Myanmar - get in before tourism takes over

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan
December 27th 2015
Published: January 24th 2016
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I knew going to Myanmar that we wouldn't encounter many fellow long noses there lol! We took a flight with the cutest budget airline Nok Air (plane painted like a bird, beak and all!). As I looked around the flight I realised we were the only white people, I, the only blonde in a sea of black! The flight was very pleasant and we even got free banana cake 😊 We got a taxi into the city centre, cost us a tenner which wasn't bad due to the lengthy distance. On the way in, I made a few observations 😊 I got a shock as a taxi driver spit lots of red stuff out the window, I thought he was dying but turns out he was just eating the famous red addictive nut here! Almost every Burmese man chews this nut for its mild narcotic effect! I also noted that all of the men were wearing long,tartan skirts! I later learned these were known as Longyis 😊 I seen that everyone was wearing conservative clothes and I got a lot of stares in my string top! When I put on my cardigan, I still got stares as I'm white (a novelty here) but they were more curious and less disdainful than before. We looked around for accommodation but there was nothing for less than $35 and even that place was a shit hole (pardon the french!)

So we looked around Yangon, got some yummy springrolls for 50 cent and got the heck out of there via the night bus to Bagan 😊 We needed to go out to the bus station which was a bit out of town. A friendly Burmese guy showed us where to get the cheap public bus to the station, telling us it cost 1000 kyat (less than a dollar) and to pay anymore! It was then I knew I'd love it here 😊 Our night bus was a bit of an adventure in itself, it was stuffed to the rafters with boxes of beer, scooters etc so not a lot of space for your legs and the Burmese karaoke blasted all night long! We also got a burst tyre which took time to fix. When we arrived to Bagan, we were ages away from the tourist area, we decided we might as well take a taxi to the Bagan temples for sunrise and then onto the area we wished to sleep. This was definitely the right decision, it was beyond beautiful at sunrise and we got to see the hot air balloons slowly rising up over the temples. You pay a $20 dollar fee to stay in Bagan for up to five days and this includes getting access to all of the temples (there's tonnes of then!). We then took our taxi to our hotel (Pann Cherry) in Nyaung U, it was a cold place with cement floors but it was the only cheap place around so it would have to do! The guys working there looked like they had barely gone through puberty as they messed around doing wheelies with guests suitcases lol! One of them thought it was hilarious when Phil was shaving at the outside sink and mirror haha! Maybe they had never seen a long nose shave before! We got some much needed rest and then we looked around Nyaung U, nice wee place with good shops and pretty horse carts the locals use to get around.

We rented an E bike to head off and explore more of the temples, this was an adventure, let me tell you! It was way heavier than we expected so balancing took some getting used to especially with the two of us but soon we were flying along at 40km an hour all around the temples 😊 I also got some practice driving it on a quiet road which was scary but fun lol! The temples and pagodas were all stunning, some with beautiful, well preserved interiors. At one temple, we left our shoes outside like you have to do at every temple and were approached by a vendor, willing us to buy her souvenirs, we politely declined and went about our temple viewing. When we returned, our shoes were missing, the lady from the shop had taken them to lure us to her shop. Whatever chance she had of me buying something had completely evaporated by these shenanigans! I grabbed our shoes and ran! Phil was laughing his heart out lol! We ate out in a lovely Italian restaurant just up from our hotel with the most friendly staff ever 😊 We were not prepared for the cool evening air of Myanmar and Phil was freezing in his vest top! The young guy gave him a blanket a free, hot green tea 😊 We really loved our stay in Bagan, even with the theft of our flip flops lol! Next we move onto Mandalay in the north 😊

#spudstobananapancakes xoxo


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