I travelled around Myanmar for two weeks and saw the big highlights, part of the countryside and one of the off the beaten track destinations. But there is so much more to explore in this unique country! I already have a wishlist with even more beautiful things that I would love to visit during a next trip.
#1 The Myeik Archipelago
Myanmar is known for its beautiful, ancient temples, but the country has much more to offer. Did you know that Myanmar might have the most beautiful beaches in Asia? In the far south of the country is the Myeik Archipelago with the most beautiful bounty beaches and hundreds of idyllic islands. It is not easy to get there, so you will probably have the magical beaches and islands all to yourself. Because of this poor accessibility, I skipped the beaches during my trip, but on a next trip the Myeik Archipel will be at the top of my wishlist!
#2 Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin was once founded by the British occupiers to get away from the Mandalay heath. That is exactly the reason I’d love to make a daytrip to this cool place. In Pyin Oo Lwin this British history is reflected in the colonial architecture, but the National Kandawgyi Gardens are also worth a visit. It is a popular day trip from Myanmar, but I would like to go for one or more nights.
#3 The train ride over the Goteik Bridge
I just love to travel by by train on a trip. As travelling by train in Myanmar is quite slow and less comfortabel than the bus alternative, I didn’t use the train on my trip. Yet, I would like to go on a train ride the next time. The one from Pyin Oo Lwin to the more northerly Hsipaw in particular! This train ride leads over the Goteik Bridge, one of the highest railway bridges in the world. It is said to be an impressive sight!
I’ve heard you can make the most amazing hikes at northern Hsipaw. Whole Myanmar is not (yet) overrun with tourists, but Hsipaw certainly isn’t. You can hike along only little visited villages of local minorities, through the rice fields and over lush green hills. The waterfalls, natural hot springs and the temples of ‘Little Bagan’ should be wonderful as well.
Did you think the popular Yangon is the capital of Myanmar? Wrong! It is the most important city of the country, but it was replaced as its capital a few years ago. The capital was moved in 2005 to Nay Pyi Taw (translated: ‘Royal City of the Sun’), in the middle of the country. This move was not a big success though. The city is located in the middle of nowhere and people simply did not want to move there. Although many ministries and official bodies are located in Nay Pyi Taw, there are still many in Yangon as well. During the construction of Nay Pyi Taw it was assumed that people would be thrilled to move to this new metropolis. The grand scale on which the city was built now makes it an absurd place. I would love to see the abandoned eight-lane roads during a next trip!
#6 Inle Lake
We briefly visited Inle Lake, after a multi-day hike from Kalaw, and therefore did not have the energy to visit the many, many sights around the lake. During a second trip to Myanmar, I would love to return to this magical lake. The floating markets, day hikes, floating gardens and the beautiful temples and monasteries around the lake will then be on my program.