So with our upcoming trip to Burma in a couple of months time I am starting to do some planning.
First up on the list is the question of Vegetarian Dining. How vegetarian friendly is it? Will we have difficulty finding vegetarian food? We choose not to consume animal products but to be fair, it isn’t going to kill us – not like an allergy so if something turns out to have fish sauce in it, oh well…
So onto my research, I hit Mr Google up with a simple search of vegetarian burma. The first page of entries put my mind at ease. Essentially they have an understanding of the concept of vegetarian food (us crazy tourists!) and there is a lot of Indian influence so it should be easy to find something vegetarian in most places. We are doing an organised tour which helps as they can assist to start with teaching us how to ask and what to look out for when we have periods of time on our own.
Seeing the pictures on this page made my mouth water – yummo http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/vegetarian-survival-guide-to-burma-myanmar/
And I think I’m going to start drooling over the amazing salads shown on this page http://alittleadrift.com/2012/05/vegetarian-travel-burma-myanmar/
So looks like we aren’t going to starve… (as if!).
The weather in one word – hot and sweaty (ok thats 3 but you get the idea). So it will be a good chance to take all those slightly worse for wear and ill-fitting t-shirts and leave them behind. Perhaps with a couple of longer sleeve tops/pants for visting temples and in the evenings. Mosquitos are an issue – dengue by day, malaria by night – so covering up where possible is a better option than showering in bug spray.
What about money? The local currency is the Burmese kyat but the US dollar can also be used. The trick apparently is to ensure your US dollars are pristine notes – no bends, folds or marks. Last time we got US dollars for visiting the United States, we got extra for our trip to Burma $US100 and a bunch of $1 notes. We will likely change the $US100 into local currency and then use a mix depending on what is most suitable. We always for safety keep the money split between us and use a safe if available.
This page had lots of really great, fairly recent information. A lot of information I found via Mr Google, was very outdated.
What to do in Yangon (Rangoon)? The day we arrive into Yangon we will have some free time until our evening meeting of our tour group. We also have a couple of days back in Yangon at the end of the 12 day trip. Looks like there are loads of temples and pagodas to see but the one item that jumped out at me was the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue – there are apparently only about 20 Jewish people in Yangon and the Synagogue will soon become surplus to requirements potentially. A fascinating piece of history and culture in a Buddhist country.
There is also something wonderful about not planning what to do and just explore the area around where we are staying.
What say you, the readers?
I went in April and there’s an ATM in the airport now! Just use that to change cash! Also I’m a vegetarian. We had a local take us out and order for us and it was delicious. Most of the time we ate fruits from the night markets and South Indian food( any cabbi can help you here) ! We went without a plan and ended up getting a driver to take us to Golden Rock! It was beautiful! Also if you go to any pagoda be sure to bring a plastic bag with u for your shoes otherwise they charge you for leaving them behind and storing them. Have fun!!!
Thats great info about the ATM and a helpful tip about the plastic bag! Thanks so much, I’m really looking forward to it.
I love your blog, I look forward to reading more.
I’ve been to hundreds of temples in Myanmar and no one has ever tried to charge me for leaving my shoes.
We have been to Myanmar since and we only had one instance where someone wanted us to pay for “looking at shoes” – we politely declined and it wasn’t an issue.
I was there during New Year , so there was an enormous amount of ppl at the temples..that might be the reason for the charges. But if they aren’t charging then thats awesome! 🙂
We were there late December through early January and only got asked once for a “donation for looking at shoes” so it wasn’t an issue.
** Thingyan (water festival/Buddhist New Year** in March/April