Must-see attractions in Myanmar (Burma)

  • The reflection of Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

    Shwedagon Paya


    One of Buddhism's most sacred sites, the 326ft zedi (stupa) here is adorned with 27 metric tons of gold leaf, along with thousands of diamonds and other…

  • View over the moat of Mandalay Palace to Mandalay Hill with its many temples; Shutterstock ID 241383850; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

    Mandalay Hill


    To get a sense of Mandalay’s pancake-flat sprawl, climb the 760ft hill that breaks it. The walk up covered stairways on the hill's southern slope is a…

  • the Bagaya Kyaung monastery, entirely built in teak, characterized by wooden beams and panels inlaid and decorated with figures of gods and myths, Bagan, Myanmar; Shutterstock ID 1119025109; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

    Bagaya Kyaung

    Myanmar (Burma)

    This lovely 1834 teak monastery is Inwa’s most memorable individual attraction. It's supported on 267 teak posts, the largest 60ft high and 9ft in…

  • The top of Mat Ma Taung, Mount Victoria mountain.

    Mt Victoria

    Chin State

    The highest peak in Chin State – 10,016ft – and the third-highest in Myanmar, stunning Mt Victoria is one of the principal attractions of southern Chin…

  • The golden buddha of Mahamuni Paya.

    Mahamuni Paya


    Every day, thousands of colourfully dressed faithful venerate Mahamuni's 13ft-tall seated buddha, a nationally celebrated image that’s popularly believed…

  • Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha in Bago, Myanmar.

    Shwethalyaung Buddha

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Following the destruction of Bago in 1757, this huge reclining buddha was overgrown by jungle and not rediscovered until 1881, when a contractor unearthed…

  • The statue of Statue of King Anawratha and the exterior of National Museum of Myanmar.

    National Museum (Yangon)


    Even though the museum's collection is poorly labelled and often badly lit, the treasures that lie within this cavernous building deserve a viewing. The…

  • The heart shaped lake of Rih Dil at Rikhawdar, Myanmar.

    Rih Lake

    Chin State

    This small, heart-shaped lake has huge spiritual significance for the Mizo people, who inhabit both sides of the nearby Myanmar–India border. Rih Lake…

  • Shwemawdaw pagoda, Bago, Myanmar.

    Shwemawdaw Paya

    Myanmar (Burma)

    A zedi (stupa) of washed-out gold in the midday haze and glittering perfection in the evening, the 374ft-high Shwemawdaw Paya lords it over Bago. At the…

  • Mya Kyauk Kyaung at Yankin Hill, Mandalay.

    Yankin Hill


    Staring distantly towards Mandalay Palace, temple-topped Yankin Hill is worth climbing for views of greater Mandalay's rice-field setting and of the Shan…

  • Maha Bodhi Tataung

    Myanmar (Burma)

    If you're a fan of garden gnomes, you're going to love this place! The name of this vast hillside buddha-rama translates as '1000 buddhas'. In reality…

  • Footbridge Ubein Teakwood. Connects Amarapura To A Pagoda On The Other Side Of The Lake. Myanmar. (Photo by: EyeOn/UIG via Getty Images)

    U-Bein Bridge

    Myanmar (Burma)

    The world’s longest teak footbridge gently curves 1300yd across shallow Taungthaman Lake, creating one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites. In dry season…

  • Chaukhtatgyi Paya, reclining Buddha in Yangon, Myanmar.

    Chaukhtatgyi Paya


    Housed in a large metal-roofed shed, this beautiful 215ft-long reclining buddha is larger than a similar and better-known image in Bago. The statue's…

  • Secretariat


    After many years of being off limits, this spectacular red-brick complex, which takes up a 16-acre block and was once the British seat of government for…

  • The Shwe In Bin Monastery, the old teakwood sculpture temple in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Shwe In Bin Kyaung


    A meditative departure from the usual Burmese 'douse-it-all-in-gold-and-pastels' aesthetic, this gorgeously carved teak monastery is beloved by tourists…

  • The Budda sculpture in Ngahtatgyi Paya, Yangon, Myanmar.

    Ngahtatgyi Paya


    One of Yangon's, if not Myanmar's, most gorgeous buddha images is this 46ft-tall one at the Ngahtatgyi Paya, sitting in calm gold-and-white repose and…

  • Thanboddhay Paya

    Myanmar (Burma)

    This colourful, modern temple is famed for its staggering number of buddha images as well as its carnivalesque exterior, with a unique roof layered with…

  • Shwe Ba Taung

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Some 650m beyond the restaurants and souvenir stands of Hpo Win 'village' lies Shwe Ba Taung, a smaller, contrastingly different set of 46 cave chambers…

  • Meilamu Paya


    Situated next to the Nga Moe Yeik creek, this Disneyland-ish pagoda is a hoot. Larger-than-life 3D stucco depictions of the Buddha's life and practice…

  • Ancient Stupas

    Myanmar (Burma)

    A Myint is a charmingly unspoiled riverside village dominated by a series of 336 higgledy-piggledy ancient stupas in varying stages of collapse. All are…

  • Myanmar, Burma, Yangon, Rangoon, Kandawgyi Lake, Shwedagon Pagoda

    Kandawgyi Lake


    Also known as Royal Lake, this artificial lake built by the British as a reservoir is most attractive at sunset, when the glittering Shwedagon Paya is…

  • Hpo Win Daung Complex

    Myanmar (Burma)

    One of Monywa's biggest attractions, this rural complex of 492 buddha chambers was carved into a limestone hillside between the 14th and 18th centuries…

  • Temples of Bagan

    Shwesandaw Paya & Around

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Set atop a hill in the town centre, the stunning Shwesandaw Paya (and the surrounding pagodas and monasteries) is not only Pyay’s major point of interest,…

  • Shwemokhtaw Paya

    Myanmar (Burma)

    This centuries-old golden stupa looms over Pathein like a glittering beacon. The hti (stupa pinnacle) consists of a topmost layer made from 14lb of solid…

  • Sule pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.

    Sule Paya


    Not many cities have a primary traffic circle occupied by a 2200-year-old golden temple. This 46m zedi (stupa), said to be older than Shwedagon Paya, is…

  • Mount Popa and Taung Kalat of the Mandalay Region, Myanmar. On the foothills of the mountain you will find this beautiful temple perched high up on a hill.

    Popa Taung Kalat Temple

    Myanmar (Burma)

    From the nat shrine, start up the many steps under a covered walkway and past the rows of trinket and souvenir shops and shrines to a revered local…

  • Jade stones and jewelry at the Jade Market, Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Jade Market


    Rock dust and cheroot smoke fill the air in this heaving grid of cramped walkways, where you'll find a mass of jade traders haggling, hawking and…

  • Buddha statue at Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda.

    Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Located northwest of Kyaukse, this enormous temple complex, once buried underground, but since excavated, is a fascinating historic site, but its…

  • Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue in Yangon.

    Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue


    All the traditional features of a synagogue are present in this superbly maintained 1896 building: the bimah (platform holding the reading table for the…

  • U Thant House, former residence of U Thant, Secretary General of the United Nations (1961-1971), now a museum in memory of the world-renowned diplomat.

    U Thant House


    One of Myanmar's most respected international politicians, U Thant was UN Secretary General from 1961 to 1971. When his grandson, Thant Myint-U,…

  • Shwenandaw Kyaung Temple or Golden Palace Monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Shwenandaw Kyaung


    This fine teak monastery-temple is noted for its carvings, particularly the interior gilded scenes from the Jataka (past-life stories of the Buddha). The…

  • Marble Buddha at Paya Shwekyimyint temple, Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Shwekyimyint Paya


    Founded in 1167 by Prince Minshinzaw, exiled son of King Alaungsithu, Shwekyimyint considerably predates Mandalay itself. Minshinzaw consecrated the…

  • Nuns pass by the enormous Mingun Paya temple.

    Mingun Paya

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Begun in 1790, Mingun Paya would have been the world’s biggest stupa if it had been completed. Work stopped in 1819 when King Bodawpaya died, and at that…

  • An alley of San Pya Wholesale Fish Market of Yangon, Myanmar.

    San Pya Fish Market


    The raw hustle and bustle of Yangon's wholesale fish market is compulsively fascinating. It's a heady assault on the senses – especially that of smell –…

  • Thayekhittaya

    Myanmar (Burma)

    This ancient site, about 5 miles east of central Pyay, makes for an enjoyable few hours of laid-back exploration, often in isolation. Known to Pali…

  • Maha Aungmye Bonzan

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Built, unusually, of stucco-covered brick, this 1822 royal monastery temple is a rare survivor from the Ava era. The faded, sturdy structure looks very…

  • Daw Gyan

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Within the green patchwork of paddies that forms a quilt over Inwa, a small temple perches on a tiny artificial island. This is Daw Gyan, a collection of…

  • Coconut & Banana Wholesale Market


    Branches laded with bananas, towering piles of coconuts, bales of sugar cane and, in season, mammoth amounts of mangoes, make this busy riverside…

  • Stupa at Botataung Paya.

    Botataung Paya


    Botataung’s spacious riverfront location and lack of crowds give it a more down-to-earth spiritual feeling than Shwedagon. Its most original feature is…

More destinations you need to see