After 2 weeks traveling around Myanmar, this country fastly become one of my favorite countries in the world. It only recently opened to tourism, thus earlier you decide to visit, the more authentic experience you will get. Myanmar in the Burmese language actually means strong and fast, thus you better hurry, as they mean it seriously with the tourist’s expansion and further development.
So why should every backpacker visit Myanmar now?
1. Magic happens in Bagan every morning with sunrise
Even after 8 hours ride on a night bus without sleep, after cold weather and no food since the previous day, watching a sunrise over Bagan has been one of the best experiences in Myanmar.
2. Shwedagon pagoda is a place you will never forget
Shwedagon pagoda is an icon of Yangon and whole Myanmar. The legend says that there are 8 hairs of Buddha hidden in the main stupa and 9 to 60 tons of gold have been used to build the main stupa. Apart from stunning architecture, the place is mainly visited by locals, so you will not feel like visiting the biggest tourists attraction in Yangon at all.
3. Prices are so affordable, that you will wish to stay longer
Comparing to other Southeast Asia countries, prices in Myanmar are still bit lower. The only exception is an accommodation that is a little bit more expensive, especially if we take into account also the quality of rooms. The good thing is, though, that almost every accommodation offers a huge breakfast. Budgetwise, you might probably need around 350 euros for 2 weeks.
4. Off beaten path places that only locals know
There are so many places where you will be the only foreigner among all the locals. We visited some of those and experienced for the first time in Southeast Asia the difficulty of ordering food in the restaurant as the owners didn’t know any English.
5. People, people, people
Welcoming, always smiling people and so keen to help. You will experience this in rural areas as well as in big cities. And I say it from our own experience when we got our tire flat near the village and everyone was really helpful.
6. Religious traditions that you will not see in any other country
As Buddhism is the main religion in Myanmar, you will see a lot of monks around every village. They are still fulfilling the old tradition such as collection food every day from people, thus you have a chance to discover how is a life of a monk.
7. Entrepreneurial skills that will blow your mind away
As the country is opening to the outside world, many of locals are trying to use this opportunity and make some money. We met a guy that was renting motorbikes and his business card literally says that his office is on the corner of 31st and 23rd street. There is no office at all, he just rents a motorbike right from the street. Why not!
8. Life in the countryside with locals
A perfect opportunity to learn about a life of locals, to experience how is the life in the countryside, what everyday problem locals have to solve and to get the idea how hard living in the countryside can be. Perfect opportunity for every adventurous soul. And by the way, the hike is pretty easy, so you really don’t have to be afraid of it.
9. Walk on the oldest and longest teak wood bridge
U-Bein bridge near to Mandalay should be the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world. Try its stability and walk from one village to another or take a ride on a boat to catch the perfect sunset.
10. Locals around Inle lake use their legs to paddle
It is strange, but it is true. I don’t know why they are paddling this way but from the first time I saw it, I wanted to try it out as well. Great for photography lovers.
Hope you liked the article. Would you add other reason to the list? I would love to keep this list updated. Happy Travels and don’t forget to share this post or PIN the picture below for later.