Myanmar is a mystical land. A country of hills and valleys, mountains and beaches, temples and jungles. From its northern Himalayan border with Tibet, the thick teak clad hills of the Golden Triangle and the confluence of the Mekong river with Thailand and Laos, along into the plains of Mandalay, on to the Ayeyarwaddy delta and down into the hundreds of scattered, tropical islands of the Andaman sea, the visitor cannot fail to delight in the marvel that is Myanmar and all the wonders it has to offer. The country is swathed in history and culture, overflowing with old-world charm and a way of life rapidly disappearing in the rest of the world today. Whilst this is an obvious setback for the inhabitants of Myanmar, it is a fascinating insight into an ancient Asian culture.
Situated on the most westerly point of the Southeast Asian landmass, Myanmar is one of the most physically diverse and beautiful countries in the region. In spite of ongoing political problems, it remains a country of great travel interest and your visit is hugely beneficial to, and encouraged by, the ordinary Burmese citizen. From its sublime landscapes and rich history, to its serene people and deeply Buddhist culture, it is a destination like no other, offering the visitor a veritable treasure trove of wonders and delights unmatched in the world today. Allow us, with our dedicated team of Burmese staff, to show you around our enchanting country.
Yangon is definitely the destination for alternative shopping. The city boasts of unique, very reasonably-priced items that one may not find even in its close neighbors. Some of its attractions include:
- Precious Stones & Jewelry
visitors can go crazy buying stones in Yangon: from precious birthstones to finer jades, sapphire and rubies.
- Lacquer ware
perhaps the most popular buy is Myanmar lacquer ware. This attractive work of art, mostly coming from upcountry Bagan, is easily a collectible. Shoppers may choose from a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes, although one may also find pleasure in the antique lacquer ware pieces found in any major shop in town.
unique tapestries that equal Myanmar lacquer ware in terms of popularity. These woven fabrics are normally handmade using gold and silver thread, with silver and metal finish.
another popular buy in Yangon. Collectibles include statues, brass animal shapes, wooden fixtures, old clocks, and the like.
shoppers may go in a buying frenzy. Prices are very reasonable and are available in almost every market and store in town.
from small items such as figurines and wooden canes to as heavy as home furniture. One would surely find pleasure in going through a wide variety of good quality woodcraft The most popular places for bargain-hunting includes Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) where one can go through countless options of souvenir items sold at significantly low prices. Shoppers would enjoy haggling for discounts as most of the items are sold without price tags. Other places for good buys include downtown Chinatown and shopping centers around the city.
Yangon (Rangoon) is a city of temples, markets, food stalls and ill-repaired colonial architecture. Highlights include the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most spectacular Buddhist shrines in Asia; the ancient Sule Pagoda; the Botataung Pagoda, hollow inside with a mirrored maze; and the Maha Pasan Guha, or 'Great Cave'.
Catch one of Myanmar's frequent Buddhist festivals, many timed to coincide with the full moon. Highlights include: Amanda Pagoda Festival in January/February; Pindaya Cave Festival in March; Maha Thingyan (New Year) in March; and Thihoshin Pagoda Festival, Pakkoku, in June/July.
Catch a show
Attend performances of Myanmar's traditional popular theatre. Performances take place during religious festivals, weddings, sporting events or even funerals, and sometimes last for an entire night. See traditional dance forms (nat pwes), which pay homage to the spirit world, and catch some marionette theatre (yok-thei pwe), widely practised during the late 18th century in Mandalay.
Escape the crowds
Get off the beaten track in the country's east and northwest. Kalaw provides a cool, pine-forested escape; the caves and lake at Pindaya contain thousands of Buddha images; near Yengan village find the Padah-Lin Caves, containing prehistoric paintings. Meanwhile, Inlay Lake is famous for its floating gardens and leg-rowing fishermen. Further north, Maymyo is a charming British hill station.
Discover historical Bagan. The ancient city was founded in AD 849 by the Myanmar, or Burmans, as the capital of their empire. It is one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world - 5000 temples, stupas.
Venture outside Mandalay to several abandoned capital cities. Sagaing contains interesting pagodas, and Ava's old city walls can be traced. Take a river trip to Mingun to see the famous Mingun Bell, supposedly the world's largest uncracked hung bell. The city of Amarapura is also famous for its cotton and silk weaving.
Roam the old royal city of Mandalay, which is rich in palaces, stupas, temples and pagodas. Sights include the huge Shweyattaw Buddha, with its outstretched finger; the Eindawya Pagoda, covered in gold leaf; the Shwekyimyint Pagoda; the Mahumuni Pagoda or 'Great Pagoda', housing a famous and revered Mahumuni image. Also, visit the ruins of the once-stupendous Mandalay Palace, destroyed in 1942.
Myanmar's has rich opportunities for ecotourism, trekking and safaris to experience in its national parks. The best parks include the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park (northwest of Monywa); Hlawga National Park (near Yangon); Popa Mountain Park (central Myanmar); Lampi Island (Myeik Archipelago); and Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary (located in Minbu).
Full country name: Republic of the Union of Myanmar
- Area: 678 sq. Km.
- Population: 48 mln. p.
- Capital: Neypido
- Nation: Burmese - 68%, Shan - 9%, Karen - 7%, Arakanese - 4%, Chinese - 3%, Indian2% - Mona - 2%, other - 5%
- Language: Burmese, English
- Religion: Buddhist - 89%, Christian - 4%, Muslim - 4%, animist - 1% Other - 2%
- Government: Federal Republic