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Friday, 22nd January 2016

What you should be carrying in your day sack in Burma

Burma is a wonderful and sometimes challenging place to explore. In order to ensure you are prepared for what each day may bring, it’s a good idea to pack your day sack with a few essentials that may come in handy more frequently than you might think.

Crisp US dollar bills in varying denominations

Getting kyat, the Burmese currency, outside of the country itself is almost impossible and while there has been a proliferation of ATMs installed in the larger cities recently it’s best not to rely on these. As well as incurring a transaction fee, power outages mean they are often offline. US dollars in good condition are readily accepted, so carrying some of these will help you to get by.

A plastic bag for your shoes

Burma’s many temples and pagodas are among the big draws across the nation and the chances are you’ll visit numerous religious sights during your trip. This means removing your shoes and since many temples have multiple entrances and exits, it’s best to carry them with you, making a plastic bag very useful.

A torch

Blackouts are still a common occurrence in Burma and although the locals tend to be well-equipped to deal with such occasions it’s a good idea to have a torch of your own. Power outages can strike at any time, so eating your meal, going to the toilet or finding your way home will be much easier if you always have a torch to hand.

Bottled water

It’s important to stay hydrated in the hot climate of Burma and since it’s not safe to drink tap water, you should always have bottled water to hand. Be sure to check the seal hasn’t been broken when purchasing water or boil tap water to make it potable.

Sun screen and a hat

Having sun protection to hand will mean you can’t get caught out in the heat of the day. Whether you’re exploring cities, such as Yangon and Mandalay, or trekking in the countryside, you will find Burma’s heat can be very damaging to your skin. Top-up your sun screen regularly and keep your head covered to avoid sun stroke.

A card with your accommodation’s address on it

It’s easy to get confused about street names and their pronunciation in a place like Burma where many tourists don’t know the language. Be sure to pick up a card from your guesthouse or hotel with the address on, or alternatively write it down. This way you can show it to a taxi or tuk tuk driver and they can get you home straight away.