Myanmar, popularly known as Burma, is one of the must-see destinations is mostly a Buddhist pilgrimage site. This small South Asian country is rich in beaches and natural beauties. The pristine white beaches along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea highlights the importance of this country in tourism industry. Travellers who visit Myanmar are availed with an opportunity to explore the exquisite beauty of traditional Burma. The sites in Myanmar that attract more and more domestic and foreign tourists include Shwedagon pagoda, Golden rock, Shwenandaw Monastery, Inle lake, Ngapali, Taung Kalat, Irrawaddy river and also Bagan for sightseeing.
Shwedagon Paya, officially known as the Shwedagon Zedi, the Great Golden God pagoda is a peculiar trait of Myanmar. The pagoda is almost 114 m high and is considered the highest pagoda in Myanmar. It has been built with the diamond-studded top can be seen even from miles away. This pagoda earns high respect and visit by the Buddhist desciples and also contains several relics of lord Buddha. The thousand year old complex includes other smaller gold plated pagodas, statues and pavilions. The other attraction of Myanmar is the Irrawaddy, the longest river of Myanmar. It originates from the Himalayas carving Myanmar half on the way to the Andaman Sea. Large ships and boats are used to navigate Irrawaddy in the lower elevations. Irrawaddy River has become the popular cruise destination among the tourists. Cruises can be done between the city of Mandalay and the city of Bagan. Both of these cities ornate with plenty of temples, pagodas and the statues of Buddha. The cruisers feel to be the luckiest ever persons when they see river villages and beakless dolphins in between these two terminals. The Cruisers feel that they are destined to travel through the awe inspiring jungles and deep gorges.
The city of Mandalay is a home for Shwenandaw Monastery which carries the history of Buddhist monastery of Myanmar. This popular monastery, located in central Myanmar, is popularly known as the Golden Palace. This palace, originally built by King Mindon Min, was used as a royal apartment of the King. However, in 1878, after the death of the King, his son Thibaw Min, dismantled the palace with a belief that it was haunted by the king's spirit. He used it as a place for meditation and It later turned into a monastery. Initially this palace was fully covered with gold but now the external part does not have gold but gold plated. The exterior part is ornate with teak carvings that represent the Buddhist myth but the interrrior is all gold covered. Throughout the structure, stone carving is also found nowadays.
Ngapali, the premier resort town with white sand beaches lining the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal and luxury hotels, combines two worlds in this small Southeast Asian country. Ngapali, which offers oxen carts used as taxis, has local restaurants serving the day's catch of the fish by the fishermen from the village. Ngapali attracts a considerable number of tourists as a popular destination to chill out and relax.
Another highlight of Myanmar is Mrauk U, the famous archeological town. Mrauk U is believed to have been originally used as a fortress made of thick wall to protect the temples from the fierce wind. A number of stone temples are also found in the premises. Mrauk U, once the capital city of Arakan was considered to be an important trading city. This remote city is accessible by a four to seven hour boat ride up a tributary of the Kaladan river. This area is susceptible to rain and you are advised to have a rain gear with while travelling to this city. The annual rain is gauged almost 1.2 meter.
One of the topmost tourist attractions in Myanmar is the vast and serene Inle Lake. In the Northern, side of the Inle lake float the stilt houses of the Intha, the descendents of Mon people from the far southeast. A typical day-trip on the lake can be performed in a long, narrow boat with a noisy outboard motor. The day trip also involves the visit to several pagodas, markets and small workshops in stilt villages. Travellers are also likely to see fishermen propelling their boats using a distinctive leg-rowing technique, and other Intha residents of the lake tending to fruit and vegetables on floating gardens.
Built atop an extinct volcano plug, the Buddhist monastery of Taung Kalat is one of the most breathtaking sites in Myanmar. Visitors are required to climb the 777 steps to reach the monastery. There are a multitude of Macaque monkeys waiting for the treats. You can take a panoramic view from the top of Taung Kalat. The ancient city of Bagan and the conical peak of Mt. Popa from there.
Myanmar offers the Greater Daragon Pagoda, the Shwedagon or Greater Dragon Pagoda knnown as the most sacred site in Buddhism in Myanmar. It is believed that it contains a strand of Buddha’s hair and other religious relics. Singuttara Hill in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar homes the 2,500-year-old pagoda. The pagoda, initially 8 meter has grown 99 meters over the centuries. The antique Shwedagon Pagoda is believed to have first been built by the Mon during the Bagan period, sometime between the 6th and 10th century AD. The eyecatching pagoda, hold gold leaves, a number of temples, statues and stupas. Visitors are allowed only if they follow a dress code. They need to wear trousers and T-shirts with elbow-length sleeves and enter the temple barefoot.
Golden Rock, locally known as Kyaiktiyo Zedi is an awsome pagoda (zedi) sitting atop a huge boulder. It looks as though it is about to fall off the edge of a cliff. Both the pagoda and the boulder are covered with gold. It is believed that the boulder, lying at an elevation of 1,100 meters above sea level, is placed at an amazing state due to the miracle of Buddha. The pagoda, one of the most sacred pilgrimage site, is said to have contained a strand of Buddha's hair. Golden Rock is accessible after a five-hour drive and a long walk from Yangon.
Bagan, the most popular destination in Myanmar and the first capital of the Burmese Empire from the 9th to the 13th centuries, offers quite a few Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupas. Marco Polo once described this city as the “gilded city” and was a home for almost 13,000 Buddhist temples even in its 11th-century heyday. Apart from the thousands of temples, stupas and pagodas , Bagan also offers the most famous Ananda temple with its sparkling gold spires.