Yangon is the cosmopolitan capital city
and gateway to Myanmar by air and sea.
Adorned with idyllic lakes, shady parks
and green with lush tropical trees,
Yangon is known as the “Garden City
of the East”.Yangon ( formerly known
as Dagon)was a small fishing village
which is fortified by King Alaungpaya.
As the symbol of his conquest on lower
Myanmar in 1755, King Alaungpaya rename
Dagon to Yangon which means “End of Strife”.
later, the Yangon City was modeled and
implemented by Lieutenant Fraser of the
British Engineering Corps, who also had
drawn the city plan of Singapore.
The city today still maintains its
colonial charm and gracious turn of
the century architecture. Towering over
the city is the magnificent gold-encrusted
Shwedagon Pagoda – one of our country’s most
beautiful treasures and a place to meet
devoted Buddhists at meditation and pray;
also the most prominent landmark visible
from miles around and one of the wonders
of the World. Other recommended Yangon tour
highlights and places of interests include
the Reclining Buddha, Sule Pagoda, the colonial
buildings in the city centre, colourful markets
of Chinatown, Bogyoke Aung San (Scott) Market,
Meditation Centre, Botataung Pagoda, Kaba Aye
(World Peace) Pagoda, Maha Pasana Guha Cave,
Kalewa Monastery, Buddhist Art Museum,
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda and National Museum.
A small town on the Twante Canal is reached by car on 1:30 hour and ferry boat on 2-3 hour ride along Yangon River and the Twante Canal from Yangon. A boat trip itself is a joy and offer a chance to enjoy rural life along the river and canal. Twante is known for making potteries – a major cottage industry. Shwesandaw Pagoda, Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds, local town market, Baungdawgyoke Pagoda, Snake Temple, weavers are among the interesting sites. A half day excursion to Twante offers you a great chance to travel on the river and enjoy and explore the life in a typical delta river village.
Once a famous trading port occupied by the Portuguese in early 17th century, Thanlyin (Syriam) offers many attractions. The old buildings still stand in evidence of the days of Portuguese occupation. Kyaik Khauk Pagoda and Yele Pagoda on a small island at Kyauktan, 12 km south of Thanlyin are the main highlights. The 1822 metre long bridge spanning the Bago River made possible the 45 minutes drive from Yangon. It is also accessible by train across Thanlyin Bridge. On the way to Thanlyin, on the left side of Yangon-Thanlyin bridge, you can stop by National Races Village.
On the southern coast lies Mawlamyine (Moulmein),the third largest city in Myanmar. It was the capital city of Mon State - a picturesque old colonial town once an important teak port. The Mahamuni & Uzina Pagodas, Kipling’s Kyaikthanlan Pagoda and the Mon Cultural Museum which has a modest selection of Mon, the mosques in town are the nicest building, particularly the green-and-turquoise Kaladan Mosque and Zeygyo Market are places of interest of Mawlamyine. About 14km outside town is Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Kyaung; one of the largest meditation centres in Myanmar. A picturesque isle off the city’s northwestern end is Gaungse Kyun (Shampoo Island), reached by boat. Further down the coast, you can visit Setse Beach; Kyaikhami (Amherst) – a seaside resort with its Yele Paya perched over the sea; and Thanbyuzayat where the cemetery for World War II’s allied prisoners of war who died while building the infamous ‘Death Railway’.
Rising 1100 metres above sea level, this small golden stupa stands on the top of a giant gold-leafed boulder on the very edge of a cliff on Mt. Kyaikhtiyo. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is a place of important for Buddhists pilgrimage and the most popular pilgrimage centre for Myanmar people. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is recognized as one of the wonders of South East Asia by Tourism Authorities of ASEAN countries. Legend has it that this precariousposition of the boulder is held through centuries by virtue of the power of the Hair relic of Gautama Buddha enshrined in the Pagoda. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is located about 160 km from Yangon, reached by overland drive.
Located only 80km from Yangon, Bago (Pegu) is an ancient city of the 15th century Mon Kingdom, one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. A two hour drive to Bago through the countryside is a convenient day excursion. Recommended tour highlights and interesting places include Shwemawdaw Pagoda, Kalyani Sima Ordination Hall, Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha (55 m long), huge Buddha Image (28 m high) of Kyaikpun Pagoda, the Palace of King Bayintnaung, Bago Market and the Htaukkyant Allied War Cemetery.
About 220 km north of Yangon,in Bago Region, situated the the old Kaytumadi city founded by King Mingyinyo in 15th century. All four sides of the brick city walls are still remain apart from the part of the southern wall. Excluding some of its sections on eastern side which is under proper maintainance, the 9.6 m wide moat is dried up.With mountain ranges to both east and west, the city is enriched with the forestry products, with teak and other hardwoods extracted from the mountains. Shwesandaw pagoda, which is belived to be enshrined a Budda’s hair is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees. Tharaga elephant camp or Pho Kyar elephant camp is a place for eco-tourism where onw can learn natural forest plants, ride elephant around the camp, bath and wash young elephants, watch the elephant show and many other things.
Naypyitaw, literally meaning Royal capital, lies 320 km north of Yangon.Naypyitaw was announced to be the adminstrative capital city of Myanmar on 27 march 2006. For becoming too congested and crowded that the government offices might have low space in future, the capital city is moved from Yangon to Naypyitaw.With the ministry building which are indentical in appearance, and the parliamentary complex consisting of 31 buildings, a 100-room presidential palace is located there. Naypyidaw is a Union Territory under the direct administration of the President. Interesting tourist sites are Uppatasanti Pagoda, Ngalaik Lake Gardens, National Herbal Park, water fountain complex, The Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens, The Naypyidaw Safari Park, and planetarium.
Pyay (Prome) is located 285 km north-west of Yangon, on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river which can be reached by road in about 5 hours. Sites of interest include the Shwesandaw Paya, Shwedaung Paya and ancient ruins of Thayekhittaya and Hmawza known also as Sri Ksetra, a few kilometers north-east of Pyay – an archaeological site of the acient Pyu Capital (5th to 9th Century) and reached by boat are the Akauk Taung – beautiful Buddha images carved in the banks of rock along the river. Hsehtakyi Paya, Shwe Phone Pwint Museum, Bawbawgyi Paya, Payagyi and Payama Stupas are other places of interest in and around Pyay.
190 km west of Yangon in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, lies the port of Pathein (Bassein) – the Capital City of Ayeyarwaddy Division and the gateway to Chaungtha (40km) and Ngwe Saung (48 km) Beaches. Pathein is known for its quality rice and colourful historical past in colonial times. There is a picturesque waterfront and numerous umbrella workshops making the unique hand painted Pathein sun parasols (Pathein Hti). Highlights include the Shwemokhtaw Pagoda, Thihoshin Phondaw-pyi – Sitting Buddha and a colourful bazaar. Pathein is reached by road, air and sea. The overland drive from Yangon offer a wonderful serenity of green paddy fields and fisheries along the road side.
The first Myanmar Empire, Bagan was founded by King Anawrahta in 1044 AD who also founded Theravada Buddhism. This ancient capital is located at the east bank of Ayeyarwaddy River and 145 km southwest of Mandalay. The temples, stupas and pagodas of Bagan are the most impressive relics of the first period of Myanmar greatness. The massive Bagan Archaeological Zone – stretches 42 sq km is one of the richest archeological sites in Southeast Asia because of its unique architect of numerous temples and pagodas of the 11th – 13th centuries. Out of 4,446,33 temples existed in Bagan’s ancient time, only over 3000 stupas and temples are now left due to the earthquake of 6.5 Richter scale in 1975 causing huge destruction to many of Bagan’s important structures. All the temples, stupas and pagodas in Bagan represent the diversity of ancient Myanmar’s architectural styles, technique and ideas. There are four significant monuments of Bagan; Dhammanyangyi Temple – the most massive temple in Bagan built by King Narathu in the mid of 12th Century and famous for its architectural technique, Thatbyinnyu Temple meaning Omniscience of Lord Buddha – known as the highest temple (201 feet) and towering above all others monuments in Bagan built by King Alaungsithu in 1144 AD. Ananda Temple – known for its intricate wood carvings, marble statues, murals paintings, glazed figures built by King Kyansittha in 1091 AD and Shwezigon Pagoda – a prototype of all later pagodas all over Myanmar which show the typical early Bagan architecture and 160 feet wide at the base and 160 feet in height built by King Anawrahta and finished by King Kyansittha in 1090 AD.
A practical visit to Bagan will well prove why Bagan is the most worth place to visit and why Bagan is the landmark of Myanmar to the world.
The extinct volcano, Mt. Popa – an Oasis of the central dried land is located some 50 km southeast of Bagan. Mt. Popa raises 1520 metres into the sky. It is the legendary home of the 37 Mahagiri Nats, or spirits. A fresh air and marvelous panoramic view from summit point rejuvenate your exhausted body after climbing the 777 steps which takes about 45 minutes. At the top you can visit the Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the “Nats” or “Spirits”. The Mt. Popa area has also been designated as a National Park, a perfect place for eco-tourism.
A small town about 15 km south of Bagan, down the Ayeyarwaddy River is Salay. Today Salay is known as an important centre of Buddhism with many working monasteries. Throughout its past, Salay created its own unique style of Bagan era architecture which still exists today. U Pone Nya Museum, formerly known as the Yoke Sone Monastery, exhibits antique lacquer-wares, wooden reliefs and a large standing gilded Buddha image. The figures carved outside the front of the building are worth seeing. Highlights include Tha-ta-na Kyaung (Keythar monastery) where Tipitaka texts are housed in a large red lacquered cabinet, Payathonzu and Hkinkyiza Kyaung.
Pakokku stands as a typical trading and shipping center of Myanmar with agricultural products such as peanuts, sesame, tobacco, corn and rice. It is located at the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy and about 30 Km Northwest of Bagan. It was under the British occupation in the 19th century. Pakokku is the second landmark of Buddhist education center with more than 80 monasteries. Nearby is Pakhangyi Teak Monastery, built in 19th century – one of the famous tourist attractions. It can be reached by ferry boat from Bagan and by road or ferry boat from Monywa
Mount Victoria, also known as Nat Ma Taung and Khaw-nu-soum or Khonuamthung in Chin, is the highest mountain in the Chin State of western Myanmar. Located in Kanpalet Township, Mindat District, Mount Victoria is part of the Chin Hills range, and rises to 3,053 metres (10,020 ft) above sea level. It is situated 100 km west of Bagan. The area is famous for the women of the Chin tribes who have their faces tattooed. Surrounded at lower elevations by tropical and subtropical moist forests, Nat Ma Taung's higher elevations form a sky island, home to many temperate and alpine species typical of the Himalaya further north, as well as many endemic species. The mountain is now protected within Nat Ma Taung National Park, established in 1994. It covers an area of 279 square miles. Forests include hill evergreen forests, moist upper mixed deciduous forests, pine forests (above 9000 feet), and hill savannah. Mammals such as tiger, bear, wild boar, leopard, goar, serow, gibbon, etc. and 159 bird species, reptiles and butterfly are present.
The Last Royal Capital, Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon and remained the capital city of the Kongboung, Myanmar’s last dynasty. It is located in the central Myanmar, 668 km north of Yangon. It is known as Ratanabon-Naypyidaw (meaning Gem City), and also the richest historical landmark next to Bagan. The Mandalay Palace boasts finely built palace walls and a beautiful moat surrounding this fortress. Mandalay is not only an important city for Myanmar culture, but also the principle centre for Buddhism studies in Myanmar. Mandalay’s monasteries and pagodas are of great religious significance to all Myanmars. Mandalay is also known for its fine gold and silver crafts, wood and marble stone carvings, silk thread weaving and ancient tapestry. It is also the commercial centre with rail, road, river and air links to all parts of the country. Recommended tour highlights include Buffalo Point, bamboo fan factory, colourful Zaygyo Market, Shwenandaw Golden Palace Monastery, Shwe In Bin Monastery, Atumashi Kyaung, Kuthodaw Pagoda (the world’s biggest book), and Mandalay Hill. The Mahamuni Buddha Image is the most revered Buddha image in Mandalay. Mandalay International Airport is also the gateway to Myanmar.
Situated about 11 km south west of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, Amarapura is an ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty. It was founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783. Amarapura means City of Immortality. Places of interest are Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, silk and cotton weaving workshops, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Nagayon Pagoda, Mahagandayone Monastery where more than 1000 monks live and study and U Bein, the world’s longest Teakwood Bridge (1208 meters long) across the Taungthaman Lake.
Mingun, located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the western banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, is a town well-known for its 90 tons Mingun Bell, the largest uncracked ringing bell in the world; a monumental unfinished stupa, Settawya Pagoda, Mya Thein Tan (Shin Phyu) Pagoda. The 45 minutes boat trip from Mandalay offers you a chance to enjoy wonderful river view and see the life along the Ayeyarwaddy River.
Inwa (Ava) lies 20 km southwest of Mandalay. Founded by the Shan King Thadominbya in 1364, it remained the royal capital for almost 5 centuries. Sights of interest are 27 m Nanmyint Watch Tower; Bagaya Teak Monastery – supported by 267 posts, Maha Aungmye Bonzan (Me Nu Oak Kyaung) – a brick-and-stucco monastery dating from 1822, Htilaingshin Paya and the workshop of lacquer alms bowls for monks.
Once an ancient capital, Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay, at the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. The Sagaing Hills are dotted with pagodas and there are over 500 monasteries. Sagaing Hills offer famous religious retreat where more than 6000 monks and nuns go for study and meditation. Sagaing is a place where stressed Myanmar Buddhists come to relax and meditate. Sagaing is also known for sliver shops and guitars. Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, U-min-thonze (Thirty Tunnels) Pagoda built by monk Padugyi Thangayaza, Kaung Hmudaw Pagoda (a copy of the Mahaceti Pagoda in Sri Lanka) and Ywahtaung (home of the silversmiths’ guilds) are places worth seeing
Pyin Oo Lwin is located on the western bank of the river Ayeyarwaddy. Over 1000 metres above sea-level, Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 69km away from Mandalay. Pyin Oo Lwin was formerly known as May Myo. The name May Myo means May Town in Burmese, and comes from the town's first administrator, Colonel May. It is well known for its colonial style houses with large compound and pine trees, eucalyptus and sliver-oak abound in town. Delightfully cool and pleasant the whole year round. It is also home to the Myanmar Defence Services Academy (DSA). Pyin Oo Lwin offers visitors cool days and nights, peaceful rural roads and tracks for walkers and cyclists, trekking in the fruit and flower producing countryside, and interesting shopping. Old times can be re-lived with coach rides, and many historical and beautiful places are within easy reach. Just over an hour's drive from Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin is an ideal and refreshing destination for visitors to Upper Myanmar. Major Attractions are National Kandawgyi Park (Botanical Garden) which consists of a variety of flora and fauna - a 49 acres natural forest, Pyin Oo Lwin Market, Ant Htoo Kan Tha Pagoda, Pwe Kauk Water Fall (BE Water Fall), Dat Taw Gyint Water Fall and Peik Chin Myaung Cave (Maha Nandamu Cave).
An ancient peaceful town in Shan states,once an major indepent state of Sao pha or Saw bwar is situated 200Km northeast of Mandalay. One can taste the beautiful scenery of Dokhtawaddy river and wander the large local market in the center of the town. The Haw or the palace of Sao pha, at the northern edge of the town and the Maha Myatmuni Phaya in the right end are the palces of interest.Thipaw is a lively and friendly town with minority villages that can be reached in a day's hike.This 400 year-old town has a cool weather and can be accessed by train, car and bus. However travelling in train is much time consuming.
Lashio is the largest town in northern Shan State, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Mandalay. It is situated on a low mountain spur overlooking the valley of the Nam Yao River. In 1900, the town of Lashio consisted of the European station, with court house and quarters for the civil officers; the military police post, the headquarters of the Lashio battalion of military police; and the native station, in which the various nationalities, Shan, Burmese, Hindus and Mahommedans, who were divided into separate quarters, with reserves for government servants and for the temporary residences of the five Sawbwas (Shan kings) of the northern Shan States. The population is made up of mostly Bamar (Burmese), Shan, Wa, Palaung and Chinese. Major attraction sites include the Sasana (Pyi Lon Chan Tha) Pagpda and the Mansu Pagoda. Yepusan (Hot Spring) is nearly five miles away from the city center, and is healthful in winter. In year 2000, Lashio was important for border trade between Myanmar and China.
Mogok, a town in Central Myanmar in Mandalay Division, is renowned for producing the world's best grade of rubies and other precious and semi-precious gems. The valley of Mogok, located some 200 kilometers northeast of the city of Mandalay, has been yielding the world's most beautiful gems for more than a thousand years. Mogok is rich in both beauty and natural resources. During the ride over the narrow and partially paved road, although a bit uncomfortable, the scenery and the glimpse into the daily lives of the local people are fascinating. Arrival into the Mogok area is surprising after the long journey. Neither the nature of the road nor the sparse population evident along it prepares the first time visitor for the vast expanse of the valley and its 500,000 inhabitants, who are comprised of Burmans, Lisu hilltribe people, and Gurkhas whose ancestors migrated from Nepal. If not for the rubies and sapphires, it is quite unlikely any humans would be there, and the principle denizens would still be the tigers and leopards which now roam further up in the hills.
A picturesque town at the bank of Chindwin River, Monywa lies about 140 km north-west from Mandalay. It is about 3 hours drive from Mandalay. Monywa is a commercial centre of the Chindwin Valley. It was known as Thalawadi in the past. Thanbodday Pagoda (with over 500,000 Buddha images) bursts with carnival shades of pink, orange, yellow and blue, Bodhi-ta-taung Pagoda (one thousand Bo trees), a 300 foot long reclining Buddha, Kyauka Shweguni Pagoda and lacquer ware village, Shwe Ba Hill and the famous Po Win Taung -occupy a mountain shaped like a reclining Buddha where there are many carved Buddhas with steams of light beaming through holes in the walls, mural painting on the walls are worth places to visit. Monywa is a native land of Myanma Thanakha.
Inle Lake – a freshwater lake, nested among high hills in Shan State. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar. Located 1300 meters above sea level, Inle Lake is home to Intha people, who have developed a unique way of living. Inthas are known for their technique of rowing wrapping one of the legs around the oar to relieve and free arms for fishing. The villages are built in the middle of the lake, complete with floating gardens of extraordinary fertility. The local people are Intha, with a mix of Shan, Taungyo, Pa O (Taungthu), Danu, Kaya, and Bamar. Inle lake area is renowned for its weaving industry. Shan-bags are produced in large quantities. Silk-weaving is another very famous industry, producing high-quality hand-woven silk fabrics of distinctive design called Inle longyi. A unique fabric from the lotus plant fibers is produced only at Inle Lake and is used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called kya thingahn (lotus robe). Inle ‘Floating-market’ event is one of the main emphasis of tourist. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival (the competition of leg rowing boat) is one of the remarkable events and the major attraction in this area. Places of interests are Inpawkhon, Ngaphechaung Monastry and Indein. Inle is reached by air via Heho Airport and by road from Mandalay and Yangon.
Kalaw is one of the most famous beautiful hill station surrounded by Pine trees and misty blue mountain ranges and the land of many colorfully attired national races of Myanmar – with its distinct cultures in Shan State and inhabited by only a few thousands of people. The British Government, created Kalaw as a summer resort during the colonial period. A peaceful and quiet town, Kalaw is situated 1320 meters above sea level and still enhancing the atmosphere of past colonial times. Kalaw is a paradise for Biologists and nature lovers as one can study about 300 species of birds, about 500 rare species of insects, about 200 rare species of butterflies, monkeys, squirrels and orchids around Kalaw region. One of the most interesting places in Kalaw is “Cool Water Lake” that is a very rare natural spring water that could be vigorously helpful to human health and longevity. Kalaw is famous for a unique trekking area in Myanmar where you can see and explore the lifestyle of various hill tribes including Palaung, Pa-O and Danu who are famous for their very colourful costumes and friendly faces.
The capital of Shan State, Taunggyi is at an elevation of about 1400 meters above sea level. A population of approximately 200,000 makes it the forth largest city in Myanmar. Once a small town became the chief
city and capital of the Southern Shan State during British occupation.Its modern development began in 1894 when the British moved their administrative offices from Maing Tauk on the eastern shore of Inle Lake to the higher elevation of Taunggyi for health and geographical reasons. In addition to the indigenous Pa-O and Intha, there is a significant population of Shans, Bamars and other native ethnic minorities as well as Chinese. There is a significant Christian population, as the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Taunggyi, the St. Joseph’s Cathedral and its associated seminary are the main facilities, as well as Baptist Church, both established by early missionaries. Taunggyi is a popular tourist destination as the city itself has an interesting five-day market, where hill tribes’ farmers – in their colourful dresses around the area come and sell their fresh and homemade products in the open market. Atop the hill overlooking the city is the Su-taung-pyae Pagoda where one can have a panoramic view of the town and surrounding countryside. Taungyi Museum has displays on Shan Culture, as well as items of historical interest such as belongings of Shan Sawbwas (Shan Kings). A Hot Air Balloom festival which held once a year is the most popular tourist attraction.
Kakku, a unique temple complex of more than 2000 small pagodas clustered close to each other; surrounding bigger stupas set on a rise has lied hidden in the Pa-O heartland of Southern Shan State for centuries. (The Pa-Os are a hard-working, religious and simple people, good hearted and honest. They are also very traditionalist, as they still adhere to their own customs and costumes. Their clothing is distinctive and most elegant, for they were a full dress; long skirts for women and loose trousers for men of dark blue wool and they all wear turbans loosely wrapped around their heads, either of hand-woven cotton or colourful towels. Their land is beautiful with rolling green hills and clumps of tall bamboo.) For many years, Kakku, the remote area inhabited by the Pa-O minority race has been inaccessible to the outsiders. Only as late as in 1996, a westerner – a film producer was the one who was lucky enough to be a first and the foremost outsider getting a chance to see the Kakku pagodas complex. Kakku is 28 miles south of Taunggyi. The architecture of the pagodas resembles the ones of 16th Century. Almost all stupas are decorated with floral designs or figures of celestial beings or bird-men climbing up the sides. The annual festival of Kakku falls on full-moon day of Tabaung (in March). During the festival, tens of thousands of Pa-O devotees from all over the region come by cart, by river, or by walking through the woods and bring candles and cakes to offer at the shrines. They wrap the images in small saffron-coloured robes. One can wander in silence and peace and could even sense the existing of spirits of past devotees coming and going. These splendid groups of pagodas dwell in the hearts of the Pa-O and they certainly will live in one’s heart, too, once seeing them in their beautiful loneliness.
Pindaya is a peaceful and quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Pone Ta Loke Lake. Pindaya is situated at 1183-m above sea level and 45 km from Kalaw, 38 km from the Aung Ban junction and 60 km from Heho airport. It is famous for its lime stone caves in which thousands of centuries-old Buddha images are seated and the picturesque like “Pone Ta Loke”. The winding galleries and nooks and corners are ideal places of insight meditation since the olden days. Huge monastery compounds with numerous groups as the Shans, Danus and Pa-Os living in the environs of Pindaya. The road from Kalaw to Pindaya passes through Pa-O villages and countryside of magnificent scenic beauty. Pindaya is also known for the Shan paper and monk umbrella makers. Pindaya has a population of 55675. Various national hill tribes such as Danu, Taungyoe , Pa-O, Palaung and Shan living in mountain sides or climbing the hill to the left and right. People in Pindaya live in simple lives earning by farming.
Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state located in southern Shan State of Myanmar and on the Pilu River. The inhabitants are mostly Kayah (Karenni). About 20 kn east of loikaaw at Lawpita Falls, the Myanmar’s largest hydroelectric power plant is built. An interesting point of this capital is an almost extinct tribe, padaung. Especially the padaung women wear bronze spiral rings around their necks because they believe that the longer the neck, the more beautiful the person is. And because of this extraordinary bilief, they have bacome a populat tribe of Myanmar. A famous pilgrimage site in Loikaw is the Thiri-Mingalar Taung-kwe Pagoda, the most venerated pagoda in Kayah State. Literally,Taung-kwe means Split Mountain Pagoda. The state symbol is a mythical half-human half-bird creature so called Keinara. The main crop is paddy and other various kinds of beans and pulses, maize, sunflower and cotton are also cultivated. Other culinary crops and vegetables are also cultivated in Kayah State.
Ngapali beach is one of the wonderful landmarks of Myanmar and is also the most beautiful beach in Myanmar. Ngapali’s beautiful sandy beach stretches on the Bay of Bengal. It lies 7 km from Thandwe, in Rakhine State. It is famous for its natural and unspoiled beauty. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It processes natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous marine animals and clean. The water here is transparent and the sea is tranquil. There are rich sea fish resources including shrimp, lobster, corals, sea mammals, squid in shellfish, snapper, grouper, sea bass, hilsa, horse mackerel , Spanish mackerel : in fish . Ngapali Beach is one of the loveliest places in Myanmar; it is also one of the most unspoiled beaches in the world, with miles of pure white sands skirting the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Apart from the normal beach activities, excursions like visiting the small fishing villages and local markets; exploring the countryside by bicycle and a boat trips to the magnificent offshore islands can be experienced in Ngapali. Ngapali Beach is the best in Myanmar not only for leisure and vacation but also studying the life of local culture .There are no industries and no plastic waste problem along the beautiful beach. There is also the 18-hole Golf Course just 15 minutes drive from the hotel to fulfill the taste of beach golfers. The best time to visit is during October to May. Ngapali is accessible by flight which takes about 45 minutes from Yangon, by car about 14 hours drive along the Rakhine Yoma mountain range.
Ngwe Saung Beach is situated 48 km from Pathein in the Ayeyarwaddy Division, about 190 km from Yangon on the western seaboard of the country, facing the Bay of Bengal. The white sandy stretches Beach of 15 km along the blue sea, magnificent landscaping fringed with palm trees and the endless white sandy beaches, transparent seawater, pretty islands nearby and rows of palm trees make Ngwe Saung an irresistible attraction for beach lovers. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous animals, clean and clear with gentle waves and the best place for swimming, surfing and snorkeling and to enjoy the sun, sand and the beach. It is interesting because it is home to a peculiar collection of oil wells, the likes of which you will not find anywhere else in the world. One can go around the small fishing villages and local markets, exploring the countryside by bicycle or enjoying a boat trip to the fantastic offshore islands.Traditional bullock cart riding, horseback riding, cycling or simply walking along the shoreline will give you pleasant memories which will last a lifetime. Fresh coconut juice will make relax here.
Chaung Tha Beach is located about 51 km to the west of Pathein (Bassein) in Ayeyawady Division. It is a white sandy streatches beach with blue water. It is a perfect place to enjoy sun, sand, and sea. It is a very convenient drive from Yangon via Pahtein taking about 6 hours. There are bungalow type resorts and hotels along the beach front with standard facilities. One can also visit the nearby fishing villages and mangrove river. One mile away from Pokalar Island, there lies Thebyu islet which formed by oysters and shell carried and piled up by tidal waves. Another major attraction in Chaungtha is a small pagoda on a limestone boulder at the southern end of the beach.
Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago, located in southernmost part of Myanmar, comprises over 800 beautiful islands, this immense area covers approximately 36,000 sq km (14,000 sq miles). Dense brush and rainforest cover most areas above the high-tide line, while vast stretches of mangroves and magnificent white-sand beaches are interspersed with rocky headlands, tidal creeks and a few freshwater rivers. Though several of the larger islands are home to small communities of Moken 'sea gypsies,' the vast majority are uninhabited and largely untouched by humans. Due to its virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora & fauna and very beautiful underwater scenes and marine life. The only human inhabitants in the area are sea gypsies, namely Salon in Myanmar. They live on boats during dry season and remain on land during rainy season. They still practice the same fishing and boat building techniques used for generation.Being affectionate to sea, much skilful in swimming and diving, their ways of life and customs are so characteristic that traditional festival will be launched intending to attract international tourists as well as to operate marine eco-tourism around the islands in Myeik Archipelago.
Myeik is a town located in Tanintharyi Division of Myanmar, which is situated on the southern most part of the country.According to the characteristics of port cities, Myeik is busy with small and large boats in the morning. Beside, you can pay homage the Reclining Buddha Image, the grace and glory of Myeik on Pahtet isle. At the harbors of Myeik, ships, speed boats and fishing vessels are closely quad in a long line. Relying on the sea, cold storage factories for packaging fish and prawn, ice factories and warehouses are built along the bank. The house of bird-nests is a rare and unique thing to see in Myeik. The local people are very much devoted to religion. The Lay Gyun Se Mee Pagoda in Myeik is very sublime. Its festival is thronged with visitors. During your stay in Myeik you should not miss the Beik evening Bazaar. The reclining Buddha Image in Pa Htaw Pa Htat Island, which is on the other bank of Myeik, is also very sublime.
Kawthaung is a typical small harbor city where not much has changed since British colonial times. It is in the southernmost part of Myanmar. During British rule in Burma between 1824 and 1948, it was known as Victoria Point. The city is about 800 km from Yangon. Kawthaung retains the atmosphere as fishing port city. The port lies right to the pointed tip of the Tanintharyi Peninsula. It is known as the busy fishing port. The majority of Kawthaung's population is made up of Bamar, Shan, Karen, and Mon. The Salone (Moken), Sea Gypsies, and Malays are all called ,Pashu, by locals. The most common spoken language is Burmese, followed by Thai and Southern Thai. The most famous tourist attraction is Myanmar Andaman Resort on Khayin Kwa (Macleod) Island, the first One Island One Resort with Five Stars PADI Dive Centre which located some 40 nautical miles from the town. There are many islands near and around area which are good places for diving, and other sea activities as every island and places are still virgin since not much disturbed by outside environments. Nearby Kawthung has a small water fall and hot spring at Maliwun Village 24 miles north from the town. Nowadays it can be reached within half an hour by car with a good paved road.
Dawei formerly known as Tavoy, is a city in southeastern Myanmar and is the capital of Tanintharyi Division. It situated about 614.3 km south of Yangon on the northern bank of the Dawei River. Dawei is a port at the head of the Dawei River estuary, 30 km from the Andaman Sea. The area around the Dawei River estuary has been inhabited for centuries by Mon, Kayin and Thai mariners. The present city was established in 1751 as a minor port for the Thai Ayutthaya empire. Dawei is connected to the rest of Myanmar by road and rail. Dawei longyi (sarong) is a famous local product. The area produces rubber, dried fish and teakwood. It also produces cashew nuts and betel nuts and exports them through local traders to China, India and Thailand. Dawei is also well known for its variety of tropical fruits such as pineapples, a variety of mangoes, mangosteens, and durian (also known as the ,King of Fruits,). There is one fruit called ,zin thi, (in Dawei language), which can only be found in Dawei and surrounding areas; this fruit is sweet with a touch of sour. Dawei also has its own language, although the Myanmar people will recognize it only as a dialect, since its written script has been lost over the years. The famous highlight, Maungmagan Beach is a popular beach in Myanmar and served as a beach retreat for the British during colonial days.There are also a number of hot water springs around the outskirts, about one to a few hours’ drive from Dawei. The largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar is in Dawei (about 30 minutes drive from Dawei).
Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State, located 919 miles from Yangon and 487 miles from Mandalay. Meaning “near the big river” in Burmese, in fact “Myitkyina” lies on the west bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, 27 miles below from Myit-son (confluence) of its two headstreams, Maykha and Malikha rivers. Myit-son is one of the most beautiful places in Myanmar with crystal-clear water rushing over the river stones. Myitkyina is the northernmost river port and railways terminus in Myanmar. Although it can be reached by train from Mandalay, the almost 24-hour-train-ride can be really challenging. The city is home to Myitkyina University, a Teachers College, a Nurses Training School, a Computer College and various Christian Theological Seminaries and Colleges affiliated with several seminaries in the US and Asia, notably Kachin Theological College-Nawng Nan. Although most of local people are Christian, there are many Buddha’s monuments. Fragrant rice produced near Myitkyina called “Khat Cho” is considered the best in Myanmar.
Putao is the northernmost town of Kachin State, Myanmar and is the site of the World War II British Fort Hertz. It can only be reached by road during summer (for nationals) but is accessible year round by air if there are sufficient tourist groups to justify a plane. The area around Putao is famous for the variety of endemic birds and rare orchids, which grow naturally. Many orchid lovers are especially attracted by the so called ',Black Orchid', that can be found in the mountains east and west of Putao. Hkakabo Razi and other snow-capped mountains are visible from Putao. Putao attracts also enthusiasts, hiking to Hkakabo Razi base camp, located close to Tahaundam.
Bhamo is a city of Kachin State in northernmost part of Myanmar, located 186 km south from the capital city of Myitkyina. It is on the upper Ayeyarwady River, and is the nearest and an important trading river port to the Chinese. It lies within 40 miles, or 65 km of the border with China's Yunnan province. Bhamo was once called Sampanago, the capital of the now-extinct Shan kingdom of Manmaw. The ruins of the old city walls, dating from the fifth Century, are found some 5 km from the modern town. Bhamo is the market town for the surrounding hill region and is also important for its ruby mines. Formerly, Bhamo is significant as a center of overland trade with China. It was linked in World War II by the building of the Stilwell Road to Ledo in Assam, India. The population is composed of Kachin, Chinese and Shan. Bhamo city walls, the main attraction of Bhamo is now largely in ruins yet still standing in parts. The walls stem from the 5th century and are a few miles outside the new town.
Tachileik, located in the Golden Triangle Area, is the border gateway opposite Mae Sai in Thailand. It has an airport which links to Yangon, Mandalay and Kyaing Tong. By road, Tachileik is connected to Kyaing Tong which lies 106 km to the north by the Asian Highway route and to Taungyi via Kyaing Tong in west and to Mongla in east and on to Yunnan Province China. The crowning tourist attraction is a large Shwe Paya- duplicate design of Famous Shwedagon Pagoda and the Enrobed Elephant Temple with very unique architecture and many different scenes of the murals painting of Buddha.
Kyaing Tong, a small trading town in the Eastern Shan State and the capital city of the Golden Triangle Region, is situated about 1,190 km (about 1 hour 30 minutes' flight) northeast of Yangon. It possess cool weather, traces of the golden triangle area, shifting fields and huts on the mountain slopes, and diverse ethnic groups in their exotic traditional costumes such as Lahu, Akha, Wa, La Mone and Shans are the main attraction of this charming town. There are many sites to see besides the ethnic tribes in colorful costumes. As Kyaing Tong lies on low undulating ground, not far from the Thai border, Kyaing Tong is the best destination for eco-tourism activities like trekking, mountain-biking and adventure tours.
Mrauk U, known as “Mrohaung” meaning ancient city was the ancient capital of Arakan Kingdom; established the 4th Dynasty by King Minn Saw Mon in 1430. It is located at between the East of Kaladan (Kitsapanadi) River and at the West of Laemro River. Mrauk U is invaluable hidden Ruby in the mud because of its unexpected wonders of ancients Arakanese’s constructional technique of Temples, stupas, Buddha images, ways of thinking for future development. In early 17th century, Mrauk U stood as the Golden Gate at the West by the trading business with Holland, Spain, Portugal, Maldives, Italy and South India. Therefore, some of the architectural designs and stone carvings were related with those countries cultures and natures especially by India. Shitthaung Temple, meaning the quantity of 80000 – built by King Minbargyi in 1931 AD as memorable temple for the remembrance of the victory to Portuguese, Andaw (meaning “the molar relic of Buddha”) Temple built by King Min Hla Raza Saw Mon in 1521 AD – enshrined with the tooth relic of Buddha that was brought from Sri Lanka by King Minbin (1534- 1542 AD),(Dukkan) Htukkan Ordination Edifice, built by King Min Phalaung in 1571 AD - situated on the hill with the height of 30 feet and has one main temple in the middle surrounded by four small temples at each corners, Radanabon Pagoda, Lemyathnar Pagoda, Pitakataik, Shwedaung Pagoda, Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda, Lawka Man Aung Pagoda, Zina Man Aung Pagoda, Yadana Man Aung Pagoda, Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda, Koethaung Pagoda, Sanda Muni Pagoda, Laungbanpyauk Pagoda, the Palace Site and Letsaykan Sluice, various types of moats and gates in original forms or in ruin are the famous attractions of Mrauk U. Mrauk U is reached by 5 hour boat trip (the most convenient way) from Sittwe which is Capital of Rakhine State and by road (about 5 hours).
Sittwe (known as Akyab) is the capital of Rakhine State so called Arakan State which is between Rakhine Roma and Bay of Bangle at the Western part of Myanmar. It is situated at the mouth of the Kaladan River where it meets with Bay of Bengal. Sittwe was a former harbor of Rakhine Kingdom. It was under the control of the British Colonial Empire in early 19th century. It is still standing as a city of trading in the Rakhine State. The main profession of Arakanese in Sittwe is cultivating, trading and fishing. Traditional designed and weaved Rakhine Longyies for men and women wearing are also popular. One of the main tourist attractions of Sittwe is Point Beach which is like as a small Ngapali Beach where you can enjoy the real sea view and wonderful natural landscapes of sun-rise in the morning and sun-set in the evening from the top of the Point Tower by breathing the freshest air that comes through the Bay of Bengal. The other tourist attractions are Letwe Thalondaw Dhat Pagoda (meaning enshrined with Buddha’s left calf), the clock-tower built in Colonial era, Paya Gyi Buddha Image which is made of 19,534 lb (8,861 kg) of golden bronze and dating back over 100 years, Satkyarmuni Buddha Image of 520 BC covered with numerous small Buddha Images except the face located in the compound of Lawkananda Pagoda, U Ottama Garden, Sittwe Cultural Museum, Buddhist Museum and Mahajeyyasidhi AdiHthana Sima Hall.