Myanmar is mysterious, full of fascinating sights and amazing temples. Formerly named Burma, it certainly lives up to its reputation of being ‘The Land Of Golden Pagodas’. Its sacred buildings shine out in all their glory and although for many years being a closed country, today the beauty of its temples and splendid landscape attract a growing number of foreign tourists.
Yangon, once named Rangoon by the British, is not only the capital of Myanmar but with 4 million inhabitants, it is also the country’s largest city which can be traced back to the 5th century. The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most important buildings in the religious life of the city’s population. This sanctuary also attracts a large number of foreign tourists. Myanmar’s national sanctuary is the city’s main attraction and is also one of the most famous sacred buildings in the world.
Four kilometres south of Bago is one of the city’s oldest sanctuaries, the Kyaikpun Paya, that was built in 1476 during the reign of King Dhammazedi. Four huge, 30 metre high Buddha statues sit back to back and gaze stoically at the four points of the compass. They represent the Gautama Buddha and his three predecessors.
Twante is an ancient pottery town. In large workshops beneath palm leaf roofs, the potter’s wheel has turned from one century to next. The traditional working methods are reminiscent of a bygone time and Twante pottery is famous throughout Myanmar.
In addition to the local fishing techniques, Lake Inle’s floating gardens are also quite unusual. An abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are grown in these unconventional gardens and the village of Kayah features yet another unique attraction, The Jumping Cat Monastery which became famous due to its performing cats that jump through various hoops.
Myanmar is deservedly known as ‘The Land Of Golden Pagodas”, as the beauty of its sacred old buildings is just a hint of the former magnificence of ancient Burma.