3 gorgeous Myanmar destinations still off the beaten path

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You may be familiar with the standard Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake itinerary, but have you considered traveling to these gems of Myanmar?

Mrauk U

Exploring the ancient capital of Mrauk U is like entering another world. The hilly horizon is broken up by earthen stupas jutting out from the tree canopy. Ride your bike through winding paths around the pagodas. Ok, you might not be able to bicycle around all 700 pagodas, but whatever you do, wake up early for an unreal sunset view from Shwetaung Paya.

Escape the heat and explore the catacombs under Shitte-thaung Temple for detailed sculptural depictions of medieval Myanmar. This sleepy town was once a bustling hub for traders from Portugal to India. Now there just a few hotels and guesthouses along the main street and a single market, and that’s part of the charm.

Get there: Fly 1 hour from Yangon to Sittwe, then take a ferry to Mrauk U. Choose from large ferries which take up to 7 hours or private boats which, although more expensive, can cut your travel time in half.

Ngapoli

Ngapali is arguably Myanmar’s most beautiful and most peaceful beach. We’re used to white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters here in Southeast Asia, but beaches as white and expansive as Ngapoli, with barely a soul lounging on them? Unheard of.

This is Myanmar after all, and the homegrown charm of the country is still evident, even on the picturesque beaches. Everyone is friendly and whether you stay at the Hilton or a beach bungalow, you won’t find much interruption. Fruit sellers don’t hassle you as they smile and walk by and you’ll have your choice of beach chairs.

Get there: Take a 50 minute flight from Yangon to Thandwe Airport. From there it’s a short car ride to Ngapoli beach, which most hotels offer free of charge.

Putao

Putao is the northernmost town of Kachin State, sandwiched between India and China in the foothills of the Himalayas. The isolated area is an adventurer’s dream, offering trekking, mountain climbing and hiking across the rugged terrain. You can also get your thrills white water rafting and skiing.

But you don’t have to be super outdoorsy to fall in love with this place. The stunning views are perfectly enjoyable from ground level. Imagine waking up to a view of Asia’s tallest mountain, the snow capped Hkakabo Razi, in the distance.

Get there: Fly 3.5 hours from Yangon to Putao Airport, a former British army outpost during WWII. Book accommodation and tours in advance and, most importantly, take your time. You’ll need at least 4 days to fully enjoy Putao.

Inspired for an adventure in Myanmar? We thought so. Easily book tours all your domestic flights, tours packages and even car rental with FlyMya and you’re all set.

Header photo: Mrauk U


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