Beautiful pagodas in Yangon
Yangon, though renowned for its delicious street food and cool city vibe, has visitors traveling from around the world to lay eyes on some of the country’s most stunning pagodas. The two most famous of them all are the Sule Pagoda and the Shwedagon Pagoda. The Sule Pagoda, found in the city center, is estimated to be about 2,000 years old. It is certainly a stunning structure, with its golden leaves and shining mirrors reflecting the sunlight during the day and lit up after dark. The Shwedagon Pagoda is stunning as well, if not even more so than its competing religious structure. Expected to be over 2,500 years old, it is considered one of the holiest relics in the entire country.
Balloons over Bagan
Though cycling around the thousands of temples and pagodas of Bagan is certainly a memorable experience, one of the most awe-worthy (yet expensive) ways to view the temples is by hot air balloon. Catch a glimpse of the Bagan Archaeological Zone from one too many meters high in the air in one of these balloons, which apparently began in 1999.
Cycling in Mandalay
Cycling around the city of Mandalay will certainly be one of the highlights for visitors on their trip to Myanmar. The city is well-known for Mandalay Hill and its monasteries and more, but there is no better way to experience the authentic side of this city than by bicycle. Cycle off the beaten track and visitors may find themselves riding through markets with one too many aromas stifling the air. Make a wrong turn at any intersection and find that the mishaps along the way to your final destination are sometimes more interesting than where you originally intended to go.
Hiking at Inle Lake
Visitors will take to winding trails, where they will come across things like farmers caring for cabbage or children playing cane ball. Meander along railroad tracks with sloping, emerald hills on either side, taking in all of the sites as visitors make the less than strenuous trek to Inle Lake. Treks range anywhere from about 30,000-40,000 kyat. Eversmile Trekking is one of the best companies in Kalaw, equipped with friendly, knowledgable, and fun guides who make the trek that much more memorable.
Delicious local cuisine
Like many of Myanmar’s delicious neighbors, the cuisine in this country is a fusion of flavors, ingredients, and dishes that have come together to make this country one of the most coveted among foodies. Those who crave a unique main course may opt for nangyi thoke, while those with a palate craving something different may instead try Myanmar’s famous tea leaf salad, that is chock full of nuts, tea leaves, and shrimp sauce, making for one of the world’s most interesting salads. Dishes can be as cheap as 1,000 kyat depending on where it is visitors dine.
Southeast Asia is filled with amazing countries and cities, but that does not necessarily mean every traveler will be able to afford to visit every one of these. Those visitors balling on a tight budget will be happy to hear Myanmar is one of the cheapest countries to visit in terms of well, everything. Entire meals can be bought for 600 kyat, transportation is affordable, and accommodation options are certainly not going to break the bank. Those suffering from indulging themselves in neighboring countries and looking to save a buck or two need to head to Myanmar for this reason alone. The souvenirs are also extremely cheap.