Myanmar or perhaps more familiar Burma is not the most popular tourist destination. So far, this exotic place remains tempting for more sophisticated travelers. By chance, my family had a unique opportunity to live here for a whole year! I confess that before that, like most people, I knew nothing about Myanmar. I even had to look for it on the map. This is already the 4th country in which I live and the 25th visited.

Why did I choose her for the story? Everything is very simple! She is incredibly unique and unique. Thailand, Vietnam and other countries of this region were the same before the advent of "big tourism". If you decide on an atypical trip, then Burma will suit you like no other country.

When is the best time to come here? The best time to travel is from November to Aprilwhen it's dry season. Interesting places here are evenly scattered throughout the country. I've been living here for half a year and I managed to see only a small part. Therefore, I will name the most interesting directions.

1. Yangon-Bago-Golden Stone-Pa-An neighborhood.

The cheapest flight options are to Yangon (the unofficial capital). You can read about the cost and routes on my Instagram. In Yangon, there is the most important and largest pagoda (this is a Buddhist, Hindu or Taoist building of a cult nature) of the Shwedagon country, and this is a must-see place! Here you can see much of the spirit of the country and its traditions. On this route is the famous golden stone on a cliff. According to legend, it is held up by the hair of the Buddha. And also along the way there is the sacred cave Saddan - this is a beautiful landscape near Mount Zvegabin.

2. Mandalay - its surroundings - Mount Popa-Bagan.

 This is the so-called cultural and religious ring of the country. This region contains the most ancient stupas, temples and monasteries. It was here that the emperors of the lands lived. Here is the longest wooden bridge in the world, the Monastery on the rock with a thousand monkeys and, of course, thousands of pagodas from different centuries.

3. West coast near the Indian Ocean. After all, a vacation without a beach and the ocean cannot be called complete. There are several resort towns for every budget: 5+ hotels, luxury hotels in the traditional style and more modest hotels for locals.

The highlight of Myanmar lies in the special atmosphere of this country, in its unhurriedness, in incredibly friendly people. To be honest, I haven't seen them anywhere else. They are open and friendly, ready to help you in any situation, even if you have to explain something on your fingers. Local the residents are not yet fed up with foreigners, so there is no feeling that you are a walking bag of money. A lot is done just for you! For a plus to karma. This country is the Mecca of Buddhism. There are more than half a million monks and nuns here, which makes the country even more colorful.

Is it an expensive pleasure?? It all depends on you and your comfort needs. A trip around the country can be cheap if you travel by buses (they are of good quality, by the way), spend the night in guesthouses and eat local food.

And it can be quite expensive if you prefer comfortable flights and 5-star hotels. It is also possible to rent a car with or without a driver (preferred).

Finally, I would like to give a couple of life hacks to eliminate awkward moments and better understand the situation.

1. Take brand new and crisp banknotes with you in 100 USD. They have the best rate, and if the bill is with creases, then the rate is either much lower, or such a bill will not be accepted from you at all. A credit card can be an alternative if that's more convenient for you.

2. Both women and men must dress appropriately in all temples: cover your shoulders and knees.

3. Entrance to pagodas possible only without shoes. To avoid paying for storage, take a bag and wet wipes with you so that you can wipe your feet afterwards. And the shoes themselves should be easily removed, because you will have to take off your shoes very often.

4. Make sure you understand correctly. The fact is that the locals do not speak English well, but they cannot lose their face in front of the guest. Therefore, they can say “yes yes” or even repeat your own words after you, but there will be complete fog in their heads. Try to simultaneously show with your hands or even pictures on your phone.

5. Avoid Traditional Gnoc Mam Sauce! It's a paste made from fermented fish leftovers, and it looks, smells, and even tastes awful.

Myanmar is a rough ruby ​​that at first glance may seem like a trinket, but in fact it is a precious stone. If you are ready to peer into it, you will see a unique world in front of you, created by the spirit, faith and traditions of these lands.

Text: Berta Shkuta