Things to do in Myanmar

Myanmar, with its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, offers travelers a plethora of unique and essential experiences. Here are some must-visit places and activities to make the most of your trip to this enchanting country. If you’re considering exploring Myanmar, obtaining a Myanmar visa is essential for a smooth and enjoyable trip.

1. Explore Bagan’s Ancient Temples

Location: Bagan

Bagan is home to over 2,000 ancient temples scattered across its picturesque landscape. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a mesmerizing journey through history, offering a chance to witness the grandeur of ancient Burmese architecture. 

Pagoda at sunset at Bagans ancient temples in Northern Myanmar, Burma

Rent an e-bike or take a hot air balloon ride for a breathtaking aerial view of this temple-studded wonderland.

2. Discover the Hidden Kakku Pagodas

Location: Kakku

For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, visit the Kakku Pagodas. This unique temple complex is less frequented by tourists, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings. 

The Kakku pagoda in Shan state Myanmar on September 08 2017 , The Kakku pagoda contains more than 2,500 stupas

The pagodas’ intricate designs and historical significance make them a hidden gem worth exploring.

3. Step Back in Time at Inwa

Location: Inwa (Ava)

Inwa, the former imperial capital of Myanmar, is a place where time seems to have stood still. 

Kids brother and sister visiting ancient Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery one of the most beautiful landmarks of Royal City of Inwa in Myanmar

This historical city is characterized by its magnificent ruins and scenic countryside. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the ancient streets and visit the Bagaya Monastery and the leaning Nanmyin Tower.

4. Marvel at the Mingun Pagoda and Bell

Location: Mingun

Mingun boasts two colossal attractions. The Mingun Pagoda, although unfinished, is a gigantic stupa that commands attention with its sheer size. 

The white pagoda of Hsinbyume (Mya Thein Dan pagoda ) paya temple, Mingun, Mandalay - Myanmar

Nearby, you’ll find the world’s second-largest bell, known as the Mingun Bell. Exploring these monumental structures is an awe-inspiring experience.

5. Witness the Gravity-Defying Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

Location: Kyaiktiyo

The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock, is a pilgrimage site that defies gravity. A small pagoda sits atop a massive, precariously balanced golden boulder. 

Golden Rock of Mt. Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar during a hazy sunset.

Witnessing this unique sight and observing the devout pilgrims who visit here is a testament to Myanmar’s spiritual devotion and natural wonders.

6. Admire the Shwedagon Pagoda’s Splendor

Location: Yangon

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is a dazzling masterpiece, adorned with gemstones and said to contain some of the Buddha’s hair. 

Shwedagon Pagoda in the night ,Yangon ,Myanmar

It is believed that the pagoda’s sacred relics can heal the deaf and blind. Visiting at sunset when the pagoda is bathed in golden light is a truly magical experience.

7. Explore the Mystical Saddar Cave

Location: Hpa An

The Saddar Cave near Hpa An is a labyrinth of caves adorned with Buddhist statues and remarkable rock formations. 

Inside the dark Sadan cave near Hpa-An in Myanmar

The cave system also leads to a serene, deserted lagoon. Exploring these mystical caves is an adventure in itself and offers a unique glimpse into Myanmar’s spiritual culture.

8. Discover the World’s Largest Book at Kuthodaw Pagoda

Location: Mandalay

The Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay is surrounded by hundreds of stone tablets, each inscribed with Buddhist scriptures. 

This collection of inscriptions is known as the “world’s largest book.” Strolling among these sacred texts and marveling at the intricately carved stupas is a peaceful and enlightening experience.

Burmese boy silhouette running among stupas of Kuthodaw Pagoda, the largest book of the world

Myanmar’s cultural and natural wonders are bound to leave you with lasting memories. These unique and essential experiences will enhance your journey through this golden land and allow you to truly appreciate its beauty and heritage. Enjoy your adventure!

9. Take a Train Ride Over the Goteik Viaduct

Location: Near Pyin Oo Lwin

Embark on an exhilarating train journey over the Goteik Viaduct, one of the most famous railway bridges in the world. 

Colonial Train to Hsipaw Going Over Oldest and One-time Longest Train Trestle in Myanmar. Gokteik Viaduct was Constructed in 1901

This stunning engineering marvel is nestled amidst lush hills and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Hold on tight as the train traverses the gorge, providing an adrenaline-pumping adventure you won’t soon forget.

10. Wander Through the Ancient City of Mrauk U

Location: Mrauk U

Mrauk U, a lesser-known gem in Myanmar, is an ancient city filled with temples and pagodas reminiscent of Bagan. 

During sunset over pagoda in Mrauk-u, Myanmar

However, its remote location has preserved its authenticity. Explore the centuries-old ruins, and don’t miss the opportunity to watch the sunset from Shittaung Pagoda, with its unique architecture and 80,000 Buddha images.

11. Experience the Floating Gardens of Inle Lake

Location: Inle Lake

Discover the fascinating way of life of the Intha people at Inle Lake. Explore the floating gardens, where locals cultivate crops on the lake’s surface using traditional techniques. 

Canoe trip on Inle lake in Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State. Shan Hills in Myanmar Burma in Asia

Take a boat ride through the serene waters, visit local markets, and witness the unique one-legged rowing style of the Intha fishermen.

12. Attend a Traditional Nat Festival

Location: Various

Myanmar’s culture is rich with ancient traditions, and one of the most unique experiences you can have is attending a Nat festival. 

Procession of children novice monk in temple begin life

Nats are spirits revered in Burmese folklore, and these festivals are colorful and lively celebrations with traditional dances, music, and offerings to the spirits.

13. Visit the Hsinbyume Pagoda

Location: Mingun

The Hsinbyume Pagoda, also known as the “White Pagoda,” is a striking, all-white structure reminiscent of the mythical Mount Meru. 

Young woman traveler at Hsinbyume Pagoda (white pagoda) the famous destination in Myanmar

Its unique design and serene setting make it a hidden treasure in Mingun. Climb the terraces to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

14. Explore the Hidden Caves of Pindaya

Location: Pindaya

Pindaya is famous for its limestone caves, which are home to thousands of Buddha images of various sizes and styles.

Buddhas and stupa in Pindaya caves

These caves offer a mystical and serene atmosphere, making it a unique destination for spiritual and cultural exploration.

15. Discover the Lost City of Mohnyin

Location: Mohnyin

Mohnyin, also known as Mongmit, is an ancient city that was once a thriving trade hub. 

View from watch tower in Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya, Moniwa, Myanmar

Explore the ruins of this historical site, including the remnants of the city walls and a centuries-old teak monastery. It’s a place where history comes alive amidst tranquil surroundings.

16. Explore the Ghostly Ruins of Old Bagan

Location: Old Bagan

While most tourists flock to the well-preserved temples of Bagan, venture off the beaten path to explore the lesser-known and more ghostly ruins of Old Bagan. 

Dhammayan Gyi Pagoda, Old Bagan, Myanmar

These remnants of ancient structures provide a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for your exploration and photography.

17. Take a Dip in the Dee Dote Waterfall

Location: Near Mandalay

Escape the city heat and embark on a short trek to the Dee Dote Waterfall, nestled in the scenic hills near Mandalay. 

Natural background waterfall. travel nature. Travel relax waterfall.

The crystal-clear pools and lush surroundings offer a serene setting for a refreshing swim and a peaceful picnic.

18. Discover the Intriguing Kakapo Village

Location: Southern Chin State

Kakapo Village is home to the Mro tribe, known for their unique facial tattoos and traditional customs. 

 mountain forest

Visiting this remote and culturally rich village offers a rare opportunity to learn about Myanmar’s diverse ethnic groups and their fascinating traditions.

19. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Inle Lake

Location: Inle Lake

While hot air balloon rides are a popular activity in Bagan, experiencing one over Inle Lake is equally magical. 

Fishermen at sunrise in the Landscape on the Inle Lake in the Shan State in the east of Myanmar in Southeastasia

Float above the lake’s glistening waters, witnessing the unique lifestyle of the Intha people from a bird’s-eye view.

20. Participate in a Cooking Class

Location: Various

Immerse yourself in Myanmar’s culinary heritage by joining a cooking class. Learn to prepare traditional dishes like mohinga (noodle soup) or tea leaf salad, and gain insight into the country’s diverse and delicious cuisine.

Burmese snack

21. Observe the Naga New Year Festival

Location: Naga Self-Administered Zone

If your visit coincides with January, consider attending the Naga New Year Festival. 

Kyaiktiyo pagoda, Golden rock in Myanmar.

This vibrant event showcases the culture and traditions of the Naga people, including traditional dances, rituals, and colorful attire.

22. Trek to the Remote Villages of Hsipaw

Location: Hsipaw

Embark on a multi-day trekking adventure to the remote villages surrounding Hsipaw. This journey takes you through lush landscapes, rolling hills, and provides opportunities to interact with various ethnic communities, such as the Shan and Palaung people.

Beautiful Hsipaw Landscape after Sunset Shan State Myanmar

23. Explore the Hidden Pagodas of Pyay

Location: Pyay

Pyay is home to lesser-known pagodas and historical sites that are often overlooked by tourists. 

Golden stupas in Shwesandaw Pagoda

Discover hidden treasures like the Shwesandaw Pagoda and the Pyu Ancient City, both offering a glimpse into Myanmar’s ancient history.

24. Attend a Traditional Puppet Show

Location: Mandalay

Witness the artistry of traditional Burmese puppetry at a puppet show in Mandalay. 

Traditional handicraft puppets are sold in a market at Mandalay, Myanmar former Burma

These performances are a unique blend of culture, storytelling, and craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

25. Visit the Giant Buddha of Kyauk Kalap

Location: Hpa An

The Kyauk Kalap Pagoda features a massive statue of Buddha perched atop a precarious, towering rock formation. 

Beautiful Buddhist Kyauk Kalap Pagoda in Hpa-An, Myanmar.

The sight of this colossal statue against the backdrop of the surrounding landscape is both awe-inspiring and unusual.

26. Trek to the Lost World of Loikaw

Location: Loikaw

Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, is known for its untouched beauty and unique tribal cultures. 

Tourist young woman wearing hat enjoying stand in wood bridge on the mountains

Embark on treks through the scenic hills surrounding the town to visit remote villages inhabited by the Kayah people, renowned for their distinctive brass neck coils and traditional customs.

27. Witness the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival

Location: Inle Lake

If you visit Inle Lake in October, don’t miss the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival. This lively event features boat processions with golden Buddha images and traditional rowing competitions. It’s a vibrant celebration of Myanmar’s cultural heritage.

Shinbyu Ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. The Shinbyu or Novitiation ceremony is a unique feature of Myanmar

28. Explore the Kyaukme Tea Plantations

Location: Kyaukme

Myanmar is increasingly becoming known for its tea production. Kyaukme, in Shan State, is an excellent place to explore lush tea plantations, witness the tea-picking process, and sample some of Myanmar’s finest teas.

drying tea leaves in front of a hut in shan state, Kyaukme, Myanmar

29. Discover the Golden Cave Monastery

Location: Pindaya

The Shwe Oo Min Cave Monastery in Pindaya is an extraordinary place of worship. Inside the cave, you’ll find thousands of golden Buddha statues arranged in various formations. 

The restored stupas of Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda, Shan State, Myanmar

Exploring this cavernous religious site is both spiritually enlightening and visually captivating.

30. Attend the Ananda Temple Festival

Location: Bagan

The Ananda Temple Festival in Bagan is a colorful and festive occasion that attracts locals and visitors alike.

The Ananda Temple, located in Bagan, Myanmar. Is a Buddhist temple built in 1105 AD during the reign (1084 - 1113) of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty

Witness traditional dance performances, bustling markets, and a lively atmosphere surrounding this iconic temple.

31. Take a Sunset Stroll on U Bein Bridge

Location: Amarapura

U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teakwood bridge, is a popular destination for stunning sunsets. 

Silhouette fo people walking at U Bein Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar

Join the locals as they walk along the bridge, creating a serene and picturesque scene as the sun dips below the horizon.

32. Visit the Kyaikkhami Yele Pagoda

Location: Kyaikkhami

This unique pagoda sits offshore on a small island, making it accessible only during low tide. 

Shwemawdaw pagoda, Bago, Myanmar

Visit during low tide to walk across the causeway and explore the temple’s architecture and scenic coastal views.

33. Experience a Traditional Burmese Massage

Location: Various

Indulge in the relaxation and rejuvenation of a traditional Burmese massage. 

Burmese people praying outside the Botataung Pagoda

Local spas and wellness centers offer this unique and therapeutic experience, using techniques that have been passed down through generations.

34. Explore the Hidden Waterfalls of Shan State

Location: Shan State

Shan State is home to numerous hidden waterfalls that offer a refreshing escape from the heat. 

Decaying Stupas in Nyaung Shwe near Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar

Trek through lush forests to discover these pristine natural wonders, and take a dip in their cool, crystal-clear waters.

35. Witness the Fire Balloon Festival

Location: Taunggyi

If you’re visiting during the Tazaungdaing Festival in November, head to Taunggyi to witness the spectacular Fire Balloon Festival. 

Every morning at dawn, a dozen balloons, let's see, a bird's eye, a splendor of many ancient Buddhist temples of Bagan

Marvel at the creativity and craftsmanship of the hot air balloons, some of which are massive and intricately designed.Exploring these hidden and unusual attractions in Myanmar will provide you with a deeper understanding of the country’s culture, nature, and traditions. It’s a chance to create lasting memories and truly immerse yourself in the beauty of this captivating land.

Recent News

Other Info