If you’re anything like us, you’ll be spending a lot of time daydreaming about where to take your first post-covid trip. Months of restrictions have made us more excited than ever to jet off somewhere new. Myanmar could be your perfect destination. This southeast Asian country is unlike anywhere you’ve been before. Its landscapes are incredibly diverse: from beautiful beaches to majestic mountains, Myanmar is a country of contrasts. One practical reason why Myanmar is a great country to travel to is that you can get a visa online. You don’t need to go to an embassy in person, instead, you can fill out the Myanmar visa application form online and receive the permit by email.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the best places to visit in Myanmar after COVID-19. After spending so much time indoors during the pandemic, we can’t wait to explore.
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Take a Boat Trip on Inle Lake
Inle Lake deserves a place right at the top of your travel itinerary. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the views are incredible. Furthermore, the lake is home to many animal and plant species, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Inle Lake also provides an opportunity to interact with the locals and learn more about Burmese culture. There are 17 villages at the lake belonging to different ethnic groups. You will see people fishing on the river using the one-legged fishing technique the area is famous for.
Take a boat trip on the river and you can visit the houses which hover above the water on stilts. Visit the floating markets and learn about the art of lotus weaving, silver crafting, and more.
The area around the lake is great for hiking and trekking. Several companies offer trekking routes from Kalaw to Myanmar, which can take from one to four days. Inle Lake is the perfect place to start your trip to Myanmar, to appreciate nature, and get an insight into a culture different from your own.
Fly high over Bagan
If your budget can stretch to it, a hot-air balloon ride over Bagan is an incredible way to see the thousands of temples and pagodas. Hot-air balloon rides set off at sunrise, but it’s definitely worth the early start. Feel free as you float over trees and temples as the day begins in Myanmar.
The pilot will explain some history of Bagan and ballooning, and most trips include breakfast after returning to earth.
Explore Unique Markets
Myanmar’s markets are as varied as you’ll find anywhere. Whilst smaller than markets found in Bangkok and other southeast Asian destinations, nowhere else offers the array of goods you’ll find at Myanmar’s bazaars. Some of the markets you might want to visit during your time in Myanmar include the Jade Market in Mandalay where the stone is cut, crafted, bought, and sold. Even if you don’t buy anything, seeing the craftsmanship involved and the locals negotiating the best price makes it worth visiting.
Foodies will love Yangon street food market. This is the best way to try traditional Burmese dishes such as grilled meat, vegetable, and meat skewers, Mohinga (the unofficial national dish of Myanmar), and E Kya Kway, a churro-style deep-fried dough popular at breakfast time.
If you’re like us and have become tired of your own cooking during the pandemic, these flavors and dishes will provide a welcome change and jolt of culinary inspiration. You can explore the market on your own or take a guided tour if you want to learn more about Burmese food and cookery techniques.
Take Time out at the Beach
Let’s face it, it’s been a pretty stressful couple of years. We’re all craving real rest and relaxation, a chance to disconnect and regroup. Myanmar’s unspoiled beaches offer the chance to do just that. Relatively undiscovered compared to the beaches in neighboring Thailand, Myanmar’s coastline is special. The best beaches are dotted along the shores of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Ngapali beach boasts turquoise waters and white sand. You’ll have to fly in and out, but it’s just a 45-minute flight from Yangon and there are several flights every day. Head here for some of the most beautiful sunsets in Myanmar.
Ngwe Saung, a beach on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, is low-key and relaxed. This beach is the ideal place to unwind and gather strength before or after exploring the sights. If you are feeling energetic, however, you can have a go at scuba diving and snorkeling. Be sure to try the excellent seafood on offer, too.
See Shwedagon Pagoda at Sundown
The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. Located on Singuttara Hill in the center of Yangon, it dominates the skyline. The gold-plated pagoda is a national icon. Seeing Shwedagon illuminated at night is a humbling experience and a reminder of the importance of resilience. At over 2,500 years old, this ancient structure has survived natural disasters and military rule, yet still stands tall.
There are many other pagodas in Yangon including Maha Wizaya pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi pagoda, and Kabe Aye pagoda.
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