Asia, Myanmar

Golden Myanmar

Asia Myanmar

Myanmar is such a great country. What I love most about this country is that it just opened itself to the tourists. Their culture is really present and there are not a lot of tourists. As Asia becomes more and more loaded with tourists, for Myanmar (Burma), tourists are something special. People ask you to take selfies with them, are proud when you ask to take pictures of them (they love it even though they rarely smile on pictures), and they never say no.

Their culture hasn’t yet been altered by all the tourist activities. You can experience all kinds of landscapes during your trip to Burma. The main places to go: Yangon, a city that never gets calm. You have people and cars everywhere and the honking never stops. It is in that city that you will find the most important Pagoda; the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is a magical place with a central pagoda that has 60 tons of gold on it. The place is 5.6 hectares of marble floor and counts over 73 stupas surrounding the main one. This place will stun you. Locals are still very fond of this place and people come from all over the country to visit it.

Inle Lake; I simply love this place. The main attraction is the village built on the lake itself. You may take a boat ride to visit the water markets, the fisherman’s village, the houses, water pagodas and water gardens. If you can afford a bit of luxury, you may as well sleep in a villa directly on the lake. The view is amazing and the lake is surrounded by mountains. Last but not least, the beautiful Bagan. This is an archeological wonderland where you will find more than 2,000 temples that are over 900 years old. This place is stunning. You have many ways to travel from one temple to another; either by motorbike, biking or carriage ride. Balloons over Bagan is an incredible experience from the sky, as well as just looking at them flying high from the top of a temple. It was by far one of the best moments of my trip.

As I said earlier Myanmar is a country that just opened up to the public. I’ve seen way to many tourists that did not respect their culture by dressing incorrectly or going to places they were not allowed to or taking picture of someone without asking. Please be a good backpacker and bring long shorts and no spaghetti straps. Listen to the locals when they speak to you because they are glad to tell you their story. Please do not climb on temples where it is specified not to. You are stepping on history and it would be a shame to break it. Also learning basic words such as, Hello (Mingalaba) and thank you (chezuba) will make them love and respect you even more. Tata (“goodbye”) Myanmar, thanks for everything!

Contributed by Marie-kim Boutin