Myanmar's Most Beautiful Sacred Sites

Glittering stupas, stepped temples, and candlelit monasteries reveal a long spiritual tradition.

A nation long shrouded in mystery, Myanmar has only recently emerged from decades of isolation under a violent military regime and opened its borders to tourism. Gilded stupas, stepped temples, and candlelit monasteries pepper the landscape, revealing a long spiritual tradition that dates back to the first century C.E. Though it has no official religion, an estimated 90 percent of the country's population practices Theravada Buddhism.

More than 100 ethnic groups reside in Myanmar, and in recent years the government has come under scrutiny for a troubling upsurge of religious violence targeting Muslim and Christian minorities, including the destruction of non-Buddhist holy sites.