We took a night bus from Mandalay going to Bagan during our trip to Myanmar. What we had is a mini-bus and the trip took around 4 hours, including a short stopover to a small eatery (called carinderia in Filipino) where I was able to drink a legit Myanmar beer.
When we reached Old Bagan area, other tourists in the bus started to alight the bus one by one because we are already passing by a street occupied with hotels and hostels. When one of our companions mentioned that we are alighting at Golden Crown Motel (and even showing a paper containing our confirmed reservation with the said place), the bus attendant seem to be clueless about the location of the place. After a few minutes of driving around, we were able to reach our destination. Obviously, it is not located where most hotels in Old Bagan are concentrated.
Since opening up its borders to the world, especially for tourists, Myanmar has always been one of the most recommended places to visit worldwide. In fact, it was number 9 in the Top 10 countries of the Best in Travel 2016 book by Lonely Planet. My 2016 travel to Myanmar has been the best thus far. I am hereby recommending these 15 spots to include in your itineraries as you visit this golden spectacular country:
The Mandalay Palace is the last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchy which is said to be built around mid-1800s, but the current structure existing is only a replica of the original. The top of the spiral watchtower will give you a spectacular view (such as shown in the photo above). I recommend you to devote 1-2hours to go around the complex because it is really huge. Entrance fee is MKY10,000.
Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines (which literally means Royal Merit) contains the world’s largest book and was inscribed on the Register by UNESCO in 2013. This stupa is located at the foot of the Mandalay Hill and is patterned after Shwegizon Pagoda. It contains 729 marble slabs with Buddhust scriptures displayed in them.
3. Sutaungpyei Pagoda at Mandalay Hill
The Sutaungpei Pagoda is located atop Mandalay Hill which gives a spectacular view of Mandalay City. The way up is not an easy one — it’s like going up to the City of Baguio in the northern Philippines, but the experience is really worth it. It is also a gppd spot to view the sunset on the side where the Irrawaddy River can be found. It’s a huge complex, and there are actually escalators around! This pagoda is also more ‘shining shimmering splendid’ compared to other pagodas since mirrors and beautiful tiles surround the place.