Myanmar tourism: A - Z handbook
Overview of Myanmar tourism
Myanmar is a historical country that is famous for several great religious relics with greatness not only the scale but also the sophisticated architecture such as The Golden Pagoda in Yangon, The magnificent Golden Mountain Kyaikhtiyo and more than 1000-temple complex in Bagan, etc.
Overview of Myanmar Tourism
Besides the idyllic and primitive scenery of Inle lake and Ngapali beach, the unique conventionality of the high-neck people Pa-O or applying Thanaka cream practice, etc.
Although Myanmar has recently opened, tourism has recently boomed here because of these cultural advantages.
Domestic transportation in Myanmar
Except for the safest and most comfortable airline transportation, you can transfer through Myanmar’s provinces by bus. Because the bus can depart in the evening and the temperature inside is quite cold, you should take a blazer along with you.
A cab is also a convenient vehicle for moving into the city. In addition, the old railway system and low-quality roads are one of the reasons why train is not suitable for normal travelling.
Famous places in Myanmar
Mandalay and surrounding areas
Mandalay is the second biggest city in Myanmar after Yangon and one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Myanmar. There are several tourist attractions in Mandalay: The wooden monastery Shwenandaw, Kuthodaw Paya Pagod - which contains the world's largest book, Mandalay hill, or The Royal Palace, Mahamuni Pagoda with the golden Budha Statue, The U-bein Bridge – the wooden longest bridge in the world, and the Amarapura Monastery.
Mingun (Min Kun)
Mingun is a village in Sagaing region, in the northern Mandalay that is famous for several historical relics and attractions as The Mingun bell – one of the heaviest bells in the world, The Mingun Pahtodawgyi Tower, and the white pagoda Hsinbyume / Myatheindan with Two gigantic statues of Chinthe.
Mingun Pahtodawgyi Tower
Sagaing is a city located on the bank of the Ayeyarwady River, about 20km from Mandalay in the southwestern. In this city, there are a number of monasteries and pagodas where you can visit and pilgrimage pagodas in Myanmar. Actually, the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is one of the most particular constructions with a golden arched roof that is extremely different from the other figure pinnacle architectures.
Inn Wa (Inhwa/ Inwa/ Ava)
Lying on the bank of Irrawaddy River, Inn Wa was the capital of Myanmar in the Kingdom of Ava, reigns from the 14th to 19th Century. Visiting Inn Wa, you may be interested in tourist attractions such as the wooden monastery Bagaya Kyaung and the leaning tower of Nanmyin.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin is a colonial hill station about 67 km from the north of Mandalay, with a height of over 1000m to the sea. This town is known as a special destination in Myanmar with several tourist attractions such as the National Garden Kandawgyi, the clock tower Purcell at the Big Ben style in London, Anisakan waterfall, the Pwe Kauk waterfall, and Pyeik Chin Miang cave.
Bagan, the former capital of the powerful Bagan Kingdom, is also known as the center of the most famous temples in Myanmar. At present, with over 2000 temples in the 10000 surviving ancient religious architectures, Bagan is one of the most attractive destinations for visitors to Myanmar. These are some suggestions for your trip: the Ananda pagoda with four standing Buddhas facing the direction of East, North, West, and South, the Thatbyinnyu – The tallest pagoda in Bagan, the Shwegugyi temple, and the Shwesandaw pagoda where the keep the relics hairs of the Gautama Buddha, etc.
Inle Lake – Nyaung Shwe town
Inle Lake is located in Nyaung Shwe town, also known as one of the most famous tourist attractions in Myanmar. Visitors to Inle Lake not only admire the stunning scenery but also have chances to visit the vineyards and wine production of Red Mountain, as well as the village of Intha people with unique one-leg-rowing fisherman and Phaung Daw Oo pagoda with five golden Buddha statues.
Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw)
Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, where you can find several great architectures of the Myanmar Government. These are some popular constructions: The Parliament Building, the 3 giant statues of kings Anawrahta, U Aung Zeya Bayinnaung, and Alaungpaya, and the Uppatasanti temple, where they keep the relics teeth of the Buddha.
Naypyidaw in Myanmar
Pyay is a town on the bank of the Ayeyarwady River, with some famous tourist attractions such as the sunset pagoda Shwesandaw and the ancient pagoda of Bawbawgyi.
Yangon and the south of Myanmar
Yangon is the biggest city in Myanmar, as well as one of the most popular destinations for visitors. In Yangon, tourists can visit some famous places: the Shwedagon pagoda, the colonial town, the Sule pagoda, the Bogyoke Aung San market, the Mingalar market, the China Town in the 19th street nad nearby Indian Town, the Botataung pagoda, the church of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the church of Holy Trinity Cathedral, the church of Mailamu, the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue monastery for Hebrew, the Mahabadoola garden, the Inya, and Kandawgyi Lake.
The beaches in Bengal bay
Although Myanmar tourist has developed, the beautiful and primitive beaches always attract tourists who are beaches lover. These are some suggestions for beaches Ngwe Saung, Chuangtha, and Ngapali – the most popular beach with blue water and white sand beaches.
Ngwe Saung Beach
Known as the capital of the Taungoo Empire, there are many surviving devices in Bago, including The lying Buddha statue of Shwethalyaung, the Shwemawdaw pagoda – the tallest pagoda in Myanmar, the Kyaik Pun pagoda with four Buddha statues in each direction, the Kanbawzathadi Palace, the Snake Pagoda. Especially, visitors can visit some famous places from Bago such as the Kyaikhtiyo / Kyaiktiyo pagoda, also known as the golden rock pagoda that is steep on the Kyaiktiyo hill.
Mawlamyine is the fourth biggest city in Myanmar. Visitors may have interest in some tourist places: the Nwa Le Bo / Nwa La Bo pagoda is steep on 3 rocks. This pagoda is compared to the golden rock pagoda Kyaikhtiyoo.
Kyaikthanian Paya Mawlamyine
Mrauk-U is an important archaeological city on the western border of Myanmar, in Rakhine State. This city is widely known as the second biggest center of the pagoda in Myanmar after Bagan. Distinguishing from the brick and clay pagodas in Bagan, pagodas in Mrauk-U are built of brick and stone from Arakan Kingdom. There are several pagodas: Htukkanthein, Koethaung, Andrew-thein, Lemyethna, Ratana, and Shitethaung which is the most spectacular and significant pagoda in archaeology.
Foods, Restaurants, food streets, and specialties in Myanmar
Visiting Myanmar, visitors will have chances to taste the unique Burmese cuisine:
1. Burmese Tea Leaf Salad (lephet / laphet)
Fermented tea leaves can be eaten as a dessert, or they may be processed for tealeaf salad. Sour and slightly bitter tea leaves mixed with cabbage, tomato, baked beans, peppers, and garlic, and then served with rice for the tastiest.
Burmese Tea Leaf Salad
2. Shan Rice (Nga htamin)
Nga Hatamin means fish rice in Burmese, one of the traditional dishes of the Shan people. This dish includes rice mixed with turmeric, and then compressed flat, finally used with freshwater shredded meat, garlic oil, as well as fresh garlic, garlic roots, and fried pigskin. This dish will be a memorable taste that you have ever tried.
3. Burmese curry
This curry is always made of beef, fish, shrimp, pork, or lamb. This dish will become tastier when we have it with rice, salad, vegetable, soup, and some different sauces.
4. Dishes of teashops in Myanmar
In Myanmar, teashops are a place for not only enjoying tea but also an exploration of diverse dishes peoples. One of the most popular dishes in the Myanmar teashops you can find easily is Htaminthoke, a kind of rice salad. Moreover, in the Indian or Muslim teashop, visitors also have chances to try some dishes of the southern area, such as fried snack Samosas and Poori (Fried bread with potatoes curry) or the Nanbya toast. In Chinese teashops, ravioli soup is one of the most popular dishes.
Dishes of Teashops in Myanmar
5. Burmese sweet snack
Unlike sweet west desserts, sweet Burmese dishes have a common name, “Moun” which they have like snacks. The sweetness of Moun is not from sugar; it comes from natural ingredients such as grated coconut, coconut milk, rice flour, glutinous rice, pearl, and fruits. These are some popular “Moun” that you should try in Myanmar: Shwe Ji Hsa Nwin Ma Kin (a kind of ball cake made of coconut milk, buffalo milk, and raisins), Bein Moun, and Moun Pyit Thalet (Burmese pancake).
6. Fried dishes
In Myanmar, you can find fried dishes everywhere you go. In addition, it is really a pity if you do not try the “Buthi-Kyaw” dish in Myanmar. This dish is made of fried gourd-coated flour and served with a sweet and sour sauce of tamarind and pea flour.
7. Shan tofu noodles
One of the unique dishes in Myanmar is Hto-Hpu New, which means “hot tofu”. Although its name is tofu, there is no tofu in this dish. This dish is similar to the porridge of chickpeas.
Shan tofu noodle
8. Nangyi Thoke Noodle
Nangyi Thoke is a thoke salad dish in Burmese cuisine made with thick round rice noodles mixed with specifically prepared chicken curry. It has equated to a Burmese version of spaghetti.
Nangyi Thoke Noodle
The dish is often garnished with toasted chickpea flour, sliced onions, chilies, crispy noodles, slices of hard-boiled egg, and zested with lime or lemon.
Mohinga, a rice noodle and fish soup from Myanmar, is an essential part of Burmese cuisine. This dish is always served with onion soup and banana tree stems. Moreover, you can mix it with eggs, fried vegetable kyaw, a squeeze of lime, as well as dried chili to have the best taste.
10. Shan noodle
Shan noodle is one of the specialties dishes of the Shan peoples. This dish is made of rice and pepper soup and then served with chicken and pork. You can also have this dish without soup.
With our experiences of creating tours to Myanmar and to other countries in Asia, Myanmar Private Tour can be your choice to optimize the trip.