Myanmar is a country located east of India, which has succeeded in hiding its beauty from most of the world. Once called Burma, it houses some of the oldest Buddhist relics, in equally old pagodas, shrines and temples. Nature has played her part by endowing Myanmar very well, in the form of forests, mangroves, mountains and beaches.
This secretly wondrous southeast Asian country is one that is not frequented by vacationers. It is a perfect spot for people who want to explore a new place that is yet untouched by the large commercial world of a booming tourism industry. Myanmar hosts some great hidden places that are a must-see on every traveller’s bucket list. They are a combination of nature’s gifts and an ancient belief system that produced some lovely architecture.
Here’s your list!
- Gwa, Rakhine State
Gwa is a little township at the southern end of the Rakhine State. Three-fourth of its little area is covered by mangroves and forests, and at its north end can be found the beach of Kantharyar. Fishing villages and mangroves line this secluded shore, whose tourism is handled by a few local entrepreneurs. Not many visitors have Gwa on their maps, so Kantharyar beach makes for a good spot if you’re looking for one that is tourist-free most of the time. It is miles of raw coastline, boasting of some rare and unique species of flora in the continuing forests.
Mawlamyine is Myanmar’s third largest city. It is packed full of culture, in hidden places that regular tourists do not usually delve into, where Kipling and Orwell’s stories will come alive. It houses one of the most welcoming monasteries in the country, where one could join in a meditation session. Some of the best pagodas can also be found here, along with the roots of the sinister Death Railway and its position in Burmese history.
- Irrawaddy Delta
Not far from Yangon is the sleepy little town of Thanlyin, in the Irrawaddy Delta. Nature lovers and those just looking for a getaway from city life will find their heaven in this magical little place. The beauty of nature is in its finest splendour, as seen from the Men Mahla Kyun (beautiful lady) wildlife sanctuary. A third century pagoda will grace the eyes by a boat ride on the lake, as it passes the island it is enshrined on. The locals of Thanlyin are craftspeople, and a trip through the town will see them hard at work making beautiful pieces of pottery. It is a different world in itself.
Few visitors make their way to Bhamo, found in the region of Mandalay. And thus few know its well kept secrets. It boasts of a beautiful ruin of temples and city walls, which is the ancient capital of the Shan, Sampanago. It is surrounded by rich jungles and high mountains, making it a hidden paradise of sorts. You can also delight in an elephant ride in one of the old logging camps of the area.
- Kabyar Wa, Mon State
Kabyar Wa is a little beach located in the southern Mon State. It is 13 kilometers of untouched, undeveloped shore that is almost tourist-free. White sand and a vegetated seafront are the beautiful features of this secluded place, with a few restaurants present that cater to the few visitors. Travellers can find it in a magically natural state.
So start planning that next vacation, peeps. Myanmar calls out to the holidaying desires of your soul!