Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 4: Everything Mandalay

Mandalay was the royal capital of the last Burmese Kingdom before the monarchy was abolished as a result of a disastrous war with the British.  Despite being known today as the cultural capital of Myanmar, it is actually not very old, having been established only in 1857. Continue reading

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Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 3: Everything Bagan

Sunrise over Bagan. (Photo courtesy of Ann Umaña.)

More often than not, Bagan is the highlight of any tourist’s Myanmar itinerary. Like most tourist spots in the country, it was once a royal capital in the olden days of the First Burmese Empire. Its main feature are the thousands of pagodas of various sizes that dot a vast plain adjacent to the Ayeyarwaddy River. Continue reading

Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 2: Everything Yangon

(Photo courtesy of Ann Umaña.)

I realized that a general travel guide would not enable me to say everything I want to share regarding traveling within Myanmar.  So I thought of creating this supplement to provide some helpful tips that are unique to some specific areas in the country.  In our 7-day trip, we were able to visit 3 of the top 4 tourist destinations in Myanmar.  These are Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay.  Together with Inle Lake (which we were not able to visit) they are collectively known as the “Big 4” of Burmese tourism. Continue reading

Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 1: Pre-departure and general concerns

I decided to leapfrog over a year’s worth of pending drafts and backlog to create this Myanmar travel guide primarily for 2 reasons: (1) I want to do this while all details of the trip are still fresh in my mind.  A few months from now, I would have already forgotten half of them and more so if I let a year pass without writing down anything.  And (2) I want to come up with a guide that is still relevant.  As I mentioned before, a lot of changes are happening in Myanmar, and at a fast pace at that.  It would be pretty much a waste of time to make a travel guide no one can use. Continue reading

A [tried and tested] Myanmar Itinerary and Budget

The Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo courtesy of Anamarie Umaña)

This blog’s worst nightmare (so far) has materialized.  I now have more than a year’s backlog of entries that need to be posted.  I have, like, 5 pending drafts that are in varying stages of completeness – or the lack of it – and I desperately hope it doesn’t take another year to finish them.

Anyway, I recently just came back from a truly great adventure in the golden land of Myanmar and I have been asked by various people for my itinerary.  I had a working itinerary and budget estimate prior to the trip that was the product of months of research.  I hesitated to just pass that on to others because, in hindsight, a lot of details have to be updated.  (In some instances, we even took entirely unexpected detours.) Continue reading