Myanmar, also known as Burma is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. For a long time the country was isolated from the rest of the world because from 1962 until 2011 it “was ruled by a military junta that suppressed almost all dissent and wielded absolute power in the face of international condemnation and sanctions”. Since 1992 the government has encouraged tourism in the country but much of the country is till off-limits for tourists and interactions between foreigners and the people of Burma are subject to police scrutiny but if all you want is to visit, that shouldn’t put a stop on your plans. The country is fascinating and if you have a good sense of adventure and time on your hands, here are some places you can visit in Myanmar.
Most people start their visit in Yangon, the former capital of the country and the major hub for international and domestic flights. Because of its isolation, the culture in Myanmar remains authentic, with evocative colonial-era buildings and men wearing sarong skirts and women wearing white thanaka paint on their faces. The main attraction sites cover a small area and are manageable on foot so in just 2-3 days you can cover the entire popular tourist locations.
Bagan is just one flight away from Yangon and is one of the most enigmatic destinations in Myanmar. Home to thousands of pagodas and temples dating back to the 11th century, Bagan is one of those places that need quite a lot of time to be discovered. You can rent a bike to move around easily, or go on a hot air balloon ride, or even try hopping on one of those horse-pulled carts.
Inle Lake is located one hour away from Bagan and is considered to be a hidden gem. Stilt villages and famous leg-rowing fishermen, as well as floating markets and resorts, floating gardens and temples, you should not leave Myanmar without seeing the lake and its surroundings. The serenity of the tropical sun shining on the still lake and the surrounding mountains make up for a perfect postcard image.
Ngapali Beach is possibly the best place to end you trip because let’s face it, there is nothing like relaxing on the beach, sipping to a cold drink and looking at the sea. Although easily overlooked by tourists, Myanmar’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia. White sand, rural surroundingand crystal clear waters, Ngapali Beach can be reached by land but if you don’t have so much time left you can fly in and out of the airport in Thandwe.