Bagan was also capital of the First Myanmar Empire, also known as Ancient City of Myanmar. It is one of the famous religious places in the world and the richest archaeological sites in Asia. This enchanting city is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River with four million pagodas, temples, stupas and shrines which were designed, built and decorated by master craftsmen and ordinary people in 11th to 13th century era.
The old Tharabar gate was used as the main gate to the city, built during the 9th century along with 12 gateways, by King Pyin Pyar Min. “Tharaba” meaning “The Gate which can prevent the arrows of the enemy”. Bagan is the most fascinating place for visitors and sightseeing by Car, Horse Cart or on a Bicycle with beautiful local Art, such as Lacquer ware, Bamboo works and beautiful local made Cloth. There is also a sunset boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River to observe the beautiful Sunset over Bagan. From twilight to dusk, the setting sun on the horizon throwing its last fling of glow over the temples, stupas and pagodas is indeed a splendid and unique spectacle that could take your breath away.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s most famous landmark that was built an estimated 2500 years ago, which enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. The native title for the shrine is Shwedagon Zedi Daw. It’s also known as the Golden Pagoda in English.The massive 110 meters high with hundreds of gold plates pagoda and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds which includes a 72 carat diamond. The Shwedagon Pagoda consists hundreds colorful temples, stupas, and statues, images that reflects the architectural era spanning almost a 2,500 years. The glow of the pagoda changes during different times of the day with the sunlight. People do rituals and after dark there is a mystical atmosphere with the pagoda lit up by spotlights and candles, soft sounds of twinkling bells, quiet murmurs of people chanting, gold sparkling in the moonlight.
Yangon City Hall
The City Hall building is considered to be a fine example of Myanmar architecture and located in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. The Municipal Authorities held a design competition in 1913 for a new City Hall but the construction of this building started in 1926 and ended in 1936 as there was a World War I outbreak shelved the plans and construction. The building is enlisted on the Yangon City Heritage List to incorporate Myanmar architectural features such as the three-tiered pyatthat roofing and traditional Myanmar iconography such as peacocks and nagas (serpents).
Yangon High Court
James Ransome who was the consulting architect to the government of India built Yangon High Court in 1905 with Queen Anne style. Formerly known as the Parliament for Justice, this building was constructed in 1914, before World War I. In 1962, the Government turned it into a High Court Head Office. The impressive building sports a clock tower whose four faces are lighted at night, and can be seen floating above the city centre with a red brick extravaganza. The High Court has remained a court ever since it was completed in 1911.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
Bogyoke Aung San Market was built in 1926 with colonial architecture. Bogyoke Aung San Market is situated in the heart of Yangon on Bogyoke Aung San Road and the most popular market of Myanmars. It is a great tourist destination. There are thousands of shops selling gold and jewelry, Burmese jade, pearl, Burmese rubies, wood carvings, antique stores, old coins, bank-notes, postage stamps, tapestry, lacquerware, wood and ivory carvings, silverware, brassware, silk, handicraft and paintings etc.
The gems and jewellery whether they are in rough or uncut form or polish cabochon, faceted or as jewellery can be bought in Yangon internationally known great Bogyoke Aung San Market. Bogyoke Aung San Market is also well-known for the pre-Thingyan festival also called the Zay Thingyan meaning the Market’s water festival. It is usually held on the 11th or 12th of April. Youngsters from all over the city come to the market dressed for the festival. The shops donate traditional food.
Mount KyiteHteeYoe is one of the most sacred religious sites in Myanmar and it is breath-taking. It is famous for the Golden Rock perched at its summit. KyiteHteeYoe pagoda is located in the small town called Kyaikhto, in the Mon State and perched on the highest mountain of Paunglaung mountain range. The Pagoda is placed on top of the mountain, which in itself is separated several feet from the mountain by a rent or chasm, now spanned by a small foot bridge of iron and on the further side drops perpendicularly into a valley blow. The pagoda is about 18 feet high and 50 feet in girth and 1100km above sea-level.
This destination is 4-hour drive from Yangon, where a steep winding road for 4-wheel drive cars from the Kinpun base to the nearest point of the pagodas. There is also a road to hike to the top of the mountain from Kinpun but the road is covered by the jungle canopy and gives the chance to see some lovely views and stupas along the way. It is a 11 kilometer uphill climb for the hikers from Kinpun base camp. The Nine Thousand Lights Festival takes place at Mount KyiteHteeYoe in December and features food offerings at dawn and candle lighting after dark, illuminating the mountaintop.
Inle lake is the most magical place and highest lakes of Myanmar at an altitude of 900 metres above sea level which is situated in the hilly Shan State in the eastern part of Myanmar and shared borders with Thai & Laos. The lake is 22km long and 10km across. More than30 hill tribes are living in the mountains. The Intha people are the Lake dwellers who are unique for their leg rowing. Leg rowed traditional boats are the main ceremonial attractions of the Inlay Lake.It is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing, the native lake-dwellers, floating villages and colorful daily floating market.
A boat trip on the lake is a must do to enjoy on the lake for a good opportunity to meet many different local tribes and their workshops. You will see some of the thousands of waterbirds that use Inle Lake either as a breeding site or on migration. Some are rare species. There is a cycle ride through surrounding villages and towards the mountains to visit the hot springs for a relaxing afternoon. Hiking is also available in the surrounding hills. The festival of Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake held during October is full of pageantry and colorful splendor.
Mandalay is the capital of Myanmar Last Kingdom and of Myanmar King, is situated in Central Myanmar. It was founded in 1857 by King Mindon. It is the second largest of Myanmar, the old Royal City and many old monasteries, art and architecture of the 19th century. The Royal Mandalay Palace is located in the heart of Mandalay city. The magnificent 413-hectare royal palace was built of teak wood on raised brick plinth gilded with gold and vermilion. The compound was surrounded by long walls, crowning wooden gates and the moat which presents an impressive scene of the Mandalay Palace. Currently the Cultural Museum is also located inside the palace grounds.
Another main attraction of Mandalay is 954 feet-high Mandalay Hill. It is the natural landmark of Mandalay, which covered with pagodas, images of the Buddha and some other aspects of Buddhism, and a vantage-point for panoramic view of the city. One souvenir of the visit to the hill is the unforgettable vista of an eastern city seen from above the hill, especially at sunset. There is a stairway to climb at ease and rest as you go up the stairway. A one-way motor road is also available to save time and make it accessible for those who are unable to climb up the stairs, leading to an escalator and a lift to the pagoda at the summit.