Indochina Highlight

Travel Indochina to explore the most beautiful landscapes, meet the most friendly locals and try the most special food in each place where you land. Indochina is included Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and with a lot of the wonderful natural and cultural heritages sites in these three countries, your tour to Cambodia is sure very fun and worth.

Nowadays, it is also easy and convenient for the tourist to combine to travel Indochina, and to get a suitable trip, then you should start the trip in Vietnam, then forward to Cambodia, finally travel Laos because it is very convenient for you to take a bus, a short flight or even by hydrofoil from Ho Chi Minh City the most bustling city in Vietnam to enter to Cambodia, and from Cambodia you should catch a short flight to Laos. Depending on your long period permits to cover full highlights of Indochina, but normally at least you also need around 7-15 days to encompass all main highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. And, travel to each country in Indochina, then you should miss to travel main sights such as with Vietnam you must see Hanoi the capital of Vietnam, then Halong Bay where was accepted as one of the natural heritages sites in the world by UNESCO, Hue and Hoi An these are the main two sites belong to the central of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City or still called Saigon the most bustling and busy city of Vietnam, the Mekong River delta (if you have more time and prefer to meet the ethnic locals in the mountainous areas of Vietnam, then you must travel Sapa where is available the most mighty landscapes in the northern Vietnam).

From Ho Chi Minh City, you should catch a short flight to Cambodia (Siem Reap or Phnom Penh), if you have around 3 days, then you should catch a hydrofoil from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh to cover the main sites of Phnom Penh the capital of Cambodia, then catch a short flight (or the local bus) from Phnom Penh to go to Siem Reap where is available the great cultural structure of Angkor Wat Temple as well Angkor Temple Complex (please note that it takes around 8 hours by the local bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, but it is just around 50 minutes by a flight for this way).

From Siem Reap, you should catch a short flight to Laos (Luang Prabang or Vientiane), if you have around 3-4 days, then you should visit both of Luang Prabang and Vientiane), if you have a short time, then please choose Luang Prabang because this place was accepted by UNESCO as one of the cultural heritages sites in the world, this destination is very special and different from any other site in the world, it is very peaceful and tranquil, travel Luang Prabang you will have a chance to meet the most honest and friendly locals as well as explore the special historical structures which were preserved very very carefully by the government as well as people at here.

Ten Interesting Things about Cambodia

Which architectural site is featured on Cambodia’s national flag?

That is Angkor Wat, the symbol of Cambodia as well as Cham culture. The temple, which was constructed in 35 years by 5 million tons of stone and set on Cambodia’s National flag in 1850, is the pride of the country.


What was Capital City of Cambodia renowned?

Phnom Penh is the biggest city as well as capital city of Cambodia. It was renowned as “Asia Pearl” dating back in 1920s. Phnom Penh, featured in Indochina Tour Packages, is also one of 2 most attractive cities to tourists (together with Siem Reap) thanks to its unique combination of French and Khmer architecture.

Which religion was Angkor Wat built for?

At first, Angkor Wat was located inside an architectural complex of Khmer Empire and built for Hinduism.

What do Angkor Pilgrims often leave at the bottom of Buddha Statue?

 Lotus flowers, a beautiful and peaceful symbol of Buddhism

The Truth about the giant catfish in Mekong River

The giant catfish in Cambodia is a very rare species which is at the edge of extinction. In spite of its incredible huge size (length up to 3 meters), not so many people know that this fish does not even have teeth, it only eats plants and alga. Once traveling with Mekong River Cruises, you might see one if you are lucky.


How will Tonle Sap be like in rain season?

Tonle Sap, a complex of rivers and lakes, plays an important role to Cambodia. This is also known as the biggest fresh water lake in Asia, and recognized as World Biosphere Reserve in 1997. One ridiculous thing is that the Tonle Sap Rivers do not flow into Mekong River in rain season, they flow back to the lake, making the lake larger and larger.

>> Interested in Cruising on Mekong River? Have a look at our Saigon to Siem Reap Cruises


Which kind of clothes does the Sampot made from?

Sampot is made of silk and considered as the traditional clothes of Cambodian people.


What is the main ingredient of the famous Prahok?

Just like the other sauces in Asia, the famous Prohok of Cambodia is made of fish. Fishes are chosen and washed carefully, then placed in a salt vase for months.

Which currency does Cambodia use?

The official currency in this country is Riel, but it is mostly used in small business, light meals, giving away to beggars etc. US Dollar is the most common currency here.


Which is the official language in Cambodia?

Khmer is the official language here. Besides, Cambodian Government also allow citizens to use 2 popular language - English and French to attract business and tourists to the country.



Things You Should Know Before Travelling to Myanmar

Endowed with picturesque natural landscapes and majestic religious constructions, Myanmar is the precious gem of the Southeast Asia. Although the country was suffered in the dictatorship for decades, it is more open for the tourists now. It will be easier to know something about the country you want to come before departure in order to avoid some awkward situations. Here are some handy tips for you for a memorable trip to this beautiful country.

1. Passport & Visa

To enter Myanmar, the passport has to be valid for at least 6 months so make sure yours is still legit before departure.

The procedure to get a visa in Myanmar is quite easy through the E visa system launched by the Myanmar’s ministry of Immigration and Population in 2014. With $50 US and several steps on the website, citizens of over 100 countries will have an e visa for themselves. 3 days after requesting, a visa letter will be sent to your email. You just need to print it out and show to the immigration staffs.

If the e visa doesn’t work for you, the tourist visa is always available in every Burmese consulate. E visa and tourist visa are all valid for 28 days and cannot be extended.  


2. Currency and Money Exchange

The main local currency of Burma is kyat. You can also use US dollar for accommodation and entrance fee or in restaurants and some means of transport but all the other things like street food or souvenirs are paid in kyat.

You should bring brand new dollar bills or at least unmarked notes to spend in Myanmar because the country has pretty strict law on it. Furthermore, the ATMs are now available in the country but only in some popular tourist attractions. You should exchange you money at banks and airports for the best rates.


3. Accommodation

The price for hotels in Myanmar is pricey in comparison to that in the neighbor countries due to the lack of accommodations. Expecting to pay 25 USD or more for a standard room with minimum amenities and the price even goes higher with the luxurious hotels. In some popular places like Yangon or Mandalay, the hotels are booked in advance for at least a month.


4. Weather

Most of the parts in Myanmar have the tropical climate with the high average temperature and seasonal downpours. The best time to travel to Myanmar is from November to February which is also the peak tourist season with the moderate temperature and less chance of raining.

Or you may want to come in the festival time of the country when the most colorful parades and vibrant ceremonies take place. Here is the list of 5 most incredible festivals of Myanmar for you to choose to create your own dream trip.


5. Clothing

Bring light clothes for the hot weather of Myanmar. However, conservative attires should be in your luggage as well owing to the strict dress codes in the holy sites of the country. Always cover your heels and shoulders when visiting every temple, monastery and pagoda. Socks and shoes are not allowed too so that slippers are the wise choose. Burmese people are very religious so if you don’t follow these rules, you may get in some serious troubles.  

If you are planning to travel to this golden land, Burma Tour Packages will be your most helpful guide.

Mekong River Cruises with the Jahan Cruise

As famous for the Mekong river cruise system, Mekong River attracts travelers thanks to the vast fields, flourishing gardens with warm and pleasant weather all year round. And one of the best experience is travelling in Mekong with Jahan Cruise of Heritage Line.


The expedition with Jahan Cruise will take you closer to the local river life. While cruising the immense forests, you can contemplate the simplicity of the landscape as well as the life of the locals: the boats filled up with the fruits and vegetable, the houses floating on the water and the playing children running along the river banks, simply to smile and wave hand to greet you

Specially, Jahan Cruise is is design sophisticatedly with the high-standard facilities which surely will give you a real leisure expedition holiday on the Mekong.


Additionally, you also can have your own choice on the private excursions, join-in group activities in one day, 2 days or few days as your desires.

Or if you prefer less-walking trip, the sun deck of Jahan Cruise with lounge and swimming pool is also a perfect choice for taking free time for sightseeing and taste some great drinks served onboard. From the sundeck with great view, you will be amazed by the beautiful landscapes surrounded by the fruit gardens taken care by the locals.


After a full day exploring, the restaurant onboard is willing to serve you with the best cuisines you can imagine. From international foods to traditional local dishes, you will find nowhere else a greater floating restaurant like this.

Specially, Jahan Cruise is available with many special offers and DEALs all year round, feel free to contact us today and let us plan your expedition at the best price!
  • Website: Mekong River Cruises
  • Hotline: 0084 916 669 996
  • Email: info@topmekongcruises.com
  • Office: Suite 601, 130 Quan Thanh Str, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi, Vietnam

Things You Should Avoid Packing When Visiting Thailand

When you plan a vacation, you have a lot of options to choose from when you want to go some place you have never been. No matter where you travel, you'll have to pack one or more bags. Should you be heading to Thailand, as you start the packing process, you have to be careful what you bring with you.

Here are a few things you should avoid packing when visiting Thailand.

Jewelry


People like to wear jewelry because it can really complete their look and bring everything together. Unfortunately, when you go to Thailand, bringing along jewelry, at least the really nicer stuff, like a Kate Spade watch or necklace , just isn't a good idea. If its gets lost or stolen, there may be no replacing it or getting your money back. It would simply be less stressful to leave it at home and look forward to enjoying it once you return.

Electronics/Gadgets

Nowadays, everyone has tons of electronics that they bring with them everywhere. Tablets, laptops, cameras, phones and more are packed into suitcases and carry-on bags, but depending on where you are going, this isn't a good idea. When in Thailand, you may not have a need for every gadget you own. These items take up space in your bags and make you a target for thieves, so you should only bring what you actually need.

Impractical shoes

The shoes you bring on vacation should be comfortable. Before you start to load up your bag with sandals, pumps and flats, consider what you will be doing while away. If you are going to be hiking or doing a lot of walking, you should opt for tennis shoes. They are comfortable and very easy to walk in, so you won't have to worry about your feet hurting while you make your way away.


Vacations are supposed to be fun and exciting. When you choose Thailand as your destination, you can't pack the same way you would if you were going to a city within the United States. Because of your destination, you'll to pack smart and be more selective about what you think you need to bring along on your trip.

Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Attention tasty food lovers! Now it’s your time to explore the must-taste Burmese dishes you should not forget to eat during your Myanmar visit. Either you are a Burmese or a tourist; you should have tasted these dishes to feel the real taste of people living Myanmar.

Once you enter into the Myanmar, you should start exploring the restaurants and street foods of the Myanmar but do not forget that you’re new to such dishes so we would suggest you to taste a little bite first and then order more. Also, take care of your stomach if you do not want to get sick during your holiday. But do not leave this chance to taste the fabulous food of Myanmar given below:

Lephet

Lephet Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Start tasting the Burmese dishes with a light food, Tea Leaf Salad is one of the popular dishes of Burma which is usually served as a dessert. It is known in the name of Lephet which is a fermented tea leaf taste delicious and healthy food.

Shan Rice

Shan Rice Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Myanmar is a land of rice production where you will find quality nature of rice. Also, there are various dishes containing rice in which Shan-Style Rice is so common and most popular Burmese food. This dish is cooked with turmeric with flaked fish fresh water and garlic oil, Shan Rice tastes hot and spicy and a taste which is difficult to forget.

Curry

Burmese curry Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

You must have eaten Curry in your country but have not taste Burmese curry every before. This time is to taste the delicious Burmese curry during your Myanmar visit. Non-vegetarian can taste the Burmese curry containing little oil on pork, shrimp, fish, lamb and beef which can be eaten with herbs and sauce.

Tea with Meal

Tea with Meal Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

All tea lover, if you want to taste the unique and stunning tea then you must not lose the chance to taste the tea with variety of meals at the tea stalls in Myanmar. The natural taste of tea will refresh your mind and give a cure to your stressed body. Once you’ll have a cup of tea, then you will surely turn into the energizing and refreshing mood.

Sweet Dishes

Sweet Dishes Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

If you’re done with spicy and tasty food, now it’s time to taste some sweet dishes of Myanmar which contain mouthwatering taste. In sweet Burmese dishes, Kauk Mote, (Red Beans and Coconut), Yoghurt with Palm Sugar, Gyalebi (Jalebi in India), Burmese Flan, Thagu-Pyin is among the top delicious dishes of Burma. Usually Burmese do not take sweets as a dish but they prefer to take with morning tea as a breakfast.

Burmese Tofu

Burmese Tofu Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Burmese Tofu is a Shane-based dish which is made from chickpea flour. It’s delicious food whose taste you cannot forget. The flour is a mixture of turmeric with little salt. It is served with the rice noodles and tastes delicious.

Nangyi Thoke

Nangyi Thoke Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Sounds mysterious but its common food in Myanmar, it is a dry noodle dish combining broth and salad. You’ll find the taste of turmeric, chili oil and it forms a shape of thick round rice noodles with chicken.

Mohinga

Mohinga Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Mohinga is termed a street food, which majorly eaten during morning time as breakfast. It is again a rice noodle which is served in herbal fishing and broth, you can find the taste of banana as it is supplemented. It’s spicy and tasty Burmese food you must have during your visit.

Khauk Swè Thoke

Khauk Swè Thoke Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Khauk swè is a noodle salad with shredded cabbage and carrots and dried shrimps and dressed with friend peanut oil, lime and fish sauce. It tastes great and gives you a tasty and spicy food. If you’re a noodle lover then it will really taste you good.

Samusa

Samusa Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Samusa is an Indian inspired food which is well-known as Samosa in India. It is stuffed with mutton, onions, and served with fresh mint, onions, lime and green chili.

Thayet Chin Thoke

Thayet Chin Thoke Top 11 Must-Taste Burmese Dishes

Thayet Chin Thoke is one of the delicious Burmese salads, which is fermented green mango salad with green chili, onions, roasted peanuts, oil, and sesame. It is a tasty healthy food that keeps your body healthy and satisfies your hunger.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re planning to visit Myanmar (Burma) then you must-taste all these foods during your visit to relish the real taste of Burmese.

8 Enchanting Tourist Sites in Dien Bien

Coming to Dien Bien, you are not only attracted by historical sites but also irresistible tourist attractions. Dien Bien has not only relics associated with the glorious history of our nation, the places below will satisfy the most demanding tourists. They are the vast fields, rugged passes and even mysterious caves.

1. Muong Thanh field

In the rice season, Muong Thanh field is full of vitality, and is as beautiful as a drawing with a light green color spreading to the horizon or yellow in the sun when the rice is ripe. With an area of ​​4,000 hectares spreading across Dien Bien Phu, Muong Thanh is considered the largest field in the Northwest, becoming a granary for Dien Bien Province. Many visitors love to come here at the end of September, when the rice season is ripe by the view from above, Muong Thanh field is like a golden valley with aromatic rice in the air.
Muong Thanh Terraced fields

2. Pha Din pass

Located on National Highway 6 (from Hanoi to Dien Bien), Pha Din the pass is considered to be the border between Son La and Dien Bien provinces, which is called the "the forth greatest pass" of the North West with a length of 32 km. This is also one of the most dangerous routes in Vietnam. Pha Din, in the local dialect, means heaven and earth, implying that this place is an adjoining land between the heaven and the earth.
Pha Din Pass
Located at an altitude of over 1200 meters above sea level, the road crossing the pass include steep slope in one side and deep abyss in the other one. Conquering Pha Din Pass is an impressive journey that gives visitors an enjoyable experience, especially for those who want to explore the wild and majestic nature.

3. Pa Thom cave

Located about 30 km from the center of Dien Bien Phu city, Pa Thom cave is located in the middle of the mountain, famous as a beautiful cave, and is known locally as "the cave of flower fairies", with legends, myths about true love.
Pa Thom Cave
Crossing the small road, visitors will see that in the middle of the entrance to the cave, there is a huge rock like the head of the elephant hanging down. The cave has nine large arches with a lot of stalactites bearing lively shapes and fanciful colors. The walls are the emulsion as large iridescent waterfalls flowing. From the gate, zooming out, visitors will admire the landscape of wild nature, enjoy the fresh air and quiet space. The cave was recognized as a national monument in 2009.

4. Xa Nhe Cave

Considered as one of the most beautiful caves in Dien Bien, Xa Nhe Cave has mysterious beauty, visitors coming here are as being lost in an interesting pristine place. With a length of 700 meters, the cave consists of five large and small compartments, on the domes are dazzling blocks with glittering lines which are sometimes soft and sometimes as flexible as the waterfalls. Each stalactite block is flowing with countless glittering particles. On the ground of the cave, there are “forests” of stalactites of strange shapes that attract visitors.
Xa Nhe Cave

5. A Pa Chai border mark

As one of the most remote mountainous areas in the northwestern part of the country, A Pa Chai has border demarcation line of Vietnam, Laos and China, where one rooster crows and three countries can hear.
A Pa Chai Border mark
A Pa Chai junction has long been considered to be one of the most difficult and interesting destinations by those who love exploring because the road to the border mark on the top is still wild, difficult and dangerous. Coming here, visitors will be surprised and intrigued by the beauty of the adventures of the high mountains covered by the clouds all year round.

6. Hua Pe Hot Spring

Hua Pe hot mineral spring is located in Thanh Luong commune, Dien Bien district, 5 km northwest of Dien Bien Phu city. There is a large mineral water with a regular temperature of about 60°C, next to this, it is Pe Luong artificial lake which is year-round windswept, forming Dien Bien ecological hot mineral spa, one of the most attractive ecotourism destination with services such as convalescence and medical treatment that increasingly attract visitors near and far.
Hua Pe Hot Spring

7. Pa Khoang Lake

Pang Khoang lake is located in the territory of Muong Phang Commune, Dien Bien District, Dien Bien Province, about 20km from Dien Bien Phu City, adjacent to National Highway 279, connecting Dien Bien Phu City with the headquarter of Dien Bien Phu- Muong Phang Campaign formerly.
Ba Khoang Lake
Pa Khoang Lake is located in the midst of majestic nature, hidden in the sky. In the winter, the mist covers the lake’s surface creating a fanciful landscape, looming far away are the mountain ranges, beautiful houses. In the summer, the atmosphere is pleasant with cool south winds. In the reservoir area, there are villages of ethnic groups such as Thai, Kho Mu which are the ethnic groups that preserve the customs and characteristics of the North West ethnic groups... If you have the opportunity to come to Dien Bien, take a little Time to visit Lake Phu Khoang to get immersed in the nature.

8. Muong Phang Cherry Blossom Garden

Many domestic and international visitors arriving in Dien Bien know that Muong Phang was the headquarter of the Vietnamese military during Dien Bien Phu campaign. However, not many people know that, on an island in the middle of the lake of Pa Khoang, Muong Phang commune, there is a flower garden of cherry blossom, marking the friendship between the two nations Vietnam - Japan.

Muong Phang cherry Blossom Garden
From a wilderness area that was formerly a cattle grazing area, this place has formed a flower forest with hundreds of specimens, there are flower varieties of Dalat as well as of other regions. However, the most prominent ones are the thousands of cherry blossoms of 20 varieties, including original and hybrid species. The older the trees are, the more flowers they have.

Among the wild and majestic mountains of the Northwest, the island of cherry flowers on the land of Muong Phang not only fascinate Vietnamese people, even Japanese tourists are stunned, dazed by the beauty of their country’s flower. When the cherry blossom blooms, travelers in the plain flock to Muong Phang, admire the cherry blossom, drop their soul to the romantic and poetic scenery and enjoy moments of peace and close to the nature.

In the fresh, calm space of the early morning, you can freely wander around the island, watch the dew drops of glitter which are still on the leaves, listen to the birds singing and welcome the sparkling sunshine shining everywhere. It would be beautiful moments that you will forever remember in the years of your life. Then years later, you will feel proud and never regret the pace of discovery years whenever you revise your trip.

Dien Bien is a painting drawn by the nature that we can not ignore. Coming to Dien Bien is coming to nature, is coming back to visit a historical region. Perhaps, in the journey to Dien Bien, we should bring a pen and paper to record the heroic history of the nation and then share those experiences with those who have not arrived yet.

Tags: Vietnam travel, Indochina Visa Guides, Indochina travel package

The Reasons You Should Travel to Myanmar

Myanmar - the "Golden Temple" country of Asia, where there are many ancient temples, gentle hospitable people with the unique customs of ethnic identity. Therefore, Myanmar is a "hot" tourist destination today. Come to Myanmar, you can relax, discover and experience the mystery, sacred places here. There are a lot of questions as to why the land is so popular, what makes Myanmar tourism develop so fast? This article is sharing why you should come to Myanmar once in a lifetime. The sacred land of Burmese temple architecture is the aspiration of many Buddhists. There are more than 4,000 thousand large and small pagodas with majestic, magnificent architecture in Bagan, Yangon, etc. Here are some examples of Buddhist culture, including the famous Shwedagon Pagoda where holding the important treasures of Buddhism. In addition, there is the sacred stone Golden Rock lying on the high stone and legendary expiration about it. Travel to Myanmar, you will feel the peace of mind, admire the Buddhist country in the afternoon when dusk falls down, hear the bells ringing and the chanting rhyme in many places.



Myanmar has many beautiful caves which received the privilege of nature. Myanmar has many large and mysterious natural caves. So many visitors are eager to come here to explore them. Many caves in Myanmar are not in the travel guide, so when you visit here, you have to ask the local people to find the way to the cave. The major caves of Myanmar are concentrated in the south, typically Pindaya cave. This is a large cave, located about 100km from Inle, it is a limestone cave and in the cave there are large and small Buddha statues that go through the historical periods 



Cuisine of Myanmar delicious. Burmese Culinary is a combination of a mixed culinary background, it combines Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine. When you come here you will enjoy delicious food, characterized by reasonable prices suitable for everyone. Good food here includes Shan Bean, Myanmar curry served with sour mango, green peppers and mint leaves (Danbauk), Kat Kyi Hnyatn (Pad Thai style noodles, including rice noodles, Seafood, meat, bean sprouts and fried eggs).There are also many delicious dishes bearing the flavor of the country, difficult to find anywhere else in the world. 



It can be said that, like many Asian countries, Myanmar people are friendly. They are always happy to be friends, ready to help people in trouble in their own country. They are very interesting, always smiling and love to speak English with visitors. They are shy but very polite. Be open when getting acquainted, children here always crowded with tourists to babble to learn English, never ask for money from travelers. The customs of this place are also interesting, they only eat two meals a day and in their meals there is no shortage of shrimp. The people here say that if the meal lacks shrimp, they do not eat well. Besides they love nature, they like to raise birds, they always want to have a life of freedom and peace.



Myanmar now still has many mysteries that people in the world do not know, only the natives understand. Traveling to Myanmar, you will have the opportunity to reverse the timeline back to many years ago to explore the mountains, caves and ancient sites. In remote areas like the Shan Plateau, sparsely populated, they live peacefully in the plateau, with little contact with outsiders. In southern Myanmar there is a vast field of colorful statues, forested statues, etc. These are the things that make visitors question and want to explore it.


Visit The Place Where Tattoo Is The Sign of Beauty For Women

Chin people live in the mountainous area, mainly in Chin State, which borders India and Bangladesh to the west, which makes up about 2% of Myanmar's population. The life of Chin ethnic people mainly follows ancient traditions.



Like many other ethnic groups around the world, the Chin also has its own customs, in which the one that makes visitors feel most interested is probably the custom of tattooing of Chin women. The older people here recall that Chin women were so beautiful that they often caught the eyes of emperors and nobles. In order not to be taken as female servants, the Chin women tattooed their faces to make them ugly. From generation to generation passed on to each other, it has become an indispensable part of the culture of this ethnic group. Even people who do not have tattoos on their face will be considered ugly and will not be able to find a husband, the more tattoos the more beautiful the woman is. From the age of 12 to 13, the Chin women began tattooing their first tattoos on their faces.



These tattoos cover the entire face of the woman, which start from the top of the nose and spread in the form of spider webs. Even the eyelids are tattooed. Tattoos on the face are very painful, many people's faced are swollen all over and they cannot go out. Tattoo needles are made from pine wood, tattoo ink is made from special trees. Tattoo inks are mixed with many other additives so that when the tattoo on the face will not fade over time.

Nowadays, as society grows, This custom is gradually becoming less and less popular. Many Chin people move to other places and young people no longer have their faces tattooed. Today, we can only see this beauty trace on the faces of old women.



This custom lasted from the 11th century and was officially banned by the Burmese government in 1960 because it was considered a barbarous custom and they would punish severely if anyone did not comply. However, somehow this custom was maintained until the 1990s.

In the past, Chin state was separated, isolated from the outside world and not given much attention by the government. Foreign visitors were also restricted, and if you wanted to come here, you would need to ask for confirmation from the local authorities.
So every year, there are only about 700 tourists visiting and the purpose here is to contemplate the last generations of tattooed women in Chin State.

Want to explore more in Myanmar? You may consider traveling on a Myanmar River Cruises like Anawrahta Cruise or Sanctuary Ananda

Discovering Legends of Mount PoPa, Myanmar

Your worries and anxieties seem to be washed away by the clouds as you stand on the top of PoPa to see the scenery around here. The longer you admire the view, the more clearly you will feel more about the fanciful scene that few places have in Myanmar.


About an hour of driving from the heart of Bagan, running through bumpy trails, two sides are immense green rice fields. Looking towards the horizon, a mountain will appear in the shape like Mount Fuji of Japan. That is Mount PoPa.

Mount PoPa lies at the altitude of 1581m above sea level and located in the center of Myanmar, about 50km southwest of Bagan. On the beautiful clear days, visitors coming here stand from the Irrawaddy River can also see the mountain.

PoPa Mountain is a pride and a center of belief in Myanmar. The temple on the mountain is home to many large Buddha statues, which also attracts tourists and devotees from all over Myanmar and around the world. To reach the top of the mountain visitors will have to overcome 777 steps to reach the top of Mount PoPa. Visiting Mount PoPa, tourists do not only enjoy the fresh air, watching the vast river, watching the sky and land, but also have the opportunity to hear the legends, folk tales, guardians of the destitute people in Myanmar.

Nat Mihagari


On the way to the summit, visitors can stop several times to visit different temples to worship. At the altar of 37 Natas, visitors will hear the temple keepers tell stories about the Natanhem of house Mahagiri of the Tagaung from the upstream of the Irrawaddy, who were helped by the king of Bagan, Thinligyaung. Their wish was that after passing away, they would be burry be on top of PoPa. And finally, their wish was fulfilled and they became guardians of the destitute.

Me Wunna and her two sons


Besides the above story, there is another legend of PoPa Meday, whose another name, according to legend, was Me Wunna. She lived on top of PoPa and the foods she consumed were mostly flowers. She fell in love with Byatta, a royal soldier gathering flowers from PoPa to King Anawrahta of Bagan. She asked him to marry her. Byatta did not obey the king, who opposed the marriage, and their children were taken to the palace. Because of immense misery, Me Wunna died with Byatta and became a Nat. Two of her children became heroes during the king's service, but were later blamed for building the temple in Taungbyone near Mandalay and executed by the king. Although they have become two gods, their bodies were sent back to Taungbyone where the main festival takes place every year in August.

From the peak of Taung Kalat you can see the whole landscape below, although the surrounding area is the arid rocky mountain but PoPa has 200 streams flowing around it. The wind blowing across will make visitors feel a sense of peace amidst the mysterious region of Myanmar


Visit Myanmar's Largest Teak Woodworks - Shwenandaw Monastery

About 40km away from the heart of Mandalay, the teak wood Monastery of Shwenandaw is a popular destination of Myanmar thanks to its ancient architecture, exquisite carvings, and tranquil beauty.

The History of Shwenandaw


The historic monastery locates in the territory of Maha Aung Mye, Dawna of the former Mandalay Capital. It lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Built in the 19th century under the reign of King Mindon, considered a royal monastery, Shwenandaw is well known both internally and externally as a representative of traditional architecture and unique carving art on teak wood of the country of the temples.

The monastery is regarded as a glorious trace of the past. Formerly part of the Amarapura Palace, it was later moved to Mandalay and became the northern part of the Glass Palace, with the name Mya Nan San Kyaw, which was a part of the palace of King Mindon and his Queen.


After the death of King Mindon, the monastery - or old palace was assigned to King Thibaw and became the mediating place of this king. However, King Thibaw soon moved the monastery away from the Mandalay palace to the present site, close to Atumashi Monastery because of the image of King Mindon always haunted the teak house.

Later, the teak house was rebuilt into a monastery, also the memorial of King Mindon. And so far, Shwenandaw has been the only remaining monolithic wooden work of the Royal palace of Mandalay.

The distinctive architecture of Shwenandaw

The palace is a masterpiece of Burmese wood sculpture. It includes a wooden house with 4 separate roofs that are both majestic and magnificent. Sophisticated images of Buddhist myths and elaborate patterns are carved all over the monastery from the roof, balustrade to the walls.

With its extremely unique structure, the floor of the monastery rests on a teak pillar system, 54 mythical Nayar models adorn the exterior columns of the building, displaying majesty and are also mascots defending the monastery from the attack of the evil forces.

Mythical Nayar Model

All the details, carvings, and patterns of Shwenandaw are highly appreciated in terms of art and craftsmanship, all evoking a glorious golden age of Myanmar teak architecture.



Inside the monastery, there are many items gilded or encrusted with crystals, the mural, interior in the main are decorated carefully and detailedly. The main corridor of the main palace with its marble panels, marble sculptures, gives the viewer an extremely convincing view of sophistication and meticulosity in each line.

For you trip to Myanmar, you may consider a Luxury Cruise Trip on Irrawaddy Princess II or Rv Pandaw II