- You may have some issues with what is the government doing in Rakhine. I talked about it here.
- Other than that, Myanmar is by far my favourite south asian country.
- Plan your trip carefully. While you will not have any problem finding accommodation in big touristic hubs, remember not every hotel is licensed to host foreigners, so you may be in trouble in smaller cities in high season if you don’t book ahead. Also, transferring from A to B may not be as easy as it looks on the map. Allow time to move between places.
- People: they are genuinely nice. When they run to you to help you with your suitcase, they want to do exactly that: help you. There is one exception: people in extremely touristic places are a bit less nice, but you can hardly blame them, if most of the people they get exposed to are middle-aged french on package tours convinced that the fact that the entire world doesn’t speak french is a mistake and an injustice. Who would not get grumpy?
- Food: fresh fruits and vegetables (just remember to stress you don’t want any sugar in your juice when you order it, because otherwise it should be served directly with insulin, and same goes for the coffee). I had wonderful fresh seafood and fish curries, salads seasoned with wild mustard seeds and crushed peanuts. And pickled tea leaf salad is a must.
- Landscape: anything you can think of. Miles and miles of unspoilt beaches, white sand and transparent blue water; jungle, mountains, caves.
- Everything and everyone is very chilled. Things take time, and people are in no rush. A lunch will last two hours, a bus ride will take twice as much time as scheduled. So relax, lay back and enjoy your time. This is Asia after all.
Three weeks itinerary for your convenience:
D1-3: Yangon – but we arrived very late in the evening, so day 1 doesn’t really count
D4 – 8: Ngwe Saung – seaside, beach, relax
D9-10: transfer to Mawlanyine (staying in Yangon overnight)
D11-13: Hpa an
D13-15: Kalaw – Inle trek
D16-18: relax at lake Inle
D21-22: transfer to Mandalay before leaving for Thailand