Tips on Visiting Myanmar
Diana is an energetic, full of curiosity lady with enthusiasm that infects everyone who spends even just a few minutes with her. Loves to travel, she is interested in culture and history, gastronomy and all other curious aspects of the places she visits. And not only that. She is a pro in regards to travel and travel organization. In this article she shared her tips on visiting Myanmar.
Diana is a co-owner and manager of Sofia Luxury Travel. Together with her sister, she helped many people to accomplish their dream trips. She was the one who organized my trip to Cuba and protected our customer’s rights when a problem with the travel dates arose.
Ultimately, again because of her efforts, our journey has become a VIP tour, which I will never forget and from which I returned winning friends for life. I am fortunate to call her a friend and recommend her to anyone in need of assistance in organizing travel out or in Bulgaria to contact her.
The last destination from which Diana just came back is Myanmar. Exotic, yet not very known corner of the world, that she says was a very nice surprise. In today’s post, Diana introduces Myanmar as a destination – with interesting facts and practical tips to inspire you for a wonderful, sunny trip to unknown Asia.
WHY IS MYANMAR INTERESTING AS A DESTINATION?
1 –The country is rich in gems, one of the richest deposits of jade. Precious stones that can be found here sapphire, ruby, emerald and jadeite.
2 — Here live the so-called giraffe women (from the Kayan or also called Padaung tribe) who are distinguished by the neck length of 25-30 cm as result of heavy circles placed on their neck from early childhood (2-5 years).
3 — Myanmar (or Burma, as in the past was called) has a developed and very well-organized tourist industry.
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4 — One of the countries where Buddhism is in its purest, not influenced by Chinese tradition, form.
5 — In Bagan is one of the largest Buddhist complexes in the world. In the past, there were 10,000 pagodas and temples, and today they have remained 2200, which still is an impressive figure.
6 — Myanmar has many beautiful, virgin beaches, some of which can be reached only by boat. Best known for its beauty is Na Pali.
7 — Nature and climate are uniquely exotic and saved from the global industrial pollution.
8 — The country is a perfect destination for adventure tourism, but the most interesting is cultural tourism because of the two-thousand year’s history.
WHAT WOMEN SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING TO MYANMAR?
1 — There are rare cases of malaria. The local tourism organizations fight actively against by spraying and there are everywhere freely available creams or wipes with repellents. No need of vaccination before the trip.
2 — At few places it is possible to pay with credit cards but then there is 5% fee on the amount.
3 — The banknotes that you will use in Myanmar must be ABSOLUTELY NEW, unfolded and without inscriptions. Otherwise they will not be accepted. This is one of the country’s oddities that can put you in an uncomfortable situation. Otherwise, you can use euro and dollars, but the US dollar is the commonly used international currency.
4 — In the temples, as in all religious places women cannot enter with bare legs and shoulders. You will enter barefoot and when you leave you will be provided with towels to wipe your feet.
5 — Nuns in Buddhist temples (there are some!) differ from monks by the impersonal clothes and belt in mustard color.
6 — About the drinking water you should follow an absolute rule – drink only water from a sealed bottle! Water from taps is not drinkable, but if the bottle is not sealed it is very possible that it was used by someone else before.
7 — You must be very careful what utensils, plates and cups are given to you – whether they are clean, unused. This is because, according to local beliefs is completely normal to drink from a cup which someone else has used before.
8 — Eat only at restaurants designated for tourists. One very important reason was mentioned above – better hygiene, and the other is that local people cook always with sodium glutamate, which has been proven harmful. In restaurants for the international clients, the food is very tasty and organic, because local products are used for its preparation.
9 — If you are fortunate to visit Myanmar, check the local market for the local beauty secret. They call “Local beauty” the powder from the Thanaka tree. It has a very wide application, such as a natural sun-protection, cooling, disinfecting. In many places you will see people smeared with something yellow on the cheeks – it’s Thanaka. At bedtime many local men apply it on the whole body when it is particularly hot at the summer.
10 — Since last year it is possible to apply for a visa online, but you need to have a local sponsor, a local tour operator for example. The visa costs $ 50.
11 — Jade is one of the treasures of Myanmar. Jade has no price, as says one Chinese proverb. It has endless beneficial properties for the body, so inform yourselves about the differences and qualities of the various colors and buy jade bracelets according to your preferences and health needs.
12 — Try the local papaya – one of the most delicious and juicy in the world!
NAME THE MOST INTERESTING PLACES TO VISIT IN MYANMAR:
1 — Inle Lake, one of the most famous landscapes in Myanmar because of the pagodas built on the lake.
2 — Bagan also called Pagan- ancient city with thousands of pagodas and temples.
3 — Yangon – the former capital of Myanmar (Burma).
4 — Shwedagon Pagoda – one of the most ornate pagodas in Yangon, its name means “The gold of Yangon”.
5 — Mandalay – the last royal capital of Burma. Here is the Royal Palace.
WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT THE CULTURE?
1 — The cuisine of Myanmar is a mix between Thai and Indian. In the restaurants’ menus, it is indicated what course of which type is for the convenience of tourists.
2 — The unemployment rate is very low – 4%, but the local authorities have an objective to reduce it to 3%.
3 — Education is considered very important and the government policy is to minimize the percentage of the uneducated population and actively invests in this.
Photo courtesy: Diana, Sofia Luxury Travel
You can find Diana at:
36 Patriarch Evtimiy Boulevard, entrance B, ap. 1
Phone: +359 28 51 91 55