After having such an amazing time at our cooking class in Cambodia, we were determined to do some more on this more extensive travelling expedition. Our two weeks in Myanmar was our first lengthy stop in South East Asia as we travelled here in early January, and when we pitched up for a few days in the beautiful laid back town on the edge of Inle Lake, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take some time to do our cooking class in Myanmar.
Myanmar is an amazing country and we found two weeks in Myanmar was the perfect amount of time to spend exploring the main attractions. If you prefer to travel a little slower or want to venture off the beaten path, perhaps consider an extra week or so and make full use of the 30 day visa.
The best time to visit is between December and February where the weather is pretty consistently hot and dry, although it can be a little busy in some of the tourist spots at this time of year.
Inle Lake was our absolute favourite place in Myanmar. Although some travellers find it a little touristy – especially in the context of the wider country which has relatively few tourists – we loved it. It has a laid back and chilled atmosphere, making it the perfect place to spend a few days relaxing and taking in what’s on offer. There are so many awesome things to do in Inle Lake we could have spent at least a week here.
We weren’t sure what to expect when it came to budgeting for Myanmar – whilst we knew it had a reputation for being more pricy than neighbouring countries, we were keen to track our spending and see how our final costs turned out. Our travel style is probably mid range backpacker, so we’re keen to find bargains and not waste money unnecessarily but don’t mind paying out for a decent meal or day out.
I can’t quite believe I hadn’t heard of Bagan until we added Myanmar onto the itinerary for this trip and started researching. It’s the ancient capital of the first Myanmar empire and home to over 2000 pagodas of all sizes and styles with some dating all the way back to the 11th century, like the famous Ananda Temple. The 3 days in Bagan we spent biking around exploring temples and watching sunrises was one of the most incredible experiences we’ve had in South East Asia.
From our pre-trip research we were expecting to encounter a multitude of challenges whilst travelling Myanmar – from having difficulty finding ATMs, to poor infrastructure and a serious language barrier. Whilst it’s certainly fair to say that this amazing country isn’t as well developed as neighbouring tourist destinations like Thailand, it’s far easier to travel than we expected. There are some fascinating aspects of tradition and culture to learn about in Myanmar and it’s a thoroughly interesting place to travel.