Top 5 reasons to travel to key cities
(1) A thousand years old architectural wonders
On the dusty banks of the Irrawaddy River, Bagan ,founded in 849 AD, sprawls across central Myanmar and is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in all of Asia. The plains of Bagan are home to around 2200 pagodas of different shapes and sizes. In its heyday, in the 13th century, there were over 4000 temples, stupas and pagodas, many of which were covered in gold giving visitors of the day a not-so subtle clue as to the kingdom’s wealth and power. Today’s visitor can only imagine what it would have been like in the 13th century but enough temples remain to provide an amazing spectacle, even today. Bagan is one of the highlights of a visit to Myanmar and most memorable for its tranquillity and the sheer scale of it all. Bagan is a truly amazing place and we would recommend a stay of at least two days to adequately take in the main sites.
(2)Beautiful & hi-quality hand crafted lacquer wares
The craftsmanship of Laqureware traces back to 1st century AD by way of Nan Cho empire (modern yunan)and is believed to have been carried to bagan during King Anawrahta’s conquest of Thaton in 1057. The workshops of lacquer in Bagan produce many different styles of bowls, plates, utensils and many other combinations with paintings. The hi-quality lacquer wares were the fine combination of Lacquer glues, bamboos and horse hairs and, they have great flexibility.
(3)The most beautiful sunset & sunrise
There is a chance to witness the best and most beautiful sunset and sunrise in Myanmar from one of the pagoda top.
(4)A small town of two thousand pagodas
Dispersedly populated area with not more than 50000 inhabitants, the scale of Bagan is vast and it can be compared to Angkor, in Cambodia, in terms of size and archaeological significance. The site contains more than 2,200 temples, pagodas & stupas most of which are in reasonable condition. All of these monuments are packed into an area of about 25 square miles – the extent of classical Bagan. In its heyday Bagan was home to over 4000 monuments and you will see the ruins of those that didn’t survive as you tour the area.
(5) Monotonous pace of the town
Another distinct factor for visitors in Bagan is that the pace that moved the city is leisurely slow and forming the laid back atmosphere. No one in Bagan is rushing unless deadly important.
(1) The wall and the moat of the last King’s residing palace
Mandalay city is centred around the Royal Palace, and has wide lanes filled with bicycles and motorcycles. Royal palace is fenced with the walls about 9m high on four sides and the moat with the clean water which runs 2 Km on each side and a perfect square. Famous as the last two Kings of Myanmar residing palace.
(2)Centre of religion
Since Mandalay offers different level of Buddhist education to the monks, half of the country's monks reside in Mandalay and surrounding areas and for that reason it is regarded as centre of religion. Every morning it is very hard to escape the peaceful scene of the monks who are walking barefoot for their daily alms rounds in red robes and a black bowl cradle in their arms. Mandalay is home to many giant monasteries and monastic population is more than 30000.
(3)Wonderful sights and ‘Road To Mandalay’ poem by Rudyard Kipling
Thanks to Rudyard Kipling who evoke the splendours of Mandalay in his classical poem ‘On the road to Mandalay’; the spell of Mandalay is incomplete if someone is staying here only for one day. There are a lot of options around. First you may want to explore the city and see great sights like Golden palace monastery which was part of the real king’s palace, and the world’s biggest book engraved in marble, Mahamuni temple which contains holiest Buddha image and spectacular view from Mandalay hill. When you need an escape from the hectic city, the boat trip to Mingun is an ideal where you will see the largest un-cracked bell and unfinished pagoda along with a beautiful village.
(4)Centre of trade and Choices of Eatery
Mandalay, both due to its history as a former capital of Myanmar, and its position as a major trading centre between Myanmar and it's neighbours in China, India and Bangladesh has a notable array of specialties both from various regions within Myanmar as well as from other countries. Most of the visitors might feel that the flow of trade is rather heavy here between the countries.
Cuisine from the Shan State (usually including fermented pastes, vegetables, and meats) is popular in Mandalay which has a notable Shan minority. Muslim Chinese noodles, pronounced pan-THEI-kao-sweh (flat thin noodles mixed with an array of spices, chili, and chicken), are also famous in Mandalay and the surrounding hills. Regardless of where you eat, try and leave space for Htou moun(to-moh), a traditional Burmese dessert sold only in Mandalay. Beware, it contains a lot of oil and is extremely sweet.
(5) Centre of Culture
Mandalay is also regarded as centre of culture because there is a school for fine arts and many Myanmar dying arts are still in practice. Something like schools of Myanmar harp playing, marionettes dancing are only seen in Mandalay.
Inle Lake region
(1) The life of leg rowers and workmanships on the lake and surroundings
The shallow waters of Inle Lake stretch for 35 kilometres, ringed by rolling hills and shores dotted with small fishing villages. The Intha (people on the lake) actually live on the lake, building their houses on stilts and travelling across the lake using their bizarre style of leg rowing. Enterprising locals bind together water hyacinth to cultivate floating gardens that drift around the waters.
The best way to explore is by boat: in a day trip you can visit the various cottage industries, such as silk weaving, cheroot rolling, blacksmiths and silversmiths, and see the floating market that moves between the area’s villages on a five-day rota as well as famous Paung daw Oo pagoda.
(3)Famous trekking routes around
The wonderful rolling countryside between Kalaw (a British hill station in Shan state) and the picturesque Inle Lake shelters some of Asia’s most unspoilt minority villages, including Palaung, Pa-O, Taungthu and Danu communities. Well off the beaten track and far from any road, the best way to explore is by trekking, spending nights in monasteries along the way. There are several routes available and the most challenging takes you from your starting point of Tha Yat Pu village near Kalaw to the crumbling temple complex of Indein, overlooking the shores of Inle Lake.These simple overnight stays in local monasteries are fantastic, authentic experiences, giving you a rare insight into a time-honoured way of life.
(4)Different ethnics with different kind of civilization
There are many villages untouched by the western civilization around Inle lake . Mainly Shan people, but also Inthar minority villages, including Palaung, Pa-O, Taungthu and Danu are found in this region. Most of them they still cling to their traditions that are handed down from father to son. It will be unfair to say that those tribes are not civilized but it is of another kind and better come and see for yourself.
(5) The special crafts on the lakes such as lotus fibred clothes and silver wares
People living on the lake are far from undistinguished in terms of local craftsmanship and their quality. Fibres of thousands of lotus stems can form lotus clothes there and delicate silver ware craft and many other lovely handicraft places where cheroot cigars were rolled by hand and fiery tools were forged on an anvil, in a blacksmith village.