Saturday, August 15, 2015

Travelling Myanmar by bus - best tips by travellers around the world

As Myanmar is still under developing infrastructure for tourism, it may be challenging in the beginning to get around the country if you plan to travel with buses and trains. The main connection to reach Myanmar from foreign countries is Yangon International Airport. Thus most likely you will end up search for bus connection from Yangon to other cities (Bagan, Mandalay, etc.) 

Recently, they have also opened up the Mandalay International Airport for some international flights from Bangkok and Singapore as the number of foreign visitors to Mandalay has been growing rapidly. Before landing Myanmar, make sure you do a bit of research on how to get around, tag along with the people and get used to the transportation system. In this post you are going to find the best guides and tips recommended by travellers around the world who have visited Myanmar.
Highway Express First Class Bus in Myanmar

1. Bus company / tour agent

There are plenty of companies and tour agents to choose from. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to be clear about the destination, price, and duration of the trip. In some major bus routes such as Yangon - Bagan, Yangon - Mandalay, Yangon - Naypyidaw, bus conditions from large highway express bus operators such as Elite and JJ Express are excellent. The coaches are new and comfortable with soft seats and air-conditioning. However, some routes such as Bagan - Mandalay, the operators use mini-buses.
2. Schedule
Usually bus schedules are only confirmed within 7 days prior to the departure. During low seasons, buses may run less frequency on daily schedules.
3. Price
Buses in Myanmar are most likely faster and cheaper than train and plane. Train ticket price for foreigners is different price and higher than local price. For bus tickets, you can easily book ticket or check the price via Scapetour. If you book bus tickets via Scapetour, you can avoid hassle of buying ticket after you arrive Myanmar. However, Scapetour will charge a small booking service fee for arranging ticket.
4. What to bring
#1 Essentials & valuables Always take with your most important and expensive items (wallet, passports  & papers, gadgets, etc.) especially if you travel alone or if you want to get out of the bus in the middle of the trip for a short break. 
#2 A small bottle of water plus some snack - In case you will get thirsty and hungry
#3 Tissues and hand sanitizer
#4 Earplugs - Some buses in Myanmar may be very loud as Burmese music and movies can be playing on the TV till late hours, make sure to bring good quality ear plugs or earphone to listen from your own ipod.
5. Tag along with the people around
The wonderful experience you would get with travelling comes not only from what you see or do but also most importantly who you are with. Talking to the bus driver, a local you meet on the road or a fellow traveller seating next to you can be useful to enhance the experience. Especially if you are travelling alone, these people would help you in most cases such as getting lost, robbed or failing to return to your bus on time after getting out for a short break. 
6. Night bus
You can find lots of the necessary tips for overnight bus via Grrrl Traveller

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Donate for Myanmar's flood - support Burma to save its beauty

Myanmar (or Burma), known as one of the top rising destinations for travelers in Asia, has recently experienced widespread flooding due to the monsoon season. Nearly 100 people have died and 1 million have been affected until today according to BBC. Although the flood did not have major impact on big cities like Yangon or Bagan, Myanmar’s tourism would undergo serious situation as transportation were incapable of running efficiently.

Flood disaster in Myanmar 2015
Burma is calling for urgent support from international aid especially in terms of food, clothing and money. Many donation campaigns have been ran and promoted throughout the world to save this beautiful country that is full of thousands of pagodas, stupas and temples. With that being said, check out what solo travel bloggers wrote about exploring Myanmar as a beautiful destination and a country full of hospitality before deciding to donate.


''Burmese people are the most genuine, friendly, warm-hearted and amazingly beautiful people I have ever met. Not one will turn you away when you need help and hardly anyone will try to short change you or be cheeky in a transaction. 
They are so fascinated by the presence of outsiders, that you can see the sheer excitement on their faces. Smile and say hello, shake hands, hug, exchange e-mail addresses and revel in the wonderful reaction you get back. Spend at least two weeks here if you can – skimming this incredible landscape is an absolute waste. I’m already trying to plan spending another month here.''

''The people of Myanmar have touched my heart time and time again throughout my travels and documentary work in the country these past few years.  Unfortunately, the state of the country still leaves the citizens incredibly vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters.  I highly encourage others to visit the country independently and connect with the citizens in a thoughtful way.  A small amount makes a huge difference.


''I've been to over 35 countries in Asia, and Myanmar is unquestionably my favorite.  The culture is authentic, the food is fantastic, and the people are some of the most kind-hearted and welcoming that I've ever met.  It's also a very affordable destination for budget travelers like myself. Myanmar is a place that I will always go back to visit whenever I am in Southeast Asia.  I can't wait to visit soon!'',


Monday, August 3, 2015

Hot air balloon flight in Bagan - the ultimate guide to explore Myanmar from the sky


As popular destinations in Asia such as Thailand and China are becoming too mainstream, travellers who seek to explore more exotic places in the South East are moving forward to countries like Myanmar or Vietnam. If you are a big fan of Buddhist temples and monasteries, Myanmar is definitely an ideal destination with thousands of pagodas in Bagan remaining among the millions that were built in the past.

One of the must-dos on your travel list in Myanmar has to be ballooning over Bagan. It is a spectacular experience of a lifetime, which is worth paying for. In this article you are going to find the best guides and tips for exploring Myanmar from the sky with hot-air balloon.

When?
Do not show up in Myanmar searching for hot-air balloon during rainy season, which is between May/June and October. The ballooning season is short: from late October to mid March, when the winds are calmer.

A typical flight program usually starts in the early morning from 5AM before sunrise. You will be picked from your hotel to the launch site with private vehicle and kindly served light breakfast while watching your balloon be inflated by the crew. After giving safety briefing and flight instruction, your pilot will start the flight, during which he will explain the history of ballooning as well as of Bagan, and point out the most important pagodas.

The flight usually lasts up to one hour. You will surprisingly be awarded with a flight certificate, sparkling wine and a ride back to your hotel. 

How much?

Price for one ride per person is 320 USD for standard ticket or 380 USD for premium ticket. Book through an agent will save you some cash. Discounts are sometimes available and you will be refunded if the flight to cancelled due to weather conditions.

How to book?

Ballooning over Bagan flights can be easily booked online via ScapetourBook easily with Scapetour via online and enjoy a better rate!

What's the real experience like?

If you would like to know more about the actual experience before deciding to pay for your flight, ask from experienced travel bloggers who have been there such as Dustin Main or Jodi EttenburgPlease feel free to contact us at hello@scapetour.com if you have questions about Balloon Booking and Scapetour will be happy to assist.

Most important tips

  • You do not need to freak out because of the height as all the basket come up high and safe 
  • Always pay attention to the pilot's instructions.
    When the balloon lands, DO NOT HOP OUT until the pilot says 'OK'!
  • Though balloon ride is expensive, it is worth paying extra money for a smaller balloon because the experience is way much better than having to share your corner with too many people
  • Always read the Terms & Conditions before booking your tickets.
Book through Scapetour and save you some cash today!