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Arriving in Myanmar

We caught a night flight from London to Yangon, via Bangkok, arriving mid afternoon the next day.

Feeling a bit jet lagged and expecting to find long queues for immigration, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Yangon airport is quite small and the process rather swift. Simply go to passport control with your landing card and electronic visa for Myanmar, get a stamp, collect your bags 10 metres beyond, put them through an x-ray machine and you’re done. The whole process took no more than 15 minutes.

There also seem to be no restrictions on the food you can bring in as we had some fresh fruit and nuts which we thought we would lose, but they did not seem bothered by them.

If you want to exchange your dollars you can do so before exiting into arrivals as there are a few exchange services with similar rates. Just ensure your USD notes are crisp and post 2006 or they will be turned down. Also, be prepared to receive a large wad of notes in return!

As soon as you come through into arrivals there is a stand for taxis which operates on set tariffs depending on where you’re heading. They write you a receipt at the kiosk and you then pay the driver. We paid 10,000 kyats to get to downtown Yangon which took around 40 minutes.

We had pre-booked 3 nights in Backpackers bed and breakfast to help us settle in and explore the area. The location of which is really good as just a 5 minutes’ walk from Sule Pagoda, however, the room had no windows and consequently smelled musty as well as being permanently dark.

In the end we spent 2 days in Yangon before moving to Bago.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Myanmar?

Scrolling through my latest emails a couple of months back, I opened one from a travel company who’s aim was to entice me to book an off the beaten track tour. As I scanned through the various places one in particular caught my eye.

Amazing photos of strange looking temples dotted around a jungle surrounding, the sun setting in the distance with a haze shimmering over the backdrop really caught my imagination, and had me thinking Indiana Jones and lost temples! Looking at the article title “Myanmar” I wondered where in the world that was located.

Some may laugh but my geography is only as good as the places I have been to. After all, the only reason I toured Latin America for 9 months was after a TEFL course in Costa Rica – following the same “wonder where that is..?” thinking.

Anyway, I remember turning to my colleague and asking “Ever heard of Myanmar?” To which she replied “Nope but am sure Google has” making me feel slightly better. I quickly learned it was next door to Thailand, had been previously known as Burma and had only really opened up to tourism quite recently.

My curiosity was piqued. I had never really visited Asia, but for some reason decided to do some research on Myanmar and see what it had to offer.

Being the sometimes impulsive person I am, next thing I knew I had managed to book 3 weeks off work and a flight to Yangon for end of December – sorry tour company but thanks for the idea!

Determined to stay true to backpacking and not take the easy tour option, we have decided to wing it, booking only the first 3 nights in Yangon. Sounds fine you may think. However, every blog and guide I have read has warned me to pre book during peak season, which just so happens to be December to January. But am thinking how bad can it be, right?

Well, we leave in less than 2 weeks, have no real itinerary, let alone thought about packing and have only just bought a guide book for ideas…

So here’s to faith and fate!

 

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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