8 Reasons to Visit Myanmar

Novice Monks in Myanmar
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Reasons to Visit Myanmar

If you’re looking for a new, exotic, and beautiful place to visit, consider visiting Myanmar. Myanmar, formerly Burma, has a rich history, incredible historic temples, amazing culture, and a coastline that offers everything you would want in a tropical vacation. Here are the top 8 reasons why Myanmar should be on your bucket list.

Sunrise and Sunset - Reasons to Visit Myanmar
Sunrise and Sunset – Reasons to Visit Myanmar

1. Sunrise and Sunset

Everyday, the sun rises and sets over the glorious settings that Myanmar offers. During my last visit, I was able to witness the beautiful sunset in Old Bagan where thousands of people gather in huge temples to wait and take photos of the beautiful sunset. Beachside or Lakeside sunsets? Check. The sun rising over green, lush jungle as you climb to the rim of extinct volcano Mount Popa? Check.

Shwedagon Pagoda at Night
Shwedagon Pagoda at Night
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2. Visit Thousands of Beautiful Temples

Relatively unknown in the world of temple visiting, Myanmar has a disproportionate amount of incredible temples that you can visit. Shwedagon Pagoda – the oldest historical pagoda in the world dominates the skyline of Yangon making it one of the most visited Pagoda in Myanmar. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, more than 10,000 temples were built in Bagan. Old Bagan temples are also picture perfect during sunrise.

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Novice Monks in Myanmar
Novice Monks in Myanmar

3. The Buddhist Monks

You will see Monks in the streets, inside the temples and in almost everywhere in Myanmar. They are friendly and they love to talk to foreigners to practice their English skills. Buddhist monks of Myanmar wear the dark ochre robes that distinguish them from the crowds and you can hear their prayers from the temples. Monks are venerated members of Burmese society.

Tip: They will allow you to take photos of them but be sure to always ask politely before pressing your camera’s shutter button.
Burmese visiting Temples
Burmese visiting Temples

4. Culture

The history of the country is complex and dramatic. Burma’s culture has been heavily influenced by Buddhism and the Mon people. Burmese culture has also been influenced by its neighbors India, Thailand and China. Burmese People are still applying Thanaka to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls and to a lesser extent men and boys. Thanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. Thanaka gives a cooling sensation and provides sun protection.

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Food in Myanmar
Food in Myanmar


5. Burmese Food

Influenced by the surrounding flavors from China, Thailand, and India, Myanmar’s cuisine is rich in flavor from the strong spices used as well as the ngapi, or fermented seafood, and fish sauce. On the coast you’ll eat fresh fish dishes prepared in a huge variety of techniques and spice combinations. Inland you can rely on the flavorful salads that often include glass or rice noodles, alongside potatoes, ginger, tomatoes, lime, and pickled tea leaves (lahpet).

Burmese Kid in Bagan
Burmese Kid in Bagan

6. The People

Again, because of the location you’ll find that the people of Myanmar are somewhat of a blend between the nationalities from the surrounding countries. But you’ll also find that they’ve taken the best from the neighboring cultures. The friendly smiles of the Thai along with the diligence and economy of the Chinese, plus a bit of humility that must come from India.

Inside Bogyoke Aung San Market
Inside Bogyoke Aung San Market

7. Shopping

Surprise! You can also go shopping in this country full of wonders to explore. But you’ll find that instead of the typical shopping malls full of items you can find anywhere, you’ll find incredible local markets full of inexpensive and beautiful locally made items and products. Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangoon is the most popular place to shop for souvenir items and jewelries like Jade and other precious stones.

Visiting Mount Popa Monastery
Visiting Mount Popa Monastery
One of the Temples in Mount Popa
One of the Temples in Mount Popa

8. The Adventure

And of course, the best part of visiting Myanmar is the sense of adventure that comes with going to a country that the world doesn’t know that much about. You will discover things that other travelers don’t yet know about and you’ll find that it’s easier to connect with the people because they’re not as wrapped up in tourism as many other countries in the region.

Burmese Kid inside a Pottery
Burmese Kid inside a Pottery

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You can’t go wrong when you go to Myanmar to see natural wonders and wonderful man made structures. If you’re a traveler who likes a new adventure to embark on, plan a trip to Myanmar. You won’t be disappointed.

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