Myanmar, or Burma as you might know, is an epic land where thousands of different feelings, landscapes, temples, and people rolled into one. A country used to isolate itself now has opened its door to the outside world. It is the right time for all of us to travel and discover the secret country which is home to 135 ethnic groups living in harmony. If you are planning for a Myanmar vacation, do not miss out on our list of best tourist attractions in Myanmar below which provides you an overview of Myanmar and helps you to maximize your time to uncover the highlights of the mythical country.
Best Tourist Attractions in Myanmar – Most Popular Burma Tourist Attractions
Yangon – The City of the Timeless Charm
The former capital city is no doubt one of the best tourist attractions in Myanmar that you should never miss on your vacation. Visiting the city from a Myanmar cruise trip, tourists can observe a fabulous combination of the antiqueness and modernization features on the street. The city is home to some of the country’s most sacred pagodas, luxurious hotels, and beautiful sceneries. Best tourist spots to visit in Yangon Myanmar are:
Shwedagon Pagoda: the pagoda is considered as the pride of Yangon, if not the whole Myanmar. Located on the top of the hill at a height of 113 meters, it can be seen from any corner of the city. Glittering in the sunlight and sparkling at the sunset, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most fascinating attractions in Myanmar for travelers to observe the typical Burmese architecture and learn more about the sacred relics of the Buddha which is enshrining inside the main stupa.
Kandawgyi Lake: Also known as Royal Lake, this artificial lake was built from the time of British colonial as a reservoir. Today, this great Myanmar attraction is the most beautiful photo spot in Yangon.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda: the pagoda attracts a huge number of pilgrimages and foreign tourists every year to admire its colossal reclining Buddha images. Upon here, you can pay homage to the Buddha and pray for good health and a safe and sound life.
Bogyoke Aungsan Market (Scott Market): The hustling and bustling market to see the daily life and trade of Burmese people
Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda, train ride, etc…
Bagan – Where the Magic Reveals
Home to over 3000 temples and pagodas scattered on a flat area, it is not hyperbole to say that Bagan is the best of the best Myanmar attractions. Hop on an excursion to Bagan, together with visiting the most beautiful temples and pagodas such as Shwezion, Ananda, Htilominlo, Dhammayangyi, etc. Tourists can indulge in the mesmerizing view of the temple from the Nanmyint Watch Tower, hop on an exotic pony cart to linger and feel the laid-back vibe through the dusty landscape, taste the local flavor in Nyang U Market, and savor a delicious lunch in a riverside restaurant.
Mandalay – A Fascinating Cultural Capital
Situated not far from the ancient town of Bagan, the former royal capital of Mandalay is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Myanmar to get a glimpse at the scenic landscape. Mandalay has a ton of charm to enchant tourists’ hearts. There are vibrant local markets to see the lively trade, ancient monasteries to learn about the life of Buddhist monks, gold workshops to see the local production as well as a thriving teahouse culture for visitors to mingle with the exceptionally friendly locals.
Inle Lake – Home to the Breathtaking Nature
Well-known as the natural paradise of Myanmar, Inle Lake is one of the top 4 most popular tourist attractions in Myanmar to indulge in the mesmerizing beauty. After long days experiencing the hot of Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay, there is no better way to relax than enjoying an exotic boat trip to discover the exceptional life of people above water. Be amazed by the leg-rowing fishermen who row the boat by one leg, be charmed by the endless floating garden which makes the lake become one of the most productive lakes in the world, be impressed by thousands of ancient stupas and be enchanted by the warmth of the local people.
Golden Rock (Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda) – Enshrining a Sacred Relic of the Buddha
One of the most important religious sites in Myanmar, Golden Rock Pagoda is one of the most popular Myanmar attractions for an excursion from Yangon. It is the masterpiece ranked third on the top three most sacred temples in Myanmar, below Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda. The unique feature of the temple is one that makes it one of the most magnificent tourist spots in Burma. According to legend, the Golden Rock which perched dramatically on a rock side is believed to enshrine a sacred hair strand of the Buddha, keeping it from falling. Every year, there is a lively festival held on the pagoda. This is also known as the lighting festival which takes place on the full Moon Day of Thadingyut when 9000 candles are lit up and 9000 flowers are devoted to the Buddha.
Hpa-An – Charming Town with Incredible Jurassic Scenery
Located about 270 km from Yangon, the magnificent karst landscape of Hpa-An is a not-to-miss attraction when traveling to Myanmar. Upon here, travelers can expect to be mesmerized by the morning scene of the locals in the narrow streets leads up to the beautiful lake where you can behold the stunning sunrise with Mount Zwegabin reflected in the water. I can’t express how wonderful it is when wandering around the bustling morning markets, observe the daily life of the people and get to know the local monks. For adventure lovers, don’t pass up this chance to climb up to the top of Mount Zwegabin to marvel at the incredible view of the town. The exotic Kyauk Kalap Monastery which situated dramatically on the top of a rock formation in a small reservoir will definitely steal your heart.
Ngapali Beach – A Hidden Gem of Southeast Asia
Praised as a hidden gem of Southeast Asia, Ngapali Beach is no doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations in Myanmar for those who love to chill out and relax on the pristine white sand beach. Its seawater is blue platinum, clean and without any dangerous marine animals creating a great place for swimming and doing water sports. Not just beguiling with the km long white sand beach, small fishing villages and local markets are great places to discover the local life.
Keng Tung – A Secret Destination
Tucked away from the northeast of Yangon, Kengtung, a mecca of the ethnic tribes in Myanmar, also known as Kyaing Tong, is the most pleasant town in Shan State. Previously it was the town made up of myths and legend. The culture and appearance of the hill tribe in Kengtung are much closer to the hill towns of Thailand rather than other cities in the region. Keng Tung is the home to various vibrant ethnic communities such as Tai Ly, Tai Nuea, and Tai Khun. Today, the hill town attracts more and more tourists to visit and discover its amazing culture. It is also a fantastic destination in Myanmar for trekkers where has yet to be overrun with tourists.
Mawlamyine – Beautiful Tropical Capital of Shan State
Noted with a ridge of stupa-capped hills on one side and the beautiful Thanlwin River on the other side, the quiet and peaceful scenery of Mawlamyine is a great Burma tourist attraction. There are many charming places to visit in the town. The Kyaikthanlan Paya Pagoda which was built in the 9th century AD is the most wonderful site to marvel at the great architecture and enjoy the sunset and catch the breeze blowing from the river. Along the street filled with crumbling colonial-era buildings, churches and mosques. If you take a boat trip on the Salween River, you will see the island Gaungse Kyun (Shampoo Island) which was said that to be the Buddhist center of the Mon Kingdom where the members of the royal family used the water from the spring on the island to perform the ritual.
Pindaya – The Extraordinary Hill Town
Located not far from Inle Lake, Pindaya is a worth visiting destination in Myanmar that worth several days to discover. Holding a breathtaking vista and laidback pace of life, visiting Pindaya from Myanmar cruise trip with leave a different taste of Myanmar travel. It is home to the impressive Pindaya limestone cave, tea plantation, a traditional village, and unworldly trekking routes.
Recommended Myanmar Attractions to Visit in 2020 – 2021
About 80 kilometers Northeast of Yangon, Bago is one of the famous attractions in Myanmar which appears to be a land of myth and legend. Shwe Mawdaw Pagoda is a famous attraction here holding the record for the tallest pagoda in the country. Together with Shwemawdaw, a number of the other pagodas also contribute to the well-known abundance of Bago’s religion. Additionally, tourists can also join in the activities of the morning market near the river and cycle around Stupas and Buddhas.
Mrauk U is the hidden gem of Myanmar that would leave you an unforgettable experience once taking a glance at the fancy mist and smoke in the morning. In the town, you will see hundreds of pagodas, temples, and ancient fortress built of bricks from the 15th century remains, nestled in the hills and small villages. Even more, you can also visit the riverside village to enjoy the serenity.