Uniquely cut off from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar is a country rich with Buddhist spiritual beliefs and warm, friendly people. Abundant in natural resources, Myanmar boasts an inspiring variety of landscapes. From the 4,000 stupas across the plains of Bagan, to the Golden Rock balanced on the edge of a chasm and pristine beaches, Myanmar is a truly relaxing destination.
The cultural capital of the country, Mandalay is actually home to over half of Myanmar’s monks, despite its modern and concrete exterior. In the temple Mahamuni Paya is the 13 foot tall seated Buddha, drawing thousands of colorful worshipers to its doors. The statue was seized in 1784 from Mrauk U by the Burmese army, and the story of its installation is illustrated in a series of paintings in the pagoda’s inner courtyard. The Buddha has fold leaf applied every day by male devotees, creating a 6-inch layer of gold on his body except his face, which is polished daily at 4 AM.
The jewel of Yangon is the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda. This magnificent structure can be seen from around the city; no building dares to be higher than its Golden Spire. Believed to be 2,500 years old and enshrining eight of Lord Buddha’s hairs, the Shwedagon Pagoda is revered as one of the holiest sites by Buddhists throughout the world.
A short drive from Yangon, Mt. Kyaikhtiyo houses the Golden Rock Pagoda. Join in the company of pilgrims for whom a visit to this Paya is an essential spiritual journey. The mountain-top temple provides excellent opportunities for hiking and stops to surrounding villages allow interaction with the local craftsmen and people who live in the shadow of this important Buddhist landmark.
With beaches equal in beauty, but without the crowds of nearby Thailand, the waters off Myanmar provide the ultimate in relaxation in a journey to this beautiful and remote country. The best known of Myanmar’s beaches (but still practically undiscovered compared to the other beaches in South-East Asia) is Ngapali Beach, home to white sands and clear blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, all set against a back drop of coconut palms. Indulge in fresh seafood and memorable snorkeling without the crowds found on other shores in the area.
The magic of Bagan has inspired visitors for many centuries, and Marco Polo once described it as ‘one of the finest sights in the world’. Riding in a hot air balloon allows you a spectacular vantage point of this celebrated landscape. Some hot air balloon companies donate a portion from each flight to community programs that benefit the local population. In your balloon, you can drift over a panorama of ancient pagodas scattered below. These fabulous spires begin to glow with the dawn and then blaze with vibrant color as the sun rises over the far horizon. You’ll see long lines of red-robed monks weave through the streets collecting early morning alms.
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Commence on a journey through Myanmar’s cultural capital, Mandalay, before continuing on to the temple-strewn plain of Bagan and the charming colonial town of Maymyo. Or explore the ancient temples of Bagan and the pagoda-topped hills of Sagaing, and visit Mingun, home of the world’s largest ringing bell.
Let Yampu guide you through an in depth exploration into the bustling metropolises of Yangon and Mandalay, to the rural enchantment of Amarapura and the spiritual splendor of Bagan. Then to top it all off, spend two days at your leisure at one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. Ngapali Beach is home to white sands and clear blue waters, all set against a back drop of coconut palms.
Often described as the “living soul” of the Buddhist faith, Myanmar boasts countless sites of historical and cultural significance. The Shwedagon Paya in Yangon, Golden Rock on Mt. Kyaikhtiyo and ancient temples of Bagan occupy a place of chakra-like importance to both devotees and tourists alike. View the major sites, lesser known pagodas and temples, rural villages and big cities that have played vital roles in the practice of Buddhism for centuries.
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