Tourist Attractions in Myanmar
Myanmar, the official name for the Southeast Asian nation more commonly known as Burma, is a must-see for travelers who like Buddha and beaches, though not necessarily in that order. The country contains thousands of Buddhist temples. It also has pristine white beaches along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The country is slowly opening to foreign tourism, so travelers who want to experience a more traditional Burma may want to visit now. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Myanmar:
01. SHWEDAGON PAGODA
Literally, “Shwe” means gold, and “Dagon” is the former name of Yangon. Symbol of the former capital, Shwedagon on Singuttara Hill is the most remarkable stupa of Burma with its overwhelming height of 99 meters. Built more than 2,500 years ago, Shwedagon Pagoda is said to house the relics of four Buddhas, including eight hairs of Gautama Buddha. About 60 tons of gold covering the pagoda with its peak, about 7,000 precious stones, diamonds, rubies, sapphires contained in her parasol.
Shwedagon is widely regarded as the largest and most revered religious place for the Burmese. We could stay there for many hours to see the Burmese praying and placing their offerings. Most visitors are very touched by the mystical atmosphere of the place.
At sunset, the illuminating pagoda in the dark offers a unique and fascinating scene.
02. KYAIK HTI YO PAGODA (GOLDEN ROCK)
Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda which is now one of the wonder and most interesting pagoda in our country. It is my great pleasure to explain about the pagoda because of it’s interesting historical background and the way of visiting to it is different with other places. It is 160 Kilometers from east of Yangon. It is located on the range of Paunglaung in part of Eastern Yoma. Kyaikhto Township in Mon State. Now I am going to explain about the historical background of the pagoda, how it is called, why and when it was built. The name of the Kyaikhtiyo is the Mon Word “Kyaik-isi-roe” in origins. It is means “ The pagoda carried on the head of a hermit”. According to the legend of the pagoda, during the Lord Buddha visit to Thaton, the three hermit, Teiktha Thiha and Kaylatha living on these hills requested to lord Buddha to give them strand of his hairs. So lord Buddha give two strand of his hairs to each hermit. The eldest hermit Teiktha living on Kyaihtiyo Hill wished to keep the seared hair on his body. So he kept the two relic hair on his head among his hair. Read more
03. ANANDA TEMPLE
One of the most beautiful temples of Bagan with its architecture and large statues of Buddha covered in gold leaf. Built in 1105 by King Kyanzittha, it symbolizes the wisdom of Buddha. The temple has the shape of a Greek cross; the roof is composed of six successive terraces dominated by an Indian type of sanctuary turn. A very slender stupa, covered with gold and an umbrella ( hti ), rises to 55m in height. Several hundred wall niches containing Buddha are carved into the rock.
04. SHWEZIGON PAGODA
One of the most beautiful pagodas in the country. Construction began during the reign of King Anawrahtaen 1059 and was completed in the reign of Kyanzittha in 1090. The bell-shaped stupa, which was the model for the construction of other Burmese stupas, based on three superimposed terraces. Schwezigon is a Buddhist landmarks of Myanmar; it was built to house Buddha’s teeth. This pagoda, covered in gold leaf, is unique compared to other pagodas in Bagan built of brick.
05. SHWENANDAW MONASTERY
Shwenandaw the monastery is the most significant building in the history of Mandalay. It is the only remnant of the original royal palace that has not been destroyed by British bombs. This magnificent monastery consists of chiseled and carved teak is a masterpiece of the Burmese architecture. There is a replica of the throne of the Lion (throne) and exceptional sculptures of Nats, the spirits who worship the image of the Buddha. Monks still live there and do not want to “give” the monastery to archaeological authorities who would renovate it.
06. KUTHODAW PAGODA
Kuthodaw Pagoda (meaning “Royal Merit” in Burmese), magnificent religious complex is the world’s largest book. Built in 1857, modeled on the Shwezigon pagoda by King Mindon, it has a total of 729 marble stelae, each inside a small stupa, which are sacred texts in Pali Theravada Buddhism. The site was restored in 1892. The gold adorning each of the lines have been looted, it was replaced with black ink. Between the rows of stupas grow small trees whose flowers give a scent like that of jasmine. Burmese families often come to picnic, pick flowers to make necklaces for statues of the Buddha, while their children play hide and seek among the stupas. The discovery of Kuthodaw pagoda is the most remarkable visit in a voyage to Burma.
07. U BEIN BRIDGE ( WORLD BIGGEST TEAK BRIDGE )
Amarapura is 11 km south of Mandalay. This town was one of the ancient capitals of Burmese Kingdom between 1783 and 1841. Today it is famous for traditional silk and cotton weaving. The monument absolutely not to be missed is the famous U Bein Bridge. Built in teak columns and abandoned during the transfer of the capital to Mandalay, the bridge, along 1,200 meters, the world’s largest teak bridge crosses the lake Taungthaman. The monks of nearby monasteries like to walk there. Visitors can rent boats to admire the bridge from the lake, the opportunity to capture beautiful pictures especially at sunset and sunrise.
08. GOKTEIK VIADUCT
The bridge was constructed in 1899 by the Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge Construction Company, and opened in 1900. The components were made by the Pennsylvania Steel Company and were shipped from the United States. The rail line was constructed help expand the influence of the British Empire in the region. The construction project was overseen by Sir Arthur Rendel, engineer for the Burma Railway Company.
09. THANBODDHAY PAGODA
Fifteen kilometers south of Monywa stands the Thanboddhay Pagoda whose architecture bears significant resemblance to that of Borobudur (Indonesia). Its multicolored facades enthrall you at first glance. This pagoda was built in 1303 but has been restored multiple times. The complex is consisted of a magnificent stupa with a height of 43 meters, surrounded by many smaller but colorful multiple-storey stupas. The current building dates from 1939 and houses an impressive number of Buddhist statues, totaling 582,257! A small tower allows men to enjoy the view of the pagoda, women are forbidden from this activity!
Inle Lake is in the middle of the southern part of Shan Plateau in eastern Myanmar. Covering 12,000 hectares (22 km long and 11 km wide), Inle Lake – a picturesque natural lake is the second largest natural lake in the country. Located 900m above sea level and surrounded by mountains, it has a comfortable temperature throughout the year. It is an ideal destination for travelers for its idyllic tranquility, waterfront villages, its market and its gardens on the water – a perfect place for a stopover of a few days during a stay in Burma. This picturesque natural lake is inhabited by Inthas that have adapted to their environment by building entire villages on stilts. It is a true lakeside jewel nestled in the heart of the mysterious mountains of the Shan plateau. You can conquer the lake in a canoe that will transport you to unsuspected landscapes with stilt houses, pagodas, floating gardens that undulate to the rhythm of the currents. Read more…