Myanmar: A Country of Rich and Diverse Culture

Myanmar is one of the most diverse countries in the world, and certainly one of the most fascinating. It is home to the Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Shan, Rakhine, and Bamar peoples, as well as other ethnic groups, each of which contributes to the unique and vibrant culture. The attractions are every bit as diverse; visitors can lounge at beaches and resorts, explore ancient caves and art, or visit the awe-inspiring golden Shwedagon Pagoda. Perhaps not the most popular or visited of destinies, Myanmar is nonetheless one of the most fascinating.

Myanmar is located on the Thailand / Cambodia side of the Indochinese peninsula, and its neighbors are China, Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand. The Southeast Asian country hopes to lure visitors with its largest / best collection. The Shwedagon Pagoda is the world's largest and oldest golden monument; they boast of what they call the "most significant and most sophisticated" royal throne and the largest book ever created (a Buddhist bible engraved on hundreds of white marble stones), and the largest ringing bell.

If this is not enough for the savvy traveler, how about living mummies? The bodies of some 20 revered Buddhist monks, who died decades or centuries ago, refuse to deceay. According to legend, their bodies could not be burned when cremated and some, it is claimed, still grow hair and nails.

If you do not wish to include the macabre (or paranormal) in your travels, Myanmar has plenty more to offer. Wander through the Bogyoke Aung San Market and its 2000 shops. You will find incredible local handicrafts and unique souvenirs. The market is also a wonderful place to soak in some culture and enjoy the Myanmar people. Visit Ngapali Beach to soak in some sun. The quiet beach is lined with palm trees and faces the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Bay of Bengal. Stay at one of the bungalow hotels and visit local fishing villages. Ngapali offers a pleasant mix of contemporary and traditional life, as well as Myanmar and European flavor.

You must eat, so eat local. Visit interesting restaurants like Monsoon in Yangon, which offers delicious multicultural culinary, blending Burmese dishes with tastes of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. Try Yakiniku Japanese Barbeque or the pet pot kyaw and hmo chawk kyaw at Maw Shwe Li Restaurant. What else but incredible diversity and selection would you expect from Myanmar?

Rudyard Kipling once wrote that Myanmar was unlike any other place in the world. You will happily agree.


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