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.

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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.

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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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FAIR MARKETS IN HIGHLANDS

Ha Giang fair market is held once per week. There are some fairs organized on animal designation days or it is also called backward market. For instance, last week, the fair was held on Sunday, then next week it would be held on Monday as Lung Phin fair which is held on Tiger and Monkey day, XaPhin is held on Snake and Pig day,…

Exciting things in the fair market

Today, the fair is often organized on Saturday or Sunday from very early in the morning when the sun has not risen yet. Those people living on halfway on the mountain and far away hills up to “three knives thrown” go down to the market since the dew and gentle clouds are still sleeping by the mountain’s slope.

“Come as dated”, streams of people going down from the high mountains, from the valley to the market make the fair more crowded, busy and noisy than quiet usual days.

Highland fairs have had great influence on people’s thoughts and lifestyle here as well as other visitors coming to contemplate the beauty of highland fairs.

Each ethnic group brings its own character and beauty to the fair. Visit highland market, everyone will be immersed in colorful brocade, beautiful Nung, Dao, Mong, Lo Lo… girls in their traditional costumes which creates the fanciful, colorful and joyful atmosphere on this day.

Walking around the market and have some fun with highland fair makes us feel the real mystery beauty inside. No need to show it off but it still remains the humanistic and natural beauty.

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Local products sold and exchanged at the market are the crystallization of their diligent labor in highland where people have so many difficulties in life such as water and land shortages but they still move on and live happily with their passion. Moreover, those products also express their “life’s breath” culture of each ethnic group, for example, linen, brocade craves, food, musical instruments (Hmong pan-pipes) shops…

People coming to the market also have many different purposes: exchange, trade, meeting, love… All of those have forged the beauty of highland fairs. At any markets, we will see “thang co” pots are boiling and people drink wine, eat traditional dishes.

Everyone drinks to get drunk in love, in gratitude and in stories. Fair market is the place where people come to meet, share and pull string for each other. The girls will choose for themselves the most gorgeous dress to wear. Splendid dresses, graceful smiles, skillful and passionate pan-pipes sounds have connected many couples together.

They fall in love with each other since the first dance, first song and the first pan-pipe sound and they are just keeping dating to each other at fair markets which have become the nostalgia to people coming to market.

The diligence and love of Ha Giang women are expressed by actions, they go to the market, work hard to produce skillful and great products from silk and linen. On fair day, anywhere, we can meet faithful and gentle wives are holding umbrellas for their drunk husbands and lead the horse home.

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Besides exchanging products, local people also exchange the culture as well. Cultural galas, art propaganda guidelines and policies of the Party and State’s law are also taken place on the market day by agencies organized functional units in order to raise awareness of people; propagate cultural life and promote the nation’s cultural identity. The skits, repertoire and dance also reflect the lives, customs and traditions of the people of the highlands, the intangible culture, which attract many people to view and interact with and which haave become “a spiritual food” important, meaningful for the people.

Now, the lives of the people grows, markets are also many changes but the traditional beauty, the cultural identity of people forever endure and are still the unique traits of the regional highland markets Ha Giang.

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How to planning your Myanmar tour

The information of transport fee and the way to travel from place to place will be valuable for your Myanmar luxury travel and help you to get Yagon, Madalay or Inle Lake easily. One promising path that is chosen by many luxury travels is Yangon – Bagan – mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin and Inle Lake.

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Inle Lake – one of the most famous destinations in Myanmar

1. Booking airfares and bus tickets
Air tickets to Myanmar
The airlines usually launch sale off campaign to boost the luxury tours to Myanmar. To go to Yangon, visitors can book a cheap round-trip ticket or fly to Bangkok and then buy a domestic ticket.

Internal bus ticket
Visitors can book ticket online from Seven Diamond Express Company for their trips via email. They can choose to go to the office to get the tickets directly, or wait until going to the airport and use the delivery service offering by the company. There is price list of some trips offered by Seven Diamond:
Yangon – Bagan (Ye’ Thu Aung Bus): 20.000 Kyats (around 19 USD)
Bagan – Mandalay (Myat Mandalar): 9.500 Kyats (9 USD)
Mandalay (Myat mandalar) – Heho: 12.000 Kyats (11 USD)
Heho (Shwe Nyaung) – Yangon (Yan Kyee Aung): 25.000 Kyats (24 USD)
They also offer delivery service to the airport with the cost of 10.000 Kyats (10 USD)
Some visitors can buy the bus ticket from Mandalay to Pyin Oo in the reception in their hotels to visit Pyin Oo Highland (it costs 8.600 Kyats or 8 USD for the air-condition bus).

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Intercity buses in Myanmar are quite modern and comfortable

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2. Making plans and suitable schedule
Together with above trips, there are many attractive destinations for tourists to advance Myanmar. Each region has its own features and famous sightseeing: Swedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangon; Atumashi Wooden monastery and Mandalay Hill in Mandalay and the new capital Naypyidaw. Each place takes 2 days to tourists to visit and relax, so they should pay seven to ten days for a luxury travel if don’t want to miss anything.

3. Foreign currency
Tourist can exchange USD (the money should be new and have no curling at the corner) to Myanmar currency (Kyat) in the foreign currency exchange counters in the airports. The rate is updated each 10 minutes so 100 USD can exchange to from 88.400 to 90.000 Kyats. The money is quite thick and big, printed densely with colorful patterns and local numbers. Although the value is high, the denomination is small. Therefore, the value of the unit can be calculated by the thickness of the pile of money.

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Visitors can find the currency exchange counters in Myanmar airport

Since 1990 until now, Myanmar circulates a lot of money with different denominations from 1 Kyat to 10.000 Kyats (issued in 2012). In daily activities, the money with lower denomination than 100 Kyats is hardly used and the one with higher denomination than 1000 Kyats is paid for luxury products in shopping malls.

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