I just got back from my 5 days Burma/Myanmar trip, writing this while sticking tissue on my nose as I caught fever and flu yesterday :/
Spent two weeks with family last December was really good but I did not plan to go back for CNY (I celebrate this too) so I decided to go and travel a bit. Checked out few destinations including Siem Reap and Philippine but ticket was expensive and ticket to Burma was affordable for this spontaneous trip.
While checking nice places to visit in Myanmar, Bagan was always on the list. It was really beautiful on the pictures I saw and told myself I am gonna be there! Flight tickets booked. I am flying solo with MAS and some friends joining in Bagan.
Arrived in Yangon
Yangon’s airport was crowded on that day. Many locals were waiting for their loved ones. It really shows how important family to them, impressed me.
The air smells very different from KL or Indonesia, I am not sure why, maybe it the smell of betel leaf that local men always chew. haha. Maybe I was wrong.
I walked out from the building and I went to get a taxi from the counter, 8.000 ks to the hostel, named
Address: 256 Pansodan Street, Tower A, Level 9, KyaukTaDa Township
Yangon, 11182, Myanmar.
Paid USD16/night. They offers sleeping on bunk pod beds, equipped with curtain too. I spent a great night here, staffs were friendly and helpful. They have free wifi, free flow coffee/tea, bread and fruits. There are four bathrooms and few sinks outside, there is no worries if you are in rush for bathroom.
Some people complain about the noise comes from the reception or entrance area so its advisable to ask them for a bed which located bit far from reception or bring your own ear plug haha.
Some pics of the hostel:
Myanmar Backpacker’s Bunk Bed Pod
Hostel’s outside view
The view from the hostel
Staying in Yangon downtown area was great. This hotel was close to Sule Pagoda, Chinatown, Railway train station, Bogyoke market – those I have visited.
Here are some pics of my adventure in Yangon Myanmar.
Yangon’s night market
Bit of Yangon’s night market
In front of Sule Pagoda
Worship at Sule Pagoda
Yangon City Hall
Pork’s organ Seller
Betel leaf seller
Yangon Downtown street
National music instrument – harp
Street market is a big thing in Yangon, wherever you walk there is always people selling their stuff starting from food, veges, meats, or betel leaf.
And Chinatown is a must visit place, the buildings was still so original. Its so old and amazing! I love it here.
I had street food in Yangon – street Mohinga but I will not recommend you to try it. Not because it taste but hygiene reasons. When I had my street mohinga, I found out they don’t wash the tea cup served on the table, a girl next to me taught me to wipe the tea cup after used by previous guests, I am not sure how many people been using the same cup! lol. I will still laugh remember about this but I experienced abdominal pain in the next few days after my first day in Yangon, no joke.
If you fancy to try out local food, I would recommend going to Shew Yee – I am not sure their address but ask your hotel guy. My local friend brought me to this restaurant and we had these foods. They were cheap! All of this only cost him (his treat!) about 2,000Ks (RM7). Oh btw, don’t forget to try Myanmar Beer, I love it and its cheap too (15,000 – 18,000 Ks Chinatown’s price)
Later in the evening, I left hostel to Bagan with JJ Express (order your ticket online to avoid disappointment. You only need to pay when you get to the bus). Yangon to Bagan will take up to 11 hours by bus, 18,500 Ks for single journey. JJ Express bus was very comfortable (drinks and snacks included) but Burma’s road quality was not great, bumpy road all the way. Be prepared.
Arrived safely at 5AM and the bus station was surrounded by Burmese taxi drivers offering their service. We went up to a pagoda for beautiful sunrise. Bagan’s area entrance fees is USD 20 (max 5 days) It costs us 10,000 Ks and another 10,000 Ks to the hotel. Gotta use your negotiation skill here, people!
For those hot air balloons, there are three companies doing that and their cost range is USD270 – 320 per person for an hour trip around Bagan.
Sunrise in Bagan
There are many ways to discover Bagan
1. Electronic Bike
3. Horse Cart
4. A car plus driver
Since I have limited time in Bagan, we went for horse cart on first day, standard rate for this was 25,000 Ks horse cart. It was fun but will not allow you to discover much of Bagan, I visited three or four places max. Next day, we decided to hire a driver and a car with same price. I would recommend this guy (find his card on gallery), he speaks good english and also act as a tourist guide although he won’t get inside most of the pagodas.
Another must do thing in Bagan is enjoying their Sunset, beautiful or no you decide :)
Sunset in Bagan
Well, that’s what I can share about my trip in Bagan. I enjoyed it very much. Hope they are useful. Just another fact about Burmese is that their men like to chew betel leaf so they spit a lot here, beware don’t step on red liquid, it could be their spit. :P
They are still very careful receiving USD notes from tourist, make sure they are on perfect condition – no crumple or torn. SGD is well accepted here but not MYR. Standard exchange for 1 USD is 1000 Ks. and if you are changing your money at the airport, make sure to check their conditions too.
For ladies, do not wear spaghetti tank top in Bagan cause you won’t be able to get into the pagodas and temples and wear something below your knees.
Also, I think going around with shoes in Bagan is not a good idea cause you have to take off shoes whenever you are visiting temples or pagodas. Slipper lovers, you going to have good fun here!
5 days in Myanmar is not enough. Its good if you can spend 7 days here cause you will have time to enjoy Inle Lake. Many said it was beautiful and many interesting things to see. Ahhh I should go back! :)
My fun pictures:
Hanging out with local kids
Hanging out at Bagan’s biggest temple
Bagan Sunrise in the background
Curious Bagan Kids