Burma – 5 Surprises

Domestic Flight in Burma
Domestic Flight in Burma

Having just returned from her first trip, Enfys describes 5 things that surprised her when travelling around this beautiful country!

Before arriving in Burma I was not sure what quite to expect. I have been lucky enough to travel extensively throughout Asia, but never before to this enigmatic country. What I found blew me away; what a unique and wonderful place to travel!

I found it to be an amazing country, a wonderful place to explore and I enjoyed my trip immensely. Below is a list of 5 things I had not realised before I travelled..

1~ It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes up the charm, culture, atmosphere and feel of a country but I was amazed at how different Burma felt from it’s neighbours. The subtle but distinct differences were evident in the Burmese people, their simple homes, their unhurried and relaxed nature, and as the ladies and children all wear thanaka on the faces the Burmese also look very distinct.

Farming in Burma - InsideBurma Tours
A Baby wearing Thanaka Paste - InsideBurma Tours
Fruit Seller in Burma - InsideBurma Tours
Burmese Village - InsideBurma Tours

The local homes were also more basic than I had expected;

Village on Stilts - InsideBurma Tours
Burmese Village - InsideBurma Tours

2~ The Burmese are so friendly! As a visitor I felt genuinely welcome to visit markets, stop at roadsides and take photos of local homes, to say hello to the children and smile at passers by. In fact the locals were just as interested in me and I lost count of the number of requests I had to be photographed by them!

Making handicrafts in Burma - InsideBurma Tours
Novice Monks in Burma - InsideBurma Tours
Burmese people - InsideBurma Tours

3~ If you look online and or in the guidebooks April is often described to potential visitors as a dry, and hot time of year best avoided. I couldn’t disagree more. Yes it it hot, and yes it is a dry time of year but if you are travelling to Burma, or indeed Asia you will have a choice and a compromise to make. Either you go at peak season when the temperature is a bit milder, but, (and this is a big but), the hotels are far more expensive and full, the poolside chairs claimed, and more importantly the temples, markets and all interesting sights will be extremely busy with other visitors. I had Bagan to myself for the most part, and really enjoyed having places of such wonder in peace!

Looking over Bagan - InsideBurma Tours
Bagan Temples - InsideBurma Tours

4~ Ngapali beach – wow! What a beautiful find. A collection of 3 loooong stretches of beach with wonderful accommodation options in the Bay of Bengal. A perfect mid-trip holiday!

Ngapali Beach - InsideBurma Tours
Hotel Pool in Burma - InsideBurma Tours

5~ I had heard mixed things about the domestic flights in Burma – but they were all great. The planes new, the service polite and efficient and all on time. Taking these short hops across the country allowed me to maximise my time with ease!

Flying into Burma - InsideBurma Tours

I visited Mandalay, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Ngapali, Bagan and Yangon on my recent trip and each place was incredibly different offering an array of endless sights and unexpected delights. Again, it is difficult to describe what exactly makes up the charm of a country – but all I know is that Burma has bags of it and I can’t wait to go back!

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