Apartment (almost) rented, furniture and all belongings in storage, backpacks packed.
It’s been an intense 48 hours and after a night spent sleeping on our yoga mats in front of our fireplace, we’re off to SFO, where we’ll board a 12-hour flight to Seoul followed by a 7-hour flight to Yangon.
Our first destination is Burma, which has recently become something of a Western tourist hot spot. Why? The government has promised to (somewhat) stop killing and oppressing its people and has released pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from her decades-long house arrest. This has led Western countries like the US to relax sanctions and Western tourists like us to not feel like we’re putting money directly into the hands of the bad guys. Read more about it here.
We’ll be spending a bit over two weeks in the country, with primary stops in Yangon, Inle Lake, Bagan, and Mandalay—what most guidebooks call the “Big Four.”
Even though Burma will be the least developed country on our itinerary, we expect it to be one of the most expensive due to the recent influx of tourism. Hotel prices have doubled or tripled in the past year alone, which will make sticking to our $1000/month budget difficult, especially if you consider that the only way in and out of the country is by air. Why? Something along the lines of guerilla tribal fighting in the areas closest to the borders, plus the fact that the government likely doesn’t want tourists to see how bad the poverty is in non-tourist areas.
Because we don’t land until 11pm Burmese time,
we’ve booked our first
night’s accommodation at the Chan Myae Guesthouse. It took several
attempts to reach this guesthouse by Skype and we hope they actually
have our reservation. If not, the adventure will begin earlier than
anticipated! Well... it looks like we are in for an adventure. Called
Chan Maye Guesthouse last night to confirm and they couldn't find our reservation.
Let the games begin!
We have plenty of long (12-14 hour) bus rides planned for our Burma leg of the journey, so expect more detailed posts about the country, as well as more information on our six-month travel challenge.
TOTAL SPENT: $23.60 (business class one-way flight bought on miles)