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Written by Sandhya Sriram on September 19, 2017 Share on

Exploring the untouched parts of Myanmar on a 5-day trip – Complete with tips and places to visit

Join our traveler Sandhya Sriram as she explores the untouched parts of Myanmar on her 5-day itinerary.

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My recent trip to Myanmar has left me speechless. I am so glad that I planned this surprise birthday trip for my husband. Even though we had some issues with our visa, we finally did make it to Myanmar in one piece!

Honestly, it is such a beautiful country with super nice people. Untouched beauty, pure, raw culture, great landscapes, and extremely well maintained public transportation. Having experienced it entirely now, all I can say about Myanmar is – it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and is a MUST VISIT.

While there are plenty of destinations to see in Myanmar, not all of them are accessible and we settled down for the fascinating destinations of Yangon and Bagan.

Before you start, here is something that will come in handy after you read this article.

Places to visit in Yangon:

Glistening with temples and colorful open-air markets, Yangon is one of the exciting places to visit in Myanmar. The bustling city is also where the international airport is located. Dotted with a lot of pagodas, zoos, and parks to see from, Yangon will keep you occupied.

Note: Every Buddhist temple/pagoda in Myanmar has four entrances – North, South, East, & West and you can find at least one Buddha facing each entrance.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Nicknamed ‘The crown of Burma’, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar. Covered in pure gold, this place is huge and the sounds of the monks chanting is so uplifting! We visited this place twice, once in the daytime and once at night to get the best views of both the worlds. The pictures speak on their own.

Sule Pagoda

Set right in heart of the city, Sule Pagoda is a Burmese stupa that occupies a focal point in the Burmese politics, geography, and ideology. It is small when compared to Shwedagon Pagoda but nevertheless, beautiful!

Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple

Housing one of the most revered reclining statues of Buddha, Chaukhtatgyi temple is really breathtaking and it is incredibly huge that it will make you feel small! The eyes of this statue are so mesmerizing that I could not take my eyes off it and this place is peaceful as well.

Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue

Wait, puzzled to find a synagogue in Myanmar? Just a seven-minute walk from Sule Pagoda, Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue is the last remaining Jewish house of worship in Myanmar. Erected in 1854, the wooden structure is a small establishment, and right on my first visit to the Synagogue, I was fascinated by its history.

Some of the other places to visit in Yangon include People’s park for mesmerizing views of Shwedagon Pagoda, the zoo, Kandawgyi Lake, Bogyoke Aung San Market, National Museum, Inya Lake, and a dozen other pagodas (if you have time).

Places to visit in Bagan:

The temple town of Bagan is one of the oldest and cultural tourist towns in Myanmar. Carrying a verdant landscape covered in palm trees, the archeological town is a great destination for Buddhist pilgrimage and the calm and serene vibe is enlightening. And when you are at Bagan, make sure to explore all the archeological ruins.

Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon Pagoda or Shwezigon Paya as it is referred to is one of the oldest and impressive Buddhist temples in Bagan. Consisting of a circular gold leaf-gilded stupa, Shwezigon Pagoda is truly grand and is great to visit on a sunny day.

Ananda Temple

Built-in 1105 AD, Ananda Temple is one of the four surviving Buddhist temples in Myanmar. Laid out in the form of a cruciform with four standing Buddhas standing in the cardinal direction of North, South, East, and West, Ananda Temple is an architectural wonder.

Bupaya Pagoda

Sitting on the right bank of Ayeyarwady Temple, Bupaya Pagoda is one of the notable shrines in Bagan and is a less touristy attraction. So, if you are looking to take some time off from the crowded spots, this is the place to go. Impressively decorated, the bell-shaped dome offers stunning views of the river and the ideal time to visit Bupaya Pagoda is in the evening.

Dhammayangyi Temple

Resembling the early steps pyramid in Egypt, Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest temple in Bagan. While the temple was under renovation at the time of my visit, it was still remarkable and on your way out, do load your bags with Marionettes of elephants and horses.

Tuyin Taung Pagoda

Perched on top of a hill just opposite to our accommodation, WeStay @ Bagan Lotus Hotel – Tuyin Taung Pagoda is a great place to go climbing in Bagan. It is a 15-20 minute hike up the hill to reach the temple. But if you are not up for the hike, you can drive to Tuyin Taung as well. It offers beautiful views and is very breezy. The pagoda is impressive as well if you are wondering!

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