Formerly called Burma, Myanmar is one of the most exotic and intriguing nations in the world. It’s a place that is undergoing a lot of changes, emerging from isolation, and trying to find a new national identity after all this time. It’s a fascinating choice for a vacation destination, and a country of supreme beauty and ancient wonder. For visiting Myanmar is akin to traveling to the Asia of long ago – in the best possible way. If you’re planning an unforgettable trip to Asia, Myanmar is somewhere you need to make sure you go. This is our guide for exploring the fascinating and enticing Myanmar.
Hire a bike
The roads can be a nightmare here at the best of times, so skip four wheels and go for two instead. The rural parts of Myanmar are peaceful and relatively undisturbed by vehicles, making them perfect for anyone looking to have a serene and idyllic adventure in the countryside. You can choose to be part of a tour group, and cycle through the valley of Chindwin River – one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and something we definitely recommend you do. Things move at a snail’s pace in Myanmar, and this is the perfect opportunity to use that to enjoy the beautiful countryside.
Another way to explore this magnificent country is to go by foot. There are so many stunning areas for those looking to take a hike, and this is your chance to get up close and personal with the traditional Myanmar. Shan State is the place to go for this, and you can join a tour group, or map your own journey – though we would advise against solo travel. Inle Lake, Kengtung, and Bagan are just some of the must-see areas of Myanmar you can explore on foot. So, look into trying to get to see these places as soon as you can.
One of the most popular choices for tourists looking to get around and explore Myanmar is to take a river cruise. For example, you might choose to take a leisurely longboat cruise along Inle Lake to discover the small stilted villages and incredible waterways of this impressive country. There is also the renowned cruise from Mandalay to Bagan – a real eye-opener, and a must for those looking to explore a different side of Myanmar. There are plenty of stops along the river, and the cruise gives you the perfect opportunity to explore new areas of Myanmar, and really get a feel for a more authentic Myanmar.
Those feeling a little braver might consider taking a train ride. The railways have had little to no investment over the past couple of decades, and it shows. But, for many people, this wonderfully authentic and stripped-back experience is a big part of what makes visiting countries like Myanmar so special. There is a 17-day train tour for those with time and money to spare, but, for the rest of use, we might simply consider a journey to Thanbyuzayat – the terminus for the railway, that was also featured in The Bridge on the River Kwai.
So, these are just some of the excellent things you can do to help you explore the amazing areas of Myanmar. There is so much to enjoy and explore here that it seems like there’s never enough time. These wonderful suggestions will go some way toward helping you get a taste of the real Myanmar, and discover a magical place you never knew existed.