burma stands out from the crowd

shwedagon paya yangon burmaDeciding to travel solo in a country that’s still finding its feet with tourists can be a daunting prospect, but Sara Everton has no regrets about her visit to Burma…

“The minute I stepped off the plane I knew I was somewhere unique and in a place that would linger in my memory for a long time to come. Travelling alone, I was hesitant to venture too far into the depths of Yangon, but despite this I soon found myself heading toward the landmark Shwedagon Paya – a dazzling pagoda that’s not to be missed.

It didn’t take long before I realised that I was the only white face in the crowd. There was no chance that I could have blended in to the jostling throng moving into the pagoda and I quickly understood that it would have been pointless to try. Clearly a western female on her own was an unusual sight, as I became the subject of much open curiosity. Children laughed and pointed, then hid behind their mothers’ skirts when I smiled or waved in return. Adults stopped to openly stare and discuss what seemed to be my height and curly hair and generally I could feel the ripple effect my presence was creating.

None of this attention was in any way cruel or threatening. I found that the residents of Yangon, as were the locals of the entire country of Burma, to be the kindest and most honest people I have ever met. They genuinly wanted to talk to me and get to know me, they genuinly wanted to make sure I enjoyed my stay.

It would not have mattered what the city looked like, the inhabitants were what made it my favourite city. They were, without exception, the most delightful group of people I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.”

Tour Burma with Intrepid on trips like this great small group adventure:
Best of Burma – 15 days

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* photo by Dominic Burdon – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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