Myanmar Destination Guide
Pay a visit to the country once known as Burma and you'll realise that, outside the major attractions, the country remains very much off the beaten track.
While Myanmar holidays have become increasingly popular over recent years, the country is still largely unspoiled by tourism, with spectacular man-made buildings and temples side-by-side, waiting to be discovered.
A relatively large country bordering India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos and China, a Myanmar travel guide is great to have on hand during your trip, but more important is a thirst for adventure.
Explore colonial capital Yangon
One of the most popular launch pads is Yangon, a common entry point for those on flights to Myanmar from international destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Home to more than five million people, sprawling Yangon was also the country's former capital until Naypyidaw took its place in 2005.
These days, Yangon is a mix of cultures and ethnicities; a place where you'll see suited businessmen walking alongside robed monks. Myanmar's largest city and biggest economic hub, Yangon is where many of the country's best hotels are located including colonial-style highlights such as The Strand and Belmond Governor's Residence.
If you only have time to see one attraction in Yangon, it has to be the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda – a shimmering golden temple and the country's main religious attraction. Nearby the city is Kyaikto, a gravity-defying gold painted rock perched atop of Mt. Kyaiktiyo.
The second most popular tourist destination in Yangon is Bagan, the capital of the first Myanmar empire. Located in the mystical Mandalay region, tourists flock to the city to admire the intricate and stunning Bagan temples complex.
Follow the road to Mandalay
Spread out over 42 square kilometres, this dazzling temple complex lies along the Ayeyarwady River (also known as the Irrawaddy River). Its landscape offers some stunning views, especially at sunset.
Other tempting Myanmar destinations include Inle Lake, an enormous lake located nearly one kilometre above sea level, surrounded by stunning mountains and Ngapali Beach – a beautiful stretch of white sand and coconut palms. Further down the coastline, the pristine Myeik Islands lay waiting to take you back to another era in time.
The list goes on, with the ancient kingdom of Mrauk U located on the coast providing a glimpse into 15th Century Myanmar. Spare some time too for the Shittaung Pagoda, an incredible temple located in the north of the country that contains some 80,000 depictions of Buddha.
Food lovers will enjoy Myanmar travel just as much for its tastes as for its sights. Burmese food is a delightful blend of flavours and exotic influences that easily gives Thai and Indian a run for their money.
Based around a diet of rice and seafood, take caution with each bite as big slices of chilli are a common seasoning in this part of the world. You won't have any trouble finding somewhere to eat and drink in Myanmar, but if you're in Yangon, pay a visit to 19th Street to sip Dagon Beer and chow down on seafood with the ever-smiling locals.