Destinations

Yangon

Yangon, the capital city, is the main gateway to Myanmar with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes. Yangon has earned the name of “the Garden City of the East’’. Yangon was founded by king Alungpaya on the site of a small settlement called Dagon, when he conquered lower Myanmar in 1755. The name “Yangon” means’ End of strife”.

Towering over the city is the glittering world famous Shwedagon Pagoda with its spire rising to a height of 99.4 meter (326 ft).It is the essence of Myanmar and a place that never fails to enchant. A visit to Yangon is incomplete without a visit to the Great Shwedagon Pagoda.

Highlights of Yangon are Sule Pagoda (over 2000 years old) in the heart of the city; Botahtaung Pagoda(over 2000 years old)over-looking the waterfront; the Colossal Reclining Buddha Image of Chauk-Htat-Gyi Pagoda; the seated Buddha Image of Koe-Htat-Gyi Pagoda and Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda).

Other places worth visiting are the National Museum, the natural History Museum, Bogyoke Aung San Park, Maha Bandoola Park, Zoological Gardens, Kandawgyi (Royal Lake), the Karaweik Hall and Bogyoke Market (Scott Market).

Bago

Bago (Pegu) is an ancient capital of Mon Kingdom (15th century). It is situated only 80 km from Yangon, 1 hr drive across the countryside. Bago city tour starts with bustling Bago market to witness the country life in trading of rainy local produces such as vegetables, seasonal fruits, meats, fish etc. Drive to Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha Image, which is reckoned to be one of the largest reclining Buddha and the most life-like, measuring 55 meters in length and 16 meters in height.Visit massive, peaceful and sun-glittering Shwemawdaw Pagoda. It is 114 meters high, the tallest pagoda in Burma and overlooks the landscape, believed to be build 2000 years ago.

After descending from Shwemawdaw, visit Kanbawza Thadi Palace site and museum to witness the excavation of Archaeological department at the palace site of King Bayint Naung at the ancient Royal Capital of Hanthawaddy. Drive back to Yangon and visit Kyaikpun Pagoda on the way where 4 Hugh Buddha images are seated back to back in the quadrangular position.
Then photo stop at Allied war Memorial Cemetery at Htaukkyant. It is a beautifully kept ground and had 27000 stone graves of Common Wealth and Allied Forces Fallen Soldiers in the Burma Campaign were honorably kept, about 32 km from Yangon.

Thanlyin

Thanlyin is about 45 minutes drive from Yangon. Cross the Bago River over one of the longest bridge to Thanlyin. Thanlyin was an important trading centre in the 17th century under the Portuguese. Places of interest include Old Portuguese buildings, Kyaik Khauk Pagoda and Yele Pagoda on a small island at Kyauktan, 12km south of Thanlyin.

 

 


Twante

Twante is reached by a ferryboat on a 2-3 hour ride along the Yangon River and the Twante Canal from Yangon. Pottery is a major cottage industry in Twante. Shwesandaw Pagoda, Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds, local town market, Baungdawgyoke Pagoda, Snake Temple, weavers are among the interesting sites. A half-day excursion gives visitors a great chance to travel on the river and see the life in a typical delta river village.

Kyaikhtiyo

Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is located about 160km from Yangon. Rising 1100 metres above sea level, this small golden stupa stands on the top of a huge gold-gilded boulder. This Golden Rock is precariously perched on the edge of the hill and is a place of important pilgrimage for Buddhists.

 



Moeyungyi Wetlands

About 110km north of Yangon lies Moeyungyi Wetlands, a vital shelter for both resident and migratory waterfowl. A census at Moeyungyi revealed that there are 125 species of water birds including 70 species of migrants. It is just 2hours drive from Yangon.

 

 


Pyay

Pyay is one of the famous cities in Myanmar and located in Bago Division, on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, the biggest and the longest river in Myanmar and an economic artery. There are many pleasant types of scenery with the mountain ranges on both sides of this river.

An ancient 'Pyu' Capital namely Thi-ri- khit taya lies 8 km southeast of Pyay (Prome), which is located about 178-mile north-west of Yangon. Archaeological discoveries indicate that the city attained its heighest prosperity between the 5th and 9th centuries.

The remains at Thi-ri-khit-taya are palace site, the prototype of Bagan vaulted temple such as Lemyethna and East Zegu, the cylinder-shaped Bawbawgyi Pagoda, Payagyi and Payama stupas each with a high conical dome and the Archaeological Museum.

Places of interest in Pyay are Shwesandaw Pagoda, a gigantic sitting Buddha Statue of Hsehtatkyi Pagoda, Shwe Phone Pwint Library, the beautiful scenery of majestic Ayeyarwaddy River and Akauk Taung (hill) where many Buddha images were carved out.

Akauk Taung has green forest cover, it is very pleasant place, filled with historic ShweMyintin Pagoda as well as other pagodas, and religious edifice. Moreover, there are ravines, gorges, streams and natural scenic beauty for visitors for relaxation and recreation. It is believed that those Buddha Images were carved since many years ago by some artistic merchants who made stopover at Akauk Taung while travelling along the River for their trading business.

Mandalay and Environs

Mandalay, the seat of the last Myanmar monarchy, is in the center of Myanmar, about 692 km(430 miles) due north of Yangon. Mandalay presents fabulous scenes that are typical of their own. It is the most Myanmar of cities, the place where one will come closest to the real Myanmar. Rich in monasteries, pagodas and ample resources of Myanmar arts and architecture, Mandalay has great importance as a cultural center. Mandalay Hill (over 274 m-over900ft) with a fine panoramic view of the city; Kuthodaw Pagoda (the Royal Bounty) with 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Buddhist canons; the Atumashi Kyaung; Shwenandaw Kyaung, a fine example of traditional Myanmar wooden monastery and also a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Palace.

Mandalay is also famed for its fine pagodas like Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwekyimyin Pagoda and Eindawya Pagoda.
For art and craft lovers, Mandalay offers a treasure of ivory and wood carving industry, gold leaf industry, silk weaving industry, silverware industry and stone carving.

Amarapura

Another place for worth visiting is Amarapura, situated about 11km south of Mandalay, Amarapura is an ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty. Places of interest are the Patodawgyi Pagoda, U Pein Wooden Bridge (1208 meter long), silk and cotton weaving workshops and Maha Gandayon Monastery.

 



Ava (Innwa)

Ava (Innwa) is situated about 20km southwest of Mandalay and founded by the Shan King Thadominbya in 1364, it remained the royal capital for almost 5 centuries. Visitors can enjoy crossing the river on a ferry boat and ride around the sites of Ava in a horse-drawn pony cart. Highlights are the Nanmyint Watchtower, Bagaya Teak wood Teak wood Monastery, Maha Aungmye Bonzan, Htilaingshin Paya and the workshop making lacquer alms bowl for monks.




Sagaing

Sagaing lies 21km south-west of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy. The Sagaing Hills are best-known as a religious retreal and a center for Buddhistic studies and meditation, the Kaunghmudaw, an enormous dome-shaped pagoda and Ywahtaung village, home of the silver-smiths, are also places od interest.

 



Mingun

Mingun lies 11km upriver from Mandalay on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is noted for the Mingun Paya, a huge unfinished pagoda, Myatheindan Pagoda and a gigantic 90-ton bell-the largest uncracked ringing bell in the world. The boat trip to Mingun is a very pleasant way to enjoy the majestic Ayeyarwaddy.

 



Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)

Pyin Oo Lwin, 1070 meters above sea level, is 67 km east from Mandalay. It is best known as Maymyo, a former British Colonial summer retreat. The famous Candacraig Hotel, Royal Kandawgyi Garden (formerly botanical garden) and the Pyin Oo Lwin Market are popular sites. Excursions to Pwe Kauk Falls, Peik Chin Myaung Cave and a ride on a horse-drawn stagecoach through the town-Pyin Oo Lwin is an easy day trip from Mandalay. Hiking trips to the nearby Anisakan Falls can be arranged.



Monywa

Monywa, about 140 km to the west of Mandalay is a commercial centre of the Chindwin Valley. Bodhi-ta-taung Pagoda(one thousand Bo trees), a 300 foot long reclining Buddha, Kyauka Shweguni Pagoda and lacquer ware village, Thanbodhyi Pagoda (with over 500,000 Buddha images), and Shwe Ba Hill and the famous caves of Po Win Daung across the river are major tourist attractions. Monywa is about a 3-hour drive from Mandalay.

 



Moegok

Roughly, 200km north of Mandalay, Mogok is famous for its gem mines of rubies and sapphires. The town is nestled in a valley at over 1000 m around a large lake-the weather is cool. Visits to the mines, gem markets and lapidary workshops can be arranged. Mogok means 'ruby land'.

Bagan

Bagan, one of the great sights of Asia, Bagan is not to be missed. Temple after temple, large and small rises up, a great deserted royal city. This was the era of the temple builders and they left a monument to their art as stunning as the Pyramids in Egypt. Bagan flowered from AD 1057 to 1287 when it was overrun by the west-moving Kublai Khan. During its heyday, 13000 temples were built to honor the Theravada Buddhism. Bagan’s temple are endlessly different and fascinating, each one with its own legend.

Tour highlights include Nyaung Oo market, Shwezigone Pagoda; the prototype of later Myanmar Stupas, Kyansitha Umin; a tunnel with an interesting feature of paintings, Shwegugyi temple; transitional in style between early and late Bagan period, Archaeological museum, Ananda temple; an architectural masterpiece, Ananda Okkyaung; a brick monastery with mural paintings, Myinkaba Gupyaukkyi temple with nice mural paintings, lacquer-ware workshop to see the process of making lacquer-ware from the basic stage to finished products ready for sale, Manuha temple with gigantic Buddha Images as a captive king’s impression of life in prison and Thatbyinnyu; the highest of Bagan temples.

Mt.Popa

Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano is a one hour drive from Bagan on the road to Mandalay, rises 1520 metres into the sky. It is the legendry home for Nat or Spirit. Climb to the summit by stairway takes about 45 minutes and there is Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the " Nats" (Spirits) at the top.

 

 


Salay

Salay can easily be visited as a day trip from Bagan. It is a 106-km trip via Kyauk Padaung, about 2.5hr drive, or via chauk. On the other side of the main road from Kyaukpadaung is the oldest surviving wooden monastery known as Yoke Sone. Brick and stucco stairs with a dragon design (naga) lead up to the hall which is supported by 170 teak pillars. Only two sides of the hall bear the original over 170 years old sculptures of 19th century court life, jataka (stories from the Buddha’s life). Inside the hall is a collection of antique religious objects. A lacquer Buddha image about a metre high can also be seen in Salay.


 

Pakkoku

It is situated along the way by river from Bagan. The town itself has little to offer but at PAKHANGYI, 20km northeast of PAKKOKU is a 19th century town with old city walls, and an archeological museum. There is also one of the oldest surviving wooden monasteries in upper Myanmar known as PAKHANGYI with 254 teak pillars. And also PAKHAHGYI KYAUNG with 332 teak pillars which is known as Myanmar’s largest wooden monastery.

Inle Lake

Inle Lake, the jewel of Shan State is nestled among the hazy Shan Mountains of 1524 meters. The Lake itself is about 900 meters above sea level, its glassy blue waters running 22.4 km in length and 10.2 km in breadth, certainly one of the most magical sights in South East Asia.

The lake is not only a beautiful site to enjoy but also the practical home to the native innthas (son of the lake), who live on the stilt houses with their neatly cultivated floating farms and nurseries. The truly unique Inle Lake leg-rowers and fishermen cannot be missed as you glide through the waters on your boats on a dream-like adventure. The presence of many ethnic groups in the area also makes it a captivating place of much cultural interest. The main attraction of Inle Lake is the famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda situated in the middle of the lak.

Kakku

Kakku lies 26 miles south of Taunggyi, sharing border with NaungMon Township in the east. In the west, there lies a blue and hazy Khe-Le mountain ranges stretching from north to south and 1300 meter above the sea level.

Kakku pagodas - thousands of pagodas with various shapes, sizes and descriptions dotted within Kakku pagoda compound is main attraction. Beside, there are beautiful landscapes in which pagodas are set and small winding road leading to pagoda complex allowing a close observation of the vegetation and cultivation. And to study the daily life of Pa-O tribe and their culture also.
 

Tahkaung Mwedaw Pagoda complex in Sagar Village

Tahkaung Mwedaw Pagoda complex in Inle area has been hidden from the eyes of people from other regions for centuries. It is situated just before the Sagar Village, 2 hours boat ride down south from Inle Lake. The pagodas are in the same style as those of Kakku, Taung-to and Indain, all of which lie further north. After entering Belu Chaung (Orge Stream) which is flowing out of Inle Lake into the Mobye Dam in the Kayah State, passing Pa-O villages on both sides and watching the waterfowl of many different species even circling over the boat arrives at Tahkaung Mwedaw Pagoda before the Sagar Village.

Pindaya

Pindaya, situated at the foot of Mene-Taung Range about 45 kilometres north of Kalaw, is a picturesque place perched on the bank of the placid Botoloke Lake. This small town is famous for its beautiful lake and extensive lime stone caves called Pindaya Cave in which over 8000 of old Buddha Images are seated. The images are of various sizes, some carved in the face of rock and some deposited in niches in the walls for many centuries. Some of them are tiny while others are huge and are made of teak, lacquer, marble, bronze, alabaster and cement being coated with gold leaf. Some images are said to be more than 300 years old.

The caves are set deep in the hillsides and there stands a 15 meter high ShweU Min Pagoda at the entrance. Some of the smaller caves within the complex serve as meditation chambers. The winding galleries and nooks and corners of the cave are ideal places of insight meditation since the olden days. The hike up Shwe U Min is relatively easy - there is also an elevator help visitors to climb this cave. Among the unusual features in the cave is a set of stalagmites that can be struck with large wooden mallets to produce gong tone. Shwe U Min Pagoda celebrates its festival on and around the full moon day of Tabaung (during February or March). During the festival time, thousands of devotees throng to the cave to pay homage. Pagoda's mall is set up at the foot of the hill and sells local products, food and seasonal fruits.

Kalaw

Kalaw, a beautiful hill station set in the midst of rolling hills and pine forests, is perched on the western rim of the massive Shan Plateau. This charming little town is really one of the favourite places in Myanmar. Cool and spring like weather, pine forest, tea plantations and colourfully-clad hill tribes make Kalaw a natural magnet for tourists.

Kalaw is situated 71 kilometres west of Taunggyi and about 660 kilometres from Yangon. As it is situated at an altitude of 1320 metres, it is pleasantly cool and a good place for hiking while enjoying the scenery of rugged mountains, bamboo groves and fragrant pine trees. Visitors can make interesting excursions around Kalaw. The main attractions of Kalaw are the town itself and its ethnic mix of people. Kalaw still boasts for its colonial-era cottages and villa.

The town is setting within trekking distance of many ethnic minority villages. Trekking to Palaung tribe villages is wonderful. Most of the ancient Myanmar hill tribes such as Palaung, Pa-O and Shan ethnic with their interesting traditional styles living up here and there.

Ngapali

A long Stretch of silvery white sand fringed with swaying palms, Ngapali Beach is ideal for visitors seeking sea, sun and solitude. It is located on the Rakhine (Western) coast only 40 minutes by flights from Yangon. There is a 9-hole golf course about 5km away.The best time to visit Ngapali Beach is from October to May. Ngapali beach is the last spot for recreation and relaxation when after you have visited several major tour sites in Myanmar. Visiting near by fishing villages will make your unforgettable moment besides your other daily activities. Unspoiled beach, the sapphire-blue sea and the emerald green flora consisting of coconut trees will certainly provide satisfaction and relaxation to whoever visits Ngapali.

Northern Environs

Myitkyina

Myitkyina, a hill station of cool and pleasant all the year round, is the capital of Kachin State and it is home to colourful ethnic races and their festivals. Myitkyina is the northern most railway terminal, 919 miles from Yangon and 487 miles from Mandalay. There are air links connecting from Yangon and Mandalay. Flights from Yangon to Myitkyina take about two and half-hours.

Myitkyina and its environs, long-forbidden to foreigners, have recently become newly emerged destinations for international travellers. It is ideal starting point of excursions to tribal villages, Jade mines and Myitsone, the river confluence (40 km from Myitkyina) where two Himalayan streams of Mehka and Malikha meet to form the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River.

Many ethnic tribes can be seen around Myitkyina. The region is occupied by approximately 14 different ethnic groups. Most of the people of the state are Kachins and the groups of tribes include Jimphaw, Lashi, Lisu, Rawang, Shan and Bamar. The main economy is on agriculture where shifting cultivation still prevails in the hills. Rice, wheat, maize, ground nut, sesame, pulses, chilies, onions, tomato, sugar cane, tobacco, tea and vegetable are grown. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and pears are also products of Kachin state.
 

Putao

Putao is the nearest town to the Myanmar's highest mountain,Hkakabo Razi, first climb in 1996 by a Japanese expedition. It is 5889 metres above sea level and snow-capped all year round.While in Putao, visitors will have very rare opportunity to explore the beautiful northern frontier's breathtaking scenery, flora and fauna and to visit the villages of Jingpaw, Rawang, Lisu, Tai and Khamti hill tribes. Enthusiast of nature will be greatly rewarded. Putao has air link with Yangon and Mandalay via Myitkyina.
 

Bhamo

Situated beside the Ayeyarwaddy River on the way to Myitkyina, Bhamo is a colorful trading town of river boats with a unique mixture of tribes and near the 5th century ruins of the trading city of Sampanago.

Rakhine State

Mrauk Oo

Mrauk Oo is a magnificent old city on the west coast, once capital of the Rakhine Kingdom. It is yet another site in Myanmar with old temples and pagodas, but in styles different from those of Bagan because of Indian influence in that area. Mrauk Oo, a prominent capital, was carefully built in a strategic location by leveling three small hills. The pagodas are strategically located on hilltops and serve as fortresses. They were once actually used to prevent enemy intrusion. There are moats, artificial lakes and canals and the whole area could be flooded to repulse attackers. Allover the old city and the surrounding hills are dotted with innumerable pagodas and Buddha images. Among many in ruins, some are still being used as places of worship today and some are now being restored to their original splendor. Special express boat with 20 seats from Sittwe takes only 2 hours to Mrauk Oo.

Visitors to Mrauk Oo will have a very rare opportunity to witness elderly Chin women with their face tattooed and wearing peculiar clothing; ears are bored with silver earrings; living in remote villages. This region is so primitive that customs and traditions are quite unlike those of Rakhine tradition and styles.
 

Sittwe

On the northern coast near the Bangladesh border, Sittwe is the capital city of Rakhine State. Originally built by the British in 1826, the town's most popular sites include the Payagyi Pagoda, the Rakhine State Cultural Museum, Payamya Monastery and the riverfront market. It is the transit camp to travel to Mrauk Oo. Sittwe has regular air-links with Yangon.


 

Southern Chin Hills

NatmaTaung

NatmaTaung also known as Mt. Victoria was given as a present to Queen Victoria of England in commemoration of conquest on Myanmar. 10200 ft above the sea level, Natmataung is the highest in Chin State. It is regarded as the best bird-watching spot among birding enthusiasts. Natma Taung National Park is centered around the Mt. Victoria, now known as Kong Nu Peak in Chin language.This park is situated in Kanpetlet township, south of Mindat in Southern Chin State. On the way to the park, there are numerous ethnic Chin villages and some other villages belonging to the Taung Tha people who are said to be ancestors of Bamar people. This area was once described as "the World's biggest botanical garden" by the renowned British naturalist Frank Kingdon -Ward.

Southern Part of Myanmar

Mawlamyine

The Mawlamyine/Bilugyun area of the Corridor is one of the richest tourist sites in Southeast Asia. This is not surprising given that the area has been continuously settled for the past 2,000 years and was a center of Mon culture and power. Further, the presence of different topographies (mountain, beach, jungle and river) as well as the multi-ethnic nature of the region makes the area fascinating for tourists.

Just 60 kilometers to the south lies Thanbyuzayat. It is also here that you will find the Allied cemetery for prisoners who died while building the infamous "death railway" during World War II. Mawlamyine is also the place where famed author, Rudyard Kipling (author of Road to Mandalay) actually visited.

About 300 km away from Yangon, it can be reached by road and rail or by a 40-minute's flight from Yangon.

Myeik Archipelago

Myeik Archipelago is located in the southernmost part of Myanmar, comprises over 800 beautiful scattered islands, parallel to the coast of 480 kilometres long Myeik Peninsula on the Andaman Sea. Due to its virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora and fauna.

Myeik Archipelago is famous and well known because of its crystal blue water, untouched coral reef and uninhabited islands clustered close to one another. The Myeik Archipelago is still relatively unexplored and largely uninhabited. The only human inhabitants in this beautiful area are the sea gypsies, a nomadic seafaring race known as Salons. They live on boats during the dry season surviving their living by fishing, gathering and selling of natural marine products. The sea gypsies have been the sole inhabitants of the Myeik Archipelago over the years and they still use the same fishing and boat building techniques, which they have been using for many generations. Being affectionate to the sea, they are expert in swimming, diving and submerging in the sea.
 
Among the pleasant and enchanting islands lying in the Andaman Sea, the renowned Lumpi offers a great variety of breathtaking scenery and wildlife, with more luxuriant evergreen forests, beach and dune forests, tidal mangroves, magnificent beaches and spectacular coral formation. A diving trip in Myanmar is something special that will leave a lasting impression of natural beauty above and below the water. The surrounding waters of Lumpi are rich in bird life, fish marine, dolphins and marine turtles. Thus, the Lumpi Island and the surrounding groups of islands with expansive beaches of high quality sand and offshore corals make Lumpi Island worthy of being designated as a nature reserve and also being developed as a tourist attraction for Marine Tourism.

The Lampi Island is located near Kawthaung, the southernmost town of Myanmar. Kawthaung was known as Victoria Point in British days.It is accessible by air and by sea from Yangon and can be reached by boat from Ranong of Thailand.

Ayeyarwaddy Division

Ngwe Saung Beach Resort

Ngwe Saung Beach Resort is Located in the Ayeyarwaddy Division, about 30 miles west of Pathein. Ngwesaung, a beach frontage on the Bay of Bengal is unspoiled and pollution-free natural surroundings with its crystal blue waters, its white crested waves, silvery sands and extensive sunshine beaches, is indeed one of the best places for recreation and relaxation.

Ngwe Saung's silvery beach stretches an unbroken line for 9 miles from Zee-Maw Village in the north to Majee-Maw Village in the south with its scenic and occasionally rocky shoreline, all set against a backdrop of tropical rain forests and the towering Rakhine mountain range.

Ngwe Saung is accessible by car (about 5 hours drive) from Yangon via Pathein, 4 hours drive from Yangon to Pathein and cross the Ngawun River over the new bridge, then continue drive about 1 hour to reach Ngwe Saung.

There is a wide choice of hotels from basic to international standard in Ngwe Saung.