Myanmar has only really been open to travellers and inquisitive tourists since 2011. And now, the delights of the colonial cities, ancient temples and sacred festivals have been revealed, left untouched and bathed in cultural heritage for so long.
Yangon is the main gateway and former capital city of Myanmar. With its spacious parks, lakes, mix of modern buildings and traditional wooden architecture and one of the most striking religious monuments in South-East Asia, the Shwedagon Pagoda, Colonial Yangon was affectionately named ‘The Garden City of the East’.
Shan state’s prime attraction, Inle Lake is dotted with picturesque villages and floating market gardens that produce flowers and vegetables. Situated just a short distance from Yangon, nestled within the cool green highlands and mountains, this is the place to witness the unique one-legged rowing technique of Burmese fishermen.
Bagan is a landscape blessed with over 2,000 shrines, set against a mystical backdrop of the legendary Ayeyarwaddy River. It is also one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, where an estimated 13,000 temples once stood. The expansive open areas are largely untouched by crowds, making Bagan an amazing and enchanting experience.
The last capital of the third Myanmar Empire, Mandalay is both a bustling commercial centre and a repository of ancient culture. With the remains of the old Royal City, sacred monasteries and numerous other places of interest, Mandalay is a showcase for Myanmar art and architecture and is known as the country’s cultural capital. It is noted for woodcarvings, silverware, tapestries, silk cloth, and other traditional craft products.
Off the southern coast of Myanmar, the Mergui Archipelago is home to the semi-nomadic Monken people. These seafarers spend most of the year living and fishing from their boats, touring the mostly uninhabited islands. You can board a yacht to see these islands for yourself, diving at the coral reefs, stopping on the beautiful beaches of Pila Island and catching sight of seabirds and turtles from the deck.