1.More and more foreigners are visiting Myanmar
Firstly, every year more and more tourists decide to travel to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). When we went to Bagan there were a few restaurants fully filled with French and German tourist. With the recent news about the government banning tourist from climbing the temples in Bagan ( just after our visit to Bagan, phew), it just shows how much is going to change as Myanmar becomes a bigger tourist attraction. So book your flight there now before it becomes the next Thailand.
2. They still don’t have a Mcdonalds.
They say the best way to see how open a country is to western influence is if you find a Mcdonalds. There aren’t any in Myanmar so hurry and visit this place while it is still in its raw form- and I am sure that won’t last much longer.
3. Myanmar is rapidly opening up and prices could increase.
A friend of ours who has lived and worked in Yangon for the past two years mentioned how quickly everything was evolving. 3G and wifi networks are now readily available and tram routes are being built in Yangon. As more tourist want to enter, prices could increase to control the demand ( or it could become cheaper but then tourist infested). At the moment, Myanmar already is one of the more expensive countries to travel in in Southeastasia and being a tourist always means paying more than locals. Whether its buses or an apartment, there is always a price for locals and a price for foreigners. And as the gap between rich and poor grows, that foreigner price will likely grow too.
However, beer is still dirt cheap ( roughly 1.5 pounds for two pints). Check out my post on the do’s and don’t in Myanmar for more tips
4. Public transport is reliable.
Traveling within Myanmar is not as much of a headache as it would have been a few years ago. Although, it still isn’t an easy option to rent a car and drive yourself – You have to apply for a local drivers license and have a guide with you. Apart from that, the night buses and flights are rather safe, comfortable and on time. Just make sure you book the VIP night bus ( JJ express and Thit Sar OO are really good,luxury companies for good prices). The train on the other hand, still needs a bit of a revamp – we avoided it because of all the stories we heard. However, this is currently one of the planned infrastructure improvements.
5. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people.
Did I mention how amazing Myanmar is? This definitely needs to be the next trip you have planned! The locals will always greet you with “Mingalabar” which means “prosperity to you” and you should say this back. You will always get curious looks and the most common question is “where you from”. It is quite nice to see the innocent curiosity in their faces. Talking about faces, most of the locals also have yellow patterns on their faces. This is drawn on using thanaka paste – produced by rubbing the bark of the thanaka tree on a smooth stone surface with a little water. It acts as sun protection as well as a form of make up, with everyone wearing different patterns.
Unless your traveling during the rainy season (during May to October), there is almost always guaranteed clear skies and sun…..
so when are you going?