Why go to Burma? What is there to do there?
" But these questions disappeared when I arrived in Burma "
This is the first trip of the year. I never dreamed of visiting Burma and I never imagined that it would be this beautiful. When you step foot into Myanmar, time seems to magically slow down.
5 Days and 4 Nights - 26-30 January 2020 2563 with a total budget of 5,500 baht.
Exchange rates when I began my trip:
1000 MMK. = 21.34 THB.
1 US = 30.5 THB.
Burma is one of the most prosperous former Buddhist cities, and is ranked as a city with historical sites, especially the grandeur of more than 5,000 pagodas, giving it the name "City of 4,000 Pagodas", which clearly shows the prosperity of Buddhism in Burma. Because of this reason, people call this city the cradle of the country's civilization.
DAY 1 In MANDALAY
26 Jan 2020 : Flight FD244 Bangkok - Mandalay (11.10 - 12.25)
(Return ticket 2,390 baht)
I exchanged US dollars for 6,000 baht and then exchanged them for kyats (worth 4,000 baht), keeping the rest as US dollars.
I bought a SIM card in Burma (4GB) for 6,500 Ks/139 baht.
This trip consists of 6 people, so I chose to rent a car to pick up and drop us off at the airport (3 round trips)
26th in the Afternoon / 29th in the afternoon / 30th in the morning
225,000 MMK. or 4,802 THB. divided between 6 people = 800 baht
The chauffeur took us to eat at MINN WON VALLEY restaurant
The taste is just like Thai food. The fried rice is nice. We ordered a dish each, water and appetizer. This whole meal cost 41,475 kyats divided by 6. So it cost us 7000 kyats equal to 149 baht each.
After eating, we went to:
1. Hsinbyume Pagoda
It is not far from the Mingun pagoda, which was built in 1816 by Bagyidaw to remember his beloved wife. This pagoda is very beautiful and was built according to the rules of the three worlds. It is called the “Taj Mahal of the Irawaddy river”.
**You have to take off your shoes and socks and dress modestly. Please do not wear short trousers, tank tops or sleeveless shirts**
The ticket to the pagoda cost 30,000 kyats/6 each. About 100 baht each.
Umbrella rental fee for taking pictures cost 5,000 kyats (about 100 baht).
2. Mingun Pahtodawgyi
It was commissioned by King Padung. It is said that if the pagoda’s construction is completed, it would become the tallest and largest pagoda in Suvarnabhumi
If this pagoda is completed as planned, it would be the tallest pagoda in the world at 152 meters. Unfortunately, building the pagoda would cost a lot of money and would require a lot of labor. King Padung passed away before the pagoda could be completed.
Then, there was a war. The pagoda was deserted from then on. Afterwards, nature left a crack in the pagoda as a result of an earthquake.
At the end of the day, we went back to our hotel, Hotel Shwe Phyo, which cost 48.5 US/6 people (16 US per room or 500 baht = 2 people per room/250 each) with breakfast included.
At night, we rented bicycles from the hotel and rode around the city to find some snacks to eat.
At night it is very crowded like our market in Thailand.
Dinner cost us 14,000 kyats for 2 people (300 baht)
They also have Shabu like Thailand, very delicious (150 baht/stick or around 3 baht).
Then we went to sleep so that we would have energy for the next day.
DAY 2 To Bagan
View from the hotel's rooftop in the morning.
On the road in front of the hotel, there was a market with many goods like red onions, dried fish and a large variety of fruits - quite like markets in Thailand.
We asked the hotel to book a bus for us at 9.30 AM to leave Mandalay at 10.00 AM (4 hour ride). The bus fee was 9,000 kyats each or around 193 baht per person.
We stopped for 20 minutes for lunch 20 นาที at Chan Myae Thu restaurant.
The atmosphere of the restaurant and the stop.
The mangoes were so good! 2 bags for 500 kyats or 5 baht/bag
Boiled quail eggs: 1,000 kyats each or 10 baht with 3 eggs per bag.
When the bus parked, the vendors ran up to sell their goods.
The ride continued for 2 more hours. The bus was quite small and crowded because of luggage. People got on the bus along the way and there are extra chairs in the middle row.
The bus will park at the Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal and then we have to to take the taxi to the hotel.
Taxi fee: 30,000 (2 taxis)
We have finally arrived in Bagan! Tonight we are staying at [email protected] for 2 nights (625 baht per room --> 313 baht per person).
We rented the hotel's e bike. The first day cost 8,000 kyats or 170 baht.
The entrance fee into Bagan is 25,000 kyats each or 535 baht.
We went to see the evening light and hunt for the secret valley.
Coordinates : 21.161694,94.883667
The view in the evening was very beautiful! I am in love with Bagan now.
The sunset viewpoint in the other valley was very very crowded.
Location : Sulamuni Manmade Sunset Hill
Behind the scene
For the rest of the evening we went to look for nice places to take photos of tomorrow.
This evening we tried the pizza at the Star Bagan, Pizza & Pasta restaurant. I was quite good.
9,000 kyats per pizza.
DAY 3 Bagan
We rented e bikes from the entrance of the hotel (6,000 kyats or 128 baht)
This morning, we planned to find a place from where we can see the distant view of the balloons.
You can climb on this pagoda as I saw some tourists climbing. Then after the sun rose, in less than 20 minutes, police chased us away. We ran and the police did not wear their uniforms. They wore sarongs and dressed like villagers so we did not know. But they had whistles.
The way up looks something like this:
We can find another place.
This place is not on the map, but the way in was very wild and so we climbed after the tourists as usual.
We took a break for some food at Ananda temple
Every restaurant in Burma has nuts as appetizer.
Ananda Temple was a temple in the old part of the city that is said to be the most beautiful in terms of the architecture and Buddhist art. The distinguishing feature is the white color and the square shape.
Inside the temple
In the afternoon, we just continued looking around and took photos when we see something nice.
The pagoda has beautiful windows and if you wait until evening, you can see the light shining through them. So we went to other places and came back at 4 PM.
The e - bike battery was running out so we had to get a new one at the rent ship and come back to the balloon spot.
When we were on the way to replace the e-bike, everyone was sweeping the road to pave it.
We ate at the Delicious restaurant. They have amazing fried sweet and sour stir fry. If ask them for no vegetables you will get a lot of chicken.
In the afternoon, we went to the Nan Myint Tower Bagan viewpoint. The entrance fee was 5 US dollars/person.
This is a photo from Google as I forgot to take one.
The view from the 12th floor gives you the view of the whole city.
A pagoda being reconstructed after an earthquake.
This is the Iza Gawna Pagoda in front of the Nan Myint Tower Bagan.
We came back to the temple in the evening.
DAY 4 Bagan
Seeing balloons floating above a sea of pagodas is one of my Dream destinations to take photos with.
The balloons go up during October-March.
Location : Soo Lay Gon Group, Nyaungu, Myanmar (Burma)
*** We waited for the balloons from 5.30AM. It is recommended that you find a spot as soon as possible because the balloons go far away very quickly (around 20-30 minutes). You should take photos as fast as you can during this time.
If you turn to the other side, you can see the grass field at the back.
Then we rushed back to the hotel to pack up at 10.30 AM to take the bus back to Mandalay.
Bagan Mini Bus Station
The bus was even more crowded on the way back!
We reached Mandalay at 4 PM and we hurried to Mandalay Hill (1,000 kyats per person as entrance fee) and we had to pay 1,000 kyats to deposit our shoes (as a group).
Another day was over. In the evening we ate at a Burmese style buffet at the Mandalay Hot Pot + Buffet restaurant (73,200 MMK = 260 baht/person.). They provided 1 grill per person and you use it to cook shabu and BBQ. There was no time limit and the price included drinks. (the sauce was very spicy)
I liked the grill so much that I wanted to take it home.
We stayed at the Hotel Shwe Pyi Tan 46.83 US/3 rooms = 243 baht each
DAY 5 Mandalay
We left the hotel at 5.30 AM to go to the wodden U Bein Bridge to see the sun rise.
Entrance fee : None
Opening - Closing hours : Everyday, 24 hours
Best time to visit :In Winter (December-February)
U Bein Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in the world! It is 1.2 kilometers long, crossing the Tong Taman sea to the Tolkyi Pagoda. The bridge was built using the left over wood from demolishing the old Angwa palace.
Burma is a country that I have never considered traveling to before, until my friend invited me on this trip. I said yes hesitatingly.
But after 5 days, Burma or Myanmar has become the country that I want to revisit the most. ด
I am in love with the charming Myanmar #ASlow life City #ClockstopstickinginBurma
Total commute expenses = 1,400 baht
Accomodation (4 nights) = 1,135 baht
Hsinbyume Pagoda / Bagan / Mandalay hill Entrance fees= 755 food
Food = 1,500 baht
SIM CARD = 139 baht
Other = 500 baht
Total: 5,429 บาท + Plane Ticket = 2,390 บาท = 7,819 baht for the whole trip!