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My My Myanmar

Myanmar Tom Ricketts Tom Ricketts
Myanmar Tom Ricketts Tom Ricketts
Myanmar Tom Ricketts
Myanmar Tom Ricketts Tom Ricketts
Myanmar Tom Ricketts Tom Ricketts
Myanmar Tom Ricketts Tom Ricketts

My My Myanmar

story by: House of Travel Specialist

One of the hottest destinations in the world of travel at the moment is undoubtedly Myanmar, the country formally known as Burma. After 50 years in the shadows of the military government, the beautifully friendly Burmese are now opening up their arms to tourists. If you want to see if before it becomes tour bus central, now is the time!

The quickest way to Myanmar is through Singapore which is perfect for a city stopover and spot of shopping along the way. Most flights go to Yangon, the largest city in the country. Yangon is a city of 4.5 million but it’s not your typical Asian city. Years of non investment and development in the city means that Yangon has one of the largest stocks of colonial buildings in Asia. One example is the beautifully restored, Strand Hotel. This hotel comes complete with a teak lined piano bar, serving up some of the best cocktails in town, perfect for a relaxing drink after battling the hustle and bustle of the markets. And boy are there markets! The biggest of which, Bogyoke Aung San Market, has over 2000 stalls selling a treasure trove of trinkets. You’ll need half a day and thick skin if you’re to do well here. When the sun finally relents and sets, the city is lit up by the stunning gold pagodas of Shwedagon Paya.

Next up, take your chances with one of the domestic airlines to Heho and transfer the amazing Inle Lake.  Some 70,000 people live on Inle Lake. That’s right, ON the lake. An entire town rises from the calm waters on stilts and it really must be seen to be believed. Locals will gladly take you for a ride in their small wooden skiff, by motor or a unique style of rowing that has evolved on the lake. Children jump from balconies of huge old two and three story villa’s while parents go about their working days in factories, shops and restaurants; all perched just a metre or so above the water. This is where Asia meets Venice!

The third must see destination in Myanmar is undoubtedly temples of Bagan. Thankfully, the Burmese government still allows you to climb some of the temples and a short, albeit steep, climb is well worth it. The view is truly awesome. The vast plain in front of you is littered with over 2000 pagodas, which stand tall amongst the bush. Each built by an emperor eager to outdo his predecessor. Some glisten in gold, others are painted white and many are still home to monks. Inside the pagodas are the remains of ancient paintings and shrines to several different religions. You can sit for hours just staring at the view, or cycle around the city to discover its many hidden delights. This is truly one of the world’s best kept secrets.

By House of Travel Specialist: Tom Ricketts

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