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8 Unique Things to do in Myanmar

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This is a guest post written by Tun from Myanmar Tours. If you would like to write a guest post for Expat and the City, send an email to info@expatandthecityblog.com.

Myanmar is one of the most unique destinations in Southeast Asia. From untouched islands in the south to the mesmerizing temples in the north, there are so many things to do in Myanmar that it can offer to its visitors. For those who are seeking for something different or simply going out on the tourist roads, these experiences are something you should not miss. Here are some unique things to do in Myanmar:

Attend Taunggyi Balloon Festival

Amongst thousands of festivals in Myanmar, Taunggyi is probably the most colorful one. This festival is held every year in November and is centered around balloon competitions. You will be captivated by balloons in various shapes and sizes; plus stunning fireworks and local dances.

Things to do in Myanmar: Taunggyi Balloon Festival

To join the Taunggyi festival, it is best to organize a private Myanmar Tour which links the enchanting Inle Lake, forming a perfect contrast of water and mountain.

Trek in Pyin Oo Lwin

The area is not famous for trekking but it treasures some of the most breathtaking trails which are hardly mentioned in any guide book. Pyin Oo Lwin invites trekkers to embrace its lush nature where river meets mountain.

Things to do in Myanmar: Pyin Oo Lwin

During a 5-day trek, a chance to enjoy local culture seems endless with exclusive encounters to coffee plantations, British villas, and cascading waterfalls.

Spot Dolphins in Mandalay

When the majority of tourists flock to Mandalay to explore its ancient capitals, Mandalay has something else to surprise everyone: the Irrawaddy dolphin.

Things to do in Myanmar: Dolphin in Mandalay

In Southeast Asia, there are only 3 places that you can see this species of dolphin at their river which include Borneo, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Photography in Hpa An

Just few hours from Yangon city, Hpa An boasts beautiful laid back landscapes that can be compared to Halong Bay in Vietnam (without the crowds).

Things to do in Myanmar: Hpa An

Photogenic chances in Hpa An varies from sacred caves with miracle lights, Buddha mountains, scenic rivers, imposing karst mountains, not mention the fact that photographers will love to shoot with monks and novices as they can form some great photos.

Find your own Beach in Dawei Peninsula

Away from all the famous attractions, Dawei has its own space for those who expect some rustic bungalow by a beach that is totally untouched.

Things to do in Myanmar: Beach in Dawei Peninsula

Sandy beaches around Dawei is mostly pristine. It is not a place to indulge on world class beaches with 5-star resorts and gastronomic restaurants, but a beguiling base for an adventure into the wild.

Compare your Tattoo with Chin tribes

Chin State is still a mysterious part of Myanmar. The area is about a 4-hour drive from Bagan. It is home to Chin hill tribes who had the tradition of tattooing their face.

Things to do in Myanmar: Chin tattoo people

Many post-adventurers said Chin State is amazing, not only because of its mountainous scenery but also the people, especially the friendly tattoo-faced women who nicely want to compare the number of tattoos with you!

Balloon Over Bagan

There is no better way to appreciate the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan than taking a sunrise balloon flight. It allows you to soak up the highlights of the plains, studded by over 2,500 pagodas built from the 11th century. Slide over the air to witness the mighty Irrawaddy River from the sky.

Things to do in Myanmar: Balloon over Bagan

Bagan Balloon is often fully booked during peak season so plan wisely and well in advance!

Sailing in Mergui Archipelago

Mergui is a beautiful oceanic paradise in Southeast Asia and houses some 800 islands scattering along the coast of Andaman sea. The tourism resources of this area isn’t short: azure waters, incredible marine life, unspoiled islands, nomadic gypsy life.

Things to do in Myanmar: Mergui Archipelago

Photo via Alamanda Travels

Setting sail in Mergui Archipelago means you will behold different islands each day, taking chances to kayak through islands that is visited by only few hundred people a year.

A trip to Mergui is still quite expensive, but it also means your experience is totally unique and authentic. It is really the time now to uncover the charm of Mergui before it becomes touristic.

Now that your itinerary is full of things to do in Myanmar, it’s now time to book that trip to South Eat Asia! Happy travels!


About the Author

Things to do in Myanmar: Author bioTun is a keen adventure who explores the world differently. All his travel is more or less for authentic local life which results insightful experiences.

Tun carries his humor sense along his road with an earphone. See more his travel guides here.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Tif
    August 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    OKey these are all amazing things! BUT especially the balloon festivals x2! Just rode in a hot air balloon for the first time and loved it!!

  • Reply
    Yukti
    August 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    You have listed 8 unique things to do in Myanmar which are very interesting too. Ballooning over Bagan must be a splendid thing to do here. I loved that chin tatoo lady. Her ear rings are too big and how can she handle that much weight?

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    August 23, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Myanmar is indeed one of the lesser explored places. You have covered the place very well doing full justice to its pristine nature. Have always been fascinated by the intriguing temples of Bagan. Sliding in a balloon over these temples must indeed be a one of a kind experience. Love the fact that you recommend so many immersive activities that give an opportunity to understand the local culture of Myanmar and its people.

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    August 23, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Wow nice list ! You got me on the hot air balloons ! Will note this when I plan my visit to Myanmar !

  • Reply
    maggematt123
    August 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Myanmar really does look like an amazing place to visit. I’ve never heard of Irrawaddy dolphins, but now I really want to see one!

  • Reply
    Greg
    August 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Myanmar is such a beautiful place! Went 3 years ago and loved it. Can’t wait to go back and visit beaches like this one

  • Reply
    Leah (@OfficerTravels)
    August 19, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    You had me at Irrawaddy dolphin! How cute are they!

  • Reply
    danahfreeman
    August 19, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The Balloon festival looks amazing as do the beaches. I need to plan a visit to Myanmar.

  • Reply
    Teri
    August 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Hpa An looks amazing. I’m always looking for great landscape photography opportunities without all the tourist.

  • Reply
    cynthiagraner
    August 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    These are some amazing options for a visit to Myanmar! I am a big fan of hot air balloons so seeing Bagan from one would be incredible. I’ll have to make sure to remember to schedule my first trip there during the Taunggyi Balloon Festival because that looks like it would be a fantastic event to experience!

  • Reply
    agnesstramp
    August 9, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Myanmar is indeed very unique and definitely worth visiting, Tun! Each one of these suggestions is a must do when being there. You incorporated the best of Myanmar in this post!

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