This Was Week 8 (Exploring Myanmar's Big Cities)

August 03, 2016

This Was Week 8 (Exploring Myanmar's Big Cities)

The Weekly Traveler is Megan and Tyler's recap of highlights and memorable moments after a full week of traveling around our new home.

  

This Was Our Eighth Week Traveling: This Week We're In Myanmar

 

This was the beginning of our two weeks in Myanmar. Known as the Golden Land, once you arrive it's not hard to see why. This was the view outside our $12/night guest house, and would be considered one of Yangon’s “baby pagodas”

makers travelers myanmar burma yangon pagoda

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We landed in Yangon and immediately found it to be just like any other SE Asian megalopolis with 4 million+ people, but with two pretty obvious exceptions…

makers travelers myanmar burma yangon birds streets busy

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#1 Thanaka

Almost everyone wipes thanaka on their face. We asked the locals what it was and never really got a straight answer—just that it smells good and cools them down. Wikipedia said it’s made from bark, but all I know it was all over everybody's’ faces here, and it was wonderful

makers travelers myanmar face paint burma thanaka little girl make up

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#2 Longyis

90% of Myanmar men opt out of pants and instead wear a longyi (pronounced low-jees)—and I’m talking everybody from businessmen to construction workers. While it looks comfortable, the men were constantly adjusting them, so they definitely need to find a better way to keep them up

makers travelers myanmar burma lonjgis men sarong no pants yangon

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One element that was missing that we liked...no motorbikes allowed in Yangon. Kinda nice not hearing their loud-ass engines for a couple days to tell you the truth

makers travelers myanmar burma no motorbikes no scooters yangon-

 

We spent a few nights in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) before traveling north to the more “scenic parts" of Myanmar, but I'd say this place had some nice views, too ( this is Shwedagon Pagoda—Myanmar's most iconic temple)

makers travelers myanmar burma shwedagon pagoda temple yangon best

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We zoomed around the country by overnight "VIP Bus", and we're not going to lie…they’re the best things ever. Seats that recline so you could sleep, a personal TV and a snack box... far superior to an airplane seat. makers travelers myanmar VIP bus JJ express bus best bus 

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We took a 10-hour dream bus ride from Yangon to Kalaw to begin 40-mile 3-day hiking trek (we've made a separate post for this one just because it was so packed with fun-you can check it out here)

makers travelers myanmar kalaw 3 day hike adventure to inle

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After 3 long days, we made it to our destination (Inle Lake), where we took another overnight bus to Bagan. You may have never heard of Bagan, but you've probably seen some of its images featured in magazines touting it as one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth

makers travelers myanmar bagan pagodas 200 temples beautiful sunset sunrise

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There are over 2000 pagodas in Bagan, and while we didn't see them all...we got to climb plenty to get some of the best views ever

makers travelers myanmar bagan must see temple sunset shwesandaw

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makers travelers myanmar bagan must see temples climb explore

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-makers travelers myanmar bagan must see pagodas on top of temples

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-makers travelers myanmar bagan must see temples sunset

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We also met some kids who insisted on climbing onto our scooter 4 at a time and demanding rides around their village

makers travelers myanmar bagan scooter ride kids fun

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From the majesty of Bagan, we went to Myanmar's other big city: Mandalay. And while wonderful in its own way…

makers travelers myanmar burma mandalay market shopping kids

 

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It doesn’t have much in the way of irrigation during the rainy season

makers travelers myanmar mandalay irrigation flood monsoon rainy season

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So after 2 action-packed weeks in Myanmar, we headed back to our home base of Bali—where we're finally making our move to a city on the beach

makers travelers bali canggu beach old mans beach surfing

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Myanmar may have jumped itself to the top of our favorite country list. Tourism is such a new concept to its people, and you can tell the locals genuinely want you to love their country.

And while they’re still extremely shy around westerners, and are a little rough around the edges when it comes to service, these traits are also what makes it so special to be here—it’s the opportunity to really experience the world's next big tourist hub before it becomes a must-see destination

makers travelers myanmar kids waving children village

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During Weeks 8 and 9, we felt honored to have been able to visit Myanmar before it becomes the next Thailand (and I'm sure it will soon!) We can't recommend visiting more—you should book your flight for sure.

You can check out a recap of all our weeks by clicking here!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by—if you're into pictures, you can follow us on Instagram (Megan runs that) and add us on SnapChat (Tyler runs that)



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