I am a late night owl and getting up early to run my routine has always been my nightmare, let alone being awake at 4 in the morning. However, if you are one of my kinds, you seriously need to consider going against your will when you are visiting Myanmar for I am going to reveal some of the most remarkable vistas of beautiful dawn in Myanmar.

Before that, let me introduce our country briefly. Our mother land is the second biggest country in ASEAN with a land mass equivalent to the combination of Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Brunei. As a local, it is always a headache to recommend must-have experience in this vast land that was recently opened to the international access in late 2010. Nevertheless, we already have renowned landmarks receiving millions of tourists each year and these places have solid grounds for this.

Bagan sunrise with Buddhist temples and hot air balloons Credit: Wai Yan Maung Maung

Bagan sunrise with Buddhist temples and hot air balloons
Credit: Wai Yan Maung Maung

First up, one can simply not miss visiting this majestic attraction of our country. It is no other than the Ancient Bagan with thousands of Buddhist temples spreading across the vast field in central Myanmar. As cliché as it may seem, it is a friendly reminder that one must not miss the opportunity to see the sunrise from one of the tall temples in Bagan. The above mesmerizing photo can justify why so and what’s more, as an icing on the cake, you can try being on one of those hot air balloons so that you can take away a unique story to tell from your travel diary.

Credit: John Einar Sandvand, http://sandvand.net/photography-in-myanmar-meeting-the-sun-at-u-bein-bridge/

Credit: John Einar Sandvand, http://sandvand.net/photography-in-myanmar-meeting-the-sun-at-u-bein-bridge/

Another unmissable dawn of central Myanmar is at a 1.2 km long U Bein Bridge of Thaungthaman Lake near Amarapura Township in Mandalay. Being the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world, many tourists would come here to see the sunset. That being said, the tranquility around the lake and the bridge can be affected by busy crowds at such time. If you would like to either avoid such situation or try something different, you may opt to have a visit there early in the morning. Without a doubt, the sunrise will leave an everlasting picture on your mind.

Lastly, let me mention Yangon, our former capital. The majority of our visitors either arrive at Yangon or depart from it while many of them end up doing both. It would be quite unwise to not pay a visit to our iconic Buddhist stupa: the Shwedagon Pagoda. But hey, for me, the serenity of the pagoda during the transition from nighttime to daylight hours is hands down the most unique spiritual experience visitors can attain during the recommended short stay in this booming city. The magic here lies in the lighting technique which accentuates the reflection of the real gold plates covered over the main stupa – thus exuding an aura of magnificence. The pagoda compound can be assessed from 4am10pm every day and you will not regret sacrificing a couple hours of sleep for this enchanting moment.

Golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon at Dawn Credit: Martin Sojka

Golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon at Dawn
Credit: Martin Sojka

All in All, these 3 beautiful photographs captured by the talented photographers represent my personal favourites of must-have sunrise experiences in Myanmar. However, the list clearly is not exhaustive and there are still many unexplored beauties throughout our land, waiting for you to witness firsthand.


By Thein Min Swe, ASEAN Correspondent from Myanmar

Disclaimer: All the photos used in this article are not my own and the respective credits are mentioned under each photograph.