Myanmar
Myanmar
Attractions
21-09-2023 4.807 Views
Myanmar is one of the most enchanting countries in Southeast Asia. Indeed, through your visits, you will discover a country full of grandiose sites and new things to discover. To appreciate this serene country, you will discover religious monuments, vibrant cities, villages and many different populations. It will be a journey that will make you succumb to the charms of Myanmar!

THE ATTRACTIONS

Yangon

The Golden Rock

Sittwe

Mrauk U

Mandalay

Mount Popa

Temples of Bagan

Inle Lake

Hpo Win Caves

YANGON

Officially called Yangon since 1989, the city is the economic capital of Myanmar, as well as the largest in the country, with some 4.5 million inhabitants.

Founded by the Mons in the 6th century by the Mons, the city evolved from small village to capital of British Burma, then independent from 1853. Although since 2007 the capital has been moved to Naypyidaw, Yangon remains the emblematic city of the country, containing many important monuments and many traces of the colonial era.

The visits :

Shwedagon Pagoda: located on the Singuttara hill, the pagoda is in the middle of a religious ensemble as beautiful as the pagoda itself. With its 98m high stupa and covered with gold leaves, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most important religious centers of Burma. One does not stop there at the level of riches, since the arrow of the stupa also includes 1,065 golden bells, 420 silver bells, precious stones, thousands of diamonds and a 76 carat emerald. Its origin is estimated between the 6th and 10th centuries. The Gautama Buddha (the original Buddha) would be at the origin of its construction, and the pagoda would contain 8 of its hair, as well as relics of 4 ancient Buddhas, making the pagoda a very important place of pilgrimage in South East Asia.

The Bogyoke Market Aung San (Scott Market): large central market built in 1926 by the British, it differs from its counterparts in other Asian cities by its colonial architecture and its cobbled inner lanes. You will find a wide variety of shops selling everything, always in the special and endearing atmosphere of the markets in Asia.

The Buddha of Chaukhtatgyi: the temple is known to house a 66m long statue of Buddha, one of the largest in Myanmar and Asia.

Lake Inya: originally created by the British, this lake, north of the city centre, was the scene of some of the many fragments of the history of Burma and the city of Yangon. Today, it is a place of relaxation and walk surrounded by the richest district of the city, as well as the most beautiful residences of the country, such as that of Aung San Suu Kyi, that of the late president Ne Win, or that of the ambassador of the United States.

Kandawgyi Lake: also an artificial lake created by the British, this lake also has a nice setting for relaxation, surrounded by the Kandawgyi Park, the Rangoon Zoological Park, as well as decorated by the Karaweik, a replica of a royal barge, where you can dine in an enchanting setting!

The Sule Pagoda : located in the center of the economic capital, is said to be more than 2500 years old. It is important in the politics of the country because often chosen for demonstrations.

THE GOLDEN ROCK

6m diameter at 1,200 m altitude, the Golden Rock is located in the state of Mon, in the south of the country. This rock would have been placed there by two mats and would hold in balance thanks to a hair of Buddha. Covered by the small Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, the pilgrims gather there to cover it with gold leaves.

A high place of pilgrimage, the Golden Rock evokes the shaved head of a monk, a sign of his religious commitment. Unfortunately, as in other Asian countries, women cannot approach or touch it. Indeed, Buddhism keeps women away to preserve the purity of monks. Thus, a monk should meditate and fasting for several days if he were to be touched by a woman.

SITTWE

Located in the state of Arakan, Sittwe is an important port city of the country. With the British occupation, what was originally a small fishing village became an important trading platform. The British used it mainly for rice exports. Very close to India, the city today mixes Burmese, Bengalis and Chinese, which, unfortunately, is a source of conflict as in the rest of the country.

The visits :

Payagyi Pagoda: this pagoda contains a bronze Buddha statue of more than 8 tons.

Ahkyaib-daw Pagoda: high holy place, this pagoda would contain a piece of the Buddha’s jaw.

The Buddhist Museum: established in a monastery that has a superb collection of ancient Buddhist statues and votive tablets or terracotta pipes.

The Sittwe Fish Market: full of life from the first hours of the day, you will discover the heart of the city’s activity, before embarking on a small cruise on the Kaladan River.

MRAUK U

Located in the north of Arakan State, Mrauk U was previously the capital of the Arakan Kingdom. Beautiful town surrounded by green hills, Mrauk U is a treasure trove of history and culture, with its many temples and stupas, dating from the Arakan era. These numerous buildings most often mix the Hindu and Buddhist style, and resemble fortresses.

The visits :

Shitthaung Temple («Temple of Victory»): built in 1536 to commemorate the conquest of Bengal (territory located on India and Bangladesh today), this temple resembles a fortress with its 27 stupas in total, the main of which is 26m high.

Andaw-Thein Temple: built in 1515, this temple contains a sacred relic, a tooth of the Buddha from Sri Lanka. Its numerous stupas, characteristic of the site’s buildings, are all surmounted by an arrow representing a lotus flower.

The Dukkanthei temple: also called the Hukkanthein temple, it is a fortress-temple built in 1571. Built of sandstone and brick, it is a building of enormous proportions, 32 m long and resembling a real castle-fort.

Laymyetnha temple: first temple built in Mrauk U.

Ratanabon Pagoda: built in 1612, its name means «the pile of jewels». Indeed, legend has it that the king of Arakan and his wife hid a real treasure under this pagoda, although nothing could prove it to this day!

The Letkaukze and Bandola monasteries: these museums house a beautiful collection of ancient statues, which will give you the opportunity to see more about the art of the different civilizations of Myanmar.

MANDALAY

Burma’s last capital before the arrival of the British. Created by order of King Mindo in 1857, the former capital unfortunately suffered the numerous destruction of its original buildings and some of its monuments, despite the efforts of renovation and conservation. However, there are still traces of the splendour of the «city of jewels» of yesteryear to be discovered. Originally conceived as a metropolis of Buddhism, the city will unveil treasures among the most important religious monuments in the country.

The visits :

The Mahamuni Pagoda («Great Sage Pagoda»): this beautiful pagoda is an important place of pilgrimage, as well as one of the most revered in Burma. Solar, its golden roof is divided into 7 levels. The statue of Buddha Mahamuni which is exposed, is 4 m high, composed of more than 6 tons of bronze and about 3 tons of gold. It is 2,500 years old and is considered alive and is washed every day by monks and covered with gold leaves by pilgrims

The Shwenandaw Monastery: considered as one of the most important buildings of the city, it is actually a part of building that was part of the royal palace of the former capital of Amarapura. It was indeed moved by King Mindon who died there, then his son King Thibaw had it dismantled because he thought that the building was haunted. Finally, this part of the building was rebuilt as a monastery in honour of King Mindon and after the fire that completely destroyed the Royal Palace in 1945, became the only «original» building of the remaining royal palace.

Kuthodaw Pagoda: to see in Mandalay, this pagoda houses «the greatest book in the world». Indeed, the sacred Buddhist text of the Tipitaka is engraved on 729 marble steles, protected by small white stupas, in the middle of which the children play hide-and-seek.

Mandalay Hill: this hill is part of the legend of the city’s origins. Indeed, King Mindon had received a prophecy saying that he was destined to build a Buddhist metropolis there in honour of the 2,000th anniversary of religion. Thus, the royal palace of the former capital of Amarapura was moved to the future city at the foot of Mandalay hill. It is also an excellent vantage point over the whole city and the sunset.

Discovery of the manufacture of gold leaves used to cover statues.

MOUNT POPA

In the centre of Myanmar, on an ancient volcanic chimney, is the Taung Kalat Monastery, a high place of pilgrimage. The temple is indeed known as home to the 37 nats of Myanmar. In addition, the many natural advantages due to its position have allowed both flora and fauna to develop in the surroundings. It is even possible that you may see monkeys during your visit!

TEMPLES OF BAGAN

Bagan is a bit like “Angkor in Myanmar”, with over 2,200 monuments and temples (about 10,000 at its peak). It is 50 km2 of heritage on an incredible site, above which hot air balloons fly over the pagodas under the setting sun.

Located in the Mandaly region, the site was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom. Many earthquakes have damaged the site throughout its history, but thanks to donations, renovations and conservation efforts keep the site in good condition. Bagan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019.

INLE LAKE

Inle Lake is one of travelers’ favourite destinations in Myanmar! Indeed, it is a place with beautiful scenery and where life resumes its quiet course, with the water. With its 12,000 hectares, it is the second largest lake in Myanmar and a real treasure of fauna and flora. Indeed, recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 2015, the lake is home to many species, unfortunately more and more threatened by the increase of the population and the pollution of their environment.

Located in the mountains of Shan State in eastern Myanmar, Inle Lake is surrounded by 17 villages on stilts, whose inhabitants are devout Buddhists. There are more than a hundred pagodas and religious buildings in the vicinity of the lake.

The unique way to row of the fishermen from Inle Lake is to stand on one leg to allow them to see over the plants that populate the lake. The inhabitants have also developed a gardening technique using their environment. The fruits and vegetables are grown in floating gardens that rise and go down as the water level, making them extremely fertile.

HPO WIN CAVES

25 km from Monywa in the Sagaing region is a complex of 492 caves with approximately 2,600 Buddha statues and numerous wall paintings. Most of these caves would have been dug by man to make it a place of pilgrimage, between the 14th and 18th centuries.

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