Burmese Glimpses

Unique glimpses of Myanmar (Burma) to tantalise your travel senses…

Hsipaw, Inle Lake, Old Bagan, Mawlamyine, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia

Started the ‘glimpses’ series last week with Chile in South America, as the first post to share with you a few glimpses of this incredible country.

These short, sharp travel posts are designed to give you a snippet and a small taste of a country that maybe you haven’t yet visited. But, maybe you have been to a couple of the countries that I’m sharing? I’d love to hear about your experience so leave me a comment below.

1. Old Bagan

Gliding effortlessly along the Irrawaddy River to the archaeological town of Old Bagan, also renowned as Burma’s Temple Town sits in central Burma.

Bagan, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia
Timeless temples

As one of Burma’s main attractions, it’s easy to see why many see the Bagan Archaeological Zone as equal to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.

Bagan was the capital, political, economic, and cultural hub of the Pagan Empire from 1044 to 1287. Spectacular temples dot endless plains and await the eager traveller riding on a hired eBike.

2. Inle Lake

The famous 22-kilometre-long Inle Lake and its incredibly beautiful region in the centre of Myanmar (Burma), will leave you longing for more time here…

A local boat ride crosses this beautiful ink-black expanse of water on a boat ride, which incidentally, changes colours depending on the time of day and the sky’s condition, and provides a peek at the extraordinary Mine Thauk floating villages and vegetable gardens. The half-kilometre Mine Thauk rickety wooden bridge runs through parts of the floating vegetable garden.

Inle Lake, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia
Lake transport

Inle Lake is densely inhabited by many different local tribes, so it’s very easy to cycle around the lake or for something a little more relaxing, take a boat trip down this spectacular watery expanse.

3. Hsipaw

After visiting Old Bagan and Inle Lake, head northeast to isolated Hsipaw for a trek through the surrounding jungle.

Sadly, upon arriving in 2014, a civil war between Shan Rebels and government troops was heightened and fierce, so trekking for several days was out of the question and only day treks were allowed.

Hsipaw, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia
Ploughing a furrow

Spending five or so days in Hsipaw allowed time to explore neighbouring vicinities and also time to relax. Thrown back in time a hundred years in this remote town, bullocks and manuals tools still plough the lush-green earth.

4. Mawlamyine

Have you heard of Mawlamyine?

Less frequented by foreigners was enough to draw me to Mawlamyine, but also because this town was home to George Orwell for some years spent here as a police officer. Orwell’s time in Mawlamyine resulted in his famous 1936 essay: Shooting an Elephant.

Mawlamyine, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia
Hitching a ride

Clearly, locals are not used to tourists so much as everyone especially children shouts out “Mingalaba” (hello) and children stare at us as though we’re ghosts.

Of course, Kyaikthanlan Pagoda awaits should you feel like exploring more pagodas but after spending days at Old Bagan, a little time relaxing and absorbing much to do in this town along the mouth of the Thanlwin River is enough.

Where in Myanmar (Burma)?

map of Hsipaw, Inle Lake, Old Bagan, Mawlamyine, Myanmar, Burma, SE Asia
Map: Google

Did you enjoy this post or do you prefer more detail about each place? Would you like to see more photos in this type of post? What country would you like to visit with me next week? If I’ve been to the country, I’ll publish a post just for you, so leave me a comment…

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

12 responses to “Burmese Glimpses”

  1. Deviant Yoga Avatar

    I lived in Burma (Myanmar) for almost four years, until my school closed when the military siezed power again, in 2021. I still plan to tour this country with my Burmese friends, if the country can ever find peace again. It is a magical experience. As the military renamed it Myanmar, we shouldn’t be afraid to call it Burma!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Rebecca

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. How did you come across my blog site?
      What part of Burma did you live in or did you travel to most parts (where possible)? You must have seen so much in the four years – lucky you! I hope you get to return in the future.


  2. gillmorris Avatar

    I like the idea Nilla. Your photos are fab too 🙂 xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Gill! I was doing this while working as struggling to work long hours then write posts to publish every Sunday.
      Now that I’ve stopped working and on another extended trip, not sure if I’ll have time to write as we’re on the move, but I’ll try.

  3. equinoxio21 Avatar

    I like this format. Short, sharp. Also Burma was the setting of many an adventure book I read as a child… Always wanted to go there. Now, who knows?
    Safe trip.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Great and thank you for the feedback! “Short, sharp, shock…” name the song.
      Burma has always evoked exotic memories for me as a child and I have to say, it’s a fascinating country to explore albeit, in 2014, foreigners could only stay for 28 days.
      Only 3 sleeps to go now! 😉

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        One for the money.
        Two for the show
        Three to get ready
        Now go cat go…

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Not quite but Presley’s song was cool!
        It’s a line from Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” 😉

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Short sharp shock? Hmmm. Nice. I like Pink Floyd. Still have many of their early LP’s. Umma Gumma for instance… (We’ve talked about that haven’t we?)

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed we have… 😉

  4. Yetismith Avatar

    I just loved Myanmar. I posted a far-too-long comment next to the piece about Mawlamyine but WP signed me out so I think my comments got cast aside. Maybe it didn’t like that I called the country Burma. I can’t remember when it changed but I think it was still Burma when I went. Probably the most interesting, fun destination of all.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Don’t you hate when WP does that? Found your comment in my trash folder and this one in my spam folder so who knows what WP is doing!
      Ha, ha, I still call the country Burma as Myanmar sounds a little odd. A lot of the locals we met also used Burma over Myanmar.
      Visiting in 1982 like you did would have been amazing and slow travelling as it wasn’t quick in 2014, but then again, I travel slowly anyway. 😉

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