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Top 10 Must-Sees In Myanmar (PHOTOS)

Posted: 05/30/2012 7:00 am

"It is quite unlike any place you know."

Rudyard Kipling could not have been more accurate in describing Myanmar (formerly Burma). To many travelers, Myanmar remains a mysterious place of undiscovered treasures, unknown to tourists and kept away in isolation. As Myanmar slowly welcomes back globetrotters from around the world, the myths and legends of this golden land become more real than ever!

Leave the ordinary behind and travel to this land now emerging from ancient times and finding its place in the hearts of travelers. Myanmar boasts a plethora of spectacular sights from fields of ancient temples and unspoiled stretches of white sand beaches to mythical caves and picture perfect sunsets. Fall in love with the authentic customs and traditions of the world's friendliest people. Don't be surprised if monks and nuns share the same status as rock-stars and celebrities -- it is truly unlike any place you know.

Take a look at the 10 must-sees in Myanmar handpicked by experts from Kensington Tours and let them inspire you on your next adventure!

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  • Shwedagon Pagoda

    Nestled in the heart of the former capital, Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda's gleaming stupa greets its visitors with a golden exclamation. Visible from almost anywhere in the city, the pagoda is the most sacred of all Buddhist sites in Myanmar. A great contrast from Yangon's commercial vibe, the interior of this temple is eerily quiet and solemn, fit for those looking for tranquility in a crowded city. Don't forget to bring your sunglasses as the golden stupa and white marble can truly shine light on any pilgrim! <u><strong>The Trip:</strong></u> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/7-Day-Myanmar-Discovery" target="_hplink">7 Day Myanmar Discovery </a>

  • Inle Lake

    A world of watery wonders, Inle Lake possesses the ability to woo its travelers in a variety of ways. Let yourself be charmed by the unique leg-rowing techniques of the local fishermen as they effortlessly paddle the calm waters of Myanmar's second biggest lake. Immerse yourself in Intha's way of life as you behold stilted houses surrounded by floating vegetable gardens. Make sure to visit Nga Phe Kyaung, where monks have taught cats to jump two feet from the ground! The best time to visit is in September and October during the Hpaung Daw U Festival -- a religious Buddhist festival which highlights a parade of golden royal barges and the exciting leg-rowing race <strong><u>The Trip:</u></strong> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/12-Day-Highlights-of-Thailand-and-Myanmar " target="_hplink">12 Day Highlights of Thailand and Myanmar </a>

  • Bagan

    Travel back in time to be amazed by the sublime beauty of Bagan's ancient kingdom. Home to a sea of thousands of pagodas, the plains of Bagan -- the size of Manhattan -- is a "must-see" on any adventure to Myanmar. For an unparalleled view of Bagan, float on a hot air balloon at sunrise to truly appreciate the scale of this ancient realm. Rent a horse or cattle cart and stop at your own leisurely pace to see different pagodas, each with its own character. Or simply grab a bike to cycle off the beaten path and pick your own favorite pagoda to explore. <u><strong>The Trip</strong>:</u><a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/9-Day-Prayers-Pagodas-and-Arts " target="_hplink"> 9 Day Prayers, Pagodas & Arts </a>

  • Ngapali Beach

    Regarded as the premier beach hot spot in Myanmar, this stretch of paradise is a perfect place to unwind on your travels. Miles of pure white sand beaches bordered with tall coconut palms and mesmerizing turquoise waters reaching towards thatched huts along the shorelines -- this is Ngapali Beach. Leisurely activities such as snorkeling, cycling, kayaking and golf are among the favorites but many choose to simply watch local fishermen moor their boats and show off their day's catch as the sun slowly descends below the horizon. <strong><u>The Trip:</u></strong> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/12-Day-Myanmar-Exclusive " target="_hplink">12 Day Myanmar Exclusive</a>

  • U Bein Bridge

    Walk alongside local farmers, fishermen, monks and nuns as they cross the world's longest teak bridge. Easily one of the most photographed image in Myanmar, this 1.5 km stretch of wooden wonder is a perfect silhouette at sunset (or sunrise) for photographers looking to capture that money shot. For unmatched angles, rent a boat and set out by water to get a panoramic view of the entire structure. You haven't really experienced Myanmar unless you've witnessed Burmese everyday life taking place along the enchanting U Bein Bridge. <u><strong> The Trip:</strong></u> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/11-Day-Myanmar-Family-Adventure " target="_hplink">11 Day Myanmar Family Adventure </a>

  • Mrauk U Ruins

    A great ancient civilization once ruled this land but unlike other ruins of historical importance, daily life around the Mrauk U moves on. The rich collection of 700 pagodas and temples now stands as the backdrop of the slow-everyday rural lives of nearby rice farmers and goat herders. According to legend, over 6,000 temples once stood in Mrauk U but harsh weather conditions and fallen dynasties turned this former Rakhine Kingdom into ruins. Walk the ancient pathways past hundreds of stone figures of Buddha inside hidden chambers connecting the grandeur of the past and the simplicity of the present! <u><strong>The Trip:</strong></u> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/14-Day-Vietnam-and-Myanmar" target="_hplink">14 Day Vietnam and Myanmar </a>

  • Ngwesaung Beach

    Accessible by a five-hour drive from Yangon, Ngwesaung beach embodies the definition of a hidden paradise. While many tourists would rather soak the sun in Ngapali beach, those who are looking for peace and tranquility outside Buddhist temples can find their souls rejuvenated by miles of empty white sand beaches on the shores of Ngwesaung. Tucked under the lush tropical forest of the Rakhine mountain range, this hidden beach spot can bring you one step closer to nirvana! <strong><u>The Trip:</u></strong> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/12-Day-Myanmar-Exclusive " target="_hplink">12 Day Myanmar Exclusive</a>

  • Golden Rock Pagoda

    This gravity-defying boulder has more to it than golden splendor! According to legend, the Golden Rock manages to sit atop Mt. Kyaiktiyo without tumbling (despite being on the verge of falling) because it is perched on a strand of Buddha's hair. To many Buddhist devotees, this miracle is worthy of pilgrimage making it the third-most important Buddhist site in Myanmar. Best admired late at night before the sun settles, the Golden Rock's magical and mystical aura is believed to be an inspiration for travelers to believe in Buddhism! <u><strong>The Trip:</strong></u> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/11-Day-Temples-and-Treasures-of-Myanmar- " target="_hplink">11 Days Temple and Treasures of Myanmar</a>

  • Pindaya Caves

    Home to more than 8,000 Buddha images of different time periods, the Pindaya Caves attracts more tourists than all the caves in Myanmar. Many travelers will find themselves astonished by the overwhelming number of Buddha figures that quite literally blankets the walls of these caves. Make sure to walk slowly and silently when going through the labyrinth of sacred golden icons as monks still use these caves for prayer and meditation. <strong><u>The Trip:</u></strong> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/7-Day-Myanmar-Discovery " target="_hplink">7 Day Myanmar Discovery</a>

  • Irriwaddy River

    An inspiration to literary greats such as Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell, the Irrawaddy River is one of the great rivers of Asia. The Irrawaddy River is a great passageway for those looking to visit Myanmar’s former capital of Mandalay. Cruise past small fishing villages and admire everyday life of the river as you hear the morning bells of nearby monasteries, watch elephants and water buffaloes extracting timber from the forest, bargain with local market vendors and spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins! <strong><u>The Trip:</u></strong> <a href="http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Asia/Southeast-Asia/Myanmar/11-Day-Myanmar-Family-Adventure " target="_hplink">11 Day Myanmar Family Adventure </a>

 

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