Egil’s Travel Log

Travelling Asia, one country at a time

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On the Road in Marvelously Friendly Myanmar

On the Road in Marvelously Friendly Myanmar


Well, form Thailand it was time to travel to Myanmar (Burma), ans I was actually a bit nervous about going in here, as I had the impression it could be difficult to travel around. Also I heard the people here was really friendly, - but anyway, I felt a little unsafe before going into Myanmar. (also because I had iniatially plans to travel inlands Myanmar from the Thai border to Mandalay, and then down to Yangon (Rangoon) before flying out to KL(Malaysia), - but have to fly direct to Yangon, since inland travels was not allowed anymore..!!!)
And furthermore, I could not not have the safety of having mobile/sms to the outside world, - as this was not possible in Myanmar...

So.... I entered Myanmar by flying in to Yangon from Bangkok (had to fly from Chang Mai to Bangkok first), with a nervous smile, and did not really have any big idea of where or when to go in Myanmar from Yangon.

At the airport in Bangkok I startet talking to a girl from Japan going to Yangon too, and I quickly adopted the first part of her plans as my new backup-plan. (since my original plans had been aborted..) there is one thing I learned on this travel... a bad plan is better than no plan... no plans only leaves you doing,... well nothing (just as planed))

Well landed in Yangon, I got hang on another guy to a hotel mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide.. so I got free transport to this hotel, as I from experience know the drivers always overcharge the newly arrived from the airport... (happened in basicly all contries I'd been to...).

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Well - my first impression of Yangon was that the people here really tried to help you, and I felt a little surpriced by this overwhelming helpfulness, as this usually by experience is followed by open hands wanting tips for doing any small things I normally do myself with no trouble.... but many here actualy just helped to be helpful, and as part of the service... not to get tips.... no need to explain why I really started to like this place... Also my 10 usd hotelroom was the nicest I've seen since my delux singleroom in Cambodia (then I took over a vacaint place in a packagetour arranged by www.bikeforpeace.no) . the room was Huge!!, and had two big doublebeds, and a bathroom just as big as many hotelrooms I've stayed in before., and 6 towels ready for use :D Surpricing luxary :)


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First I took a trip to the marked, and walked around here, trying to take in all the new impressions. Surpricingly do almost all the men in Myanmar use a leg-garment the call "Longy" - basicly a sarong for men... I heard about this from before, but still was surpriced about the number of men using this.I guess the feeling of needing a pair of pants is just a fix idea the rest of the world has got...

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And the girls almost all use a form of clay facemask, to protect their face against the sun, - and keep this mask on all day long... This seams really strange to me, but after some days I got so used to see it I did not notice it anymore...

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Since travelling in this country can be a bit timeconsouming I decided to take first bus north from Yangon to Bagan ( and espesially the last half of the road was on really bad and bumpy roads), and I did a whole day here looking at some of the 4000 temples. ... Its impressingly many temples here, but most of them are quite small, and not so impressive in them selves, but its the share number of temples thats impressive... One day was enougth here... Remarkeble about Bagan is also the big number of horsestaxies here, - many, many hundreds of them...

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Next day again it was time for anouther long busride on bumpy mountainroads, - beeing shaken in all directions..., this time to Inle Lake, and on a local small bus.... let me also mention the roads in Myanmar.... they are NOT of the best standard in Asia.... !

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At Inle Lake I got ne anouther nice room, for 6 usd a night this time,. good value, even I had to wait for 20 minutes for the water to get warm...

The first day in Inle Lake I and a other from Australia took a boatride across and around the lake of Inle Lake ( Inle Lake is both name of the lake, and the town). And this was truley a very good daytrip... Inle Lake are espesially known for the fishermens special foot-rowing techique, and its part impressive, and partly funny to watch... :) Also thay have a floating market every 5 days, but not this day... so we visited a regular Inle Lake market instead. (and I got me some Longys and some xmas presents here) Also we visit some Lotus-treadweavers, a fishfarm, a silversmith (more xmaspresents), a longneckexhibithion and weavers, a temple, a monastary and many more interesting places., - and on the way back - more fishermen and a sunset from the boat... Very nice.

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Internet is a different store, gmail, yahoo, hotmail and other western (american?) popular sites are beeing blocked from use in Myanmar, and the internet lines are, if exicting..., call-uplines of not very good quality... and mobiles, well not possible....

Next day we took a little hike with a guide in the mountains around Inle Lake, It was nice to get around by foot again (as compared to be bumping upanddown and sideways on the bus), and walk through villages, temples, caves and nice landscape. The most memorable on the trip was the people living here, and espesially the young girls , already beeing mothers and married at age of 14... As always in Myanmar, - people were extremely friendly and smiles were plenty. It was a very nice trip, but I wished it was longer... :)

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The next day we had to take a long, slow, humpy 21,5 hour bus back to Yangon. This was a new record for me in long (bumpy) busride... - and normally the driver would drive 4-4,5 hours before stopping for wc and food/supplies... Did I mention the roads in Myanmar... ? They are really not very good.... ;)

Well back and still shaken, but not stired, we had a day in front of us, whitch I used for hunting down any possibility for getting from Yangon to KL (Malaysia) , since there was no possibility to order by net (since the net refused me to stay logged in to Air Asias webpages... and some hours later, and quite a bit us dollar in commision I had a ticket to KL via Bangkok the next morning... so my last day I could have used for sightseeing, but used for tickethunting instrad...

All in all Myanmar has to be one of my top favourite destinations, - Im really happy I took the chance to visit this country, in which has people with wonderful big smiles, and really helpful and serviceminded attitude. Myanmar also has very good hotelstandard compared to what you should expect compared to the rest of the standard of infrastructur ( did I mention the roads? ) Also many things in Myanmar are not the same, same as other countries, whitch gives it a spesial touch.

Food are cheap and good, hotels are a bit more expencive, but really good, Postcard ar cheap, and stamps are rediculusly cheap, girls are cute, but relationships are not possible, - the internet are expencive, SLOW, and restricted, and may be on line, if lucky... Mobile cant connect and money comes in small bills, and big stables, or in USD... And I have to at least once mention the roads... which are not to good....

Myanmar is highly recommendable
(but the roads are not..)
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