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Burma (Myanmar) - Life of a Digital Nomad | Work - Travel - Repeat

Burma (Myanmar)

Burma (Myanmar)

Etymology

From Burmese ‎(mranma), the formal Burmese name of the main ethnic group in Myanmar; ‎(ba.ma), from which Burma is derived, is the informal name. Both Burmese terms are also adjectives meaning “Burmese” (related to Myanmar/Burma, its, people, language, etc). When certain words are attached, the combination may mean specifically Myanmar (Burma) (country) or Burmese (person, language, etc.) – a noun. [wiktionary]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Mandalay Poker Meetup – Anyone in Mandalay or any part of Myanmar who’s interested in Texas holdem poker. This is a group to gather people with same interest and passion in poker. We might hold some cash games, tournaments, trainings when there is enough people who need them. So start joining for a future of poker in Mandalay as well as Myanmar. [meetup]

Nay Pyi Taw Cinema – Movie Theater in Yangon, Myanmar. [facebook]

Yangon Purpose of Life in Buddhism Meetup – This Buddhist group has a great positive, multi-cultural atmosphere that helps people search for the answer to life’s biggest questions. Through the teachings of Buddha and historical Pure Land Buddhist teachers we understand better the direction our life needs to take in order to find the purpose of life. [meetup]

Yangon Weight Loss Meetup – Let’s get together for affordable activities in our neighborhood. Looking for new friends. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo – Making friends with guys & girls in Myanmar. [badoo]

Topface – A free dating service in Myanmar and around the world. Meet guys and girls online, make friends and find your love right now! Join us! [topface]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Kudu Travel – Kudu are non-territorial, accommodating visitors to their area and ranging widely themselves. Adventurous browsers, they consume many types of foliage and alter their tastes to suit the locale. Kudu also blend well with their environment. Their stripes making them disappear in the dappling of light through the trees, and are able to live both in the wilderness and partially settled areas. [kudu travel]

Think Asia – THINK ASIA TRAVEL & TOURS is a Burmese Travel Agent located in Yangon and run by a French / Myanmar partnership named Nicolas Rabier and Phyo Thura Soe. [thinkasia-tours]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Be bowled over by Bagan – Covering an area of 67sq km (26sq miles), the astonishing archaeological site of the ancient city of Bagan is dotted with the remains of some 2,000 temples, pagodas and stupas, mostly dating from the 11th century. The most atmospheric way to explore is by hot-air balloon, but you can also roam the site by bicycle, on foot or by horse and cart. [world travel guide]

Catch a puppet show – Mandalay preserves many of Myanmar’s ancient arts, including traditional dance and Burmese marionette theatre, with stunningly colourful wooden puppets. Also keep an eye out for anyeint (comedy) in Mandalay; the most famous comedians in the country are the Moustache Brothers, who were repeatedly arrested for satirising the government at the height of the regime’s power. [world travel guide]

Climb into the hills of Shan State – The parts of Shan State open to foreigners provide some of the country’s best hiking opportunities and, unusually for Myanmar, offer the chance to stay in local homes or monasteries. Walk through stunning valleys to remote ethnic minority villages close to the northern town of Hsipaw, or take the three-day trek between Kalaw and Inle Lake. [world travel guide]

Count the Buddhas at Pindaya caves – The journey to the town of Pindaya from either Kalaw or Nyaungshwe passes through some of the lushest farmland in Myanmar, but the main attraction here is below the ground. The Shwe Oo Min caves are packed with thousands of Buddha images, installed here over three centuries. [world travel guide]

Cruise the Irrawaddy River – It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Irrawaddy River, which winds its way along pretty much the entire length of the country. A trip on the river offers a fascinating back window onto rural life in Myanmar, with rustic local ferries and long-distance tourist boats that cruise the river between Mandalay and Bagan. [world travel guide]

Enjoy the slow pace of life in Hpa-an – Snoozing beside the Thanlwin River, the small town of Hpa-an, in the southeast of the country, is the leaping off point for visits to Buddhist monasteries and karst mountains topped by sacred pagodas. It’s a tough climb to the summit of Mt Zwegabin, but the views from the top are stupendous. [world travel guide]

Explore Mandalay’s lost cities – The hills around Mandalay are studded with the remains of former royal capitals. Sublime Sagaing is a jumble of hillside pagodas, while the highlight at Inwa is a famous 19th century teak monastery. Teak was also used to build the stunningly photogenic U Bein Bridge in Amarapura. Alternatively take a river trip to Mingun to see the world’s largest intact hung bell. [world travel guide]

Feel the mystery of Mandalay – Founded in 1857, the former royal city of Mandalay isn’t as old as you might have thought, but the old town inside the city walls is rich in palaces, stupas, temples and pagodas. Take a walk up Mandalay Hill at sunset and help young monks to practice their English, or marvel at the gold-leaf-encrusted Buddha image inside Mahumuni Pagoda. [world travel guide]

Gaze at golden Yangon – Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is a captivating collection of temples, markets, food stalls and fading colonial architecture. Highlights include the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most spectacular Buddhist monuments in the world, the gem and handicraft stalls of Bogyoke Aung San Market, and the fascinating colonial district around Sule Paya. [world travel guide]

Join the crowds at a Burmese festival – Myanmar has an extensive calendar of Buddhist festivals, many timed to coincide with the full moon. Most feature music and dance, colourful processions and festival food. Highlights include the Amanda Pagoda Festival in January/February, the Pindaya Cave Festival in March, Maha Thingyan (New Year) in March and the Thihoshin Pagoda Festival, Pakkoku, in June/July. [world travel guide]

Kick back in Hsipaw – The sleepy town of Hsipaw, northeast of Mandalay, is Myanmar’s most popular backpacker hangout, but things here are very low-key. Trains rumble here from the British-era hill station of Pwin Oo Lwin, and the town has a lively market, golden pagodas and hikes to waterfalls, hot springs and ancient ruins in the surrounding hills. [world travel guide]

Marvel at Mrauk U – The collection of temples in the former capital of Rakhine – once a powerful independent empire with territory stretching as far west as Bangladesh – are as mesmerising as the temples of Bagan, and still form the centre of a thriving community. This area has seen violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims; check the security situation before you travel. [[world travel guide]

Meditate with monks – Yangon’s Mahasi Sasana Yeik Tha Meditation Centre is a famous destination for travellers seeking to learn more about Theravada Buddhism. Those able to commit to at least six weeks (requiring a special visa) can learn the rituals and philosophy of Burmese Buddhism and participate fully in the daily routines of monastery life. [world travel guide]

Ponder the physics of the balancing boulder – The temple town of Kyaiktiyo is famed across Asia for its balancing boulder, which forms the centrepiece of the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. Pilgrims trek or ride packed trucks to the pagoda to gaze at the tiny stupa crowning a boulder which climbs precariously to the edge of rocky outcrop, held in place, locals believe, by the power of prayer. [world travel guide]

Roam through Myanmar’s national parks – Myanmar offers rich opportunities for ecotourism, with national parks teeming with wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards and bears. The best parks include the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park (northwest of Monywa); Hlawga National Park (near Yangon); Popa Mountain Park (central Myanmar); Lampi Island (Myeik Archipelago); and Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary (located in Minbu). [world travel guide]

Row out onto Inle Lake – Beautiful Inle Lake was one of the first places in Myanmar to be opened to tourism, and it still ranks high on the list of must-sees. As well as floating villages, floating plantations and floating markets, the lake is famous for its leg-rowers and its ancient stupas. The most popular place to stay is Nyaungshwe on the lakeshore. [world travel guide]

Stroll the sand Ngapali Beach – Idyllic Ngapali in the far west of Myanmar is the most famous stretch of sand in the country, but it’s hard to get here from Yangon other than by flying. Closer to the capital, Chaung Tha near Pathein is a popular escape for locals, while Ngwe Saung has a growing collection of upmarket beach resorts. [world travel guide]

Tour the temples of Bago – One of the easiest trips from Yangon, Bago has its own collection of Buddhist buildings and monuments, including the impressive golden Shwemawdaw Pagoda – technically, the tallest stupa in the country – as well as the Shwethalyaung Buddha, which is considered one of the most beautiful reclining Buddhas in Asia. [world travel guide]

Trek to hill tribe villages from Keng Tung – Hidden away in the dense jungles of Shan stage, Keng Tung is where Burmese culture melts into the tribal traditions of northern Thailand. This peaceful town is dotted with Thai-style pagodas, and local guides offer trips into the hills to visit the fascinating villages of Lisu, Lahu-Si and Akha people. [world travel guide]

Wander around Shwedagon Pagoda – Rising above the rooftops of Yangon like a golden candlestick, the mighty Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the wonders of the Buddhist world. The stupa rises 112m (367ft) into the air, covered in sheets of real gold and crowned with a symbolic umbrella coated in thousands of carats of diamonds and rubies. Joining the crowds that circle the sacred stupa is one of Myanmar’s most sublime experiences. [world travel guide]

Watch traditional sports – Myanmar’s national game, chinlone, is played with a woven cane ball. Teams of six players aim to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible, using any part of the body except the hands. Look out for impromptu matches in public places. Another sport to watch for its Burmese boxing, the local version of muay thai. [world travel guide]

Festivals

Festivals

Phaung Daw oo Pagoda Festival – The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Burma. The celebrations take place over more than 20 days. Four out of the five revered Buddha images are paraded around the lake in an elaborate, gilded barge pulled by traditional long boats manned by hundreds of rowers. Throughout the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival rowing competitions are held, which makes for a wonderfully visual spectacle. Pilgrims from all over the country come to this festival to pay homage to the four Buddha images and gain merit whilst enjoying the festive air of the event. The mysterious fifth Buddha image is left to ‘guard’ their original resting place at the Phaung Daw U Pagoda whilst the festival takes place. [panoramic journeys]

Taunggyi Balloon Festival – Taunggyi in Burma is famed for its Balloon Festival, with balloon competitions throughout the day and night. Day balloons are usually in the form of pagodas, and animals such as elephants, dragons or ducks. At night, the balloons are usually in the shape of a rugby ball, huge elongated paper balls with hundreds of small lighted multicoloured paper lanterns hung around their sides. The night balloons would string along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air creating a spectacular display. [panoramic journeys]

Thadigyut Festival of Light – Whilst in Yangon, enjoy the Thadingyut Light Festival, a celebration of the Buddha’s descent from the heavens after he had preached the Abhidhamma to his mother, Maya. Buildings and houses across the country are festooned in coloured lights and candles to welcome him back to earth. The streets are thronged with people browsing the markets and food stalls which spring up during this time and traditional open air plays and concerts take place everywhere. As it signifies the end of Buddhist Lent, there is an abundance of music and dancing. [panoramic journeys]

Thingyan New Year Water Festival – Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival and it usually falls around mid-April. A Buddhist festival celebrated over a period of four to five days and culminating in the New Year, it is the most important public holiday in Burma. From the second day, people throw water at each other from a variety of vessels – from small bowls to large water cannon! – to symbolise the cleansing of the sins of the year. [panoramic journeys]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus & Pick-Up Trucks – The public transport system uses pick-up trucks that make regular lengthy stops, rarely leaving till jammed full. Route numbers are displayed above the cab in local script. Different coloured boards sometimes denote variant routings, but the entire system seems to get upended every few months. if you’re willing to brave it, the bus fare is around K500. [lonely planet]

Motorcycle & Taxi – Motorcycle taxis lurk near hotels and on city corners. Expect to pay K1000 for a short hop, K1500 across the centre, and K10,000 for all-day hire within Mandalay (or K15,000 including Amarapura, Inwa and Sagaing); double these rates for a regular taxi. The following drivers speak decent English. [lonely planet]

Trishaw – Traditionally the main form of city transport, pedal trishaws are now relatively rare except around the markets. A K4000-return fare includes from the city centre to the base of Mandalay Hill; with all-day hire from around K10,000. Give an extra tip, because these guys work hard for the money. [lonely planet]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Myanmar Big Data Initiative – After Myanmar stayed behind the curve for so many years, we began the transformation process since 2011. The transformation is taking place in many sectors. [meetup]

Myanmar Entrepreneurs Network (MMEN) – A platform to connect local entrepreneurs and investors through a series of networking sessions and themed events. Through these entrepreneurs-focused events, MMEN aims to support entrepreneurs of all levels in their quests to advance in their journey. [meetup]

Myanmar Event Professionals – Total event management community of Myanmar. Artists and technicians. [facebook]

MYEA – as leading young entrepreneurs association in Myanmar is hosting an informal gathering to all entrepreneurs in Myanmar for first time ever. [meetup]

Yangon Business Network Seizing Opportunities Together – This Meetup group is established to connect high-level Myanmar business owners and entrepreneurs from a vast range of industries and fields. The common goal: Seizing Opportunities Together! [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Expats in Yangon – This is a social meetup group in Yangon. Come and have fun, hang out, socialize, and enjoy meeting the adventurous people in this incredible city. [meetup]

Ilsan TED & English Meetup – This meetup is for Koreans & foreigners who want to share their opinion and unique insights after watching TED. [meetup]

Yangon Expat Entrepreneurs – Being an expat entrepreneur is different, especially in Myanmar. The locals are welcoming and friendly, to guests. [meetup]

Yangon Language & Cultural Exchange – It is a great opportunity for you to learn and practice your language skills in a fun and friendly environment. Yet, you will be able to meet people from all over the world and make new friends. [meetup]

Yangon Language & Culture Meetup – Let’s get together for affordable activities in our neighborhood. Someone who want to get new friends. [meetup]

Your Expat Community in Myanmar – Mingalaba, and welcome to our expat community in Myanmar! Our platform has been specifically designed to suit to the needs of expats. So if you are making a move to Myanmar or considering relocating, then look no further than the InterNations expat community! [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Burma (Myanmar)

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