MYANMAR

MYANMAR (BURMA)

What used to be uncharted territory for foreigners, is now the must see land for those with passion to explore ancient cities and beaches. You will not find a Starbucks in this country and with good reason. It wasn’t until recently that Myanmar opened its doors to the public.  From century-old civilizations to upscale city life, this country has everything you could want. See first hand the traditions like men wearing skirts; longyi and locals wearing thanakha. Try local Burmese food and take home memories from a land not seen by most.

REGIONS TO SEE

Yangon:

Your first stop when entering Myanmar! This city is filled with amazing street food, modern clubs, and the biggest and most sacred pagoda in the country. The possibilities are endless when roaming the streets of this up and coming city capital. Not to mention never ending food options like Myanmar’s famous noodles.

Bagan:

A trip to Myanmar without seeing Bagan is a completely heartbreaking thought. When I mentioned the feeling of traveling back in time in Myanmar, the city of Bagan is exactly what I had in mind. This ancient city is nothing but dry desert land and century old temples that spread for miles and miles. You will never see anything like it anywhere in this world. THIS is your #1 stop when you visit Myanmar. Bagan can also be seen from above from hot air balloon. If you are brave,  you can venture out in the day- but BE ADVISED: BRING LOTS OF WATER. In fact bring as much as you can and possibly some cookies to keep your blood glucose up. We had some close calls with the heat and despite the advice from most saying to go in the morning, we went at the peak of sunlight and almost fainted from heat stroke. Be smart. This heat is not a joke. The best time to explore is in the morning or at sunset (which is also very romantic). There is a solitude there that is hard to find anywhere on Earth. If you avoid going to the main temples and just get lost and explore the ones less visited, you will find yourself alone in a temple over looking all of Bagan in complete silence. There is no greater Zen than this, believe me. As much as it will burn your feet, shoes are not allowed to be work inside the temples. You will get scolded at 🙂

Ngwe Saung:

Ngwe Saung is a beautifully secluded 13 mile sandy beach town. On one end you will find upscale resorts and on the other end you can find more backpacker-type hostels. During the day we were surprised to find that there isn’t any electricity anywhere until 5pm in the afternoon. Why? This small little beach town is completely made up of generators! A scary thought to some, but it was rewarding to not worry about electronics and just grab a beer and lay in the sand. The locals come by with fresh cut coconuts to keep your refreshed.  This hidden gateway is fun to explore. Take a walk down the secluded beach and find pagodas planted in giant boulders in the sand.

Inle Lake:

Inle Lake is the jewel of Myanmar. Discover a whole city built upon a beautiful 13.5 mile long lake, surrounded by floating gardens and wooden houses balancing on stilts. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful lake village. Start with a horseback ride up to the local winery, squeeze your way into a Buddhist Cave, or get a chance to see one of the dying arts of puppetry. From floating markets to monasteries, Inle Lake is a traditional village you must see in Myanmar. Don’t forget to see the unique Burmese way of fishing!

Ride a bike through gorgeous fields to Jumping Cat Monastery

Take a horseback ride up to Red Mountain Estates Vineyard and Winery

Go shopping at one of their floating markets in your own wooden speed boat

Take a peek at how silk and local cigars are made in one of their electricity-free workshops.

See an extraordinary puppet show by one of the village’s last puppeteers

Go Trekking and explore Buddhist temples and caves

Go swimming in the nearby pond with water buffalo and local kids, LOTS of fun!

Live Dim Sum: The Greatest Dim Sum I’ve ever had in my life.

Innlay Hut Indian Food House: A great place for mouth watering Indian dishes

Chaukhtatgyi Paya

Shwedagon Pagoda

China Town

 999 Shan Noodle House

Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Restaurant- Order the fried dumplings!

TIPS

  • Most of Inle Lake is cash-only
  • Blackouts can occur throughout the country so be cautious when using ATMS- especially at night.
  • Stray dogs are everywhere and usually completely harmless
  • Respect the locals and monks when visiting monasteries and villages
  • Bring a BRAND NEW, crisp $100 if you wish to exchange money- most countries in Asia will refuse to exchange your currency if it is not perfect. It cannot have a single crinkle on it.
  • Making a kissing like sound is how Burmese people grab a waiter’s attention

LEARN BURMESE

Min Gā Lar Ba Hello

Ché Zu Tin Par Day Thank you very much

Bé Lau Lay How much?

Ein Dah Bay hMā Lay Where is the toilet?