One of my favorite destinations in Asia, Myanmar inspires me very much from the photo of Bagan. After exploring different destinations in this beautiful country, here is my list of fun things you should enjoy :
Experience Yangon’s Circular Railway
To get a glimpse of local life and to experience the amazing sights of city outskirts through the window, this train ride in Myanmar is a must. Built during colonial times by the British, it’s a fun ride while interacting with the locals and witnessing the hawkers selling various items in the moving train.
Taste Ikan Bakar at Chinatown
This charcoal grilled fish preparation is one of the classic dish available in Myanmar and should not be missed. The tender, juicy fish is not only delicious but quiet affordable. The spicy fresh fish can be eaten solo or in combination with steamed rice.
Enjoy sunset at Sule and Shwedagon Pagodas
Trip to Myanmar is incomplete without visiting Sule Pagoda and Shwendagon Pagoda. These mystical pagodas stands majestically and looks stunning during the dawn and dusk. 2600 years old Sule Pagoda and 2500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda are architectural marvels and are best photographed during sunrise and sunset.
See more : Myanmar Travel Itinerary
Savour local Burmese desserts
The sweet and savoury desserts of Yangon is not to be missed. Some of them are really popular among foreign tourists. Few are also served as cool drinks as well. Mont Let Saung, Kyauk Kyaw, Palm Sugar Sago and Shwe Yin Aye are some of the common ones, which are available in most Myanmar Restaurants and also from street venders.
e-Biking in Bagan
The most unique and interesting way to explore almost 2000 red brick Buddhist temples dotted around the massive greenery plain of Bagan, is through e-Bikes. These electronic bicycles are mostly China made and easy to operate. Hiring one such e-Bike and have a fascinating experience to other lesser known spots. Furthermore, pull over whenever you want, to take a picture of the scenic landscapes. Exploring the local life on these vehicles is truly exhilarating.
Cycle to Mount Popa
It’s amazing to cycle through the countryside of Bagan and reach Mt Popa, where from Bagan looks splendid. Renting a cycle is quiet affordable here and hiking atop the hill is all exciting. Pedalling along quiet, flat side streets through countless villages is a unique lifetime experience.
Try Shan Noodles
This noodle is Inle’s specialty and is a must try in Burma. Have it wet or dry and won’t feel short of love for this awesome cuisine. Either way, it is very delicious. The noodles are really soft and doused in different sauces to titillate your taste buds. With chicken or minced pork, onions, garlic, chilies and crushed roasted peanuts, it tastes heaven.
Have Burmese pancakes in breakfast
These pancakes of Burma are to die for. Unlike the ones in the west, these pancakes are more crepe like. It is really crispy on the edges and goes really well with freshly made purees. Starting the day with pancakes for breakfast can be awesome.
Visit the Burmese Cat village
Established in 2009, this is cat lovers’ paradise. One can spot these beautiful breed featuring glossily smooth coat, in shades of blue-grey, chocolate and champagne, having large eyes like gold coins. These breeds are known to sit at the side of ancient Burmese royalty and guard the entrance of temples and pagodas.
The floating gardens in Inle Lake cannot be missed. Besides fishing, locals grow vegetables and fruits in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake. The floating garden beds are formed by extensive manual labour, with weeds and bamboo poles. The nutrient laden lake water helps the garden to bloom fully.
Buy Shan Paper Umbrella
This family run umbrella shop is a major tourist attraction in Shan state of Myanmar, near Inle Lake. Papers created from the bark of mulberry tree, undergoes few intricate processes and then transforms into a beautiful handmade umbrella. With varied colours and designs, these cute umbrellas can act as a perfect souvenir.
Meet lotus weavers
Inle Lake is also home to lotus weavers, who creates fibre out of lotus stems and in turn weave it into clothes. Lotus grows in abundance here, giving rise to this alternative form of fibre, which the local villagers create. Cloths made out of lotus fibre is smooth and are comfortable to wear irrespective of cold or hot weather. Meeting the local weavers and witnessing the stems form into a piece of cloth is simply fascinating.
Go fishing at Inle Lake
Accompanying the Intha fishermen and watch them use traditional technique to catch fish can be a distinctive experience. Witness the use of conical nets and harpoons whilst they row the boat with one leg. The serenity of the lake is awe-inspiring.
Hike to Deedoke Waterfall
Famed for its mineral rich, bright blue water, this spot is almost an hour’s drive from Mandalay and should feature in any tourist’s itinerary. Reaching the waterfall through small local villages at the foot of towering cliffs and running parallel with beautiful Myitnge River is simply fascinating.
Read the World’s Largest Book
The world’s largest book at Kuthodaw Pagoda can make a perfect Instagram feed. The book comprising 1460 pages. And each page measuring 107 cms wide, 153 cms in height and 13 cms thick, housed under a roof with a precious gem on top, is worth a visit.
Stroll along the U Bein Bridge
Built in 1850, this is the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world, across the Taungthaman Lake. A stroll along this 1.2 km bridge gives a glimpse of local life like – kids running around, couples holding hands, locals sitting on the edge and gossiping.
Munch on Mont Lin Ma Yar
Known to be one of the popular street food item, these tiny bites are a must try in Myanmar. Nicknamed as ‘couple’s snack’ because of two small mounds of the sticky rice-flour, ginger, salt, onion and sugar mixture grilled separately and then combined into a single piece; these are sold all over downtown Yangon.
Hike up to Mandalay Hill
Hike up to an elevation of 790 ft, to witness the panoramic view of Mandalay. Sitting atop of the hill is the Sutaungpyei Pagoda which is believed to fulfil the wishes made by the devotees. View from the west, on the River Irrawaddy is simply amazing.
Try on a Longyi
This 2 m long, and 80 cm wide cloth traditionally worn by the Burmese can be tried to dress up locally. With so many patterns to choose from, choosing a longyi is an amazing experience of local culture and are quiet affordable too.
Have Mohinga for Breakfast
This essential Burmese cuisine can be a great way to start your day. Usually eaten in the morning, Mohinga is affordable and readily available at any street vendors. The killer combo of rice noodle and fish soup will keep your hunger pangs at bay.