Once known as Burma, Myanmar is located in South East Asia where it borders 5 different countries (China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh & India). If you love traveling to places that are rich in history and tradition, then this is the place for you.
I had the privilege of traveling here during the summer of 2014, and although this was 2 years ago, I thought it was worth mentioning on our blog. As an athletic training major, I went with a group that would be teaching basketball in the former capital city, Yangon. The country was astonishingly beautiful and filled with a ton of friendly people. My time there was fantastic and I cherished every minute! Ashley knows how eager I am to return one day because I never stop talking about it…even 2 years later. I hope you enjoy this post!
If you are leaving from America, traveling to Myanmar does take a bit of time since it is literally located on the other side of the world. The group that I traveled with departed from Atlanta and was flying with Korean Airlines. This was my first experience with this airline and I thought the service and in-flight entertainment was great. We were seated in the economy class and the seats gave us enough room to relax and they provided us with our own mini TV to enjoy, which made our 15 hour flight to Seoul, South Korea doable. Once we arrived for our short layover, we stretched our legs and grabbed some food before our 6.5 hour flight to Myanmar.
While in Myanmar we conveniently stayed in a hotel that was located in the downtown district within walking distance of several restaurants, a mall, and the basketball arena where we would be working. Thankfully, we didn’t experience too much rain, but if you ever find yourself there during the rainy season or just don’t want to walk, you can catch a cab for a small fee.
The weather in Myanmar varies depending on the month and which part of the country you are in. Since it was July, Yangon was in it’s rainy season. For this reason, we didn’t bump into many tourists. It rained on-and-off while we were there, but nothing too extreme.
Another name for Myanmar is The Land of Pure Gold, and you’ll quickly realize why. In the city of Yangon, you can find the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is a temple that has been around for centuries and is covered in gold. I could walk around for hours just looking at all the detail and architecture. This is something I would never see in America!
Although this is a Buddhist temple, visitors are welcome. Make sure you take the time and walk around the entire temple to observe the multiple smaller temples because they’re each so different. Out of respect, you are expected to take off your shoes and wear the appropriate attire.
You’ll notice in some of the pictures that the men are wearing what looks like a skirt. This is called a Loongi, which is the traditional piece that Burmese men wear. It looks similar to a skirt but it is one piece of fabric that is tied in a secure knot at the waist. I could not pass up the opportunity to buy one, so enjoy the photos.
I loved putting my athletic training knowledge into practice while in another country. They even let me play a little basketball with them!
To celebrate the end of our basketball camp, we decided to hold a karaoke night in the gym! Karaoke is a very popular activity in Asia and everyone LOVES it. We all relaxed and had a great time getting to know one another a little better. I was laughing non-stop, so this will be an event I’ll never forget.
To end our time in Myanmar, we drove around looking at the views!
This was my first time visiting Asia and I loved it because there was so much culture and history and the food was awesome! Until next time, Myanmar!