Thứ Ba, 8 tháng 1, 2019

Mawlamyine - burma

Spending a few days in Yangon is a splendid chance to understand myanmar citizen and go to its wonderful sites. One of those is having a full day to discover the lives by Ayeyarwaddy River in Dala and Twante.

If Dala - about 40km from Yangon - is one of the most joyful villages of myanmar (Burma), where you can experience the life on motorcycle, the friendliness of vendors on the road and the cheerful eyes of children, Twante is the traditional pottery handicraft of this country, where you can learn about the skillful people and their charming works, admire how young generation is keeping and developing the secret of their family’s traditional workshop. One day in these beautiful towns is worth experience to carry some memories of your beautiful burma holiday back home.

Dala – How the lives get on by the Ayeyarwaddy River?

How to get there:

Being a small town in the South of Yangon river, the trip to Dala starts by taking the jetty at Pansadon road. Walking to the finish of the street then you may realize the local jetty which is ready to depart at any time of the day. Foreigners may buy the ticker at the booth near the jetty, the price is about $4/pax/two ways, which be able to be paid by local currency (kyats) as well. The ferry will leave every 20 minutes and will reach the destination at an approximately like time.
Going along the river by ferry will surely take a Burmese local taste to your holiday. Immense by the view scenery, amazed by the fact that local vendors will try to sell almost everything hand-made to customers with the warmest smile and brightest eyes. You could expect from snack, fruit to bread and egg… ect. Taking the charming photos and feeling the “village smell” should add memories to your trip.
Ferry to Twante Yangon Myanmar

What to notice

Leaving Yangon in about 20 minutes and take a adventure in Dala for 2 – 3 hours in the afternoon is an excellent adjustment of the day. There are a lot of things recommended in this town:

bring a walk around Dala, there is a mix of harsh, dusty dirt roads and the piles of animal walking through streets to streets. This is the rare thing which can not be found in bustling cities similar Yangon or Mandalay. You will notice chicken, goats and cows are freely crossing the street now and then. Spend some kyats (the local Burmese money) to bring a trishaw ride and relax being a farmer. Trishaw is one of the most common means of transportation in here. Riding by trishaw, watching authentic rural life, looking at the young kid slowly pass-by is something that has been lost in the big and modern countries. Go to the fresh fish market of the village and interact with the “local businessman” are also interesting and notable activities.

Belong to burma means there is no place that you cannot adventure without a golden temple. Shwe Sayan Pagoda is a significant landmark of this town. All citizen that coming to this pagoda will pay their respect to the mummified monk in a glass cased for their peaceful life. The spiritual Buddha has been taking care of the whole town for around 150 years and surely more to come. The legend has said 10 – 12 years ago, he has warned the villagers about a coming cyclone from Thailand.

Twante – Not only a pottery village but also a town of many surprising things

How to get there

There are several ways to reach this boutique workshop village. From Yangon, you can get to to Twante by ferry from Pandosan street (near Strand road) in 2 hours through the Twante Canal. If you are already in Dala, first bring the ferry at Dala in 10 minutes then 45 minutes by car via Twante Bridge. All in all, reaching this town is as easy as it said.

How to go to the town:

Not similar Yangon, where the only means of transportation is by bus or taxi, reaching small towns like Twante of Dala, you may experience from bicycle to motorbike to trishaw, local minibus, big bus and taxi (if you do not get to with the personal car), and a mix of them. If you ever try on bus, you will see that each bus will own a ‘conductor’, who be able to speak some Burmese-English, will collect the money on hand and shout out the place. It would be an interesting experience.

What to see:

George Orwell, in his famous book “Burmese Days” has mentioned Twante as one of his favorite places while living in burma. As a neighbor of Dala on the Ayearewaddy delta river, this town will welcome you with its glamorous agricultural products. Not only that, Twante is known for for its pots, the Shwe san daw Temple or the mysterious snake pagoda.
primary one in the list is the Twante market, you could buy most of the local products in here, from tropical fruits to quail eggs to local powder and other goods. Citizen will normally hang their products on any type of vehicle and carriers, on bicycle, on boat, or even on their head….
The most famous pottery village is Oh-Bo Pottery, visitors may reach there by trishaw by somewhat 300 – 500 kyats (Kyats is burma currency) from Twante market. From now on, you could uncover a whole world from water mugs, pots, vases, water filter, bowls and tremendous more. Almost everyone in a family will together handle the work by hand in each step. There is no machine but everything has been finished manually, from collecting the raw material, building to proper objects to firing and drying process. Although there is no paint or color on the final product but there are carvings and sculpting vases and pots which reveal the skills of those native artists. The products, after that, will be shipped to Yangon or other big cities via boat then sold there.
Spend some time to visit Shwe san daw Pagoda (Shwe san daw means “the temple of golden hair”), a perfectly smaller duplicate of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. There are only four temples in myanmar own the name Shwesandaw (one in Yangon, one in Bagan – the most well known one, one in Pyay which is approximately 300km to the north of Yangon and one in Twante). The temple embraces two strands of hair of Buddha and is where all local citizen in Ayearewaddy regions come to pray for good life.
Besides, one of the very unlikely sites in Twante is the Snake Temple, which would clearly encourage our adventurous tourists. The Snake Temple is located in the middle of the lake which is 4 – 5 km from Twante. The pagoda is where the big snakes (pythons) are living, there are two nuns who devoted their lives to take care of snakes in diverse sizes. They think that Buddha is protected and kept silent while he listens to his people’s peace and happiness asking.

Thứ Hai, 13 tháng 8, 2018

Myanmar’s featured Novitiation Ceremony

In burma, boys all must experience one or several times of “monk-hood”. They will leave their home and be sent to a monastery or pagoda to practice before deciding whether to become a lifelong monk or give up the robe after that.

Novitiation ceremony (or Shinbyu Pwe) is the most important ceremony in a whole life of a Burmese men. To them, since they were born, if they inclue not ever gone into a pagoda or monastery once, they contain not been a fantastic Buddhist yet. Also according to the belief of Buddhists here, the fact that their son become monks could create a big career for family.

Shinbyu Pwe - special ceremony

In early morning, new novices are applied makeup, wearing Burmese traditional costumes, and are taken to a unique site to start the ceremony. This is an occasion that parents be able to be proud of their children.

Organizers will announce the Shinbyu Pwe ceremony and open music to call upon people to donate alms bows and robes for new novices. After the announcement, the children ride horse decorated splendidly, shielded from the sun by a parasol, and marching around their neighborhood to the monastery or pagoda. The horse is led by an orchestral band headed by a clown with a moustache called U Shwe Yoe holding a parasol and dancing merrily.

The children have to wear the costumes such as a royal prince or king and usually ride horse. They symbolize the image of prince Siddhartha when he renounced the world, as he left his palace (also his family, wife, newborn son, his title and the world he used to be) to go into the forest and commence the intense meditation until becoming the enlightened person (Buddha hood).

However, some novices can be taken on the shoulder of their close relatives if they cannot afford to ride horse, while it can be exaggerated by letting the children ride on elephant back or more rich on Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus depending on budget of every family. In fact, the form of riding horse around neighborhood previous going into a pagoda now just takes site in rural areas or small cities. In large cities like Yangon, families usually use cars to take their children into pagoda.

In a procession of Shinbyu Pwe, parents of the novice stand at top, carrying all necessary items that he will need at the monastery (robe, alms bow, hand fan, water filters and razor, all that 5 requisites) and some add-ons (not a must) such as grass mat, pillows, blanket, etc. Behind, sisters or the most captivating belles will take on their hand a betel box and flowers. The father of the novice usually holds a triangular bell, salient at a certain pace in accordance with his walking time. He will say “Amyah” (means I share my merit by making this deed) while citizen who hear the bell ring may say Sadu for three times (means well done…well done… well done).
A boy on horse back shielded from the sun by a parasol

And a boy on elephant back

U Shwe Yoe - clown dance (Photo: Moe Swe via flick)

A Shinbyu procession, the father holds a triangular bell and strike,
charming belles take on hand a betel box or flowers. (Photo: Moe Swe via flick)

Shinbyu Pwe ceremony in details

In monastery, Buddhist monks will explain the benefit of novitiation to parents and children. Subsequently, boys will be shaved their head, wearing a Buddhist robe. As from that moment, the child will not own any property. With bare-head and bare-foot bringing along a bowl, he will visit beg for alms every morning. In the remaining time, novices will learn Burmese scripts, Buddhist scriptures by Pali language and everything concerning to Buddhism. burmese people own the notion that “when a child be able to drive birds away in fields, it means that he or she could go into a monastery or pagoda”. But in fact, children be able to become a Buddhist novice as they are able to recite Buddhist scriptures by Burmese and Pali language. Boys normally have to go into a monastery or pagoda by the age of 20.

Time length of monk-hood of a child is diverse, could be few days, few weeks or few years. A child also could become a novice in tremendous times. Tremendous children after going into a monastery or a pagoda, if this life is not suited to them or they want to return the secular life for further study or to be married, they will return home. Every month, monasteries and pagodas all possess novices secularizing to come back to the normal life. Of course, children getting diseases of cancer, scabies or asthma will not be permitted to become a Buddhist monk.

Formerly, novitiation ceremony was held lavishly in each family, so it is known as a costly festival. Burmese parents consider holding this ceremony as making merit. If parents do not have enough money to hold this ceremony, their relatives and friends will support a part of budget for them. Thingyan festival is the favorite chance to conduct this Shinbyu Pwe. But today, it is held all year-round, depending on choice of the suitable day and month of each area.

Trek Kalaw and encounter Ethnic people

Kalaw is a former colonial British hill station in western Shan State of burma (Burma), at 1320m above the sea level, 50 km from Inle lake.

Kalaw has natural atmosphere, cool and refreshing climate, and breathtaking scenery. It is well-known as a trekking mecca of myanmar and an suitable region for colorful hill tribe and agricultural life discovery.

Kalaw town is set amongst luxurious pine forests. Numerous colonial-era buildings constructed by British in Kalaw remain with diverse states of decay. They are quaint, eerily tranquil and seemingly undisturbed.

Kalaw blends influences of Indian and Nepalese culture. This region has a significant population of Nepali Gurkhas, Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who were brought to Kalaw by the British to build the railway line.

As an untouched and pristine region, trekking and visiting villages in Kalaw is an incredible way to acquire impressive experiences. These are some featured places that you could trek in Kalaw.
++ Suggested tour: Trekking from Kalaw to Inle lake in 7 days with price begin from $730/person

Trekking between Kalaw and Inle lake or to surround hills

From Kalaw, you can trek to Inle, setting foot on beaten tracks and getting tastes of the life of the local Danu, Pa-oh, Palaung, Shan and Taungyoe ethnic groups.

Hiking Kalaw is an endless series of ups and downs through lush bamboo and teak forests but none particularly steep. You will be impressed by brilliant cultivated land, pine trees, tea, cheroots, oranges, bananas, canola, likeable rice fields, corn, cabbages, eggplant, potatoes, other vegetables and expansive views of surrounding hills. On trekking roads, you will encounter truly non-touristy scenes of the local life, farming, cooking and even bathing. Children own impartial smiles, although they are carrying their siblings on their back. Young teenagers harvest tea leaves. Palaung people sing Burmese songs happily without understanding the words and making numerous mistakes. And it is fine if you are welcome to grow local trees for forest recovery.

Specially, along the street, beside villages, you be able to enjoy for lunch and spend night in monasteries. Going toward Inle lake, you can be overnight at Buddhist temples or local tribe farmsteads.

In villages, there are many families living in a long house, about 7 families with over 60 citizen. For privacy, each couple of parents has a small walled enclosure where they rest. Inhabitants in some villages produce a stack of handy craft and weaving products such as fabric, scarves, hats, etc. Just only about five villages in Kalaw are permitted to host foreigners.

++ Suggested tour: Untouched Loilaw trek to Kalaw in 06 days with price begin from US$650/person

Local markets

numerous local markets are rotating markets, typical outdoor markets, with nothing for tourists and everything belongs to locals such as meat, agriculture products, herbs and spices.

Villagers from the surrounding hills come to the grand central market in Kalaw town to sell their produce. There are plenty of captivating and cheap handy crafts you can buy. Most of the town’s restaurants and food stalls stand surround the market and propostion a wide range of food. Tremendous dishes possess origin from India and Nepal.

Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp

Founded in 2011, this area has been well conserved landscape, and is a highlight of Kalaw go to. Local ecology, elephants and traditions of indigenous citizen are protected. Green Hill valley is the habitat of diverse birds, butterflies, orchids and bamboo forests.

Taking a amazing trek to Shan countryside in Green Hill valley, you could learn skills of the mahout (elephant driver) and take knowledge about tradition of elephant keepers. Joining in bathe duties for elephants if you want. Mahouts do not encourage elephant riding, but short rides could be carried out depending on the weather and health of elephants. Baskets must not be used on elephants.

Other featured locations

Also in the centre of Kalaw town is the Aung Chang Tha stupa, which glitters by silver and gold glass mosaics. You could head up to the Thein Taung Pagoda, which is in the northern Union Highway (the main road through Kalaw).

A pleasant walk south of the central market takes you to the Hnee Pagoda, where you will see a 500-year-old bamboo Buddha, and the Shwe U Min Pagoda (Shwe Oo Min Paya), a cave filled with golden Buddha statues. On these steps in the surrounding hills, you will find reminders of British colonial times, such as restored cottages and a different nice of religious monument – Christ the King Church. This is a good instance of active Christian worship in myanmar, with famous daily mass and Sunday services.

Kalaw has the Tazaungman Full Moon Festival, which takes site in late October or early November, and features street parades, music and fireworks.

Trekking in Kalaw can be enjoyed at any time of year, despite cool season is the most agreeable. Occasional rain shower be able to makes the trek tougher a bit.

Joining a trek in Kalaw, you could stub a toe, catch a cobweb and maybe slip in mud, but the rewards are spectacular view, the plain and quiet village life or, well, just a lonely quiescent moment hearing twitters of birds and far rumble voices gone with the wind reaching you.

Chủ Nhật, 12 tháng 8, 2018

Myanmar's pretty road Food

As an enigmatic country, burma is also charming for its primary cuisine based on distinctly indigenous ingredients. Strolling around the streets in the country and trying some featured dishes, it is not prissy to notice this feature.

1. Burmese sweet snacks

Commonly known as “moun”, Burmese sweets are not used as desserts such as in the West but rather as snacks, particularly taken with tea in the morning or afternoon.
And, while sweets elsewhere in Southeast Asia are coated with sugar, sweet flavor of “moun” are gotten from the local ingredients like coconut, jaggery, palm, rice, tapioca, fruit, etc.

Here are some prominent Burmese sweets:
- Sanwin makin: a semolina cake made of semolina flour, sugar, butter, eggs, grated coconut and coconut milk; walnut and raisins are optionally supplemented.
- Beinmoun: Burmese-style pancakes or poppy seeded pancake; a round, yellow fried cake with its ingredients including rice flour, jaggery, coconut, poppy seed and butter. This is a fragrant and tasty pancake.
- Mote Lone Yay Paw: Burmese floating rice balls stuffed with palm sugar and put grated coconut on top. The dish is served free on the streets during Thingyan New Year Festival.


2. E Kyar Kway (Burmese youtiao)

The cake is made of bloating-fried rice flour, quite renowned and having a abnormal taste. It is a favorite breakfast dish of the locals. It pretty looks like “quay” of Vietnam, Chinese doughnut and “kway” of Malaysia. However, Burmese citizen usually dip it in tea or coffee. This dish is really easy to encounter on burma’s road.


3. Deep-fried stuffs

A wide-spreading, available nice of food on the streets of Yangon is deep-fried stuffs. In myanmar, it is practically unable to avoid fried foods.
Some main stuffs easily found on the Burmese streets – spring rolls, meat, aquatic food, fruits, vegestables, tofu, sweets, breads - are deep-fried, crispy or crunchy.
One deep-fried dish definitely worth seeking out is “buthi kyaw”, battered and deep-fried chunks of gourd. When served hot, the thin, crisp layer hides a soft, slightly watery interior of tender gourd. The fritters are typically served with a sour, sweet dip made from tamarind, added bean flour, and then the savory is awaken.

Deep-fried shrimps

An Indian seller offers deep-fried banana and potatoes

4. Shan-style rice

Shan-style rice is a amazing dish of Shan people, one of the main ethnic minorities in myanmar. It is known in Burmese as “nga htamin” (fish rice). Rice is cooked with turmeric and squashed into a plate; then it flakes of freshwater fish and garlic oil is put on top. Formerly, fish is marinated with garlic and chili peppers.
This dish is pungent and extremely spicy but it brings again an extraordinary feeling. Oily and savory, Shan rice be able to be served with leek roots, raw garlic, deep-fried pork rinds, roasted peanuts, boiled eggs or seasonal vegetables. Shan rice be able to be found in almost food-stalls on the streets.


5. Nangyi thoke

A typical dish of noodles that travelers be able to find on the streets and markets in myanmar from morning until evening. Noodles are made of rice flour similar to “pho” of Vietnam but “nangyi thoke” fibres are quite thick and round, served with chicken, thin slices of fish, boiled eggs and par-boiled bean sprouts. In processing, the ingredients are seasoned with a mixture of roasted chickpea flour, turmeric and chili then tossed by hand. The dish is served along with a bowl of broth and pickled vegetables.
Nangyi thoke is considered as the Burmese version of spaghetti.


6. Mohinga

A beloved breakfast dish in burma, but “mohinga” is sold by mobile road hawkers and roadside stalls, generally available at any time throughout the day and in most part of the country. As a result, it is unofficially dubbed as the myanmar’s national dish.
Mohinga is fine, round rice noodles served with fried fish and rich broth, often supplemented with the crunchy stem of the banana tree. Some its outstanding ingredients are chickpea flour, lemongrass, ginger and fish sauce.
Optional toppings comprise a sliced hard-boiled egg, fish cakes, deep-fried crispy veggies (onions, chickpeas), corianders and spring onions. The dish is additionally seasoned with a squeeze of lime and flakes of dried chili depending on every independent palate.


7. Shan-style noodle

Another Shan-style dish could be found on the streets, which is a combination of thin, flat rice noodles in a pure, peppery broth with marinated chicken or pork, garnished with toasted sesame, peanut and a drizzle of garlic oil. It is served with pickled vegetables. The "dry" version, with a bowl of broth served on the side, is also common.
Compared with most Burmese noodle dishes, it’s quite simple, attaining to a mild taste, but is reassuringly pleasant and obviously yummy.


8. Samosa salad

Samosa salad or “samosa thoke” is the main dish in Burmese culinary. Not like other kinds of salad made of vegetables, samosa is made of bloating fried cakes. Every stall will inclue a differently independent flavor but in basically, it still includes sliced samosa (a triangular cake stuffed inside potatoes, turmeric, beans), green peas, cabbages, garlic chives and tomatoes.
When serving, the buyer will add a little coriander and lemon juice to waken up the aroma.


9. Tea leaf salad (lahpet thoke – lahpet: green tea; thoke: salad)

probably fermented or pickled tea leaf salad, known as lephet thoke, is the most well known Burmese food. The tart leaves are eaten on an have way - salad.
To make the dish, the sour, slightly bitter and soft leaves are mixed by hand with shredded cabbage, crunchy deep-fried beans, crisp roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, a splash of garlic oil and pungent dried slices of chili and garlic. Chopped tomatoes and dried shrimps are also added optionally. All the ingredients are served separatedly into personal piles so that guests may choose ones they such as then mix in their contain way.
The dish is flexible. It may be a snack, an appetizer or coupled with a plate of rice as a meal. It’s also considered a stimulant: the Burmese says that eating too much “lephet thoke” can prevent rest.


Mandalay - Land of myanmar antique Capitals

The area around Mandalay city is very luxurious in ancient capitals, which leave countless valued historic and religious relics. Thanks to this, it is considered as the most important cultural hub of burma.


Mandalay is now Myanmar’s second largest city, but if pull out the history in 19th century, it may notice that its role was not less important than it is today. Mandalay imperial capital was founded at the foot of Mandalay Hill by King Midon in 1857, ostensibly to fulfill a prophecy of the foundation of a Buddhism metropolis in an exact place on the 2,400th Buddhism jubilee. To construct this new capital, the former royal palace of Amarapura was dismantled, and materials were moved by elephants to the new location.
The capital is surrounded by four rivers. For the following 26 years, Mandalay was the ultimate royal capital of Konbaung Dynasty, the ultimate own Burmese kingdom prior its last annexation by British Empire. It ceased to be the capital in 1885.

Relics till current days
Mahamuni Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mahamuni Paya (Mahamuni: the good Sage; Paya: Buddhist temple)
This pagoda is one of Myanmar’s most important pilgrimage sites, founded in 1785 and located southwest of Mandalay. Mahamuni image, which was taken from Mrauk U after Konbaung Dynasty conquered the Kingdom of Mrauk U, is very much deified in here. It is highly venerated such an extent that Burmese devotees possess pasted thick layers of gold leaves on it, morning ritual of face cleansing of Mahamuni takes place daily, and women are forbidden to approach it.
Kuthodaw Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Kuthodaw pagoda (Kuthodaw: royal merit)
Settled on the foot of Mandalay Hill and constructed by King Midon in 1868, Kuthodaw pagoda contains the world’s largest book, which stands upright, sets in stone, and spreads on the pagoda’s ground with 729 stone tablets carved Burmese Buddhist scripture.
Mandalay Royal Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar
* Mandalay Palace
It is the ultimate imperial palace of the ultimate Burmese monarchy, the main royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw, the two last kings of the country. It was built between 1857 and 1859 after King Midon’s decision to relocate capital.
Shwenandaw Monastery (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Shwenandaw Monastery (or Golden Palace Monastery)
Built in 1880 by King Thibaw Min, son of King Mindon Min, it is very well-known thanks to its teak carvings of Buddhist myths on the walls and roofs. It is a typical construction of traditional Burmese architectural style.

* Sandamuni Pagoda
Situated southwest of Mandalay Hill, this pagoda was erected by King Mindon in 1874, with aim to be memorial to Mindon's younger brother, Kanaung Mintha, who was assassinated along with other three princes, Malun, Sagu Minthu, and Maingpyin during the 1866 Myingun Prince rebellion. It covers the graves of these four murdered Princes and an iron image cast in 1802.


Amarapura was founded by King Bodawpaya of Konbaung Dynasty in 1783 as his new capital and also a center of Buddhist reforms and learning. It was the capital of myanmar twice during Konbaung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859) previous eventually being supplanted by Mandalay in 1859.

Due to the royal treasury depleted by the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, Mindon decided to reuse as numerous materials from Amarapura as possible in the construction of Mandalay. Its palace buildings were disassembled and caried by elephants to the new location, and the city walls were pulled down for use as building materials for roads and railways.
Until now, part of the moat is peaceful recognizable close to the Bagaya Monastery.

Relics till current days
* U Bein bridge: It spans over Taungthaman lake and is just the world’s oldest and longest teak wood bridge.
When the capital shifted to Mandalay, the residents in Amarapura made use of teak wood from the imperial palace to erect this bridge. It is 1.2km long and consists of 1086 main pillars and thousands of boards. It was curved in the middle to resist assaults of wind and water.
U bein bridge, Mandalay Myanmar


It is an antique imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms for nearly 360 year, on five separate periods, from 1365 to 1842.
Inwa became the capital of Ava Kingdom, the main polity of Upper myanmar from the 14th to 16th centuries. After undergoing repeated attacks and sieges in the final time of Ava Dynasty, it was chosen as a royal capital again on four periods of Toungoo and Konbaung Dynasties (16th to 19th centuries).
Throughout history, it was sacked and rebuilt numerous times. The capital was finally abandoned after it was completely destroyed by a series of significant earthquakes in March 1839, and King Tharrawaddy decided to rebuild a new palace in Amarapura in 1842. However, few traces of its former grandeur remain until now.

Relics till current days
Inwa Myanmar by HIT Indochina

* Nanmyin Leaning Tower: a watchtower
* Yadana Hsimi Pagodas - A small group of stupa ruins left after the earthquake.
* Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery: A brick monastery built in 1818 different from traditional Burmese monasteries, which are constructed with wood, not masonry.
* Bagaya Monastery: This teak wood monastery was original built in 1593. After burnt in the fire in the reign of King Bagyidaw, it was reconstructed in 1992. It’s known as “Monastic college" where the royals were educated.


With numerous Buddhist monasteries, Sagaing is a meaningful religious and monastic center of burma. Notice again the past, it used to be the imperial capital of Sagaing Kingdom (1315–1364), one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan Dynasty.
During the Ava period (1364–1555), this city was the common fief of the crown prince and senior princes. It also had a brief time to be the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 under the reign of King Naungdawgyi (Konbaung Dynasty).

Relics till current days
U Min Thonze Cave - Myanmar Mandalay
* U Min Thonze cave
This pagoda comprises of 45 pretty gilded Buddha images in a crescent-shaped colonnade, partly built on the side of Sagaing Hill. Each Buddha statue is unique in different sizes and facial expression.
Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Soon U Ponya Shin pagoda
It is based on Nga-pha Hill, one of the southern hilltops of Sagaing Hill. According to a legend, it was built overnight in early 1300s.
This pagoda features a central 97ft-high gilded stupa, some delightful paintings and statues, and splendid views over the sight below. It is originally decorated with glass tiles for an unusual shimmering effect.


The city was the origin of the Konbaung Dynasty, established by King Alaungpaya in 1752, which was the i political force in myanmar after the mid-18th century. It served as Alaungpaya's capital from 1752 to 1760.
Up to 1752, Shwebo was a village, called Moksobo. In 1752, the chief of the village - Aung Zeya - founded the Konbaung Dynasty to resist the upcoming invasion of Lower myanmar and renamed his village as Shwebo. Over the following eight years, Alaungpaya led the reunification of burma with Shwebo as his capital. Shwebo lost its capital status after Alaungpaya's death in 1760. The successor Naungdawgyi moved the capital to Sagaing closer to Irrawaddy river. The region then was usually held as an appanage by the most senior princes.

Relics till current days
* Shwebo palace (Shwebonyadana Mingala Nandaw)
* Myodaung Pagoda
* Shwe Chattho Pagoda: built in the destination where King Alaungpaya was born.
* Mahananda Lake
* Tomb of Alaungpaya
* Shwetaza Buddha Image
* The auspicious ground (Maha Aung Myay)


* From 1790, King Bodawpaya (6th king of the Konbaung Dynasty) ordered to construct a gigantic pagoda, a gigantic bell and a gigantic couple of lions during his reign until he was died in 1819.

Relics till current days:
Mingun Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mingun Pahtodawgyi (or Mantalagyi - amazing Royal Stupa)
This incomplete monument stupa is a massive construction project started from 1790. However, when the king was died, it was purposefully left unfinished and halted. Mantalagyi had attained a height of 50 meters, one third of the intended height. A huge earthquake in 1839 caused huge cracks on it.
Mingun Bell (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Mingun bell:
It was cast to go with Mantalagyi in 1808. Until now, Mingun bell has been in good ringing condition with no cracks. It does not make clangs but is rung by salient the outer edge. In history, it had been the world’s heaviest functioning bell at several times. The original weight of the bell is 55,555 viss. This number is conveniently remembered by many Burmese citizen as a mnemonic, and carved on the surface of the bell.

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, Mandalay, Myanmar
* Kaunghmudaw Pagoda (in Monywa)
This pagoda was constructed from 1636 to 1648 during the reign of King Thalun (8th king of Toungoo dynasty), very well-known for its rare egg-shaped design, which stands out more the traditional pyramid-shaped style of Burmese pagodas. The yellow domed house is 46m tall, featuring a broad white marble Buddha image in its core and a relic chamber. Over 800 stone pillars along with image-filled niches circle it.

Hsinbyume Pagoda (Mandalay, Myanmar)
* Hsinbyume Pagoda
It was constructed in 1816 by King Bagyidaw (7th king of the Konbaung Dynasty) in north of Mingun to commemorate his primary consort and also cousin, Princess Hsinbyume, who was died in childbirth in a site closeby. This pagoda was painted in white and modeled the physical description of the Buddhist legendary mountain, Mount Meru. Seven concentric terraces symbolizes for the seven mountain ranges going up to the Mount.

Myanmar Tour FAQs updated

This is our newest update about Myanmar travel settings with 23 FAQs for the updated infomation. Check it out for the best preparation of your excited coming Myanmar holidays.

1. Burma or Myanmar? Where is the country?

Both names mean exactly the same and suffer the same insufficiency as both assigns the name of the ruling ethnic group (namely the ‘Bamar’, or ‘Burmans’, or ‘Myanmar’) to the whole country, thus repeating a pattern of discrimination or complacency towards minorities.
The name ‘Myanmar’ was adopted by the regime in 1989 without any democratic legitimization. While we don’t actually mind using ‘Myanmar’, we would definitely prefer if this change would retrospectively be confirmed by a genuinely democratic decision.
Myanmar is the largest country in mainland of Indochina Peninsular. The country shares border with: China in North East, India in North West,Bangladesh in South West, Laos in Central East, Thailand in South East.

2. Is Myanmar safe for travel?

Yes, definitely. The country is very safe for travel, even travel alone. The people mostly follow Buddhism and practice the Buddha’s lessons in their daily lives. Then they are very friendly, honest and willing to help others.
Myanmar is the colonial of UK for centuries. English is the second nationwide language after Burmese.

3. What is the best time to take a tour to Myanmar?

Roughly saying, the best time is about from October until April next year. It does not mean that from May to Sep, you cannot travel in Myanmar. During this time, the weather is quite hot (as in Bagan) or there is heavy rain that makes most of the beaches shut down, balloon services as Balloon over Bagan stopped. With good preparation and avoiding beach activities from May to Sep, the remaining parts of the country are big and beautiful enough for your Myanmar tour and it is even more joyful while you may get sweet, amazing discounts.

4. Myanmar is a big country, which places do you recommend?

Discover the whole Myanmar can cost you 1 month or more. For regular travelers, there are 4 most highlighted places you should take into your account:
  • Yangon: the former capital city with iconic symbol of Myanmar - Shwedagon pagoda
  • Bagan: The largest archeological site with 2200 stupas.
  • Inle Lake: the magical lake on mountain – the true heaven for nature and adventure.
  • Mandalay: the ancient city with Royal relics.

Those four places can be done within 8-9 days tour as a minimum for best enjoyment. You can do it longer in each depending on personal interest. The extensions from those places can be Ngapali beach, Mawlaymaiy, Kengtung, Putao, Mrak U, Mergui and more.

5. How many days I should spend in Myanmar?

Mostly recommended Myanmar package tours is running from 10 – 14 days. This is quite enough time for you to explore the best highlights of the country while still have sometimes for insight discoveries at each stop. We can do it longer or shorter very much depending on your requests

6. Can you do Visa for me?

Since Sep 2014, all tourist visa can be done via Internet portal None of the travel agents can do it in another way. If you find any difficulties, you can send us your personal information and we could submit on your behalf. The processing fee is 50$ as indicated on the portal.

7. Is it expensive to travel to Myanmar?

To be frank, a package tour to Myanmar will cost you higher than similar standard tours in Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia. The reason is all of the limitation of available services, especially in high season. We take an example: good 3-star hotels in Vietnam is around 40$/room/night, in Cambodia can be as cheap as 30$ while in Myanmar, you have to pay up to 70$/room/night for the similar standard.
The good news is that with just a few years opened to the world, there have been several international hospitality companies entering Myanmar to seek for investment opportunities. We observed the remarkable, positive changes since late 2014 and do expect the service rates in Myanmar soon inexpensive within few coming years.

8. It's quite out of my pocket. Can you offer the cheaper option?

Yes, of course. We inspected and stayed by ourselves in small, budget hotels to carefully pick the most suitable ones. We definitely can offer you an affordable package with comfortable enough stays. (more myanmar accommodation)

9. Is HIT Indochina a local company?

Yes, we are. HIT Indochina Travel Limited Company Myanmar is a local organization and a branch of HIT Indochina Company based in Vietnam. Our business license is 1352-2015/2016 (YGN) and Myanmar International Tour license is KHA-2959 (more about us)
We separate our process in two phase: Pre-Tours – Salesman in Vietnam handles the quotes and customized requests due to their excellent experiences, quicker Internet, safer Online payment gateway – and On Tours that handles by our branch office with our local Burmese staffs who are always available on phone or meet you in person if requested.
HIT Indochina contacts directly to all suppliers in Myanmar such as hotels, transportation companies, guides etc. And delivers those services to you. You don’t have to pay extra for any "middle man".

10. How long we should book a Myanmar tour in advance?

In other destinations, we often say the sooner the better but this fact somehow is NOT true in Myanmar. Just because the suppliers cannot provide their rates for too far future. We believe that from 2 – 4 months is the best. The minimum booking time should not be within 2 weeks to arrival date, especially in high season.

11. I want to join in a group. Do you offer?

We are sorry that we do not offer joined-group tours until this post updated. All our tours are offered on customized and private basis.

12. I travel alone - do I have to pay the single supplement?

Yes, you do. Myanmar is a newly opened country and the service suppliers seem not single-travelers-friendly that much. You will have to pay single supplement while we will try our bests to minimize the costs.

13. How can I pay you?

You can pay us via Cards: VISA, MASTER, JCB and Amex with our secure Online Payment Gateway named Onepay or Bank transfer to our bank account. Those are our favorite payment receiving methods. We are very open to your convenient choice, too.
You will pay via those methods the deposit only (often running from 20 – 30% total booking value). The balance will be paid when you ARE in Myanmar..

14. Why the payment page is ""? is the secured payment gateway that takes the advantages of SSL technology – similar to Paypal. Onepay is simpler than Paypal and doesn't need any account sign-up or login. HIT Indochina assigns to Onepay to process all our online transactions on our behalf. (more on payment processing).

15. I don’t want something classic. Can you offer anything different?

Yes, we can absolutely. HIT Indochina has a section of real adventure since 2006 then we definitely know how to make your trip to Myanmar completely a different adventure. We can deal with mountain trekking in Putao, hiking in Kalaw, kayaking in Mergui and/or cycling tours in Myanmar etc. Contact to our team for details.

16. After deposit, how do I know you processed the services for me?

Each of our tours, when confirmed, will be given a tour code eg: MTC150215Angie. This code is sent to all suppliers included in your tour. The easiest way to check up your services ready yet is to call to the hotels, for instance, and tell them about the code + our company name. You will find out our bookings for your Myanmar package.

17. What is the room included in the tour quotation?

Room included in our Myanmar package tours are twin/double shared room at 3 star standard hotels in main cities. At more remote areas where standard hotels are not available, clean rooms with en-suite bathrooms in good guest houses are our choice. (more Myanmar accommodation)

18. How is about the meal included?

We often include one (01) welcome dinner in our tour quotes. The meal is often in a fine restaurant with Burmese cuisines. The Burmese cuisine is much influenced by Indian style with many types of curries, spicy taste but blended to fit local ingredients.

19. The vehicles in Myanmar are out-of-date, aren’t they? What would be used in my tour?

We must admit so. Myanmar government does not allow to import brand new vehicles while their domestic automobile industry is not much until this post updated. We suggest you should not expect something sparkling or shining but our vehicles are all high hygiene, good quality, strong A/C, comfortable seat and safe in performance. (more Myanmar transportation).

20. Can I used credit/debit cards when I am in Myanmar?

Yes, we are confident to confirm “you can use credit cards” in main cities and most hotels from 3 stars up. The fee for processing is running from 3 – 5%.

21. What is currency here? Should I use local currency or US$?

The local currency is Kyat (pronounce: chat). The exchange rate is around 1USD = 1360Kyat. Kyat will be accepted in all transactions regardless of the note conditions.
You can use USD for most of the transaction with locals there. But please note your USD notes must be new, clean, unmarked, unfolded and notes with series from 2003 up to now is preferred.
ATM available in most main cities of Myanmar. The currencies available for withdrawal are USD, AUD, SGD and Bath Thai.

22. How about the communication in Myanmar?

The mobile communication in Myanmar now is very popular and cheap. The network is based on GSM technology – SIM based devices. The 3G is good enough for web surfing and facebook. The SIM card can be obtained easily at malls on streets as cheap as 3-4$ each. The favorite provider is Ooredoo.
Wifi hotspot is available at most of the hotels with free of charge. However, the signal strength may not be as strong as your expectation. Most of the fine restaurants offer free wifi too.

23. What if I am in a medical emergency?

Under any case of emergency, you can call immediately to our hotline in Myanmar +959 420 13 64 70/ +959 254 13 2825 (Mr. Si Thu) or 84-90-224-3637 for more support.

Disclaimer: The information is true at this time of posting updated - Aug 2018 . Even though we check up our surrounding conditions quite often but the country changes so quickly that some details in this post can be wrong just next few months. HIT Myanmar welcomes all re-correction notes or/and encourages you to contact to our team for the latest update.

Thứ Bảy, 11 tháng 8, 2018

Government Bans Tourists from Climbing on Pagodas in Bagan

almost the pagodas in Bagan will be prohibited to ascend on top since March 01 2016.


Watching the sunset from the top of a pagoda is one of Bagan’s delightful adventure experiences, also rated as a “must-do” when taking a journey to myanmar.

Nonetheless, on ultimate February 22, 2016, Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture announced its decision to ban visitors from climbing on old pagodas in this world-renowned archaeological zone, after publication of a video showing an indecent performance on top of one structure in Bagan.

The cause starts from a fact happening in the second week of this February, as a medical company had conducted a cultural singing- and-dancing performance on Pyathagyi Pagoda, as the Mimistry said, had a “negative impact” on the nation’s culture.

The number of locals and foreign tourists to Bagan has grown quickly recently, doubled from 120,000 to 250,000 between 2011 and 2015. This means hundreds of visitors ascend the temples everyday, placing strain on the old structures. Said by the Ministry, the ban will ensure the pagodas are “maintained for the long term”.

The ban will be effective from March 01, 2016.

However, the decision then received scathing criticisms from tourism business operators and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. They assume that this forbiddance will damage the industry and the image of Bagan because the major reason travelers reach here is to admire view from the pagodas. They want the decision to be reconsidered.

prior this objection, yesterday, the Ministry of Culture clarified 5 pagodas exempt from the climbing ban.

next to the Ministry, the ban will not be applied on the 5 pagodas, namely Shwesandaw – the most favorite spot for sunset landscape, Pyathard Gyi, South Gunni, North Gunni and Thitsaw Wati.

Note: Based on the decision of Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture, sunset viewing on Shwesandaw Pagoda in the tour programs of is silent carried out as usual. However, travelers need to pay attention not to climb on the other pagodas in Bagan without the 5 pagodas as we showed above.

Stay updates with SEA WANDER if there are new announcements coming out.