How do we Myanmar?
February 11, 2017 12:41 PM   Subscribe

My parents are adventurous types. They are off for a year to teach English in Myanmar. This is not their first Rodeo, they have done stints in China and India before. Thy have very generously offered to pay for flights from Canada to visit them at some point during the year. Visiting group being myself, husband, sister and my nine-year-old daughter.

We did go visit in India and had an amazing trip. We did err on the cautious side as daughter was six at the time. Now she is a little older we can be a little more adventurous.

So how do we do this? Has anyone taken kids to Myanmar before? Should we be organizing this all on our own or trying to arrange tours for most things?

We have never traveled to this part of the world before. I can find lots of sources for backpacker type travel and lots of all inclusive tours but nothing that lands in the middle. Suggestions?
posted by csmithrim to Travel & Transportation around Myanmar (Burma) (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It really depends where in Myanmar they will be working. A quick analogy: there are more than 120 languages in Myanmar. Some parts of the country are completely guarded off by the military. There's been a civil war in the north (Kachin) for more than 4 decades. You also want to avoid the Rakhine area for armed conflicts with muslims. It is possible to get in these areas if you have to, but the paper work takes serious preparation. In other words: Go to the Yangon - Mandalay - Inle area and it is amazing. Your one click destination to get informed about Myanmar is The Irrawaddy and also go through the archives of The Guardian to get up to date.
posted by ouke at 1:16 PM on February 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I wouldn't hesitate to take minifoodgeek with me to Yangon or really anywhere in Southern Myanmar. As Ouke says - avoid the far north and the far west, the rest of the country is easy to navigate, safe, and full of super friendly people and amazing food.
posted by foodgeek at 6:28 PM on February 11, 2017

I've not been with kids but I've been to Myanmar twice and there were lots of expat kids around, far fewer holidaymakers with kids. The infrastructure for tourists is being built at the luxury end and to attract tourists from the region ie china and Thailand, I found. Which explains the gap you are seeing.

One way to get around is to hire a taxi for the day in various cities and just tell them all the sights you want to see. Your hotel can organise. Maybe your parents have colleagues who they can get advice from, they might even volunteer to help out.

Outside of built up areas food and conditions will be a little rough, lack of toilets, electricity through the day. I got a nasty bout of food poisoning when I was last there, so build some slack into your schedule.

That aside if you have the opportunity, go. It's an incredible place, welcoming, I felt safe (as a woman walking alone during the day) it's changing super fast but not yet overrun with tourists.

Read the comic book Burma Chronicles, the author lived there years back with kids.
posted by wingless_angel at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2017

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