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Myanmar has its fair share of UNESCO World Heritage sites, gold-tipped pagodas and breathtaking sunsets. You’ll fall in love with the grandmothers who sell you noodles, the colorful villages, and the generous hospitality. Here are 20 Instagram photos that will make you yearn for Myanmar.
Bagan is the ultimate place to explore ancient temples. The archaeological zone is a great place to watch sunset or sunrise, barefoot, in pure serenity. There’s nothing quite like it.
In Bagan, one of the most famed temples (that didn’t collapse in the 2016 earthquake, but is being restored) is Dhammayangyi, pictured here. The arches are perfect for framing photos like this one, but this temple has nooks and crannies to get lost in.
Yangon’s apartments are so colorful that when placed next to each other, are quite a sight to behold. There are balconies with ladies hanging up laundry to dry, you can peek into kitchens and see people cooking, there are old men sitting on stools chewing betelnut. Romantic, dirty, historical … everything you’d imagine Yangon to be.
One of the most poetic sights in Myanmar is observing maroon-robed monks walking barefoot through a monastery or pagoda. Here is a snapshot of Atumashi Monastery in Mandalay. In both Mandalay and Yangon, you can find meditation retreats.
A little peek of a pagoda from behind flowers. Perspective is important. You might see many pagodas in Myanmar, but each one has a story and a reason for its importance to a particular city or state.
If you dare, try some street food. Here is a snap of a mother and her child in Bagan selling various types of meat on sticks and some rice-based desserts. They’ll greet visitors with their thanaka-covered faces and big smiles.
This temple in Mingun is painted white and is an impressive site. Located near Sagaing, it is a popular destination because it is near the largest unfinished pagoda called Mingun Pahtodawgyi.
Architecture in Myanmar is rather impressive. Whether it’s a giant Buddha image or a reclining Buddha, each is seemingly larger than the next.
This water buffalo sighting is quite common in Inle Lake, but it’s always shocking to see this large animal poke its head out of the water. You’ll enjoy taking boat tours for the opportunity to see this.
Inle Lake is known for its leg-rowing fishermen. These men use fishing nets and row with their leg strength to propel the boat.
If you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending how you look at it) enough to come to Myanmar during April’s Thingyan holiday, you’ll witness people all over the country throwing water on each other to wash away the previous year’s sins.
Myeik: the land of crystal clear waters and undiscovered beaches. An entire archipelago to explore to your heart’s content. You’ll find fresh seafood, amazing diving, and possibly, sea monsters.
Motorbiking in Kalaw: thrilling, euphoric, post-sunset rides. There’s nothing quite like riding on the back of a motorbike with the wind in your hair, watching the lush green scenery pass by. This is a southeast Asia must-do and in Kalaw the weather is always cool and fresh.
Boating on the Irrawaddy is an inexpensive sunset treat for when visiting Bagan. A few dollars will take tourists on a traditional-style boat with tea, coffee, tea leaf salad, and a fun ride of the most famous and important river in Myanmar.
Saddam Cave in Hpa-An is located in Kayin State. This giant cave is breathtaking. With dozens of buddha statues adorning the entrance, a couple of pagodas inside and many stalactites, the cave leads to a lake and a gorgeous view of a mountain. To get back to the entrance, either take a boat around through the cave, or wander back through the muddy, treacherous cave.
The Gokteik Viaduct is one of Myanmar’s historical bridges. It is a spectacular railway bridge that is nearly 700 meters long, the longest in the country. The views from this unique bridge will make all your Instagram followers drool with envy.
If you thought Myanmar was all pagodas, temples and shrines, you thought wrong. Today, Yangon has rapidly grown to accommodate a thriving nightlife scene. Here is one example, a lounge called Penthouse that regularly spins deep house and hosts Sunday boozy brunches. Sip that gin and tonic and be merry.
Chin State in northwest Myanmar is full of natural beauty. Very little tourists make it all the way over here, so it has retained lush forest-topped mountains and getting around is a bit of a challenge. However, if you can make it there, these women with tattooed faces are quite a sight. Since their daughters are aware of the health risks associated with tattooing their faces, this is a tradition that will soon die out.
Where else in the world can you see thousands of stars in an unpolluted sky? In Chin State, there is very little air pollution and the stars are visible. Those who are lucky enough to make the trek to Mindat or Hnahthial can find star-studded sights like this one.
Dark Horse Falls in Shan State, near the city of Lashio. Who knew Myanmar also had such fun outdoor adventures? Visitors are able to cliff jump into the cool, refreshing waters of this hidden waterfall. Not many know about this place, so check it out soon!