Myanmaahhhhh! You just have to go! It is out of this world...
In Myanmar most of the people are lovely, friendly and helpful, speak very little English (but you can easily get by), and mostly all chew the beetle nut and have awful teeth because of it. But, their broken smiles shine brighter than other places in SE Asia! There's also a great range of things to do and see and I completely loved my trip, as will you, check out our sections on Bagan and Yangon, using the menu, for more info.
Myanmar (or Burma) is cheap (ish) and, when you walk past a fellow tourist/traveller, they all say hi and/or give you a look of comradery; I made loads of friends, both foreign and local. The prices will soon go up (especially if you let them rip you off), and the hoardes will soon arrive; so… go now, go now, go go go! It's also very safe (for the moment, but always be careful!) welcoming, unexplored, I simply cannot recommend it enough!
The negatives are that it's a hard country to travel in, but that's precisely because it's unexplored and only just opening up. It's very dirty, like really dirty, and also, a very poor country which can be hard to see and hard on your conscience when you're on a budget. There's loads of diseases you can catch (get all your vaccinations and take antibiotics with you), lots of mosquitos (Arrg the dreaded dengue amongst other things so long sleeves and repellent with at least 20% deet, (I had citronella with 15% deet and it wasn't enough), yes, deet, even you hippies out there!) and gangs of crazy ass dogs that chase you (haha, but really dangerous and scary too and quite common so rabies vaccination might be worth it, although I went unvaccinated).
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Accommodation is expensive, there's very few choices or even non-existent choices (down south, it's like, "I'm sorry there is literally no where for you to sleep tonight" non-existent) and it's not that great either, unless you're have a high budget. Food and drink can be awesome or a dice with death (they have cholera you know!) and some people are starting to take the mickey with prices (basically it's going to be like Thailand) so always haggle and do your research and talk to other travellers! Avoid ice, don't even rinse with the tap water, but look forward to having a great time despite all these possible negatives.
Indeed, I only spent a full week in Myanmar and it's felt like a month of adventures and experiences. I definitely need to come back and have more time to see even more as I hear great things about the rest of the country; particularly the south, despite the lodging woes. I heard you will be the only travellers, still, in such an overurn planet, and the locals are genuinely happy, lovely and curious to see you. Going there (perhaps Dawai), back to Yangon and definitely a balloon ride over Bagan, at sunrise, are all top new bucket list entries! What else!? Food is about 1000 k upwards, 500 for water or 1000 for a fizzy or 1500 up for a beer, but there's more detail, especially on prices, in the entries on Bagan and Yangon, including info in the photos.
Prepare to take lots of your own photos, they're some great ones to be had! Another tip: always deal in kyat and use your card, rather than taking dollars, or whatever, to change, and just take out substantial amounts to offset the fees, you'll get a better rate that way and some people struggled with foreign hard currency. And...get ready for a true adventure to Myanmar!
Ok I think that's it, check out the links in the menu for more detail, good luck, much love and go go go to Myanmar! Xxx
Have a closer look at Yangon, with a selection of photos, here...
For a quick peak at Bagan, with some lovely shots, click here...
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