• Menu
  • Menu

Our Top 5 Places To Visit in Myanmar You Can’t Miss In 2024

Myanmar, a captivating country nestled in Southeast Asia, is rapidly gaining popularity among travellers seeking unique and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Boasting magnificent landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm-hearted locals, Myanmar offers an array of unforgettable experiences for every type of adventurer. From the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan to the tranquil beauty of Inle Lake, this ancient land holds a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Join us as we embark on our journey through our top places to visit in Myanmar uncovering its enchanting secrets along the way.

Myanmar was in the top 5 of our Asian bucket list travels and when we got the opportunity to travel there we jumped at the chance.  For a whole month, we travelled around the country by bus, train and riverboat.

There is so much to see and do in Myanmar from Hot Air Balloon Rides to sailing down the river from Bagan to Mandalay, visiting temples and enjoying a glass or two of locally produced wine in the Inle Lake Region. There are beaches, treks and many other activities to enjoy, so make the most of your visit to Myanmar and stay as long as you can.

We hope you enjoy travelling to our top 5 best places to visit in Myanmar as much as we did.

Myanmar (formerly called Burma) is a land of Pagodas, Stupas, markets, and ancient traditions.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable).


Places to visit in Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda

How To Get A Visa For Myanmar

If you are considering travelling to Myanmar you will require a visa.

Getting a Myanmar visa is easy now since the government has recently relaxed the rules.

The simplest way to organise your visa is through E-visums.co.uk.

All that is required is that your passport has at least 6 months validity, the application to be completed online and payment is accepted from Paypal, a credit or debit card.  The application takes up to 3 working days.

Please note the following:

  • the visa is valid for 28 days from arrival
  • the visa authorised letter is valid for 90 days from issue date
  • the issued visa is for single entry only
  • there are 6 entry points; 3 by air at the international airports of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw and 3 by land borders at Tachileik, Kawthaung and Myawaddy.
  • During your stay in Myanmar, your accommodation should be at registered hotels etc

Holders of the following passports do not require a visa; Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Map of Myanmar (Burma)

Places to visit in Myanmar
Map of Myanmar

Myanmar is bordered by the countries of Thailand, Laos, China and Bangladesh. Nay Pyi Taw is the capital.

How To Travel To Myanmar

There are international flights to Myanmar’s 3 international airports of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw (the capital of Myanmar).

We travelled on Air Asia, the 1-hour ten-minute flight from Bangkok to Yangon and return. There are many options from Asia direct to Yangon the most popular entry point to Myanmar.  Further afield, Emirates now fly from Dubai and Qatar Airways from Doha.

Cheap Flight Deals to Myanmar

Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner our go-to when researching and booking flights throughout the world.

Getting Around Myanmar

Places to visit in Myanmar
Bus Station at Yangon

As we had a month to spend in Myanmar we travelled:

  • By bus from Yangon to Pyay
  • Overnight First Class train from Pyay to Bagan
  • Riverboat steamer from Bagan to Mandalay
  • Overnight bus from Mandalay to Inle Lake
  • Overnight bus from Inle Lake to Yangon

For the latest bus schedules and ticket prices for Myanmar

We use 12goAsia – click here for the latest schedules and ticket prices.

Myanmar Places of Interest

Our Top Things To Do in Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon

Places to visit in Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

The most visited monument in Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda. The 110-metre high impressive 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda is a must for visitors to Myanmar.  The Pagoda is the most sacred site for the people of Myanmar.

To Travel Too Tip: the sun is merciless during the day so ensure that you have plenty of sunscreen and water.  The afternoon is the best time to visit close to sunset.  The Pagoda closes at 22.00. There are 4 entrance gates where you will need to take your shoes off.  Remember which gate you entered by.

Pre-book a day tour of Yangon here that includes the Shwedagon Pagoda.

  • Learn about the Colonial-style buildings, explore the bustling city centre, enjoy shopping at Bogyoke Market and taste a meal at a local teashop
  • See the famous Botataung Pagoda, explore the harbour area and learn about the country’s culture at the National Museum
  • Take a photo at Kandawgyi Park and be amazed by the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, the famous reclining Buddha
  • Visit Shwedagon, the most admired Pagoda in Myanmar

You can read our guide on visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda here.

Sule Pagoda

The Sule Pagoda is in the middle of a very busy roundabout in the middle of Yangon at the Junction Sule Pagoda. Legend states that the Sule Pagoda is older than the Shwedagon Pagoda suggesting it was built around 2,600 years ago.

Sule Pagoda is open from 08.00 hours to  20.00 hours.


The 3-Hour Circular Train in Yangon 

Places to visit in Myanmar
3-Hour Circular Train Yangon (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

One of the best fun things to do in Yangon was riding the circular train for 3 hours all for USD1.  For 3 hours you experience life outside the big city, travel through small train stations where the locals are selling their produce on the platforms and watch how life goes on in the small villages that you pass through.

Bogyoke Aung San Market

A great place for souvenirs Bogyoke Aung San Market is also known as Scott Market. A great way to practice your bargaining skills. Lacquerware is a popular souvenir to take home with you.

Eat at 19th Street

Places to visit in Myanmar
19th Street for Cheap Eats

For the best street food and cold beers.  If you are game you can even try the local fried crickets.

Traditional Myanmar Cooking Class with Market Tour

Before we get started on cooking, we’ll take you on a tour of our local street market. This will give you first-hand insight into how to market life works in Yangon, and learn about local ingredients.

You’ll learn how to use these ingredients in the cooking class, where you’ll cook traditional Myanmar salads, curries, and desserts. We’ll do all the preparation work so you can focus on mastering cooking techniques and methods.

Once all the cooking is complete, you’ll sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour at a communal dining table. You’ll even receive a digital copy of the recipes so you can recreate the 3-course meal when you return to your home kitchen!

Book your cooking class here

Where To Stay in Yangon

Sedona Hotel Yangon at No 1 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road Yankin Township. The 8-acre hotel offers a pool, gym and free breakfast whilst overlooking Inva Lake.

Check out the latest availability here



The 32 luxury boutique Loft Hotel at 33 Yaw Min Gyi Street Dagon Township Yangon offers a coffee shop and a comfortable environment for its guests.

Book here


The Pullman Yangon Centrepoint at 65 Corner of Sule Pagoda Road & Merchant Street Yangon offers guests a pool, bar, lounge, restaurants, gym close to the Sule Pagoda and in walking distance of the night market.

Book here

Our Top Things to Do in Pyay

Pyay is located 240km from Yangon and takes about 7 hours by bus. It was not the most comfortable ride, the bus was crowded and hot.  Our arrival into Pyay was confusing as they don’t stop at a regular Bus Terminal, the bus stops on the outskirts of town.

Shwesandaw Paya

The Shwesandaw Paya is located in town on top of a small hill. There are great views from the Pagoda to be had especially at sunrise and sunset.

Ayauk Taung

Places to Visit in Myanmar
The carvings of Buddha in the side of the mountain

You will need to hire a taxi for the 2-hour drive from Pyay to the village of Tonbo on the Irrawaddy River.

Places to visit in Myanmar
Transport at the town of Tonbo

Once at Tonbo you need to hire a longboat and a guide. The cliff carvings of Buddha and the climb up the hill to the Monastery is definitely worth the journey. Legend states that the local boatmen had to pay a local tax.  At times due to the bad weather they had to wait before they could sail further, and to fill their time in they started to carve the images.

Sri Ksetra World Heritage Site 

Places to visit in Myanmar
Sri Kstetra

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sri Ksetra is located 8km east of Pyay. The site is over 47 acres.  We would recommend that you visit the Museum first and then wander around the site, you may only have time to see a few of the ancient structures as they are so spread out.

Night Market at Pyay

Places to visit in Myanmar

The Night Market is located on Mya Zay Tann Street and is good for cheap eats and local souvenirs. There are stalls selling wood that the women make a paste from as sunscreen.  The paste is known as Thanaka.

Where To Stay in Pyay


Smile Motel is located at No 10-11 Bogyoke Road Sandaw Ward Pyay is an easy walk to the night market and train station.  It offers basic accommodation and breakfast at a budget price.

Book here for the Smile Motel

Our Top Things To Do In Bagan

Our train journey from Pyay to Bagan on the overnight train first class was, to be honest, a ‘nightmare’.  A journey that we thought we would not survive, we even made sure our passports were in our pockets.

Our first-class cabin actually was four bunk beds shared by another couple with a small thin sheet as bedding and no pillows.  The toilet was a hole in the floor luckily with a door separating it from the cabin.

The train was delayed and instead of a 10 pm departure, it left at  1 am. The ride was similar to being either on a bungee jump or in the dodgem cars.  There was no way you could sleep on the top bunk, we had to hold each other for grim death in the lower bunk to stop ourselves from falling out.

Places to visit in Myanmar
Views from the train en route to Bagan

The best part of the journey – daylight.  When we could open up the windows, hang out the sides, and watch the local countryside waking up.  Our neighbours who we did not speak to during the night made our journey bearable the next day sharing their hilarious journeys around Asia.

Bagan Hot Air Balloon Ride at Sunrise – the best of Myanmar

Places to Visit in Myanmar
Hot Air Balloon Ride at Sunrise (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

If you want to experience the real Bagan we would recommend a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Soaring high over the temples as the sun was rising was such a memorable experience.  Villagers were waking up and heading out to work the fields, school children laughing and running after us, and shop vendors setting out their wares are vivid memories which we will not forget.  The temples and stupas are amazing at this time of the morning, the sun rays captured on their glittering facades.

Horse and Cart Ride Through The Temples in Bagan

Places to visit in Myanmar
Planning our route through the Bagan Temples

A fun day out with lunch is visiting the many temples and stupors around Bagan by horse and cart.  Your driver will choose which is the best Pagoda to experience the sunset, it depends on the number of tourists there are at the time.  There are excellent photo opportunities throughout the day.

There are over 2000 stupas and pagodas in the area around Bagan, some of which you can visit on foot close to town.

Where to Stay in Bagan

We stayed at Hotel Bagan Umbra at Nyaung U Main Road Wet-Kyi-Inn Village Nyaung U Township.  They offer a pool which is perfect to relax in after a day of sightseeing, free parking, free WiFi, cultural shows and a good breakfast.

Check availability here


Bagan View Hotel at 9 Jasmin Road in the heart of New Bagan offers guests great views from their rooftop terrace.

Book here for the latest deals


Our Top Things to Do in Mandalay

Riverboat from Bagan to Mandalay

Places to visit in Myanmar
Views from the steamer en route to Mandalay

We sailed in an old riverboat steamer from Bagan to Mandalay.  The journey took over 12 hours, from sunrise to sunset.  There were only 6 of us on board, so we could change our seats as often as we liked for the views along the way and we could even lay down for a nap or two when we felt like it.

We would recommend taking your own food for the journey and plenty of water.  The scenery is stunning along the way, you sail past villages along the riverfront, oxen ploughing fields, men fishing and other boats lazily floating in the other direction.

Mahagandaon Monastery

Places to visit in Myanmar
Mahagandaon Monastery (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

A day trip by private taxi to visit the Mahagandaon Monastery located 11 km from Mandalay at Amarapura is highly recommended.  The best time to visit is around 10:00 am when the monks gather for their last meal of the day.

Sagaing Hill

Places to visit in Myanmar
Sagaing Market (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

As part of the day tour, we would recommend a visit to Sagaing Hill for 360-degree views from the Pagoda and a visit to the local market in town.

U Bein Bridge – one of the best places to visit in Myanmar at Sunset

Places to visit in Myanmar
U Bein Bridge at Sunset (photo courtesy Pixabay)

Late in the afternoon is the best time to visit U Bein Bridge.  A great photo opportunity is at sunset when the monks cross the river to return to their monastery.  The bridge is the oldest teak bridge in the world.

Sunset at the top of Mandalay Hill 

If you have time a popular viewing spot at sunset is the top of Mandalay Hill.  You can either walk or take a taxi, we would recommend taking a taxi because of the heat.  You will need to pay an entrance fee as well as paying a fee for taking photographs.

Visit the Mandalay Palace

Places to visit in Myanmar
View of Mandalay Palace

The Mandalay Palace was not as exciting as we thought it would be.  We would recommend only visiting if you have time to spare. It is a large complex to walk around and most of the buildings are empty shells. This view is from the watchtower.

Where to Stay in Mandalay

Hotel by the Red Canal at No. 417 Corner of 63 & 22nd Streets Aung Myae Tha Zan Township offers a pool, gym, each room has a balcony and free breakfast minutes from Mandalay Palace.

Book here for the latest deals

Hilton Mandalay Corner 36th & 66th Chan Aye Tharzan offers a pool, gym, bike rental, bar and lounge in 4 acres of lush tropical gardens opposite Mandalay Hill and Mandalay Palace.

Book here for the latest deals


More Hotels in Mandalay

Mandalay Accommodation Deals

Our Top Things To Do in Inle Lake

Our journey from Mandalay to Inle Lake was via an overnight bus.  The road is mountainous, rough and windy.  We missed getting off at the stop, in the middle of nowhere, for Inle Lake because it was in the middle of nowhere, no lights or people around and it was 3.30 am in the morning.  When we arrived at the next stop, we still were not sure to this day where that was, the bus driver was kind enough to find us a taxi to take us to the longboat jetty.

Our accommodation was in the middle of the lake and a longboat was the only way to reach it which took about an hour.

Day Tour to Local Markets and Temples by Long Boat

Places to Visit in Myanmar
Inle Lake

Day trip by longboat to visit the outlying islands, local markets and the many temples of Indien.

Visit floating gardens, stilt villages, and Buddhist sites on a full-day, private Inle Lake cruise that’s a personalized alternative to crowded group boat trips.

Crossing Inle Lake by boat gives you a front-row seat for checking out the local ‘leg rowing’ technique, and you’ll step back on shore to explore Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Known Village, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, and more.

Private tour ensures individual service Try local cuisine with an included lunch Tour features a series of sightseeing stops and workshops Convenient pickup and drop-off at Inle Lake hotels

Book an Inle Lake Tour here

Enjoy an Authentic Shan Private Cooking Class in a House on the Lake

Meet Tin Tin – an Intha native from the lake who will share her traditional Shan recipes with you today during a traditional Shan cooking class in a family house built on a stilt on the lake. It’s not a Master Chef course from a Michelin restaurant owner but it’s simple, tasteful, home-cooked food from a local lady who has been cooking her whole life for her family and enjoys it!

Together with your guide, we visit the local market to find all the ingredients, go by boat to the traditional house and help clean vegetables, chop the ingredients, fry or boil it, add the right herbs and mix the right ingredients.

Of course, the class ends with a very tasty lunch. A kitchen apron, some specific local kitchen tools and a list with all ingredients to try it at home. A fantastic day to learn a bit of delicious cooking but certainly also to get a taste of the real local life of an Intha on the lake so not only for master chefs.

Guide and boat available for the rest of the day for additional visits on the lake if wanted.

Book your cooking class here

Watch the Local Fishermen

Places to Visit in Myanmar
Fishermen on Inle Lake

Watch the local fisherman fish in their traditional one-legged manner managing their nets, fish and the movement of their boats all at the same time

Red Mountain Winery

Places to visit in Myanmar
Enjoying a glass of wine at Red Mountain Winery

Enjoy lunch and wine at the Red Mountain Winery



Where to Stay in Inle Lake

Pristine Lotus Resort at Khaung Daing Village near Inle Lake offers guests a pool, sauna, a natural hotspring and views of the lake. It has 120 rooms.

Book here for the latest deals


Inle Cottage Boutique Hotel at 136/21 Mingalar Road Nana Pan Quarter – walking distance to town and boats.

Check availability here


More Hotels for Inle Lake

Check availability here and latest deals


If you have any questions or would like some advice we would love to hear from you. You can reach us via our Facebook page or email us here.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

To Travel Too Travel Shop

Travel smarter and safer with products from our To Travel Too Travel Shop.  If you are looking for the latest luggage, guidebooks or travel accessories we have you covered with over 800 travel products to choose from.

Travel Shop


Are you on Pinterest? We are at To Travel Too and we have many travel-related boards check us out at Pinterest.  If you enjoyed our article why not pin it to your board?





Places to visit in Myanmar


In conclusion, Myanmar offers a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and natural wonders that are sure to captivate any traveller. From the bustling streets of Yangon to the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan and the serene beauty of Inle Lake, this country is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you seek adventure, spirituality, or simply an escape from the ordinary, Myanmar has it all. With its warm and welcoming people, vibrant traditions, and breathtaking landscapes, visiting Myanmar is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. So pack your bags and embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish forever in this enchanting land of golden pagodas.





Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.