7 Reasons to Visit Myanmar Before It’s Too Late
Myanmar is unlike other places you know about in the world. Set foot on this land, the clock may turn back to the last century.
Street vendors take over the old blocks, always stained with many splotches of red. Well, that’s the result of spitting red betel juice. You can see cows in the streets, and both men and women wearing the traditional longyis. The roaring trains seem to be coming from a few decades ago.
However, with its rapidly developing tourism, Myanmar is changing. Therefore, to experience the old world charm that has yet untouched by globalization, the best time to visit Myanmar is now! Here come more reasons for your reference.
Myanmar Is Changing Fast
Myanmar has opened its door to international travel in 2012. And 2015 saw Myanmar’s largest visitor numbers. Since then, the number of visitors to Myanmar has grown steadily. With the surge of tourism, Myanmar is gradually changing.
For the locals, tourism is good. Tourism would allow a young girl who dream to be a tour guide to achieve her goal. Tourism would support the local artists. And tourism would offer a single mom a more realistic way to earn money to feed her families.
However, for tourists, the changes may be disappointing. Down the years, the cost of visiting Myanmar are continuing to increase, with hotel prices more than tripling in the last few years.
More and more western-style fast food chains are on their way, as are a number of luxury hotel chains. The major cities can cater to luxury tours, with plentiful luxury hotels like Shangri-La Serviced Apartments, The Strand Hotel, Hilton, etc. So go now before it becomes too commercialized and loses its old Asia charm.
More and more luxury hotels are on their way to Myanmar.
Luckily, It’s Still Unspoiled by Modernization
The culture of Myanmar hasn’t faded by the western influence. Even in big cities, the buildings are old and the trains seem to come from the last century. In the countryside, it remains authentic, something very hard to find in this modern and interconnected world.
The Burmese adhere to their deep-rooted traditions. For example, they dress in longyi in their daily life, carry things with their head, and they row the longtail boat with their leg. Some remote villages are homes to the real long neck ladies and the mysterious facial-tattooed women.
For example, in Loikaw of Kayah State, you can see a lot of long neck women, the most famous ethnicity in Myanmar, on the street walking, in the crop field working, or just hanging out their houses. They live their daily life and are not animals in the zoo that sell souvenirs or pose for tourists to take photos.
Some Old Traditions Are Tending to Disappear
Although the peoples of Myanmar are struggling to insist on their cultures, some old traditions are vanishing. For instance, the young generation of Chin girls no longer to tattoo their faces. The Hkahku women of Kachin State no longer wear amber earrings. And the Wa no longer hunt heads.
With more shocks from western culture, maybe more traditional customs are going to disappear. Thus, visit Myanmar as soon as possible before it’s too late.
U Bein Bridge Is Over 170 Years Old
Built around 1850, U Bein Bridge proves to be the oldest teakwood bridge in the world. Also, it is the world’s longest footbridge bridge, spanning 1.2 kilometers over the Taungthaman Lake.
With an age of 170 and its sturdy wooden structure, U Bein Bridge is a marvel itself, attracting tons of visitors every year. You may find it’s jam-packed with tourists on the bridge especially at sunset. To avoid the crowds, you can take a small boat to the western side to appreciate the gorgeous silhouette of the bridge.
Visit Myanmar as early as possible to see the original charm of U Bein Bridge.
However, after over a century of exposure to the elements and natural disasters, the bridge has fallen into disrepair. There is a growing concern that the bridge will collapse someday. Mandalay government says the bridge’s structural deterioration require a major repair work.
If you prefer to see the original charm of U Bein Bridge, visit Myanmar right now.
More and More Visitors Flock to Bagan
Bagan is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Myanmar. There are over 3000 remains of temples, pagodas and monasteries surviving on the plain today.
Compared to Angkor Wat that is infested with tour groups, there are so many temples on the plain that you can always find one that you really like even in the peak season.
Furthermore, if you want to avoid most tourists, take a hot air balloon at sunrise and float above the thousands of temples and pagodas. It's hard to see the sun pops up over a thousand-year-old temple in other places of the world. With a layer of mist hanging over the Bagan plain, the scenery you see on the hot air balloon is amazing.
Take a Bagan hot air balloon to enjoy the sunset over temples.
However, with more and more tourists coming, Bagan would become as crowed as Angkor Wat in the future. The best solution is to see it as early as possible.
There Are Many Hidden Gems Yet to Explore
Myanmar houses some of the most beautiful temples in the world.
Except for Bagan, you can see them in Mandalay. With 700 white marble stone slabs surround the gilded pagoda in the center, Kuthodaw Pagoda deserves a visit. Hsinbyume Pagoda is the most unusual temples to visit in Myanmar. The totally white color and circle layout look very impressive.
Leaving Mandalay, you can take your time to discover the real hidden gem of Myanmar - Mrauk U. It was the capital of the Mrauk U Kingdom, the most important and powerful Rakhine Kingdom. Abandoned for over two centuries, few foreign visitors are found here.
The People Are Friendly and Welcoming
For many visitors who have been to Myanmar, the people here are the kindest, most generous and most helpful people they’ve come across in their travels around the world.
We believe that while your travel days in Myanmar, you would meet the locals inviting you into their homes for dinner, going out of their way to make your experience the easiest, and wanting to lend a kind and helping hand.
The kids in Myanmar are willing to let you take their photos.
Your cheek would literally hurt by the end of day from your constant smiling. Most importantly, there are cute kids everywhere and they are willing to let you take their photos.
We hope you can get the best experience in Myanmar, the land with fascinating temples, fabulous landscapes, and friendly people. Plan yourself a Myanmar tour before the place turns to be a commercialized tourist resort. Come on! Visit Myanmar as early as possible for its authentic old Asia charm!
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