Cait (13) and Charli (11) went on a family holiday in Burma (Myanmar) with their parents and uncle, Paul – a sales team leader in our Bristol office. We caught up with them to find out their highlights and what they learned…
Where was your favourite place?
Cait: I loved Ngapali. Everything was so beautiful, quiet and relaxed.
Charli: I actually preferred Yangon – especially visiting Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. It’s ten times prettier in the evening than in the daytime. The shrines around the base of the pagoda represent the days of the week, and you’re supposed to find the day that you were born on and bless it. I really enjoyed doing that.
What were the things you enjoyed doing the most?
Cait: Being on the beach! Depending on the time of day, the water was so nice and warm. I loved just sitting on the sand and taking everything in.
Charli: One of my favourite experiences was going fishing on a boat at Ngapali. The guy who took us had made fishing rods out of nothing but water bottles and string; we were amazed that we caught fish with them! We had a competition to see who could catch the most fish – in the end we had about 15, but Cait didn’t catch any.
Did you meet anyone interesting?
Charli: We nicknamed our tour guide ‘Smiley’ because every time we looked at her, she smiled. She’s grinning from ear to ear in all our pictures. In fact, everyone in Burma seemed really happy.
Paul: Locals could be shy at first, but then they opened up when you started talking to them.
Charli: Yeah, it always gave me a really warm, fuzzy feeling inside whenever that happened.
Did you use any interesting kinds of transport?
Paul: Thandwe Airport was an unusual experience – at one point we were probably the only people in the whole building, which was certainly a first for me.
Charli: And the shuttle bus was an old army vehicle, with murals painted on the side!
Cait: We also rented bikes to explore Ngapali. We even saw people cycling through the shallow water and riding buffalo on the beach.
What was the most interesting thing you discovered about Burma (Myanmar)?
Cait & Charli: The paste that local Burmese put on their faces is called thanaka – it comes from a bark, which they then grind up with water to use as a natural sunscreen. We also learned that nearly the whole population of Burma is Buddhist.
Did you learn any Burmese?
Cait & Charli: Mingalaba! It means ‘hello’. That’s the best word to learn as it’s a good icebreaker.
Do you have any advice for other people taking a family holiday in Burma (Myanmar)?
Cait: Don’t try to cram too much in (like someone we know – Dad). Instead, pick a couple of activities that perhaps take a little longer and spend more time on doing those. The only thing we regretted was being rushed.
Charli: Bring hats, sunscreen, toiletries and bug spray – and an extra pair of sunglasses in case you lose yours!
Planning a family holiday in Burma (Myanmar)? Our Burmese Family Adventure is just the ticket. From £2,100 for 13 nights (exc. intl. flights), it includes Yangon, Ngapali, Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay –among others. Call our experts on 0117 244 3465 to find out more.