Embark on a journey into Mystical Myanmar
“Then, a golden mystery up heaved itself on the horizon – a beautiful, winking wonder that blazed in the sun, of a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu temple spire. It stood upon a green knoll. “There’s the old Shway Dagon,” said my companion. The golden dome, “This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about.”
(Rudyard Kipling, Letters from the East, 1898).
The Mekong’s last and best kept secret; turn back the clock with a trip to this time-wraped country where images of mystery, discovery and adventure of old lives on. This is the authentic Asia with creaking buses, potholed roads, locals who greet you like long lost family and not a Starbucks or McDonalds in sight. A paradise!
Connect with a culture where holy men are more revered than rock stars and golden Buddhas are bathed every day at first light. Encounter men wearing sarong-like longyi, women smothered in the white traditional make-up of thanaka, and the blood-red smiles of an older generation of betel nut-chewers. A country relatively immune from the influence of foreign cultures, Myanmar also retains the originality and human touch among its people.
To visit Myanmar is to embrace Buddhism. The religion entrenches so deeply into the country’s culture, tradition, and mindset, Theravada Buddhism is the single largest religion, and even some of the most remote villages will have a village temple for many to pray.
From the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan to Mandalay’s fabled history, Lake Inle in the Shan mountains to the Bay of Bengal’s silver beaches, and through the meetings with numerous ethnic groups, Myanmar will fail to disappoint.
In the north lies the ancient city of Bagan, one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia with its thousands of temples, stupas, pagodas lying on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River.
Inle Lake is a place of startling beauty where life is floating and time seems to stand still. Myanmar’s second largest lake is home to around 18 floating villages, located in the Shan Hills over 900m above the sea level. The region is widely known for its scenic beauty, leg-rowers, floating gardens, markets and villages.
Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital is only 150 years old. With its royal palace and impressive moat sitting at the foot of a pagoda-topped hill, Mandalay still evokes images of a romantic, bygone era. Mandalay also lies within easy striking distance of former colonial hill stations, ancient cities and other cultural attractions.
Ngapali Beach stretches for over 3km along the northern coast of the country in the Bay of Bengal. It is a popular yet peaceful beach resort of white sand and turquoise waters. Excursions like visiting fishing villages and local markets; exploring the countryside by bicycle or the magnificent offshore islands by boat will incite you to stay longer.