One of the best countries to travel solo is Burma, AKA Myanmar.
I spent 31 days boating and bussing across this incredible, new to the Western world, country and I was amazed.
Warning: Don’t listen to any media news about this isolated and remarkable country. Ask a person who has actually visited Burma.
What did I love?
The non-stop devotional people who are kind caring and told me where to get off the city bus in Yangon before I asked.
This is the mark of a compassionate culture.
I didn’t want to leave, everywhere you looked, more lovely souls.
Example. My passport fell out of my camera bag in the taxi from the airport and I didn’t know it until I was checking in at my guesthouse and noticed I didn’t have it.
The smiling taxi driver returned it within the hour, without being asked to.
The Hidden Places
I’d never heard of Pyinoolwin before arriving in Burma, but this place soothed my soul, the orchids and flowers in the botanical garden got me awake and strolling at 8AM in the morning.
I met kind women gardening who painted me up to look like them.
Yangon and Bagan are filled with little known temples, markets, and beckoning Buddhism that doesn’t make you feel like you have to be Buddhist. It’s serenity on tap, a simpler life than what most people are used to. It’s in the air and the soil.
Maybe even in the water but I didn’t drink any. I buy bottled when in Asia.
Burma has everything, kind people, holy places, simple tea shops selling noodles, and markets where the farmers will talk with you as they slice their fish, put out their wares, and haggle over price.
I didn’t feel unsafe at all. Yes I know what happened to Aung San Suu Kyi, but she’s off house arrest and things are beginning to change in this amazing country. Political prisoners are starting to be released and Burma is waking up to the fact that tourism can be good.
Don’t wait. Go now. You will never regret it.
Want to see more of Burma and discover the highlights of my 31 days exploring this mystical country?
Check out my Myanmar issue of Vagabond Travel Mag in the itunes store. It’s for iphones and ipads.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Burma but didn’t know anyone who had the answers.
See my gallery of photography from Burma here
Mary Bartnikowski is an award-winning photographer, author, educator, retreat leader, and lover of world travel. She has led programs at Apple, Intel, Stanford University, and globally. Come say hello at www.bartnikowski.com and get a free ebook, Secrets of Stunning Photographs.