If you have never visited Myanmar (previously Burma) now is your chance to see this lovely country. Myanmar is like a country that has been asleep for eons and is now slowly waking up.
Myanmar/Nurma is an old country situated in South East Asia bordered mainly by India, China, Laos and Thailand with a long coastline fronting the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
If you love to explore countries that have not been over comercialised then Myanmar is the place to go. Taste the traditional Burmese cuisine, daytrip to local villages, glide over magnificent lakes, go mountain trekking, explore 1,000 year old archelogical ruins and meet lovely smiling locals.
Tousism is just starting to take hold of this beautiful country and there are plenty of places to see and experience the country’s quaint old world charm. Three places for your bucket list in Myanmar have to include the magnificent Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Yangon, the Royal Palace in Mandalay and the 1,000 year old ancient temple wonders of Bagan.
The capital of Myanmar is Nay Pyi Taw, a newly created city (2006) in the middle of the country between Yangon and Mandalay. Roughly 300Km from each. Whilst Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital, Yangon (previously Rangoon) remains the ecomonic center, Mandalay remains the cultural center and Bagan (previously Pagan) is the archeological wonder of the country.
Yangon, home to 6 million people and the previous capital and largest city in Myanmar, is a bustling place. It is situated in the south of the country on the Yangon River about 20km upstream from the Adaman Sea. Here you can see historical British colonial buildings and majestic pagodas and then explore the street and night markets, restaurants, open air street food stalls and shopping centers. It is not the city where you can rent motobikes to trip around. They have been mostly banned from the city opting instead for fleets of very cheap taxis. Yangon is also the perfect spot to base yourself to take day trips to explore the surrounding countryside including towns like Bago, Dalah, Twante, Thanlyin and Kyauktan.
Mandalay, home to 1.5 million people, is the second largest city in Myamnar. It is situated in the north of the country on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River (previously Irrawaddy River) some 650k north of Yangon. The centre of the city is dominated by the huge Royal Palace which is surrounded by a moat that is 2km long on every side. Mandalay, itself a previous capital of Burma, is surrounder by the ruins of even older capitals such as Inwa (Ava), Sagaing and Amarapura. No self drive cars available here but you can rent bicycles and motorbikes or hire a taxi for the day for low rates. Lots of ancient sites, pagodas, temples, handicraft and jade & gemstone markets and local markets to explore along with a growing number of more western style shopping centers. You will be spoilt for choices for dining at street stalls and restaurants. Mandalay is a great base for day trips to places like Inwa, Sagaing, Amarapura, Mingun and Inle Lake. From here you can also head up into the Shan State for oodles of trekking options.
Bagan was the ancient capital of Burma for 450 years between 850 to 1300 AD. This pretty area is literally dotted everywhere with over 2,000 ancient pagodas and temples spread over some 100 square kilometers. Many travellers say the Bagan site rivals the Cambodian site of Angkor Wat, and it is easy to see why. Bagan is something that has to been seen to be believed, and the sunrises and sunsets, they are simply stunning. The area has 3 townships all located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Old Bagan and New Bagan to the West and Nyaung U to the East. Nyaung U is the transport hub for river boats, ferries, buses and is the closest town to the airport and railway station. Bagan is not a place to find lots of swinging nightclubs but there are traditional puppet shows and heaps of restaurants and pubs both local and upmarket that stay open till late. You can hire cheap bicycles or e-bikes for self touring or hire a local horse cart all at very reasonable rates.
Have a look around this site and see what the country has to offer those that love to travel. Get some ideas of the places that you would like to visit, then pack your bags and head off to visit Myanmar, you will glad you did.