I normally don’t review hotels but reliable info on decent places to stay within Myanmar is surprisingly inconsistent and unreliable (read: Lonely Planet blows). Here are the places I stayed along with all the information I remember. Hopefully it will be useful to you.
Take note of the numbers and address as booking online within Myanmar will be a pain given the very limited internet speeds.
Price: ~$24 USD a night
Location: No. 182, 31st St Between 82nd and 83rd Street
Phone: 02-35821, 66548
My Experience: This was a pretty long walk (with luggage) from where the Air Asia bus drops you off, but still manageable. The staff were super awesome and the young guys even taught me where to buy and how to wear a longyi. The breakfast was pretty good too (breakfast is always included in Myanmar) with a choice of eggs in an omelet, scrambled, or over easy. The showers and room were clean, the water was warm, and they had reasonably reliable internet (by Myanmar standards).
Normally, it isn’t easy to rent a scooter as laws in certain places (like Bagan) forbid foreigners from riding them. However, one of the workers let me rent his as long as I brought it back in time for him to go home, which worked out fine for us. We were able to see parts of Mandalay outside of the typical tours, which was awesome. Revisiting certain places off peak hours (such as the large monastery near Ubein Bridge) was worth it. The only con I can think of is that cheaper accommodation is available, but I’d stay here again.
I finished up my three-month trip across SE Asia a few weeks ago and now the question: Which country was my favorite? (hint: title) I don’t shy away from it or like to give a BS “They are all so different!” answer (seriously, that annoys me so much). It was Myanmar, no doubt about it. There were definitely things I liked about Thailand and Malaysia, and of course, Cambodia will always have a special place in my heart, but Myanmar, just wow!
The country also known as Burma is so different from its well traveled neighbors. It has not been spoiled by millions of tourists every year and the culture is proudly and passionately unique. The incredibly friendly locals and interesting customs make this a must for any adventurous traveler.
While I was there, I took note of anything interesting or unusual that I noticed. This list grew pretty quickly and to be honest, I couldn’t really decide on how to relay this information to you guys until now. Here is that list of those tidbits with an explanation of each.
Many Work Abroad in Thailand
When you think about foreign workers looking for a better life, we think of people coming to a western nation. However, in the region, Thailand is big brother where many Cambodians and Burmese people go to earn some big bucks. It was very interesting how we see Thailand as still a developing nation while in SE Asia, it is the regional land of opportunity.
I’m not gonna lie, cats are pretty cute animals. If it weren’t for Sidney’s fascination with felines, I might have never noticed how interesting they are. Myanmar is just jampacked with a ton of stray cats and dogs who are totally not camera shy. Here are some of my favorites. Most were taken in Myanmar but the last three pics were in Melaka, Malaysia.
The Pyu city-states was a group of six independent cities, noted for being the first in recorded history to occupy what is now northern Burma from the 2nd century BC – 11th century CE. Pyu had its own language and written script which was derived from Brahmi of ancient India and is also thought to be what led to Mon Script, the modern Burmese writing system. All of that knowledge hurt my head. They are the first civilization in the area…there! Read more →
The Burmese traditional ‘trousers’ or skirt known as a longyi is still widely used throughout all of Myanmar. Upon arriving, I decided to buy one just to try it out and blend in. I didn’t expect to like my 2,500 kyat investment so much.
The longyi can be worn as a basic skirt but is so much more. You can make a pocket, make it tighter or more relaxed, and you can even turn it into shorts! Here is a step by step guide on how to wear one as taught by the wonderful staff of the Fortune Hotel in Mandalay.