Not all those who wander are lost.

Myanmar Lesson #1: Use Your Head

When it comes to using your head, Burmese women have got to be some of the most skilled on earth. Anything regardless of shape, size, or weight, could be balanced on their heads and carried throughout town. External distruptions to one’s balance, like a squirming baby or a ridiculously bumpy train (more on this later), didn’t seem to disrupt their poise and elegance. Being the clumsy oaf that I am, all I could do was marvel. And step out of their way.

Here are a few photos I was able to snap on the streets and in the markets throughout the country:

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2 responses

  1. rachbeil

    Forgive me for not having any idea how to private message on WP, but I’m currently studying in Vietnam and am looking into traveling to Myanmar/Burma for about a week once my program ends. I work with Burmese refugees back in the US and I’ve been dying to travel there, and now might be my only chance. I have no idea where to start in my planning, though. Any advice?

    March 19, 2013 at 1:11 am

    • Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by. Wow – studying in Vietnam, what an incredible experience!

      If you’ve worked with Burmese refugees, I’m sure you’re aware of the importance of responsible travel. Do your homework and choose the less comfortable route to ensure that your money goes to the local community instead of the corrupt/opressive government. That was the hardest part for me; we tried as much as possible to help the people, but in the end I feel like being there actually did more harm than good. It’s inevitable that your money goes to the government, so you’ll really want to evaluate how you feel about that on a moral level.

      To answer your question, the trip planning is very tough since the publications are limited. We used the Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma) but found it very out of date. It was published in 12/2011 – the prices were nearly double and many of the locations were no longer in business. We called ahead (via Skype) to make lodging reservations (demand outweighs supply).

      To supplement the Lonely Planet, we used the LP traveler’s forum and searched online for blogs written by other travelers – I highly recommend Legal Nomads – http://www.legalnomads.com/category/destinations/myanmar-burma.

      Other than that, just be sure that you are really flexible, have a level head, and be prepared for any- and everything.

      Safe travels!

      Katie

      March 20, 2013 at 2:43 am

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