Spotlight on Majestic Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly called Burma, is often referred to as “The Golden Land,” due to the thousands of gilded pagodas peppered throughout its landscape. The environment of Myanmar today is very similar to that of Thailand several decades ago, and this beautiful and quaint atmosphere draws an increasing number of tourists each year.

Myanmar residents are not only welcoming to tourists, they are also extremely helpful. They often take time out of their day to show visitors around their country and point out the best landmarks and attractions. Practicing English is essential to many Myanmar residents, and therefore vacationers are often approached with a friendly smile and a “Hello, what is your name?”

The City of Bagan

Bagan is Myanmar’s most ancient city, boasting more than 3,100 temples dating back to the 1100s. With lovely gilded spires that span the horizon, the dreamy cityscape has the appearance of something one would see in a book of fairytales.

However, despite its magnificent appearance, the center of Bagan feels more like a tranquil village than a city, and this is primarily because its temples typically outnumber its visitors. This gives it a refreshing, quaint feeling that is not found in most other areas of Asia.



Food in Myanmar is inexpensive, delicious and plentiful. Many people have never tasted Burmese fare prior to visiting Myanmar and subsequently find it unique and tasty. Dishes in Myanmar are derived from Chinese, Indian and Thai ingredients.

The most frequently served dishes are Mohinga–a recipe comprised of orange fish sauce and rice noodles–and Onnokauswe pasta cooked in coconut milk. Most menus also feature spicy soups and almost all dishes include curry in their ingredients.

Thanks to its tropical climate, the country boasts a vast array of fresh fruit for sale and fruit-based smoothies are offered in most restaurants.


Accommodation in Myanmar can be found to suit virtually all budgets and lifestyles. Although the Myanmar Kyat is the preferred currency, most hotels and resorts take the American dollar and the euro.

Budget accommodation can be found for approximately $5-$40 per night, while mid-range hotels and resorts can be secured for anywhere from $40 to $120 per night. Luxury lodging is available for approximately $120-$400 per night. At the top end, visitors discover true style and opulence, with beautifully appointed establishments that match any luxury hotel or resort around the world.



The best months to travel to Myanmar are November, December, January and February. Like most areas of Southeast Asia, the dry season in Myanmar runs from late October to mid-May. The wet season is from the end of May until the beginning of October, when monsoons begin to blow from the southwest. May and June are extremely hot, and during these months temperatures often reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally speaking, the eastern, upper central, and northern regions are at a higher altitude than those in the west and south, where hot temperatures and humidity are commonplace.

Things to See and Do

Shwedagon Paya

One of the most sacred sites among Myanmar Buddhists is the Shwedagon Paya. This 325 foot structure is adorned with thousands of precious gemstones, including diamonds, and features 27 metric tons of gold leaf. The Paya features four stairways leading to the temple’s main entrance and primary terrace. Those searching for tranquility should visit the temple at dawn, but its most spectacular features are showcased in the evening, when the sun casts burnt orange, crimson and gold hues over the Paya in a rich display of color.

Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill is a great attraction for anyone who enjoys walking or climbing. The hill itself is 760 feet tall and the walk is covered with rustic stairways and offers visitors several choices of pathways to the top. However, the routes taken by tourists usually pass numerous pagodas and temples, where it may be necessary to go barefoot for several yards. These customs are sometimes not enforced, but visitors should keep them in mind when traveling to Mandalay Hill. The climb takes approximately half an hour, but many people choose to stop en route to view various sites along the summit.

Bagaya Kyaung

Another highly memorable attraction in Myanmar is the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery. This impressive structure is supported on 270 teak posts, with the largest of them boasting measurements of nine feet in circumference and 60 feet in height. This creates a dark, cool prayer hall through which there is a constant flow of visitors. Stained timbers within the structure are inscribed with lotus flower and peacock motifs. Despite its many visitors, it remains a functioning monastery and tourists will see monks on the premises at all times. Tourists are welcome, but are asked to be respectful to local patrons and the Bagaya Kyaung monks who live on the property.

Myanmar Marionettes

The Myanmar Marionettes Theater is a wonderful place for both adults and children, where internationally known puppeteers re-create tales of history and fantasy on a tiny stage with colorful marionettes. Visitors can also purchase puppets from the theater and proceeds go to keeping the establishment in operation.

Myanmar is a perfect vacation destination for anyone searching for a unique and interesting area of the world in which to spend time. Regardless of where one stays or which attractions he or she chooses to see, a visit to Myanmar will never be forgotten.

One Response to Spotlight on Majestic Myanmar

  1. Sue says:

    I love this article! Beautifully written, it makes me want to travel and now I know where I’ll go next!

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