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Destination: Myanmar (Burma)

WHY TO VISIT MYANMAR

Burma is nowadays called Myanmar, a fascinating area despite the military dictatorship that controls the country so reducing its appeal to outsiders. 

Rangoon, the Capital, in the heart of the jungle, is open to discovery on foot with its jewel, the Paya Shwedagon, a Buddhist sanctuary with a golden dome of nearly 100m high, or the gardens of Mahabandoola. 

Another great place to visit is Mandalay with its monasteries and animated streets, climb the hill that dominates the plain and see what is left of the Royal Palace. 

Don’t forget to visit the site of Pagan that regroups over two thousand ruined monuments, temples and stupas, interwoven with paths leading through and around the area which you can tour in a horse driven cart. 

In the north east, discover the splendid Lake Inle in the State of Shan together with the villages in the middle of the floating gardens. 

Pindaya, situated in its own valley, should not be missed, especially its grotto of 8000 Buddha’s. 

Little by little you will be seduced by this strange country, even if its marvels do not completely make you forget the implacability of its political regime that is so little in harmony with the magical beauty which makes this county such a unique destination.

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/

WHAT TO SEE IN MYANMAR

Top destinations in Myanmar are:

  • Yangon (Rangoon)
  • Bagan
  • Kalaw
  • Mandalay
  • Kyaiktiyo
  • Inle Lake
  • Ngapali
  • Pindaya
  • Hsipaw
  • Hpa-an
  • Mawlamyine
  • Mergui
  • Ngwe Saung
  • Naypyidaw
  • Mrauk U
  • Pyin O Lwin
  • Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung)
  • Monywa

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WHEN TO GO TO MYANMAR

Best period to visit Myanmar is between November and February, after the monsoon season but before the heat waves.

The year is separated into three seasons in Burma: The monsoon season starts at the end of May/beginning of June bringing heavy rains; the dry season starts in November with lower temperatures and then the heat returns in February until May reaching the highest temperatures of the year of up to over 40°C.

The rain is generally heaviest around Rangoon.

After February, if you crave cooler temperatures, you could visit the mountains or the coast.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Myanmar.

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH MYANMAR

To move around inside the country, you can choose between the cycle porter, taxi scooter or, in certain places, a horse drawn cart in town. For long distances, bus and trains are long but uncomfortable alternatives to the collective taxis although there are local flights available connecting the major cities. 

by plane, main airports are

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON MYANMAR

country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)

health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice. Vaccine against hepatitis A and malaria prophylaxis are recommended.

local currency: Myanmar Kyat

local time zone: GMT+6:30

electricity: type C, D, F and G (230 V, 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN MYANMAR

typical food in Myanmar

  • Lethok son: Spicy vegetarian rice salad
  • Mohinga: Burmese fish soup with noodles, the national dish
  • Oh-no khauk swe: A soup of rice noodles, chicken and coconut milk
  • Shan khauk swe: A dish predominately eaten by the Shan, but popular around the country, it consists of rice noodles either in broth or dry, usually with chicken
  • Athoke: Various ‘salads’ served cold, made from noodles, ginger, tofu, chicken and other ingredients
  • Biryani: Indian-style fried rice with spices and chicken
  • Burmese curry: Most meals feature some kind of curry dish, usually quite mildly spiced and oily, and traditionally accompanied by a selection of side dishes like ngapi(fish paste) as well as rice and soup
  • Lahpet: A tasty dish of fermented tealeaves, usually eaten as dessert and considered to be a key part of Myanmar’s culinary heritage
  • Htanyet: Jaggery, unrefined palm sugar, eaten at the end of a meal
  • Peh-hin-ye: Indian-style dhal (lentil) soup
  • Htamin: Rice, the foundation of any Burmese meal.Green tea: Provided free in many restaurants
  • Black tea: Drunk with milk and sugar in teahouses, which are important social hubs

souvenirs from Myanmar

  • jewellery
  • petrified wood, marble and jade handicrafts
  • weaving products
  • Buddha figurines
  • tapestries
  • paintings, sand paintings
  • marionettes and puppets
  • bells and gongs
  • Longyi the native dress of the Myanmar people 
  • teak products
  • Mandalay gold leaf
  • Hand-Woven Tapestries
  • gemstones
  • Lotus Silk Shawls and Scarves
  • silverware
  • Shan bags hand woven on wooden handlooms with the common form of baggage
  • Traditional Burmese handmade paper parasols
  • lacquerware 
  • cheroots (hand-rolled cigars)

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Halo

Goodbye: Swarrtotmaal

How are you?: Naykaungglarr?

Thank you: Kyaayyjuutainpartaal

What is your name?: Mainnnarmai bhaallohkawlell?

How much is it?: Bhaalloutlell?

Sorry: Hcatemakaunggparbhuu

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