Very few countries are genuinely cheerful places. While Thailand is called the country of smiles, Bhutan has a happiness index; Myanmar is gradually revealing itself to the world. Contact a travel agency today to handcraft a Myanmar tour for you.
You can go for a teak boat ride on the enigmatic Irrawady, or ring the largest bell in the world. It is also a chance for you to get firsthand experience of the ancient rituals and practices of Buddhism. Here are the top reasons to visit Myanmar.
See the reclining Budhha
So far, you must have only read about the reclining Budhha or saw it on TV. One reason to visit Myanmar is to come face-to-face with this historical statue. The statue is housed in a shed in Yangon. Visit it during your stay in the capital and take pictures to brag about it to your friends.
Go hot-air ballooning
The arid plain of Bagan has over 2500 ancient Buddhist monuments, and some even go back to the 10th century. A devastating earthquake destroyed countless other pagodas and temples. Soaring over the area in hot-air balloons is worth every penny you spend. Remember to ask your travel agency to book the trip between October and March.
Visit Shwedagon Pagoda
Myanmar travel is incomplete without visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, and this way, you can finally tick it off your bucket list. The stupa on the Pagoda is 110m high and the top is encrusted with more than 4500 diamonds. It is mind-boggling to know that royals throughout history have donated gold equal to their body weight to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Meditate for a while and experience sheer bliss.
Taste the unique Burmese tea-drinking culture
Not even the famous Ceylonese tea can match the street tea culture in Myanmar. The country has tea shops for a fragrant milky tea experience. You can also munch on sweet doughnuts, steamed buns, or samosas. The experience of watching a Premiership football match with Buddhist monks at these shops is surreal.
Try the exotic Thanaka sunscreen
If you haven't been able to find a cure for oily skin yet, Myanmar travel would do you good. The local women and children often smear a creamy, fragrant paste called thanaka on their faces. Myanmar is a tropical country and the thanaka paste provides a cooling sensation. You can grind some for yourself, too, in the Chatrium lobby.
See the largest book of the world
This makes for good bragging to your bibliophile friends. At Mandalay Hill's foot, you will find the Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines. These are Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 stone slabs by a scribe, who finished the project in over seven years. Collectively, these form the world's largest book.
Drive by Aung San Suu Kyi's house
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was released in 2010. Ever since, the house where she was put under house arrest in has become a site of interest. It is a peaceful sight to drive by the lakeside house and even pause to take a few photographs.
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