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Myanmar Towns & Cities

Beautiful and peaceful Ngapali Beach

Ngapali Beach

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Burma are the idyllic white sandy beaches of Ngapali Beach. With pristine sand and crystal clear water, Ngapali offers an un-spoilt and natural coastline which has kept its peaceful and laid back nature whilst maintaining its traditional culture and traditions. Unlike other pristine beaches in South-East Asia, Ngapali beach has not succumbed to mass tourism, so enjoy peaceful and hawker free days whilst having the option to be adventurous and explore the small hills and fishing villages that surround the area. Your adventurous nature will be rewarded with fantastic jungle treks and peaceful lakes. There is no doubt that Nagapli is one of the best kept beaches of Burma; its a true gem.

Area Highlights: Beaches, Snorkelling, Walking, Island Hopping

Area Activities: Sunset Boat Trip, Sea Adventure Day Tour, Scuba Diving


Scenic U Bein Bridge

Pindaya

Pindaya is located in the Tuanggyi District of the Shan State, which is famous for its fabulous limestone caves. The Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave pagoda is a cavern filled with hundreds and hundreds of Buddha statues. The caves are not the only reason to travel to Pindaya, the hills that surround Pindaya provide many trekking opportunities led by local guides. Most trekkers head to Yazagyi, an attractive village located in the hilly countryside.

Area Highlights: The Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave


Chin state woman with traditional face tattoos

Chin State

The Chin State is situated in western Burma and offers many sights unknown to most visitors to Burma. The area is sparsely populated with the biggest attraction being Mt Victoria, a 10,000ft mountain amongst a hilly landscape. Local guides are needed here as well as government permission to travel, all of which can be arranged by See Asia Differently. An excellent base for Chin State and Mt Victoria can be found in Mindat, a village adjacent to the Nat Ma Taung National Park. From here you can take a magical trek to the remote villages where you can see the traditional tattooed faces of the locals a well as meeting the facinating old lady that can play the flute through her nose.

Area Highlights: Trekking, Tribal Villages, Home Stay, Mount Victoria

Area Activities: Chin State Trekking


Visit scenic Kyaing Ton on a Myanmar Holiday

Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung)

Located in Eastern Central Burma, Kyaing Tong offers a vast quantity of sights and memorable sceneries. The rugged terrain contributes to the sense of isolation and adventure and the peaceful streets are filled with unique pagodas. With an abundance of temples, monasteries and markets, Kyaing Tong offers a great location as a base to explore the hills and mountain slopes of the region. Find plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing and trekking amidst the different Shan ethic tribes. The local communities are warm and friendly as well as diverse and expect to see a contrast of cultures and traditions amongst the varied ethnic groups that comprise the area.

Area Highlights: Trekking, Climbing, Tribal Villages


Explore the rolling hills of Kalow on a Myanmar Holiday

Kalow

Situated in far east of central Burma, Kalow offers classic Burmese experiences and rural life. From trekking to boating and caving, the rolling hills which surround Kalow will make this trip worthwhile. Kalow is situated near Inle Lake but offers a completely different perspective. Kalow is also the best place for trekking in Burma. Although it is possible, we strongly recommend not to trek in the hills without a guide. A side from the safety aspect, you may miss some fantastic sights amongst the hills such as the glittery stupa of Aung Chan Tha Zedi and Shwe Oo Min Paya, a natural cave with an abundance of Buddha statues.

Area Highlights: Trekking, Caving, Boat Trips


Don't miss the unique Mrauk U temple on your Myanmar Holiday

Mrauk U (Myohaung)

Mrauk U is often compared to Bagan and is the second most famous archaeological site in Burma. However a comparison to Bagan would be unfair to Mrauk U is completely unique. This ancient city is home to hundreds of temples, stupas and pagodas distinguishable by their thick bunker style walls. You are likely to have many temples to yourselves with so few tourists here leaving excellent photo opportunities. However, there is much more to Mrauk U than the temples; situated high in the hill tops you can also enjoy gorgeous scenery and mingle will local goat herders and vegetable farmers.

Area Highlights: Walking, Temples, Local Life

Unfortunately a large percentage of the vast land of the North of Burma is inaccessible to foreign visitors without special permission. We have highlighted below the accessible areas in which are safe to travel.

The Kachin Manaw festival taking pace in Myitkyina

Myitkyina

Situated in the snaky mountains of the Kachin State, Myitkyina sits waiting to be explored. Accessible only really by the Ayeyarwady River; the river itself provides the greatest attraction within Myitkyina with many river cruises available. Choose from ferries, fast boats or cruise boats and explore this ancient river bed and learn about its role in Burmese history. Aside from river cruises, the town of Myitkyina offers several attractions in its own right such of the Produce Market, Hsu Taung Pye Zedidaw pagoda and the Kachin State Cultural Museum.

Area Highlights: River Cruises, Markets


Spend a day in the green National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens of Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin

The British founded this town in 1896 as an escape from the Mandalay heat and was held as the capital for British colonial administration until 1948. Today it is famous for its fabulous fruit, jams, vegetables and wines and is slowly becoming a favourite weekend hotspot for locals. The best way to get around Pyin Oo Lwin is by horse and cart which adds to the nostalgic atmosphere of this peaceful town. You will be taken back by the greenness of this town with fantastic gardens such as the National Kandawgyi and the National Landmarks Garden. The Purcell Tower clock will remind you of Big Ben as this whole town seems straight from a parallel universe.

Area Highlights: Horse & Cart Rides, National Park, Colonial Architecture


Take a Myanmar holiday to the northern town of Hsipaw

Hsipaw

The few foreigners that make it to Hsipaw usually arrive to experience hill-tribe treks which are easy to organise. There is enough tourist infrastructure to be convenient whilst remaining completely genuine and raw. For sweeping views over the river, head to Sunset Hill and climb the Thein Daung Pagoda. The river also hosts the local produce market and is best to visit shortly before dawn. The Mahamyatmuni Paya is also worth a visit as is the Myauk Myo.

Area Highlights: Trekking, Thein Daung Pagoda


Journey to the large market town of Lashio on your Myanmar holiday

Lashio

Lashio is a large market town with a big Chinese population; the town played a big part in Burmese history in regards to defending the country from Japanese invasion and was the starting point for the Burma road. There are several sites in Lashio with the most important being the Thatana Paya, the central mosque, the Mahamyatmuni Paya and Quan Yin Shang, a wooden ridge in at the southern edge of town featuring a large temple nunnery.

Area Highlights: Markets, Thatana Paya Mosque

Visit Myanmar's water world on an Inle Lake Tour

Inle Lake

Considered to be one of Burma’s top attractions, this charming freshwater lake is a must for all visitors to Burma. The foggy mountain ranges that surround the lake make for an atmospheric trip which is enhanced by the sleepy villages made up of stilt houses and floating gardens. This is Burma at its most traditional; the sincerity and friendliness of the local people will be a delight and the local markets of Inle Lake offer fantastic freshly grown hill foods as well as other local products. The best way to see the lake is by boat, either a motorized canoe or a traditional flat-bottomed skiff propelled by a single wooden canoe. Either way expect to see local fisherman rowing with their feet, a very unique fishing technique to Burma.

Area Highlights: Boat Trips, Floating Gardens, Floating Villages, Temples, Artisans, Markets


Explore Bagan by foot, bicycle or by horse on your Myanmar Holiday

Bagan

Previously known as Pagan, Bagan is the heart of ancient Burma with over 2,000 temples and stupas. Formally the capital of Burma’s first dynasty, Bagan represents thousands of years’ worth of architecture, heritage and culture spreading over a space of 42 kilometres. Despite hundreds of years of neglect, erosion, earthquakes and thievery, the temples remain in glorious condition with Marco Polo describing it as ‘one of the finest sights in the world.’ Wonder around the ancient world heritage site by bicycle, by foot or even by horse and cart and discover a remarkably impressive location, often described as the most memorable place for visitors coming to Burma. Aside from the temples visitors can enjoy an idyllic sunset boat trip along the Ayeyarwaddy River as well as enjoying the local fine arts and architecture.

Area Highlights: Temples, History, Boat Trips


View of Mandalay Hill from Mandalay Palace

Mandalay

Mandalay is a traditional and timeless city, considered by many to be the centre of Burmese culture, rich in traditions and history. Located in North Central Burma, Mandalay is the economic hub of the country which offers an array of attractions and activities. Mandalay is full of craft workers and tree-shaded monasteries, traditional performing arts groups’ and scenic views over the river and Mandalay Hill. To get a great understanding of Mandalay we recommend starting with Mandalay Hill which towers over the city, especially popular at Sunset. What makes Mandalay a must visit destination are the wonderful day trips that can be had; from discovering Maymo, Mingun and the exquisite U Bien Bridge, which is the longest teak walking bridge in the world.

Area Highlights: Day Trips to Maymo and Mingan, U Bein Bridge, Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Palace

The glittering Shwedagon Pagoda at night

Yangon

Yangon is Burma’s biggest city and became the countries capital in 1885 when the British completed their conquest of the northern areas of the country. Many travellers speed through Yangon and this is a real shame. The city is one of the most distinctive in South East Asia with its post-colonial charm and quirky nature with many awe inspiring sights.  Yangon is nicknamed ‘The Garden City of the East’ and it is easy to see why with stunning lakes, tropical trees and enthralling parks. But Yangon has more to offer than that, it is a melting pot of cultures and communities and a city of traditions and culture and it simply a must for anyone wanting to see a different side of Asia.

Some of Burma’s most significant monuments are here in Yangon; Botataung Paya is perhaps the most dominant of Yangon’s ‘big three’ and is said to contain hair relics of Buddha. It was named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from India to Burma 2000 years ago. Shwedagon Paya is the most iconic monument of Yangon, situated just outside the city centre and glitters bright gold above the city. There are many sights and things to do within the city and you can easily spend a day or two just wondering around and taking everything in.

Area Highlights: Swedagon Paya, Botataung Paya, National Museum, Mahabandoola Garden, Aung Thukha, Kandawgyi Lake, Kaba Aye Paya & Mahapasana Cave, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Theingyi Zei, Chaukhtatgyi Buddha, Sule Paya


Win Sein Taw Ya the giant reclining Buddha

Mon State

The fantastic Mon State is located just to the south of Burma and is the home of many wonders including breath taking temples and rich green scenery. Few visitors make it to this region meaning an un-spoilt and traditional atmosphere whilst maintaining the exclusivity of your visit. The biggest attraction here is by far Mt Kyaikiyo (The Golden Rock) which is perhaps the most sacred monument within the country. Located on the highest mountain of the Paunglaung mountain range, The Golden Rock seems magical due to its gravity defying nature and many see it as a rival for the best attraction in the country. The area is also rich in beaches and caves and there are enough attractions to keep you occupied for some time.

Area Highlights: Mount Kyaikiyo (The Golden Rock), Mon Cultural Museum, The Kaladan Mosque, Kha-Yon Caves, Gaungse Kyun (a picturesque island just off the coast)


Bayin Nyi Cave sitting at the base of a towering limestone cliff

Hpa-an

Situated in the Kayin State, Hpa-an is a hidden gem with energetic colourful and vibrant streets. People visit Hpa-an for the stunning countryside, filled with caves, mountains and islands waiting to be explored. Take a boat trip between Hpa-an and Mawlamyine for rural bliss. The town itself is still worth a day’s attention, the vibrant Morning Market is one not to be missed and Shweyinhmyaw Paya is a short walk from the waterfront. On the outskirts of Hpa-an there is just as much to see with Mt Zwegabin being a particular highlight with its limestone rock face towering over the area. There are several caves around the area as well with the best of the bunch being Kaw Ka Thawng Cave and Kawgun.

Area Highlights: Vibrant Streets, Mount Zwegabin, Markets, Kaw Ka Thawng Cave, The Paunglaung Mountain Range, Kha-Yon Caves


Relax on the fine white sand of Ngwe Saung Beach

NGWE Saung Beach

Located about a 4 hour drive from Yangon, NGWE Saung Beach is nestled in the South East corner of Burma. At 9 miles long, the beach is one of the longest in South East Asia. With its incredible quality of pristine white sand and crystal clear waters, the beach is becoming more and more popular with tourists and locals alike. One of the major attractions of this beach is the breath taking view of the Bay of Benegal which is simple stunning and not to be missed if visiting the area.

Area Highlights: Beaches, Views of the Bay of Benegal

Ngapali Beach

Ngapali Beach

Pindaya

Pindaya

Chin State

Chin State

Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung)

Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung)

Kalow

Kalow

Mrauk U (Myohaung)

Mrauk U (Myohaung)

Myitkyina

Myitkyina

Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin

Hsipaw

Hsipaw

Lashio

Lashio

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

Bagan

Bagan

Mandalay

Mandalay

Yangon

Yangon

Mon State

Mon State

Hpa-an

Hpa-an

NGWE Saung Beach

NGWE Saung Beach

Myanmar holidays

Towns & Cities in Myanmar

Have a look at all the cities and towns of Myanmar

Myanmar has no shortage of captivating destination to visit on your holiday. Refer to our Towns & cities guide to plan the perfect trip.

Essential Myanmar Travel Information

Our Favourite Hotels in Myanmar

Our recommended hotels in Myanmar

There are so many beautiful hotels to choose from in Myanmar. So we have selected a few of our most favourite and characterful hotels; giving you a taste of what you can expect.

Our most popular Activities in Myanmar

Browse through our Myanmar Activity suggestions and get some inspiration.
We can then add any activity you want and tailor-make a Myanmar holiday just for you!

Our most popular Myanmar Holidays

Browse through our Myanmar holiday suggestions and get some inspiration.
We can then tailor-make a Myanmar holiday just for you!

Myanmar Photography Tours

Myanmar Photography Tours

15 Days / 14 Nights
Price from: $3,659 per person

Myanmar Boat Cruises

Myanmar Boat Cruises

5 to 15 Day Cruises
Price from: $1,099 per person

Myanmar Birding Discovery

Myanmar Birding Discovery

9 Days / 8 Nights
Price from: $2,259 per person

Golf & the Golden Temples of Myanmar

Golf & the Golden Temples of Myanmar

6 Days / 5 Nights
Price from: $1,599 per person

Myanmar Joining Group Tour (Solo Trips)

Myanmar Joining Group Tour (Solo Trips)

13 Days / 12 Nights
Price from: $3,059 per person

Burmese Days

Burmese Days

16 Days / 15 Nights
Price from: $2,699 per person

Island Hopping Myanmar

Island Hopping Myanmar

8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $3,099 per person

Inle Lake Romance

Inle Lake Romance

12 Days / 11 Nights
Price from: $2,399 per person

Faces of Myanmar

Faces of Myanmar

14 Days / 13 Nights
Price from: $2,899 per person

Golden Land

Golden Land

13 Days / 12 Nights
Price from: $2,199 per person

Myanmar Uncovered

Myanmar Uncovered

8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $1,399 per person

Myanmar Express

Myanmar Express

7 Days / 6 Nights
Price from: $1,199 per person