Visit Myanmar, Burma Travel Information and great Pictures

Visit Myanmar Information, Burma travel plus Pictures and Videos

The country has all possible temperature and climate zones, from the icy glaciers of the north in Kachin State which are an extension of the Tibetan Himalayas to the tempered environment of Shan State with hills, Inle Lake and an average of 1000 m height, see the travel pictures for more. The tropical climate covers the center and all the way down until the south tip at Kawthaung, read more.

Dry Central Myanmar
Dry Central Region
North Myanmar Mount Hkakabo Razi

West Myanmar Waterfront
Western Waterfront at Ngapali
South Myanmar Islands and Beaches

East Myanmar at Inle Lake
East at Inle Lake
Unfortunately to reach almost all places is not easy because road travel takes long time. It is difficult because most surfaces are in real bad condition and quite narrow.

Best are aircraft, in remote areas this is the only solution anyway. There are several domestic airlines starting every day from Yangon airport domestic and international.

Here are plenty of great Myanmar travel pictures

Myanmar travel pictures
Myanmar travel pictures

with a wide spectrum of themes covering what most people are asking for.

Attractions in Bagan with hot temperature
Attractions in Bagan with hot temperature, the dry zone of Burma

Maha Muni information from Mandalay
Maha Muni Temple in Mandalay

Since the country is predominantly Buddhist there are plenty of monasteries and meditation centers

Shwe in bin monastery Mandalay
Shwe in bin monastery Mandalay
Vipassana meditation center at sagaing
Vipassana meditationcenter at Sagaing

For meditation it's mainly Yangon and Sagaing, monasteries are everywhere. They also have a touristic component because if you are somewhere in a remote corner and cant find accommodation ask for at the next monastery they let you stay there.

Best local attractions are visiting pagoda and temples at Bagan and elsewhere, exploring 130 ethnicity, attending festivals, enjoy the climate, fishing and boating trips, national parks and wildlife reserves, islands and mountain trekking adventure, read more.

Local attraction at Ngapali Beach
 At Ngapali Beach
country tour myanmar at mingun
Tour Myanmar at Mingun

Hotels, resorts and other accommodation have a good standard. In bigger cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and at the beaches of Ngapali, Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha are even some luxury hotels. There are also plenty of guesthouses and family run places with up to around 15 rooms which are quite Ok and not expensive. When on a adventure trip in remote areas and no accommodation available check or the next monastery, they are usually positive to have you stay for some days, when you leave don't forget some donations. When mountain trekking the travel agent will take some tents, food and a cook with, read more.

Visit south Myanmar island and beaches
Visit south Myanmar island and beaches

Beaches are real highlights of the country and there are thousands on the mainland and on the islands in the Bay of Bengal and in the Myeik Archipelago all the way down to Kawthaung in south Myanmar. Most prominent are Ngapali in the North West close to Bangladesh, this is reachable by aircraft and  Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha west of Yangon via road travel of about 5 hours. Since they improved the road there is no problem to drive there anymore. The most interesting are the island beaches but it is difficult to reach them, read more

Myanmar nightlife show
Myanmar nightlife show
Nightclub in Yangon
Nightlife in Yangon

Nightlife is quite interesting, it's not on a scale such as Bangkok but there is an amazing amount of bars, nightclubs, pubs, shows, discos, karaoke and more. As it is in every excellent oriental city the "butterflies" are around in all mentioned places above are pretty Myanmar girls who help they men drinking, singing and find other pleasure afterwards. This are mainly local run businesses the bars and pubs in the hotels are just the same as everywhere without a local flavor, read more

Visiting the country is different to other countries because of the unique cultural background and around 2000 km coastline with plenty of tropical beaches along the main coast plus around 1000 pristine islands scattered in the Myeik Archipelago of the Andaman Sea off the southern west cost. That's not all in the north are mountains with the highest peak in South East Asia, plenty of snow and glaciers plus great mountains. Unique scenic spots such as Inle Lake Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon, Mrauk U in Rhakine or Arakan and many other places.

Most travelers want information about pagodas and temples.

Myanmar information about pagodas
Information about pagodas

Actually there are plenty of information available at many small book shops along Bogyoke Aung San Street opposite the market but most are in the local language only. They also sell various maps makes sense to buy one for a better understanding. 

information on daily life
Myanmar information on daily life

Now get your flight to the "Golden Land" and touch down at Yangon Airport. 

First thing, don't change money at the airport, the rate is not good at all, for the start take some small dollar bills with, change downtown at the Bogyoke Market inside. Don't use the banks at the front, since the employees there either sleeping or do strange tricks. They only take totally clean and undamaged dollar bills, if there is even the slightest problem such as something written at the note or the paper is broken at the fold, which is rather natural they wont take it. This effects many people very seriously who simply don't know about, read more.

Aside of this little things there are no bigger problems anymore. 

arriving at yangon airport
Arriving at Yangon airport
Myanmar information at the airport
Myanmar information at Yangon airport

To make orientation easy for you we included the map at the right, just open it up and type in any destination, you will find it immediately, here are highlights of Yangon city.

Just take a flight, go to a local agent and put your itinerary together, 

Myanmar countryside in the north

Visit Myanmar countryside

in the north

this way you could save a good amount of money on your Myanmar holiday in comparison when you take a package from your country. 

They have a usual itinerary which is called Burma classic, the well known travel triangle Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and back. But it also has something to do with classical dancing and music which is very special. 

Better insurance information
Here are some insurance information,  be aware that most tour operators have none at all, means if you have an accident you are in real trouble. That means one of the most important you must do is to get a good insurance. I am not a insurance broker but I have some experience. Don't underestimate this, because the country is quite rotten, this is not a negative evaluation it simply is the fact, here are more information.

When taking Air Asia buy their travel insurance together with the ticket, it's only about $ 5,- and you are a bit on the safe side for the journey. But in any case talk with your local insurance what to do, this makes some sense because they are locally available, their connection to handle this is a Thai company.

About Hotels, resorts and accommodations.

There are midrange and low cost hotels, budget and family run accommodations all have more
kandawgyi palace hotel
Kandawgyi palace hotel
or less the same features, some have internet, some don't, most have more than 20 TV channels in the room including CNN and BBC, HBO etc. read more.

All this comes in from Thailand satellite providers and Malaysian channels. Means here you are always up to date if you want to be. The main problem is the electricity, the big houses have their own generator, but at smaller places it can be a bit difficult, especially during the day, read more.

About nightlife in Yangon and elsewhere, most people don't know that there is a vibrant nightlife scene with great 
yangon nightclub show
Yangon nightclub show
bars, shows, restaurants, nightclubs, karaoke, sexy fashion shows plus native dancing, marionettes and puppet shows. There is a substantial nightlife, it's not like Bangkok but not so bad. For something special try Chinatown which is in the center, 
read more

Several big hotels and at other places downtown have good clubs and all variants of crossover, read more.

Best Myanmar trip to the mountains in Kachin State
Trip to the mountains in Kachin State
Geography, the country is in a remote corner of South-East Asia.
It is hidden away in the folds of mountains which reach down like the fingers of a hand from the
heights of the Himalayas to the sea, it has had leisure to develop a character and a personality of its own. 

Its best friends in this sense have been these mountains, which have protected it on the one hand from the aggression of Indian invaders, on the other from the enormous absorbing power of China, read more.

Yangon shwedagon pagoda seen from people park
Shwedagon pagodaseen from peoples park
The biggest city is Yangon visually dominated by the great Shwedagon Pagoda. It is said that the pagoda is around 2000 years old. This is an old fashioned metropolis with an oriental colonial style and the best bazaar in the country  with is the Bogyoke Market named after the father of Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, read more.

The Myeik archipelago 
In the Myeik archipelago
In the Myeik archipelago

lies off the south west coast down to Kawthaung with almost thousand islands, this has a great tourist potential once the area is opened completely and developed. This last strip of coast is known as Tenasserim or Thanintharyi. It is thinly populated and it has never played any substantial part in the development of  Myanmar. The mountains reach down in a narrowing peninsula to Victoria Point - or Kawthaung , the southernmost limit, read more.

Pure Myanmar country side at Mount Popa near Bagan.

Mount Popa near Bagan
Mount Popa near Bagan
Visit Mount Popa near Bagan
Visit Mount Popa near Bagan


High end Myanmar jewelry
High end Myanmar jewelry
Buddhist Art Painting
Buddhist Art Painting
About Myanmar jewelry of jade, ruby, sapphire, pearls, semi precious stones and ethnic jewelry.

About Buddhist art in Myanmar as statues, wood carvings, paintings, sculptures, images and wall murals.

Yangon History

Yangon which is enclosed by the Irrawaddy or Ayeyarwady delta has a turbulent history.

could be a great city but actually there are many problems which wont show Yangon history and present (2014) positive. This is similar in Mandalay, Bagan and elsewhere in the country. Today Yangon airport is the first touch down spot in the country, until around hundred years ago the harbor was the arrival point at that time the name of the city was Rangoon.

The city is not the capital anymore as it was a few hundred years, now that's Naypyidaw a few hundred kilometers to the north, but it's here where the "music play" and there is plenty of great music, classic music, folklore, pop etc. which can be listened at many bars and nightclubs in the evening.

The "Yangon river" runs straight through the city 

creating beautiful sights and panoramas as you can see at the pictures below. One of the worst problems are are the daily electricity power cuts.  

There was a time when the sea ran into the coast of Burma or today Myanmar much further than it does today ; when ships cast anchor at Thaton, the earliest capital of the south ; when Pegu, today 

Bago, in later days a gorgeous and magnificent city was almost itself a seaport. The vessels went up the river without problems. After the English left the waterway was is only little maintained which means continuous shifting sandbanks not allowing serious river traffic on the water northwards.

There was a time also when the ocean brought more to the gates and took less away than it does today ; Moreover, there was across the water a city which is now forgotten, this was Syriam where the city first came into being. It' was the fame of this place which brought men trafficking to the mouth of the river on which the newer was built, it has been growing for many generations since and today is a Asian metropolis with around 4 million inhabitants.
This old king's city started five hundred and eighty-seven years before the birth of Christ, but places with kings are prone to lapse into insignificance, and there is practically nothing known of this place - a few km south of Yangon, across the river around the area of the present day oil refinery.

Yet the Portuguese settled there

and made a great bid for sovereignty and it was there where the drama was played out. The tale is connected with Philip de Brito y Nicote, who began as a cabin boy, grew as a palace menial in Arakan, rose to be King of Pegu or Bago, and ended writhing on a stake in the sun, where he lingered for three days in mortal agony, overlooking the city which for the space of thirteen years had been the centre of his power. But the story of De Brito is not for these pages. 

The site itself is immemorial, and the chronicles of the people talk with customary liberality in thousands of years. Asked whether they sought the goods of this world or the next, they replied with becoming piety that they were in search of " heavenly treasure." They then made their obeisance's before the Buddha, and received four hairs of his head and were told to bury them in the Thein-Got-Tara Hill, where his three predecessors had left respectively a staff, a water-filter, and a robe. They were to know the locality from a takoon, a felled wood-oil tree lying athwart, and touching the ground neither with its root nor its branches. 

On their return, after a somewhat distracting search, they found the place indicated, and they buried in it, in a golden casket, the relics they had brought. Over them was built the first nucleus of the Shwedagon Pagoda. The town of Takoon or Dagon -today Yangon- grew up around this sacred spot, and from time to time there is mention of visits to it from kings and princes, and of the gradual growth of the pagoda. Stone inscriptions in its courts date back to the year 1485, and it is well known that Shinsawbu, Queen of Pegu or Bago early in the sixteenth century, visited the town and greatly enlarged the pagoda.

The first account of it that we have from any European observer is that in 1579 of Gasparo Balbi, jeweler of Venice. Balbi entered Burma at Neguis, and having made " a very commodious and pleasant voyage " across the Delta to Pegu - Bago, came to Dagon now Yangon  Myanmar.

" After we were landed," at Yangon City he says, 

we began to go on the right hand in a large street about fifty paces broad, in which we saw wooden houses gilded and adorned with delicate gardens after their custom, wherein their talapoins, which are their friers, dwell and look to the pagoda, or varella, of Dagon now Yangon Myanmar. The left side is furnished with portals and shops, and by this street they go to the varella for a good mile straight forward, either under paint-houses or in the open street, which is free to walk in."

Burma and Rangoon history is deeply connected with foreigners, Chinese, Indians and the British during colonial times, all this contribute to a very interesting Asian flair still retained after several hundreds of years, Myanmar or Burma is real old Asia.

In the city center is the Kandawgyi or royal lake 

Some of the turf is as fine already as the turf of an English park. Amongst the trees are many of the sumptuous kind, which break into one dazzling mass of bloom, such as the pagoda- tree, the padouk, the pinma, and the laburnum acacia. These trees are already a feature of Yangon - Rangoon Myanmar, but their wealth is too widely scattered to make its full impression. 

The trees adorn the long avenues of the boulevards, several miles of each species—the labor of a single generation—they would make a spring-time spectacle of the most striking beauty. The roads of the Municipality run into a hundred and twenty miles: I sometimes picture a hundred and twenty miles of trees in the most dazzling, riotous, bloom, each marshaled under its own kind.

Temples of Bagan

Temples of Bagan

are probably the most important showcase of the country. Temples and pagodas serve the same purpose but in terms of architecture are significantly different. A temple is an open structure somehow like a church or mosque where you can walk in. The pagoda is is a solid and closed building, no way to walk in, see the travel pictures to understand the architecture.

Thatbyinnyu Temple
Thatbyinnyu Temple

Ananda Temple at Bagan
Ananda Temple at Bagan

Impressive Buddha Shrine
Impressive Buddha Shrine 

Buy Gems and Jewelry

Buying Myanmar gems is a good idea since prices are moving up

It wont matter if this are loose gemstones or jewelry with the pretty things in it, the value is always with the stone since the gold amount is relatively little. Probably the best chances for investment is with high quality jade since the frenzy from China obviously never ends. There too many people there who just want to buy the green stone, but not only that color all other are in in high demand too.

Myanmar jewelry design
Myanmar jewelry design

Myanmar or Burmese Gems are well known for their variety and quality. Some are bought just for jewelry and other have strong mystical properties such as jade with Chinese people. Many Indian people interpret plenty of superstitious values into ruby and sapphire jewelry for giving spiritual enlightenment.

sapphire jewelry
Sapphire jewelry
Ruby and diamond jewelry
Ruby and diamond jewelry

Myanmar gems for sale
Myanmar gems for sale
natural rubies
Natural rubies

What people like are natural rubies and those are definitely available here 

There are several sources from where you can buy gemstones; one is visit a local gems market or online dealers. Buying gems with a certificate is a good start for a fair price but it still need some bargaining. When in the higher price region take an expert with you or insist to have it checked in a lab of your choice. You should always be aware that with this pretty little colored stones there is lots of cheating going on, e.g. heat treatment with ruby gemstones.

loose ruby gemstones and spinel
Loose ruby gemstones and spinel

Myanmar fashion jewelry
Myanmar fashion jewelry

Because of the abundance of precious stones people became very creative to work with them. There are also beautiful pearls with gold, silver, white and pink color which come from the "farm" in the Myeik Archipelago. Only a few decades ago the Salone or Sea Gypsies pearl diver of south Myanmar did this job. Actually the human grown spheres are looking real great as you can see at the picture below.

Myanmar Pearls from the Myeik Archipelago

This is also part of ethnic jewelry which is a very trendy subject, although the pretty things are a bit bulky they are very popular in particular with women who have some natural weight on the body. 

jadeite jewelry and gems from Mandalay
Jewelry and gemstones pictures
Here are a couple if pretty jewelry and gemstones pictures with most of the local material available, some are really nice and show how creative people are. 

Jadeite items are mainly made in Mandalay but only for the local market. The real business is to export the rough material to China and there it is processed.

Beside of the known red and blue gems 

jade diamond jewelry set
Jade diamond jewelry set

there is another family of a green mineral either as rough stones or jade jewelry, it's amazing what artistic blessed people create out of this material although it is extremely hard, actually it is called Chinese diamonds. In the country the jadeite version is mined it it comes not only in green there are plenty of other colors.

The Ayeyarwady River at Bagan

The Ayeyarwady River is the life line at Bagan and at most other areas in central Myanmar

Without the mighty Ayeyarwady River the country would be extremely dry but on the other hand all governments until today were unable to use the gift of nature in the form of water. Bagan usually is the place were Myanmar holiday start.

Bagan and Irrawaddy River
Bagan and Irrawaddy River

Ancient Bagan and the Ayeyarwady River
Ancient Bagan and the 

Ayeyarwady River
Ancient Bagan and the Irrawaddy River

Unfortunately this great country never had a ruler or capable people to exploit the richness of it. Even today (2014) the only thing they did was moving the problem to another place without any result, now it's at Naypyidaw. 

Mong Hsu Ruby

Mong Hsu Ruby Mines are not active since a long time

Only in 1992 the place east of Mandalay was officially opened by the government for business and that went up exponentially. Within no time 300 companies started mining on 1500 plots. This is very close to the Thai border not far from the Thanlwin which is one of the top 5 most famous rivers of the country. The others are Irrawaddy, Chindwin, Mekong, Kaledan and Sittang plus countless smaller ones.

Mong Hsu Rough Rubies and Sapphires
Mong Hsu Rough

Rubies and Sapphires
Mong Hsu Rubies
Mong Hsu Rubies

The main mining area is at Loi Saung Htawk which is about 20 km  from the town. The area war marked into 200 square feet plots and they can be worked on for 3 years, people who pay more got the better pieces since there was already exploration since long time so they now where is the good stuff. It could be said the idea is to break the mountains apart. 

The mines are in a wilderness 

Mong Hsu Ruby Mine
Mong Hsu Ruby Mine

without high value whether in terms of timber etc. it won hurt anyone but there are many people who lived there before and are told to leave with only minimal compensation, Naturally nobody likes that. 

That is a very similar problem in Kachin State with the jade mines.

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Myanmar Monasteries

Myanmar Monasteries are plenty and some are quite old. 

Although most Myanmar monasteries are not very old because frequent fire destroyed them since they were mainly constructed from teak wood. There is an amazingly large amount of monks living there.

Here are some of the well known at Bagan, Mandalay, Sagaing and more. Visiting Myanmar make people aware that there is probably no other country on the planet with a higher count of them. Watching the places and the monks is a highly spiritual experience.

Bagan Monasteries:

Mandalay Monasteries:

Other elsewhere: