Myanmar, situated in Southeast Asia, has quickly become a popular destination for travelers looking to get off-the-beaten-path. Largely recognized for its golden-clad temples, breathtaking sunsets and untouched landscapes, Myanmar offers an authentic, life-changing experience to travelers looking to take a step back in time.
So what makes Myanmar so magical?
Tradition – Myanmar remains one of the few places in the world that has not been largely influenced by Western culture. The authenticity of the region is inspiring and refreshing to travelers who are all too accustomed to seeing American fast-food chains abroad. The absence of Starbucks Coffee shops is noticeable – and refreshing! Burmese culture and traditions have remained steadfast, still reflected most visibly in the traditional dress that men and women have worn since pre-colonial times. This experience offers travelers a unique look into a world without modern conveniences and comforts.
People – The Burmese people are incredibly kind and genuine. As Myanmar establishes their tourism industry, a new world of opportunity is opening up to the locals, making them very optimistic and eager to welcome travelers to their country.
Pace of Life – Visiting Myanmar feels a bit like stepping back in time. Unlike the hustle and bustle that characterizes Western civilization – and many other Asian countries – journeying through Myanmar reveals one-room schoolhouses, farming villages where people work together for the common good and a strong commitment to religion. The lifestyle remains simple and modest.
Here are a few key suggestions for first-time visitors to Myanmar:
1. Wear clothing that is light, breathable and conservative.
2. Bring new U.S. dollar bills with you to exchange for Kyat when you arrive in Myanmar. It can be difficult to find an ATM and bills are most easily exchanged when they are new.
3. Pack bug spray to avoid the mosquitos!
And, most importantly…
4. The beauty of this experience is how disconnected from the “real world” you truly are. Embrace the isolation and change of pace!