Myanmar: Expectations

There may be a time that I regret taking this trip but, at the last minute (my visa was about to expire) I decided to book a trip to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Mr. MC will be helping this trip which I don’t particularly enjoy but the temptation is too great. Simply put, I want to see what a country looks like that only recently opened its doors to tourism within the last few years. Sure, I’ve been to Laos so I kinda know what a developing country looks like but Myanmar has got this regime thing going for it. So, I booked my ticket last minute on Air Asia (tip: don’t book last minute flights on Air Asia since they get kinda expensive).

What do I expect to happen in Myanmar? A few things:

  • To get stopped at immigration in Yangon when they Google my name and my website pops up. They’ll be all trippin’ like and sayin “You get dat shit outta here.” What do you say to a Burmese gangsta?
  • For half of my US dollars to be rejected due to the stringent criteria they have on laundering¬†exchanging money. Crisp, clean, unfolded bills later than 2003 with some letter combination. On another note, I’d like to thank the North Koreans for running an efficient money-printing operation that led to these criteria.
  • No rooms. I haven’t booked anything in Yangon. That’s just how I role. My one pet peeve about hostels is that they have the tiniest signs in the world which makes them impossible to locate. So, I’ve stopped booking hostels in advance. This might be a bad idea, or it might work out.
  • More expensive than I thought. I’ve heard various daily budgets from $12 to $20 and up. Hostel dorms don’t exist and this and that and I kinda don’t know what else to expect for a daily budget. Typically I can get by on $20 a day, and that’s when I drink or go to a restaurant. Cut those two things out and I could probably get my budget lower. I might have to, there are no ATMs that accept international cards in Myanmar.
  • Same same but different culture. Okay, I’ve been around SE Asia quite a bit at this point and to tell you the truth, it’s all starting to look the same. You might be right in saying it might be time for me to leave.
  • To see Bagan’s temples to complete the SE Asian “trifecta” of temple complexes: Angkor Wat, Borobudor and Bagan.

And so that’s about it. I’m eager to see Myanmar mainly because the country has only recently opened its doors to large-scale tourism and who knows how things are going to develop not only in the region, but with me personally. I decided to take the trip and see the country for myself.