Exploring Burma (Myanmar) – My travel tips!
Burma (Myanmar) has always been on my bucket list and this year I finally checked in my holiday card and with my awesome new backpack… off I popped.
I had such an incredible experience I thought it would simply be criminal if I didn’t share my travel tips with you, so here you go….
- Tea Leaf Salad – yes! You can eat tea leaves! A mix of tea leaves, peanuts, onions – YUM
- Shan beef noodles – The Shan state is known to have some of the best food in Myanmar and the flavoursome but not so spicy dishes. The beef is slow cooked and is so tender and is enhanced by the herbs used in this amazing dish.
- Myanmar Beer – I know technically not a food, but still essential on a trip to Myanmar!
My top things to do…
- Inle Lake local villages – hire a bicycle for less than £1 and cycle around the local villages where children will run out of the house yelling Hello to you!
- Bagan temples – explore the ancient stupas, monasteries and pagodas away from the crowds. Climb a remote temple and watch the sun go down.
- Ngapli Beach – gorgeous beaches like Thailand but nobody else about! This is more off the beaten track than most places in Myanmar and as such the electricity is only on during the evening times.
- Get there before the big development happens. Pretty soon it is going to be one of the hottest destinations in Asia and whilst that will bring improved internet (currently wifi is painfully slow and almost non-existent in some areas), I would also advise seeing it before the crowds arrive. Upon arrival you can see how traditional the population still are as most men (even business men in shirts and ties) wear the traditional longyi sarong like an ankle length skirt!
- The people – nearly every country in Asia is known for it’s friendly people, however in Myanmar this is taken to a whole new level. People have a genuine interest in learning about your life and why you came to Myanmar. In fact on one occasion I booked a boat ticket through a travel agent and she then invited me and my friend to her house for dinner that night!
- Incredibly safe – I have travelled to many countries and whilst I don’t feel unsafe in most places, I found Myanmar to be the safest place I have ever travelled in. Even the locals don’t bother locking up their bicycles or locking their doors as fear of crime is incredibly low mostly because the population are incredibly religious and Buddhism promotes the idea of Karma.
- A head torch – this is essential in Myanmar where the sun sets around 6pm but the electricity supply is not always reliable.
- Sun lotion and hat – the sun is incredibly strong in this tropical country so a high factor sun screen is essential even for those who don’t usually get burned
- Long skirts and trousers – you will be visiting lots of temples when in Myanmar and all require modest dress in order to be allowed in and not offend the locals so some long skirts for girls are essential. You can also buy traditional longyi skirts for around $5 when there!
When to go…
More like when not to go! Burma is a fab country year round, however there are some seasonal changes to the weather which is best to take into account before packing.
There are two seasons in Burma, the dry and wet season. The dry season runs through October to May and the wet from June to September. May and June are said to be the hottest months of the year (a bit like the UK).
And finally… BUDGET…
The main cost will be accommodation which is more expensive than the rest of Asia. Here is a guide on how much things cost:
The local currency in the Myanmar Kyat (pronounced Chet) 1000 kyat is approximately 1 USD. Most hotels will take USD notes.
- On average a twin room will cost around $25-$35 USD for a room depending on the area.
- Food is incredibly cheap and a Asian meal for two will cost around $6 USD. A large bottle of Myanmar beer costs around $2
- Souvenirs such as lacquerware tableware will cost around $5 a piece depending on the size.
- A taxi ride from one side of town to another will cost around $2
- A luxury night bus from Yangon to Inle Lake costs around $18.50
With all that info you are set to go. If you want any further information feel free to give our offices a call and speak to a travel advisor on: 01892 527392.
Burma here we come…