5 unforgettable places in Burma

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When planning a trip to Burma (Myanmar) the precarious sight of Golden Rock, otherworldly Mount Popa or the dazzling Shwedagon Pagoda might spring to mind. But our Burma Unmasked tour, you guessed it, unmasks, some of the lesser-known experiences based on the the expert knowledge of our guides and tour leaders.

We’ve picked out five unforgettable places to visit in Burma (Myanmar):

1. Thanboddhay Pagoda

Thanboddhay Pagoda, Burma

When two giant white stone elephants guard the entrance, you know it must be something special… Step through the gates and catch your breath as you spot countless ornate golden spires uniformly rising before a golden stupa. All feels palatial inside with ceiling-height Buddhas draped in gold robes underneath glass chandeliers, each framed by intricate arches. Just when you start to think that extra-large is the standard size in these parts, spot row upon row of miniature Buddhas lining the walls up to the cavernous ceiling in the chamber.

2. A horse and cart ride in Ava

A horse and cart ride in Ava Burma (Myanmar)

Ancient city Ava (Inwa) was the imperial capital of Burma (Myanmar) four times between the 14th and 19th centuries; once for 360 years. It feels as though time has been standing still ever since as you climb aboard a canopied horse and cart and bump down the dusty road. Putter past rice fields, plantations, white pagodas and teak monasteries.

3. Po Win Taung

Cave paintings and bas-reliefs at Po Win Taung Burma (Myanmar)

Considered by archaeologists as the finest collection of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in Southeast Asia, each of the 947 caves at Po Win Taung are fascinating. Many contain murals that, although aged, have retained a deep red hue. Others have bas-reliefs of Buddhas sitting serenely and a few have reclining Buddhas that are up to 30 metres in length, propped up on the crooks of their elbows.

4. Inle Lake

The gilded boat at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, Inle Lake Burma (Myanmar)

See a different way of life on the vast expanse of Inle Lake; a 13.5 mile stretch of water lined with stilt villages. Wave at the Intha people live, potter around the floating gardens and spot countless traditional boats bobbing on the water. Join one of our October departures to see the unique floating Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival. A gilded barge carrying four Buddha images is transported from village to village, and lines of men energetically demonstrate the local leg rowing technique.

5. Shwe Ba Taung

A giant white elephant at Shwe Ba Taung Burma (Myanmar)
Sometimes referred to as Burma’s Petra, Shwe Ba Taung has a charm all of its own. The whole place feels vibrant with injections of colour. Statues are brightly painted – a woman stands out in an emerald green longyi and monks donned in red robes queue for alms – and a huge elephant’s trunk protects lilac arches.

If Burma’s (Myanmar) unforgettable places have got you reaching for your suitcase, our travel experts are on hand to help you plan and share insider tips, contact our friendly team today at [email protected] or or call +44 (0)117 370 9759

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