Myanmar is an exotic and compelling destination that features a wealth of cultural, sacred, spiritual and historic sites, as well as stunning natural landscapes and intriguing hill tribes. The country’s architecture is a wonderful blend of old-British colonial, amid ancient temples and a wide assortment of golden pagodas and stupendous stupas. Yangon, in the south of Myanmar, the nation’s biggest city and the capital until 2005, is home to the stunning splendor of the 334 feet high Shwedagon Paya. Also located in the south, is the odd spectacle of the precariously perched Golden Rock in Kyat Hi Oh (Kyaktiyo), one of the country’s most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Central Myanmar is home to the city of Bagan and its 4000 spiritual stupas on a site bigger than Angkor in Cambodia; hovering above them in a hot-air balloon to get a birds-eye view is highly recommended. . Also centrally located and one of the highlights of Myanmar is the vast natural wonder of Inle lake; take a boat-trip here to see fishermen rowing with their feet and some amazing floating gardens, where huge quantities of fruits and vegetables are grown. The countryside of Hpa Pa, consisting of rice fields surrounded by mountain and the colonial architecture of Mawlamyine, make this part of Myanmar a quiet and spiritual region. Located just outside of Mandalay city is the biggest teck-wood bridge in the world, the 1.5km long U-Bein bridge, that spans t across a lake from one village to another.
Embarking on a journey of discovery through the exotic cultural groups of Myanmar is hugely rewarding. . With more than 135 ethnic groups spread across the nation and influences from India, Thailand and China, the country is a beautiful melting-pot of smiling, friendly people who are proud of their country. One of the best ways to discover ethnic groups is by travelling on foot between Kalaw and Inle on a 3 day trek among chili fields, corn fields, stunning landscapes and ethnic villages.