Myanmar – Located at the eastern area of Southeast Asia just at the border between Thailand and Bangladesh, Myanmar or as westerners call it Burma was once a closed nation ruled by the military junta that halted the country’s progress up until a democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi started a revolution that awakened the people and exposed the governments atrocities to the world. Cool Travel Blog visited the land of golden pagodas last May 2015 to celebrate a long Labor Day weekend. Myanmar is one of the countries in our bucket list that captured us through its rich history, culture & friendly people.
Myanmar opened to the world after democracy was been restored. We took the chance to visit this magnificent country since airfares, accommodations & attractions are cheap. We travelled around the 2 places in Myanmar spending about five days discovering places and checked our things to do in Myanmar list.
It is easy traveling in Myanmar, One can take a sleeper bus to get to all major places such as Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon and many others. We arrived early afternoon in Yangon from Bangkok via Airasia and we couldn’t contain our excitement seeing Golden Pagodas, Temples while we were at the plane.
We then hired a taxi to take us to the bus terminal for Bagan easily since lots of local drivers will happily take you to your destination. Don’t worry about communication though since most Myanmar People speak and understand very good English surprisingly!
Before going to Myanmar make sure you CHANGE ALL YOUR MONEY to US Dollars! As a personal experience, I suggest getting different set of bills in PRISTINE Condition.
Book online for a worry free bus ticket going to Bagan and other areas. We booked our bus ticket at http://myanmarbusticket.com/. So Book in Advance since seats are limited!
Money exchange outlet outside the Arrival Hall has great rates. This money exchange outlet is beside the coffee shop at the right most exit. Just make sure to keep half of your US Dollars and have the half of them changed.
It was almost sundown as we go towards our bus station. The sunset was really beautiful with its orange-red ambience that made us think how wonderful it would be to witness this magnificent event at an ancient place. We arrived at the bus station after 30 minutes from the airport where scenes are chaotic with plenty of people, unpaved roads, old dirty buildings therefore I won’t suggest travelers to eat on the area but try to bring your own snack so that you won’t upset your stomachs upon arrival or during transit to your destination.
The bus ride going to Bagan was a smooth one. Snacks, water and cold towels were provided, as chairs were quite comfortable with a good amount of legroom for a relaxing sleep. We haven’t eaten dinner but it was good to know that these sleeper buses had a stopover for a quick toilet and meal break. Food wasn’t really good at the place but they had some biscuits or local delicacies that you can fill your tummy with. After traveling for almost 8 hours, we arrived at the land of thousand pagodas, BAGAN.
It was still dark during 5am in the morning and the sun hasn’t risen up yet. We took our first meal of Myanmar with local coffee. Even though we haven’t much eat any full meal we never felt hungry due to our excitement. There are a lot of local drivers pushing themselves to get their services which is quite annoying, so we decided to wait until the first light to ride a taxi going to our hotel.
We stayed for about 3 days in Amazing Bagan Hotel which is a boutique hotel at the heart of Bagan City. This hotel serves amazing and delicious breakfast as well as superb views of the plains of Bagan at their restaurant. Do be careful since there are squirrels stealing your food too that were kind of cute! We spent our 3 days exploring the ancient temples in Bagan by ourselves by renting an electric bike. Bagan is a huge place and it gets hot & dry during summertime so breaking a sweat with a bicycle is an experience you can try like we do!
Witnessing the sunsets and sunrise on an ancient place is a lifetime experience indeed that one can witness. As the sun hovers over the horizon and as silhouettes of temples appears there is no word to describe it but magical in such ways.
After spending 3 days in Bagan, we head down over to Yangon and spent a day touring the city before heading back to Bangkok. We stayed over at the cozy Thanlawin Guesthouse near a huge park within the new business districts. We were then happy to see one of our local friends as he took us to an adventure on his home city.
The shwedagon pagoda, the lake of Kandwadgyi to now one of our favorite food SHAN noodles and Green Tea Leaf Salad! A must definite try when you are in Yangon or places in Myanmar! Myanmar is simply Magical and Magnificent. After days of exploring this country I really loved every bit of this country and plan to go back. Years of seclusion from westerners may have been good and bad but things were well preserved from the friendly people to their ancient cities and temples. We can’t wait to see how Myanmar becomes in the future.