Myanmar Trip (June 10 – 13, 2016)
Myanmar or formerly known as Burma is a country with almost over 100 ethnic groups and its Capital city is Naypyidaw and the largest city is Yangon. The most popular destinations in Myanmar include Yangon and Mandalay, religious sites in Mon estate, Pindaya and Bago, Nature Trails in Inle Lake, Kentung and Putao, Ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U and beautiful beaches in Ngapali, Ngwe-saung and Mergui.
The most common way for travelers to enter the country is by Air, it is not possible for Foreigners to get into the country by bus or even by boat and it is a country that have a lot of Major Languages and more than a 100 Languages are spoken in total.
Me and my group arrived around lunch time on a Friday the duration of our flight from Singapore is 3 hours and 30 minutes’ local time. We took Jetstar Airways flying to and from Yangon city. After reaching Yangon just before Lunch time (Myanmar’s Local time) we decided to purchase our Overnight Bus tickets at the Airport as it is easier and cheaper by few bucks than outside the airport and from the airport we took a Private Taxi just big enough for our group and the driver was really friendly and very accommodating as he really knows where to take us before heading to the Bus station for our overnight travel to Bagan. First stop we headed to a restaurant named Feel to have our Lunch and we accidentally ordered too much for our group as the serving was quite a lot and good for 2 to 3 person each, as we can’t finish everything we decided to ask the crew to pack it so that we can take it with us and share with Mr. Chin the Private Taxi owner/driver.
After filling our hungry tummies, we went to Shwedagon Pagoda, the biggest of its kind in Myanmar. The Pagoda was really big and a lot of Locals visit every day to Pray and some tourists to check out the Beauty of each temple inside Shwedagon. After that we headed to Chinatown and another market for some souvenir shopping and some street foods as well. Then we went to a small temple in the middle of the city too and we saw a Monument and took some time to feel the place and get the opportunity to take photos.
Afterward we headed to the Bus station but before going there we visited White or Albino Elephants and when we reached the Bus station we waited for our departure and grabbed some snacks and we bathe in the toilet as everyone was already feeling so sticky cos of the Heat of the sun and the non-stop travel from Singapore.
The travel time from Yangon to Bagan is approximately 10 hours and few more minutes from the Bus station to the Hotel. Bagan is a very quiet place and very laidback. We took 2 cabs going to the hotel and there’s one Singaporean who shared with us as she still doesn’t know where will she stay for the night. There’s an archeological fee for each tourist that cost 15USD and it cover your whole stay in Bagan.
On our way to the hotel you can see a lot of pagodas in different sizes, small, medium and big ones. We stayed at Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort, the place was really nice and it is just beside the Inle Lake. The rooms are really big and very cozy, the ambience is really relaxing and the view was fantastic. It cost us around 55 SGD each for a room good for two persons and it comes with a Buffet Breakfast and the variety of Food wasn’t bad at all as you can choose in a wide array of Food, from English breakfast, American and Asian Food. All the staffs are really nice and very accommodating, the amenities are awesome, they have a big outdoor pool, Spa center and a Restaurant.
On our first day after having a bit rest, we rented scooters for 8USD for 4 hours and additional of 4 USD per hour. It is an environment friendly scooter as it uses Just Batteries and no Gas at all. It’s the best way to go around Bagan as the Archeological zone is quite big to use a bicycle and you don’t want a too tiring way of roaming around the area you can rent a private Taxi which is more expensive than Bikes and Scooters.
For Food wise, we always dine in on restaurants that serve good dishes in a reasonable price and the quantity is good for sharing.
We stayed for 2 days in Old Bagan and went back to Yangon via Bus for another 10 hours travel time, but don’t worry as all the bus trips have a stopover in the famous Feel restaurant for an hour before you hit the road again. We reached the Bus station at around seven am and waited for our private taxi to pick us up and after then we headed to a small cafeteria and Mr. Chin treat us for a good Local style breakfast. Then after the breakfast we headed to a Market again to finalize our Souvenir shopping list and to visit the Reclining Buddha before heading back to the airport to catch our flight back to Singapore at 7 pm Local time via Tigerair.
The experience was really awesome for me and my travel squad as it feels really Great to spend four days in a country that’s laid back and away from the buzzing cities of Singapore and Manila. It is a trip that I will never forget.