Myanmar or Burma: Starting off on a Journey

Sunset at Golden Rock Myanmar www.onemorestamp.com

To be honest we haven’t done as much research for Myanmar as we usually do.  I have lots of things to read and watch while on the trip but we didn’t start with them a few weeks ahead of time like we have before on big trips. So it struck me that I have only the haziest of ideas about the place that we are going.  All of my knowledge of Myanmar comes from 1) The King and I 2) A Town Like Alice (two paragraphs about the death of a character on the railroad) and 3) Bamboo People (YA book about Child soldiers.  Awesome.  100% recommend)

So it struck me that I have only the haziest of ideas about the place that we are going.

A timetable of events

We are going to be travelling around Myanmar for two weeks.  We will start off in Yangon.  Then we are driving into the eastern part of the country to visit the Golden Rock, Bago, and Hpa An.  We will then fly to Bagan where presumable we will gorge ourselves on temples and take a balloon ride over the site.  I think that this is the part of the trip that I am most looking forward to.  We then head to Mout Popa. Mount Popa is an extinct volcano, 4981 feet above sea level. There are at least 777 steps that lead lead up to the Buddhist shrine place on summit.  I am not sure that climbing that many stairs in tropical heat is going to be pleasant.

After than we will be off to Mandalay which I have romanticized in my head to the point where I am pretty much setting myself up for disappointment.

After than we will be off to Mandalay which I have romanticized in my head to the point where I am pretty much setting myself up for disappointment.  Damn you Rudyard Kipling! There is a day trip to Amarpura to see the largest standing Buddha in the world and a boat trip down the Irawaddy River to the town of Mingun. We will end up in Inle Lake. We are going to take a cooking class there and that makes me pretty excited.  Because food. I confess that I only have the vaguest mental image of what all this is going to be like.

Myanmar Pagoda www.onemorestamp.com

Something Different

I am looking forward to visiting a southeast Asia that is unspoiled by tourism and all the insanity that goes along with it. 

What is so exciting about visiting Myanmar is the fact that it has been off limits for so long.  There has been a tourist boycott from 1988 until 2012 and tourist are just now trickling into the country.  I am looking forward to visiting a southeast Asia that is unspoiled by tourism and all the insanity that goes along with it. 

Travel Choices

We decided to throw money at that problem and foist all that onto some other poor sucker. 

We are going with a private guided tour.  When we started researching more than one couple that we work with recommended Myanmar Shalom.  .  Tours are something that Carsten and I normally do.  But booking tickets and hotel rooms on our own had proven to be very difficult so we decided to throw money at that problem and foist all that onto some other poor sucker.  I think that if we had been willing to leave trains and airline tickets until we got to Myanmar we could have done it ourselves in country but Carsten is German and I am a control freak so that wasn’t an option for us.  That means that this trip has been organized for the last six months.  This was actually fairly essential as you usually have to book the Balloon trip over Bagan that far in advance.  We will see how it goes.

Myanmar Stone Buddha head www.onemorestamp.com

Anticipation

Anything could happen

There is something about the anticipation just before you leave for a trip to a new place.  There is all this potential.  Anything could happen.  All that you have the idea of a place and expectations about how it will be with the knowledge that soon you will have the reality.

How do you gear up for a significant holiday?

*Just a disclaimer that 100% of this trip was paid for by me and any and all opinions are mine and honest.