated in northern Shan State. Visit Haw Nan; Shan Palace which is the northern end of small and beautiful town, Nam Tok water fall which is en-route to famous Bawgyo Pagoda, Chaung-sone (confluent of river) @ water front of the Dohtawaddy river (known as "Silver River") which passes through the town to join the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River and can observe over (150) years old Shan Monastery and lacquered image of Buddha in Shan village, panoramic scenery of paddy, orange plantations, living style of Shan villagers and trekking to Shan village and Palaung hill tribe Village. Candle Light market can be seen early morning around (4:00) am.; unique local market and local vendors are selling vegetables, seasonal fruits and other things with lighting candles. As unforgettable experience is very beautiful sunset from private boat through Dohtawaddy River. Once return from Hsipaw to Mandalay, can take train to Nyaung Cho via Gokteik Viaduct, masterpiece of engineering is more than a century old, and your train will slow to a crawl meanwhile crossing to avoid putting undue strain on the structure, afterwards, by overland surface to Mandalay from Nyaung Cho.

Kalaw

kalawKALAW in the Shan State is another cool place to be during the hottest months of the year. Many ethnic minority villages around and interesting market in town. Good trekking down to Inle Lake or to Pindaya.

Pindaya

pindayaPINDAYA, famous for its caves housing more than 8000 Buddha images. No one seems to know how they all got there. Most of them are at least hundreds of years old while others are recent additions. They have been placed in such a way that they form a passage through the caves. Pindaya is surrounded by some very beautiful scenery.

Inle

inleA five kilometer long canal suddenly opens up to a wide lake with numerous villages on stilts and floating gardens against the hazy mountain ranges. Fishermen in their shallow boats cast their cone shaped bamboo down in the lake to trap the fish, and the lake dwelling framers tend to their floating gardens from their canoes. The gardens are anchored to the lake beds with long bamboo poles and host flowers or tomatoes, chilies, cauliflowers and other vegetables. The lake is situated in the Shan State, 1000 meter above sea level and is the home of the Intha people and many other ethnic minorities. Sailing among the villages you can hear the silk looms clanking and the tapping of the ironsmiths and get a glimpse of girls chatting while wrapping cigars and wave to the smiling kids looking out through the open shutters of the wooden or bamboo houses built above the water.

Taunggyi

taunggyiTaunggyi is the capital of Shan State, is over 1430 metres above sea-level, also known as another hill station of Myanmar as well, cool and pleasant all year round. En-route to Inle Lake (approximately drive an hour) may observe wine factory (Vineyard) and wine tasting. Continue a chance to explore blacksmith and cigar making factory. It is famous on Kakku pagodas;relic pagoda of the southern Shan state, one of Asia's largest and most spectacular ancient monuments; consist of over 2,000 stupas with origins dating back many centuries.

Kakku

kakkuKakku Pagoda is thought to have been built in the 16th century but was only recently uncovered after being hidden for centuries in the wooded hills south of the town of Taunggyi. The pagoda consists of about one square kilometer of land crammed with more than 2000 stupas. It can be reached via Taunggyi or during dry season, you can make a trekking tour directly over the mountains from Inle Lake.

Loikaw

loikawLoikaw is the capital of Kayah State in Burma (Myanmar). It is located in the Karen Hills area, near the State's northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu River.[2] The inhabitants are mostly Kayah (Karenni). Myanmar's largest hydropower plant built (by the Japanese as war reparation) is located about 20 km east of Loikaw at Lawpita Falls.You will discover beautiful Kayahhill scenery and a large number of distinctive tribal cultures, the most internationally famous of which are the Padaung (with their tradition of ‘giraffe-necked’ women with coils that elongate their necks). There are up to ten native ethnic groups in Kayah, in addition to the people from surrounding parts of Myanmar who live here.

Keng Tong

Kyaing Tong, is a town in eastern Shan State, Myanmar and it is also the principle town of Keng Tung Township. The weather in this area is particular cooler than compare to the tropical area of Myanmar which is a suitable place for those visitors who would like to enjoy plenty memorable sceneries in the chilling weather. Kyaing Tong is geographically located in an easily accessible location to the golden triangle area.

Sittwe

sittweSittwe. Formerly called Akyab, is situated in theRakhine State, a long narrow coastal region to the west of Myanmar, separated from the mainland by the Rakhine Yoma (mountain range). Sittway is the capital of the state and a seaport with a rich hinterland producing crops, fish and Rakhine Longyis.

Mrauk U

mraukutemples_resizeMrauk is an archaeologically important town in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. It is also the capital of Mrauk-U Township, a sub region of the Sittwe District. The abandoned city and hundreds of temples and pagodas at Mrauk U.From the 15th to 18th centuries, Mrauk U was the capital of a mighty Arakan kingdom, frequently visited by foreign traders (including Portugese and Dutch), and this is reflected in the grandeur and scope of the structures dotted around its vicinity.There are many hundreds of temples in Mrauk U, many of which primarily remain day-to-day places of worship for the local Rakhine villagers; what follows is a guide to the most beautiful and historically significant structures. Most temples have name plates in English, with date of construction.