Myanmar has the power to excite and delight even the most seasoned of travellers. This is a land where pious monks are more revered than rock stars. No visit is complete without a visit to the sky-high golden pagoda – the Shwedagon Paya, where even the staunch are believed to bend. Water bound temples, shore bound markets and floating gardens are a characteristic of the Inle Lake where everybody takes away a different experience.
With the first civilian government in half a century, the land of chanting monks and monasteries has all that a soulful traveller needs. No wonder Myanmar has made it at #9 in the Top 10 Travel Destinations of 2017. Just a few reasons why you should visit Myanmar in 2017.
Myanmar is considered to have three seasons. The hot season is usually from March-April, and temperatures then cool off during the rainy season from May-October. The peak tourism season is the cool season from November-February. Temperatures can rise as high as 36°C in Yangon in the hot season. In the cool season, noontime temperatures are usually a more bearable 32°C, with night temperatures falling to around 19°C.
Places of interest
Naypyidaw (formerly Pyinmana) — newly designated capital of the country.
Bago (formerly Pegu) — historic city near Yangon full of wonderful Buddhist sights.
Kawthaung — beach town in the far south which is as much like Thailand as Myanmar gets.
Mandalay — former capital of the Konbaung Dynasty built around the Mandalay Royal Palace and main commercial centre of Upper Myanmar.
Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo) — cool town which is a wonderful former British colonial hill station.
Yangon (formerly Rangoon) — the economic centre, known for its pagodas and colonial architecture.
Bagan — an archaeological zone with thousands of pagodas near the banks of the Ayeyarwady River.
Inle Lake — a large shallow lake good for beautiful boat trips, visiting floating villages inhabited by the Intha people, hiking, and also a source of excellent silk.
Kyaiktiyo — a gold-gilded rock sitting atop a cliff and a major pilgrimage site.
Mount Popa — an extinct volcano regarded as the Mount Olympus of Myanmar, a green oasis high above the hot plains and an easy day trip from Bagan.
Ngapali — beach resort in western Rakhine State, spilling into the Bay of Bengal.
Ngwe Saung — longest stretch of beach in Ayeyarwaddy Division, white sandy beach and crystal clear water are the features of Ngwe Saung Beach.
Pyay — a town on the Ayeyarwady River midway between Yangon and Bagan, known for its archaeological site Sri Kittara, the ancient Pyu capital from 2 to 9 AD.
What do you think of Myanmar as a feature in the Top 10 Travel Destinations of 2017? Planning a trip there soon? Let us know in the comments.