Myanmar was once an attainable destination due to rampant ethnic strife and Burma’s myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running ongoing civil wars. Closed to tourism till the early 2000s, it was a land of unknowns till in 2001, when the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board issued an order for local officials to protect tourists and limit “unnecessary contact” between foreigners and ordinary Burmese people.
According to the website Lonely Planet, getting into Myanmar is problematic: “No bus or train service connects Myanmar with another country, nor can you travel by car or motorcycle across the border – you must walk across.”, and states that, “It is not possible for foreigners to go to/from Myanmar by sea or river.
It was an eye-opener for me when I touched down in Yangon spanking new International Airport! It was clean, huge, modern and most importantly, there was FREE WIFI! As expected, hordes of taxi drivers will swarm to you like bees to honey asking for your hotel details. Bargain and decide on a price. This is a custom wherever you go in a cab. Expect to pay between US$8-10.
Some highlights of Myanmar includes Bagan sunrise/sunsets, Naypyidaw isolation from the rest of the ‘authentic’ Myanmar, Inle Lake tranquility and also the sights and sounds of bustling Yangon.
The people were really friendly and welcoming, food wise was a hit-and-miss, beers are cheap, accommodation was super affordable except in Naypyidaw where only hotels exists, transport was relatively easy… just take a taxi or rent an e-bike (bikes are unavailable in Yangon though)
I would recommend staying in Ostello Bello Hostel in Bagan, The Golden Lake Hotel in Naypyidaw and Dengba Hostel in Yangon. Go to Alfa Hotel and YangonYangon Skybar for some bird’s eye view of Yangon skyline.
Enjoy this short video!