Myanmar is a fascinating country that is seeing a lot of changes fast, so it is certain to be worth travelling there soon. Whether it is the most famous pagodas in the centre of Yangon or the more out of the way and neglected temples in Bagan, this is a wonderful country for travellers on the Myanmar tour packages looking to see religious structures like the unbelievable pagodas, monasteries and temples.
But there are so many temples in Myanmar that it would take a lifetime to fully explore. So, for the travellers planning a short stay in the country, it is essential the short list the most impressive and worthwhile temples to squeeze into a busy schedule.
Here are a few of the most striking pagodas and temples to visit on the Myanmar tours:
1. In Bagan
The thousands of pagodas and temples in the city of Bagan took over 250 years to complete. One of the oldest and largest of all is the Ananda Temple, which is a phenomenal sight, but has been damaged in the past due to earthquakes. Even though it could benefit from a little restoration work, it is still stunning and worth a visit while on a Bagan tour. This Buddhist temple has a shape much like a Greek cross and is easily explored inside, including gold Buddha’s.
The Dhammayangyi Temple is a grand structure built in the 12th century and at the time of the reign of King Narathu. This a temple that is very impressive with plenty of intricate mortar work and Buddha images, but does have a dark history associated with it. Also, it is this reason that the Dhammayangyi Temple has not undergone a major restoration unlike many of the other pagodas and temples in the region.
A further popular stop on the tour of Bagan is the Htilominlo Temple, which is worth visiting for the high-quality and exquisite carvings on display.
However, there are several shops located in the courtyard area to give a pretty busy feeling. Also, the shopkeepers can be a little pushy, so be cautious to avoid any of the tourist scams that take place in Bagan.
The Lawkaoushaung Temple makes a perfect alternative to the ever popular Shwesandaw Pagoda, which is especially appreciated as a sunrise spot but it is often crowded. For travellers that want a quieter tourist site to explore, the Lawkaoushaung Temple is certain to appeal.
Standing at nearly 100 metres, the Shwesandaw Pagoda has an impressive five terraces and likely to be among the most popular Buddhist pagodas in the city of Bagan. This pagoda was built on behalf of King Anawrahta in 1057 and located in Old Bagan. It is used to house Buddha relics and from the outside is white in colour.
Tourists on the Myanmar travel packages looking to enter the Bagan Archaeological Zone are charged an $18.50 entry fee, but this gives access to the entire collection of temples in the New and Old Bagan over a period of 5 days. Make sure to carry the entry card at all times because the local officials may request sight.
A tour of the Sulamani Temple (also referred to as the crowning jewel) gives access to an impressive and well-preserved collection of murals and paints that relate to a wide range of Buddhist scenes.
One of the most striking temples in Bagan is certain to include the Thatbyinnyu Temple which dates back to the 12th century. The temple is light in colour which is different to many of the other religious buildings and had door and windows added after it was originally constructed. At a height of 61 metres, the Thatbyinnyu temple is the tallest and easily seen from most places around the city limits. Also, it is built with a gu style, which means the building is actually hollow and easily noticed by knocking on the structure of the temple.
2. In Mingun
Hsinbyume Pagoda is pleasantly nestled on the riverbank of the Irrawaddy River and is a striking white colour that is easily seen from a distance. It is located in the Sagaing region in Mingun and a very photogenic religious structure that is well worth a visit when in the region, especially that it is free to enter.
3. In Nyaung-U
The Shwezigon Pagoda is located in the outer regions of Nyaung-U and built at the time of King Anawrahta. The actual height of the main stupa of this pagoda stands at 49 metres, while there are also a further four small stupas to see at the edges.
4. In Yangon
The Sule Pagoda is nearly 2,000 years old and is easily found in the centre of the city. At nearly 48 metres in height, this pagoda is seen as soon a visitors start to reach the city limits. Sule Pagoda is located at the roundabout at Mahabandoola Road and Sule Pagoda Road, which leads to a constant flow of traffic circling its exterior. The entry fee for this pagoda is about $2.50.
Shwedagon Pagoda is the most interesting and visually pleasing pagoda to see on the Myanmar customised tours in the historic city of Yangon. Dating back more than 2,500 years, this holy relic consists of plenty of different sculptures and towing stupas. The grounds of this Buddhist pagoda are not only visited by fascinated tourists, but also to the locals where it is used as a place of worship. A great place to stand to get the best photographic memories is Kandawgyi Park, which is just across from the lake. Stand and watch the sun set from the wooden bridge to really appreciate the temple's golden exterior. The entry fee for the Shwedagon Pagoda is about $6.00.