Bagan is a plain in the middle of Myanmar, located in Mandalay Region, covering about 16 squares miles along the east bank of Ayarwaddy river. An ancient city, Bagan, is home to the world's largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples and pagodas, some dating back to the 11th Century. Archaeological zone is a main attraction and it has been said as equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
It became the most flourishing and significant kingdom in the mid 9th century under King Anawyahta, who unified Myanmar under Theravada Buddhism. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 13000 Buddhist temples and images were constructed in the Bagan plane. World's heritages which are now in all stages of decay but the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day. Tradition and culture are carried by the local chronicles, has it that a long line of fifty-five kings ruled over this kingdom during the twelve centuries.
Yangon is the main gate way to Myanmar. It is a former capital of Myanmar and also the capital of Yangon region. It was founded as Dagon in the early 11th century by the Mons, who dominated Lower Myanmar at that time and is located at the convergence of the Yangon and Bago River. It becomes a port city and a centre of commercial functions since colonial days and still remains the economic hub of Myanmar though it is not now the political capital. The taste of Yangon, so called 'Garden City of the East', is green and cool with spacious gardens, shady parks and lush tropical trees. It decorates itself with beautiful fringes such as golden pagodas, stunning images and colorful amusement parks.
Because of the most holy site of the country 'Shwedagon', the largest number of colonial buildings and many other reasons, Yangon becomes one of the most attractive cities in the East.
The last royal capital Mandalay is located over 380miles north of Yangon on the east bank of Ayarwaddy River.It is the heart of Myanmar Culture, Buddha Sasana, Myanmar traditional arts and crafts and also the economic hub of upper Myanmar. Accordingly it is the richest historical landmark next to Bagan. Cultural and religious centre of Buddhism, Mandalay, have numerous monasteries and more than 700pagodas. At the foot of Mandalay Hill sits the world's Buddhist Bible, also known as the world biggest book, in Kuthodaw Pagoda. There are 729 slabs of stone which are inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon. And the most revered image in Mandalay, Maha Muni, draws a daily crowd of devotees and will not fail to impress you too. Across the Ayeyarwaddy River from Mandalay is Mingun, where you will discover the world's largest un-cracked bell along with other massive monuments built by King Bodawpaya.
Tourist attraction sites of industries are silk weaving, tapestry and wood carving, making bronze Buddha images, temple ornaments and making of gold and silver leaves.
Mandalay today harmoniously mixes up an ancient cultural beauty of the royal place, the significant moat surrounding it and the untouched beauty of the Mandalay Hill.
The second fresh water lake, magnificent Inle, is 20 kilometers long and almost 10 kilometers wide in Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State.
For one of the most intriguing aspects of Inle, explore the interesting ways of life of Intha people who are resident in stilted villages and their fascinating floating gardens. Most of native residents are fishermen and some are self-sufficient farmers. Their renowned leg-rowing style will surely make you awe-stuck.
Fascinating lotus weaving, which uses the fibers from the stem of the lotus flower to produce deluxe silk can only be found in Inle. Silk weaving is one another attraction, producing high quality hand-woven silk fabrics.
The lake's most well-known religious site is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. Every year five famous Buddha images covered in so much gold leaf are carried by beautifully decorated barge to many villages around the lake. Many celebrations including traditional boat racing can be participated during this huge festival.
The 150 year-old teak Nga Phe Kyaung monastery is also remarkable with dozens of old Buddha statues carved from wood and stone.
Very scenic boat trip to the stupa-covered hill of Indein and Pa-oh village of Sager can make you impressive to the historical events of magical Inle.
Enjoy your days on the placid waters of unique Lake.
Hpa An is just pleasant 5hours drive from Yangon.The capital of Kayin state, Hpa An, has a lot of natural places to visit and said to be the city of hidden treasure. Kyong Htaw waterfall is one of the worth-visiting site , so as to be amazed by the great nature surrounding the waterfall and real touch of the fresh air. Famed and fabulous Mt. Zwekabin, so called the heart of Hpa An, will reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. Very scenic view from the top of mountain is wonderful and breathtaking after 2 hour hiking. Pleasurable Lombini Garden and 1000 identical Buddha statues lie at the foothill of Mt. Zwekabin. The limestone outcropping of Kyaung Kalat near Mt. Zwekabin is one of the most attractive sites of Hpa An. Sadaan Cave is the best place for exploring a lot of Buddha statues, stalactites and stalagmites. To reach the main chamber of the cave, we need to take a short boat trip and trek. Other impressive site is Kawka Thaung Cave, located in Lakkana village. You can also find peaceful Myanmar rural life style in this charming village. If you were a lover of caves, mountains, hiking and green environs, this is the place you will enjoy most. Local ways of life along the Thanlwin River and unspoiled nature are waiting to be explored.
Golden Rock, known as Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda, is one of the most interesting sacred place in Myanmar. This is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay.
Magical sight of situation of Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda, balancing on the edge of a cliff, is wondrous for all. Enjoying scenic overview of Gold Rock and watching local people pay homage to the holy gold-covered boulder in the early morning is an unforgettable experience. There is a unique candle-lighting festival around the Golden Rock in the December full moon period.
Pleasant four hour drive from Yangon will take you to the foothill of Golden Rock. And then open truck will zigzag up the winding roads for an hour and finally to reach the boulder, we just have to walk about 4km to the top. Spiritual and mysterious Golden Rock will never fail to amaze you.
Former British hill station, Kalaw, is blessed with cool and fresh air most of the year and very nice weather. People use to come to escape the heat of the lowlands and always welcome to our peaceful Kalaw. British architecture can still be seen in the dozens of colonial buildings in the downtown area.
Fine weather, cooling air and panoramic view for all the time can make your holiday fresh. If you are a lover of trekking and interested in adventure, Kalaw has many trails to trek around the town. Picturesque trekking through the forests, green fields and many other attraction sites can surely give great pleasure.
Soft adventurous half day trekking will introduce to the flora and fauna of amazing Shan Hill, and you can choose overnight treks to get to higher elevations and more remote areas. One fascinating place to learn about our gentle big friends, Green Hill Valley Elephant project is an hour east of Kalaw. Unlike the zoo, you will have a good chance for seeing our big friends pulling logs, foraging, bathing, and being treated by their elephant care takers.
Ngapali Beach is renowned for its unspoiled beauty and serene nature up to this day. It is one of the loveliest places in Myanmar, and home to some of the most impressive sunsets in the world.
It can be accessible by flight which takes about 45 minutes from Yangon, or by car about 14 hours drive along the Rakhine Yoma mountain range.
The beach stretches about 3 km with white sand fringed by scenic range of coconut palms. So it serves all of visitors the ultimate experience for sunbathing, beach strolling, cycling and so on. Bluish water of Bay of Bengal and its white sandy beach are very harmonious to each other.
If you want to stay together with nature for a while, Ngapali is the perfect solution. Many local people and tourists are attracted to visit in open season (usually from October to May).
Luxurious hotels are also ready to serve you with their best service and hospitality.
Do come and find yourself fresh and relaxed amid stunning panorama.
Hsipaw - ideal place for treks, hikes and cycling experience!
Hsipaw is a pleasant small town situated on the Dothtawaddy River in the Shan plateau about 500m above sea level. It is a perfect picturesque place for experiencing natural loveliness of Myanmar.
Hsipaw is an agricultural region with the surrounding countryside planted with seasonal crops like oranges, pineapple, papaya, and watermelon and many others. Palaung ethnic group produces the finest tea and Shan villages grow a wide variety of vegetables like mustard, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant etc. along the Dothtawadddy River.
It is blessed with green mountains, valleys, hills, a crystal-clear river and very friendly people. Colorful local markets, restaurants, temples and shops are also in a easily walkable area. The former house of the last Sawbwa is still standing near the town centre. We shouldn't miss the panoramic view of Hsipaw from the Nine-Buddha Hill, called the Sunset Hill.
Overnight stays in local houses are ideal for active and curious travelers in multi-day treks.
Boat trips down the Dothtawaddy River will introduce you to the traditional architecture and way of life of ethnic groups.
The southern coastal strip of Myanmar faces the Andaman Sea, and scattered over 800 small islands are waiting to be revealed in this area. Most of islands are uninhabited but you can see sea-gypsies, called Salons in Myanmar (Mokens, called in Thailand and Malaysia), living on their small boats and hopping from island to island, and use to come back to their land during the monsoon. You will surely notice how very harmonious with the sea they are.
For best sceneries, the corals are very beautiful and there is still an abundance of many tropical fishes. As commercial fishing is not yet well developed, the fishes here are said to die of old age. And here observe benefiting small swallow-like birds (Ziwazoe) which make their nests with their own vomit.
There are many beautiful dive spots in this region and one of the most extraordinary dive sites is Shark Cave.
Bago is just 80 km (50 miles) north of Yangon. Pleasant one hour drive from Yangon will lead you to historical Bago region. It is famous for its richest archaeological sites.
Kyaik Pun Pagoda is in the form of four gigantic Buddha images all in sitting posture facing the four cardinal points of the compass. They are seated back to back against a massive brick pillar. This unusual and impressive pagoda is only a few hundred feet off the Yangon-Bago road. It was built by King Dhamma Zedi in 1476 AD. They are kept in a fair state soft preservation. Kyai Pun Pagoda is situated amidst the lush rugged countryside strewn with a large number of ancient ruins many of which are under repair. According to a legend four mon sisters were connected with the construction of the images. It was said that that if one of them marry, one of the Buddha would collapse.
Mawlamyine is one of the most picturesque cities in Myanmar. There you can feel the real touch of nature and make you unforgettable till you reach your mother country.
** The capital of the Mon State and the place of best kept secrets**
The Kyaik Thanlan Pagoda, built in 875, is home to Buddhist manuscripts as well as hair relics of the unrivalled Buddha. It is a landmark of the city and very scenic with its hilltop location. It can offer you some of the finest picturesque views of Mawlamyine and its surroundings. In the west of the city, the Queen Sein Don Monastery stands out among the dozens of small pagodas in the west of the city. It is famous for its fine woodcarvings and very interesting history. There are many Buddhist monuments and colossal reclining Buddha at Win Sein monastery is magnificent and worth visiting.
Around 60 kilometres south of Mawlamyine is Thanbyuzayat. There you can find the Allied War Memorial Cemetery, where prisoners of war who lost their lives during the time of building the renowned Death Railway, are laid to rest.Another worth visiting site is Shampoo Island which is located on the Thanlyin River. This island is so fascinating and the journey to the island is also scenic.
Mawlamyine is also famous for its excellent cuisine. Local foods are well-known and delicious, so people from other cities use to come and try delightful taste of Mawlamyine's food.
Mawlamyine is just six-hour drive from Yangon and it is advised to pair up with a visit to the Golden Rock or Hpa An.
Pyay is an admirable place to discover the ancient past of Myanmar. Stands on the bank of the Ayarwaddy River and is located half way between Yangon and Bagan, so it becomes a great stopover for travelers.
In 2014, UNESCO designated the Sri Ksetra ruins as a World Heritage Site and so this quiet small town is now becoming renowned to many travelers (both local people and tourists). UNESCO heritage ruins of Sri Ksetra will surely draw you back to the 5th century BC when the capital of the Pyu Kingdom. Pyay is an undeniably interesting place for history and architecture lovers.
Pyay has many tourist attraction sites worth visiting.
Shwesandaw Pagoda is the most famous and this glittering pagoda is enshrined with a tooth relic from Buddha. Nearby is the gigantic seated Sehtetgyi Buddha image. The bespectacled Buddha Image at Shwemyethman Pagoda, who is believed to have healing powers for eye problems, is one attraction. Northwest of Pyay, on the other banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, are a series of Buddhas carved into the river banks called Akauktaung Hill. Very scenic boat trip , soft adventurous experience to reach the top of Akauktaung hill and picturesque overview from the hill makes you mind fresh and fantastic.
With its cool temperatures, unspoiled natural landscapes and laid-back atmosphere, its no wonder Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular weekend destination for Myanmar residents. Established as a hill station by the British during the colonial era, Pyin Oo Lwin still has an unforgettable charm.
Pyin Oo Lwin, also known as Maymyo, is located 1.5 hours northeast of Mandalay at an elevation of around 1200 metres. It is nestled in the Shan Hills and, thus, is noticeably cooler than Mandalay and other low-lying cities. As well, the geography and climate are such that Pyin Oo Lwin can grow some of the best produce and coffee in Myanmar.
Arriving in Pyin Oo Lwin you will be struck by the contrasts in architecture as well as the people. Thanks to its history as a British retreat, the town is home to a mix of Burmese, Indian, Gurkas and British descendants and its architecture reflects this diversity. Among the most famous colonial buildings are Candacraig, an impressive red brick building built in 1904 by the British Bombay Timber Company, and the Governor's House.
The best way to explore town is by horse and buggy, styled like the old 'Western Union' carriages. The vibrant market is a good place to start and then continue winding your way through the town streets to see the aforementioned architecture. The Catholic cemetery where more than 200 foreign nationals are buried, All Saints Church and the colonial-style train station are all worth a visit.
The main attraction in Pyin Oo Lwin is the Kandawgyi Gardens, which was established in 1915 by a British forester and spans more than 177 hectres. Allow a few hours here to walk around and appreciate the gardens, with its 500 plus species of trees, 70 types of bamboo and more than 300 orchid varieties. There is also a splendid aviary and an extensive display of petrified wood.
On the outskirts of town are the Anisakan and Pwe Kauk Falls. These two waterfalls are popular picnic spots for local families and a nice place to get some fresh air. As well, there are several small Shan villages surrounding Pyin Oo Lwin where you can see the traditional ways of life of this hill tribe group.
Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular stopping point on the way to the north Burma Road where Hsipaw and Kyauk Me towns are located. However it also makes for a pleasant overnight trip from Mandalay.
Monywa is situated about 136km to the west of Mandalay. A picturesque town on the Chinewin River, Monywa is known as a typical unspoiled Myanmar town and also the commercial center. It is just only three hours drive from Mandalay. On the way to Monywa, there is unusual Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land called Mohnyin Thanbotday. Other famous sites are Mt. Pho Win and Mt. Shwe Ba, well-known for its carving the entire mountain into caves, niches, staircases and Buddha Images.
Pindaya is a small quiet charming town perched on the bank of the placid Botaloke Lake.
Pindaya cave is a huge extensive limestone cavern where eight thousands of Buddha images in a variety of sizes and shapes are laid since the 11th century. The cave is decorated with not only the images and also natural beautiful stalagmites.
Huge monastery compounds with numerous pagodas and temples in different stages of dilapidation are much respected by such ethnic groups as the Shans, Danus and Paos living in the environs of Pindaya
Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State in (Myanmar). It is located near the State's northern tip, just above an embayment on the Bilu River. 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.
The old capital of Rakhine Kingdom founded in 15 century, remained its capital for 355years and now a day known for its temples with wall paintings.
You have to fly to Sittwe, a small town on the Kaladan River, and then travel by boat to the other side which takes 3-6 hours. The boat ride so relaxing and pleasant.Koethaung Pagoda, a massive sandstone structure built in the 16th century, and Shittaung Pagoda, home to a maze of Buddha-filled corridors, are two of the more photogenic monuments. Wethali is a great half day excursion. The area was a kingdom in the 3rd century AD and the walls of the former palace can still be seen including amazing seated Buddha image.
Scenic boat trip to the Chin Villages can be arranged. The villages maintain a traditional way of life and live in simple houses. There you can see the tattooed women.
It is the northern most railway terminal, 919 miles from Yangon and 487 miles from Mandalay. Visitors can tour very interesting place Myit Sone which is confluence of Maykha and Malikha streams. The lifeblood of Myanmar, Ayarwaddy River, has its source from this confluence and flows 1325 miles to the south of the river. There you can see the water is crystal clear. The panoramic view of the scenario at Myit Sone with the unspoiled beauty of nature is beyond the expression of words and will definitely be a fine attraction to tourists. Different tribes of national races live in harmony with their own cultures, customs dialects, dances and lifestyles. For mountaineering enthusiasts, expeditions to Mt. Khaka Bo Razi would be an adventure. Myitkyina can be reached by air and which take two and half hours via Mandalay and the flights are operated irregular.