Myanmar Off Beat

10 Offbeat Places to Visit in Myanmar

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“This is Burma, and it is quite unlike any land you know about” – Rudyard Kipling.

Rechristened as Myanmar, the country boasts of gilded pagodas, sacred Buddhist sites, and natural landscapes, rocks perched on cliff edges, and vast underwater reefs, making it one of the best offbeat travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Following are some of the tourist attractions in Myanmar that every vagabond must explore: –

1. Bagan

Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan. The city was also an economic, political, and cultural nerve centre of the same. Being one of the most famous places in Myanmar, Bagan was once home to over ten thousand Buddhist temples, out of which some 2200 still stand strong and vaunt their impressive pagodas. One should not miss out on the setting sun over the Shwesandaw Pagoda that affords a mesmerising sight. The magical tints of the sky and the vibrant hot air balloons drifting by are bound to give you a dreamlike experience, making it one of the best spots for sightseeing in Myanmar.

2. Mandalay

Mandalay is the last royal capital of the country, making it one of the must-visit tourist places in Myanmar. The Mahamuni Pagoda and Mingun Temple are some of the most stunning and peaceful spots here. The Mingun Temple also houses the largest bell in the world, making it one of the best places to visit in Myanmar. Moving ahead, you can halt at the U Bein Bridge located on the Taungthaman Lake to witness one of the most alluring sunset sights ever. Being one of the top photographed sights in Myanmar, you would not want to miss out on this spot!

3. Yangon

Formerly known as Rangoon, Yangon was the capital of Myanmar until it was superseded by Naypyidaw. One of the most sacred Buddhist Pagodas in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda is believed to contain the relics of four previous Buddhas. Covered entirely with gold, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the must-visit tourist places in Myanmar. Some other edifices that hold a spiritual value in the heart of Burmese people are the World Peace Pagoda, the Sule. and Botataung Pagodas.

4. Hsipaw

If you wish to explore the bucolic area of Myanmar or be close to nature, Hsipaw is the place to be in. With traditional houses, dusty streets, and trekking trails, Hsipaw is one of the most laid-back towns in Myanmar which is sure to leave you rejuvenated. Surrounded by hills, trekking in Hsipaw offers an enthralling view of the countryside from the hilltop and makes it one of the must-visit tourist places in Myanmar. Also, one should not miss out on the world-famous train journeys from Mandalay to Hsipaw (or vice versa) that takes you through steep hills and an awe-inspiring gorge.

5. Kyaiktiyo

Kyaiktiyo is extremely popular for its golden boulder and pagoda that perches precariously over the edge of a cliff, making it one of the best places to visit in Myanmar. It is believed that the colossal boulder is balanced on a Buddha’s single strand of hair, defying all laws of gravity. The fact that makes it quite an otherworldly sight is that the boulder has been unaffected even after witnessing heavy rain, winds, and storms. This makes it one of the most sacred religious sites and a place that must be a part of your Myanmar tour package.

6. Nay Pyi Taw

Nay Pyi Taw translates to the “Abode of Kings” and lies between Bago Yoma and Shan Yoma mountains. Being the capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw hosts various large-scale events such as the Southeast Asian Games and World Economic Forum that attracts a number of tourists from across the globe. One should surely stopover at the spectacular, 325-feet high Uppatasanti Pagoda, which is one of the tallest pagodas in the country. Also, do not forget to visit the 10-metre tall monument that is often counted amongst the best places to visit in Myanmar. The monument was constructed as a tribute to three warrior kings (Anawratha, Bayinnaung, and Alaungpaya).

7. Taunggyi

 Situated stunningly on a mountain ridge, Taunggyi is home to traditional Burmese tribes – the Inta and the Pa-O. The capital city of the Shan State is also a centre of worship owing to the pagoda complex found in Kakku. With thousands of closely-packed stupas and bells chiming all across, the place gives a fascinating vibe. You can also get a glimpse of the famous Buddha statues that are shaped in egg-like structures. These effigies are highly revered by the Pa-O folks. While the people belonging to the Pa-O tribe practice Buddhism very keenly, the Inta folks practice aquaculture and paddle boats. Do not miss out on the opportunity to hop on these wooden boats and witness the beauty of Taunggyi, which is one of the best sightseeing spots in Myanmar.

8. Mergui Archipelago

The Mergui Archipelago, a group of 800 deserted islands, can easily be titled as one of the planet’s most unspoilt destinations. Right from white sand beaches to corals reefs, there is a lot that this pristine land can offer. With lush palm trees, azure water running across, and the colourful reef fish, Mergui Archipelago is undoubtedly one of the world’s last remaining paradises beckon that is yet to be explored, making it one of the must-visit tourist places in Myanmar.

9. Mrauk U

Lying across the northern Rakhine State peaks, Mrauk U offers a breath-taking sight that is unlike anything else in the country. This ancient city is full of antiquated pagoda-tops that poke through the foggy atmosphere, bestows a magical vibe to the tourists. The city is famous for bell-like stupas and swirly temple tunnels that are lined with some of the most stunning Buddha statues, making it one of the must-visit tourist places in Myanmar.

10. Inle Lake

If you are a nature-lover and wish to spend some time in the lush green forests of Myanmar and experience the serenity of the place, you must visit Inle Lake. You can easily observe the locals going about their lives while you float across the lake in the slender long-tail wooden boats. Do not forget to witness the spectacular sunset colours reflecting from the glass-like lake, making it one of the best places to visit in Myanmar.

These are some of the most famous tourist attractions in Myanmar that every traveller should explore. Weave some amazing memories on your trip to Myanmar that you’d cherish for a lifetime!

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