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GENERAL INFORMATION

Myanmar, known as a land of faith and formerly called as Burma is a traditional Asian country. It has surprised many of the travelers and Rudyard Kipling, a famous poet and a writer was also amazed by its beauty and uniqueness. Presence of 4000 stupas across the plains of Bagans, Golden Rock at Mt. Kyaiktiyo and Buddhist monks who are rock stars of the country make you wonder of its exceptionality. Many Asian investors have been doing business here. Myanmar is a easy to travel country with great mobile coverage and internet access and other conveniences. It is in much progress and the Burmese military has a great role in forwarding the country economically, politically and socially. Traditinally, Myanmar is a strong country and men will be found wearing sarong-like longyi and eating betel nut with blood red juice onto their mouths. Women are generally covered with thanakha which acts as a natural sun block and grannies love to smoke cheroot. People are very fond of tea in Burma. Horses and bullock carts are common rural modes of transport. The country has River Irrawaddy which can be explored in a luxury cruiser. One can trek through the pine forests to minority towns and villages which are scattered across Shan Hills. People in Myanmar are very gentle, friendly, considerate, humorous and passionate. If you are also a fun loving person and want to explore good places, it’s the time to hit Myanmar. More and more travelers are venturing this fascinating country and it is undergoing a rapid transition, people are highly attracted to it. It is also known as the most Buddhist devoted nation on earth. It has fascinating golden pagodas and ancient temples on hillsides.

Top attractions in Myanmar are discussed below:

Shwedagon  Paya: It is one of the Buddhist temples and a sacred site in Yangon and is 325 feet tall which is 27 metric tons of gold leaf. There are four entrance stairways which lead to the main terrace. There is some interesting history associated with Shwedagon Paya and you will find freelance guides to guide you who will give you more information and details related to the place. History is such that there has been a stupa on Singuttura Hill for 2600 years ever since Tapussa and Ballika, the two merchant brothers met Buddha. Buddha gave them 8 of his hairs to take back to Myanmar which was ruled by King Okkalapa back then. Okkalapa then enshrined the hairs in a temple of gold, together with relics of 3 former buddhas which was then put in temple of silver, and then one pair of tin, copper, lead, marble, and finally iron brick. It is suggested by archaeologists that sthe original stupa was built by Mon people between sixth and tenth centuries. Some of the nearby attractions in this place are Golden Duck, U Thant Mausoleum, Martyrs’ Mausoleum and Maha Wizaya Zedi. Golden Duck is a place to dine and a famous restaurant.

Mandalay Hill: After climbing the 760 feet Mandalay hill, you can get a beautiful view as Mandalay pancake. There are stairways for walking on the hill’s southern slope and is a great experience. There are numerous temples and pagodas in between and visitors are advised to go barefoot there. The climb of the hill takes half an hour and one can take stops en route for relaxation. The viewpoint of sunset at summit is very popular. One interesting stupa near the summit is at the east side where a statue depicts ogress San DHa Mukhi who offers forth her severed breasts. According to legend, her feat of self-mutilation did impress Buddha and so he ensured her reincarnation 24oo years later as King Mindon. People wanting to drive vehicles up the Mandalay Hill can go further and take lift or an escalator from the upper car park and they will arrive up to the hilltop. However, last five minutes is walking route. Some of the other attractions located nearby are fort, Myatsawnyinaung Ordination Hall, Standing Buddha and Peshawar Relics.

Bagaya Kyaung: It is most memorable teak monastery located in Inwa and was built in the year 1834. It is supported as 60 feet high and 9 feet in circumference prayer hall on 267 teak posts. There are several timbers which are inscribed with motifs of peacock and lotus flower. Many visitors come here and is a living monastery with globes for geography lessons. Many protruding floorboard nails are present and one should be careful of them. Some of the nearby attractions are Inwa archaeological site, Shwezigon Paya, Yedanasimi Paya and Daw Gyan.

Shwe In Bin Kyaung: It is Buddhist monastery in Mandalay. It is beloved to tourists and locals. IT is commissioned by Chinese jade merchants in the year 1895. The building stands on poles made out of trunk tree and the interior has a soaring dark majesty. Some humorous detailed engravings cover the roof cornices and balustrades. Some of the nearby attractions are library tower, Unison teahouse, Jade market and Thingaza Kyaung. Library tower is octagonal shaped and it comprises of religious scripts and manuscripts. Union teahouse is a fun place for rejuvenation and retreat after visiting jade market. One can relish a cup of tea over discussions and fun activities. Jade market involves jade traders hawking, haggling and polishing their wares. Thingaza Kyaung is a lived-in monastery consisiting Buddha figures.

Ngahtatgyi Paya: It is a Buddhist temple in Yangon. It is a gorgeous image of Buddha which is 46 feet tall seated in calm gold and white repose decorated with stones. It is carved with wooden background. Some of the attractions nearby are Onyx Wine tree restaurant, Chaukhtatgyi Paya, Sabai@Inya and Bogyoke Aung San Museum. Chaukhtatgyi Paya is a Buddhist temple which is based upon a large metal roofed shed and is 213 feet long reclining Buddha. The placid face of the statue with glass eyes is decorated by a crown encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones. There is a small shrine of Ma Thay near Buddha’s feet and it is believed that he is the holy man who has the power to prevent rain and provide sailors a safe journey. There is Shweminwon Sasana Yeiktha Meditation Centre attached to the complex of temple where large numbers of locals gather and meditate. There are other adjoining monasteries which you can explore with the help of guides. Bogyoke Aung San Museum is the ancent home of Aung San who lived with his family just before two years he was assassinated in July 1947. There are old family photos inside the museum and things that depict the lifestyle, such as furnishings and other personal possessions are also there. His wife and three children stayed there until 1953 when second son Lin drowned in the pond in mansion ground.

Ananda Pahto: It is also a Buddhist temple which is situated in Old Bagan. It has shimmering gold, 170 ft high statue which is one of the finest and largest of all Bagan temples. It was built between 1090 and 1105 by King Kyanzittha and is styled as beginning of the middle period and Bagan period. This monument was damaged during 2016 earthquake but it remains open to tourists with its central square measuring 175 ft along each side but upper floors being closed to visitors. Each entrance is decorated with a stupa and base and terraces with 554 glazed tiles of Jataka scenes. Some of the famous restaurants nearby this location are Starbeam Bistro, Be kind to animals the moon, Khaing Shwe Wah and Golden Myanmar.

Inle Lake region: it is one of Myanmar’s most awaited destinations. It is a serene lake which is 13.5 miles long and 7 miles wide surrounded by marshes and floating gardens. Beautiful stilt-house villages and Buddhist temples are seen behind water. Hills also surround the lake which is home to myriad minorities including Taung Yo, Shan, Pa-O, Danu, Kayah and Danaw. Top sights in the Inle Lake region are Shwe Oo Min natural cave Pagoda, Phaung Daw Oo Paya, Thaung Thut, Nyaung Ohak, Shwe Inn THein Paya, Myanmar Vineyard, Nga Hpe Kyaung or Jumping Cat Monastery and Inthein. Myanmar Vineyard is  located at Aythaya, which is 3miles west of Taunggyi. It sits on an elevation of well watered limestone rich soil, rendering a great growing condition for shiraz, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc and moscato grapes. Nyaung Oak is situated behind Inthein vollage and it is group of stupas which is choked in greenery.

Myeik Archipelago: There are beautiful islands here and it is also known as Mergui Archipelago that lie off Tanintharyi coast in extreme southern region of Myanmar. It is an ecotourist destination and an untapped region where one can find white pearls and marine products. Most of the islands are smaller than Thailand’s islands and are uninhabited so it makes tourism a challenge. Such uninhabited islands become villages which are tiny where Burmese and semi nomadic people called Moken or sea gypsies live. Top sights here include three islets, Black rock, Kho Yinn Khwa Kyun, Nyaung Wee Kyun, Daung Kyun, Bo Wei Kyun, Western Rocky and Lampi Kyun. Three islets is composed of three notable diving sites namely Shark Cave, an underwater canyon with sharks and rich coral; another is In through the Outdoor which is an underwater passage with several coral pieces and third is OK Rock which is a great destination for diving at anytime. The islets are few distance north of Kyun Philar which is known as Great Swinton island. Black Rock is one of the Myeik Archipelago’s top premier diving sites and is home to clean water and rich sea life that includes manta rays. Bo Wei Kyun is also known as Stewart island which has a rocky outcrop at its southern part and also underwater caves are present. Daung Kyun is also known as Dome island and it comprise of white sand beaches and good snorkeling. Lampi Kyun is a marine park in Myanmar comprising of Moken and Bamar villages.

HSIPAW: It is pronounced as see-paw or tee-bor and many tourists come here to explore hill trekking . Its infrastructure is alluring and convenient. It is a genuine northern town of Shan state. Some insurgents operate in rural areas around Hsipaw therefore some destinations such as Namhsan are turn off to foreigners. Top sights here are Myauk Myo, Sunset Hill, Bawgyo Paya, Mahamyatmuni Paya, Produce Market, Central Pagoda, Central market and Banyan tree Nat Shrine which is an important local shrine for traditional ‘nat’ worshipping.

Kalaw: It was founded as a hill station by British civil people. The town has a feeling of high altitude holiday resort. It is full of peace, calmness and cool. The streets are surrounded by hills and tree lined. Tourists can trek overnight without any prior permission. It is an easy and laid back place and also notable for its population of Nepali Gurkhas and Indians. Top sights in Kalaw include Market, Hsu Taung Pye Paya, Christ the King Church, Mosque, Market, Aung Chan Tha Zedi, Hnee Paya and Thein Taung Paya.

RIH Lake: It is a lake in Rihkhawdar and it is small heart shaped lake. It has high spiritual significance to Mizo people who inhabit here. It is a pathway to dead people for final rest. It is magical and has a tranquil setting when the water shines a deep blue lake surrounded by rice paddies and forested hills. It is accessed from nearby Rihkhawdar which is fifteen minute ride away on a taxi or motorcycle. The lake is part of ancient animist traditions. People living nearby also come here for swimming, dirnking and making merry moments. The lake is very peaceful during week days and it is all yours.

Shittuang Paya: Shittaung meaning is Shrine of 80,000 images and it is reference to number of holy images inside it. It is a complex temple with stupas of various sizes. A central stupa is surrounded by 26 stupas. Some of the noteworthy places nearby are Shittaung pillar, Ratanbon Paya, Dukkanthein Paya and L’amitie art gallery.