We started in Yangon (also known as Rangoon) and we were very lucky as this coincided with Thingyan which is the Burmese New Year Water Festival. This always happens around mid April and I’d recommend going then as the place goes wild. I had been involved in the water festivals in Thailand but they paled into comparison with this. The whole of the city had stages around the sides of the road, pumping out water on the passers by but also each playing their own form of dance music.
I had organised our whole itinerary in advance and paid for guide’s in each city which I’m extremely glad we did, especially here in Yangon. He took us around where all the music was playing, helped us buy some kick ass water guns as well as the usual guide duties as helping us buy food etc. One of my two main criticisms of Myanmar is the food. I found it to be fairly bland and very much same same, not awful but nothing like what you would get next door in Thailand or in Malaysia. As there were few tourists around we got extra special attention from the locals!! They just loved pouring ice cold water on us. Thankfully it was about 32 degrees so it certainly wasn’t too bad. The local kids loved chasing you around and pouring water on you and we did eventually give our guns to two of the less fortunate kids at the end of the day. The locals really enjoy these days and their dancing is great, I just can’t understand why many wore jeans and/or denim jackets? Not the best material to wear when wet!
After a change of clothing we visited the famous 2,600 year old Shwedagon Pagoda (allegedly the oldest Pagoda in the world). It is best to go on an evening as not only is it much cooler but it looks very nice when the sunsets.
The second issue with Myanmar is the travelling from A to B. It is not easy to travel around without flying which obviously adds to the cost of your trip. We didn’t plan to stay too long in Yangon which really proved to be the correct decision and our next stop was Bagan. The plane ride there was surprisingly fine, however somewhat strange as it lands in Bagan, drops some off some passengers then takes off again with the remaining passengers to Mandalay. We had hoped to visit the Kyaitktiyo Pagoda but it involved an overnight stay and time didn’t allow it. Some say it’s well worth the visit, many others say don’t waste your time. Personally I would have loved to have gone but it’s somewhat difficult to see everything in every country.