Myanmar has introduced visas on arrival for Indian and Chinese tourists, aiming to welcome foreign visitors and their spending. The trial period's start date will be announced soon, allowing visa holders to explore all sites except restricted areas for security reasons.
Previously, citizens of India and China needed to apply for tourist visas online or at a Myanmar embassy. Myanmar currently faces internal tensions stemming from the 2021 coup, leading the United States and Australia to advise against travel to the country. However, India and China, neighbouring Myanmar, have maintained relations with its leadership.
Myanmar's tourism ministry also seeks to attract Russian visitors, building on its growing international ties. Myanmar opened its doors to tourists in 2011, becoming a popular destination. Yet, in 2020, the country closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent military coup further deterred tourists.
Bagan is renowned for its archaeological wonders, with over 2,000 well-preserved temples and pagodas dating back to the 9th to 13th centuries. If you visit Bagan, catch the mesmerising sunrise or sunset from a temple's viewpoint to see the vast plains dotted with ancient spires. Some of the must-visit temples are Ananda, Dhammayangyi, and Shwesandaw. Renting an e-bike is the best way to roam the temple-studded landscape.
Inle Lake is a serene freshwater lake surrounded by lush green hills. It's known for its unique floating gardens and traditional Intha culture. You must catch a view of the skilled Intha fishermen rowing their boats with one leg while balancing on the other to cast their nets. Apart from that, visit the Indien village's ancient stupas and take a boat tour to explore craft villages.
Yangon is Myanmar's largest city and offers a blend of colonial architecture, bustling markets, and historic pagodas. The Shwedagon Pagoda, a massive golden stupa, is a must-visit, especially during sunset. You must also visit the Bogyoke Aung San Market for local handicrafts, the Sule Pagoda and the Kandawgi Lake.
Mandalay is the cultural centre of Myanmar and boasts numerous historical and religious sites. Among them, the Mahamuni Buddha Temple, which houses a revered Buddha image covered in gold leaf, is the most popular. You can also witness the daily ritual of applying gold leaves by devotees. Besides the temple, you must visit the Mandalay Palace, climb Mandalay Hill, and visit nearby attractions like Amarapura and Sagaing.
Ngapali Beach is a pristine coastal destination along the Bay of Bengal and is perfect for a beach vacation. Here, you can catch the most gorgeous sunsets, swim in clear waters, enjoy fresh seafood and visit the nearby fishing villages, such as Maung Shwe Lay.