Five Hilights of the Yangon in Myanmar – Nomadic Boys

Author: , October 25th, 2017

Yangon in Myanmar

Yangon Myanmar is a very cool city. Whilst it has a modern face with trendy bars and fancy restaurants, it has also retained its colonial charm with some of the best preserved buildings from the days of the British Empire. The tea house culture has held strong and let’s of course not forget the standout highlight, the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda.

Yangon used to be the official capital city of Myanmar until 2006 when the government officially proclaimed the newly built city of Nay Pyi Daw as the new capital. Yangon nonetheless remains the cultural and commercial heart of the country as Nay Pyi Daw struggles to attract a similar atmosphere.

These are our 5 favourite not-to-miss highlights in Yangon, which we think every traveller should have at the top of their Myanmar bucket list.

Connecting with Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda is a marvel to behold. It is the main iconic site in Yangon you can’t miss. The main gold-plated dome is so impressive, it will take your breath away. It is topped by a stupa containing over 7,000 diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

At 99m (325ft) tall, the Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s largest temple, and as such, it dominates the Yangon city skyline. It also considered the most sacred temple of the country because it is believed to contain relics of the 4 previous Buddhas.

We visited in the evening around sunset and loved the ambience. It attracts a large number of visitors, both tourists and locals who come to worship. But despite the large numbers, there is a strong feeling of peace and tranquility here, which we did not feel in other temples we visited in our travels across Southeast Asia.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Old Bagan and Ananda Temple – Carlos Melia

Author: , February 19th, 2016

Carlos Melia

Carlos MeliaOff the luxury and comfort of Belmond Road to Mandalay for an afternoon exploring Old Bagan and Ananda Temple, which ended on a marvelous Sunset gazing over the Archeological Site atop a Pagoda.

First we took the small boats off our luxury cruiser, and to the banks of the Ayeyarwady River and a private bus took us to the entrance of Old Bagan.

From there we went on a full visit of the Ananda Phaya or Ananda Temple.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Myanmar Excursions Part Two

Author: , February 1st, 2016

passport-magazine-belmonds-orcaella-cruise-through-burma-4

Dreamy and surreal, we drift in a hot air balloon over the fabled Plains of Bagan where, as far as the eye can see, golden temples and stupas jut skyward, and, in the dawn light, we see the molten sun creep above the distant violet-hued mountains. Floating over a cluster of brick pagodas bordering a field, I turn around in the wicker gondola and below us appears the impressive Dhammayangyi Temple where dozens of early risers enthusiastically wave and point cameras at us as we languidly drift past.

Nearing the ruined walls of Old Bagan, a flock of birds flies below, a shifting breeze nudges us onward. To the West, the broad curve of the Irrawaddy River wends down from the mountains of Kachin State on the China border to the Andaman Sea. Before we gently land near a schoolyard between the trees at the river’s edge, I briefly glimpse the white-and-red-trimmed Belmond Orcaella, the five-star riverboat that will soon become home base after having traveled in Burma for ten days on our own.

Two hours later, my traveling companion, Peter, and I board the Belmond Orcaella where we’re offered cool minty drinks and the staff genially welcomes us for our weeklong cruise through Burma–an exotic country seemingly preserved in time. Now that international sanctions have been lifted, tourism is booming; well over two million visitors arrived in 2014, compared to about 800,000 in 2010. Catering to well-heeled and adventurous travelers, the recently launched Belmond Orcaella (Orient-Express re-branded as Belmond), named after an endangered river dolphin, rises up three decks, is 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a shallow four-foot draft enabling it to pass unencumbered over shoals in the dry months.

By Bill Strubbe – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Myanmar (Burma) Gay Travel Resources

Myanmar Excursions

Author: , January 31st, 2016

Myanmar

Rich in history, culture, and tradition, in Myanmar (formerly Burma), a bygone Asia still endures. In fact, it must be among the few countries in the world still beyond the clutches of McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and ATM machines. But modernity is rapidly encroaching, and ever since the military regime began shifting power to civilian leaders in 2011, business people, diplomats, and eager tourists are flocking to the country with Yangon (formerly Rangoon) poised to become Southeast Asia’s next boomtown.

YANGON

Dawn stirs like a sepia-toned fantasy with motes of sunlight streaming through the plantation shutters onto the teak floors, as a chorus of birdsong come from the lavender jacaranda and flaming coral trees. Here, the morning unfolds at a measured, languid pace suited to the tropical climate. Under the twirling ceiling fans on the grand veranda dining room of the restored 1902 mansion, now the Belmond Governor’s Residence, one half expects to glance up from the morning paper and spot the likes of Somerset Maugham or Rudyard Kipling taking tea, or if it’s closer to the cocktail hour, perhaps a shot of Mandalay Rum.

Golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and moldering jazz-age mansions form a low-rise fabric unique to Asia, the whole stitched together by tree-lined avenues swarming with buses and cars. On Yangon’s bustling riverfront boulevard, Strand Road, stately buildings like the Customs House, the Central Post Office, and the British Embassy bear witness to the city’s turn-of-the-century status as one of the British Empire’s key commercial hubs. A haven of tranquility, the Strand Hotel, among Yangon’s best-preserved colonial edifices, has cosseted globetrotters almost continuously since the Armenian Sarkies Brothers, owners of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, opened it in 1901.

By Bill Strubbe – Full Story at Passport

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Asia by Air

Author: , March 26th, 2015

Image via Backyard TravelOnce you’ve scoured the markets in Asia, floated in its warm, salty seas and traipsed through its ancient ruins, you’ll no doubt be looking for a more…elevated experience.

For something you won’t readily find on social feeds, why not consider hitting the skies, with help from this guest article by operators Backyard Travel. Literally rising up over the jungles, traffic jams and oceans of the Asian continent, getting so far off the beaten track you can only see it with binoculars – here are some of our top ways of seeing Asia by air.

The Great Wall by helicopter

The Great Wall of China is long. There’s more than 22,000km of wall all together, if you count all its disjointed sections. Not surprisingly, its immensity can be difficult to comprehend from ground level, so we recommend going vertical. A helicopter tour over the Wall is pretty much the most thrilling way you can see it. September and October have the best weather for a chopper expedition as the autumn climate is temperate and spring can often means sandstorms.

Full Story at Gay Star News | Asia Gay Travel Resources

Image via Backyard Travel

Nomadic Boys – Our Myanmar Travel Video

Author: , March 13th, 2015

Myanmar - Nomadic BoysOur Myanmar travel video includes some of our favourite moments of our travels around Mandalay, Bagan, trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake and finally in Yangon.

The temples of Bagan were one of the highlights as was learning about the thanaka – the Burmese face mask.

We had a lot of fun learning about Burmese food in Mandalay at Yoe Yoe Lay Guesthouse and eating our way through all the delicious street food in Yangon.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys | Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Nomadic Boys – Our Favorite Burmese Foods

Author: , March 10th, 2015

Nomadic Boys - Burmese Cooking Class

Burmese food startled us at first because it can be quite oily. And just as we started to get used to spicy foods (particularly after Sri Lankan food), we were surprised to find that Burmese food is quite mild – by Asian standards of course! The tea houses and street food scene of Yangon and variety of Burmese curries we tried in Mandalay kept these two greedy boys very happy.

Burmese food: curries in Mandalay

In Mandalay we stayed at the excellent Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse with the really sweet owner Nan Bwe, who taught us about Burmese food, in particular how to prepare a Burmese meal. Burmese meals usually evolve around rice and many different curries. It reminded us a lot of the Sri Lankan ‘rice and curry’ whereby a meal involved many many little dishes of excitement.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys | Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Nomadic Boys – Our Favorite Myanmar Observations

Author: , March 9th, 2015

Nomadic Boys - MyanmarWe spent 3 weeks in Myanmar in January 2015 and instantly fell in love with the people. The Burmese were very curious towards us foreigners but extremely friendly and welcoming. It was really endearing and you just can’t help but smile back. As well as the friendly Burmese, here’s our favourite Myanmar observations and interesting facts that stuck with us.

1. Aung Sang Siu Kee

Aung Sang Siu Kee is the popular opposition leader in Myanmar who was under house arrest in Yangon for most of 1989-2010 by the oppressive military government and has become a popular Nelson Mandela like figure internationally.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize for Peace in 1991 during her house arrest and the only winner not allowed to accept it in person.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys | Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Burma Launches First LGBT Film Festival

Author: , October 16th, 2014

Myanmar - Apple MapsBurma’s first LGBTI film festival will be held next month in Rangoon to celebrate the sexual and gender diversity of the region. The &Proud LGBT Film Festival will run from 12-14 November at the French Institute and is organized by Colors Rainbow, YG Event, Equality Myanmar and several other LGBTI groups.

Hla Myat Tun, program officer at Colors Rainbow, told the Irrawaddy magazine that he hopes to change perceptions of LGBTI people in a country where media representations are often ‘insensitive.’

He said, ‘We hope that festival will help the public to change their views about the LGBT community, or at least give them ideas that those views can be changed. ‘We want to make a point that members of the LGBT community should be proud, and we wish to correct wrong messages that are being spread throughout the community by popular media.’

By Darren Wee – Full Story at Gay Star News | Myanmar Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Image via Apple Maps

Traveling During the Lunar New Year

Author: , January 27th, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaTraveling in Asia, or to an Asian community, this week? You’re in luck. The Lunar New Year, typically falling at the end of January or the end of February, is arguably the most festive and also the most interesting time of the year. Big events like lion dances and firecrackers aside, this is when communities everywhere come alive with cheer and tradition, with good wishes and ancient folklore at top of mind.

While it’s unlikely that anyone would expect a traveler to follow all the customs, we can’t think of a better way to get to know a destination’s culture. Plus, helping to usher in auspiciousness is a great way to delight a kind host or helpful friend. Here’s our guide to the general dos and don’ts – there’s naturally an overlap between the traditions of different ethnic groups and countries – as well as a gift guide for visits and meet-ups.

General etiquette:

Many traditions have to do with starting the year off right. Superstition even says that the way you spend certain days of the new year will reflect the how the rest of your year goes. With that in mind, do generally wear bright colors, especially red. Universal festivity aside, the color red is believed to scare away bad spirits.

Authored By Christine Wei – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

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