Travel

An introduction to Myanmar

Bagan (16) (800x533)
Some of the thousands of stupas scattered across Bagan

Myanmar is, quite simply, an incredible place to visit. Of the countries that make up South-East Asia, it’s probably one of the least visited by tourists, and there are many reasons for this. The main one being the country’s turbulent history and oppressive military rule which ended as recently as 2011.

A gradual liberalisation process has been happening since then and things are slowly changing. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been opening up to the outside world with more and more tourists visiting each year. And there is so much to see. Myanmar is a stunningly beautiful country with a picturesque landscape of mountains, hills, jungle and enormous lakes.

Inle Lake (90) (800x533)
A “one-legged rower” in Inle Lake

You can spend your time trekking through the hills to visit tribes in remote villages, enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Irrawaddy River, or a speedy one in a motorised boat across Inle Lake. You can spend quiet moments in some of the world’s most spectacular temples, or visit a bustling local market.

There isn’t much in the way of nightlife here, which sets Myanmar apart from neighboring countries in a big way. But you can still drink with locals at rum or beer “stations”, which are very relaxed places to enjoy a drink or two.

Kentung (30) (800x600)
Agricultural fields in Kentung

The food in Myanmar is really good. There are lots of curries and rice and noodle dishes. One of my favourite places to eat here were barbecue restaurants, where all the food is displayed in fridges. You are given a basket and you pick which food you want to eat, which is then barbecued and brought back to you. There are all kinds of meat and vegetable options and you can keep going back for more. It’s a really fun, authentic and delicious dining experience.

Yangon (4) (800x523)
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

I can’t write about Myanmar without mentioning the thousands of temples and stupas scattered across the country. Before I went travelling I was told by a friend: “You’re gonna get so bored of temples!” And it’s true that there are unlimited temples throughout South-East Asia, but Myanmar takes it to a whole other level. One of my favourite days in Myanmar involved hiring a scooter in Bagan and whizzing to as many temples as I could. The number and variety of temples and stupas here is astounding. And far from getting bored by them, I couldn’t get enough.

I’ll be uploading more posts about Myanmar over the next few weeks so please check back and take a look. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’d like to share on Pinterest, feel free to use the picture below. xx

An introduction toMyanmar (2)

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