6 Day Myanmar Inspiration Itinerary. Yangon to the countryside by Luxe River Cruise. Exploring temples, nature and unique culture by Max Emerson with original photos + videos.
Myanmar, stunning Buddhist temples, exceptionally preserved traditional ways of life, and untouched nature all combine to make this one of Asia’s most exciting travel destinations. If you want to see what traditional Southeast Asia is all about, without the mass development to be found in surrounding countries, Myanmar is a must-see.
Max Emerson from the adorable Instagram account Maxisms, spent six days exploring three of Myanmar most famous destinations; Yangon the largest city and the country’s former capital; Mandalay to Bagan by luxurious river cruise.
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Step Back in Time
Many of Yangon’s best hotels nod to the city’s colonial past, with grandiose decor and luxurious facilities. The Strand has been one of Yangon’s finest hotels since 1911, a relic of colonial-era grandeur that has been gorgeously restored to a modern standard as recently as 2016. It offers a range of luxurious and spacious suites, each decorated with antique furnishings and original art. The service is truly exceptional: every stay comes with personalised 24-hour butler service, full breakfast, fruit basket, in-room bar, and complimentary coffee or tea served to your room at any time.
What did you think of the hotel? I want to write a sitcom about the staff of this hotel. The staff to guest ratio was something insane like 6 to 1. We had butlers that would scurry to push the elevator button for us. Staying here was like looking into the past of Myanmar, while simultaneously being able to participate in its rapid modernization. Still smiling from all the wonderful people we met staying here.
How did you feel about being a gay traveller in Yangon?
The people I spoke with at the hotel all had gay friends and talked about gay/trans celebrities in Myanmar, despite technically being illegal. The younger culture doesn’t share the country’s “official” stance on gay rights. The laws are supposedly almost never enforced (especially for foreigners) and haven’t changed yet because someones homophobic grandma would get too upset. They’re just waiting for her to die and then I’m sure the official position sill change.
Anything you didn’t like? So many butlers. I’m not used to being fussed over so much…. That being said, my dad LOVVVVVED it.
Luxurious Cruise Through the Sights of Myanmar
From Bagan To Mandalay
A three-night luxurious voyage on Myanmar’s the Ayeyarwady River between the ancient cities of Bagan and Mandalay. Passengers get to enjoy an in-depth immersion into the wonders and sights of this wonderful country. The daily menu of on shore excursions provides a full and comprehensive tour in small groups with expert local guides. Visiting the country’s imperial capitals, incredible temples, ruins, and unfinished pagodas.
What did you think of the hotel? We need to talk about how amazing this staff is. Beyond anywhere we stayed, these people fed, entertained and straight up PAMPERED us like the spoiled children that we are. We were given a private tour guide for the duration and anything we wanted was arranged for us by the time the boat pulled into the various stops. The highlight of the cruise was a BBQ dinner they set up for us on a sandbar in the absolute middle of nowhere one night. So unique, so classy, I was in over my head.
It was perfect for bringing my dad though, who could excuse himself to get foot massages or whatever whenever he wanted.
As gay travelers the cruise was great, I think I counted 8, maybe 9 homos on our boat.
Anything you didn’t like? At time the wifi was a bit dodgy but then it is a countryside rive cruise in Myanmar.