HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaMyanmar5 Best Places to Visit in Myanmar for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on May 10, 2018.Where to go in Myanmar? Check out these top tourist spots, best places to visit, must-see attractions, beautiful sights & more. Places Flights Hotels Tours PromoI can’t help but pause each time when people ask me about the best country that I’ve visited in Southeast Asia (aside from my home country, The Philippines).It is difficult to narrow it down to just one country, so I end up sharing my top picks. Most are surprised and get curious when I mention Myanmar.First off, I often have to mention “Burma” because not everyone is familiar with its modern name. Secondly, most people don’t have it on their bucketlist, probably because it’s not the easiest to travel or they haven’t had a compelling reason to go yet.Why Myanmar? The ancient temples here are breathtaking! Definitely enough to rival Angkor Wat & Borobudur.I also loved its off-beat vibe! This former military-controlled state had only recently opened up to the outside world. So, you can still witness traditions & local culture that are not heavy influenced by the globalized world. Burmese people are very genuinely friendly and love to chat with tourists to practice their English.If your itinerary permits, book a flight to Yangon & exit out from Mandalay (or vice-versa). Spend at least a week to visit travel-worthy sights in between. Including ancient cities, sacred Buddhist sites, and natural landscapes.Inspire your trip with these beautiful places to see in Myanmar.1. Bagan Sunrise at Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar Overlooking view of Buddhist temples in Bagan, Myanmar Mount Popa Temple in Bagan, MyanmarWhy go — If there’s one place in Myanmar that you should take the time to visit, it’s definitely Bagan. The sheer scale of this ancient city is comparable to the leagues of Angkor Wat. The latter may have more massive single structures but Bagan one-ups it with a landscape filled with thousands of pagodas and temples that are extremely scenic at sunrise and sunsets. How to goShow moreBagan is located in Northern Myanmar. Most tourists arrive here by land from Yangon and Mandalay. The bus trip usually takes around 6 hours if you are coming from Mandalay and 10 hours from Yangon. You can also travel by train or private car. The most convenient way to get to Bagan is by booking a flight to Bagan-Nyaung U Airport, which serves flights from Yangon, Mandalay, Heho, Monywa & Homalin. Flights are served by Yangon Airways, Myanmar National Airlines, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Air KBZ, FMI Air & Mann Yadanarpon.From the Philippines, there are no direct flights to Myanmar. Consider booking a connecting flight via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreBagan travel tips2. Mandalay Mandalay Royal Palace and Mandalay Hill in Myanmar Golden Buddha in Maha Myat Muni Paya (Pagoda), Mandalay, Myanmar Local rowing a boat beside the Ubein Bridge in Amarapura, Greater Mandalay, MyanmarWhy go — This major gateway in Northern Myanmar is worth at least a day tour. See the Mandalay Fort, the last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchy, and some of the country’s most sacred Buddhist sites including the Mahamuni Buddha Temple and Mandalay Hill. Extend your visit with a nice excursion to the four ancient cities of Mingun, Sagaing, Amarapura, and Innwa. How to goShow moreMandalay along with Yangon are the main international gateways to Myanmar. Mandalay International Airport serves direct flights from Bangkok, Hong Kong & Singapore. Bangkok to Mandalay flight duration is around 1 hour and 45 minutes. By land, buses and trains are available from major tourist spots. Land travel to Mandalay takes around 9 hours from Yangon, 6 hours from Bagan & 8 hours from Inle Lake.From the Philippines, book a connecting flight via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Cebu Pacific & Philippine Airlines fly directly to from Manila to Bangkok. Flight duration is 3 hours and 20 minutes. Then, fly from Bangkok to Mandalay on AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Myanmar Airways or Myanmar National Airlines. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreMandalay travel tips3. Yangon Sunset at Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda) in Central Yangon, Myanmar High Court Building in Central Yangon, Myanmar Karaweik Hall and Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon, MyanmarWhy go — Yangon is not only Myanmar’s primary international gateway and capital city, it is also a fascinating destination to explore. The main attraction here is the Shwedagon Pagoda, an architectural icon famous for its massive gold and diamond decorated spire. The city center is an interesting place to explore as well. Take your time to visit its many pagodas and well preserved British-era colonial buildings. How to goShow moreYangon is the most popular gateway to Myanmar. Yangon International Airport serves direct flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Chiang Mai, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei & Doha. Flight duration from Bangkok to Yangon, the busiest route, is 1 hour and 15 minutes. From Kuala Lumpur, flight duration to Yangon is 2 hours and 40 minutes. Popular airlines include Nok Air, AirAsia, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Myanmar Airways & Myanmar National Airlines.From the Philippines. In addition to flying via Bangkok, you can also arrive in Yangon on a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. KL-Yangon flights are served by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines & Malindo Air. Meanwhile, SG-Yangon flights are served by Bangkok Airways, Myanmar Airways International, Myanmar National Airlines, AirAsia, Thai Airways & Lion Air Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts24% OFF Yangon Full Day Walking Tour. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreYangon travel tipsSee also20 Places To Visit in MalaysiaIndia Tourist Spots17 Places To Visit in CambodiaLaos Tourist Spots4. Hsipaw View of the Goteik Gorge aboard the Mandalay to Hsipaw train in Greater Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)Why go — After knowing about the vintage train ride from Mandalay to Hsipaw as one of the best railway journeys in the World, I knew I just had to experience it. Before reaching this small town in Northern Myanmar, the train crosses a steel bridge that spans a massive and very picturesque gorge. Hsipaw itself is an excellent place to get a feel of rural Burma and go on nature treks. How to goShow moreThe best way to get to Hsipaw, in North Myanmar, is to go abroad the scenic train from Mandalay. Travel time by train takes around 10 hours. On your way back to Mandalay, take the faster bus ride. Travel time by bus is around 6 hours. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreHsipaw travel tips5. Kyaiktiyo Sunset at Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock Pagoda in MyanmarWhy go — Before my first trip to Myanmar ended, I traveled a few hours south of Yangon to visit Kyaiktiyo. This place is famous for the gravity-defying Golden Rock Pagoda perched on top of a mountain. It is considered as one of the most sacred Buddhist sites by Burmese people. Sunset views here are unreal! How to goShow moreKinpun, the starting point of the trek to Mt. Kyaiktiyo, is 4 hours south of Yangon by bus. Kinpun is the base camp village where you can find hotels & places to eat. From Kinpun, public trucks ferry pilgrims & tourists half-way to the summit. Then, it is another 45-minute hike up to the site of the Golden Rock Pagoda. If you want to skip the hike, you can pay human carriers to take you to the top, literally, on a throne. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreKyaiktiyo travel tipsNote: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.Got places in mind that should be on this list? Share your photos and videos and tag #detourista on Facebook and Instagram.Don’t stop hereCheck out these pages for more inspiration on places to go in Asia:Philippines Tourist SpotsAsian Countries To Visit16 Places To Visit in VietnamDon’t leave yet. There’s more!Indochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the Philippines14 Best Places to Visit in North India for First-TimersBalabac Trip Guide for First-TimersDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:BaganYangonMandalayHsipawKyaiktiyoMyanmarSoutheast AsiaAsia See all placesFind more posts about:FeaturedBest TravelBest PlacesBest Things To DoLeave a Reply Cancel reply This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Comments subhapanyo saysJune 6, 2016 at 12:10 pmIve been to Hsipaw, but to maintain 5 destination, I would like to replace it with Inle Lake for reason of scenery, or for reason of historical site maybe the unfinished rail The Myanmar Thailand Japanese Death Railway Line.Reply Marcos Detourist saysJune 6, 2016 at 5:16 pmThanks for the tip subhapanyo. Inle Lake seems like an interesting visit as well!Reply Lula saysSeptember 10, 2016 at 12:50 pmHi there Marcos! First of all thanks for sharing your experiences, I was doubting whether to go to Myanmar but now that I’ve read your article I’m definitely going! I would like to ask you if you know what the best way to go from Myanmar to India. I’ve been looking but I haven’t found it. Cheers!Reply Marcos Detourist saysSeptember 24, 2016 at 2:45 amGo Lula, Myanmar is amazing to visit. You can fly direct with Air India or via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.Reply Meagan Browno saysOctober 20, 2016 at 1:20 pmAmazing blog about best places in Myanmar! Long time I am searching info about best amazing places in Myanmar! My search end today. Thanks dear for this amazing blog!Reply Ellen Vallesteros saysNovember 8, 2016 at 8:46 amHi Marcos Detourist. Nice blog about Myanmar! How about estimated budget similar to what you share in a 3 day visit to Siemp Riep? I believe it would be a big help for first time traveller. Thanks. :-)ReplyStart A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.