Is Burma Safe to Travel 2016Will Burma be safe to travel in 2016
Facts and legends about traveling in Myanmar
Myanmar or not to see.... seems to be the increasing theme. More and more policy topics are being addressed and sometimes discourage travelers from coming to this one-of-a-kind and wonderful state. A few years ago, when I began exploring Myanmar. I was also concerned about the conflicts between the natives and the administration, of which I knew little, or whether it is safe to go there alone.
Then, within a few month - an occasion arose and a few week later I travelled with a boyfriend through Myanmar. Are you able to travel through the countryside without support from the state? However, here we go: Facts and legends about traveling in Myanmar. Myanmar has tension and incidents (see below) that we won't know the precise facts about no matter how much we do.
In Myanmar in August 2016, before the Rohingya issue became apparent to the press. In the Shan Mountains I was fortunate enough to walk where visitors could only go under the supervision of a native. The conflict (they still only touch the surface) and the fact that the humans I meet there were the nicest.
You are advised to review the security measures and cards like these: Click here with the clearly labeled safe and insecure areas. There is also some useful information on the website of the GOA. You should also be careful when traveling off the beaten track in the state of Rakhine. In my own personal experiences (that was in August 2016) I felt very safe when I travelled through Myanmar.
It is a one-of-a-kind and totally wonderful land, you will be treated astonishingly by the locals and you will be appalled by their friendliness. Bitches on their own - I have seen so many bitches who were alone and had no problems. The entire amount of tourists' funds goes to the authorities, which support their decisions. It' not just a dispute between the state and the population.
It is the army, which once completely ruled the land, that still has the greatest influence on what is going on at the time. It' s not just about "do I endorse the administration by going there? Overall, the army still has control of the land, not so much Aung San Suu Kyi.
With regard to tourism funds, most of the facilities are either state-owned or belong to businesses (or individuals) associated with the scheme, although many foreign interests are in the ownership of foreigners. It' possible to help the locals without your funds going to the goverment by dining in small, regional stores and salesmen or hiring them.
Otherwise, most coach operators, restaurateurs and so on are helping the administration, whether they like it or not. Burma is a big nation with many really friendly and unconnected with politics. Some are also dependent on the tourism sector as this is their primary source of livelihood.
When you leave, try to help the locals. Burma is one of the most pious buddhistic lands in the whole wide globe and has a shrine or dock. During your journey through the land - you will probably fill out about 80% of your route and the remainder will mostly be Buddha's (ok maybe a little exaggerated, but you get the point).
Nevertheless, the state still has a great deal to boast. Of the friendly folks to the breathtaking scenery, trains, boat trips and the most spectacular sightseeing tours, you have ever seen. To be honest - all of them are breathtaking and surprising - I didn't get tired.
Years ago, before the land was opened to tourists, it was probably far from the reality. To be honest, in the first few get-togethers in Myanmar, I was happy to be with a boyfriend because of how much I was able to stand out from everyone else.... that made me discomfort.
It only took me a few short get-togethers to feel good and very safe. But I also encountered many travelers who were visiting the land alone and a number of others with whom they were traveling. Traveling alone in Myanmar is simple and safe. My greatest recommendation for traveling in Myanmar is not to have much to think about, to have a general notion of where you want to go but not to go overboard.
It was so worrying that everyone I saw before my trip to Myanmar seemed to believe this testimony. It was all in the Kyat pound, when it came to money. I myself slept in a youth hostel when I travelled through Myanmar. Firstly, the state has no big brand stores or necklaces - there is no Tesco or (are you ready?) - 7 elevenses.
Burma is even more cautious, especially in comparison to its neighbor Thailand. While I was here (Aug. 2016) the default rate for a two-bed room was about $20. Myanmar is quite inexpensive to eat - similar to Thailand, for example, about $1.50 for a single dish. To help the locals, I suggest you eat at small stalls/salesmen.
It' a thing in Myanmar. My travel companion did it at the very beginning, if I recall rightly, it all depended on your immunity system (although mine used to be really weak) and above all on happiness. Don't let yourself be deterred from trying even the regional dishes, sayings like "Don't try lettuces because they were rinsed in mains water" are in my view quite exaggerated.
Another thing - please don't bathe your eye in mains running either - or you could end up with an eyestrain like my travel friend and I did (not pretty). How good the transportation was in Myanmar. Generally speaking, I would say coaches are the best way to get around the state.
We' ve booked everything locally instead of on-line, as the rates were lower, and it's the only way to get even free access to our own busses (which supports the natives more) if you do - come a few extra lessons to make sure seats are still available.
When you have traveled in Southeast Asia, you probably know that laundering is a normal thing for you. In Myanmar it's the same - they do everything by handwash. Several of the nicest folks I've ever known have been to Myanmar, I could go on and on about it - but no matter who you see, whether it's the folks at the market, friars or locals in general, they'll often try to speak to you, even if their English isn't at a good one.
It is a great thing, I think, and you should take every chance to talk to the natives, because that is the only way I have learnt the things I know about the land today, whether it is politics or story. There were also times in smaller cities when they couldn't stop looking at us because they weren't used to strange faces.
However, please do not let this make you uneasy or distrustful of humans - it is just plain curiousness, or in the children view - terrible. I always wore pants or longs (the locals rock) out of mere esteem and because I didn't like the additional attentiveness as a stranger - I already had a whole bunch of them (not bad).
Myanmar as soon as possible. Much as I would like to say no to this - I am very happy that I had the opportunity to attend it a year ago. Although the policy topics are increasingly being discussed, Myanmar's tourist industry is expanding very fast, and this naturally means changes and develop.
Only in one year - three of my favorite activities in Myanmar are no longer possible. First: Sleep in the monastery - visit is OK, but it is not possible to stay the night because of some problems with visitors. Secondly, to climb the Bagan marshes in order to enjoy the most beautiful sunset vistas - this was a basic task, but because of the many visitors it had to be halted in order to keep the marshes safe.
So, yes, if you want to see the true Myanmar (of course I'm not speaking of the conflicts).... I would say come and see us soon. But I think it will still be a great place to go and see. Particularly if you are someone who wants more convenience when traveling. Hopefully this contribution to the truths and legends about traveling in Myanmar has at least some of your questions-if not, let me know in the commentaries!
Regarding policy questions - would you like to know more?