Myanmar is a controversial country. It is one of the least developed countries in South-East Asia but it also offers high-class western luxuries. According to locals, the big tourist boom started in 2011 and every year, thousands of people visit Myanmar for tourism.
Tourism in Myanmar is largely regulated by the government and it is literally impossible to travel independently because of the lack of infrastructure and also because hotels and locals may not accommodate you in certain areas because it is illegal.
Transportation in Myanmar can be a hassle. Roads are bumpy and occasionally in bad shape.
Myanmar has a reputation for low hygiene standards, therefore avoid ordering salads or uncooked meals from dodgy-looking shacks.
Yangon is the biggest city in Myanmar and is the likeliest place you will be flying to. The city is definitely worth seeing and has really interesting areas to visit.
Some of the best areas and places to visit in Yangon are:
This is a lively and vibrant area in downtown Yangon, particularly after sunset. 19th street is the area in Yangon you can pretty much experience all that Yangon has to offer, most especially the best food experience after 8 PM.
It’s Shwedagon Paya. This is an incredible temple area. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in the world. You can go there for a sunset. Relax and spend time focusing on the change of colours as the sun goes down and tonnes of gold starts to glimmer.
This is one of the greatest ancient temple cities in the world, unfortunately, Bagan was pretty severely damaged on 24th august 2016 in the 6.8 richter earthquake.
The temples that were worst affected were Sulamani and Myauk Guni (North Guni). Visitors have now restricted access to 33 temples.
Inle lake is one of the prime destinations in Myanmar, it is a must-see even though it is quite touristy. Boat ride around the lake comes highly recommended, but try to negotiate with the tour guide regarding what you want to see.
Mawlamyine isn’t really on the tourist calendar and that’s probably the reason why it seems more interesting than other major cities in Myanmar. It is authentic and offers excellent possibilities for people-watching after sunset when people hang on their porches open to the streets. The most famous temple is Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda. It is also a great place to see the sunset and way less crowded than the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Many monasteries abound in the area and can be accessible to tourists.
This area is simply beautiful. It is highly recommended to hire a motorbike there to explore the various caves in the area. Also, the sunsets are absolutely mind-blowing.
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