Myanmar – 5 Alternative Experiences

We all agree that planning a trip requires some serious skills. A lot of research, some advice, some stories from fellow travellers. But what if after all the sweat we still feel there is something missing? Well, in that case, here are some tips on how to extend your trip to Myanmar adding special moments and unique experiences.

First of all Myanmar is the place you should definitely go, and you should go now!

A country with a troubled, yet fascinating history, captivating culture and incredible people, Myanmar has only recently broke free from the self-imposed isolation, an isolation that, despite being painful for its citizens and the country itself, has kept the it untouched, unspoiled and authentic. Just how we like it.

Myanmar has opened its doors to tourism not so long ago. For this reason you should visit the country right now, before the place internationalizes and lose its purity, before local people get used to tourists, before Burmese switch to a global way of acting and thinking. Just go there before everyone else goes.

Myanmar is spectacular for various and obvious reasons. Culture, religion, tradition, people, architectures are just a few points. It’s a paradise for photographers and an oasis for adventurers, but many only relate Myanmar to the hot-air balloon flight over Bagan and the visit to the beautiful temples of Bagan and Yangon. These are undoubtedly breathtaking activities, once in a lifetime adventures, but there is a lot more to experience in Myanmar than just that.

Today I will suggest you a list, perfect both for first timers and country lovers, of 5 alternative things to do in Myanmar that not many people know about, but you should.

LinkAge Restaurant and Art Gallery

Let’s start with some food that is always a good idea. When visiting Yangon LinkAge is a place you don’t want to miss. It is not only a restaurant and an art gallery at the same time, which is rare to find and spectacular to see, but it is run by a local NGO, Forever Humanitarian and Development Projects, with the aim to provide hospitality training for street children in Yangon as well as support them with lodging, food and clothing.

The characteristic and colorful place is perfect for a lunch break. The friendly staff will help you choose from a wide range of Myanmar, Chinese and European excellent dishes all for a reasonable price. The restaurant is located at the first floor of building 141 in Seikkantha Street, between Mahabandoola and Merchant Roads.

Eat well with a healthy conscience. Don’t miss the chance to support a great cause and contribute, along with the organization, to help to save children form a future o the street.

Wine Tasting

‘Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery’, Inle Lake, near Nyaungshwe, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma)

Wine anyone? Myanmar is, unbeknownst to many, a wine producer. The mountains, away from the heat and the humidity, are perfect for lush vineyards. Take a trip to Mine Thauk village, by Inle lake, where the Red Mountain Estate is located, to taste some of Myanmar’s finest wine and observe the different aging methods completed in their cellar cave.

The Red Mountain Estate undoubtedly produces the best wine in the country, with more than 400,000 plants imported from France and Spain after a careful selection and experimentation of grapes growing in the region. The combination of different factors such as the cool climate, the soils, the long experience of their French winemakers, the traditions of western wines and the new technologies and modern equipment make this wine unique.

Visitors to the Red Mountain Estate can try local dishes of the region, while taking in the sweeping views of the Inle Valley. Definitely a different experience that you must try.

Umbrella Making

In this photo taken on May 17, 2015, a girl paints on an umbrella in Pathein township, Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win

For those who are constantly looking for unique activities to learn about new cultures, umbrella making is the one for you. As making traditional products by hand, often without the aid of electricity, is still part of many people’s lives in Myanmar, visit one of the families in Pindaya, on the way to Inle Lake, to discover the tricks in making umbrella.

Handcrafts are a great source of income in the region. People make umbrella for the local’s daily use, to send to markets nearby and, obviously, to sell to tourists. And they’re extremely happy to share their knowledge with curious visitors. Join one of their workshops, which take place in their houses, to experience one of the most traditional and authentic custom of Myanmar. Choose your favorite style and make your own colorful umbrella, a great memory of your time in the magic Myanmar.

Gem Shopping

Myanmar is the heaven of gems. Of any sort, shape and color, the Burmese stones such as ruby, jade and sapphire are not only envied by the rest of the world, they’re also sold at ridiculous prices in the local markets. They are simply beautiful, some of the best gems you’ll ever see.

The Bogyoke (Scott) Market in Yagon is probably the best place to browse for some stones. The bustling British colonial building built in 1926 is a place you don’t want to miss. With more than 2,000 shops, including antiques, handcrafts, clothes, gems and art galleries) this market is a must visit if you’re into shopping. Open every day apart from Mondays, the market is also suitable for those who don’t want to shop but simply enjoy the architecture and the environment.

Scott market is a great cultural educational experience as well as a taste of the authentic Myanmar. The market is indeed a big meeting point for Burmese people to do trades or simply stroll around. Enjoy the excellent local atmosphere and look for souvenirs and gifts to remind you of your memorable visit to Myanmar.

Temple Dinner

Let’s close with another culinary experience. This one is a mix of Burmese culture, religion and tradition and Myanmar exquisite food. With the stunning Bagan valley as background, give yourself an unforgettable dinner in one of the most suggestive places on earth.

Temple dinner is a new trend in Myanmar aimed to let you appreciate the breathtaking view while enjoying some quality food in one of the many temples in Bagan. You will be welcomed by a flood of torch lights, candles and bamboo lamps that will create a magical atmosphere for a remarkable evening. At dinner served, you will be entertained by traditional Myanmar dance accompanied by xylophones and folk music.

If you want to dine in style, the temple dinner is a lifetime experience that you must try, but please bear in mind this is a private and pricey options.

For travelers who are more concerned about their expenses, a more budget friendly restaurant is The Moon 2 in New Bagan. This vegetarian restaurant is a little oasis that offers a beautiful layout with an exquisite garden filled with flowers and ornaments. The food is all particular, reasonably cheap and extremely enjoyable and, if you allow me one last suggestion, go there at sunset/evening as atmosphere at that time of the day is a must try.

To discover more about Sens Asia Travel, get inspired and explore our destinations and trip extensions visit our website at http://www.sensasia.com.

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