Myanmar. Journey through the land of Golden Pagodas


Only a few years ago the road to Myanmar (Burma) was closed. About the reign of the military junta appeared scary stories, and the few who could venture on a trip to this mysterious country. Now everything has changed. Myanmar is gradually transformed into a popular and very interesting destination for travel.

The government is building roads, the guides are learning English in the country appear new guesthouses and hotels, bus and flights between the main tourist centres is well developed. This is a truly authentic country, its people are very hospitable and friendly, and the culture is distinctive and exotic. However, Myanmar still remains a Bastion of old Asia with large wooden monasteries on stilts, rustic way of life, colorful markets on the water with a ruddy zheltoschekimi women and exciting traders in skirts, sarongs.

Travel itinerary in Myanmar

Inside the temple complex the Shwedagon decided to meet the dawn and see the sun

Friendly Yangon, leading its history from the fifth century, is the former capital of Myanmar with a population of about 4 million people. Its straight streets, designed by the British in the eighteenth century, attracted by its rectangular simplicity. It is impossible to get lost even without a Navigator. The architectural appearance of the city is designed in English colonial style: this is the Supreme court building, Baptist Church, city Hall around the pagoda Sule and lively Central Park Maha Bandula. In small rooms shops around the Sule pagoda sitting astrologers, ready to give advice to everyone. This part of the city is the most lively and interesting, especially in the small alleys of bazaars, where the action is: a brisk trade, street canteens, someone sculpts incense, the other train on the sidewalk.

Golden Pagoda with a tip, which is decorated with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies

The most important sight of Yangon, for which this city go all travelers — the Golden stupa of the Shwedagon pagoda and surrounding temple complex with dozens of shining pavilions and hundreds of elegant pagodas. This is not just an architectural monument, the Shwedagon is the soul of Yangon, the living Buddhist Shrine. Here come the Buddhists from different parts of the country. And even from neighboring regions come the monks.

Shwedagon is reminiscent of a city with a hundred-meter Golden pagoda in the center. Around clockwise, the pilgrims walk barefoot on the hot marble slabs. Others meditate or just sit on the entire property. Peace and tranquility can be felt here in the air. And there are small stupas symbolizing the days of the week, the Burmese approach to the one whose day of the week they were born.

Hotels in Yangon / hotels in Yangon


Bridge U Bein in Amarapura

Mandalay is the second largest city of Myanmar, who settled on the banks of the Irrawaddy river. Before the coming of colonialists, Mandalay was the last capital of the Burmese Kingdom until 1885. Despite the General chaos, it is felt in some ancient monasteries and pagodas of the city. In the centre of the city is quite bustling and dusty, but above the town stands the hill where you can contemplate the sunset, overlooking the everyday bustle.

Interesting sights are outside the city, in the former capital of Amarapura is the wooden bridge U bein (1.2 km), the world’s longest teak bridge across the lake. His age is nearly 200 years old! And the design is quite reliable though and produces a very fragile and uncertain impression. To this day, on the bridge of a string of people walking, even in the rainy season when the water is completely chocolate hides a thin pile. Early in the morning, before dawn, to the bridge attracts photographers to capture the silhouettes of graceful women or walk the monks at sunrise. At this time the place is filled with a special atmosphere, and the wee hours in Asia is particularly beautiful in its tranquility.

After walking over the bridge it would be good to look into the Buddhist monastery Mahagandayon, it is near here, and is considered the largest in the country. Inside live a few hundred monks, and travelers is not forbidden to walk around the complex and observe the unhurried pace of life.

Hotels Of Mandalay


Sunrise over Bagan is a must do on every traveler

Currently, Bagan is a big archaeological area, with temples, pagodas, stupas and monasteries. The ancient capital of the Bagan Kingdom, which flourished here in the XI-XIII centuries preserved. It is believed that there are about 4500-5000 structures. In the Shwezigon stupa and Lokananda are kept important relics — teeth of the Buddha, the bizarre statues, the frescoes and inscriptions on the walls, extraordinary Buddha in the temple of the king of Manahi. Between the pagodas are spacious and spread out semi-desert with rare trees, so to move it is best for a motorbike or Bicycle. But if it is very hot, then you need to stock up on water. Still a considerable distance. Well, or to move here old but very romantic way – in a horse harness. The city itself is rather like a village with a small bus station, a street with hotels, cafes and airport. The archaeological area is located a little away from the tourist infrastructure.

A popular pastime for visiting Bagan with altitude balloon. Flights are early in the morning in the rays of the rising sun and it enhances the trip.

The original way to get to Bagan is a cruise on the river Irrawaddy from Mandalay on atmospheric ship of the Belmond (Orient Express).

Hotels Of Bagan

Cruises on the Ayeyarwady river

Journey on the Irrawaddy river

Company Belmond has developed an exciting program with luxury river-cruising on the Irrawaddy. Travelers can choose from different directions – the journey from Mandalay to the South, and Bagan to Yangon, or upstream, to the town of Bahmo in Kachin state.

A seven-day cruise from Bagan to Yangon includes a visit to the major port city of Motswari, the village of Hua Chung and very picturesque region of Pyay, where almost did not get the tourists that travel by land.

Travel North on route Bagan – Mandalay – Bahmo for 12 days. During this trip the travelers will learn to make traditional pottery with colorful paintings, see the archaeological treasures of Bagan, rises to mount Popa and you will be able to explore the streets of the river port, Banma, where foreigners can only be reached by boat. And, of course, on the way you look at small villages to see rural life of Myanmar and its traditional ways.

Deck of a cruise ship, where in the morning are yoga and tai Chi session

River cruises in Burma, designed for a comfortable, relaxing stay. Modern well equipped boat. Here are stylish cabins, an observation deck with pool and loungers, an excellent restaurant with dishes of European and Asian cuisine, a beauty salon and a fitness center. Thai massage, Spa therapy, tai Chi and yoga on the morning deck. During stops at key points of the route are excursions ashore and in Bagan we can arrange a balloon flight.

Cruise prices starts from 5500$ per person and includes all costs from the food in the restaurant on system “buffet” to sightseeing on earth.

Inle Lake

The lake stretches for 22 km, and on its shore is 17 villages

Freshwater Inle lake is located high in the mountains, in the South of Shan state. To get to Inle lake, you need to go by bus to the village of Nyaung Shwe. Mountain coolness is felt immediately, in the evenings you can breathe easier, and no Sizzling heat of Mandalay. People here for centuries living on the Islands or right on the water, houses on high stilts. This is a nation of intha preserving your household way as centuries ago. The local population here willingly engaged in fishing, growing vegetables and fruits in their hydroponic floating gardens on artificial Islands. Between houses, markets, gardens, schools, people move on flat boats. And early in the morning here begins with a large bustling market which attracts a whole neighbourhood.

The monastery of jumping cats

It is because of living on water in Inle lake has a unique method of catching fish – graceful to throw into the water a huge network or to control the boat, balancing on one leg if in a plastic dance.

On the Inle lake preserved the oldest monasteries with neat wood carvings and original statues of Buddha. The monastery of jumping cats of Nga Phe Kyaung already 160 years. It’s very atmospheric and spiritual place with warm creaky dark wood flooring. Earlier, when at high noon the monks toiled from idleness, someone came up with the idea to teach the local cats to jump high. Pets began to train and some time such miracles were amazed tourists, but now the cats live here relaxed and not jump. As told by one of the local monks, those who were engaged in training, left the monastery, and cats are lazy.

Nyaung Shwe hotels / Hotels in Inle lake


Wooden Bandula Kyaung monastery

The ancient city of MRU-is close to the Bay of Bengal. In the past this place was the capital of the Arakan Kingdom. And today is an interesting archaeological area with ancient temples, pagodas and bustling markets. In the vicinity of MRU-Do you meet women tribe chin, long face was decorated with tattoos according to the traditional canons of beauty.

Among the most interesting sacred places: temple Sittaung (Temple of 80,000 statues), temple Dukkhanthein (Temple of the ordination and the temple Cowtown (Temple of 90,000 statues), a few pagodas and the wooden monastery Bandula Kyaung Monastery with intricate carvings.

In Mraw as yet so many tourists, this area is located away from the main points of the route and easiest way to get here via Sittwe by plane from Yangon.

Hotels, Mrao- / hotels in Burma (Myanmar)


Best to start trip around Myanmar from Yangon is the main transport hub of the country. Here are regular flights from Bangkok (Thai Airways, Nok Air, Air Asia) and Singapore (Singapore Airlines).

Movement in Burma

Major cities are connected by motorways, and between them there are regular buses. There is even a nice vip bus with air conditioning. But if the plans of the deviation from the standard points of Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle lake, transport and hotels will get much worse. In this case, it is possible to rent a car. In Burma well are local airlines. True flights Air Bagan, Mandalay airlines need to buy in advance – planes – screw and for up to 60 people.

The best time to travel to Myanmar (Burma)

From October to February, when there is no spring and the heat and monsoons.


For visiting Myanmar needs a visa. It is just in Moscow or the Consulate of Myanmar in Bangkok for 1-3 days.

The cheapest tickets from Bangkok to Yangon and back

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