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patje64 Yangon - A travel report by Patrick
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Yangon,  Burma - flag Burma -  Yangon
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patje64's travel reports

Myanmar 11/2009

  8 votes
Backpacking trough Myanmar from november 12 'till december 2 2009, visited Yangon - Inlay - Mandalay - Bagan - Ngwe Saung using local busses between places.

The grounds at Shwedagon
The grounds at Shwedagon
Backpacking trough Myanmar with my girl, for myself the first visit to Asia and second big trip but sure won't be the last. As I expected and read before, daily life in Myanmar is hard and rough, hard labour and long days for minimum wages, but also a land with the most beautiful people as they say, allways very friendly and helpfull, allways keen to meet the next foreigner. It's hard sometimes to refuse to buy or to give to the locals. We avoided most accomodations run by governement and took busses between places, hard sometimes, our butts still sour ;-)

Travelling trough Myanmar is easy this way, all the places we wanted to visit where accessible and cheap by bus, count like 1000 Kyat per hour drive.

Food is easy to find and most little restaurants serve good meals for minor prices, we paid around 1500 Kyatts for a good dish. Complete with drinks, Myanmar beer and Star Cola we paid around 6000 Kyatts, say 6 dollars...

We had some passport checks and never expierienced any problems, our names got checked as they do with all foreigners at checkpoints.

Favourite spots:
The famous rowers
The famous rowers
Yangon: Shwedagon pagoda, Bogyoke market

Inlay Lake: Nyaung Shwe and tour on the lake

Mandalay: Worth visiting

Bagan: Riding a bike between the pagoda's

Ngwe Saung: unforgettable days at the beach ;-)

The busses we've used between these places are tough rides ;-) From Yangon to Inlay took about 18 hours while there's hardly any paved roads, prepare yourselves ;-))) On the way to Inlay passed trough NAYPYIDAW, the "new" capital build by the military junta and a real pain for you're eyes to see... christmas lights allover and mansions wich are even hard to find in Europe or elsewhere...shame....

What's really great:
Sunset at the beach
Sunset at the beach
Needless to say the Shwedagon is thé main attraction in whole of Myanmar and Yangon, but also the neighbourhood at Bogyoke market is a nice place to stroll, streets are filled with vendors, every street has its own theme. There allways something you can find here...

At Inlay lake we very much enjoyed the trip by boat on the lake like most foreigners do. You'll get to see the whole lake, most villages are visited, you'll eat at one of these and gather with all other tourists on the lake as everybody seem to be going to the same few restaurants available. The moastery of the jumping cats whas a bit of a "downer", it doesn't seem to hard to get these cats jumping trough these hoops, rewarding them with candy after each jump.

Sunset on the lake is sure worth waiting for

Finally the days at the beach after this tirering trip were more than welcome. I've really enjoyed my first swim along the fish ;-)

But most offcourse the romance in the air for me and my sweet.

Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
As said the Shwedagon Pagode is the main attraction in Yangon to be seen, but also Sule Pagoda and surrounding streets and markets are well worth the visits.

Walked around Kandawgyi lake and seen the oppostreous Karawein-restaurant, a huge concrete boat with two golden ducks?. The walk around the lake whas not so interesting, at most placed they've asked for an entrance fee wich we did not pay ofcourse ,however it brought us at the other side of Shwedagon and let us enter the grounds without paying the usual fee of 10$ each ;-)

Besides these we did not really visited the other "great"places in Yangon and mostly found ourselves around Bogyoke Market, searching for gifts for the kids or ourselves ;-)

Kaday Aung at Bagan with pool !!!
Kaday Aung at Bagan with pool !!!
All the rooms we've had were very neat and clean, most of them equiped with airco when the power was on, as these non-official guesthouses sometimes have to do with less electricity. The last week we treated ourselves to some more luxury, but never exceeded 30 dollars per night.

Yangon: Motherland Inn 2 = 15$ double with airco ***

Inlay (Nyaung Shwe) Teakwood = 20$ double with fan, very "busy" owner wants to arrange everything for ya, be aware ;-)

Mandalay: Royal Guest House = 12$ double with airco

Bagan: Kaday Aung Class One Hotel= 20$ double with airco and pool ! ***

Ngwe Saung Beach: Shaung Tha OO Beach Resort= 30$ with airco and beachporch !!!

Mostly visited some local restaurants wich were not to bad, food is plenty to be found, however one gets the urge sometimes to visit the more well quoted restaurants in the LP, so we tried Monsoon wich whas certainly worth the visit, food is very good prepared, interior is a nice escape from the daily life in Yangon. We've also visited Furusato, a japanese restaurant wich is quoted in the LP, sushi's are good , but the price on the other hand seems a bit high for this quality, and was even more expensive then the Monsoon restaurant...

Other recommendations:
In Mandalay at the Royal Guest House, we met Ba Maung, a trishaw driver who can also arrange rides by car if needed. The first day we hired him whas by trishaw, we saw many trishaw drivers carrying two adults, but still felt a bit sad for him, working this hard in these temperatures... so we arranged a next day with him by car too. During these trips he showed us many interesting sites and came up with some very good places to eat local food.

We promised him we would recommend him to all of our friends so:

When staying in Mandalay at The Royal Guesthouse (LP), ask for ba Maung (Bamo), also ask for room 202, also recommended in the LP and we had the luck to get it ;-), its a very nice painted room.

Published on Tuesday December 8th, 2009

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Sat, Dec 19 2009 - 05:30 AM rating by bineba

Very interesting report and good pics.

Fri, Dec 18 2009 - 05:29 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Good report, Patrick, I liked it.

Thu, Dec 17 2009 - 02:35 PM rating by marianne

Sounds like a very interesting trip. Nice photos

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