From ancient Burma to modern Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country enchants travellers today as it did a century ago. From seeing the golden Shwedagon Pagoda glisten in the sun to taking in the temples of Bagan shrouded in morning mist – there’s something magical about Myanmar’s cultural landscape. Equally as special are the Burmese people. Home to a multitude of different ethnic groups, you’ll be welcomed by a friendly face, usually with patches of traditional thanaka paste, wherever you go.
Explore the sacred caves of Hpa-an on this two-day trip from Yangon. After a scenic drive to the mountainous Kayin State, visit four of the area’s spectacular limestone caves, including Bayint Nyi Cave and its natural hot springs, the thousands of Buddha statues at Kawgun Cave, the small lake inside Kaw Ka Thaung Cave and the massive Sadan Cave.
Escape the city of Mandalay to smell the flowers at an orchid farm and listen to locals talk about their daily life. Take in the picturesque views of the countryside, hike through the forest to Shwe Hin Tha Cave and get a taste of the local specialties along the way – this daytrip to Yae Tagon mountain is an experience for all the senses.
Capital City: Naypyidaw
Population: 53.5 million
Language: Burmese, officially. Indigenous languages like Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan are also recognised regionally.
Currency: The official currency of Myanmar is the kyat (K). Cash is king, and few vendors accept credit cards. It’s possible to change money nearly everywhere in big cities, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted in many tourist establishments, as long as the bills are crisp and unblemished.
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