Myanmar formerly known as Burma is a county not many know much about. This wonderful winter sun holiday destination is your perfect escape route to a relaxing experience if you’re bored with tall buildings and big city lights.
Winter is coming!
Starting November the weather goes down to 21-24C all the way till February so it’s an open invitation to plan a trip throughout all this time. Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar, is where the trip begins.
The local currency is known as Kyat and can be exchanged using pristine and unfolded US Dollars, Euros and Singaporean Dollars only. The amount exceeding US $10000 must be declared at the airport.
A daily budget of $50 a day should cover:
- A three-course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant for $15
- Meal at a fast-food restaurant for $4.80
- Local transport (one-way ticket) for $0.15
- 2 movie tickets for $4.58
For a family of 4, the best options are Novotel Yangon Max at USD $132 per night for a twin room or Rose Garden Hotel at USD $273 for a two-bedroom family suite. In Bagan, stay close to natural beauty at Bagan View Hotel for $130 per night for a twin room and Golden Myanmar Guest House for just $65 per night for a family room
* prices may vary depending at the time of booking as per seasonal demand and hotel charging policy
There are many ways you can get around in Myanmar. But you?ll need to bargain at times as prices are often marked up for foreigners.
- Catch a local city bus for $1
- A horse carriage taxi for $7
- A taxi for $1.50 per kilometer
- An overnight sleeper bus for $15 (you also get a free water bottle and a stop for rest)
- Long-distance day bus costs $10 with a free water bottle and a break for lunch
Top things to do in Myanmar
- Not to miss in Yongan is the Shwedagon Pagoda, which houses a 325ft tall stupa covered with actual gold leaf and decorated with exquisite gemstones. This is one of the most sacred spiritual destinations for Buddhists.
- Shop your heart out at Junction Square at Yangon Town Centre, Tan Win Centre at Pyay road and Bagyok Aung San road. They have everything for contemporary shopping needs.
- Take the kids for a half-day trip to Hlawga Wildlife Park, which is home to more than 70 herbivorous species and over 90 breeds of birds. The park is spread on 1650 acres of land and has a lake and museum. Visits can also enjoy elephant rides, boating, and fishing. The ticket costs $1 per person.
- Bagan is home to several temples that were built centuries ago. You can reach there via an overnight bus. While it can take a few good days to explore the entire city I’d recommend the Shwesandaw Pagoda which gives a great view of the surrounding temples, the Thatbyinnyu Temple which is also one of the largest Buddhist monuments in Bagan.
More things to do in Myanmar!!!
- Catch a hot air balloon ride with family and fly over the city witnessing several monuments that peak through green plains. You will need to get up at sunrise as the balloons take off at that time. Prices start at USD $310 per ride.
- Want to take back home some authentic Burmese souvenirs? Head to Mani-Sithu market where you’ll find all things handcrafted at unbeatable prices. The market operates from 6 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday.
- From Bagan there’s an almost 8-hour ride to Inle Lake where you can reach by bus at a price of $8 to $11 or take a direct flight for $70+ and reach in 30 minutes. The lake is famous for its floating villages and gardens and the lifestyle of the Intha people as the community life is based on water throughout.
- For those who want to take a typical Burmese bite should try Mohinga (Burmese fish noodle soup), Ambrosia Briyani (quite much like the Asian version), rice and Burmese curry (veg).
Winter Sun Beach Vacation
Simplicity is the best way to describe Myanmar’s way of life. The Burmese people have preserved their culture and heritage for years and welcome you to experience it. It’s a chance not to miss.
P.S. As someone who spent close to 20 years working in insurance, I strongly recommend buying travel insurance if you are going on holiday. It costs a fraction of your holiday but covers the potential risk of the entire holiday. You can read my post on why you need travel insurance.
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