Up until relatively recently, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), was closed off to tourists. However in recent years, travellers the world over are discovering this hidden gem, exploring its beauty, and experiencing holidays that are indeed unlike any other. Visiting Myanmar allows you a unique opportunity to experience vast expanses of untouched land and embark on a spiritual journey that you'll remember for many years.
Steeped in history and rich in unique culture, Myanmar offers numerous opportunities for intrepid travellers to get lost in time gone by. This might seem overwhelming at first, given just how much there is to see and do, but with our help, you'll be well on your way to planning the trip of a lifetime.
With a history based in Buddhist spiritualism, Myanmar is home to thousands of temples, pagodas and religious sites. These sites are all awe-inspiring in their own right and well worth a visit, but there’s much more to Myanmar than just temple tours.
Our top six best places to visit in Myanmar are:
If you’re after uninterrupted views of breathtaking landscapes, we highly recommend climbing the 777 steps that lead you to the top of Mount Popa. Here, you’ll experience incredible views from a sacred monastery perched on an extinct volcano, with glistening gold stupas.
This half-day trip is incredibly popular with tourists for good reason. And if the views aren’t enough to win you over, allow the monkeys that teem in the trees of this area to steal your heart.
If there’s one thing Myanmar delivers on in excess, it is the opportunity for spiritual experiences. One of the best places to experience this has to be Kakku. Built over 2,000 years ago, this collection of 2478 stupas stands tall and strong to this day. Almost labyrinthine in design, we encourage vistors to get lost in history and take in the religious centre of the Pa’O people.
Travel tip: Due to local laws, you are required to take the trip to Kakku with a local tour guide. Don't worry, this will only add to your experience, as they will impart the knowledge of the past on you.
With over 200 monasteries dotting the lake’s shores, this in itself makes Inle Lake worth a visit. However, adding to its appeal are the over-water restaurants, boasting local cuisine and teas.
Enjoy a lazy boat ride over the lake’s calm surface and take in the surrounding stupas and temples, or purchase some hand-woven textiles and other commodities from the local markets.
If you’ve ever looked up Myanmar online, you’ve probably seen images of a towering golden structure that makes you question whether it actually exists - well it does, and it’s called the Shwedagon Pagoda. While the pagoda is something to behold during the day, at night the pagoda lights up the night sky and is filled with worshippers. It is truly beautiful!
You can't visit Myanmar without taking a day trip to its most sacred Buddist Pagoda and touring its halls with a knowledgeable local guide.
Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery
One of the highlights of visiting Mandalay is the Golden Palace Monastery, which was once a part of the Royal Palace and stands tall to this day. With teak carvings of Buddhist myths decorating its exterior, this temple is an entirely different sight to any other religious sites around Myanmar.
With many tourists citing that “you will never see anything like this ever again”, when asked about their experience at the Pindaya Caves, it is almost a challenge to visit the site and feel differently. As a Buddhist pilgrimage site, the only cave (out of three) that visitors can enter and explore is known for its interior. Upon entry, you’ll be greeted by over 8,000 images of Buddha adorning the cave walls.
With some of the older statues and inscriptions in the cave dating back to the late 18th century, it’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of awe when walking through the Pindaya Caves.
While the above list is by no means exhaustive, we hope that it’s put Myanmar on your radar for your next holiday. For help with planning a trip, contact your local Travellers Choice agent. We can provide you with all the information you need to make your trip to Myanmar an unforgettable adventure.