Exploring the Hidden Secrets: 3 Must-Do Myanmar Treks!
Myanmar has started to become a favorite destination for explorers and backpackers. So many things to see, so many places to visit – You won’t know where to start.
From temples, mountains, pagodas and tribes, Myanmar will amaze you. It is a natural beauty that photography lovers wouldn’t want to leave! It will combine culture, history, nature and fascination all in one. If you are one who loves a one-of-a-kind experience, then Myanmar is the right destination for you.
A trip isn’t a trip without memories. You will be sure to make many once-in-a-lifetime memories in Myanmar. You will be amazed once you step foot into Myanmar and start your adventure.
What about Myanmar?
Out of all the places of the world, what makes Myanmar so different from the rest? Well, from its rich culture and spectacular scenery Myanmar is an awe-inspiring experience. Its stunning features will remain as some of the best memories you can create.
Before you visit Myanmar, it’s good to have a little background knowledge. Myanmar is also known as Burma. It’s bordered by India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos and China. The official language is Burmese and its population is over 51 million. Did you also know that it’s the largest country in Southeast Asia? What is really astonishing about Myanmar, is that the temples and pagodas were built in the 12th and 13th centuries. If you ever visit this beautiful country, you can see small children that wear holy thread around their neck or wrist. This is a cultural tradition and it is done to protect the children from bad spirits and spells. Myanmar is also a country of the Buddhist religion.
What is also good to know is that traveling and accommodation around Myanmar can be a little challenging. Since the tourism has skyrocketed these last few years, there aren’t enough options to accommodate all travelers. So it is best to plan your trip ahead. The local people of Myanmar are reported to be very friendly. They will gladly let you spend the night if you have nowhere else to stay. But the downside is that it is illegal for locals to let foreigners sleep in their houses. So it would be wise to plan accommodation and travel before visiting Myanmar.
Experience Inle Lake
The first on the must-do treks is the breathtaking Inle Lake. It is a shallow freshwater lake in Shan State. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with a surface area of 116 km2. Something to keep in mind is that nine types of fish are found in Inle Lake which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
With the rapid increase in tourism, many privately owned hotels offer accommodation for travelers. An example of these hotels is bungalows right on the lake. They also offer delicious food and a one-of-a-kind tea which only the Burmese can make.
A major tourist attraction in Inle Lake are the festivals held from August to October. During the Thadingyut festival of lights, Inthas and Shan engage in traditional boat racing. They are better known as leg-rowers. Another great experience is visiting the tribal villages around Inle Lake. They live an ancient way of life which is both mesmerizing and informative – you can learn so much!
Don’t forget to visit any of the 200 monasteries around the lake. One of the most frequently visited, the Nga Hpe Kyaung (also known as the Jumping Cat monastery) offers an unusual experience. You will see cats everywhere. Traditionally, they were taught to jump through hopes by monks. This unusual attraction doesn’t happen as often anymore, but it’s quite marvelous to know what this 1890 building once offered.
Yangon (also known as Rangoon) is Myanmar’s largest city. With a population of over 7 million, Yangon has become a favorite tourist destination. Although Yangon struggles with its decaying infrastructure, however, it’s still enormously historic. It serves as a unique portrayal of a British colonial capital in the 19th century.
An interesting fact is that the name “Yangon” is translated as “End of Strife”. Besides the unique name, there are so many things that you can do while visiting Yangon. The tallest building, Sakura Tower, will give u a breathtaking view of the city and the Yangon River.
Another major tourist attraction is the Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s a golden 100-meter stupa. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda because one of its holy relics includes strands of Buddha’s hair. But its sacredness isn’t the only thing that will grab your attention. This 2500-year-old stupa is covered with gold plates and diamonds. With so many opportunities to see the beautiful architecture, you can’t help but sit down and rest for a moment.
Want to dwell into the everyday lives of locals? You can sit at ubiquitous tea shops which can be found on any street of the city. Here you can find locals who usually watch European football while drinking tea.
Hiking on Mount Yazagyi
Do you plan to travel a lot on foot? Are you the sporty backpacker who loves adventures? Then you definitely need to reserve a day or two for hiking and exploring the villages of Mount Yazagyi.
This astounding landscape is located in the eastern region of Myanmar. You will probably have to hike for about 5 hours, but you will have the chance to do so much more than that. You will also be able to get to know the Danu and Palaung hill tribes who live in these areas. Another tribe is the Pao, also known as the dragon people. These tribes have been living the same lifestyle for thousands of years, which is quite remarkable. Besides the great people, you will be able to visit different lakes, caves, mountains and more. There is so much to discover, that it is definitely the perfect place for the adventurous spirit who loves exploring.
The villages offer a unique experience, but if you would really like to make a memorable trip, you should definitely continue your trip to Mount Yasakyi. It is 1900 meters where you will be able to have the experience you will never forget.
With Myanmar’s breathtaking scenery, gorgeous infrastructure and rich culture you will be sure to have a great time. If you decided to visit this historic country, there are a couple things you need to plan ahead.
The most common way to enter Myanmar is by plane. There are no buses or trains that connect this country with others. It is also not possible to cross a border with a private vehicle or motorcycle. The only way foreigners can cross borders is by air.
If you decide to travel to Myanmar, be sure to check that you have booked a flight and applied for a visa. Visas can be obtained at a Myanmar Embassy in any capital city. A good suggestion would also be to have travel insurance for any surprises. When visiting a country you’ve never been to, anything can happen. It is not uncommon for flights to get delayed or canceled. This is a potential risk factor that could be problematic for your trip. However do not get discouraged. Myanmar is definitely worth the trouble!