Myanmar is an incredible travel point, there is such an abundance of colour, exotic places and interesting attractions. Not many persons have heard about Myanmar, some only know it as Burma, the old name, and most people have the same reaction when they hear something like this from northern Thailand’s neighbors: “Myanmar, is this even a country?”
It is also fascinating, shocking and hits you as a cold shower since you take the first step in the airport. Even though I seriously documented myself before going out this spring, nothing prepared me for the reality that you will find there. Whether you want to get there in the very near future, or want to enrich your general culture a little, you should know a few things about Myanmar.
When is the best time to visit Myanmar? If you are excited, we are happy, but do not rush to catch I do not know what offers of plane, because if you are not careful, you can cheat quite easily. In Myanmar, as in other countries in the area, there is a rainy season that usually keeps tourists away. And rightly so, because when we say rainy, we mean torrential rains that can hold from days to even weeks. In rainy periods, the flow of rivers increases greatly and floods the land. It is true that many houses in rural areas are built on stilts, with walls interwoven with bamboo or cane, but even so, they are often taken by water. And when that happens, the spirit of the communities activates and, in one day, five to six “bamboo buildings” are put back on their feet by the village’s team of builders. As such, keep in mind that the rainy season starts in May and ends in October, and the best time to flee to Myanmar would be November-February. We traveled the country long and wide for 17 days in February, and the weather was perfect.
Dust country: Before we got here, we didn’t imagine there could be such a dusty country as Myanmar. It’s true that I had read about it, but we thought it must be an exaggeration. It wasn’t. It didn’t take long and I understood that a cloud of dust was practically floating above this country. The worst feeling I experienced was in Nyaungswe (a small town near Inle Lake), in Bagan, in Mandalay and its surroundings. The surgical masks were very useful, which we recommend wholeheartedly if you plan to spend a few days in the area. People: The 17 days I spent in Myanmar started a new challenge for us, to discover another people who are at least as friendly and welcoming as the Burmese. Everyone greets you, everyone smiles, the children gather flowers or fruits with their hands to give them to you, just so, when you visit there, whole families sit and smile broadly if they see that you want to make them picture, it even compliments you at every turn. Find additional info on Best of Burma.
The food: What is to be said in the food chapter should be considered as more than subjective. We know that many like it, but we don’t. Close to nothing. As I said before, we excluded the street food option from the beginning, because we found it unhealthy. Moreover, the preparations they serve in traditional restaurants did not give us back. Not even their famous noodles. The only preparation we really enjoyed and ordered several times was a green tea salad that turned out to be absolutely delicious. Otherwise, we thought that Burmese cuisine is an unfortunate combination of ingredients and tastes that do not fit well. We repeat, this is how we perceived things, because we met a lot of people who glorified the traditional restaurant preparations, and even the street food.
Burmese chew betel leaves mixed with various powders and tobacco as a drug that gives them a euphoric state, broken teeth and stained lips and addiction. You will see them spitting the reddish-brown mixture all over the street. Do not be surprised if in a restaurant, shop or hotel you have five employees around you. One asks you, one takes your money, one writes, one gives you the product, one checks. Most of the time they get in the way of each other and they don’t really get what they want to do. Have patience and do not raise the tone, you will not solve anything with this. Find more info on Best of Myanmar.