Monday, September 29, 2014

4 Days Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Burma)

Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay tour
February 02-08, 2014

"Human beings the world over need freedom and security that they may be able to realize their full potential." - Aung San Suu Kyi

My 31st country to visit, 28th solo backpacking trip, 7th country to visit in Southeast Asia, and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure.

Like most of Southeast Asia's countries, Myanmar's people and history is a glorious mishmash of settlers and invaders from all fronts. The Mon and the Pyu are thought to have come from India, while the now dominant Bamar (Burmese) migrated through Tibet and, by 849, had founded a powerful kingdom centred on Bagan. For the next millennium, the Burmese empire grew through conquests of Thailand (Ayutthaya) and India (Manipur), and shrank under attacks from China and internal rebellions.

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Yangon)

6-days Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Burma)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (visa stamps)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

This another race against time, very short backpacking researched in somehow detailed manner has a compressed itinerary designed as follows: 

February 03 Monday: Bangkok transit and Yangon arrival, Yangon city tour, Night bus from Yangon to Bagan
February 04 Tuesday: Bagan day-tour by e-bike
February 05 Wednesday: Morning bus from Bagan to Mandalay, Mandalay city tour
February 06 Thursday: Mingun morning tour and Mandalay city stroll
February 07 Friday: Mandalay departure and Bangkok transit

TOTAL BUDGET : USD557.70 = PHP24,538.70 (44.1% went to plane ticket)

Basic Words to Remember;
hello -;   thank you - Kyeizu tin ba de;   I love you - ????????;   goodbye - Thwa dau mal!
yes/no - Ho de/Ma ho bu;   sorry - taung pan par tal;   please - Kyeizu pyu yue;   excuse me - thi: khan ba!
toilet - ??????;   train station - ????????;   airport - lei zei

timezone - +0630H UTC;   capital - Naypyidaw;   language - Burmese
currency - Kyat 100 MMK = 4.58 PHP = 0.1013 USD (980MMK) 
visa - Filipino's are now visa on arrival in Myanmar (starting Jan.04, 2014)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Yangon)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Yangon)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

Interesting Facts about Myanmar (Burma): 
1. Myanmar, which has a total area of 678,500 square kilometers, is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world.
2. During the British rule, it was the richest South East Asian country.

3. Myanmar is home to one of three largest World War II cemeteries- the Taukkyan cemetery.
4. There is a widespread superstition around cutting hair in this country. No one cuts their hair on a Monday, Friday or their Birthday. That sure cuts out a lot of business days for barber shops.
5. Mandalay, the last capital of the Myanmar Kingdom is the cultural center of the country.

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

Self-guided Solo Tour in Myanmar (Bagan)

Departing from Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport;
The worst flight delay I had is the almost 12 hours by an airline in middle east. In lieu of this, I wasted my original Bangkok-Yangon flight for Feb. 02. Since as per Air Asia airlines rule that flights are no longer rebookable within 48 hours, I immediately checked there website for a new flight that suits the new arrival time in Bangkok. Good thing there was an ideal sked with 20% off the price. I booked Feb. 01 night and my new flight was Feb. 03 morning for only $68. In addition, Air Asia A322 FD 2761 flight from Mandalay to Bangkok was the scariest experienced I ever had due to a very windy surrounding during cruise.

Filipinos have free pre-arranged visa requirements in Thailand regardless if transit or tour for how many times as long as the 30 days limit per entry as mandated by local immigration is not exceeded. As for me, when I entered Thailand at Feb02 from BKK Airport, passport control officer visa stamped my passport valid until Mar03. When I entered again Thailand at Feb07 from DMK Airport, immigration gave me until Mar07.  


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