Want to visit Myanmar soon? Continue reading as this blog post will be helpful for your next Myanmar trip! If you didn’t know, Myanmar was formerly Burma, and is a country in the Southeast Asia which is surrounded by Thailand, Laos, India, Bangladesh, and China. It might be not as famous as the other countries in the Southeast but there are a lot of Myanmar Tourist Spots that will surely capture your hearts and give you awesome experiences when you visit them!
Myanmar is a Buddhist country with thousands of temples and rich wildlife. There are also some beautiful beaches in Myanmar that you should visit, along with marvelous caves, majestic mountains which you can hike, and of course, amazing sunsets that you should definitely watch. Now, let’s start with some of our favorite Myanmar tourist spots!
Click here to read 10 most Instagrammable places in Myanmar.
Best time to visit Myanmar
Myanmar has a monsoon climate with three main seasons. The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from November to February, when temperatures are relatively manageable. From March to May, the country becomes very hot, particularly the dry zone of the central plains where Bagan and Mandalay often see temperatures in excess of 40°C.
However, it can get crowded over the winter season so also consider the rainy season for the best time to visit, especially if you’re intending to visit areas in and around Mandalay and Bagan.
Myanmar Tourist Spots
1. Shwemawdaw Paya Bago
There are interesting things to see in Bago Shwemawdaw Paya, Sleeping Buddha and Kyaik Pun Pagoda where you can see 4 sitting Buddha statues. These tourist spots are outside the city of Bago, just a few kilometers from city center. From Bago, it is easy getting to the Buddhas attraction just by bicycle.
You need to pay a day ticket to see all the touristic places. It was $10 USD at that time. If you don’t like going by bicycle, just go by taxi, but no worries because distances are not that far. You can even go to Bago for a day trip from Yangon which is only 2 hours by bus.
Read our things to do in Yangon!
2. Ananda Temple
Ananda Pagoda or Ananda Temple is dubbed as one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples. It is exactly located at the eastern part of old Bagan city wall. This temple has a Mon and North Indian architectural style. Tourists love the gilded sikhara, or the tower-like spire on top of the temple.
This can be beautifully seen at night because of it is lit every night. You can visit the Ananda Temple along with other temples in the Bagan Zone by just paying for $20 USD entrance fee.
If you are looking for a place in Myanmar with cooler temperature and fresh air, then it is a must to visit Kalaw. Kalaw is a hill town in the Shan State of Myanmar. It is located in Kalaw Township in Taunggyi District. Kalaw is known for its climate, and you can get in Inle Lake (which we’ll discuss next) by doing a 3-day trek.
There are a lot of things you can do here like walking around and enjoying the sceneries, going to the top of Thein Taung Monastery to enjoy the beautiful views, visiting the local market to try different Myanmar dishes such as Shan Noodles (around 1,000 Kyat or 0.66 USD per bowl) and Red Mountain wine (for around 15,000 Kyat or almost 10 USD). Once you get tired of all these activities, you can go have a relaxing massage at a spa called A Little Kalaw Day Spa.
4. Inle Lake
Like what we’ve mentioned previously in Kalaw, Inle Lake is one of the most touristic places in Myanmar. You can get there from Kalaw by doing a 3-day trekking. You can hire a guide, and prices are very cheap, for just around $10-15 per day and it already includes accommodation and food.
Once you get in Inle Lake, you can rent a boat and go around the lake. You can also walk around it and enjoy the beautiful sceneries. The place is really nice for resting and relaxing, especially if you are coming from the tiring trekking!
Read our things to do in Inle Lake!
5. Ngapali Beach
As you all know, Asia has a lot of beautiful beaches and Ngapali Beach in Myanmar is one of it! Ngapali Beach is located 7 kilometres from the town of Thandwe (Sandoway), in Rakhine State. Although it is not yet very famous with tourists, it deserves recognition and popularity because of its turquoise blue waters and white sand. There are a lot of coconut trees around the shore, making it the perfect destination for beach-loving people out there!
Our recommendations in Ngapali Beach include going around by biking, watching the beautiful sunset by the beach, go boating, and of course, have a taste of their fresh sumptuous seafood meals starting from $10 USD.
Hsipaw is the principal town of Hsipaw Township in Shan State. It is actually the most well known and powerful state in the state because of its historical background. Hsipaw is a small town surrounded by vast farmlands and mountainous landscapes.
If you visit Hsipaw, one thing’s for sure- you’ll learn a lot about the ethnic groups and get to experience their culture. You must not miss doing a trek in Hsipaw as well as cycling and watching beautiful sunsets! You can enjoy a good meal with drinks for about 2500 Kyats or almost 2 USD.
Hotel rates per night in Hsipaw start at $10 USD. Click here to book your stay with Agoda.
7. Mount Zwegabin
Another favorite spot to visit in Myanmar by hikers is Mount Zwegabin. This 2369-ft high mountain located at the Karen region, in the southern part of the country. To get to the top of Mt. Zwegabin, you need to trek one to two hours. It is very steep but mostly stairs. At the top, you’ll find a monastery and a huge golden Stupa (a hemispherical structure containing religious relics).
Just be reminded that it is a peaceful place so be respectful because monks live and practice there. A visit to Mount Zwegabin paired by a visit to Lumbini Garden costs 4000 Kyat or almost $3 USD.
8. Mergui Archipielago
Now going to the south coast of Myanmar, Mergui Archipelago is a must-visit place if you love beaches. It has hundreds of islands, approximately 800, with beautiful beaches and coral reefs. One of the largest island in Mergui Archipelago is called Lampi Island (in Lampi National Park), where indigenous people called Monken live.
This archipelago is a habitat for different species of animals like horn bills, sea cows, and turtles. You will definitely have a fun time observing the wildlife here, but just make sure to travel responsibly and avoid littering!
Also, a lot of other fun activities await for you in Mergui Archipelago. You should try diving and snorkeling to see the beautiful marine wildlife in their famous diving spots such as Burma Bank, Black Rock and Shark Cave. There’s a few diving tours and operators that offer these services for an affordable price. You can also try other activities such as swimming, kayaking, sailing, jungle trekking, and of course, learning the culture and meeting the Moken people.
9. Mrauk U
Mrauk U is deemed to be an archaeologically important town in northern Rakhine State in Myanmar. It’s because of it rich historical background and many temples were built here during the past centuries. The most famous temples that you can visit just by walking around are Shite-thaung Temple, Htukkanthein Temple, and Koe-thaung Temple.
There are also a few old women with tattoos on their faces that know a lot about different legends! It is a must to hear their fantastic stories and learn more about their culture.
10. Pha An
Hpa An is a small city surrounded by dramatic mountain sceneries, lush green rice fields, and huge amount of religiously significant caves. Hpa An is a really quiet place, and it will be perfect for you to experience the local life, hike, visit some of the biggest Buddha temples. Wander around the city or go to the local market by walking through the tiny neighborhood or by renting a bicycle or a motorbike. You can also explore the rice fields!
11. Saddan Cave
Saddan Cave is one of the top choice caves in Hpa-an. It is as big as a football stadium with stunning stalactites and formations. On its entrance, there are many buddha statues, pagodas and some clay wall carvings. It’s dark inside so make sure you bring a torch, or just donate 15000 Kyat so they’ll turn on the lights for you.
But not only those things await for you in Saddan Cave, there are also bats clinging to the cave roof and there’s even a secret lake! We recommend that you visit Saddan Cave during the months of November to April, which is the dry season, so you can enjoy the full experience, unlike during the wet season where you can only partially enjoy it.
More Myanmar Tourist Spots
The main tourist attraction in Myanmar is Bagan or formerly known as “Pagan”. It was the capital of the first Burmese empire, and is one of the prosperous archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Bagan serves as home to ancient Buddhist pagodas, temples, and stupas built from the 11th to 13th century.
Bagan’s temples are best viewed from a peak point, and there’s no greater perspective than the one you’ll get from riding a hot air balloon which ascends 2,000 feet in the air! You can also see the sun rise or set from the top of the temples. Bagan is one of the cheapest tourist spots. Meals will cost you $1-$5, and average level accommodations will be around $20-$40. There is an entrance fee $25.
13. Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda
Another must visit place in Hpa An is the Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda. This temple balances itself on the peak of a limestone situated in a manmade lake near Mount Zwegabin. Watching the sunset here is such a stunning view to see so you must not miss it! As of now, there is no entrance fee to visit this beautiful temple.
14. Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo)
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda or the Golden Rock is a famous pilgrim site among Buddhists. It is one of those places that will be beyond your expectations for it absolutely holds magic. The golden rock is perched on the very edge of a hill as if it is defying gravity. Its spirituality and cultural factor are very strong. You can reach the top by either riding a bus or by feet.
And if you’ll walk, it’ll be a 16-km hike and would take you around 3-4 hours to get at the top, but the experience will be precious because you can engage some conversations with the locals, and learn more about their culture. Women aren’t allowed to touch the rock, but men gather around the bottom of it, kneeling in prayer while wrapped in the smoke of incense. The Golden Rock can be visited any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially magical!
15. Kengtung (Kyaing Tong)
Another Myanmar tourist spot that you have to visit is Kengtung, which can be found at the Kengtung Township in Shan State. It is exactly situated with a beautiful mountain range backdrop, making its sunset and sunrise really amazing.
Some Myanmar tourist spots to visit in Kengtung is the Standing Buddha, which can be found near Naung Tong lake, and Thit Ta Bin Taung or One Tree Hill, where you can witness a 250-year old tree and one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see! You should also visit the hot springs located west of Kengtung. To explore the town, it is best to ride a taxi or a motorbike, whichever you prefer.
Also, be reminded that foreigners need a permit (that comes with a fee) to visit this western part of Myanmar overland.
Found in the northernmost part of Kachin State, Putao is the principal town of Putao Township. Surprisingly, it can be reached overland during summer only, which is March to May. But if there is sufficient number of tourists who will visit any time of the year, they can ride an airplane to get to Putao. This town boasts different endemic species of birds and orchids.
Some activities to do in Putao include mountain climbing, elephant trekking, white-water rafting, and adventurous skiing, since it is located at the foot of Himalayan mountains. You’ll also learn a lot about the culture and traditions of the ethnic groups living in Putao called Kachin and Lisu.
17. Alms Giving Ceremony
This is not a Myanmar Tourist Spot but a must-do or must-see tradition in Myanmar. Every morning, the Alms Giving Ceremony is conducted in the streets of Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist traditions here. Around 6 in the morning, locals and tourists start to prepare food, rice or money that they will give to the monks.
The monks are mixed of young and old men who come out of the temple. You’ll see them in streets in a single line, barefoot. This has been a tourist attraction since travelers are encouraged to take part of this tradition as long as respect remains.
18. Hot Air Balloon in Bagan
Another must-do activity in Myanmar is riding a hot air balloon when you visit Bagan. Before actually riding the hot air balloon, you’ll get to watch how they are being set-up. And once you’re up above, you’ll be gliding gracefully over the spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of the beautiful Bagan, with its mountains and Buddhist temples, stupas, and villages.
Pilots are smooth operators, so expect your while ride and landing to be safe and fun! They will even give you a light breakfast meal with champagne before riding the hot air balloons. It will be really an awesome experience!
19. Chauk-htat-gyi Buddha Temple
When visiting Myanmar tourist spots, you must not miss going to the most well-known temple in Myanmar called Chauk-htat-gyi Buddha Temple. It is home to the 66-meter long and 16-meters high reclining Buddha which was made from the donations of locals and tourists. Buddhists and tourists pay their respect to the Buddha by lighting incense sticks, offering flowers and saying their prayers quietly.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda is located at Shwe Gon Taing Street in the Tamwe township of central Yangon. To get there, you must ride a taxi which will cost you around $4-5 USD.
You can enter the temple by paying a $5 USD entrance fee per person. It opens daily from 6AM to 8PM.
20. Kakku Pagodas
Southeast of Inle Lake, you’ll see the Kakku Complex which houses 2,500 ancient pagodas. At the center, you’ll find the main or primary 40-meter high stupa. These pagodas are very old so most of them have crumbled off already, and some even have trees and bushes growing out of them. One of the most awaited festivals in Kakku is the Kakku Pagoda festival, which is celebrated to mark the end of the cool season. It is held during March.
To tour around the Kakku Pagodas, you must hire a Pa-Oh guide in the town of Taunggyi who charges around $5 USD. Also, you’ll be paying an entrance fee of $3 USD to get inside the complex.
21. Gokteik Viaduct
Gokteik Viaduct is the highest railway bridge in Myanmar, which is over 100 metres high the ground and nearly 700 metres long. As you ride this train, you will see so much of the local life of Myanmar. The train ride will give you beautiful sceneries, and there are many chances to buy food on each stop so bring some extra cash.
The fare for the “upper class” cabin is $6 USD and $3 USD for the regular class with wooden seats but still comfy! It will be breathtaking experience as you look out of the window of the train into a depth of a hundred meters!
22. Macleod Island
Located in the Mergui Archipelago, you’ll surely would dream to visit Macleod Island. It’s a paradise where the only man-made construction in Mergui Archipelago is located, the Andaman Resort. Even though it’s a man-made resort, you won’t see any bars, clubs, shops and five star facilities and restaurants here.
You’ll only get to explore jungles, swim in the beautiful beaches, do guided kayaking trips in mangrove forests and caves, dive in the most beautiful diving spots, and of course, observe rare birds, plants and other animals. Oh, don’t forget to taste the fresh seafood here! There are some companies that offer different tours and cruises to Macleod Island. Let us know if you know some and how did your experience go!
23. Mya Thein Tan Pagoda
Mya Thein Tan Pagoda is a large, majestic, white pagoda located in the northern side of Sagaing Region in Myanmar. This pagoda has 7 terraces that was meant to signify the 7 rivers and 7 mountains. The seventh terrace signifies the peak of Ugando Mountain. Mya Thein Tan Pagoda was actually an image of Sulamani Pagoda.
This is open daily and no entrance fee specifically for this pagoda; however, you need to pay $4 USD to enter the Sagaing–Mingun archeological zone which already covers a lot of attractions including the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda.
24. Kuthoda Pagoda
Another pagoda and Myanmar tourist spot to visit is the Kuthodaw Pagoda. It is another Buddhist Stupa located in Mandalay. This stupa is famous because it contains a gilded pagoda, hundreds of shrines housing inscribed marble slabs and many pavilions.
The 729 marble slabs are “the world’s largest book” and each slab represents one page. The slabs are inscribed with the Buddhist teachings, making this pagoda one of the most valued and famous in Myanmar.
Kuthodaw Pagoda is open daily from 8AM to 8PM. Entrance fee is $5 USD per person.
25. U Bein Bridge
U Bein Bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world and is very old. It was constructed from wood and retrieved from the former royal palace in Inwa. The best time to visit the bridge is at sunset and you should be around 5-6 pm to find a good spot for picture takings. The light is often best around an hour before sunset with all the shadows and silhouettes. It is just impossible not to capture the lovely and majestic photos of the U Bein Bridge!
26. Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda or Paya is Yangon’s most famous landmark, built on a hill which is the biggest and grandest Pagoda in Myanmar. This Pagoda was built 2600 years ago and is the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world, it is 99 meters high and is completely encrusted with gold plating.
Massive numbers of devotees visit the Shwedagon every day and walk around the stupa to make offerings to the Buddha. Understanding the culture and history of this sacred pagoda, can greatly improve your visit. Appreciating its history and immersing yourself in its mystical beauty will be a spectacular experience! Try to enjoy the sunsrise at Shwedagon Pagoda. The entrance fee is $8.
Read here things to do in Yangon!
27. Pindaya Caves
The Pindaya Caves are the one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. This is located next to the town of Pindaya in Shan State. But it is not just a pilgrimage site but also one of the most famous Myanmar tourist spots. The several Buddha images inside the only cave open for public are just stunning.
There are also small pagodas in between the Buddha images and stalagmites and stalactites. The area where Pindaya Caves is located on a limestone ridge in the Myelat region, and part of the ancestral homelands of the ethnic group Danu. Entrance fee costs 3000 Kyats per person.
28. Mount Popa: Day Trip from Bagan
And the last but not the least on our list of Myanmar Tourist Spots is Mount Popa. It is an extinct volcano that stands 1518-meter high above sea level. Mount Popa is located in the region of Mandalay. On top of Mount Popa is a monastery with golden stupas, shrine of the Mahagiri Nat spirits. To reach the top of this extinct volcano, you must climb 777 steps, which is a pilgrimage site.
It is also a famous Myanmar tourist spot because of the high number of monkeys! Because of this, you must keep in mind that it is required to remove your hats and bags to avoid attention from the monkeys. Also, you have to wear decent clothes, which is a must when visiting sacred temples. Entrance fee is around $5 USD per person.
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Now we have finished our list, let us know which one is your favorite Myanmar tourist spots! We’d love to hear them. 🙂
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