Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is now considered as one of the most attractive places for people and the main reason for it is that the country is still in the rudimentary stages of development. The country has raw culture and you will have loads of things to do in Myanmar, the people are nice and friendly and, if you make friends with some locals, they will show you a lot of worthy places around. While in Myanmar, you will never be bored or tired of doing new things as there is a good number of things that you should do during your visit.
Things to do in Myanmar
Following are some of the top 10 things that you should do while you are in Myanmar. You can explore the land on your own and try out many other things, but, the below list should be added in your personal list so that you may not miss anything.
1. Visit the Ancient Shwedagon Pagoda
Since Myanmar is an ancient Buddhist country, it has a great number of pagodas and temples that you will find in every city. While in Yangon Myanmar, you should definitely pay a visit to the well-known and the ancient Shwedagon Pagoda. It is the most significant place for Buddhist people and monks and you will have the opportunity to see the people offering their prayers and walking around the pagoda’s base. The significant thing about this pagoda is its top part, known as ‘hti’, the top is decorated and permeated with precious gemstones, jewels and diamonds. The pagoda worth a visit both because of its importance as a religious monument and the beautiful scene it presents & should be in your list of top 10 things to do in Myanmar.
2. Book the Famous Hot Balloon Ride
Hot balloon rides are an interesting way of exploring the Bagan city at the early sunrise, the best thing about this mode of exploring the land is that if you attempt to visit the city by road then you may not be able to reach every destination. The whole arrangement of having a hot balloon ride is quite simple as all you have to do is to inform your hotel about it. They will make all the arrangements that include pick up by a local bus to the hot balloon station, serving of tea and coffee and a light breakfast with champagne at the end of the ride. While having the hit balloon ride you can notice magnificent pagodas, quiet and peaceful villages, Irrawaddy River and stupendous scenery everywhere. Read more about Myanmar Hot Air Balloon Ride.
3. Visit to Bogyoke Aung San Market
If you are in Yangon, then visiting the ancient Bogyoke Aung San Market is a must as not only you will get genuine and extraordinary things to buy in Myanmar, but you will get them at reasonable prices. The place is more than a century old and gradually modernizing is causing the place to dwindle, but still, there is a significant time of the happening of any such thing. The place presents a pleasant sight of interesting shops, cheerful and a bit loud shopkeepers and, of course, a large array of beautiful and one of a kind thing.
Some of the chief things that you could get from the market are tapestries, gemstones, jewellery and things made from lacquer. Lacquerware is a speciality of Myanmar and Bogyoke Market is one of the best places to purchase them. If you’re a Shopaholic then visiting this market should be in your list of top 10 things to do in Myanmar.
4. Explore Yangon Nightlife
You must be thinking that because Myanmar is not so advanced and modern it will not have any nightlife of its own, no clubs or dance bars, but people visiting the place find it quite pleasing that Myanmar is an interesting place at night also. There are a number of bars and clubs that offer good recreation and lively nightlife to the people. Other than entertainment, these bars have great tasting food and wine that will not disappoint you, Coffee Club and Hola Dance, Blind Tiger and British Club Bar are some of the well-known clubs of Myanmar.
You may not find the places as modern as the clubs in Europe, but they are decent places with good food and reasonable entertainment. Exploring the nightlife is one of the main tourist activities in Yangon.
5. Visit Temples and Pagodas
When we talk about temples, Myanmar is the place that fits well in the description; the country is adequately filled with a large number of pagodas and temples. Myanmar is one of the most significant Buddhist countries and therefore, it presents the respective culture in genuine and raw manner. Besides pagodas, Myanmar has many monk monasteries and if you want to have a closer look of their lifestyle and activities, then visiting one of them is a great idea. Thinking which temple to visit? Other than Shwedagon Pagoda, Ananda Temple is a sure visit and of the top 10 things to do in Myanmar.
The temple was initially constructed in the 11th century and was destroyed by an earthquake; it is made of thousands of tiles decorated with the depictions of Buddha’s life and is one of the most remarkable monuments in Myanmar. Visiting the temples is certainly one of the top things to do in Myanmar.
6. Visit a Lacquer Factory
Lacquerware is a speciality of Myanmar and, undoubtedly, people of Myanmar are quite skilled at making unique objects and things from it. When visiting Myanmar, make sure that you keep aside a whole day for a visit to a lacquer manufacturing facility. Bagan has a lot of lacquer factories where you will find people busy making things from this ancient technique. The method was introduced in the 12th century and therefore, it has been here for centuries. Myanmar has scarce economical means and this craft has become one of the main sources for generating capital. If you want to get authentic knowledge, then you should find a tour guide for an authentic manufacturing facility or get more information from Myanmar Shopping Guide.
7. Try Local Shampoo and Beauty Paste
Women of Myanmar are known for their beautiful skin and shiny hair, the country has a lot of spas and health centres that are great at offering natural and world class beauty treatment. Though, the beautiful skin and hair of the local women are rarely the product of these spa treatments as they use homemade natural paste and shampoo for it. The good thing is that you can also get such a beauty by using homemade Tayaw shampoo that keeps their hair beautiful and healthy. These women use Thanaka, paste made from a specific local tree trunk, for their skin. The paste is used as a sunscreen as you will see many women walking around with Thanaka on their faces.
8. Have a Horse Cart Tour
Horse cart is the primary mode of transport of the local people and hence, it is a best way to exploring the land and a great way to get closer to the Burmese culture. It is the best option if you are visiting the place for the very first time since, you will be interested in knowing the culture and people better. Thinking how much it will cost you? A single horse cart ride’s cost is around $10 to $30 and a single cart will take two passengers other than the driver. Besides this, you can also visit around the place on a bicycle, which will also allow you to have a tour of local fresh produce markets and shopping centres. So, if you’re in Myanmar, you should try this must-do activity.
9. Try a Burmese Wine
Wine and Myanmar may not sound well together, but next to having delicious cuisine, Myanmar is making its appearance in offering wine also. Talking of the vineyards, it is true that Myanmar does not actually produce any grapes or vineyards of its own since the weather is not considered that suitable for it. But, the same weather has turned out to be quite favorable for the grapes imported from France and Italy. The known wines are Athaya Rose and Athaya Red and both are prepared with the imported wines and you can buy the wine in Bagan or, if you know where the place is, you can also have a visit to the vineyard and buy directly from there.
10. Try a Traditional Burmese Cuisine
Situated directly in the middle of Thailand, India and China, Burmese cuisine is infused with the flavours of all three counties along with its own unique texture. The cuisine of the country is delicious, especially, and they are the very first people that eat their tea. People of Myanmar love to have delicious food and tea and this is the reason that it is very unlikely that you do not come across a number of food and tea stalls while having a walk or shopping.
Some of the must try Myanmar traditional dishes include grated ginger salad with sesame, guacamole, special eggplant, pumpkin and ginger soup, Mohinga, rice congee, pork skewers and stir fried dishes and curries. Alongside food, people of Myanmar are adept at preparing different kinds of tea so make sure that you try some of its flavours. Trying out the local food is certainly one of the top things to do in Myanmar.
Myanmar is an ancient country and because it is not as developed as European countries, it is still tightly knotted with its unique culture and history. Have you visited Myanmar lately? What activities did you enjoy besides visiting pagodas? Do let us know in your comments below.