Experience 10 wonderful things in Mandalay, Myanmar (part 1)

Mandalay in Myanmar is the place which contains the both attractive and mysterious beauty will become much closer ever through the camera lens of famous blogger, Philipp

Below is 10 interesting experiences you should not miss when traveling to Myanmar, especially Mandalay as Philipp’s suggestion:

Rent a bike and discover the city as your own preference


Bike is the popular means of transport in Mandalay with cheap price. Before renting, you need to ensure that your bike is still in good condition, so that you can feel at rest that it will not breakdown on street. There are many interesting places in Mandalay you can visit by bike easily as the traffic system in the city is quite favorable and wide. More importantly, while you move by bike, you will realize that there are lots of interesting things that are sometimes worthier than visiting any famous place

Visit a gold foil workshop



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What people are often impressed when traveling to Myanmar may be gold because gold is not only used for decoration on Buddha statues, outside the pagoda but also gilded on the ceiling or furniture in many wealthy families. Moreover, Myanmar people seldom send money into the bank, instead, they often buy gold to worship for the pagoda. That is the reason why many gold foil workshops develop quickly

King Galon is one of the most famous and long-standing gold foil workshops in Mandalay. When visiting there, you will observe the way to make gold foil. People in King Galon are friendly and enthusiastic so maybe you are allowed to try the hammer ram on the gold pack. This is a tough job but it is worthy

Visit stone sculpture workshops


Mandalay is the city owning many handicraft workshops, in which the stone sculpture is more remarkable. You can visit Sagaing area to see the stone sculpture workshops. The area seems to be covered by the smooth dirt from marbles. On the streets, you will see the skilful workers polishing their sculptures. One surprise is that you will see that they do not use any draft samples

Visit Maha Muni pagoda


Maha Muni is the most sacred pagoda in Mandalay. It ranks the second after Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon on the fame. The pagoda is very beautiful and large with quite a lot doors and corridors to the main area. You will be impressed by the gilded Buddha statue of 4 meters in height inside the pagoda. The special thing is that only men are allowed to come into while women only see it from the outside. Going inside and you will feel the holy atmosphere as well as the worshipping of local people with their belief

Relax at Shwenandaw monastery


After riding a bike and walking around the areas in Mandalay, it is time to take a break and Shwenandaw is the ideal place. It is a famous monastery built by tek wood. It is so exciting to sit to relax and sightsee the complex sculptures of the monastery

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Chicken fortune telling for marriage in Myanmar

Traveling to Myanmar to discover the chicken fortune telling for marriage of Myanmar people. When visiting Ko-e ethnic group in Myanmar, tourists will see a special costume that is they often observe chicken to tell marriage future.

Previously, if it is not good, the marriage will be failed. Nowadays, most of marriages will be decided by parents of two sides. If the parents of the woman agree, they will hold the wedding for her.


At first, the groom’s family will ask the village head and the matchmaker to come to the bride’s family for marriage agreement, the wedding will be held in the very early morning when people are still sleeping. They do that because if the marriage will not succeed, it will not affect the relationship of two families

In the morning, the wedding will watch the chicken bone one more time to tell the fortune and luck of the groom and bride. The result of chicken fortune telling is often like what they do when asking for engagement

When the wedding is held, the groom and bride will eat in one table. After the wedding, the bride will be taken to the groom’s house by friends. At the groom’s house, the bride and her friends will pretend to grind rice and then, the bride pretend to carry water to pour into the big jar. The groom will do the same. Before that, the groom will symbolically work at the bride’s house. In that day, after the bride cook rice alcohol, she will sleep at the groom’s house and then come back home in the next day


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When traveling to Myanmar, tourists will see one more special thing of locals, which is Ko-e ethnic group will make wedding without making love because after getting married, they have to live away from each other from 15 days to one month. In the morning, they will come to the partner’s house to work and come back home in the morning to rest. If the husband wants to come to the wife’s house, he has to sneak in the midnight. After 15 days to one month, they will officially live in one roof

This ethnic group also has the custom of re-getting married. The first time is when they are young and the second time is when they have the 3rd – 4th child or 5th – 6th child

However, they seriously perform the policy of one spouse. If the wife has affair with other man, she will be look down or even killed. That man at least must compensate the husband and the wife must kill a cow to do penance in front of all villagers. What a strange and unique custom!

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Top things to do in Myanmar

Being different from Thailand and Cambodia, Myanmar does not have cheap tours, recreated facilities or modern services. But it is an interesting destination to ones who prefer adventure tours because of the wild and original look. And there are some suggestions for Myanmar tour package to discover the Buddhist country.

In Yangon


Yangon streets are noisy and they are curious visitors by English architectural houses. On the street, right-hand drive cars go on the right lines and even the traffic is sometimes noisy, the appearance of police is rarely. The city is peaceful and friendly, especially in the early morning, when everything is covered by a thick coat of fog. Most of the stores and offices open at 9 a.m so before that, streets are so quite that visitors can hear songs of birds. Drink a cup of coffee on Sky Bistro Building – one of the highest buildings in the city, visitors can capture Yangon view with small houses and big golden pagodas. Myanmar has thousands of pagodas and most of them were built in 6th century. 90% of the population in Myanmar is Buddhists.

A very famous pagoda that visitors choose to travel during Myanmar tour package is Shwedagon Pagoda– the symbol of Yangon. It stores clothe, stick and hairpieces of Buddha, and 3 series of Tripitaka. Was built in 6th century and after undergoing many changes, Shwedagon was recognized as the biggest pagoda of Myanmar in 15th century. During the six centuries, the pagoda is covered and decorated with the total weight of 80 tons of gold.

In Bagan City


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It is 600 km from Bagan to Yangon and visitors can go there by high-quality bus. Although the stations are small and they serve hundreds of buses at one time, the quality of services is higher than that in some developing countries. The weather in Bagan is quite variable: in the morning the temperature is about 17°C but can rise to 36°C at midday. In history, Bagan had more than 4000 temples and pagodas but nowadays it conserves 3000; many of them are Myanmar cultural heritages.

In Bagan, visitors should visit Shwezigon – the first golden and also the most sacred pagoda in Bagan, and Ananda Pagoda – the most beautiful one. In the pagodas stand gigantic Buddha statues coated with gold. Hiring a bike or having a seat on horse cart to travel around the relics would be interesting memories to visitors.

A trip to Bagan will not be perfect if missing the moments of watching the sunset at the top of Pyat That Gyl Temple. A ticket to go there costs 15 USD and visitors should prepare camera to capture the unique view.

In Shan State


Locates at the center of Myanmar, Inle Lake is a famous destination in Shan State. It costs 10 USD for ticket to visit the second largest fresh water lake in Myanmar. The environment in Inle is very clean. Visitors can stay on boat to enjoy fresh atmosphere, watch local people catching fish and visit organic floating farm. Around the lake are traditional craft villages, where produce valuable cloths made of lotus and organic cigars made of natural herbs and trees.

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Thanakha – Secret for beautifying skin of Myanmar

If traveling to Myanmar, even once, you definitely see the images of the girls with the white lines as mud or paint on their faces in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw…. Even if you have never been to Myanmar, you can easily catch the special faces like that when searching for the information about this country of golden pagodas. Maybe at that time, you will wonder yourself: what is that? Or how does it work?

As far as we know, similar to other Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has hot climate around the year. Thus, their skin becomes dark brown. However, their skin are always strong, smooth and has far less spots. What is the secret to help Myanmar women beautify their skin without using much cosmetics? It is thanks to Thanakha powder – a unique cosmetic powder of Myanmar. The white lines on Burmese girls’ faces in the pictures or on the streets you see are from the Thanakha powder

Origin of Thanakha powder

Thanakha powder has been used from 14th century by Myanmar people. It was created from Thanankha wood in Myanmar. This wood is considered as typical feature of Myanmar and planted in many places nationwide.

When making Thanakha powder, they will cut the wood into pieces and whet with a rock absorbing water. The white powder will be used to put on the face


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Myanmar people use this powder for cheeks and noses. Besides, Thanakha is put on neck and ears. Almost parts of skin exposing to the sunlight will be covered with this powder. Additionally, they can use the powder to draw diverse and eye catchy patterns on children’ faces

Value of Thanakha powder

Thanakha has been used for over 2000 years by Burmese people. Its powder was used every day and known as an effective and economical cosmetic product. It can cool the face skin and remove the skin blemishes such as freckles, blackheads, acnes and rashes. Moreover, Thanakha is believed to increase Collagen Elastin production to protect skin from being anti-aging and dry. Natural Thanakha contains no chemicals and oil mixture that are used in traditional cosmetic products so it causes no allergy and side effects. Additionally, the powder is favored by its comfortable aroma as the santal wood aroma


Thanakha’s meaning to Myanmar people

Not only does Thanakha be a cosmetic product but also it has important meaning to Myanmar people. To Myanmar, applying Thanakha powder on their faces will help them to avoid evils and bad lucks. It is said that the powder will bring lucks to those who use it

Applying Thanakha powder on the face is both skin beauty secret and distinctive cultural tradition of Burmese people. If traveling to Myanmar, you should try applying a little Thanakha powder on your faces to feel the cooling sense.

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Travel the ancient village in Myanmar

Although Mingun is not the most famous place for tourism in Myanmar, it was listed together with Inwa Village, Sagaing Village as hundred year old villages in the urban of the ancient capital Mandalay. One day visit the nearby river village will bring visitors many unforgettable feeling and impression for their travelling in Burma.

Visitors should start from Mandalay harbor, go downstream along Ayeyarwedy – a 2.170 meter length river, which goes along the lengthwise of Myanmar and go to Mingun village. The journey attracts people at the very first sight of both familiar and strange landscapes along the banks of the river. Visitors may feel familiar to the very normal daily activities of the residents on the river. But in the immaculate sunlight of the dawn, everything exudes a fresh and pure appearance as if they are looked though a magic lens.


Relic of Mingun pagoda

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Being separated by a river, the two banks of Ayeyarwedy River have very different looks. While the Westside stays near the developed center of Mandalay and visitors can easily recognize high woody buildings surrounded by green gardens, the Eastside has the look of a desert with shining yellow sandbanks and small thatched houses. However, in both sides, the life of local people happens slow and static.

The canoe move expressly on the surface of the river and bring visitors to the port of the village. In front of the village stands a hundred-year-old Iapan tree with resplendent red flowers as guarding god of the village. The wind of tourism blows to the river with the appearance of some small stalls selling hand-made pictures and souvenirs. But luckily, the villagers still keep their rustic and simple souls. There is no place for soliciting or disputing visitors for buying souvenirs, so tourism activities are similar to other work such as fishing and on field working.

The first destination should be the undone relic of Mingun pagoda – a very ambitious construction of Bodawpaya King. The gigantic pagoda was started in 1790 and at first, it was planned to be 150 meter height. But after that, the building of Mingun pagoda was stop because of a prophecy: the King would die after the pagoda was built. Even being undone, the standing of the relic look like a small hill is enough to makes visitors contemplate and admire.


Hsinbyume Pagoda

Before travelling to Burma, visitors can see the image of Hsinbyume Pagoda in the guidebook of the country. But they will have very strong impression while looking at the pagoda in real life. Was named after Queen Hsinbyuma, the pagoda was built by King Bagyidaw in 1816 as tribute to his wife. The architecture of the pagoda was simulated the magic mountain Meru – a mountain was believed to be the center of the universe with seven white winding banisters represent seven surrounding mountains.

Visitors can climb to the highest floor to enjoy the moments of silence and watch the panoramic view of Mingun Village and Ayeyarwady River. The river is friendly and rustic. On the bank, the Iapan tree leans to mirror in the water. And away from the village, woody boats with blue sails seem to standing still on the blue river on the horizon.

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10 Interesting Facts about Myanmar

10 Interesting Facts about Myanmar

Myanmar recently is one of the most attractive destinations in Asia. Let find out some interesting facts about this land of golden pagodas.

  1. Burmese New Year is in April
    Thingyan, Water Festival
    Thingyan, Water Festival

    Thingyan or Water Festival is the New Year’s celebration which occurs in April every year. It normally last for 3 days. All shops and restaurants are closed during the festival. People will splash the water on each other because they believe that water will wash of the sins and bad luck of the previous year.

  2. No motorbike in Yangon
    Bagan streets
    Bagan streets

    You will rarely see any motorbike in the downtown Yangon. This is because the government banned this mean of transport since 2003.  Burmese people drive personal cars or use public transport instead.

  3. Breathtaking beaches
    Ngapali Beach
    Ngapali Beach

    Myanmar has more than 2,000 km of coastline and one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The beaches stretch on Bengal Bay and most of them are still pristine. Among them, the most famous beach is Ngapali which is 45 minutes flight from Yangon.

  4. Keep your Bills clean
    Worthless bill in Myanmar
    Worthless bill in Myanmar

    There is a plenty of ATMs in Burma but few of them accept foreign cards. You had better bring enough money and keep your bills very clean, no stain, not many creases and absolutely no torn or ripped money paper. Otherwise, the Burmese sellers and moneychangers will refuse your money because in their perception, those cash are worthless.

    Besides the Kyat – local currency, US dollar is widely accepted in Burma.

  5. Kissing sound to call waiters
    Myanmar coffee shop
    Myanmar coffee shop

    To attract attention of the waiter, Burmese make a kissing sound, usually two or three short kisses. Hence, do not surprise when you hear many of that sound in the Myanmar streets.

  6. National costume
    National Costume
    National Costume

    Longyi is the national costume in Myanmar. It is a wraparound skirt that is worn by both men and women. Burmese men will make a tight knot in front while women fold the cloth over and secure it at the side. Wearing Longyi is also viewed as the way to deal with 40oC temperature.

  7. Use right hand
    Use right hand
    Use right hand

    Eating with left hand is considered as a rude action in Myanmar as left hand is only for personal hygiene. Thus, when handling food or giving money to somebody, you should use your right hand.

  8. Chewing betel nut
    Chewing betel nut
    Chewing betel nut

    Chewing betel nut is a daily habit of every Burmese. People sell betel stalls everywhere in the streets. A small betel nut combines with palm-sized green leave, spices and maybe a pinch of tobacco. They constantly chew betel in order to stain the teeth into dark red color.

  9. Thanaka face make up

    Thanaka is the distinctive face cosmetic paste made from the ground bark and grinding water. Burmese believe that Thanaka is similar with sunblock, it is also anti-aging and acne prevention.

  10. Land of minerals
    Myanmar jems
    Myanmar jems

    Myanmar is rich of minerals, including base metasl (iron, copper, zinc, tin, gold and silver), energy source (coal) to gems (sapphires, rubies, jade, etc.). 90% of the world’s rubies came from Myanmar in the past.

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Top three pagodas muss seen in Myanmar

Once talking to exclusive Myanmar holiday, every people may think about the golden pagodas with different architectures.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is one of the most beautiful wonders in the world. It is called land of Buddhism. On Sagaings hill on the bank of Irrawddy River, there are many pagodas and monasteries, which are living place of more than 5000 nuns and monks. In the morning, visitors may see the monks bringing small bowls and walking around for food donation. Almost of the local people stay in pagoda for at least a few months, and many families have to save money to prepare for their sons or daughters to live there. In Myanmar, there is a worship day names Shin-pyu, in which young people will be accepted to live in pagoda after taking some rituals.

There are some pagodas in Bagan that visitors can travel in exclusive Myanmar holiday.

Golden Rock (Mon State)


Locates about 200 km from Yangon, Golden Rock stays about 1.100 meters above the sea level. It belongs to a small pagoda names Kyaiktyo. Golden Rock is well known among visitors because of its wanderous position and special appearance.

Kyaiktyo Pagoda lies at the top of the rock and if visitors want to visit the pagoda, they have to pass over the rock. The surface of the rock is covered by gold and there is an unspoken rule among Myanmar people that only men can stand near the rock.

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Shwedagon Pagoda


Shwedagon Pagoda locates in the city of Yangon. It is the most famous and respectful place in Myanmar. It is the place preserve 4 treasures of Buddha includes Kakusandha Buddha stick, a piece cloth of Kassapa Buddha, a treasure to make pure water of Koṇāgamana Buddha and 8 hairpieces of Shakyamuni Buddha. All of the treasures are kept in the main temple – a temple has 99 meter height. The temple locates at the top of Singuttara Hill, where visitors can capture the whole Yangon.

From the foothill, there are four ways lead to Shwedagon Pagoda and each way is guarded by a couple statues of stone lions. On the east and south roads lie many stores selling worshipping objects and spiritual practice tools.

Shwezigon Pagoda


Shwezigon is the second largest pagoda in Myanmar. It stays in Bagan – the ancient capital. Was built in 12th century, the pagoda has a magnificent design. The pagoda is covered by very thin slices of gold; and under the sunlight, visitors can see the pagoda shining. Even in normal days, the pagoda is still noisy with local Buddhists.

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Shwedagon Pagoda – Golden Icon of Myanmar

It was a belief among Myanmar people that Shwedagon – a pagoda was built more than 2.500 years ago, keeps inside 8 hairpieces of Buddha. It is the largest and one of the most respectful pagodas in Myanmar. Shwedagon is a complex of small pagodas and temples, and visitors from bespoke Myanmar tours are always amused by a 99 meter height temple. Almost of the pagodas are coated with gold and decorated with hundreds gems and to many bespoke Myanmar tours, Shwedagon is usually the first destination.


Locates near the center of Yangon, Shwedagon is one of the most worshipful places in Myanmar. Eve in weekdays, it is still crowded with Buddhists.

Stays at the peak of Singuttara Hill, Shwedagon is both spacious and majesty. In four directions lie the steps lead into the pagoda. The north gate of the pagoda has a couple statues of lions, which have the height of 9 meters, look to the direction of the city center.

Visitors have to pay 5 USD for ticket to get into Shwedagon. The golden pagoda is the most well-known pagoda in Myanmar and it is also famous worldwide thanks to its religious design. Every people has to leave his shoes outside and walks barefoot to visit the pagoda. The moment of sunset is also the noisiest period of the place, when local people finish their work and go there to pray. No one knows exactly when Shwedagon was built; even oldest persons heard stories about the existence of the thousand-year-old place from their parents. According to some archaeologists, Shwedagon was built 2.500 years ago.


Both of the main temple and surrounding pagodas are covered by thin slices of gold. At the top of the main temple hang thousands of golden and silver bells.

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The complex of golden pagoda includes 1.000 temples and smaller pagodas surrounding the 99-meter-height temple. Among them, there are 72 pagodas made of stone. The others are covered by gold. They worship Buddha and place Buddha statues in the most respectful places. In the sunrise and sunset, visitors can see the roofs of the pagodas shining.

The more visitors are attracted by the appearance of the golden complex, the more they are overwhelmed by architecture inside the pagodas and the main temple. Almost of the furniture is carved by sophisticated craftsmen and they are covered with 8.690 slices of gold. And all visitors will be amused to know that the pagoda is decorated with 5.450 diamonds in all sizes and 2.320 gems! Moreover, the main temple is coated by 9.300 golden slices with total weight of 500 kg.

As recommended from bespoken Myanmar tours, the most suitable time to visit the unique pagoda is sunset. All visitors should wear long pants and long shirts because it is a requirement of the Buddhism country.

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What will you do if you have a 7-day luxury Myanmar trip?

It is suggested that you should visit Inle Lake, Bagan ancient capital and Golden Rock Mountain and spend 2 days on each to discover all the special things for a luxury Myanmar trip.

Bagan ancient capita: 2 days


Bagan still has more than 2000 pagodas and temples on the area of 42 km2. You should rent a carriage or a bike to visit around Bagan all day without any rush. You can enjoy the mysterious dawn and sunset on the balloon. The streets on Bagan is very clean with the two parallel lines of green trees. Local people are friendly, simple and hospitable.

Far from Bagan about 45 minutes by car is Taung Kalat Temple located on the top of Popa volcano is the spiritual house of Myanmar people. It is believed that the volcano is the home to the supreme Nat deity, relating to the Olympus Mountain. With the peaceful and relaxing feelings, trying to live as slow as possible is what Bagan will bring to you in 2-day luxury Myanmar trip.

Inle Lake: 2 days


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Different from the overwhelmed and admirable feelings when standing in front of the Bagan ancient temple, Inle Lake will make you feel tiny among the immense lake sparkling the rays of sunlight.

It is typical to row a boat by foot in Inle Lake. Not only do you feel very relaxed in here when sitting in a boat through villages along the bank of the lake, local children with Thanakan lines waving their hands enthusiastically but also remember the moment of from waiting for the sunset to the sunlight hidden behind the mountain range when you sit silently on the boat bobing on the waves. Then, all left is the quiet and peaceful lake area.

Golden Rock Mountain: 2 days


In Golden Rock, there is a Kyaiktiyo pagoda on the mountain, 1.100m above sea level. This sacred rock has a cliffy position on another rock (only 78 cm2 of surface exposes with that rock). Although the golden surface right near the mountain edge is on the falling at any time, it turns out to stand firmly through many years.

There is 7.3-meter church tower on the top. Many people strongly said that thanks to a hair-made “sarira” (seven colors head shrine) of Buddha, the rock can exist in 2000 years

If having a luxury Myanmar trip, you should spend one night staying there to listen to the tinkle of wind bell and chanting sound in murmurs to make your soul feel restful and the extremely close link between the present and the past.

Yangon capital: 1 day

You should spend one day in Yangon capital paying a visit to Shwsdagon pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San market and Sule pagoda. Buit in more than 2.500 years, Shwedagon has been known as the place keeping 8 hair strands of Buddha. The main tower of the pagoda is 98m high and covered by 30 tons of gold and hundreds of diamonds

Not only does Bogyoke jewelry market sell jewelries but almost the handicraft products of Myanmar with the price ranging from hundreds to ten thousands kyat.

Sule pagoda has the unique feature of Mon group’s architecture with the octagonal shape to the top. Around the pagoda, there are 10 bronze bells with years and the name of prayers carved on. 4 presbyteries have lots of banana and coconut. On the floor is the large marble foot prints known as the Buddha feet are decorated with golden leaves. It also keeps a hair strand the Buddha gave to two Myanmar business brothers as a lagend.

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Top 10 Myanmar travel destinations

Myanmar is a holy land of Buddha with golden pagodas, monks in red and ancient monasteries. Additionally, many beautiful landscapes in Myanmar is the key to keep the tourists.

We are honored to introduce top 10 Myanmar travel destinations you must know when having a Burma luxury travel


  • Shwedagon pagoda (Yangon)


It is the golden symbol of Myanmar with 2.500 years old. The top of the golden tower is 98 meters in height with many smaller towers around. Through wars and disasters, Shwedagon is still the pagoda of the first magnitude in the world



  • Golden Rock (Mon State)


Far from Yangon about 200km, the rock located on 1.100 in height with the small pagoda Kyaiktyo creates a unique complex. Golden Rock is famous for its tottery level and golden surface.

If you want to go to Kyaiktyo on the top, you surely walk through this golden rock.



  • Shwezigon pagoda (Bagan)


Located in Bagan (the ancient capital of Pagan kingdom, there is gather of small and medium sized temples), Shwezigon is the second largest golden pagoda in Myanmar. It was built in 12th century. Its structure is as sparkling as Shwedagon does.



  • Shwesandaw (Bagan)


If you are in Bagan, come to visit Shwesandaw in the sunset to enjoy the scene of the sun that is down. Standing from the pagoda, you can view all legendary Bagan. With thousands of temples and towers.




  • Ananda temple


Also located in Bagan, Ananda was built in the 11th – 12th century. This is the eloquent evidence for a resplendent time of Bagan capital and the unique architect of Bagan kindom


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  • Mahamuni (Mandalay)


Mandalay is the ancient capital of Myanmar, where there are many pagodas, temples and the great number of monks. Mahamuni temple that is the golden symbol of Mandalay was built in 18th century



  • Inhwa village (Mandalay)


Inhwa is a beautiful village on Ayeyarwady river bank. This ancient village is the famous travel destination with valuable relics such as Bagaya Kyaung monastery built by 267 giant wood poles. Remarkably, the lifestyle or living way as the customs and habits in hundreds of years is also a unique feature to attract tourists.



  • Mingun village (Madalay)


Mingun has lots of historical relics and landscapes, in which, the most remarkable things are Mingun bell and a pair of Chinthe statues, considered as the valuables. Chinthe (half lemon and half dragon) is a giant couple of statues.



  • Ubein bridge (Mandalay)


Ubein bridge in ancient Amarapura village is the world’s longest wood-made bridge (1.2km). Nearly 2000-year-old bridge across the river is the way to home of the villagers in Amarapura. The sunset scene on Ubein bridge is so strongly impressive and bright that all tourists will remember forever.



  • Inle Lake (Shan)


With 11km in width, 22km in length from the north to the south, when floating in the lake, you will experience different emotions.


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