should I visit Myanmar? That is the question
you should ask yourself before choosing
Myanmar as a country to visit.
What pulls you to Myanmar? Is it a popular
myth like “smiling people”? Or is it because
of the ancient pagodas in Bagan or Mrauk Oo?
Or is it because of the fact that Myanmar is
a mysterious country?
In fact, Myanmar is a small country in South
East Asia with the population of
approximately 56.52 million (2006-2007) people that lies
between the two big neighbors: China and
India. It is no more interesting or
mysterious than any other country in this
world. Of course, it possesses ethnic and
cultural and geographical diversity: coastal
region; hilly region; dry region; rainy
region; and temperate zone. Every region or
zone offers the scenery different from each
Moreover, you will see certain things which
have almost disappeared in some other South
East Asian countries: traditional clothes
and customs. Myanmar people – both genders -
are still wearing the traditional clothes
that seems like skirt to the western world.
And majority of Myanmar females wear the mud
like fluid on their face or at least on
their cheeks to protect their skin from the
sun or to beautify their faces.
Most of the rural areas in Myanmar are
unspoiled. It’s true that western culture
has caught up with even to the rural area in
most of the South East Asian countries. In
Myanmar, it seems that the majority of the
rural areas seem to be frozen in the early
Another important factor which draws you to
Myanmar is the safety factor. Foreigners
need not worry about being mugged or robbed
even when traveling alone in the remote
areas. It’s not that Myanmar is totally
crime free country. Security system in
Myanmar is very efficient and the
authorities from national to village level
do not want the foreigners to lose their
property or get hurt while traveling inside
You need to take only two weeks to cover all
the places of interest. By the end of the
second week, you would have covered Yangon
(where Shwe Dagon pagoda that is the
landmark of Myanmar exists); Bagan (where
still 2,217 ancient pagodas - according to
the 1978 survey of the archeologist from
Myanmar– built between 11th and
13th century – are standing and
identifiable in the 16 sq mile tract along
the east of the Ayeyarwady river) is one of
the world’s three famous Buddhist
archeological sites. Two other sites are
Borobudur (Indonesia), the biggest single
Buddhist temple in the world; and Angkor Wat
(Cambodia), the biggest Buddhist temple
complex in the world.
Mandalay (the former capital till 1885 with
still the fortress & the moat) you will see
the world’s longest (1.2 km) teak
footbridge; the world’s largest uncracked
and hung bell (90 tons) and more than a
hundred years old Goh Hteik viaduct bridge
that is the second highest (984 feet)
railway bridge in the world.
In Southern Shan State, Inle lake (the
second biggest lake in Myanmar), you will
find the native people rowing the boat with
one leg. Ngapali beach in Rakhhine is one of
the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The Golden rock pagoda (as widely known in
abroad) or the Kyaikhtiyoe pagoda is a
wonder, hanging precariously on the downward
sloping cliff of the mountain.
Still left are other places of interests for
trekking; mountaineering and deep sea diving
in one of the Myeik islands at the Southern
tip of Myanmar.
Seeing is believing. Look for yourself. Come
and visit Myanmar.