We first arrived in Myanmar just after sunset after a short flight from Hanoi. It was pretty dark out, so we couldn’t see much as we took a taxi from the Yangon airport to our hotel.
Having just spent a month in the beautiful country of Vietnam, we were honestly kind of nervous to be arriving in Myanmar. Would we enjoy our time here? Would the locals be kind towards foreigners? And, perhaps most importantly, was the food any good?
It turns out, the answer is YES to all of the above. We spent just under a month in the beautiful country of Myanmar and we can say without a doubt that we will be back one day.
During our time in Myanmar, we were lucky enough to visit 7 incredibly beautiful places. We decided to put together this list to help other travelers (like you!) plan their trip to Myanmar. If you have any questions at all, let us know in the comments!
7 Beautiful Places To Visit In Myanmar
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Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar, and it has pretty much everything a tourist could want. Beautiful sights, great food, and friendly locals. Plus, most hotels offer free bicycles so you can explore the city easily by bike.
While in Mandalay, you’ll definitely want to see Mandalay Palace and Kuthodaw Pagoda. For some other great things to do, check out our post in 9 Amazing Things To Do In Mandalay, Myanmar.
Bagan is the most popular tourist destination in Myanmar…and it’s popular for a reason! Bagan is the largest archaeological reserve in the world, featuring THOUSANDS of temples built hundreds and hundreds of years ago.
Rent an e-bike and spend the day exploring Bagan on your own. There are seriously temples everywhere! Check out our Guide to Bagan for more info on entrance fees, transportation, and more.
3. Inle Lake
Inle Lake is easily one of the most beautiful and unusual places in all of Myanmar. Situated in the Shan State, there are so many beautiful cultural traditions to witness in this area.
We decided to see Inle Lake without a tour, since it was so much cheaper that way. It ended up being a really fun adventure and we’re glad we did it that. Check out our guide on How To See Inle Lake Without A Tour for more info 🙂
Yangon used to be the capital of Myanmar, but today it is simply the country’s largest city. It’s a popular city for people to fly into, plus there is tons to do in this bustling city.
Our favorite part about Yangon was the amazing food scene in Chinatown. It’s one of the yummiest yet affordable food scenes we have yet to experience.
If you’re seeking out a charming small town in Myanmar, then Kalaw is definitely the place for you. Many people come to Kalaw to do the trek to Inle Lake, but we just spent a night to see the town for ourselves.
There’s a few great restaurants in town, plus an amazing pagoda and a market. We definitely only recommend spending a night or two here, but it’s worth seeing!
Amarapura is located a short 30 minute drive south of Mandalay, yet it feels like an entirely different world! The main attraction in Amarapura is the U-Bein bridge, but that’s definitely not all there is to do in this historic town.
We ended up stumbling upon one of the most beautiful monasteries we’ve ever seen. Check out our post on 9 Wonderful Things To Do In Amarapura, Myanmar for more details.
7. Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin is definitely not on the tourism radar…yet. This small town has a beautiful waterfall, incredible botanical gardens, and a quaint city center. It’s only a short hour and a half drive from Mandalay, and we’d recommend spending 1-2 nights here.
Don’t miss this town that still uses mini stage coaches and horses to get around. It will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time!
What To Pack For Myanmar
Myanmar is an intimidating country to pack for…especially for Westerners. It’s such a different country than what we’re used to. So if you’re struggling to come up with what to pack, don’t worry. You’re not alone!
We’ve been traveling full-time for almost a year so at this point, we are pretty much packing experts. Here are a few things that we are so glad that we brought to Myanmar.
- LifeStraw Water Bottle: The water in Myanmar is not safe to drink. This means you can either purchase plastic water bottles everywhere you go (which is expensive and terrible for the environment). OR you can get a Lifestraw Water Bottle which has an awesome filter that allows you to drink the tap water (or any water for that matter). Order it on Amazon here.
- Anker Portable Battery Charger: It’s so hard to find outlets in Myanmar. And we can’t risk our phones dying on a long travel day. That’s why we love the Anker portable battery charger. It can charge your smart phone up to 7 times. It’s saved our butts so many times. Get it here.
Check out these 17 Things That We Can’t Travel Without for some other ideas.
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