Monday, 28th September 2015
Planning what to pack for a trip to Burma
For some people, a trip to Burma is the holiday of a lifetime, which may mean they have never been anywhere quite like this corner of Southeast Asia before. Luckily, Burma is a very welcoming country, but it may be a good idea to get some pointers about what to pack, just to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Packing is a subtle art and getting the balance between being fully prepared and not overloaded can be quite difficult. Follow this simple advice and all will be well.
One piece of luggage and a day sack
Everybody packs differently, but if you can limit yourself to one piece of luggage, whether it is a suitcase or a backpack, along with a day sack then you will be off to a good start. This will mean that you are adaptable and can carry your own baggage when necessary and have an alternative bag to take out in the daytime. This is useful for the obligatory sun cream, bottle of water and cover up for going into temples.
While the weather in Burma is hot, it is also a conservative country, so it is important to wear clothes that don't expose too much skin. This goes for both men and women. Locals do not wear shorts, but longer variations can work for visitors, as long as they stay away from anything too skimpy. Unless at the beach, do not wear strappy tops, so loose-fitting cotton items are a much better option.
A sarong or scarf is one of the most useful items in Burma, as it can be used to cover up further when visiting religious sites. Travellers should never head into a pagoda or temple without ensuring their legs and shoulders are covered and shoes removed.
Simple sandals or flip flops are generally perfect for Burma, as they are cool and easy to slip off when visiting religious sites. Anyone opting for an itinerary that includes any amount of trekking or hiking should bring a good pair of walking shoes or lightweight boots to protect their feet and ensure they can cover the distances required.
If visiting in Burma's wet season between May and October, it is a good idea to bring a foldaway umbrella, as waterproof jackets can get sweaty in such humid conditions.
Toiletries and medical supplies
Many toiletries can be picked up easily at supermarkets in Burma, but specific medical supplies can be harder to come by. Be sure to pack anything you may need with you and bring a letter from the doctor describing what unusual items are for.
The majority of people travel with a number of electrical devices that need to be charged, so be sure to bring a universal adaptor. Power outlets can vary across Burma, so it is a good idea to have several options.
Camera memory cards and batteries can be hard to come by, so ensure you have a good supply with you. If the electricity goes off you will not be able to charge the ones you have used, so always have extra. A small torch will also be invaluable during such blackouts.
Sun cream, insect repellent and a hat are all important items, although you can pick them up in Burma if you run short. A good book and travel games are also handy if you end up somewhere quiet with little evening entertainment.