Top Things to Do in Myanmar

Top 10 Destinations in Myanmar

1. Yangon

Hailed as "the city of peace", Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar. Tourists can visit the sacred Buddhist architecture Shwedagon Pagoda where a cluster of Sanskrit can be heard. Tourists can also take a train running around Yangon and appreciate the suburban scenery while talking with local people. If interested in colonial history, tourists can also hike along the route in the city center, which may arouse the feelings about its social vicissitudes. At dusk, tourists can visit Karaweik Palace where you can appreciate the traditional Myanmar performances and enjoy cuisines in local style.

2. Shwedagon Pagoda

Situated in the city center of Yangon, tourists are always astonished by its golden glitter. 68 small golden towers are around the Shwedagon Pagoda, forming a forest of golden pagodas. The Buddhist pagoda can be counted as the most sacred one in the country and holds a total different atmosphere from the outside. Tourists had better wear a pair of sunglasses, for the pagoda is so dazzling.
Ticket: 8 U.S dollars
Opening time: 04:00-22:00

Yangon in Myanmar
Yangon in Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda

3. Bogyoke Market

Bogyoke Market was first built in 1926 and is the most boisterous market in Yangon. It is well-known for its architecture of colonial period and pedestrian streets paved by cobbles. Diverse antiques, handicrafts, jewelries, artworks and clothes are sold there.

4. Bagan

Bagan located on the left bank of the Ayeyarwady River is an ancient city in possession of a long history and a sense of sublimity. The city with countless pagodas and temples is the epitome of Myanmar ancient architectural arts and reflects the wisdom and creativity of local people. The numerous pagodas and temples win this city the name of "city of pagodas".

5. Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple was built in Bagan Dynasty by King Kyanzittha. The temple is square with four golden Buddha figures in each direction. On the walls of the temple exist reliefs in colored pottery patterns, which record thousands of Buddha figures and Buddha Jataka stories. It is considered the most beautiful building and the Westminster Abbey in Myanmar.
Ticket: Covered by the 20-dollar through ticket for Bagan
Opening time: 7:30-11:00; 13:00-16:00

Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar
Pagoda in Bagan

Ananda Temple, Myanmar
Ananda Temple

6. Shwesandaw Paya

Shwesandaw is called the observation tower built by King Anawrahta. It is a place perfect for sunset appreciation.
Ticket: Covered by the 20-dollar through ticket for Bagan
Opening time: 8:00-18:00

7. Mandalay

Mandalaywith historical remains such as Fort Dufferin, monasteries and ancient British government building, is listed as a world cultural heritage by the United Nations.

8. Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill is an eminent Buddhist resort. On the top of the hill stands a pagoda named as "Sutaungpyei", which literally means "fulfill one's wish". It is said that wishes made here can all be realized. Tourists are expected to take off shoes and socks to climb the hill out of the respect to Buddha, while tourists can also choose to take a cable car.

Commanding the top, tourists can have a panoramic view of the whole city including the Ayeyarwady River. The hill is also a good place for sunset watching.

Ticket: Covered by the 10-dollar through ticket for Mandalay, with an extra charge of about 70 cents (1,000 kyats) for photographing

Shwesandaw Pagoda
Shwesandaw Pagoda

Mandalay Hill, Myanmar
Mandalay Hill

9. U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world with a history of more than 150 years. Watching sunset from U Bein Bridge is romantic. Local people also call it "Lover’s Bridge", for lovers record their stories on the benches on the bridge. The price of a rental boat is four U.S dollars (5,000 kyats), and it is negotiable. The boatman will row the boat to a proper site perfect for taking photographs.
Ticket: Covered by the 10-dollar through ticket for Mandalay

10. Inle Lake

Inle Lake is the second largest lake in the country and a famous summer resort. Around Inle Lake exists a town of gourmet, that is, Nyaungshwe where various restaurants are available. For instance, Hu Ping Restaurant enjoys a high reputation for its Chinese food and Shwe Inlay Bakery where refreshments in diversity are adorable. Tourists won't want to miss the popular dish fish with curry here. One-day trip around Inle Lake, mainly by boat includes visiting workshops of cigar, silverware, weaving, paper-making and ship-building, Phaung Daw Paya and Jumping Cat Monastery, having lunch in floating restaurant, and watching sunset on the boat.

U Bein Bridge
A Romantic Boat Trip under the U Bein Bridge

Boat on Inle Lake
Boat on Inle Lake

Recreational Activities

Hot-air Balloon

Bagan is one of the top ten traveling destinations for hot-air balloons. Three corporations are for choice and each provides balloons of a color, that is, red, yellow and green. Tourists need to reserve two months in advance. A hot-air balloon has a capacity of 20 persons with a pilot. Without safety belts, tourists need to stand in a woven basket to overlook more than 2,000 temples and pagodas. Tourists can get a certificate with the autograph of the pilot after landing and the corporation offers desserts, fruits and champagne for celebration.


Myeik Archipelago is the homeland of self-sustained Moken people. In possession of hundreds of diving spots, the archipelago is worth exploring. Long-time isolation forms the pure sand, blue sea and golden beach and tourists can have the chance to meet various marine organisms and topographies.

Hiking Shan Plateau

Hiking on the Shan Plateau, tourists won't suffer from altitude sickness and are able to admire the magnificent landscape, meet friends from different areas and have the experience of sleeping in temples. Various hiking routes are offered, of which the most popular one is from Kalaw to Inle Lake. The trip takes about 2 or 3 days, and tourists can feel the painting-like rustic scenery while passing by fields, villages, forests, roads, and railways.

Hot Air Balloons over Buddhist Temples
Hot Air Balloons over Buddhist Temples

Shwedagon Pagod: Best Place Seeing Sunset View
Shwedagon Pagod: Best Place Seeing Sunset View


Tourists may feel like they are taking the time machine while seeing the bustling harbor, architecture, cathedral and mosque left from the colonial period. In its area "little Britain", tourists can hike from Baho Road to Strand Road to sense the exotic flavor. Historical remains of the colonial period can still be seen, such as the Indian houses with bright colors and St Patrick Cathedral built in 1829.

Sunrise and Sunset Watching

Sunrise and sunset watching are popular in the country especially in Bagan, and several sites are provided.
Sites for sunrise watching: Shwesandaw Pagoda and Thisawadi
Sites for sunset watching: Shwesandaw Pagoda, Pyathada Pagoda

Buddhist Spiritual Training

It is said that self-cultivation is one of Myanmar specialties and short-term pravrajana prevails over the place. Mahasi, Pandita, and Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Center are all notable for pravrajana.

Further Reading: 
Myanmar Transportation   Useful Travel Tips