A fisherman in Inle lake, myanmar

Top Things To Do in Myanmar

Tomb of Bahadur Shah Zafar

Located close to the Shwedagon Pagoda in a quiet street lies the remains of the last Mughal emperor of India. After Zafar was exiled by the British, he spent his final days here with his family. The place generates an eerie sense of sympathy for what the emperor may have gone through. Worse still, a family that once ruled most of India had to see the last of its kin languish in a neighbouring land. The caretaker, one Mr Kamaluddin was generous enough to show us around and couldn’t stop conversing after he found out that we spoke Tamil.

The streets Of Yangon

Just keep walking, the intersecting streets of the city are best explored on foot and you will find it hard to resist its offerings. Tons of eatables and beer stations at every corner makes Yangon what it is

Streets of Yangon, Myanmar

Royal Palace Of Mandalay

Surrounded by a massive moat, this palace sits in a dominating enclosure covering an area that would certainly need a vehicle to explore. However, for tourists, you need to leave your vehicle outside, deposit the passport and either walk it or hitch a scooter ride inside for 1500K. Also, tourists are only allowed to visit the palace and its buildings, so you’ll spot several boards saying ‘tourists not allowed beyond this point’. 

Mandalay Palace in Myanmar

Ubein Bridge

Think of myanmar and you’ll find a typical photo of a wooden bridge under the setting sun with people crossing. This is the famous Ubein bridge, trust me, you’ll never get tired of clicking pictures here or just sitting under the bridge (during high season) and just bask under the setting sun.

Spectacular Ubein bridge in Myanmar

Inle Lake

It is one of those popular attractions in Myanmar that many backpackers tend to avoid but I fell in love with the place for its serenity and quaintness. The highlight of the place is the lake where you take one of the ritualistic morning tours at an ungodly hour and see fishermen balancing their boat with one leg and rowing with the other while their hands cast fishing nets. Thanks to this tradition’s popularity, many are just fake fishermen who turn up just for the photoshoot. 

Children riding a boat in Inle lake, Myanmar

Indein Village

A quaint little village off Inle lake is a not-so-popular day trip but must be on your list. The 2000 odd year old collection of small pagodas makes for a picturesque scene. In addition, the weekly market is quite a draw amongst the locals, believe it is on wednesdays.  

Bagan

Yes, the entire town of Bagan is on the list and if you ask me to pick a few temples for the list, i’d probably decline and begin ranting about why it’s sacrilegious to do so. In fact, I was to spend 3 days in Bagan and ended up spending 5. All you need to do is rent one of the e-bikes for a few dollars a day and go temple hopping. To be honest, you’ll find it hard to keep track of their names by the time you reach the 3rd one but yes each one is unique in its history, architecture and beauty. If you are short of time, I would suggest you to not miss Dhammayangyi temple, Shwezigon pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Ananda temple, Sulamani temple and Htilo Minlo temple. These are the icons of Bagan 

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Said to contain the largest book, I thought it would be housed in a big hall with several men required to turn pages. But no, it is a pagoda with several small stupas within which slabs of the dhamma are placed. Makes for a very relaxing visit, especially in the evenings with the cold stone courtyards and massive trees 

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