Magical Myanmar

MYANMAR (BURMA) is a destination which in many respects is still an “off the beaten track” travel experience. With the opening of the country, and the installation of a civilian government in 2015, the pace of development is picking up. While the numbers of tourists arriving is gathering pace, it still has a much less commercialised feel to it than neighboring countries such as Thailand and Cambodia. To see in-depth trip reports on the best attractions in NORTHERN MYANMAR, click on the listed links below.


BAGAN; a land of over 2000 Buddhist temples

Bagan is generally considered to be Myanmar’s premier tourist destination. With its prolific spread of ancient temples and pagodas (quoted to be over 2000 structures) it certainly has drawing power for those wanting a fist hand glimpse of this major center of Buddhism from the old world. After spending four days there I can confidently say, the attractions of Bagan are well worth the effort of checking out.



MANDALAY; the old capital

The grand Palace is the old, historical walled city of Mandalay and is formed by one massive four-sided fort, inside a protective moat. If you’ve been to Angkor Wat and been impressed by the size of that structure, and its encompassing Baray (moat), I can confidently say that is small in comparison to the size of Grand Place’s perimeter. Each side is a highly impressive 1.6 km in length.



MONYWA; home of the world’s tallest free-standing Buddha

At 75 mtrs in height, the Maha Bodhi Htaung is officially the world’s tallest free-standing Buddha and in the golden hue of the late afternoon sun, is incredibly impressive. There is an internal stairway which ascends to the shoulder area of the statue for spectacular views across the terrain.



MOUNT POPA; the temple on the mountain

After about forty minutes of travel time from Bagan I got my first glimpse of Mount Popa as we began ascending into elevated terrain. Mount Popa is a huge rock pinnacle, which rises abruptly from the surrounding plains, and sits on the eastern flank of another higher peak. At just after 9 am we arrived at Mount Poppa and, with the sun shining brightly on its vertical, eastern wall, it was a great time to get some good photos.



PINDAYA; a cave with 8000 Buddha statues

The town of Pindaya sits in the south eastern corner of Shan state and is often bypassed by for the nearby, and better known, Inlay Lake. Having seen both I would say both places warrant looking at if you have time. If you are on a tight schedule I would wholeheartedly recommend foregoing Inlay and spending a couple of days in Pindaya instead. My reasons for this recommendation are based primarily on the visual splendor of Pindaya Cave. If you add in the low numbers of travelers going there, the less commercialised feel of the town, the great scenery, the 350-year-old Banyan trees lining the roads, and the exceptional Green Tea Restaurant, and its views across the lake, then Pindaya seems like a far better option than Inle.


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