It seems that everywhere I turn recently, I’m seeing articles on why travelers should visit Burma (Myanmar) NOW, rather than later. We’re offering just such an opportunity on our 2015 Myanmar (Burma) Women-Only Culture and Pagoda tour.
Travel + Leisure magazine declares that Burma is a country on the cusp of great change and recommends visiting right now; before the country internationalizes and loses its atmosphere of Old Asia; before it loses its mystical Buddhist purity; and before the people in remote villages become used to seeing Western tourists, thus losing their curiosity about outsiders. The statement that really hooked me was, “Go before everyone else goes.”
Interesting tidbits of information on Burma
- Two years ago, the country was a cash only society, with no ATMs and international credit cards weren’t accepted. There are now ATMs in many of the cities and towns and over 2500 credit card payment terminals. Note: ATMs dispense the local currency – the kyat – which you’ll need for taxis, restaurants and local vendors. You’ll find that U.S. dollars are only accepted in a limited number of places (such as hotels and internal airlines) and bills must be perfect (no rips, creases or folds).
- The internet is still extremely limited…almost non-existent. In case you’ve forgotten what life used to be like before social media…your time in Burma will be a reminder!
- With 500,000 monks and 150,000 nuns, almost 1.5% of the country’s population belongs to a religious order. As a visitor, it’s impossible not to be affected by Buddhism during your travels.
- On our first day in Yangon, we’ll visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the country’s holiest sites. People come from all over to worship at this pagoda. The Burmese maintain that because of the thick plates of solid gold covering the central stupa and the receptacles of jewels found near its apex, the pagoda has a worth greater than that of the Bank of England.
- Our last stop before returning to Yangon for our flight home, is Inle Lake. As they have for thousands of years, locals here make their living as fishermen. Standing up in their boats, they use one leg to paddle, leaving their hands and arms free to handle their nets. Construction of hotels in the area is affecting the lake and its surrounding area – wait too long and this natural habitat may be changed beyond recognition.
Our tour offers the chance to visit this burgeoning country before it changes forever. I can’t imagine a better way to see it than with a group of like-minded women. It’s just over two months until departure and there’s still space on our tour – we’d love for you to join us!
And, we have someone interested in sharing a room so you can both avoid the single supplement. This spot is first come-first served so contact us today!