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Jan 13, 2013 11:53 AM

Anybody have anything for Burma?

I'm going to be traveling in Burma the last two weeks of February: the usual first-time itinerary -- Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle...anybody been? Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. Was there in 06, Yangon + Bagan. A resource I sued was a great article in Saveur by a woman who ran of the earliest Burmese restaurants in NYC. I knew when she was open for biz and she was pretty spot on.

    1. Search under Myanmar and you would have found my post from my visit in October last year:

      1. I was in those places in Oct. 2012. Many of the restaurants cater to large groups with set meals and it's often difficult to navigate on your own. Had satisfactory food at the Green Kitchen in Bagan and good food at Le Planteur in Yangon. We stayed at Governor's Residence in Yangon and found the best Burmese food was served at breakfast in a lovely setting. There are several restaurants in Inle Lake to sample Shan noodles for lunch. Don't know where you are staying there but if you can visit Inle Princess Resort, you can try some of the most delicious food we had. Burma is quite an adventure.

        1. Here's my post from our trip to Burma in 2007. (I used to be known as "alice" but when there was the whacked out change of CH, I had to discard my old profile and create a new one..I am now "digga.") We skipped Mandalay, but visited Rangoon, Bagan, Inle, and Ngapali. (The locals all use the "old" nomenclature, as should you...the new government has imposed all the new names - Myanmar, Yangon, etc..)

          Of course, Sam would have been an invaluable resource, but he's no longer with us. :`(

          Feel free to email me for further tips/photos! We loved our trip as I hope you will, too!

          5 Replies
          1. re: digga

            "The locals all use the "old" nomenclature, as should you...the new government has imposed all the new names - Myanmar, Yangon, etc.."

            I thought this would be the case when we went there last year but it wasn't. The new post-Colonial names are in common usage. Thus it's always useful to search using the new names as they are becoming quite common.

            1. re: PhilD

              Phil - I'm not on board with the govt-mandated nomenclature. Perhaps the locals use it more nowadays, but I'm not convinced that's by choice. Check out Naomi Duguid's "Burma." She uses the old nomenclature throughout.

              1. re: digga

                I was like you before I went there last year. Who knows if it is by choice, always tricky to tell, but I found everyone used the term Myanmar so easier to go with the flow and I didn't feel it was especially forced. I felt we fitted in and maybe caused less hassle by doing so. We may believe we have a point of principle to make but I wouldn't have wanted to make locals uncomfortable by taking a stand.

                Lots of old colonial names are changing, and we seem to accept it happily on some countries but not others: Ceylon, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Malaya, East Pakistan Rhodesia and Peking have morphed into Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Kolkata, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Beijing without similar push back which seems a bit odd (given the politics of some of these changes).

                However, to stay with food, it's odd I need to order Beijing Duck now but still order a Chicken Madras....!

                1. re: PhilD

                  Fair enough! Looking forward to your Penang report - I loved it, though we never left Georgetown. Would love to go back and expand our horizons!

                2. re: digga

                  Not food-related, but I've been traveling in Myanmar since 2008 and been living on the Thai-Myanmar border since 2010. The locals for sure do not use the old nomenclature, and many of them ridicule it. On the Thai side of the border, I find the migrants/refugees use it mainly to humor all the ex-pats who are unnecessarily hung up on something that doesn't affect them. (Sidenote: it makes me a bit uncomfortable that the foreigners who most strongly cling to the old names are usually British or from Commonwealth countries.) Remember, these are English names anyway (like Kampuchea vs. Cambodia), not Burmese...when they are speaking in Burmese there is no way in hell they suddenly drop "Rangoon" into their flow.