Mystical ruins of a once-powerful kingdom punctuate the landscape, refusing to be reclaimed by mother nature. A densely forested land, blessed with teak trees, precious stones, and teeming wildlife in its rivers and oceans. Myanmar is an impossibly exotic country that would be an ideal setting for a fantasy period tale.
Until very recently, Burma, as Myanmar was formerly known, was a destination which the outside world was not privy to. Now that her borders have opened, a steady stream of travelers have been making their way to Asia's final frontier, helping spread the intrigue and inspire fascination towards the Southeast Asian nation. Yangon, Rangoon to some, may no longer be the capital of the country, but it remains the commercial heart of Myanmar and an exciting base camp from which to explore the unexplored. British colonial buildings and gilded pagodas adorn the rapidly-changing skyline and the streets bustle with prospects.
Not many places in the world remain that can still strike a tingle into a traveler's heart with the allure of an exciting unknown -- Myanmar is one that begs to be discovered sooner rather than later.
Having only recently opened up to let the outside world in, Myanmar and her cultural capital Yangon, are a rare treasure trove – an untamed destination exotic enough to get even the most jaded traveler's wanderlust revving.
The glint of modern high-rises challenges the shimmer of ancient gilded pagodas in the race to catch an exploring eye. The statuesque colonial buildings dotting the riverfront boulevard offer reminders of the country's colonial past, while contemporary tea salons and restaurants bring a forward-looking liveliness to the city's once forgotten old shop houses.
Yangon's signature symphony of horns shrieks through the streets daily, while markets – open and enclosed – carry on as they have done for decades, bustling as ever. Luckily, just when you thought you couldn't bear to witness anymore boisterous city buzz for the day, the city's lakes and gardens, along with a handful of luxury hotel oases, offer a welcome reprieve to recharge before you rinse and repeat.