The delicate ring of a temple bell swinging in the gentle breeze, the scent of cardamom and incense spicing the air, the soft padding of thousands of feet clad in leather thongs, the dark red robes of Buddhist monks, colonial style buildings everywhere; this is the fabric that Myanmar is made of. Doubtlessly the best kept secret of Asia, Myanmar – the Golden Land harboring the Irrawaddy River – has been isolated from the rest of the world for decades and thus has preserved its rich culture, traditions and unique way of life. Burmese say that all roads lead to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s tallest glittering pagoda with a golden dome encrusted with precious jewelry. The Shwedagon is the spiritual center of Yangon where all Burmese, regardless of social status meet to pray or just to immerse themselves in the mystical air emanating from so much history and tradition.
A visit to Myanmar feels like a journey into the past: thousands of pagodas grace the entire country, people wear traditional dress and girls ornament their cheeks with white Tanaka powder to protect from the sun. A ride in a hot air balloon over the pagodas of Bagan is a breathtaking experience. A leisurely cruise down the mighty Irrawaddy River on an historical paddle steamer gives you a first hand impression on life along the waterways. You may want to enjoy a typical Burmese puppet show in a family owned theater in Mandalay or explore the many channels through vegetable gardens on Inle Lake to find that elusive wooden monastery. Myanmar’s beaches are pristine and among the best in Asia.
The diversity of ethnic groups and their customs and traditions makes Myanmar a fascinating country to discover. The gentleness and easy going nature of the Burmese people will endear them to you forever and will make your visit an unforgettable experience.