Any travellers heading to SE Asia should add Myanmar to their list of must-visit destinations. Myanmar is still somewhat isolated and untouched in the eyes of many travellers. But, after opening up to tourism, this country is perfect for the paradise-seekers and travel addicts that wish to explore one of the underrated treasures in Asia.
Let's take a look at nine reasons why you should plan a Myanmar family tour at least once in your lifetime:
Similar to Myanmar's close neighbours, the local dishes are a rich and delightful fusion of ingredients and flavours. Myanmar has plenty of unique dishes, such as the very interesting salad known as the tea leaf salad, which is based on components like shrimp sauce, tea leaves and nuts, while nangyi thoke (thick rice noodles and starchy chicken curry) makes a great main course. The cost of the local cuisine can be as little as $1, but this will vary with the place visitors are dining.
Cycle around Bagan
While there are plenty of places to zip around the country on a motorbike, the favoured mode of transport to get around Bagan is the electric bicycles. They are not only easy to ride, but also very quiet and safe to the environment. Bagan has vast plains of ancient temples, monasteries and stupas to explore and zipping around on the electric bike is certain to be a highlight of visiting this country on the Myanmar holiday. The cost of hiring an electric bike to see the ancient city of Bagan is likely to be about $2.50/$3.50 per day.
Hike to Inle Lake
Travellers to Myanmar with an adventurous spirit are certain to appreciate the opportunity to trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake. There are plenty of Myanmar tour companies that offer this type of outdoor excursion and range from the short to long journeys that can last 1 to 4 days. This gives the tourist a unique view of Myanmar that cannot be seen when travelling by vehicle from point A to point B. The trekking route is specially created to give the winding trails and perfect scenery that includes emerald hills, railroad tracks, and farmers busy working. The organised treks are likely to cost in the region of $21.50/$29.50 per person. The longer treks give a very authentic feel with the option to stay in a traditional homestay for the night with a local family. Also, the treks are that much more enjoyable with the fun, knowledgeable and friendly guides to point out the most interesting facts and stories on your travels.
Visit the pagodas in Yangon
In addition to Yangon's cool city vibe and delicious street food, the stunning pagodas in the local area are well worth seeing when in this part of the country on the Myanmar holiday. The two most famous pagodas in the city include the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Sule Pagoda. Located in the city centre, the Sule Pagoda is nearly 2,000 years old with its shining mirror and golden leaves that reflect the sunlight and create a truly stunning structure. The Shwedagon Pagoda is a further striking religious structure that is one of the holiest such relics in the country and over 2,500 years old. They are great to explore and take photographs, while also being great places in the city for the sunsets.
Hot air balloons over Bagan
One of the most majestic ways to glimpse the plains of the Bagan Archaeological Zone is on a hot air balloon ride. Cycling around the thousands of pagodas and temples in Bagan is certain to be a very enjoyable experience, but the view from the hot air balloon is certain to be quite unique and awe-worthy. However, the cost of the hot air balloons isn't the cheapest and likely to cost travellers in the region of $300/$400 per person.
Stroll around the local markets
The markets are popular throughout SE Asia and while the size of the markets in Myanmar don't compare with neighbouring countries, they are able to offer a variety of unique finds. One of the most interesting sights is the Jade Market in Mandalay. This has plenty of jade traders polishing, hawking and haggling their wares. Plus, there are plenty of food markets to be found across the country, where it is possible to see the locals slice and dice freshly caught fish before it is sold on.
Cycle around Mandalay
A cycle tour around the city of Mandalay is certain to be a highlight of theMyanmar tour packages. This wonderful city is appreciated for its monasteries and Mandalay Hill, which is easily explored on a solo trip with a bicycle. Also, this makes it possible to get off-the-beaten track and see a few of the unique sights, as well as the many markets.
Relax on the beaches
Even though Myanmar is not the first country to consider visiting when it comes to white sandy beaches, it still has a fine collection of beaches that are worth seeing while in the country. A few of the top beaches to see on the Myanmar tours include Chaung Tha Beach, Ngwe Saung Beach and Ngapali Beach. However, make sure to visit the country at the right time of the year to fully appreciate the high temperature and relaxing environment.
Visit a Buddhist monastery
Many of the local people practice Theravada Buddhism, which is certain to be noticed by the amount of active monasteries located throughout the country. A few of the top monasteries to visit include those in Mandalay which often have quite a number of friendly monks walking around the grounds, and will often stop and talk to visitors on a wide range of subjects.
Read more: Visit Myanmar in 1 week