15 February – 27 February 13 days
Places visited: Yangon, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Began, Mandalay
Most favourite place:
Charlie: My favourite place was probably Inle Lake, there was a certain charm about it and the authenticity is still intact. There is an uprising in tourism there, but it seems to be slowly progressing which means the time to visit is now!
Lisa: Bagan was really amazing, we got to see so many amazing sunrises and sunsets there and the scenery was really beautiful.
Least favourite place:
Charlie: For me this is Mandalay. The city itself has nothing wrong with it, we managed to go see the local sights, but aside from venturing outside of the city, theres not tonnes to see.
Lisa: Same as above.
Most favourite dish:
Charlie: This is a tough one, not because there was loads I liked, but because I don’t know what it was called! The tea leaf salad was good and all of the food provided by the hiking company too but I don’t know the names!
Lisa: I didn’t really love the food in Myanmar, I think the only local dish I really enjoyed was the noodle soups they make.
Charlie: The trekking for sure! I loved it all and it was made even better by the boat tour around Inle Lake at the end. We got to see so much of the untouched countryside and village communities by hiking through them.
Lisa: The trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake was 100% my favourite experience in this country, if not on the trip. Not only did we get to see some beautiful views but staying with local families in their villages was so authentic and unlike anything I have ever done before.
Charlie: The worst thing is hard to choose. The night buses weren’t amazing but they were a lot better than some others we have taken. I think the worst thing was Lisa being sick but thats hardly the countries fault.
Lisa: Getting ill in Inle Lake wasn’t great but if I had to pick something else it would have been our bus ride to Mandalay where about 20 locals got on our bus chewing the red tobacco stuff that makes them spit lots, they were spitting into plastic bags the whole journey and it was pretty disgusting.
Something you will miss:
Charlie: I’ll miss the chilled out local vibes we came across, people just living their lives and not living in the tourist industry the same way other countries we’ve been to do.
Lisa: The people were really lovely but I think I will miss the authenticity that comes with travelling Myanmar. Everywhere we went we got to see the daily life of the locals before tourism gets in the way.
Something you won’t miss:
Charlie: I won’t miss the arguing in price with people. It was very similar with India, in the way that the merchant will add 40% to the price just to haggle it down and get a bigger profit.
Lisa: The red tobacco chewing, which was the same in India. I just find the chewing and spitting of it really disgusting and the streets are stained from it.