Question Hi Nancy,
My husband and I are traveling to Myanmar in November on an 8 day bike trip, starting in Bagan (Mt Popa), Heho, Inle Lake. We have 2 days in Yangoon before the tour and are thinking of taking about 4 days after the trip which ends up at Heho airport. What would you recommend for the 4 or 5 days at the end. Our interests are cultural, and we are active people as well. We are in our late 50s and open to just about anything. We are not backpackers but not high end travelers either. Looking forward to your insight.
Answer Hi Donna and sorry for the delay...impromptu trip to Wisconsin! A bike trip sounds terrific and I love it that Myanmar's come so far...we used to get stopped for that! I'm thinking though that on a bike trip you may not have time to explore the wonderful and beautiful area around Inles lake. I love the markets! Heho's with the animal trading. The one on the south side with lemony red ants as condiments, Indein among the ruins. You could also hike to Kalaw, staying at monasteries along the way (an easy 3 days). It's also a short trip to Mandalay by car or bus...and I think the Sagaing side is a great place to stay...it's very tranquil with many monasteries and nunneries, and thus many ceremonies ...and there are little boats to places like Ava. You could also fly down to Yangon and back out to the west coast to see tbe very different Sittwe and Mrauk-U.
One of my all-time favorites. I`ve been there more than 10 times (for at least a month each time), done the tourist loop five times and travelled to several permit-only areas. Aside from the Yangon, Bago, Inle, Kalaw, Mandalay, Pagan, Pyay route, I`ve travelled twice to Sittwe, Mrauk-U and the Chin areas and then down to Ramree Island, Ngapali and Pathein. Been on the wonderful boat from Bhamo to Mandalay and sojourned in the south a bit past Moulmein. Most recently I trekked in the northern Kachin state, camped and stayed with the Rawang tribe, for 2 weeks on the way to Phonekan Razi to see the Himalayas from the east. I`ve taken nearly every mode of transport--trains, planes, buses, boats, bikes, oxcarts, trekking on foot. I can answer logistical questions about airfare, hotels, restaurants, trekking, trains, restricted/open areas and, especially, cultural/religious sites and their significance.
The world is a fascinating place and nothing reveals this more thoroughly than exploring faraway lands. I've got a penchant for the exotic, a friendly face and a true curiousity about the people, art and life.