Colin and I really liked Myanmar. It’s a lot less touristy than other areas we’ve been to. The people are really nice and still seem happy to see tourists; whereas in other more touristy areas, I think that you get a lot of locals who hate the tourists (and I’m one of those crotchety locals when I’m at home too, so I don’t blame them). Colin and I actually got stopped a lot to take photos with locals and other Asian tourists (because of my purple hair and Colin’s red beard). In the photo above, I took individual pictures with almost everyone in the group – men and women. All the girls I passed stared at me, and a lot of them complimented me with something like, “pretty hair!” At one point, Colin was approached in a temple by about 15 men with military uniforms on. He was thinking he was in big trouble for something, but each of them wanted a picture with him so they could show their friends back in the smaller town in Myanmar that they were all from. It was fun!
We spent 2 full days in Inle Lake. I could have been fine with 1, but Colin wanted to explore more on the second day, so it depends on how interesting you find the area. Lake Inle is the second largest lake in Myanmar. There are a lot of people that live on the shores and also on the lake itself. A lot of the houses you see are on stilts on the lake. They even grow gardens that float on the surface of the lake! Take a look at this video to get a better idea of what you’ll see in Inle Lake: Boating Inle Lake, Myanmar.
From Wiki because I’m classy like that: “Bagan is an ancient city... From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.” OVER TWO THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED! You don’t even know how many that is until you are driving around and see them EVERYWHERE!
Mandalay didn’t have very many tourists. We really liked that it seemed less traveled. That doesn’t mean they lack people and motorbikes though. Walking is difficult because there are so many motorbikes that don’t stop for you to cross, and there are no side walks (that aren’t covered with parked motorbikes or food stands). If you stay outside of the city center area, plan to taxi to and from your hotel. We actually had a hard time finding taxis though. We could always get our hotel to call us one, but to get back to the hotel, it was usually a motorbike taxi that was around. I refused to ride any of them (I know, lame, whatever – I am not getting in a motorbike accident here), so we eventually found a little pickup truck with a cage over the back and a couple of seats.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.