Myanmar (former Burma)
A magic trip to discover the land of the thousands temples…
Progress has westernised many nations and civilizations’, but this is not ‘yet happened in Myanmar (formerly Burma) that’ remained virtually unchanged until the present day. A trip to Myanmar is ‘for this unique opportunity both in terms of cultural / artistic from a naturalistic point of view, a unique journey that will allow you’ to know and appreciate the true East.
Myanmar is ‘tightly controlled by the military government in Rangoon and is why we can’ visit only part, about 1/3 of the territory. The other two thirds are virtually unreachable either because producers of opium in the Golden Triangle and is the lack of roads and infrastructure. Despite this Myanmar is ‘slowly changing, has finally opened its doors to tourism and and’ now offer a quiet village to visit and extraordinary landscapes and a population so ‘genuine and hospitable that will leave’ incredulous.
Myanmar (ex Burma) is ‘the most’ large country in the region of Indochina, borders with Bangladesh, with India, with China, Laos and Thailand. The country has about 2,500 km of coastline and pristine beaches bordering the Indian Ocean. To the north is the “hill country” where the upstream mount Wang Razi (6024 mt) is the most’ high in the country. The region extends to the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal. This territory is very wild, mostly located above 4,000 meters high, covered with dense rainforests and almost completely uninhabited. The Shan Plateau, which is situated at a height varying between 1200 and 2000 meters and ‘so vast to occupy about 1/4 of the entire country. In this area you can admire amazing canyons carved into the rock for hundreds of meters many of which are still unexplored. This area is’ known for its many mines of precious stones (rubies, sapphires, lapis, diamonds, jade etc.). The narrow strip of land that juts out to the south, until you reach the peninsula of Malacca, from origin to the coast of Tenasserim. The vast alluvial lowlands (150,000 square km), which occupies the central part of the country to rise to the “basin dell’Irradawaddy”, so fertile as to have always attracted migrations of peoples from all over Asia that have made it the cultural and economic centre in Myanmar. In this area currently lives 2/3 of the entire Burma population.
The flora of Myanmar reflects the performance of the surveys and related altitudes, the forests of the north to the tropical forests and jungle regions more ‘temperate in the south. The fauna is ‘rich of wild buffaloes, tigers, leopards, deer, fallow deer, jackals, bears Tibetans, rhinos, elephants, monkeys, parrots, birds etc … The Indian Ocean that bathes its coasts reserve instead a rich variety’ of coral and tropical fish.
Myanmar has over 50 million inhabitants, the population is constituted for 70% by the Burmese and the rest by minority ethnic groups such as the Shan, Karen, Kachin, Chin, Kayahm, Mon and Rakhine. The Shan are the ethnic minority more ‘numerous and make up 9% of the entire population. Of Chinese origins and influences the Siamese Shan are dedicated to agriculture and pastoralism and populate the eponymous Shan plateau. Special mention deserve the Salon or Moken (literally “immersed in the sea”), this is a population of sea nomads living on boats and / or houseboats in the archipelago of Mergui archipelago consists of more ‘than a hundred islands between the coast of Myanmar and the Andaman Indian.
The official language of Myanmar is the Burmese, but in trade and tourism now is genarally used English. Almost all of the Burmese people practice Buddhism and follows the doctrine Hinayana (small vehicle), one of the most ‘pure teaching of the Buddha. There is no shortage Hindu and Christian minorities in the regions while more ‘internal survive animist traditions. Buddhism is the state religion and permeates the whole life of the nation. Myanmar remains a very poor country where the average annual income ‘of about $ 1,700.
The city of Yangon
Arriving at Mingadalon already ‘you realize you are in a very different world than the cities of Singapore and Bangkok. Yangon (Rangoon the name given by the British) it was the capital desired by King Alaungpaya in 1755. It’s a city ‘with only 4 million inhabitants, leafy and stretched between the two branches of the Irrawaddy River. The historic centre of the city ‘transmits a very particular colonial charm. The people crowding without the typical rush of modern metropolis streets of the city ‘. In Pandosan Street in particular the residents of Yangon discuss, eat and meet.
In the Singattura hill stands the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda which dominates the city ‘, the so-called golden pagoda and’ the most ‘sacred of the Golden Land, witness to an extraordinary past. Arriving on foot from local shops presents a sacred citadel where small stupa, niches, chapels, temples with red, yellow, golden and the centre with the imposing pagoda covered with 8,000 gold foils. According to tradition, the pagoda dates back to 500 BC, but it could be much more ‘old and houses a sacred relic of the Buddha.
Other places of interest to visit: Sule Pagoda, Kaba Aye Pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, Pagoda Botatuang, sitting Buddha Pagoda Koe Htat Gye, Maelamu Pagoda, National Museum, National Zoo, botanical garden etc.
Bogyoke Market: extensive and animated and ‘the most’ big bazaar of the city ‘where practically everything, antiques, precious stones and handicrafts. Ivory and silver, paintings, souvenirs and even “disappointments”.
Excursions outside the city ‘: Pegu (Bago), Syriam, Twante, but especially the’ ancient capital of Pagan (Bagan) that despite the degradation is still one of the most ‘beautiful and interesting place to visit.
The Burmese consider Mandalay (700 km north of Yangon), the true heart of the nation. The city ‘was’ capital from 1852 to 1855 and today, and ‘the second more’ important centre in the country. With about 1 million inhabitants the city ‘of Mandalay’ is the heart of a thriving crafts (wood carvings, sculptures with wood or stone, silver jewellery, jade, ivory and precious stones, bronze objects, cotton fabrics and silk, embroidery and elaborate relief and more.
In addition to the various markets and production centres in Mandalay you can visit: Kuthodaw Pagoda, Maha Muni Pagoda, Kyauk Tawgyi Pagoda, the monastery nadaw Shwe Kyaung, the market Segyo. The beautiful hill of Mandalay, rich pagodas and monastery, that will give you the chance to those who bring himself to face the 1700 steps needed to get a magnificent view of the whole city’ and the surrounding countryside. In the area of Mandalay you can also visit several villages populated by local ethnic groups.
The lovers of the sea, white sand beaches and coconut palms can visit the location ‘of Ngapali a 25-minute flight from Yangon that has beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters. Sea, peace, fish and shellfish at will ‘for a perfect holiday of relaxation. Other beaches and postcard sea can be seen in the locality ‘of Chaungtha.
Weather in Myanmar (ex Burma) – When leaving for Myanmar?
Myanmar has a tropical climate controlled by the regime of the monsoon season. The season more ‘dry (with no rain) goes’ from late October until February, the hot and dry season goes ‘from March to May and the rainy season is’ from June to October.
To enter Myanmar is necessary the passport with 6 months validity’ and a tourist visa that goes’ required before embarking on the journey.
To travel in Myanmar is not ‘required and/or recommended any kind of vaccination, but it is advisable to consult your doctor before embarking on the trip to Myanmar. The limited availability ‘of medicines requires to bring along’ intestinal disinfectants and other generic medicines (antibiotics).
Various shopping tips …
It ‘very interesting achieve Pagan from Mandalay (or vice versa) along the Irrawaddy River by boat.
Myanmar is the ideal place for shopping, especially for lovers of precious stones. Rubins, the most ‘beautiful in the world, sapphires, aquamarines, jade objects (especially the imperial jade Burma) are found in shops in Yangon and Mandalay. Local or Chinese antiquities, ivory and silver fine workmanship are found instead in the markets at the foot of the Shwedagon Pagoda and Bogyoke market in Yangoon. In all markets will be ‘possible to find local crafts like carved wood, silk damask, bronze objects (such as pipes for opium), harps and puppets. And even fans, watermarks silver combs fragrant sandalwood, lacquers of all kinds in the city ‘Pagan.
Begin your journey in Myanmar ( Burma), discover the true East, his art and ancient culture or seduced by its sea and its beaches.