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Last updated : Nov 2009
Myanmar Sports
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Traditional sports

The national game is Chinglone; the object of the game is to keep a cane ball in the air for as long as possible using only feet and knees with teams of six players. Burmese boxing is also a very popular sport; it can seem extremely brutal to the uninitiated spectators. Quite a few Western sports are also played.

Many Buddhist festivals are celebrated yearly in the country and present an attractive way for travellers to experience local culture and traditions (read also Special Events in the Social Profile section).

For serious practitioners, some centres offer study and practice of Theravada Buddhism, the most popular of which is the Mahasi Meditation Centre in the capital, Yangon. The centre was established in 1947 by Mahasi Sayadaw, 1 of Myanmar’s best meditation teachers. Travellers who desire to partake in Buddhist retreats should acquire a special, long-stay entry visa (permitting stays of up to 12 weeks). The application procedure can take as long as 10 weeks. For additional information about the necessary application requirements, contact the Embassy or Consular section at the Embassy (see Contact section).

Visitors may also attend performances of Myanmar’s traditional famous theatre, known as pwe (or show). Performances take place in various contexts, including weddings, sporting events, religious festivals, or even funerals, and sometimes last all night.

Also of interest are traditional dance forms (nat pwes), which pay homage to the spirit world, or marionette theatre (yok-thei pwe), widely practiced in the late-18th century in Mandalay and is among the most characteristic forms of national cultural expression.


This is encouraged by Myanmar Travels and Tours and many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries also offer safaris and trekking.

The best parks are:

Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park ( in northwest of Monywa)

Hlawga National Park (near Yangon, great for birdwatching)

Popa Mountain Park (extinct volcano sheltered in forests located in the isolated area of central Myanmar)

Lampi Island (Myeik Archipelago) (can be accessible by boat trips from Myeik and Kawthaung)

Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary ( in Minbu)


Swimming and other water sports are feasible on the following beaches:

Kanthaya Beach, located on the Rakhine coast.

Maung-ma-gan Beach, situated on the Taninthayi coast in the south and accessible from Dawei.

Ngapali Beach, sited on the Rakhine coast.

Chaung-tha Beach, located west of Pathein.

Football matches can be seen at Aung San Stadium in the capital, Yangon and on small fields all around the country.
Useful travel links
Sports in Myanmar about sports in Myanmar
Sports&Recreation-Myanmar about sports and recreation in Myanmar
Visit Myanmar touring in Myanmar