Yangon aka Rangoon, the largest densely populated commercial metropolis of Myanmar with many leafy green areas, lakes and a great number of the late-19th -&-early-20th-century British colonial buildings still functioning as offices, banks, hotels and restaurants, is the main gateway to Myanmar formerly known as Burma. A travelling experience to Myanmar will never be completed without visiting such Yangon’s places of interest as the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the landmark of the country, a walk in a downtown to observe the everyday people’s life, Bogyoke or Scott Market, a one- stop shopping centre of Myanmar souvenirs. Yangon used as a base camp, its nearby cities of Dala, which is on the other side of Yangon River, Twante well-known as a pottery village, Syriam which used to be an enclave of the Portuguese in the late 16th & early 17th century, can also be visited on a day return trip.
The last royal city of Myanmar, famous for its arts and crafts, is located at the foot of the its landmark Mandalay Hill, with the breathtaking view up there, on the bank of the mighty Irrawaddy River. Mandalay, which is taken to be the derivative of “ Mandala “, is historical and well-known for Kuthoudaw, the biggest book in the world recently in the UNESCO’s world memory list and the Golden palace monastery of beautiful teak wood carvings, which is the only remaining palace building from the Mandalay Palace. Its nearby worth-visiting cities of Amarapura with almost 1.6m-long U Pein Teak-wood Bridge, Ava, Sagaing plus Mingun village & former British hill station Pyin Oo lwin, never fail to draw the attention of the visitors.
Known as the land of Pagodas, Bagan is a home of the over 4,000 ancient ruined temples, stupas and monasteries of mainly 11th, 12th and 13th centuries in varying sizes & heights not yet well discovered both by foreign and by local visitors. It’s also well-known for its unique Lacquer-ware cottage industry and its nearby extinct volcano, Mt. Popa, an oasis in the dry zone, believed to be inhabited by the pantheon of 37 national Nats. No wonder, Bagan has become a center of attraction for both foreign and local tourists alike.
The second largest lake of Myanmar in the fertile southern Shan state, almost 1,000 m above the sea level, having a surface area of 44.9 sq mi (116 km2), well-known for its leg-rowers, every-5-day-tribal markets, unique traditional fishing style with 2-m-long-cone-shape bamboo fishing traps with net inside, floating gardens of variety of seasonal vegetables & flowers, villages of weavers, blacksmiths, boat makers, cheroot rollers, silversmiths in the lake, is a must-see. A charming Indein Pa-O tribal village dotted with almost 2,000 pagodas is a must-visit sight. Such idyllic hill stations as Pindaya, Kalaw near Inlay Lake, should not be skipped to visit either by car or on trek and 1-night-2-day-Kalaw-Inle scenic trek is recommended.
A two-night trip to Loikaw, the capital of the Kayah State from the Inle Lake, the hometown of Kayan Padaung tribe with brass rings in their necks, will also be an unforgettable wonderful journey to the south of Inle, which can be done both by car and by boat. It’s a charming city blessed with beautiful nature, interesting culture and a blend of animism, Christianity and Buddhism__ a freedom of worship
The ancient hidden city, rising in the 15th century and falling in the 18th century, dotted with the thousands of worth-visiting sand stone pagodas built during its prosperous period, still primitive nowadays, with a beautiful Thet tribal village, starting point to visit the tattooed-face Chin women’s villages, well-known for its beautiful scenery, should be in your list of must-see places.
The capital of Kachin State located in the northern part of Myanmar is well-known for its scenic beauty where colourful Kachin tribal people gather for such annual celebration as the famous Manaw Festival on January 9_11. Twenty miles north of Myitkyina and deep in the forest lies the birth place of the Great Ayeyarwaddy/Irrawaddy River widely known as " Myitsone " meaning the confluence of the Mali & N'mai rivers, boasting its incomparable natural beauty.
One of the most well-known Buddhist pilgrimage sights in the Mon State and commonly known as a balancing rock or golden rock gilded with the pure gold leaves, with a small golden stupa enshrining Buddha’s hair, on its top, precariously positioned on the base cliff edge defying against the gravitational force, it is filled with the mystical themes. Buddhists want to make a pilgrimage tour there at least once in their life time. A five-hour drive in maximum from Yangon takes you to the foot of the mountain and trekking or a truck ride to the top is your option for a close observation of the gravity-defying golden rock.
Thandwe is a small serene town on Rakhine coast with its center of attraction, the Ngapali Beach, for your physical and mental recovery and memorable leisure. It is the best unspoiled and idyllic virgin sea-resort regarded as a paradise on earth, fringed with coconut palms, blessed with over 3-km stretch of white sand, with a series of the high-end hotels overlooking the deep blue sea, a utopia for the lovers such water sports as snorkeling, scuba diving, Kayaking, fishing, jet skiing, a boat ride, etc.,.