Burma is a country with a rich history and an even richer culture, with breathtaking landscapes, incredible views, mesmerising statues and structures- and let’s not forget the cats which jump through hoops. Yes, you read that right, so take a look below for all the visuals you need to know about travelling to Burma…
Also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, the Shwedagon Pagoda is a 325 foot tall golden stupa (a stupa being a “mound-like” structure) found in former capital Yangon. The structure dominates the Yangon skyline – which no-one complains about as the Padoga is breathtaking.
Built more than a millennium ago (the exact date is unknown), the Padoga is home to incredible Buddhist relics and legends; one story tells of two merchant brothers who brought eight hairs given to them by Lord Gautama Buddha which brought about miracles, including rays of light, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the ground shaking and gems raining from the sky…
We can’t guarantee that will happen on your holiday, but might as well try your luck…
The sky either shines a bright orange for miles around, or the setting sun subtly shines over the landscape painting silhouettes of temples and trees on the horizon – one of those views you just can’t get on an ocean cruise, this is one of Burma’s most beautiful sights.
Yangon Zoological Gardens
Elephants, lions, hippos, cats – as a matter of fact you can find 145 different land species in Yangon’s Zoological Gardens – and over three hundred plants species for all you budding horticulturalists! The gardens even feature Yangon’s Museum of Natural History, which exhibits rare species of Burmese fauna and – err – taxidermy. Personally, we’d stick to the live animals…
The weather is a cruel and often unpredictable mistress which we Brits are used to being mistreated by. Will it snow? Will it rain? The answer to one of those is almost always yes, unless you’re in Burma.
Whether it’s mid-June or the dead of December, Burmese residents seek shelter under sun umbrellas and are always wearing clothing that’s breezy and loose-fitting. Incredibly wise, given that year-round the average temperature is between 22°-27° Celsius – that’s scorching!
Okay so a cave may not sound like the most glamourous of destinations but this is something that must be seen to be believed. The southernmost Pindaya Cave can be entered and extends 490 feet into the mountainside, filled with more than 8,000 depictions of Buddha – eight thousand!
These depictions include pictures as well as thousands of differently sized statues, with some of the earliest among them dating back to 1773. It’s an incredible place to visit, although we’ll understand if cave spelunking isn’t your idea of an exciting excursion…
If you want to see something truly incredible then climb to the top of a temple’s tower in Bagan – bonus points if the sun is beginning to set. Honestly, you don’t need to be in Bagan for this as Burma is beautiful all over but the sprawling plains littered with temples and ancient structures highlighted by the setting sun is an utterly incredible sight to behold – definitely one for the photo album.
How big do Buddha statues get? Well Rio de Janeiro’s Christ The Redeemer stands tall at 38 metres – absolutely massive in person! Well the Win Sein Taw Ya Reclining Buddha is 30 metres tall – when lying down.
Which is actually all he does, for if he were to stand he’d be an incredible 180 metres high! The biggest Buddha in the world and one of the world’s largest statues, the Win Sein Taw Ya reclining Buddha is an essential sight to see for all visitors.
Although, this Buddha is a tad worn down by weather and age – if you want to see a more decorative Buddha we recommend the Shwethalyaung Buddha, the second largest Buddha in the world and definitely the most grandiose.
Covered in head-to-toe in gold, this Buddha has even the soles of his feet decorated in gold and covered with detailed and intricate carvings. Perhaps not the biggest, but certainly the most impressive!
Ananda Temple is world famous and one of the most beautiful temples in all of Burma. Called by some the “Westminster Abbey of Burma”, the temple comes with its fair share of stories. The most famous legend is that of eight monks who approached King Kyanzittha who charged the monks with building a large, cool temple in the middle of the hot Bagan plains.
Once the temple was complete the king had all eight monks killed so there could never be a temple quite like it. Whether the story has any truth to it is another thing entirely but the legend is no doubt as incredible as the 900 year old temple itself…
A Monastery With Cats That Jump Through Hoops
Didn’t we promise you cats that jump through hoops? Well here they are…
Cats are trained to jump through hoops. Seriously. Nga Hpe is a monastery built on stilts on Inle Lake which is famous for its hoop-hopping felines. Previously the cats’ abilities were shown by the residing monks but these days a trained woman helps show off the skills of these cool cats. It really has to be seen to be believed…
Those are just nine wondrous sights you have to enjoy in Burma, but that’s definitely not all there is! There are many temples, statues, people of interest, markets, different food and drink…
But we have to ask, what would you most want to see that Burma has to offer? Have you already been? Is it somewhere that still sits on your bucket list? Leave us your thoughts and comments!