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Myanmar Travel


Covered in dense tropical forests stuffed with tropical fruits and jungle cats, Myanmar, officially referred to as the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country in Southeastern Asia. For centuries, the country was referred to as "Burma", and most people still refer to this country as such. However, back in 1989, a law passed that effectively changed the country's name from Burma to Myanmar. Myanmar has a wealth of valuable natural resources that creates an incredibly lush and fertile land. Here you can find highly sought after teak wood trees, revitalizing acacia berry trees, and precious rubber trees. The native wildlife is equally as prized with such animals as endangered tigers, rare leopards, fluorescent geckos, brilliant parrots, toucans, and the feared Burmese python.

Myanmar Travel

The current political climate is a sad and unfortunate situation that dramatically impacts tourism and travel inside the country. A strict and brutal militaristic government controls Myanmar. There are areas of Myanmar that does not allow travelers or even aid workers pouring into the country to help. There are sites of untold beauty and history that should be explored and shared with the world, but the ruling regime makes it difficult. Presently, the majority of travelers to Myanmar are aid workers and businessmen. The locals love visitors and greatly benefit from tourism, but the political climate is one of great uncertainty. While there are areas of Myanmar you can safely visit if you are the adventurous type, it must be said that travel within this country should be carefully planned and coordinated.

Myanmar is largely Buddhist and features many exquisite Buddhist shrines and ancient monasteries. There are frequent Buddhist festivals that happen on the full moons, most notably the Maha Thingyan, Amanda Pagoda Festival, and the Thihoshin Pagoda Festival. Visit Yangon to experience Buddhist architecture at its finest. The Botataung Pagoda is known for its maze of mirrors. Over in Mandalay, the ruins of the Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery are a rare ancient spectacle. These ruins are the sites of over 700 slabs of marble inscribed with the whole of the Buddhist philosophy.

Naypyidaw, the current capital city, replaces Yangon, the former capital city. It is a remote hideaway for the ruling regime. There is no cell phone service and foreigners are generally not allowed in the city.

The former capital, Yangon, is the undisputed heart of Myanmar and where visitors will find the best access to Burmese culture. The iconic gilded Shwedagon Pagoda is the most incredible Buddhist temple and is the soul of the cityscape. Everywhere you look, you can find local foods, regional artists, and exotic specialty bazaars like Scott Market where you find jade, sapphires, and rubies. Street food vendors are a good place to sample the local cuisine. Be sure to sample the native's favorite known as "mohinga", a fabulous fish soup with rice noodles.

To experience the plush landscapes outside the city, find a reputable and experienced jungle guide and head out to Yengan village to see the Padah-Lin Caves that feature prehistoric Buddhist cave paintings.

The national parks are an excellent place to see rare jungle species of cats, birds, and insects that exist nowhere else in the world. Hlawga National Park, The Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park, and the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary make good starting points.

Burmese is the official language and spoken by the majority. Few speak English although local tour guides speak English quite well. The locals love to see tourists visiting their country and desperately seek to revitalize the tourism industry. If you visit this exquisite country, be aware of your surroundings and carefully plan your activities.

 

 
 
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