Where to go in BurmaWhat part of Burma?
Best of Myanmar Travel: Backpacking's Top Held Secret
Are you considering traveling to Myanmar? From a formal point of view, the land known as Burma is still new and mysterious, but it is rapidly expanding and soon will be the standard for this. There is much to know about the best of Myanmar, so to help, here is how to get ready for backpack trips in Myanmar. I am a Los Angeles based packer and traveller and have been driving around the globe since 2014.
First of all, you need a permit. It is also possible to obtain your visas at the Bangkok Consulate. I' ll say that the Myanmar visas are always on the move, so please review a website of the Myanmar authorities before you visit them, just in case. There are flights to Yangon or Mandalay International Airports. As a rule, the least expensive way to get there is to go to a local airport like Bangkok or Singapore and then to Myanmar.
When I boarded my plane to Yangon at Bangkok International Airports, I recall that I read about it. When you arrive in Myanmar, you can run to an ATM and use your Kyat ATMs. We had lunch where the natives used to eat and volunteered for trips and busses in Myanmar.
Saving on overnight stays is possible by taking overnight busses to your next stop. Surprisingly, some of these busses were beautiful when I saw how undeveloped the parts of the state are. Some of the more expensive V.I.P. coaches ('15-20 for a 12-hour drive), but they are definitely valuable for long outings.
It is strongly recommended that you take at least one trip by rail and really enjoy Burma's way of life. Some hints on how to get to Myanmar (courtesy of @Isabel_Clift): A breathtaking 11-hour trip to Pyin U Lwin and Hsipaw through the hills of Shan state that traverses the Gokteik Gorge.
Thazi to Kalaw and Inle Lake - from the Yangon to Mandalay this ten-hour drive leads through the magnificent hills of Shan State and ends at gorgeous Inle Lake (the stop is Shwe Nyaung). The Circle Line Railway in Yangon - a great attraction in Yangon, this local transport trains drives a three-hour round tour through the town, through the city area and into the neighbouring towns.
Take the Yangon Central Rail Rail Rail from Yangon Central Rail Rail, you arrive hourly and the fares are about $1. There is no way to buy your ticket directly on line - Myanmar Rails has no website. You must buy the rail passes at the railway from which you travel. Trains are also handwritten.
You can simply show up on the morning to make a reservation, but for added safety, buy long-haul travel passes one or two days in advance. 2. You' ll need your pass to buy a rail pass and your name, your citizenship and your pass number will be photocopied on your tick. Bigger railway stops like Yangon have information panels in German with schedules and tariffs, more distant ones do not - ask for help at the cash desk.
For full information on Myanmar rail journeys, timetables and fares, see The Man in Seat 61. In Myanmar, eating on the streets is the way to go. Myanmar is a blend of Thai, Hindi and Mandarin cuisines. I' m sorry. Yangon's the only place in the whole wide planet I've seen it.
What is crucial is that it is now possible to discover large parts of Myanmar by motorcycle - you can hire or buy a bicycle in the land, and although some areas are off-limits ('no bike' to Bagan or Inle technically), it is now possible to discover large parts of the rustic landscape.... If you have a camping pitch, the epoxy rucksack adventure is even more possible.
"Burma is a great place to go on a walk and the skies really are the border... you can embark on highly challenging two-week hikes around Shan or Chin State and the Chinese Himalayas, which requires specific permissions, is one of the last backpackers' borders in Southeast Asia, which offers a whole series of untouched summits... In Chin State, it is possible to stick with municipalities that have never seen a packer before - provided you are ready for several...
"Myanmar and India now have an open frontier, making it possible to go all the way from Europe to Southeast Asia without having to go via China..... With the relaxed visas in Iran and a steady secure Pakistan, the once busy hippy trails to Thailand show renewed vitality. And travelers who want to explore something else can cross it via Myanmar from Southeast Asia to India, Nepal, Pakistan and Iran..." Yangon quickly became one of my favorite city.
In the afternoons, the local people sell and trade goods directly on the trains. Hire an electronic bicycle and discover the old temple of Old Bagan. From Mandalay, take the to Hsipaw rail. It' one of the most beautiful trains in Myanmar, so have your cameras on!
It is probably the most touristic place in Myanmar, but it is still astonishing. If, like me, you need to be in touch, I strongly suggest that you get an Ooredoo (a Myanmar airline) phone number at the airfield when you are there. The experienced Myanmar adventurer Marcus Allender: "I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to all states and Myanmar departments in recent years, and I have had a number of memorable shore excursions.
The most pleasant and striking was probably the one from Yangon to Dawei in the Tanintharyi area ( "Tenasserim") in the southern part of the state. Myanmar is known for its kindness, but the way they were handled there was different. The best thing was not to think about how risky it was to sit on the overcrowded top of a lorry and race at high speeds over tough streets (you can also drive down busses there, but we were on the road during a vacation time when they weren't running).
While Myanmar's train can at best be bouncing and sluggish, the rail line from Ye to Dawei has taken things to another level: the minute cars turn and turn through the gorgeous Tenasserim Mountains, push their way through the jungles and stop in towns that look no different from a hundred years ago.