HomeLuxury TravelYour Information to Myanmar and Mandalay for Newbie Vacationers

Your Information to Myanmar and Mandalay for Newbie Vacationers

Your Information to Myanmar and Mandalay for Newbie Vacationers

Myanmar was as soon as virtually unimaginable to go to—that is once I went the primary time. The yr was 2010, the nation was a global pariah and being there felt like a visit again in time.

Then, it opened up, and everybody was going. Bagan, with its temples and sizzling air balloons, appeared to develop into virtually as potential as Ayutthaya and Angkor Wat. Then, on account of ethnic cleaning and the imprisonment of the lady as soon as considered the one hope for the nation’s democracy, the nation develop into a pariah once more—and abruptly, going there was controversial (if not as troublesome because it was once).


Your Journey Information to Myanmar  

I visited each of Myanmar’s important cities on my first journey to the nation—which, as I defined throughout the intro to this piece, came about in late 2010. Again then, leaded automobiles had been as widespread the roads as ones that took unleaded gas; you needed to go to an web cafe to entry (a really censored model of) the web and there was a profound sense of disconnection between native individuals and the surface world. I may write a paper about it (and, as you’ll have seen in the event you clicked the hyperlink above, I kind of did!).

Yangon was the place I arrived, and the place my journey started. If I’m trustworthy, I wasn’t an enormous fan of town as an entire, though it was troublesome to disclaim the great thing about its large Shwedagon Pagoda. Mandalay, alternatively, was extra overtly charming, even with out excursions to look at sundown from Mandalay Hill or behind U-Bein Bridge. Oh, I additionally almost died from meals poisoning, although I’m unsure whether or not meals in Yangon or Mandalay had been accountable.

Evaluating Mandalay and Yangon


Yangon is loud, noisy and soiled—there’s simply no means round it. Whereas there are locations (properly, one particularly) that you could escape this, in typically I take into account it a metropolis to be endured, to not be loved. Mandalay, against this, has a walkable and charming city middle, by no means thoughts all of the tour choices.


In relation to Mandalay vs Yangon, there’s barely extra nuance with this piece. On one hand, Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda is arguably one of many architectural gems not solely of Myanmar, however of Southeast Asia extra broadly. In Mandalay, it’s extra concerning the range of sights, with my private favourite being Mahamuni Paya temple and the Mandalay Hill sundown spot.

Pure panorama

Yangon is flatter than Mandalay, which is sensible as a result of it’s so near the coast. Mandalay, alternatively, options beautiful, rolling hills throughout it—which, even in the event you don’t head as much as Mandalay Hill to look at sundown as I counsel above, makes for beautiful views in all instructions.


Unsurprisingly, neither Yangon nor Mandalay has a well-developed public transportation community. You’re mainly on the mercy of pick-up truck taxis, motorbikes and tuk-tuks in the event you don’t simply stroll all over the place, which is fortunately potential (although not all the time pleasing, particularly within the case of Yangon) in each metropolis facilities.

Day Journeys & Excursions

Mandalay is surrounded by a trio of lovely villages—Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura, with the latter being house to the long-lasting U-Bein Bridge. With Yangon, in the meantime, the one practical “day journey” you may take is to Shwedagon Pagoda—which, once more, is within the metropolis—you may’t actually name it a “day journey.”


Different Myanmar Locations

Have longer in Myanmar than the 3-5 days it’ll take to discover Mandalay, Yangon and the assorted sights inside day-trip distance of them? Think about visiting these different high spots:

  • Bagan: Dwelling to actually 1000’s of temples, this can be a picturesque place the place it’s worthwhile to stand up on the daybreak for a sizzling air balloon trip.
  • Inle Lake: If you need a pure break, in the meantime, sit back right here for just a few days—clearly, there are many boat rides you may take.
  • Mergui Archipelago: These islands are, for my part, the easiest in Southeast Asia, though they’re unsurprisingly very troublesome to succeed in.
  • Naypyidaw: Do you know that Yangon just isn’t the capital of Myanmar? Neither did I, till comparatively just lately. Naypyidaw is…an attention-grabbing metropolis, to say the least.

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