Youhou! We’re back from Myanmar, the beautiful country in southern Asia, next to countries like Thailand, India, China, Laos… Yet another country of smiling people, we’ve chosen this destination for our holidays because, contrary to its neighbours, Myanmar is not yet invaded by tourists. In this post discover my Myanmar bucketlist and merge it with your own.
Myanmar is still raw and beautiful, a developing country, tortured in its faith and politics, but awaiting to bloom into something even more beautiful as people started to claim back their rights. But this is another issue I will not discuss here.
Our first encounter with asian culture was our trip to Japan, so we were in love with Asia, in general. Now we went straight to Myanmar, and even it is rich in Buddhist culture, it’s a developing country and has no resemblance what so ever with Japan.
So let’s talk about the things that made me want to travel here. Today I present you with the:
1. See the Golden Pagoda of the former capital Yangon
Seeing the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunrise, definitely a MUST DO. “Shwe” means “gold/golden” in Myanmar language, so we’ve visited many pagodas with their name starting or finishing by “Shwe”.
This is one of the largest, brightest, most well-known Buddhist place in Myanmar. Being able to assist to little monks’ preyers, or just see the first ray of sun, gently touching the golden surface of the pagoda, surpassed our expectations.
I was amazed by how many people – tourists we’ve met on the way – didn’t consider visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. But everyone has their own lists…
2. Walk the U-Bein bridge in Amarapura
Be early on the U Bein bridge and you’ll avoid the crowd.
Here we’ve spotted a monk enjoying his breakfast with his friends. We just stood there and watched him feed the birds and the dog. I was mesmerized by the birds that flew around him, while the dog waited patiently for its turn.
3. See the sunset over Bagan
Bagan is one of that dreamy places that could come straight from a fairy tale. There was king who wanted those many pagodas in his backyard, so wealthy people relocated the poor and built thousands of pagodas and stupas on the plains of Bagan.
In Bagan we felt at peace with ourselves, we could resonate with the nature and enjoy the beauty of ancient times.
4. Meet the locals while trekking through villages
If you choose to do trek between Kalaw and Inle Lake, you will cross many villages in Shan State. The trek was maybe the most highlightened part of our trip to Myanmar. It was pure and authentic experience.
We would walk for hours through the jungle, mud, forests and hills, and then discover on our way a little village, or a school, or a monk’s school, or a train station with a market on the platform, or only a lost little shop that would feed us tea and sweets.
5. See the floating gardens on the Inle Lake
Inle Lake is one of the most beautiful ones, and it blew me away with its originality. The Lake is surrounded by mountains, so anywhere you look, you get an astonishing view. Furthermore, the Lake is inhabitated by Intha people, who are living on suspendend houses over the Inle Lake. They are depending on their boats to do the ordinary activities: go to the market, visit friends, go to school. One day we passed by a school (also over the lake), and the parents were patiently waiting in their boats.
Also, the sunset is unearthly! Definitely one of the most important items on my Myanmar bucketlist.
6. Visit the Royal Palace of the last Burmese monarchy in Mandalay
The Royal Palace was the last Burmese monarchy, so it is of great importance for Myanmar people. One interesting fact is that the Palace had been burnt down during WWII. The Government had the ambition and a huge ego to rebuild it in the 90’s – so it’s a very recent building.
7. Climb the giant standing Buddha in Monywa
Oh, maybe climbing inside the giant standing Buddha was not such a great activity to do. I chose not to, but Rémi climbed the Buddha only to arrive on top and find out there is no acces outside to enjoy the perspective of the Buddha.
This site was an original place, that felt it was coming out the Gulliver’s world, the land of the Lilliputians.
Of course, there are many, many other places and things to do in Myanmar, but didn’t mention them, because I don’t want to spoil it yet. I want to make you a surprise post about this mystical country called Myanmar.
Have you ever been to Myanmar? Would you return? What did you like the most? Do you have a Myanmar bucketlist?