Top things to see in MyanmarThe most important sights in Myanmar
The best activities in Myanmar
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Myanmar has 9 top offers
Once covert Burma, Myanmar, has quickly become a hot spot for Southeast Asia; see these top deals. Concealed from the rest of the globe by a oppressive army regiment, Myanmar is now one of the hotest tourist resorts in Southeast Asia. Whilst Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been unavailable to even the most pioneering adventurers, in recent years it has led the list of the world's up-and-coming tourist attractions; in 2014 tourism's share of its economic development was 14% higher than last year, and in 2015 the nation will welcome five million visitors*.
Beeki Enright chooses nine places to see Myanmar at its best. Situated around Mandalay Hill, the Mandalay Hill is easily navigable due to its latticework, but you have to leave the cityscape to see a calmer and more tranquil side of Burma's last imperial capitol.
Owners such as Grasshopper Adventures offer you a guided tour of the mountain pastures, rice fields, small towns and hiding places, as well as the quark producers and urban weaver. Whether you are a freak or not, the $1 trip on the "commuter" line in Yangon certainly provides the best value for your bucks in there.
As you race through the countryside of Myanmar's former capitol (before moving to Nypyidaw in 2006), you will see exactly what Yangon's inhabitants' lives mean by halting in small towns and share your wooden bank with old people. At $3 you can take the beautiful (scary) trip over Myanmar's highest rail link, which was the highest in the whole wide open in 1899 when it was made.
Unless you see other Myanmar sanctuaries, you should head to the plain of Bagan, which is dotted with more than 2,000 spiritual levels and spires. Rent a bicycle and ride through the deserts, but it can be too warm to do so at any time. Contact your guest house owner or the horse-drawn carriage driver for the best places for the sun to rise and set.
Your most beloved template is Mingalazedi Paya, but from most of the terrace of the templates you have a wonderful sight, so get off the slopes and find your own lovely sundown or dawn to stay away from the people. As you head to the south of Myanmar, stop at the Rock of Gold, a shimmering gold pit on a rock hanging on the side of a rock.
Farther southwards you will be visiting Mawlamyine and Dawai, which, although they have few touristic sites, are filter-free worlds of Burma. Lashio to Hsipaw or Kalaw (a good starting point to explore the Inle Lake nearby), hikes of several days through the teehills, woods and plain will bring you not only to the luxuriant vegetation of the northern region, but also to the edge of the untouched Shan state.
Any of Myanmar has one of the most frequently visited places, Inle Lake's renowned fisherman, who row their boat with their legs and swing giant conic networks, is a must. It is best to experience the sea at dawn when the fog spreads from the sea and over the nearby hills. It' simple (and cheap) to rent a personal skipper to take you on the canoes.
It takes you to the channels and backwater of the swimming towns and aquatic parks and stops at some of the craft shops that sell handicrafts such as gold jewelry and woodcarvings. Once there was a political free-spirited theatre troupe of brethren (well, two brethren and a cousin) known for their lives, condemning the army government, two of whom were imprisoned after a show in the house of the democratic female president, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar's western shores are as nice as any of them. The Ngapali is one of the best cabins on the coast, nestling between palms and gold sands. Though loved by local people, you are probably one of only a few multinational tourist who throw down their towels here.
It is also a great place to stop for a few get-away getaways between all the temples traps, jumping and highlands walking and the long intercity coach trips that characterize a journey to Myanmar.