Myanmar is a fabulous travel destination, there is such an abundance of color, exotic places and interesting attractions. Few people know about Myanmar, some only know it as Burma, the old name, and most people have the same reaction when they hear something like this from northern Thailand’s neighbors: “Myanmar, is this even a country?”
It is also amazing, impressive and strikes you as a very cold shower since you make the first step in the airport. Even though I seriously prepared myself before going out this spring, nothing prepared me for the reality that you will discover there. Whether you want to get there in the very near future, or want to enrich your general culture a little, you should know a few things about Myanmar.
Since 2005, the administrative center has been relocated from Yangon, which remains one of the largest and busiest cities, also having the main airport in the country, in Nypiydaw. Myanmar is a huge country, almost three times larger than Romania and the second largest country in Southeast Asia. As such, the distances between the most important sights are very large, so it’s great to use the plane or at least the local buses. Although we found the tourist areas very safe, with friendly people and very eager to receive strangers, there are still regions where tourist access is forbidden – an example would be the Kachin region, in the north of the country – and even hundreds of areas tribes live the way they did 200 years ago.
As you walk on these meadows, it is almost impossible not to notice on the street red spots, the bleeding that are closely related to this practice. Once you have started chewing this tobacco, it not only causes addiction, but also very hard teeth. If you come across a kun-ya-loving taxi driver, you need to be prepared to slow down every minute to open the door and spit. Not at all delicate, if you ask us, it is even scruffy. Going back to more earthly habits, however, you will notice that most people wear slippers here. And not any kind of slab, but some of the velvet. This is at least weird, given that the whole country is covered in dust, whether it’s cities or villages. I understood why you slap. As often as you have to go barefoot, it is a convenient, cheap and ingenious option. But why the velvet? We have no. If anyone knows, give us some news. Read additional info at Best of Burma.
The food: What is to be said in the food chapter should be considered as more than subjective. We know that many like it, but we don’t. Close to nothing. As I said before, we excluded the street food option from the beginning, because we found it unhealthy. Moreover, the preparations they serve in traditional restaurants did not give us back. Not even their famous noodles. The only preparation we really enjoyed and ordered several times was a green tea salad that turned out to be absolutely delicious. Otherwise, we thought that Burmese cuisine is an unfortunate combination of ingredients and tastes that do not fit well. We repeat, this is how we perceived things, because we met a lot of people who glorified the traditional restaurant preparations, and even the street food.
Contrary to (my) expectations, tourism in Myanmar is highly developed. They have very good hotels and resorts, agencies that offer guide and transportation services, domestic flights, restaurants and shows for tourists, souvenirs, observation towers, information boards, children and women who keep you and follow you on a bike-only basis. Almost all women and children, regardless of status, area or job, wear tanaka face: a tree resin paste. Read more info at Myanmar trekking tours.