Looking for a honeymoon that combines culture, history and once in a lifetime experiences? Then Myanmar is your place. Famous for its magnificent landscapes dotted by thousands of pagodas, each day you will experience views that look like they are straight out of a Hollywood movie. Renee Rogers took a trip to this most incredible country, also known as Burma.
This is a honeymoon that is perfect for a couple who like to spend their time being active – walking, climbing, flying and cramming in as much culture as possible. Maybe you are a couple that like to connect with your spiritual side, or want a relaxing experience after the hustle and bustle of a wedding? Even though the honeymoon could be on the active side, it’s recommended that a trip of 10 days would give enough time to visit multiple destinations in the country and still have moments of recuperation.
Myanmar is without a doubt best suited to those that want to experience a country relatively untouched by modern western influences. The people of Myanmar are generous, kind and warm. They like to interact and learn from their tourists, which makes for a very personal and intimate destination. It really is such a magical place!
“MYANMAR IS A MAGICAL PLACE”
Myanmar is sandwiched between India and Thailand so you could be mistaken for thinking that there would be a spicy curry influence to their food, however it has a much more Chinese feel with a lot of fresh salads with a key ingredient focus like ginger or lemon. The style of food doesn’t typically change from North to South and key dishes feature on every restaurant menu like pork, mutton and butterfish curry. A beautifully sharp and tangy local dish was the pickled tea-leaf salad, which would vary in tang and nuttiness depending on where it was made. A personal favourite was a dish of cauliflower and egg served at The Teak House in Bagan. A rare chance to eat at the MahaGandayon Buddhist Monastery in Mandalay gave us a tasty meal of curry, rice and fresh vegetable dishes followed by ice cream. The Myanmar beer proved to be a perfect partner to every dish that was served and a real treat was discovering Mandalay beer at The Green Elephant that was smooth and sweet. Fruit juice is the focus of every menu and you will often find delights like freshly squeezed watermelon or lime juice.
Sedona Yangon is a luxury hotel only 20 minutes from the airport with that all-important strong wi-fi connection! When you first step into the Sedona Yangon you are welcomed by the vast and opulent lobby area that is the perfect place to take shelter from the rain if visiting in the wet season. The Sedona boasts two restaurants and an Ice Bar, and the bar food in the main hotel is Western focused. Many hotels in Myanmar have UK plug sockets, too. Amazing Hotel Bagan is a beautifully dreamy retreat with lots of idyllic cabins and rooms that are naturally romantic. The hotel is quite rustic with wooden carved pillars creating a unique rounded lobby area that leads off on different pathways through the hotel. The wooden carved feel follows through to the bedrooms where the doors, furniture and beds are intricately carved from dark wood. Sedona Mandalay This hotel could not be more perfectly located with the local town a ten minute walk away and bedrooms directly facing the Royal Palace. The Sedona Mandalay is a firm favourite with celebrities and high profile guests. The spa would be the first stop for honeymooners with a one hour massage only costing $30.
With nine absolutely jam packed days there really wasn’t much in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inlay that went undiscovered. Yangon – Chaukhtatgyi’s image of the Reclining Buddha and The Royal Lake are must see’s! – there’s a brilliant view of the Karaweik Hall overlooking this scenic lake. Bogyoke market is a great first market experience while at at Shwedagon Pagoda – famous worldwide, its golden stupa is the heart of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa is made from gold bricks and surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. Bagan – Nyaung Oo Market, where you can find fish, meat and household things like rattan baskets, cotton wear and antiques. Ananda Temple, a beautiful temple with four standing Buddhas in four cardinal points was simply mesmerising and the Lacquerware factory (a key industry of Myanmar) was a fascinating visit. We saw the whole process of this craft from the multi layers of lacquer through to the gold leafing art work.
Tayoke-pyay temple was amazing for a panoramic view of the city while Lemyethna Temple, Payaathonzu Temple and Nandamanya Temple offered frescoe painting of 12th century Damayasaka Stupa. Mandalay – Visit to Mahamuni, a place of intense devotion to pilgrims from all over the world, Tapestry Workshop, Gold leaf making, Zay-Cho market, MyaNanSanKyaw Golden Palace – the palace of the last Kingdom of Myanmar, Shwenandaw – the Golden Palace Monastery, Kuthodaw Pagoda – the world’s largest book. Excursion from Mandalay to the former Royal Capital of Inwa can be reached by a short boat trip. Then a horse-drawn carriage to Nanmyint Watch Tower, known as ‘the leaning tower of AVA’ Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery – the monastery built in brick & stucco by Queen Mai Nu and Bagayar Monastery, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State and Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery was most famous for its ‘jumping cats’ (they don’t exist anymore) and lastly, we stopped at a floating village on Lake Inlay where we visited a Lotus weaving factory, learning that it takes just over six months to make one Monk’s robe!