Myanmar is an incredible country with jaw-dropping historical sights and impressive ethnic diversity. This extraordinary place offers a dazzling assortment of different religious buildings, unspoiled stretches of white sand beaches and mythical caves.
This vast, serene lake is known for leg-rowing Intha people that live in simple bamboo houses on stilts. Local fishermen are famous for practicing a unique paddling technique which involves wrapping one leg around the oar. Some 70,000 of Intha people live in four cities and numerous small villages along the shore, and on the lake itself. Spend a night in one of over-the-water bungalows and take a boat tour to see the floating farms and the Jumping Cat monastery (Nga Hpe Kyaung). Numerous pagodas can be found on the lake and its shores.
A number of festivals occur from August to October on Inle Lake. The Hpaung Daw U Festival is closely followed by the Thadingyut festival of lights, held on the full moon day, at the end of the Buddhist lent (Vassa). Watch the traditional boat races, with dozens of leg-rowers in traditional clothes.
How to get there:
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Where to stay:
We encourage you to stay at 4* Emerald Palace Hotel with very good reviews. Strategically located a few minutes’ drive to Yangon-Mandalay Highway and a 20-minute drive from Nay Pyi Taw International Airport, Emerald Palace Hotel offers comfy accommodation with full services and facilities. Free WiFi is standard in all rooms and parking areas are provided for all drivers. Guests benefit from surcharged airport shuttle and car rental services. The hotel ensures guests’ convenience with 24-hour front desk. Rooms here are provided with a flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning and a minibar. There is also a refrigerator. The private bathrooms come with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
We also recommend you to book 4* Royal Nadi Resort. This top rated hotel is situated beside Nadi Lake, 6 km from Nyaung Shwe’s centre. Free WiFi access is available in this resort. The accommodation will provide you with a flat-screen cable TV, a safety deposit box and air conditioning. There is also an electric kettle and a minibar. Featuring a shower, the private bathroom comes with a bath and a hairdryer. Some room types enjoy a lake view from the patio. At Royal Nadi Resort by Phyu Zin Group of Hotels you will find a 24-hour front desk, laundry services and a restaurant that serves local cuisine. Guests can rent bicycles or take a canoe out on the lake. The property offers free parking.
What to do:
To experience the ruins of the Bagan Archaeological Zone, you can hire a bicycle or go on a horse and cart guided tour. To view the thousands of temples at once, you should head to the sky for a hot air balloon trip. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Bagan Archaeological Museum.
East of Mandalay is the historic town of Pyin Oo Lwin, a relaxing place with towering waterfalls nearby. Dat Taw Gyaint fall has crystal-clear water to swim in.
Go to Pindaya Caves or Saddar Cave filled with Buddhist statues and incredible rock formations.
Take a boat tour to Lampi Island, Macleod Island or Nyaung Wee Island (Buda). The Mergui Archipelago has over 800 islands – each and every one of them is a treasure. You can also sail away to the Myeik Islands in the deep south to find deserted white-sand beaches, tropical reefs and the indigenous Moken people.
Attend the Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival, held every year in early November on a field outside the Shan capital of Taunggyi.
In Yangon, the capital city, you can cycle the city streets to absorb the local atmosphere and admire its polished pagodas, churches and monument of British colonial era. “The Garden City of the East” is home to shady parks and idyllic lakes. Take a trip to the bizarre Yangon Drugs Elimination Museum, created by the Burmese generals. It’s an interesting experience for anyone interested in the history of Myanmar’s drug wars.
80 km north east of Yangon, in Bago, you’ll find a big reclining Buddha image and the golden Shwemawdaw Pagoda.
In Mandalay, the second largest city and the last Royal Capital of Myanmar, you’ll find many historical buildings, temples and pagodas. This is also a centre for silk and cotton weaving. Visit markets and watch craftsmen weave bamboo into intricate shapes. 11 kilometres south of Mandalay, you can explore Amarapura, known as city of immortality.
Set out along back roads on a bike and get a glimpse of Myanmar’s unspoiled countryside and striking landscape with picturesque terraced farms.
Mount Popa, a solitary steep-sided volcanic peak topped by gold stupas, is a worthwhile climb.
Kyaing Tong is known for its scenic beauty and various colourful ethnic tribes. Learn about local culture and farming, visit a traditional tea shop and taste distinctive Burmese cuisine.
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