Became the former capital of Myanmar after Naypyidaw became the official capital city in March, 2006, Yangon is the largest city and the most important commercial centre of the country with population of more than 5 million and an area of 598 km2. About the name Yangon, Yangon is created by two words 'Yan' and 'Kuon' which mean 'enemies' and 'run out of'. The word 'Yangon' is also translated as 'End of Strife'. About the history of Yangon, Yangon was found as Dagon in the early 11th century by the Mon. At that time, Dagon was just a small fishing village at the centre near the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Until 1755 Dagon was changed to Yangon like nowadays by the King Alaungpaya.
In 1841, the city was destroyed in a fire after being seized by the French in the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1824. In 1852, once again, the British captured the lower Burma in the Second Anglo-Burmese War and make this city become a commercial and political centre of British Burma. In the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, British seized the rest of Burma – the upper Burma and then Yangon became the official capital of all British Burma. At that time, some regions of Burma were given birth like Inlay and the towns of the northern Royal Lake. After World War I, the anti-British movement was very strong especially in Yangon. In January 1948, the Burmese regained their independence from the British. After independence, Burma had developed quickly. Many satellite towns had been grown up though the infrastructure seemed poor. Nowadays, the central part of Yangon is a city with high-rise buildings and modern houses while the satellite towns are different, quite poor and impoverished.
Today Yangon is not only the most important commercial and political centre of the country but also a tourist attraction to any visitors. In almost all Myanmar Tours, Yangon is usually the first stop. There are many things you can do and see in this wonderful city. Shwedagon Pagoda must be the first name in your mind. This spectacular golden pagoda – it is also called The Golden Pagoda – is the religious symbol of Myanmar and also the most famous landmark of Yangon. Its color is even more sparkle at night under the sky of Yangon. On the road of the Shwedagon Pagoda, you can visit some other spots of beauty in Yangon like the 2,500-year-old Sule Pagoda or heading to the central Yangon for a shopping at the mall. The second name may be the Bogyoke Market, also known as the Scott’s Market where one can buy anything in one place. Besides two famous places above, Yangon boasts many other interesting places for you like the Mahabandoola Park, National Museum, Inlay Lake and some Cathedrals such as St.Mary and Holy Trinity…
Moreover, you can take part in many activities in Yangon. The Circular Train may be the ideal choice for a fascinating day with 1$ and passport. Cuisine is also an important part of the Burmese. In Yangon, you can join in the cooking demonstration or take a cooking class with the guide of an expert chief.
About the eating places, Yangon is the land of restaurant. You can find any country’s gastronomy in this small city, from Italian, Indian to Japanese and Korean. There are many fast food restaurant with pizza or hot-dog. Some famous names you must visit if you want to experience the food in Yangon like Seven One One Restaurant on Anawratha Road, 999 Shan Noodle Shop with unforgettable noodle, Feel, Hla Myanmar with the local dishes, Golden City Chetty – an ideal choice for tasting Indian cuisine and Soe Pyi Swar – best choice for the vegetarian. The Street Food is not varied but if you want, you can find a street food along the Mahabandoola Roads with many food stalls.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar from the 9th to 13th centuries. From the very first time, Bagan was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom and boasted more than 10,000 Buddhist temples. About the name Bagan, Bagan is the modern pronunciation of the Burmese word Puga. This name also has many other meanings based on its classical Pali name such as Arimaddana-pura - the City that Tramples on Enemies, Tattadesa - The Parched Land or Tammadipa - The Bronzed Countr. The history of Bagan can be divided into three periods: 9th to 13th centuries, 14th to 19th centuries and 20th century to nowadays.
From the very first day in the 9th and 10th centuries, Bagan was the capital of the Pagan Empire and famous for more than 10,000 religious monuments. Till 1287, when the Mongol invaded and overthrown the Pagan, Bagan became a small town. The period from 14th to 19th centuries was seemingly the most stable period in the history of Bagan with no vicissitudes except the trickle growing of temple quantity (about 200).
In exchange, from the 20th century to nowadays, Bagan has changed much. After more than 400 recorded earthquakes from 1904 to 1975, the number of temples in Bagan has been reduced greatly and now as we see today, Bagan can only stores about 2,200 temples among more than 10,000 in its giant collection.
Bagan lies in the dry zone of Myanmar. The average temperature is quite high, about 30oC and 35oC in summer. About the views in Bagan, there are so many things you can see and do in this heaven of temple. With more than 2,000 Buddhist temples, Bagan will satisfy your travelling desires and it will take you much time to explore. The architectural style of the temples in Bagan can be divided into two types: stupa-style and gu-style hollow temple. Some prominent samples of stupa-style temple in Bagan are Shwezigon Pagoda, Bupaya and Dhammayazika… The temples following this style will have a high stupa at the top and spiral. About the second style, the gu-style hollow temple consists of two types: one-faced and four-faced temple. Some examples we can mention are Gawdawpalin Temple and Dhammayangyi Temple. Some five-faced temples and hybrids are also appeared.
Ananda Temple, Htilominlo Temple and Bupaya are three of the most notable names in Bagan that you must visit when discovering this plain of temples. There are thousands of temples more are waiting for you in Bagan... Tips: There are many ways to enjoy the views of Bagan, by bike, motorbike or on your foot but the most interesting and the best way is standing on the top of a randomized temple and take a pictures of the whole view, you can see the incredible differences. Let try and enjoy!
Bago Division is one of the administrative regions of Burma located in the southern part of the country.Its former name is Pegu Division and capital is Bago city.With 39,400 km2 in area and about 5.1 million people, Bago Region is the fourth largest town of Burma and the home to various ethnic minorities like Karen,Mon,Chin and Shan. After a long time of foundation and development, Bago nowadays has become an attractive tourist destination of Myanmar. You can get here easily from Yangon in a morning taxi with about 40-50$ or a bus or train. When arrive, you can hire a motorbike and explore by yourself the site of Bago or just bring your own bike.
Bago has many attractive places that you must visit, especially its Buddhist pagodas. Shwe mawdaw Pagoda, Shwethar lyaung Pagoda and Kyaik Pun Pagoda…are the most noticeable places in Bago. Besides, Maha Kalyani Sima, Mahazedi Pagoda, Shwegugale Pagoda, Snake Pagoda are also worth seeing.
More, there is an interesting market in Bago where you can find varieties of fruits, fresh vegetables and other commodity goods. If you love kids, you may stop at the Buddhist boys and girls orphanage. On the way, you will see an impressive cashew nut and rubber trees plantation.
About the eating places and delicious dishes in Bago, Mote Hin Khar street soupis the most famous restaurant in Bago where you can taste the unique Mote Hin Khar soup made by a very nice and young girl.
Mandalay, the second largest city (after Yangon), also is the former capital of Myanmar. Mandalay capital was founded in 1857 by Burmese King Mindon. Located under the Mandalay hill, it is considered as the center of Burmese Buddhist. Mandalay city is an area of 18.36 km2 and its population is over 1 million. Mandalay is a multiethnic city with a long history. Compared to many other ancient capital of the world, Mandalay has a slower pace of life. Nowadays, the city is also oneof the most popular destinations in Myanmar.When coming to Mandalay, visitors can enjoy the comfort and see the romantic landscape. In Mandalay, there are many ancient pagodas that have the quiet beauty such as Sagaing Pagoda, Kaungmutaw Pagoda.
Besides visiting pagodas, some activities which you should not be ignored are watching the sunset on U Pein Bridge or taking a boat trip to see fresh water dolphins in the Ayeyarwady River.Mandalay people think that the wealth of material does not completely bring the wealth to their soul. Thus, despite their poverty, they are rich in hospitality and piety.If you want to travel somewhere, try visiting Mandalay once to experience for you.
Kalaw is a hill town of the Shan State of Burma and 1320 metres above sea level. This peaceful town is a great place for anyone to relax in summer and enjoy the Tudor-style houses. Getting here in very easy, you can take a bus from Bagan at about 4 o'clock or trains of Thazi. When arrive, you will have many things to do in this quite town. Getting around on your foot is the best way to enjoy the beauty of Kalaw. Cloud Hill may be your ideal choice if you are hiking lover, just head to the north and climb up. If not, Kalaw has many trekking companies that help you travel around the site and visit neighboring places such as Inle Lake with acceptable cost. Beside, Kalaw also has a big central market where you can meet the locals selling their goods as well as buy whatever you want.
In addition, guesthouses here are very cheap and in good condition. About the places for eating, you can eat at Sam's Family trekking company Restaurant or stop at any food stands along the central market. If you want a real and quite luxurious hotel and restaurant in Kalaw, there are 3 noticeable names: Everest Nepali Food Centre with tasty and delicious food but the price is quite expensive, Pyae Pyae Restaurant with best noodle soup ever, Tet Nay Win Teahouse where you can have a hot tea and experience the Indian cuisine.
Mount Popa is a 1518 meters high volcano which located in Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Division, in the central part of the country. From the Ayeyarwaddy River, it is about 65 kilometers away and it is about 50 kilometers far from Bagan. Thousands of people visit Mt Popa each year, especially at festival season on the full moon. Local people at Kyaukpadaung usually go mass-hiking to the peak during December and also in April when the Myanmar New Year coming.
Today, Popa is a nature conservation area and a national park, as well as a tourist attraction.
Ngapali Beach is located 7 kilometers from Thandwe in Rakhine State of Myanmar. It is the most famous and wonderful beach of the country and annually draws thousands of tourists coming to relax. Getting here is very easy. A 45-minute-long flight will take you to Ngapali Beach from Yangon. If you don't like plane, there are daily buses run from Yangon, Aung Migala and Thandwe, it will take you about 14-17 hours. There are many things you can do here. You can go line fishing or snorkeling on fishing boats, join in the specialist game fishing boats, play a game of 9-hole golf at the nearby Ngapali Golf course, maybe competing with the local golfers. If you want a private exploration, let go out on an early mornings bicycle tour around the surrounding villages, morning markets or along the entire Ngapali beach, sampling the local way of life. Many other ways to enjoying Ngapali such as having a cocktail under the night sky, enjoying the sunset with new friends or lying on the long sandy beach…
About the foods, seafood in Ngapali is excellent and awesome. Fishes and other sea species are very fresh and are cooked right after being caught by the fisherman. There are many restaurant keep living lobsters. If you don’t like seafood or allergies, you will easily find some sushi and sashimi shop next to Rakhine.
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region in Myanmar and located on the Irrawaddy River. Nowadays, Sagaing, with numerous Buddhist monasteries, is the most important religious and monastic hub of the area. About history, Sagaing, in the past was the capital of the Sagaing Kingdom (1315-1364) which ruled a part of the central area of Burma after the fall of Pagan dynasty. During the Ava period (1364-1555), the city was the common fief of the crown prince or senior princes. The city briefly became the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 in the reign of King Naungdawgyi. There are many things you can do and visit in this place. Sagaing Hills may be the first name in your mind.
You can hike up to the top of this 240m hills and enjoy the whole view of Sagaing with pagodas and great Irrawaddy River. There are many pagodas on the top; some significant names are U Min Thonze and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. Besides the hills, Buddhist pagodas are also the unignorable sites in Sagaing. Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is one of the must-see pagodas when you visit Sagaing. This special and impressive pagoda was built in Sri Lanka style with the shape of an egg, or you may call onion and golden stupa. This stupa was built by King Thalun in 1636-1648 to commemorate the re-establishment of Inwa as the Shan capital. The temple is particularly prominent as there are a number of Buddhist relics including reputedly part of Buddha's tooth and an emerald bowl. The ritual hit 'holy umbrella' on top of the stupa is also well-known. There are 802 stone pillars around the Pagoda plus 120 'nat' and 'deva' spirit images placed around the circumference of the stupa. The stupa is 46m high and has a 271 meter circumference, and 10,126,552 bricks are meant to have been used in the construction of the vast stupa. There is also a large white marble seated Buddha in a hollowed out base to the Pagoda. The third place in Sagaing that you must visit is the Inwa Bridge. This 1-kilometer-long bridge, also known as the Old Ava Bridge, was built in 1934 by the British to connect Inwa to Sagaing. It was used to be the longest bridge in Burma until the Thanlyin Bridge accomplished in 1993. Walking on the bridge and enjoy the beauty of Irrawaddy River and its dolphins, as well as feeling the cool wind and seeing the blue of the sky are also great way to discover Sagaing.
About the eating places in Sagaing, there are some famous names. The first is Win Guest House, a nice and clean place with acceptable prices. Following is the Irrawaddy Guest House, a place that similar to Win Guest. If you want a better hotel with perfect services and sightseeing, let move outside to Mandalay where you can live in luxurious hotels such as Hotel in the Red Canal – a cute place in Mandalay with incredible sightseeing (50 pounds per night), Mandalay City Hotel – rooms are goods and the staffs are very excellent and friendly (more than 23 pounds per night) and Sedona Hotel Mandalay – perfect services, staff, foods and sightseeing but the prices is quite expensive but still worth paying.
Shan State is a state of Myanmar which shares border with China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma to the west. With population of about 5 million and an area of more than 155,000 km2, Shan State is the largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area. The major ethnic is the Shan and the capital is Taunggyi. About geography, Shan State is a highland with an elevation of 5,000-6,000 above sea level. It is covered by green forest, pine trees, streams and waterfalls which make Shan State a beautiful land. The highest point is Mt. Loilaeng (8,777 feets) in Kentung. About rivers, Salween River is the main river of Shan State. It flows from the Tibetan Himalayas, passes China before enter the Shan State. There, the Salween River was divided into two branches, flow through Karen and Mon State before drain into the Indian Ocean.
A part of the Mekong River of Nam Khawng is considered as the boundary between Laos and Shan State for a length of 120 miles then it flows through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The biggest waterfall in Shan State is Jong – ang Waterfall with a height of 972 feet located near the town of Kengtong of Mongnai State. The second largest one is Om-pu Waterfall on the Nam Parng River in the Shan State of Monghsu. However, the most useful waterfall among numerous waterfalls in Shan State is the Marnsarm Falls on the Nam Yao River in Hsipaw Township. This waterfall is used in hydro-electric and it can create enough energy for the surrounding towns. Besides mountains, rivers and waterfalls, Shan State boasts the lakes of Inlay, 14 miles long and 7 miles wide which is the home to many floating villages, houses and vegetable and fruit gardens. The hot and cold underground springs are worth exploring as well as taking some primitive hard rock…
The weather in Shan State is quite favorable. There are three seasons in Shan State: rain season (from May to October), cold season (from November to January) and warm season (from February to April). The annual rainfalls averages are dropped between 40 and 60 inches. The average temperature is acceptable, not too high or too low, about more than 20OC.
Shan State is the area of natural resources with numerous mines of gold, silver, copper, lead, tin … gemstones and even uranium.
About the inhabitant, Shan State is the home to varieties of ethnics. Among more than 8 million people, the Shan is accounted for more than 65%, the rest is Palaung, Akha, Wa, Pa-O, Lahu, Lisu…The Shan, the major residence, is usually called Tai or Dai and they are closely related to the Thai (Tai Yai). The Shan call their land Muang Tai, not Shan State. In history, the Shan had been driven out from China before moved to Myanmar. Nowadays, the Shan appeared in many parts of Southeastern Asia such as some parts of Hanoi in Vietnam, the north of Thailand, Assam of India and Chinese province of Yunnan.
About tourism in Shan State, this place will be the ideal place for visitors those want to experience the life of the ethnic minorities in Myanmar. There is not so much many you can do and see in Shan State but it still worth visiting. The Kakku Pagoda is the most noticeable place in Shan State. ‘Amazing’ and ‘Stunning’ are two words to describe this place. Only with its number of pagodas, 5000, you can image how spectacular of this place and why it’s worth seeing. Besides Kakku Pagoda Complex, Shan State has a daily market where you can find varieties of goods including tourist souvenirs in the city of Kengtung. Moreover, the market is full of local residents and hill tribe people dressed in their colorful traditional clothing, and Buddhist monks and nuns with their begging bowls. A visit can easily consume half a day of people watching, shopping and bargaining
Located in Mingaladon Township, Yangon Division, about 32 km from Yangon, on the road to Bago, the Allied War Cemetery is a memorial to Allied soldiers who died in battle in Burma during World War II. It is one of 3 Allied War Memorial Cemeteries in Myanmar, along with the Htauk Kyant War Memorial Cemetery and the Thanbyuzayat war cemetery. Yangon War Cemetery keeps the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaigns in Burma and who have no known grave. The cemetery also commemorates more than 1,000 soldiers of the Second World War, whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith and 45 serviceman of both wars who buried somewhere in Burma but whose graves could not be maintained.
According to the statistics, there are 1,819 graves of the total.
Located in Bagan, Myanmar, Anada Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple. It was built in around 1091 by King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. The temple is considered as the most beautiful and dignified temple in Myanmar, which represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha. It was originally called Ananta, then changed name to Ananda, the Buddha cousin's name. This sacred temple is also a huge museum, which is decorated by statuary, stone, wood carvings, metal, terracotta, etc.
There are 1424 statues inside the temple. At the corner of the corridor, the statues show Buddha from his birth to the Age of Enlightenment. Higher floor is adorned with 891 enameled plates, which describe the Jataka stories.
Amarapura, a township of Mandalay, is the former capital of Myanmar. It is located about 11 kilometers south of Mandalay. The city was the capital of Burmese twice during the King Bodawpaya dynasty (1781-1819) and the King Mindon Min dynasty (1853-1878). The name Amarapura of this city means 'the immortal city'. Nowadays, Amarapura is known as one of the famous destination in Myanmar for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, as well as bronze casting.
When comming to Amarapura, visitors can visit many attractive sites such as Pahtodawgyi – a stupa built by King Bodawpaya in 1816 outside the city walls or Bagaya Kyaung – an amazing wooden monastery and Amarapura Palace ruins with the tombs of King Bodawpaya and King Bagyidaw..
Bogyoke Market, also known as the Scott’s Market, is the most famous market in Myanmar. This place was built from 1926 and at that time, it was called James Geogre Scott – a British who introduced football to Myanmar. Bogyoke Market now is one of the tourist attractions of Yangon, and the major market for the Myanmar people living in and nearby Yangon.
There are 1,641 shops selling items in Bogyoke Market. You can buy anything in this market, from clothing, food, medicines, jewelry, gems and even a black market for money exchanging. You can easily find the shop that sells the thing you want with the guide in the market: the first and the ground floor is the place for antique shops with old coins, bank-notes, postage stamps and medals, the second floor is full of jeweler with Burmese jade, rubies and other rare stones and the rest are art gallery, handicraft shops, restaurants and clothes stores. Besides, the market has another wing (added in 1990 across Bogyoke Market Road) where you can buy medicines, foods and garments…
Event Bogyoke Aung San Market is also well-known for the pre-Thingyan festival also called the Zay Thingyan meaning the Market's water festival. It is usually held on the 11th or 12th of April. Youngsters from all over the city come to the market dressed for the festival. The shops donate traditional food such as Monte Lone Yay Paw, Thargu and Shwe Yin Aye.
Inle Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Myanmar, with a surface area about 250 km2. Located at an altitude of 875 meters above sea level, it is a very attractive destination for tourists. Here, you can take a boat to watch the beautiful sunset and visit the fruit gardens which are grown right on the water. Tourists can visit the lake by taking a flight to Heho or moving by local bus. In fact, to save time, the airline is the best choice. To explore the landscape, visitors can rent a motor boat with 15 to 20 usd per day. You should visit Inle Lake in about September, October as this is the time of a lot of traditional festivals. In the central area of the lake, where is the largest radius and the deepest place, there are many beautiful hotels and resorts. You can spend the night here and then enjoy the beautiful sunrise on the lake.
When visiting Inle Lake, visitors not only have the chance to view the wonderful landscapes, but also can explore the daily life of the local people as well as visit many handicraft villages or see the floating markets on the lake. Like Myanmar people in other areas, people here arealways friendly welcome visitors. There are alsomany interesting things are awaiting your discovery.
Located in Mandalay, Myanmar, the Mandalay Palace is the royal palace of King Mindon and King Thibaw - the last two kings of the Burmese monarchy. The palace was built in 1857 but was destroyed once in the World War II. During that time, only the royal mint and the watch tower survived. In 1990s, Myanmar people rebuilt the palace with some modern materials but still kept the original structure. Compared to the royal palace of other countries, the Mandalay Palace has a strange and distinctive architectural style. The palace has 2 km long walls which built with the common Burmese brick.
There are 3 gateways placed at equal distances on each face of the walls. The palace also has many special and wonderful structures such as Clock Tower, Relic Tower, Supreme Court and Royal mausoleums. Nowadays, the palace is a famous historical monument of Myanmar as well as an attractive destination for tourists.
Located in Mingun, Sagaing Region, about 11 km north of Mandalay, on the western bank of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, the Migun bell was considered as the largest ringing bell in the world until 2000. It was built by the longest reigning monarch of the Konbaung dynasty King Bodawpaya (1782-1819) and weighs 55,555 viss (90.718 kilograms or 199.999 pounds). This number is engraved on the surface of the bell. In more detail, the outer diameter of the rim is 16 feet 3 inches (4.95 m). The height is 12.0 feet (3.66 m) feet on the exterior and 11.5 feet (3.51 m) in the interior. The outside circumference at the rim is 50.75 feet (15.469 m). The bell is 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) thick and stands 20.7 feet (6.31 m) high from the rim to the top.
Nowadays, the bell is still a pride of Myanmar although it is no longer the world's largest bell. Its title has been replaced by the 116-ton Bell of Good Luck at the Foquan Temple, Pingdingshan, Henan, China..
Considered as the Myanmar's Highland City of Flowers, Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo) is a scenic hill town in Mandalay Division, Myanmar. It is located in the Shan Highland, about 67 kilometers east of Mandalay and 1070 meters above the sea level. Pyin Oo Lwin is known for its different species and colorful flowers grown intensively and a special system of resorts. In 1896, the British developed it as a hill station because of its cool and comfortable climate, even in the hot season. During the colonial period, Pyin Oo Lwin was also an important educational center as well as the base of colonial government in every hot season.
Nowadays, Pyin Oo Lwin is an attractive destination thanks to its wonderful landscape and a lot of Edwardian-style houses of the old colonial government. Visitors can spend a days to enjoy the quietness and coolness of this town. It is also a good place for shopping with many products such as knitted sweaters, wines, strawberry jams and various fresh fruit.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, which is also called golden pagoda, is known as 99 metres (325 ft) gilded pagoda. The pagoda is located in the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, Yangon, Burma. This is not only the most famous and sacred pagoda but also the best destination in Myanmar thanks to its wonderful appearance and ancient, mysterious origin.According to historical records, this pagoda was built from more than 2,600 years ago, so it is one of the oldest historical pagodas in the world.
Situated atop a cliff of the Kyaiktiyo hill and near Yangon, the Golden rock pagoda (called Kyaik-htiyo or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda in Burmese) is the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar. It is a 7.3 meters high pagoda which was built on the top of a granite cliff covered with multitude of gold leaves. According to Burmese legend, this strange pagoda is kept in place by a single hair of the Buddha. The pagoda is located at an elevation of 1,100 meters above the sea level and it has 18 pins to connect with the rock. Around the pagoda, there is a circle of eight gongs with four statues of nats and angels in the center.
The scenery from the Golden Rock Pagoda is strange and amazing so a lot of visitors stay here to watch the sunset. Same as Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda, the Golden rock pagoda is also one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Myanmar.
While visiting Mandalay, you should try watching the sunset on U Bein Bridge. This bridge is the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world, which was built across Taungthaman Lake in the mid 1800's. The teakwood bridge spans 1.2 km, includes more than 1000 pillars and thousands of wooden planks.
Nowadays, even though a few pillars have been replaced by concretes, the bridge remains intact and serves as a main passage indispensable to the daily life of the local peopleas well as an exciting destination.