Bringing Myanmar to You
Dream today – travel tomorrow
A large majority of the world may be in lockdown but that won’t stop us from travelling in our imaginations. In this newsletter we’re bringing Myanmar to you – offering an escape from reality and hopefully inspiring you to plan your future bucket list adventures.
With centuries-old pagodas, rolling mountains, time-forgotten villages and breathtaking sunsets, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is often referred to as the Golden Land. Myanmar’s long-term isolation has bequeathed a corner of Southeast Asia full of traditional culture, spirituality and old-world charm.
Despite all the recent changes, a visit to Myanmar is still like turning back the clock, where you can peacefully experience a culture which emphasises spirituality and reveres monks and holy men.
Inle Lake is probably most famous for its images of Intha fisherman balancing on one leg on the prow of their narrow wooden boats using their other leg to manoeuvre the oar. The technique leaves their hands to haul the huge conical nets out of the lake. They make it seem so easy, yet his skill, unique to Inle Lake, takes a high level of balance, agility and strength. The fisherman have to determine the right amount of pressure to put on their free leg, while their other leg steers, turns and uses the oar to slow the boat down. You can learn this skill yourself on a future visit to Myanmar with our partner ICS Travel Group.
A bus in Burma is causing quite a stir! A refurbished, retro-style Hino BM401 from the 80s can often be seen cruising the streets of Yangon in Myanmar. Boasting an interior of vintage woods, nine comfortable passenger seats, Wi-fi, a selection of books, maps and memorabilia, and a fridge filled with soft drinks and beer, the bus is being used to take tourists on sightseeing tours of Yangon and the surrounding area. Read our blog to find out the full story behind the transformation of this once-dilapidated old vehicle.
In 2014 Top Gear aired a two-part ‘Burma Special’ which saw the three presenters using a trio of dilapidated trucks to travel across Myanmar to the border with Thailand to construct their own ‘bridge over the River Kwai’. Viewing figures exceeded 7 million proving that this wasn’t just a show for ‘petrol-heads’! The presenters started in the capital Yangon and travelled through the Shan State along mountainous roads and through stunning scenery. One of the most iconic and memorable scenes is the drag race through the wide, empty streets of the new capital Naypyidaw.
Myanmar is a country made up of many ethnicities, and each one has its own special dishes and styles of cooking with an emphasis on strong flavours. But no conversation about Myanmar food is complete without a mention of mohinga. This comforting noodle soup is made from rice noodles served in a hearty, herbal-based broth. It is a favorite breakfast dish, but also a common snack at any time of day or night. We’ve taken the recipe for Rakhine Mohinga from the book ‘Burma Superstar’, based on the beloved San Francisco restaurant of the same name.
Get the most out of Southeast Asia’s final frontier with some well-chosen literature for both intrepid and armchair travellers. Despite Myanmar having been closed off by the generals for over half a century, there are some incredible guides and novels about the country. From George Orwell’s dark depiction of the British Raj in Burmese Days to former political prisoner and now prominent politician Aung San Suu Kyi’s Letters from Burma, these books all help to tell the story of one of the world’s most traumatised but beautiful nations.
Hotels we love in Myanmar
Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Ngapali
Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan
Myanmar Treasure Resort Inle
Malikha Lodge Putao
Malikha lodge is the perfect introduction to Northern Kachin State. Perched high above the Nam Lang River with glorious views of mountains and rice terraces, Malikha Lodge oozes luxury and seclusion.