[dropcap]T[/dropcap]orn apart in civil wars, Burma, Myanmar hardly ranks top of most people’s bucket lists. ‘Tis a pity too! The country is beautiful, rich in history and has kept its unique cultural heritage.
When I told my mother my plans to visit, she panicked and echoed the sentiment I had heard from everyone else: “it’s no place for a solo female, you’ll be lucky to make it out alive.” Determined and feeling brave, I accepted the challenge.
I stuck to a rather familiar route (Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake) due to a lack of transport infrastructure and desire to avoid direct areas of conflict. Exercise caution and be sure to check the UK governmental website advice before planning out your chosen locations.
It feels like a step back in time and is a nice change from the chaotic storm of Bangkok.
Alternatively book onto a tour group and let them do the work! Stray Asia through STA are worth a look as I had a great time with them in Laos.
One of the advantages of having been so recently opened to tourism is the noticeable lack of westernisation.
Unlike Manila or Kuala Lumpur, where McDonald’s logos litter the skyline and the malls are filled with Nike outlets, Yangon retains its local cuisine and fashion styles. It feels like a step back in time and is a nice change from the chaotic storm of Bangkok.
Secondly, the friendliness of the population is unparalleled among my travels. Unlike London where I huff and puff at the tourists littering the pavements glued to their cameras walking 200m an hour, I found all locals welcomed me with open arms. They urged me to try the food, see the sites and spread the message that they were open and waiting for the world to visit.
In a selfish way I want to tell you to skip the country. It is so beautiful and so perfect that I fear it’ll be spoiled. Alas, instead I urge you to visit now before it becomes the back pack mecca that Thailand has.