Visa for Myanmar

Traveling in Myanmar by public transport

Probably the Burma it was the country I’ve been in where getting around by public transport was rather uncomfortable, complicated and decidedly tiring.

Considering only the difficulty of traveling, I don’t feel like recommending this country for backpacking if you haven’t had previous experience.
Here everything will be amplified and transport is not among the most comfortable especially when compared to the impeccable ones in Thailand.
Non-existent roads, 200 kilometers that can be covered in 6 hours, stomach-churning curves, air conditioning very strong or completely turned off, and I unknowingly skipped the worst route of all: Bagan-Inle Lake.
They told me that it was probably the worst bus trip they had ever taken, and I’m talking about experienced travellers.
In Burma there is always room for everyone on vehicles, be they buses or pick-ups, which means that as long as the vehicle is not bursting with people, people will continue to enter and so it seems that it is this famous night route that in addition to the places to sit numbered the seats to understand, they add benches in the corridor where even more people can take part in this journey that has left many astonished.
I didn’t do it purely by chance as I changed my plans going up to Mandalay but many have had to face this trip and everyone told me it was the worst ever despite years of backpacking experience.

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Another feature of these buses and companies is that they require you to be at the station waiting for 1 hour if not 2 hours before, why was never clear to me.
Once we waited a whopping 2 and a half hours under the sun for a bus that was late and the only explanation I could come up with was that there isn’t a specific time so it’s better to be there early than late.
Obviously public transport in Burma they have a different cost depending on whether you are a tourist or a local, but pick ups on the other hand, apart from rare cases, charge the same as locals.
What is a pick up?

It is nothing more than a van where you sit in the rear space and where men are allowed to stand on the roof of the vehicle or stand attached to the external platform.
Generally speaking, I believed that no more than 10 people could fit into a pick up, but instead you can easily reach 25, packed like sardines and compressed, the seats are wooden benches which means that after 4 hours on the vehicle my my seat was literally in pieces and atrophied but in fact I remember it as a fun experience, which I had many times and which made me feel part of the locals as I was always the only tourist.

brown and white concrete building near green trees during daytime

I believe this solution is suitable for those who are not used to traveling and above all those who are unable to accept certain rather low standards, especially compared to the rest of South East Asia.
The Burma it is not an easy country to travel in a practical way but it is perhaps one of my favorite countries, in fact I would never leave with an organized group, I fear that I would lose the beauty of the place without having any opportunity to get to know the culture, which is also discovered on public transport, but my advice is to carefully evaluate your options and prepare for a journey through time.
Older people and new travelers may find it too complicated and very tiring to do on their own, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

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