Yangon

Mystical Buddhist realm

Formerly known as Rangoon, Yangon plays capital city to Southeast Asia's Myanmar. Traces of British, Burmese, Chinese, and Indian influences remain parts of this city's culture. Start your travels with something truly divine by visiting the sacred and gold-encased Shwedagon Pagoda or Paya on Singuttara Hill, the single most important religious site in all of Myanmar. Stroll along the galleries of the Sule Pagoda, which was built 2,000 years ago to house a strand of Buddha's hair and then visit the Botataung Paya, the only hollow stupa in the world with its multitude of relics.

Take a walk in the 130-acre People's Park, popular for its large concrete water fountain. Don't forget to visit Aung San's house, his home before his assassination. Take the Circular Train around Yangon for a glimpse of the Yangon life in three hours. For a trip on water, embark upon the Dallah ferry, offering crazy market life on the river and ending at the pagoda on the other side.