Myanmar for a first-time solo backpacker
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Dec 9, 2012 5:40 PM Last Post By: forum2233
Dec 6, 2012 6:03 AM
Myanmar for a first-time solo backpackerHi all,
What do you think: is Burma (Myanmar) manageable for a first-time solo backpacker?
I am a 27 year old woman and will be traveling through SE-Asia for 4 weeks in January 2013.
Am really fascinated by both Burma and Cambodia, because of their culture and complex past (and present).
My original plan was:
Two weeks Burma, then flying through BKK and on to Cambodia.
However, I am beginning to doubt the wisdom of this itinerary, for the following reasons:
- This will be my first backpacking trip, and I am going solo. I have been to India before, on a well-organized business trip, and really liked that country, but I've never been to SE-Asia. Will Yangon as a starter be too much of a culture shock?
- It seems in Burma accommodation is scarce right now, and I'll have to book ahead, which I don't particularly like. Is booking ahead really needed?
- Two weeks for each country is a bit squeezed. Perhaps I'll enjoy my trip more if I just start in Cambodia, plan less ahead, and see where I end up, perhaps routing through Laos or parts of Thailand?
Any advice on this matter? It would be extremely appreciated. Thank you so much!
Dec 6, 2012 6:10 AM
Dec 6, 2012 6:14 AM
Dec 6, 2012 6:20 AM
3You can get it in London for £14, or in Bangkok same day. Agents in Myanmar may want $100 unless you book a tour with them.
OK, you need to decide as best to buy flights before going with AIr Asia, you can fly in/out of Mandalay and Yangon which could save some time. If I were you I would go to Myanmar for a bit longer than 2 weeks, say 17 days and then rest Cambodia (SR, PP and Kampot). Rooms in Myanmar and pretty booked up, best to phone ahead and book them.
Dec 6, 2012 7:32 AM
4Get you visa in Berlin or Bangkok takes same day or 3 days from Bangkok
Dont wory too much about prebooking you will find somewhere
click here FAQ73 Burma Basics
FAQ76 SEA info
Angkor wat info
You can fly into Yangon from Bangkok with airasia and then you could fly direct myanmar airline to siem reap (angkor wat) + click on highlighted links except FAQ52 as it was an early posting lol
from Cambodia back to Paillin and ouit down to Koh Chang for a few days on beach before heading home
Dec 6, 2012 9:43 AM
5It's an easy country to travel in..simple, that's it...No culture shock in Yangon, its scruffy and run down that's all. But no hassles whatsoever
Dec 6, 2012 4:58 PM
61...if you have been to India then Myanmar shouldn't be much of a culture shock for you (though if you only went to India on a 'well organised business trip' I am not sure how much of the 'real' India you actually experienced...??)
2....most of the hype/paranoia on here lately re: accommodation booked out has been to do with mid-range places, and for November...you should be okay for January without pre-booking. I suggest you prebook your first night/s in Yangon (a couple places offer free airport pick-up which is a bonus) then phone ahead a few days to book as you go.
3...2 weeks for each place is enough time to see the 'main tourist' places....
Dec 6, 2012 9:07 PM
7India is a slap in the face that keeps slapping, Myanmar is tame in comparison, just be real careful of traffic in the cities like Yangon and especially Mandalay. In my opinion, SEA is far safer for a lone female than India, and in general, people there are very kind and helpful. I would still worry about any 27 year old female ( like any normal father of a 27 year old female, of which I am one,) who travels alone, but less so along the tourist trail in Myanmar.
As for Cambodia, same same. You should be fine traveling there. More touristed, definitely more hassles with touts, but easy to get around and worth visiting. Be aware of your surroundings, exercise usual, common sense and street smarts, be wary of anyone who is TOO friendly, and always, always, always trust your instincts. Basic habits so you can have fun.
Maybe consider a few more days in Myanmar and a few less in Cambodia.
As for accomodations in Myanmar, I personally would prearrange hotels for Myanmar, but I always stay in mid range nowadays and maybe it is harder to find those rooms upon arrival at this time. Others say GHs and lower range are easier to find. I have heard others say they could not find anything upon arrival. But I would recommend prearranging someplace upon arrival in Rangoon for at least the first night. Good Luck! SEA really is fascinating, as so many who post about this region of the world will agree.
Dec 7, 2012 9:35 AM
If you go to Myanmar in hardly one month it is necessary to make fast to reserve some hotels. Because january is the high season and many hotels are full since a long time. December and january are the months when there are most tourists in this country. To find a room becomes complicated.
Dec 7, 2012 7:43 PM
Dec 9, 2012 1:34 AM
Dec 9, 2012 5:40 PM
11If you're interested in Cambodia you should definitely visit it. I haven't been to Myanmar but Cambodia is incredible. As for how much time you want to spend there, that's really up to you, noone can tell you that. You should consider that accomodation in Cambodia will be much cheaper right now. All countries are really interesting, you can't go wrong, some are just less expensive than others, i.e. in Cambodia you should be able to find rooms at 10-15 dollars, I don't believe this is possible in Burma right now.
Edited by: forum2233
(3 star Hotel)
From US$160.69 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$159.67 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$318.18 per night