Wednesday, October 28

On the Way to Bagan

Since only a handful of Filipino travelers have explored Myanmar, we doubly searched how we will navigate from Yangon to Bagan by land.  I read a few blogs and also consulted several friends who have already been there to get the right directions.

We reserved our bus tickets at one of the booking agencies located in Aung San Stadium which was in front of Yangon Railway Station. We checked several shops to compare prices and found that their average price was at MMK 15500 or an estimate of PHP 550. The bus was air-conditioned and provided a bottle of water. For an 8-hour ride at that cheap fare, it wasn't so bad. 

Booking agencies are abound at the exterior of Bogyoke Aung San Stadium

Friday, October 23

Once Upon a Time in Soria Moria Boutique Hotel

We had a short and simple stay at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel. Located in a quiet corner of Wat Bo road, we were quietly welcomed on a misty night last September.

The room we stayed in was spacious, complete with the usual amenities a tired traveler would find joy in. A big cable TV, a bathroom with a tub, complimentary bottled water and coffee. And a nicely set king bed.

Monday, October 19

Yangon is Yielding

Our original plan was to go straight to Yangon from Manila via Kuala Lumpur. We planned to just stay at the airport for six hours while waiting for our onward flight. However, our trip was shortened by another day. I got a bit disappointed but quickly let go of this feeling as we had a full two weeks to explore some major cities of South East Asia as opposed to the prior plan of nine days. 

Our plane landed in Yangon International Airport at exactly 8 AM. Since we needed to head on to Bagan that same night, my friend and I rested a bit and exploited the airport's modern amenities. We freshened up and changed clothes before going out into the city.

We planned (and even promised with our pinkie fingers) that this will be a true backpackers' trip. We will try out everything local, from food stuff to public transportation. And daring to do anything that may come across as eccentric, once-in-a-lifetime or cheap. Yes, we were that serious.  
Me and Chie at Yangon airport upon our arrival

Tuesday, October 13

Burma: An Untouched Gem

Myanmar, the Golden Kingdom.  Previously called Burma, this country is so pure from every aspect that one can not stop his curiosity in discovering its hidden beauty.

Closed off from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar has just recently welcomed visitors from all over the world.  

Like a newly-blossomed flower, its beauty is innate as it is raw, as fresh at it is historic, as promising as it is fulfilled.

I have stopped at three major Myanmar tourist destinations. A full day in Yangon. Two nights in Bagan and a night in Mandalay. Too short I confess. But it was more than enough to give my heart to this mystical country.


Downtown Yangon complete with the old bus and buildings

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda
I so want to give Burma a second look. And a longer visit at that. I would like to visit the other less touristy towns and really mingle with its people. Wear longyi like the locals. Admire more pagodas. To explore unknown paths. Learn Burmese. Eat traditional food.

I just want to go back. Period.
Other Parts In This Series:

Bagan Lodge:  A Grandiose Gateway to Bagan's Noble Past

A Delightful Stay in Hotel by Red Canal Mandalay 
Once Upon A Time in Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Tranquility and Nostaglia Equals Pavillon d'Orient 

A Surprise Malaysia Visit
Burma: An Untouched Gem 
Yangon is Yielding
On the Way to Bagan
Bagan is Beautiful
Biking in Bagan
Hello Mandalay!
Pretty in Pai
Overland Border Crossing:  Bangkok to Siem Reap
Finally, Siem Reap
Saigon aka HCMC
Indochina Trip Itinerary and Expenses

Thursday, October 8

A Surpise Malaysia Visit

Our plan was to visit Burma for at least a week.  However, that week ballooned into a full two weeks including other Southeast Asian cities. We were set to leave for Yangon from Kuala Lumpur on Sept 19.

Monday, October 5

Bagan Lodge: A Grandiose Gateway to Bagan's Noble Past

Bagan Lodge Resort and Spa sits at the edge of the plain where the more than 3000 pagodas are located.  It is best to reach the hotel by riding a cab from the bus terminal.

My friend and I headed to the hotel as soon as we arrived at past four in the morning.  Knowing that our check-in time was not until around noon, we kindly asked permission from the reception staff if we can just hang around the lobby until our room was ready.

To our delight, we were accommodated during that ungodly hour and were able to take a much-needed rest.  
Hotel Reception

Hotel Lobby and Bar