Myanmar, previously known as Burma enjoys a rich culture with a 1,200-year-old language and an abundance of natural splendor which remains relatively unaltered in most of country even to this day.
Yangon (old Rangoon) lies in south of Myanmar, not far from the Andaman Sea on the fertile delta of the Yangon River. Even with a population of just about four million, Yangon seems full of shade-giving trees, giving the city a totally different feel from other Asian cities of similar size.
At night, Yangon’s wide boulevards come alive with hordes of stalls selling traditional food, farm produce, and every other cheap product known to mankind. Apart from the decay of the colonial architecture caused by years of economic turmoil at the hands of Myanmar’s military rulers, Yangon is one of the most charming cities in Asia.
Bagan is a spectacular city where thousands of ancient pagodas are spread across the plains, flanking the meandering Ayeyarwaddy River. Although the city was sacked by Kublai Khan in 1287 and never rebuilt, it remains one of the ancient wonders of Asia.
Bago (old Pega) was a fabulous seaport and capital of lower Myanmar during the Mon dynasty. However, Bago never returned to its previous grandeur after being destroyed by the Burmese in 1757, and cut off from the sea after the Bago River later changed its course.
Mandalay is the sprawling cultural center of Upper Myanmar and is the most authentic of Myanmar’s cities. It was the last capital of Myanmar before the British took over, and is the country’s second largest city.
Myanmar has been under the rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), a military junta since 1988. If you are planning to take a vacation and visit Myanmar, you should not only consider costs but also the government’s position in the country at the time.