Buddhas & Temples

Yangon’s Shwedagon Paya, Mandalay’s Mahamuni Paya and Bagan’s plain of temples shouldn’t be missed, but there are also many other lesser known Buddhist religious sites that will impress you with their beauty and spiritual power.

Shwesandaw Paya Ride the ferry across the Yangon River to visit Twante and this 2500-year-old pagoda.

Win Sein Taw Ya Gawp at the 560ft-long buddha reclining on the lush hillsides of Yadana Taung, accessible from Mawlamyine.

Mrauk U Fall under the spell of the old Rakhine capital, dotted with ruined and restored temples and monasteries.

Sagaing Leafy paths shade the routes to 500 hilltop and riverside stupas and a community of some 6000 monks and nuns.

Bodhi Tataung The glimmering 424ft standing Buddha here is the second tallest in the world, dominating the landscape for miles around.

Food & Drink

Street eats There are street vendors serving great, cheap snacks and meals everywhere in Myanmar, but the best selection is in Yangon.

Myanmar teahouse Having breakfast or an afternoon snack at a teahouse is a unique experience that provides more than a caffeinated kick.

Toddy Sample this alcoholic drink made from jaggery (palm sugar) on the way to or from Mt Popa.

Red Mountain Estate Pedal to this winery outside Nyaungshwe to sample wine produced from Shan Hills grapes.

Khaung Daing Enjoy dishes made with the village's famous tofu at restaurants here.

Markets & Shopping

Bogyoke Aung San Market Drop by this historic Yangon market for handicrafts from around the country.

Art Gallery of Bagan Watch artisans craft, paint and engrave lacquerware bowls, cups and other ornaments at workshops in Myinkaba and in nearby New Bagan.

Shwe Sar Umbrella Workshop Visit this business to buy the graceful, painted paper umbrellas that are a speciality of Pathein.

Puppets If you enjoyed the classic marionette shows in Mandalay, why not adopt a puppet character of your own?

Gems Markets Mogok's morning and afternoon gems markets make for fascinating people-watching and there's no pressure to buy.

Activities & Adventures

Kalaw Along with Pindaya and Hsipaw, Kalaw is one of the locations in Myanmar for short, easily arranged hill-tribe village treks.

Balloon rides Marvel at Bagan’s temples, bathed in the beautiful light of dawn, from the basket of a hot-air balloon.

Monywa Embarkation point for adventurous travellers seeking to boat-hop the Chindwin River to newly permit-free towns to the north.

Whitewater rafting Contact Icy Myanmar in Putao to arrange rafting trips down the far north's beautiful rivers with rapids mostly of Grades 3 or 4.

Indawgyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary There are thrilling bird- and wildlife-spotting opportunities at this northern Myanmar lake.

Mt Victoria Climb this 10,016ft peak in Chin State, Myanmar's second-tallest mountain.

Myeik Archipelago Spectacular diving awaits those adventurous enough to seek out these southern Myanmar islands.

Green Hill Valley Interact gently with retired elephants at this ethically run camp and reforestation project near Kalaw.

Beautiful Landscapes & Views

Inle Lake The hype is justified for this serene lake fringed by marshes, floating gardens, stilt-house villages and Buddhist temples.

Shwesandaw Paya A 10-storey tall, seated buddha watches over Pyay, its hilltop location providing sweeping views of the town.

Mt Zwegabin Get a bird's-eye view from the summit of the tallest of the limestone mountains that ring Hpa-an.

Than Daung Gyi Peaceful hillside village with sweeping views over the surrounding lush forests.

National Landmark Gardens Survey the spectacle of the surreal capital Nay Pyi Taw at these gardens showcasing Myanmar's grandest sites in miniature.

Gokteik Viaduct Peer down on a densely forested ravine as your train rattles over Myanmar's longest and highest railway bridge.

Ethnic Diversity

Kyaingtong Mingle with Shan and tribal people from the surrounding hills at the central market and twice-weekly water-buffalo market.

Hsipaw Trek out of this low-key country town to encounter Shan and Palaung tribal villagers.

Mawlamyine Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this tropical town that’s the heart of Mon culture.

Myitkyina Proud of its Kachin culture and host to two huge, colourful tribal festivals, including a new one that reunites Lisu villagers from both sides of the Myanmar–Chinese border.

Loikaw Arrange visits to Kayan villages from the capital of Kayah State, which has only recently opened to visitors.

Myeik In this southern Myanmar port, encounter descendants of Chinese and Indian traders as well as Bamar, Mon and Moken (sea gypsies) people.

Chin State Here the largely Christian Chin people spend Sundays in the region's many churches.