Myanmar is a country filled with surprises—and we don’t just mean in the market. TEFL interns teaching in Myanmar will be delighted by the warm welcome received from the people; the otherworldly beauty of the landscape; and the cultural-prowess of its religious history. Famous sights, like the Temples of Bagan and the Golden Rock, will blow you away—but the unique blends of culture will also continually fascinate. Did we mention the scenery is spectacular ? ?

To truly visit Myanmar you would need a lifetime, but let’s make sure you have the chance to soak up every last ounce of it—get started by following our go-to list of the best things to do during your TEFL internship in Myanmar.

8 must-see’s for TEFL interns Teaching in Myanmar

1.Get Soaked at Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls in Myanmar
Experience the amazing Iguazú Falls in Myanmar while on TEFL internship

Is there even a list of things to do in Myanmar for travelers where Bagan isn’t the #1 recommendation!? If you are teaching in Myanmar, check out the stunning valley of temples. It was home to around Buddhist 13,000 temples in its 11th-century heyday. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this huge field—made up of countless pagodas and temples—is one of the most extraordinary sights not only in Myanmar but in Asia as a whole. Period. Be sure to see the famous Ananda temple with its sparkling gold spires while you’re there!

2.Photograph the Bogyoke Aung San Market of Yangon

Bogyoke Aung San Market of Yangon
TEFL interns in Bogyoke Aung San Market of Yangon

History and artistry combine at Bogyoke Market in Yangon. If you are teaching English abroad and shopping for Myanmar handicrafts and souvenirs is on your TEFL adventure to-do list, look no further than Bogyoke Aung San Market, AKA Scott Market. This unstoppable bazaar is a glorious peek into the Myanmar of colonial times, boasting cobblestone streets and nods towards yesteryear on every corner. It’s over 70 years old and is home to over 2,000 local shops. Find famed lacquerware, Shan shoulder bags, puppets, slippers, gems—or just a ton of inspiration for that camera of yours!

3.While Teaching in Myanmar, Go Remote in the Untouched Shan State

Shan State in Myanmar
Teach English in Myanmar and enjoy the scenes in Shan State

The much-touted Myanmar places to visit—Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inle Lake—are on most TEFL teachers’ “to-see” lists. But if you’re seeking more off-the-beaten-path adventures, visit the Shan state, which borders China, Thailand, and Laos. A trip to Shan will be a wild adventure for any TEFL teacher with an appetite for unforeseen events. Rent a car and private driver and head to Keng Tawng Falls, which still goes mostly unnoticed by tourists due to its remoteness.

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4.Visit a National Park

Elephants in the National Park in Myanmar
Enjoy the National Parks in Myanmar on your TEFL Internship

There are nine individual national parks across Myanmar—carve out a weekend (or weekends, you outdoor enthusiast!) of your TEFL internship in Myanmar to get some dirt on your boots in at least one of them. With an area of 1,605 square kilometers, Alaungdaw Kathapa is the largest national park in Myanmar. Chill out in Kanpetlet, your adventure base at the doorstep of Mount Victoria National Park, and unparalleled access to Myanmar’s western region. Make this hiking trails your own—this dramatic scenery is unlike anywhere else in the world.

5.Drink a Beer at a Beer Station

Dragon beer station in Myanmar Internship
Get a drink at dragon beer station on your TEFL internship

Participate in the heart of Myanmar’s drinking culture! Though nightlife doesn’t really exist outside large cities and some luxury hotels and resorts, you can find “beer stations,” simple, open-air restaurants that serve alcohol, on the streets of cities, towns, and villages around Myanmar. Try local beverages like Myanmar Beer, Dagon beer, and Mandalay beer. You can also find local rum and whisky, or go full-on local by trying the “toddy” (than ye)—made of fermented, sugary palm sap. As always, drink with caution!

6.Get Your Coconut Fill

Coconut drink in Myanmar
You have to try Myanmar’s delicious coconuts on your internship

You might not have considered Myanmar a destination for coconut lovers in the past, but how wrong you’ve been! Come to Myanmar to teach English abroad and indulge in nutty sweetness reminiscent of your favorite sorbet as a kid. Burmese cake, known as ‘sanwin makin’, is your gateway to coconut obsession. It’s prepared by boiling coconut cream, semolina (purified wheat middlings made from durum wheat), and sugar to obtain a thick dough, adding eggs and more coconut cream. You can also drink coconut by trying Moh Let Saung, which is made from cold coconut milk and palm sugar. YUM!

7.Go Monkey-Spotting

A must see is Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago on TEFL internship
Monkey’s in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago

Monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys! And other incredible marine creatures, too (like pangolins and otters to name a few!). Your TEFL internship in Myanmar will not be complete without a little walk on the wild side. Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago is one of the most biologically diverse areas of the country, and there are dozens of rare and unique mammal and bird species to discover in the region. Take a dip in the waters yourself—it’s pretty cold, but it’ll be memorable, nonetheless!

8.Sit Quietly in Awe of a Temple

Sein Nyet Sister Temples
Sein Nyet Sister Temples in Myanmar

If walls could talk, the temples of Myanmar would have quite a bit to say. No where is the combination of Myanmar’s colonial history and modern contemporary culture more present? The most famous temples of all—and a must-see for history-nuts—are the Sein Nyet Sister Temples, with the elder sister, Sein Nyet Ama, built in the 12th century. Or check out Shwesandaw Pagoda, with its steep steps, which was built in 1057. Either way, take some time for quiet as you contemplate the history before you and the challenging years this gorgeous country has faced.

Myanmar is a TEFL Teacher’s Playground

Teaching English in Myanmar
Teaching English to kids in Myanmar

While teaching in Myanmar with meaningful work by day and endless adventures by night, your weekends will be jam-packed with activities to satisfy the bucket list of even the most adrenaline-loving TEFL teacher. Get up close and personal with nature, observe the amalgamation of indigenous and Asian cultures, eat lots of world-class curries, and soak up the good life while teaching in Myanmar. This is a chapter you’ll want to relive again and again!

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Myanmar Native Bobo’s Top Travel Tips

Visiting the Most Beautiful Waterfall in Southeast Asia: The Haipa Waterfall

Haipa Waterfall while teaching in Myanmar

Myanmar is in Southeast Asia and is full of breath-taking natural beauties, exhilarating adventurous activities, and exciting places to visit for people who are considering teaching in Myanmar. It will cease to amaze you.

Once you are in Myanmar, you should really visit Shan state. It’s the largest state in Myanmar, so large that it’s divided into 3, making Southern Shan State, Northern Shan State, Eastern Shan State; and each state is packed with historical, monumental, and natural wonders.

Exploring the Northern Shan State

When teaching in Myanmar, you must explore Northern Shan State! To get there, Lashio will be your first destination. From Yangon, where the majority of the International flights land. Lashio is reachable via air and express buses.

Getting to Lashio by Air

The local flight ticket is around 90 USD and sometimes the flight might take longer than your international flight, as it does not come to Lashio as the crow flies. It flies around the country, lands in different airports, and finally touches the ground in Lashio. So you could be leaving Yangon in the morning and reaching Lashio in the evening. But not to worry, you will still make it the same day. Flight ticket prices can vary from 129 to 288 depending on which day it is. Lashio is 432 miles north of Yangon.

Getting to Lashio by Bus

There are lots of express buses from Yangon to Lashio. The ticket price ranges from 14 to 25 dollars. If they are normal buses, there are 4 seats in a row and it is cheaper in cost. If they are VIP buses, there are 3 seats in a row (2+1) and it costs a bit higher. Here is the Myanmar bus ticket website where you can purchase your tickets. It’s a 14-hour ride. Buses leave in the evening. The first bus stop is for your evening meal. It is about 115 miles, we would advise you to sleep until you get to Kyaukme at about 5 am. You do your morning things here and have breakfast.

From Yangon to Mandalay, 357 miles is a straight and pleasant road. From Mandalay to Lashio it is a hilly region. Roads are full of turns and curves, ascends and descends. Some places could be pretty tricky. You will also pass the famous ‘Gouk Hteik Viaduct’ but you will be fast asleep at that time. On your way back, you will get to see the ‘Gouk Hteik Viaduct’ and the famous ‘Gouk Hteik Train Bridge’ since the buses pass the viaduct early in the evening. From Mandalay to Lashio is 178 miles. So, the total mile between Yangon and Lashio is 535.


What to Do in Lashio

Once you arrive in Lashio, you can go to your hotel and rest for a while. If you don’t feel like resting or if you’re already fresh, you should visit the ‘Myoma Market’ which means ‘City Market’. China-made things are pretty cheap there and you can also see lots of local foods and crafts. In Lashio, mugging is rampant. You should never be off guard especially with your mobile, purse, wallet, and so on.

You should have lunch at ‘Thu Kha Road’. It’s around the Myoma Market and there are a couple of good restaurants there. You can try Ngwe Hnin Pyu for Shan traditional foods, Shwin Lite for Chinese foods, Win Light for Pilaf, or Chicken-Oil food.

After that, if you want to swim, you can go to the ‘Nice Centre’. There is a swimming pool, a good café and a park to stroll around. In the evening, you must go to the ‘High Lander Restaurant’. It is a bit outside the town but the sunset view is awesome and so are the foods. You can enjoy some beer, whiskey, and great food here. You will find yourself taking lots of photographs. If you are a night person, there are many bars which are open all night. Your hotel receptionist can help you with this.

In the winter, you should go to Lashio Spa at night. There is a natural hot spring. There are hot swimming pools and many bathrooms. Water from this spa is believed to be therapeutic. You can also enjoy Shan Noodles, Roasted Mutton, and Rice Alcohol. But you shouldn’t stay up too late, as you have an early start in the morning.

The Beginning of an Exciting Trip

You must leave Lashio at 5 am so that you make the sunrise on the Tangyan Tea-leaf plantation. Tangyan is a small town, 134 km southeast and It’s a 3-hour drive. Since Shan State is a hilly region, you should expect ascends, descends, and sharp turns wherever you go. Once you reach Tangyan, you will see an endless view of the tea-leaf plantation. In Myanmar, green tea is consumed a lot. The tea-leaf is also used in a famous traditional snack ‘La Phet Thote’. It’s a tea-leaf salad with lots of yummy ingredients in it.

tea plantation in Tangyan while teaching abroad

There are a couple of tea-leaf plantations to explore, enjoy the green tea, and Shan Khaw Pote (a brown sticky snack made from mashed sticky rice). If you are a shutterbug, you can get a lot of breath-taking photos here.

After 30 to 45 minutes of a break here, you must head for ‘Mong Hsu’, 164 km, 3 hours, and 30 minutes’ driving time. Mong Hsu is the bordering town between Northern State and Southern Shan State. Lashio and Tangyan are in Northern Shan State but Mong Hsu is in Southern Shan State. So you get to visit 2 states.

Exploring the Southern Shan State

Mong Hsu is very popular because people excavate precious jewels here. From Mong Hsu, you must drive to ‘Haipa Village’. It’s just a few minutes’ drive. When you are at the village you will witness Southeast Asia’s most wonderful ‘Haipa Waterfall’. From Haipa Village, you keep driving down the earthen road until you reach the resort built near the Haipa Waterfall. There are bungalows for you to sleep in overnight or If you are an adventurous type, you can also hire tents to sleep near the waterfall.

Haipa Waterfall

Haipa waterfall, one of the cultural heritages in Mong Hsu Township. Where Tainwe and Palaung ethnics reside in unison in Southern Shan State, is formed with seven to nine steps of a waterfall. It is a natural scene filled with various species of wildlife and birds. Haipa waterfall, an origin of Nampan Creek which flows to Kunhing region streaming in a large number of ravines and jungles, is embraced by Loikhuk Hill, Loifalyan Hill, and Loimonmun Hill.

This amazing fall is on the tourist map and is a definite must-see for all the interns teaching in Myanmar. Haipa hides in the picturesque Shan State which has an abundance of forest, rice paddies, and verdant plantation. Haipa is best accessed by car but it is also closed for a month during monsoon season. You can book your tours through this amazing website.

Haipa, from the aerial view, looks like a giant horseshoe with many more horseshoes inside. Layers and layers, steps, and steps make the waterfall amazing at all times. The turquoise color of the water is so inviting. You can ride speed boats and tour around the waterfall. Or you can also row your own boat if you are adventurous but you are not allowed to swim here as there are many dangerous under-water rocks. If you love taking photographs, you will never leave this place easily since the waterfall is as big as the river.

Aerial view of Haipa Waterfall
Stunning aerial view of a waterfall in Myanmar

While teaching English abroad you have the option to stay in a bungalow, enjoy the night sky, and listen to the sound of nature. You can also do fishing and enjoy local food. It won’t be luxurious but it sure would be adventurous. You can also go tracking into the Haipa village. It’s a huge village with about 1000 houses. You can study the culture of Shan and Palaung people. They are ethnic people here. You will be amazed to see how they make rice. They would mash the paddy in a big wooden jug with a big wooden rod. Outcomes the rice and they cook that rice to eat. The taste is extraordinary! They use that rice to make sticky-steamed rice, Khaw Pote, and so on.

Aerial view of Haipa Waterfall
Another beautiful aerial view of the waterfall

You can stay at Haipa for the night, enjoy the village life the next morning and if you feel like staying more, you can stay for the second night. And after that, you can leave for Taunggyi, the capital city of Shan State. Taunggyi has lots and lots of wonders too.

?Did you find this article about 8 must-see destinations while teaching in Myanmar useful? If you have any questions please comment in the box below ? If you want to read more about TEFL teachers teaching in Myanmar, Meet Bo Bo Aung a Non-Native English Teacher.

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