Myanmar, the Golden Land
Myanmar (Burma) has opened its borders in 2012 and revealed an Asian country in its purest form. I loved every second of my travels there and cannot wait to go back. The Burmese people are incredibly natural and friendly, giving you their best smile when passing. There is no other country I've visited so far where I felt more welcome and safe than in Myanmar. The country is massive, larger than Thailand and transportation is a bit more difficult to arrange and get around. So I recommend to spend at least 2 weeks there to see all the highlights. This is my 15 days Myanmar Travel Guide to see all my highlights in the country.
15 Days in Myanmar
2 Days Yangon
3 Days Bagan
4 Days Inle Lake
4 days Ngapali Beach
2 Days Yangon
I've arrived in Myanmar's Capital Yangon with Qatar Airways from Munich, so I landed early in the morning giving us a full day in addition. Traveling around in Myanmar should be done by domestic flights, which are safe and comfortable, or by car for shorter distances. In Bagan, you can rent motorbikes fairly cheap but please only do that if you have done lot's of motorbiking in Asia. The roads in Myanmar can be really tricky and not as well built- most of the time you'll find only dirt roads. I had a driver with local guide for Inle Lake and Bagan, I can totally recommend them. Especially for me as a photographer it's always great to have a local with you who can speak with other locals, explain traditions and cultural differences to me while I shoot. Tour guides can seem like the "tourist thing to do" At Inle Lake or Bagan I was really glad to have them, it made the trip so much more relaxed and fun. In every article I've added my tour guide with Whatsapp number, give them a shout! They know all the great spots, arrange for beautiful situations to take pictures of (long neck women, Intha fishermen, monks..) that would usually not be possible for foreigners to shoot this way.
Yangon - Myanmar's capital. The buzzing urban city still has lots of traditional architecture and streets to offer. The world famous Shwedagon Pagoda is located there, along with some beautiful city lakes and Buddhist monasteries. I've stayed the first two days there and again the last two. I recommend to to that, since domestic flights in Myanmar almost always have delays of a few hours, if you have to catch an international flight from a different city and have to reach Yangon first, it can be nerve-wrecking.
Bagan - my favorite of all places I've visited in Myanmar. Old Bagan and its landscape are pure magic. I couldn't get enough and was heartbroken, when I had to leave. The architechture, history and pure beauty was absolutely mesmerizing and cannot be missed. If you think you've seen beautiful sunsets and golden hours you have seen nothing yet because Bagan will blow you away. Some of the ruins in Old Bagan have been completely destroyed but there's still thousands of Stupas and Pagodas left to explore and take amazing pictures of. Nights there can be quite chilly, bring a hoody and a scarf to be comfy when waiting for the sun to rise and catch the first morning rays. Some of the best food I've ever had was in Bagan, read where to find it in my Bagan guide.
Inle Lake - a more quiet experience is to explore the Inle waters. Several local tribes live here and will amaze your modern habits. The floating farms, women of the Long-Neck tribe, silver smiths, ancient monasteries, Pagodas, cooking classes and leg-rowing Intha fishermen will keep you busy exploring new wonders every day.
Ngapali - a hidden gem on the map of beach lovers. I almost don't want to write about it because it's too beautiful a place, completely unspoilt. Think about a Maldives beach with a Thailand shore 30 years ago before mass-tourism hit it. Go soon before the world learns about it. Powdery beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, amazing seafood, fisherman villages and mountain top Buddhas - you'll love it.