Do you want to travel solo? Have you been thinking for a long time to go to Asia, but something is frightening you? We can assure you that Myanmar is one of the safest places to go. And we’re so sure because we tried it first-hand.
For example: the last time we were in Myanmar, Michele forgot his wallet in the taxi. Inside there were 50 Euros (approximately 75000 kyat – consider that in Myanmar a packet of cigarettes costs 700 kyat and with 6000 kyat you can have a feast!), plus some documents, including his ID and driving license. Michele realized he had lost his wallet the day before coming back to Italy, so he was aware that he would probably never see his dear waller again. Once back in Italy, however, someone got in touch with him on Facebook: it was the taxi driver. The taxi driver told Michele that he had found his wallet, containing 50 Euros and some documents. In two weeks the wallet was back at Ostello Bello Grande, via Lepetit 33, Milan, absolutely intact and with its content still untouched. Where else could something like this happen?
That said, remember that Myanmar has only recently been opened to tourism, so there are still some places where is not allowed/advisable to go. As long as you don’t play Indiana Jones, you don’t have to worry! The most famous and spectacular places are all free to access, and the same goes for the main cities like Mandalay, Yangon, Inle Lake and Bagan.
Local people will make your experience even more pleasurable and will immediately make you feel safe: they are welcoming people, smiling and genuine, only waiting to exchange a smile with you.
One thing we would like to stress is how important it is to respect local culture and religion. Don’t make fun of them or their customs: besides being disrespectful, you may cause discontent which could degenerate into something else.
Last but not least, those cute dogs that spend the day sunbathing in a ZEN mood and walk the streets… at night are not that cute anymore. Just ask our Ema, who opened Ostello Bello Bagan: he would run every night from the hostel to his place. He got so used to it that now that he’s back he has become a marathon runner in his spare time. (Sorry Ema, we love you!).
So, all of you faint of heart and indecisive travelers, leave your fears at home… All you need to feel safe in Myanmar is a smile (and mosquitos repellent).