4 Myanmar Destinations You Never Heard Of Before

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Myanmarinfo-icon, or Burma, is a very political country with a slowly developing tourism industry. Most of the Myanmar destinations that people visit are centered around the largest city of Yangon or to the beaches along the coast.

Other reasons to visit Myanmar are to discover the amazing culture. Myanmar has a lot of places of interest that include:

  • Religious sites
  • Ancient cities
  • Lots of hikes through amazing nature

Tourism is limited by the government to only allow visitors in some regions of the country, but it’s still enough to explore. Myanmar just may become your favorite destination to visit in Southeast Asiainfo-icon.

Also, make sure to check out my Postcards from Myanmar!

#1: Mandalay

While Bagan ballon tours are pretty well-known, it's an experience you can't miss!

Mandalay is a region located in upper Myanmar. This region is home to the second largest city in Myanmar, called Mandalay. The district also includes several other cultural sites that make it a top choice of Myanmar destinations to visit.

The city of Mandalay is seen as a cultural center in the country. It’s a large city with over one million people living here. It’s a center of Buddhism which is the main religion. 

There are hundreds of pagodas in the city as well as monasteries. The major tourist stop in Mandalay is the Mandalay Palace. This palace is the last royal palace from the Burmese monarchy. The original palace was destroyed during wartime. An identical replica was built on the same site so you can still see the traditional architecture.

Read more: Here are 5 Essential Things to Do in Mandalay!

At the foot of the Mandalay Hill, you can discover the Kuthodaw Pagoda. You’ll be greeted by a large golden stupa as you approach the pagoda. The grounds around this site are covered in carved marble slabs that hold religious texts. This site is also where you will find the Buddhist Bible, the world’s largest book.

Another place to visit in the Mandalay region is Bagan. Bagan is an ancient city that initially had over 10,000 temples, pagodas, and monasteries all dedicated to the Buddhist faith. There are still thousands of structures that remain standing. Many of these are iconic landmarks that are a must-see for anybody visiting Myanmar.

Here is a detailed post on what to do in Bagan after you visit the famous temples!

#2: Mon State

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is a peculiar site, as it is a golden rock that is balanced on the edge of the cliff.

Mon State is yet another place to visit on your trip to Myanmar. Mon State is a region in southern Myanmar that has a vast coastline. There are many smaller islands located right off the shores. 

You can surely find great beaches around this region, but most people come to explore the cultural significance of it. Mon State is one of the Myanmar destinations that are worth venturing around. It has a lot of landmark attractions, many of which reflect the impact of Buddhism on the country. 

Here are some interesting things to do in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar!

The capital of Mon State is Mawlamyine. This is the fourth largest city in Myanmar. It is a major trade center and port city because of its coastal position. One of the top attractions in this city is the Mon State Cultural Museum. It holds many relics from the local people.

Mon State also has a lot of pagodas around the region. Many of these pagodas are famous for their own reasons. One of the most popular is the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. This pagoda is built on a large rock that mysteriously balances on the edge of a cliff. The entire structure, including the rock, is covered in gold. This pagoda is a Buddhist pilgrimage site.

Mudon is a small town in Mon State but holds one of Myanmar’s most iconic landmarks. The main attraction is the Win Sein Taw Ya, which is the world’s largest reclining Buddha.

#3: Kachin State

A large community has developed around the largest inland lake in SE Asia, Indawgyi Lake.

You will definitely want to visit the Kachin State if you're going to discover the natural beauty of Myanmar. This state encompasses the northernmost region of the country. There is a very diverse landscape here which makes it a very scenic part of Myanmar.

There are several Myanmar destinations in this state that hold records around Southeast Asia. Its northern location places it at the southern tip of the Himalayas Mountains. The highest mountain in Myanmar, and possibly SE Asia is called Hkakabo Razi. This mountain is part of a national park which protects this mountainous region.

Also within the Kachin State is the Indawgyi Lake. This is the largest inland lake in SE Asia. Indawgyi is very important to its environment. Many villages have developed around the lake and used it for their livelihood. The Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is also established here. This sanctuary protects the rare and endangered animals that live in and around the lake.

Make sure to check out the tasty Burmese Cuisine!

Hukawng Valley is another one of Myanmar destinations you should visit while in the Kachin State. This valley is home to the world’s largest tiger reserve. Thanks to the abundance of tigers in the area, it’s considered the largest protected area in SE Asia.

#4: Rakhine State

Mrauk U is a huge archeological site that tells us about the power of Burma in ages long gone.

Myanmar has an extensive coast, so the beaches are surely on your list of places to visit while in the country. 

Rakhine State is a Burmese state that stretches for a good portion of the coast. This is one of the most popular Myanmar destinations because of Ngapali Beach. This beach is the most famous in Myanmar. It has grown to be a major tourist area with lots of hotels and resorts lining the shore.

Read more: Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Myanmar People!

After spending some time at this fantastic beach, you may want to spend time visiting Mrauk U. This is an enormous archaeological site that reveals a lot of history of Myanmar. It was once the most powerful kingdom in the area and is covered in ruins of temples and pagodas. It is a growing tourist area. Transportation to get to Mrauk U was once limited, but it has since grown to support the interest in the site. 

There are still many more Myanmar Destinations for you to discover!

Irrawady River is one of the destinations in Myanmar you absolutely should experience during your visit!

Myanmar is mostly undiscovered by foreign travelers. As the country continues to grow its tourism sector, there will be tons of new places of interest to visit.

Visiting Myanmar will let you experience the wonderful Burmese culture. A lot of the country’s influence comes from Buddhism. Many of the sites you visit here are reflections of it.

Myanmar is also a destination with a beautiful landscape. The diverse landscape can take you anywhere from the highest mountain peaks in the region to some of the most scenic beaches overlooking islands.

Make sure to check out Adrian's Myanmar Journey by Bus!

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.