They call Myanmar the ‘Golden Land’, and after my first sunrise, I immediately understood why. Both my mind and camera roll are flooded with memories of early, golden mornings and peaceful, pastel afternoons in what is officially now one of my favourite countries. It’s not often you can say that photos actually do a place justice, but I feel mine reflect quite accurately just how stunning these Myanmar mornings and afternoons really were. I couldn’t even tell you how many times the unspoiled landscapes took my breath away, and seeing them in the flesh is all the more special. I can’t urge you enough to get over to Myanmar sooner rather than later before everyone else catches on to the fact that it is home to some of the world’s spectacular/astonishing/picturesque sunrises and sunsets!
“Sunrise looks spectacular in the nature; sunrise looks spectacular in the photos; sunrise looks spectacular in our dreams; sunrise looks spectacular in the paintings, because it really is spectacular!” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan
Here are just some of the main places and sites you’ll want to add to your Myanmar bucket list:
Shwedagon Pagoda – Yangon
If there’s one thing you’re gonna do in Yangon, it’s most likely going to be paying a visit to the golden Shwedagon Pagoda. After visiting and sweltering in the middle of the day and then returning at sunset at the end of my trip, I would suggest coming in the late afternoon. Not only will you be able to explore the pagoda in the daylight and at night lit up, but the sun setting behind this glistening landmark is so beautiful!
Popa Mountain Resort
Officially the most amazing pool I’ve ever swam in; I think it would be hard to beat a view, especially when it’s of a golden monastery atop a mountain. When we thought the view couldn’t get even better, the sunset began to fall and reflect its pastel colours over the water… Safe to say, my friend Elle and I were in absolute heaven.
Shwesandaw Pagoda – Bagan
Our tour guide had us riding around Bagan on bicycles all afternoon exploring the ins and outs of some 2,000 pagodas, but really the highlight was going to be sunset. Clearly, it did not disappoint. We didn’t exactly have a say in where we were going, and I was astounded by the number of tourists piled on the pagoda. At first, I thought it was going to hinder the experience, but as soon as the sun began to set, the crowd grew quite silent and sat in awe. I’d say it’s just as busy at sunrise, but it’s obviously a popular spot for a reason!
Pyathetgyi Pagoda – Bagan
Okay, so you’ll have to fight you’re way up this pagoda for a comfortable position to view the sunset if you’re a little late, but don’t let the flock of tourists deter you again! The second Bagan sunrise I witnessed, and couldn’t believe this spot has just as many tourists like the last. Despite that, you’ll still find a great spot since the Pagoda is so large. I just loved the heard of cattle stirring up dust in the foreground while the sun set behind the temples and pagodas in the background.
Basically any pagoda in Bagan
Let’s be real, the main reason you’re probably coming to Myanmar in the first place is to witness the famous Bagan sunrise. What makes it so special is the hot airballons that float majestically over the thousands of temples and pagodas in Bagan. I couldn’t even tell you which pagoda we spent our one and only morning in Bagan at for sunrise, but to be honest any one would provide great views. We really just wanted to go to a spot free of many tourists, and that’s what we got. If you wouldn’t consider this 4.30am wakeup call worth it, then just click out of this right now…!
Ubein Bridge – Mandalay
The world’s longest teakwood bridge (spanning 1.2km) really does make an ideal sunrise and sunset spot. We opted for the early wakeup call on the way to Kalaw, and it was totally worth it (obviously). I have seen footage of the area at sunset, and it is SO much busier, so I would definitely recommend getting there for sunrise! We watched as a fisherman got to work on his boat while monks, locals and tourists alike wandered along the bridge.
Probably one of my favourite experiences was going up Mandalay Hill at sunset. We stalked many monks as they are just so damn photogenic, and some even approached us to have a chat and practice their English! They are all so sweet and friendly! Of course, the sunrise looked unreal as per usual, too! It was a great spot to look down over Mandalay.
Red Mountain Estate Winery – Inle Lake
So, Myanmar is obviously not known for its wine. After sampling it, I can confirm it tastes like betadine and is seriously unpleasant. Maybe all you wine lovers out there may enjoy it more than me. What really is enjoyable about this spot is the views over the Inle Lake region and winery as the sun sets. It proved to be a really popular spot for tourists, and I guess you can see why!
After exploring Inle Lake by boat and ending the day with by far one of the most amazing sunsets of the trip let alone my whole life, it’s safe to say I was in awe. I was shook, my breath was taken away, I couldn’t believe my eyes etc. etc. We sat for a while (not long enough) and watched the amazing Inle Lake fishermen row their boats with their legs and perform an unusual method of fishing. Could you believe the sky looked just as yellow, honey golden in person as the photo shows?!
WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS FOR SUNRISE & SUNSET IN MYANMAR?
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