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Home Travel Guide Myanmar Travel Guide Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Myanmar to Visit

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Myanmar to Visit

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For many visitors, Myanmar remains a little-known and mysterious place. The Western media has even given it a beautiful nickname – “The Hermits of Asia”. In recent years, as Myanmar has gradually opened up to the world, more and more globetrotters have come to this lovely country, making this golden land more real. Myanmar is home to an abundance of spectacular sights, from ancient Buddhist temples and stretches of unspoiled silvery sand beaches to mysterious caves and picturesque sunsets. If you have future plans to travel to Myanmar, keep reading to discover some top popular tourist attractions in Myanmar.

1. Shwedagon Pagoda

Located at the highest point of Yangon, the Shwedagon Pagoda is the national symbol of Myanmar and the center of Myanmar’s Buddhist faith. The cone-shaped main pagoda is nearly 100 meters high, with its body wrapped in gold leaf and thousands of gold and silver bells hanging around it. The crown of the pagoda is inlaid with more than 7,000 various rare rubies and sapphires, and there is a 76-carat diamond at the tip of the pagoda.

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The Shwedagon Pagoda shines even brighter in the morning and dusk-setting sun. In the evening, this Pagoda offers visitors an unparalleled night view. As the most unmissable attraction in Myanmar, a lot of people come here every day for sightseeing and Buddha worship. People are required to walk barefoot when entering the pagoda, even the head of state.

2. Golden Rock

The Golden Rock, one of the most popular attractions in Myanmar, is a huge rock that towers over the edge of a cliff and is breathtaking to behold. It is no exaggeration to say that you have never been to Burma without visiting the Golden Rock. Weighing about 611 tons and covered with gold leaf, the Golden Rock is the most important religious pilgrimage site in Myanmar after the Shwedagon Pagoda.

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On top of the stone is a 7.3-meter pagoda, which is 2,500 years old and is believed to contain the hair of the Buddha. The hair is said to be the reason the circular monolith maintains its seemingly precarious balance. The journey may be arduous, but it will be worth it when you reach the top, see the breathtaking scenery and feel the mysterious power unique to Myanmar.

3. Bagan

Bagan is a historical city, a Buddhist cultural site, and a famous tourist destination in Myanmar. As the Pagoda Capital of Myanmar, Bagan is said to have had tens of thousands of pagodas in its heyday. After more than 900 years, Bagan still boasts numerous pagodas and Buddhist temples built in various periods of Myanmar’s history. They are the epitome of Myanmar’s ancient architectural art, the embodiment of the wisdom and creativity of the Burmese working people, and the precious historical and cultural heritage of Myanmar.

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Visitors can watch the sunset in the forest of pagodas, take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the famous pagodas, ride a hot air balloon to overlook thousands of pagodas or ride a bicycle to roam around the pagoda complex.

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4. U-Bein Bridge

Built in 1851, the 1,200-meter-long U-Bein Bridge is made of more than 1,000 solid teak pieces, making it the oldest and longest teak-framed bridge in the world. The bridge has survived 150 years, but it is still strong today. There are six pavilions respectively at the beginning, middle, and end of the bridge, reflecting the Buddhist “spirit of Six Harmonies”. U Bein Bridge is also known as the “Love Bridge” by the Burmese. Burmese people travel to this bridge when they are in love, praying for the eternal preservation of these six spirits of harmony and mutual respect.

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The sunset over U-Bein Bridge is one of the most romantic sights in Myanmar. Visitors are advised to arrive at the bridge earlier, take a walk from one end of the bridge to the other (about half an hour), and return by boat to enjoy the distant sky fading from a light pink to a deep red.

5. Inle Lake

Inle Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Myanmar, located in the basin of the country’s northern highlands. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Inle Lake features clear water with direct sunlight on the bottom and a rich aquatic resource with many kinds of fish living in the lake. There are more than 30 villages on the lake, where people have been living on the lake for generations, making them veritable floating families. Inle Lake is dotted with vegetable gardens, known locally as “floating islands” that can rise and fall with the water’s ebb and flow or can be paddled around like a boat.

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The vegetables on the island will not be drowned by the swelling of the lake, nor die of drought. Fishermen on the lake, vegetable farmers on floating islands, and children going to school all drive this kind of boat to and from the lake, and even monks often take this kind of boat when they ask for alms.

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6. Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill, a famous Buddhist holy land in Myanmar, is the highest hill in Mandalay city at 236 meters above sea level. Legend has it that more than 2,000 years ago, Buddha Shakyamuni came here with his disciples to preach Buddhism, and since then, there has been a constant stream of pilgrims and tourists coming here.

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Mandalay Hill is one of the most famous attractions in Myanmar, known for its panoramic view of the city at sunset and magnificent river views. The main entrance to Mandalay Hill is on the south side, where a stone staircase leads to the top of the hill, along which you will pass many beautiful shrines. Be sure to walk up at sunset to get the best ambiance.

7. Ngapali Beach

Known for its pure silvery white color, Napali Beach is Myanmar’s most vibrant beach destination with a pristine and unspoiled coastline. 7 kilometers of white sand are fringed with swaying palms and coconut trees, and the stunning turquoise waters stretch to the huts along the shoreline.

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It is an isolated vacation paradise. Accommodation options range from beach huts to villas. There are also many restaurants serving fresh seafood. Recreational activities such as scuba diving, bicycle riding, canoeing, and golf are quite popular here.

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8. Mount Popa

Mount Popa, a famous extinct volcano in central Myanmar, means “mountain of flowers” in Burmese. This lonely mountain, formed by the accumulation of volcanic ash ejected from the ground, stands out from the Bagan Plain at 1,500 meters high. There are numerous Nath temples and relics at the top of the mountain, and to this day, Mount Popa remains a symbol of Burmese spiritual worship.

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The Taung Kalat of Mount Bopa is a pilgrimage site where the legendary gods appear. It is quite sacred for followers of the Nath religion. Every year in April, the festival of the gods attracts thousands of pilgrims to pay homage.

9. Bogyoke Aung San Market

The best place to shop in Yangon is Bogyoke Aung San Market, named after General Aung San, the “Father of Independence” of Myanmar, for over 70 years. With its British colonial architecture, the market is worth visiting, even for only sightseeing.

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The market is divided into eight areas, including clothing, handicrafts, precious stones, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and home appliances, with nearly 2,000 stalls. Every day, tens of thousands of tourists and locals come here to shop. It is quite famous in Yangon and even the whole of Myanmar and is considered a shopping paradise for foreign tourists.

10. Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy, Myanmar’s most important river, is one of the great rivers of the Indochina Peninsula in Asia, with a total length of 2,714 kilometers and a drainage area of 430,000 square kilometers. The river flowed plentifully, forming a vast floodplain near Bagan in central Myanmar, where the earliest Burmese civilization was born.

Visitors taking a boat trip along the Irrawaddy River can view the numerous Buddhist pagodas that line the river, observe the life of the local people, enjoy the spectacular sunsets over the wide river, and witness rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

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