Mengalaba Golden Land!
Traveling to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) was a genuine experience. Unspoiled by tourism and external influences until very recently, Myanmar emerges from ancient times as one of the last untouched jewel of Southeast Asia.
A land of magnificent Buddhist architecture, picturesque landscapes, and authentic customs and traditions.
Men dressed in long longyis.
Faces covered with thanaka, a yellowish-white wood paste used as a type of sunblock and for cosmetic purposes.
Colorful monks queuing for their daily collection of alms.
Stained red smiles from betel nut chew.
We spent a week exploring Myanmar… and we have certainly spent most of our time bare feet as we had to continuously take off our shoes when entering the endless temples.
Our 4 must-sees in Myanmar:
1. Yangon, home of the striking Shwedagon Pagoda
The highlight to any visit in the city of Yangon is without a doubt the Shwedagon Pagoda. Visible from almost anywhere in the city, the Shwedagon Pagoda is a gleaming complex of shrines and temples and a beloved Buddhist landmark. The main stupa, rising 100 metres above ground, is made of 90 tons of gold and extravagantly ornamented with diamonds and other precious stones. Simply breathtaking, especially at night!
2. The Golden Rock, balanced by a single strand of Buddha’s hair
Kyaiktiyo, more commonly known as the Golden Rock, is one of the most sacred sites in Myanmar. Yet, it is disregarded by most western travellers. Full of Buddhist pilgrims, this gravity-defying boulder precariously balances on the edge of a cliff, kept in place by a single strand of Buddha’s hair… Well, according to legend!
If getting to Kyaiktiyo is not the easiest of journeys, the truly magical and mystical aura of this golden splendor made it totally worth it.
3. Bagan, the ancient royal kingdom
We travelled back in time as we explored the magnificence of Bagan’s ancient kingdom, a vast and dry plain extending into the horizon… dotted with over 4,000 temples and pagodas.
4. Inle Lake
On board of a traditional wooden longboat, we explored fishing villages and monasteries rising from the water amid floating vegetable gardens with the mountains of southern Shan State as backdrop.
We got surprised by the very unique one-leg rowing technique used by local fishermen to transport goods and passengers.
Full of hidden treasures still to be discovered, no doubt Myanmar will soon become a popular hotspot. So make sure you visit Myanmar before the crowd!