I know I need to update this blog when I read Maye‘s comment on my first blog post! This means she has already read all my recent posts!
By some stroke of luck, I found myself in Myanmar last August. The best part about it is that it was a free trip. I just need to put in a little work and get free accommodation and free food. Who can say no to that? It was an amazing deal.
To those who are unfamiliar with Myanmar’s history, I am one of you. Here are some quick facts I have learned:
1. In 1962, the country was placed under military rule.
2. There was an election in 1990 and most of the members of the National League for Democracy of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won. However, the junta did not honor their victory.
3. Aung San Suu Kyi was place in house arrest for years.
4. A national election was held in 1990 after 20 years.
It has been two months since I went to Yangon, Myanmar. Here are my 9 random thoughts about my trip there:
1. The Shwedagon is a must-visit. The complex is vast that I really got lost. I forgot where to exit. Good thing we had stickers on my shoulders which was marked which exit I should so I only have to ask for directions. The Pagodas are beautiful. I will just let the photos speak for themselves.
2. They speak to me in Burmese. I remember traveling to Hong Kong and locals would immediately ask us, “Filipino?” and I also remember that memorable incident in Brunei where an immigration officer identified us as Filipinos without looking at out passports. In Myanmar, it is a completely different thing. They thought I was Burmese so they spoke to me in Burmese.
3. Food is good. They have dishes similar to Pinoy adobo and bagoong alamang. Some dishes are a little bit oily but they still tasted good. The dishes at their restaurants serving Chinese cuisine are also delish. I did not take a single food photo. Nobody took such a photo so I did not.
4. Burma is slowing opening its doors to the world. Businesses slowly coming in. I based my statement on the traffic.
5. I can be a hoarder! LOL I thought I am the only one who does this so I was a little conservative in taking all of the toiletries. It turns out that others were also keeping the toiletries. I read somewhere that toiletries are okay to keep because they are part of the hotel bill. The towels and robes are not for the taking.
6. I cannot afford the gems. What a thought! I do not even wear jewelry. When we went to visit Bogyoke Market, the gems were a sight to behold. I bought jade bracelets for my aunts. I can afford those. Plus, I got fridge magnets for my friends.
7. Good thing this is a free trip or else I do not have money to survive. Myanmar exchanges US and Singaporean Dollars. I brought along a few hundreds for incidental expenses but I was only able to exchange $100. Myanmar is quite picky with the bills. They only accept clean bills- those without marks and creases. The upside of this predicament: no unnecessary expenses.
8. The Burmese people are so nice. Nice is an understatement. We were in the same room with some of the Burmese heroes. It is chilling to know what some of them have gone through. Yet, they remain kind, warm and caring.
9. Filipino tourists can travel to Myanmar, visa-free for 14 days. What are you waiting for? The sight of hot air balloon ride in Bagan is breathtaking. I have only seen photos. Experiencing it must be awesome.
Did you now learn how to speak in Burmese? Are people in Myanmar also proficient in speaking in English besides their native language? Glad to know that food is good so that will be one of the reasons why we should visit the country sometime soon.
I was there for 6 days only . I did not have time to learn. It is hard because they have their own alphabet, too. Some Burmese can speak English.
Would love to visit Myanmar one day, when I’m conquering all the Southeast Asia countries! Love your pictures and how they showcase Myanmar’s rich cultural architecture. 🙂
Thanks to this post for reminding me about another country to visit: Myanmar!
I totally agree with you how Filipinos could be easily mistaken as Burmese in some countries. I’ve grew up in Papua New Guinea and the locals there thought that Burmese, Filipino & Indonesians are all the same because of the similar complexion or looks.
The Pagodas are indeed beautiful. Hoping that I could take a photo of those myself one day.
Oh lovely! I was suppose to visit in August, but decided instead to climb mt kinabalu! I see what I am missing out now!! Still on the list!
Oh, I visited Kota Kinabalu in May but we did not climb. We planned to but did not push through.
Will definitely visit this country and see the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, and hot air balloon over Bagon one day. By the way, what airline goes there from Manila?
CebuPacific has a Manila-Yangon route using TigerAir. We flew via Singapore Airlines. Both airlines layover at Singapore.
Hi! I was a bit teary eyed while reading your post because I am part Burmese (my grandmother was british-burmese who in her single years lived in Burma). I am planning to go back and see for myself the country that I’ve heard so much about. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂 God bless!
Oh, you should visit the place, Hazel Ann!
I think Myanmar is emerging as a manufacturing hub with neighboring Vietnam and Cambodia already increasing in Labor cost. They really have nice and historic temples in Myanmar.
My friend is married to a Burmese. He told me she is nice and very polite. He also added that her country is slowly opening its doors to the world. Just like you, I wish I could visit Myanmar too.
Oh, I was able to visit but I want to go back!
Have I seen you before? Somehow I feel that I have. You know, Deja vu… Ok, that’s besides the point… Is Myanmar a place suitable for female solo traveller?
Hi, Tiffany! I have visited your blog before.
Beautiful place and it is very rich in history as we can see in the photos.
Oh my what a beautiful place! Those buildings are incredible and the colours are lovely!
I can relate with number 5! LOL! Anyways. Because of your post, I’ve realized that Myanmar is a great place to visit, I will surely add it on my travel wishlist. But It will be also better If I travel for free like yours. 😀
Myanmar is definitely a beautiful country. Loved you clicks and the facts you had put up in the beginning 🙂
You are sooooo lucky to be in this place. After reading this post and seeing the pictures, I’ll put this place into my bucket list. I hope someday I can put a check next to this place.
Envy envy!! I always love to know more about Myanmar. I have met many friends from Myanmar and love to listen their country story. So good that you have a free trip there~
Beautiful pagodas! Myanmar is also on my bucket list.
My only concern is language and air quality as I am asthmatic. 🙁