Places visited: Yangon, Bagan
Me and my boyfreind spent a weekend in Myanmar (previously known as Burma) a few months ago, where we had the trip of our life and thanks to his impeccable planning skill, we managed to see almost everything that needed to be seen in Yangon and Bagan.
Myanmar is a popular destination for western backpackers which is not a surprise when the country is surrounded by dazzling and photogenic temples. After arriving Yangon Airport, we used a few hours to see the magnificent Shwedagon Paya before hopping on a plane to Bagan on the same day, there isn’t too much to do in Yangon so you can save your time to see other places in Myanmar.
Tips* Yangon’s traffic is really bad, make sure you plan extra time to get from one place to another.
Thousands of temples that spread across Bagan are the most impressive testament to the religious devotion of Burmese people, and it is truly one of the most stunning religious sites I’ve ever visited. We hired a tour guide to take us around as we only got two days to spend in Bagan and we wanted to make the most of it. You can easily find a temple to explore on your own but there are a few places you just cannot miss – Thatbyinnyu Temple, Shwesandaw Temple and Mount Popa (Taung Kalat).
Thatbyinnyu Temple is one of the tallest temples in Bagan and also my favourite, as you walk toward Thatbyinnyu I promise it will make you feel like you have travelled back in time.
Shwesandaw Temple is only a short drive from Thatbyinnyu where you can enjoy the sunset over a sea of temples.
Mount Popa is an extinct volcano that is 4,000 feet above sea level, the south-west of Mount Popa is a volcano plug and also where the Taung Kalat monastery nestled, the monastery is high up on the hill and guarded by monkeys. If you want to get up the monastery, be prepared to climb 700 steps in barefoot. It was definitely worth it if you ask me.
My boyfriend picked a place called Bagan Lodge for us to stay and it was probably the best choice ever made. The hotel itself is very secluded, situated literally in the middle of nowhere meaning all your dining activities are going to happen inside the hotel unless you don’t mind driving miles to search for restaurants. The hotel has two swimming pools, one smaller one facing the breakfast area and a bigger one facing our room, where we enjoy the sunset with icy cold beers in hands 😉 Yangon and Bagan are places that combine the beauty of nature, history and architectural complexity, a country that gave us the trip of our life and we will definitely go back for more!