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Myanmar (Burma) Multigallery

Myanmar is not an easy place for travelers. They have no international banking which means no ATMs or credit cards. They only accept new, unmarked, and unfolded US dollars and as a result many travelers are forced to leave due to lack of acceptable currency. The internal transportation systems are horrendous and the worst of any country I have visited. Yangon, the largest city, is disgustingly dirty and makes Delhi India seem like Singapore. Hot water for showers is generally not available. It has a repressive government and the country is very poorly managed. They remain under an international boycott.

The people themselves are among the most hospitable I have met. They are gracious and polite and fond of foreigners. Prices are also very inexpensive. Meals in local eateries can be had for less than $1. For those with sensitive stomachs, meals in water safe restaurants can be had for under $4. My daily accommodations ranged in price from $12 in Myitkyina to $28 in Yangon. At the more expensive end I had air conditioning, hot water, and buffet breakfast. At the least expensive end I still had a private bathroom, ceiling fan, and complimentary water and coffee. True budget travelers can find rooms for under $5.

The Myanmar people (I avoid the term “Burmese” since there are several other large ethnic groups in the country) are much more photo friendly than you would find in Western countries although they are a bit more weary of strangers due to the regime. Locals have been arrested in the past for talking to foreigners who turned out to be journalists.

I had no problems taking photos or wandering around freely when I stayed in the designated tourist areas. There can be severe restrictions outside of those areas. I could not stay overnight or move around unescorted. Multiple copies of my passport and visa had to be given to officials who were un-uniformed and often seemed confused as to what they were supposed to do with a foreigner. They also did not permit me to use local currency (Kyat). They held me in an office for a short time as they checked with the guest house to confirm I was not a journalist.
Yangon (Rangoon)
:: Yangon (Rangoon) ::
:: Mandalay ::
U Bein's Bridge
:: U Bein's Bridge ::
:: Myitkyina ::
:: Mogaung ::