Burma On The Brink: travelling from Bangkok to Burma

Our flight from Delhi to Bangkok left at 5:00 in the morning so we decided to sleep in the airport. There’s no point booking a hotel just to get up at 2:00am to be at the flight terminal in time for an worldwide flight. The flight terminal was nice sufficient however the seats were uncomfortable as well as difficult to sleep in. We caught up on most of our sleep on the 5 hour flight.

Landing in Bangkok always feels like coming home. It’s the hub we always end up coming back to as well as this would have been our 6th time back in the huge Oriental city. We were planning to instantly head south to the islands for some much needed beach relaxation, however upon inspecting the weather condition forecast as well as speaking to some other travellers, we realized that an unseasonable storm had been sweeping the south coastline for weeks as well as was expected to continue for a couple more.

Ah, the glories of independent travel, poor weather condition = minor speed bump = spontaneous modification of plans. We instantly started planning for Myanmar (Burma). surprisingly there’s a great deal to believe about when planning a trip to the mystic, untouched South east Oriental land of Myanmar. Foreigners are only enabled in specific areas of the country, many areas need expensive, time consuming permits and/or guides to comply with you in.

We decided, from lack of time, that we would have to opt for the more traditional Myanmar holiday as well as go to the routine foreigner permitted areas, while trying to discover our own method off the map. very first was the problem of acquiring a visa, simple enough, we looked online, called the embassy as well as were able to decrease our passports off in the morning as well as pick them up the exact same afternoon for $42 each. then the second problem: Dariece fell sick with a poor situation of “Pad Thai Tummy” as well as was not able to assist me with rest of the issues.

hmm, perhaps this was the poor pad thai?!

Myanmar ATM’s don’t accept foreign debit cards, nor do they accept credit history cards or traveller’s cheques. Therefore, we had to exchange our Thai Baht into American Dollars; however not just any type of American dollar bills, these expenses had to be newer than 2006 series, they had to be in mint condition, totally unmarked, uncreased, as well as free of any type of damage otherwise the Myanmar banks would not accept them for exchange to regional currency (Kyat).

This proved to be a task. I scoured with lots of money changers as well as banks around Khao San road for the preferred tender, none of which were able to satisfy the strict criteria. lastly after 2 days of browsing we discovered a little travel agent who kept such expenses particularly for travellers heading to Myanmar (click right here for information on acquiring USD for Myanmar in Bangkok).  We started withdrawing Thai Baht to exchange for us Dollars, which we had to do so in increments since our bank has limits, then our bank froze our accounts adding more headaches. Anyway, after almost 3 days of this money hassle we lastly had all the American money we would need, had our visas as well as we booked our flights to as well as from Yangon (foreigners cannot go into Myanmar by land). We were prepared to go.

Landing in Yangon was surprisingly precisely exactly how I had pictured it. A modern, clean Oriental city with a few of the comforts of home, minus the western brand names as well as advertisements one encounters in the rest of the world. We shared a taxi ($10) with two other people to The Whitehouse Hotel. The spaces were bare as well as fundamental however the included buffet breakfast was outstanding. We spent our days in Yangon wondering around the town gazing up at the huge colonial buildings left over from British occupation.

old colonial building in Yangon

Town Hall in Yangon
a mosque as well as a temple side-by-side in downtown Yangon

At sunset we went to Shwedagon Paya, an enormous golden pagoda at the edge of town. Shwedagon is not just a gold painted pagoda, this 100 meter high, 2500 year old masterpiece has numerous kilos of 24 karat gold leaf plastered around it.

Dariece walking outside the impressive Shwedagon Paya in Yangon


Shwedagon Paya lit up at night in Yangon

Shwedagon Paya at sunset in Yangon


one of the many golden payas in Yangon at Shwedagon Paya
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