• Myanmar

    Why You Shouldn’t Visit Myanmar in 2018

    Myanmar is one of those “up and coming” hotspots where everyone who wants to be adventurous is heading. It’s somewhere where your friends probably haven’t gone, and you can be the intrepid person ahead of the curve. It’s a gorgeous country, filled with history and fascinating things to do. But you shouldn’t go to Myanmar in 2018. In fact, if I look at my 2017 regrets, the fact that I went to Myanmar is near the top of the list. I saw gorgeous pictures of Bagan, and the amazing sides of Mandalay, Yangon, and Inle Lake, so I went. But I failed to look at the bigger picture. What is…

  • Costs,  Myanmar,  Travel

    Spreadsheeting: What I Spent in Myanmar

    Everything I read online said that Myanmar was far more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia and to budget accordingly. I think I might have mistook that and went a bit far… but luckily, it was a bit far the better way! Overall, for 10 days in Myanmar, I spent $616.84. Seriously. I was pretty shocked, especially because I felt like, on the whole, I lived well! How did that work out?

  • General Travel,  Myanmar,  Travel

    Backpacker Moments: Adventure Outtakes Part 2

    A collection of the moments that make you cringe. And help you remember everything in travel is not Instagram-ready. Electric Motorbikes The motorbikes in Bagan are more much more powerful than the ones in Siem Reap. I feel like we’ve already covered what an excellent driver I am, so naturally, nothing could possibly go wrong. Driving the motorbike through Bagan was amazing – going down the roads at 40 km/h with the sun out was fantastic. And then you go off the main road and onto the dirt paths. By dirt paths, what they really mean is sand paths. Deep sand paths. Driving over them was always an adventure. There…

  • Myanmar,  Travel

    I Left a Bit of My Heart in Rangoon

    Is it possible to have a bad time in a city that used to be called Rangoon? I think not. Not to say my time there was perfect, but there’s something about a city with so much history that spoke to me. I loved the city vibe – it was nice to be back in a big city (and thank goodness – they even had my brand of contact solution in travel size! Now to find my toothpaste…). Yangon is a city in evolution. There is a ton of development and building going on, with many things being westernized. The food scene is pretty good and definitely growing fast. In…

  • Myanmar

    Inle-Disney: It’s a Small World After All

    After our biking adventure, Meleny, Chris and I enjoyed each other, so we decided to take a tour of Inle Lake by boat together the next day. We were joined by Vilma, Felipe, and Alex to make a total of six. At the start of the day, we got the gringo treatment. And by that, I mean that they split us into two groups of three rather than one group of six. Why? Because tours are priced by the boat, not by the person. So splitting us into two groups made sure they got double the income they would have otherwise. We did see other groups of six on the…

  • Myanmar

    Myanmar Has Vineyards?

    As we biked around Inle Lake, we chose the direction of our route so that on our way back to the hostel, we would pass Red Mountain Winery – a vineyard and winery, right in Myanmar. I had no clue Myanmar had any vineyards. But they do! This felt like the perfect opportunity to start drinking again and test whether or not it’s causing headaches. (Spoiler: I was fine the next day. The trip might be about to get more interesting.) Getting to the vineyard, our wolves were absolutely howling – and being a good vineyard, Red Mountain is perched on the side of a hill with sweeping views of…

  • Myanmar,  Travel

    Biking Inle Lake: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

    When I was planning my trip through Myanmar, I knew I wanted to see Bagan, and I knew I wanted to go to Rangoon (sorry, Yangon). I kept reading about Inle Lake also being on the “backpacker” circuit of Myanmar, so I tentatively added it. Though I mentally had it on the list of things that could be scratched off if I needed time for something else. I am so glad I decided to go to Inle! It’s up in the hills and the weather is much more tame than anywhere else in Myanmar. It was cool – to the point where in the evening I was happy to have…

  • Myanmar,  Travel

    The Blonde ATM

    Being blonde is like wearing a sign that says “I’m an ATM.” One thing I love about Bagan over Siem Reap is that the vendors here are not nearly as aggressive and they also do not appear to be trying to rip you off quite like the Cambodians. It’s so refreshing, and in some ways I’ve been letting my guard down around some people. As I’ve traveled and been targeted as a money-making opportunity, I realize that I’m becoming quite jaded and guarded around local people. Whenever a local comes up to me and asks where I’m from, I immediately assume that they’re trying to sell me something I don’t…

  • Myanmar,  Travel

    Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains: Bagan

    Bagan is the most magical place to get lost in. There are miles and miles of dirt paths, and the general way you get around is by renting an electric motorbike and just exploring. Bagan is simultaneously incredibly easy to get lost in and incredibly hard to get lost in. When you’re going through the paths, there are always secret temples that you feel like you discover. But then, when you’re trying to go back to your hotel, it’s always pretty easy to find the main roads to get you home. There are three types of temples here – temples, pagodas, and stupas. My understanding of the difference (someone please…

  • Myanmar,  Travel

    Sunrises and Sunsets in Bagan

    One of the highlights I’d planned for this trip was getting to see sunrise and sunset in Bagan. Bagan is a place in Myanmar where there are over 4,000 pagodas, stupas, and temples dotting the landscape. The pictures other people took were breathtaking, and so I decided I wanted to go. One highlight is climbing up these ancient stupas or temples to get a great vantage point for watching the sun. There’s something so incredible about getting to sit there, in silence, and watch the sun come up or down. I’m lucky I came right now – starting in September (the start of their next high season), people will no…