You Know You’re In Myanmar When…
| | |

You Know You’re In Myanmar When…

Even after 50 years under a military regime, Myanmar’s smiles can’t be suppressed. The people have a resilience and inner joy that cut through their dark past and unstable present. Life’s not easy in former Burma but no matter the conditions–stoking a kiln in 100-degree heat, paving roads in flip-flops, hauling 80-pounds of bamboo on…

Pyin Oo Lwin: Mansions, Monks & Ice Cream
| | |

Pyin Oo Lwin: Mansions, Monks & Ice Cream

There is a traffic jam of Cinderella-style carriages outside the Pyin Oo Lwin train station. The trappings of the Victorian era and a cool breeze make this former British hill station feel instantly different from any other town we’ve seen in Myanmar. Set at 3,500 feet above sea level, Pyin Oo Lwin was the Brits’…

Hsipaw Trekking: In a Forbidden State
| | |

Hsipaw Trekking: In a Forbidden State

There are certain areas in Myanmar that tourists still can’t visit and Hsipaw is practically an island surrounded by the “no-go zone.” That said the alluring mountains and diverse hill tribes in this section of the Shan State are perfectly safe to visit–but you need a guide and some guts. It was late in the…

The Endless Temples of Bagan
| | | |

The Endless Temples of Bagan

We climbed to the highest point in Bagan to try and fathom the density of ancient Buddhist monuments that flooded the plains. The flat, dusty swath of land with skinny cattle grazing on crab grass wouldn’t seem like a desirable place to build the first capital of Myanmar…but the 2,200 temples, stupas, and monasteries tell…

Little Known Hpa-an
| |

Little Known Hpa-an

Sawtooth mountains, serpentine rivers, grotto-filled caves, and golden stupas peppered throughout…Hpa-an has all the makings of a popular tourist destination, but it’s still flying under the radar. The locals are going about life as they always have and when they see a tourist they aren’t trying to squeeze a dollar out of him, they want…

Magical Mawlamyine & The Ogre Island
| | |

Magical Mawlamyine & The Ogre Island

It’s three o’clock in the morning in Mawlamyine, Myanmar and we are looking for a place to sleep. Going from overnight bus to taxi van, we wind down the mountain with toward the moonlit shimmer of the Thanlwin river. The cabby takes us to Breezes Guest House, a crumbling colonial mansion on the waterfront. We…

Lost in Time: Yangon, Myanmar
| | | |

Lost in Time: Yangon, Myanmar

When we were planning the HoneyTrek route, Myanmar (formerly Burma) was still under a military dictatorship, saddled with sanctions and virtually shut to the world. The regime officially ended in 2011, but after 49 years of oppression it hardly seemed like a place you’d want to visit…but everyone we met who’d been said exactly the…