Myanmar is a multi-religious country, with no official state religion. Religious monuments of all religions can be found in all parts of the state, but most of the population (88%), though are followers of Theravada Buddhism. Therefore, it is no doubt that you will be able to see thousands of stupas and monasteries all over the country with rich histories. There is a saying in Burmese that says “If there is a hill/mountain, there is a stupa,” and as there are a lot of hills and mountain ranges, stupas are pretty much everywhere. Buddhism’s arrival to Myanmar was not once, but many times. The religion does not thrive very quickly after first or second arrival, but only when Shin Arahan visited Bagan during King Anawrahta’s reign in 1053 CE, the religion was followed consistently. That is mainly why Bagan is a city of stupas.
The country’s culture is highly influenced by Buddha’s teachings and 90% of the people are very religious. If you are keen on Buddhist studies; especially Theravada Buddhism, Myanmar is a must visit country!
Myanmar is considered as one of the most mysterious countries in South East Asia, due to its diversity of culture and geographical features. The country is extremely rich in culture that there are hundreds of heritage sites ranging from religious monuments to palaces, and wild life sanctuaries.
Myanmar has one UNESCO site, Pyuu City, which is formed of three ancient cities that remain the exhibit of ancient Buddhist tradition of Myanmar and its originality. UNESCO is labeling more than 14 sites as tentative sites for its heritage establishments.
Capitals of different ages are highly suggested to be witnessed if you visit Myanmar. Bagan is the first capital of the country, which mainly consist of religious sites, whilst Mandalay is known as the cultural hub, containing the purest cultural and handicrafts of the country. Yangon, is more of a modern city, as well as the economic center, and Nay Pyi Taw, also known as the ghost city which is the capital of the country at the moment, contains government offices and the parliament.
Myanmar lies along the Indian and Eurasian Plates, to the southeast of the Himalayas. Bay of Bengal is at the west of the country, and to its South is Andaman Sea. Hence, it is a nation, which screens beauties of unusual combinations. From mountain ranges, and waterfalls to lakes, rivers and sea, this country has everything. Myanmar is also the only country, which has snowy area in the whole South East Asia. Hkakabo Razi Mountain is the highest amongst the others in the state, with 5,881meters and is located in Kachin State. Hiking trips and camping grounds are available throughout Myanmar’s mountain ranges, if you are a hiker.
If you are an animal lover, endangered creatures that only inhabit in certain area of the state, such as Irrawady dolphins, and red panda in Kachin state can be explored as well. Of course other tropical and rain forest species such as tigers, elephants, monkeys, etc. and birds can be seen throughout the country.
With a coastline of 1,930 kilometers, and total water area of 23,070 square kilometers, Myanmar possesses a lot of beaches and islands. However, Myanmar’s beaches are not renowned beach destination compared to other Asian countries, as it has no nightlife and much of entertainment.
There are endless beaches islands that are yet to be discovered, but Ngapali beach, which is also known as the most pristine and high end beach of the nation, has crystal clear water with nice waves, and the sand of this beach can hardly be more perfectly formed, as it is soft, white and has all the qualities everything you can ask for in sand form. Myeik archipelago on the other hand, is every diver’s dream. With a collection of more than 800 islands, beaches of Myeik archipelago are virgin, flat and untouched for miles.
Snokerling is amazing to do in Myanmar, as you are sure to see colorful corals and sea creatures. Myanmar’s beaches are not for partying or for faint of hearts, but it is surely an ideal place to distress or an adventure of a lifetime differing on your personal preferences.