Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Myanmar Trip - Lessons Learnt

Days before the trip my whassap and email chats were filled with travel chatter. There were four of us and all were different in style and nature. Frankly saying, this would be my first time traveling with a group of women who aren't backpackers. I won't say any names but try guessing themselves with the description below.

Girl no. 1 - Constantly asking for our feedback on transport, maps and hotels.
Girl no. 2 - Already planning on what to wear and at which site (mentally as she claims). Must look good at all times.
Girl no. 3 - Just days before taking-off was more concerned in securing her visa on time.  And when her visa application failed the first time, she even said, "Maybe it's a sign that I shouldn't go?"

In the end we all went and had a wonderful time! (Picture taken at some temple in Bagan)
Me? I was quietly amused, answered questions when needed, some-times not bothered at all and keeping an open mind. Little do they know that in my head was, "OMG! What have I got myself into?"

I was used to doing last minute itineraries. In my simple itinerary I'd jot down ~ OK, by this day I should be here and there. Transport between cities were figured once I get there. My backpack will be sorted the night before departure. But in Myanmar's case, everything was pre-planned to the littlest details. I had to give them credit for being such exquisite travel planners. And for that I give a standing ovation! *clap! *clap!

And thus these were the valuable lessons I learnt from these very seasoned travelers. (I've been to maybe only 10% of the countries they've been!)

  • Who says you can't enjoy a budget trip with a trolley bag? I was with my backpack and them with their cute trolley bags have spent 18 hours on a train and were seated like sardines on a local transport. Now the term "backpacker" doesn't sound so hot now. (Well, maybe it was my fault as I strictly stated I wouldn't take domestic planes between cities nor stay at fancy hotels due to budget constraint.)
  • With four people in this trip, I can now rationalize how important it was to contribute individually to the group to maintain happiness. One would think of the food, another on the itinerary, another on payments, etc.  
  • I never did bring any meds during my solo travels. Big NO-NO. Now with Lily's help, I pretty much know which meds are important during travels which consists of insect repellent, meds for diarrhea and dizziness, leg cramps and other common sickness. I'm guilty of only buying the meds after I got sick. =P
  • When in big groups, no-one dares to mess with us. 
  • Everything was on a sharing basis - the boat at Inle lake, car rental in Bagan, taxi fares, hotel rooms. It was comforting not to worry about budget when in a group. We actually saved a lot and covered more area!
  • Overall, it was an amazing experience! 

If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together.

And now the big question I'd ask myself, would I travel with them again or any girl groups in the future?

Well, as long that it means I'd be traveling (regardless with whom), I'm always GAME. =)

Last but not least, here's a picture of the toilet we used in Inle Lake.
Lily  looking happy after coming out from the toilet somewhere at Inle Lake.
Pssstt...... we actually could see people's feces coming out from below when the toilet was in use! Hahahahahaha! *mihir!



Biqque said... [Reply]

omg! it will be "fun" to see whose feces were the longest! kalau cirit mcmana? hahaha! ewwww!

ya, travel solo, travel duo, or travel in group, differ in many way of styles...kalo rasa tak boleh, better stick to your original way of traveling...else, try la, who knows...but after that, u know la...

for me, i senang travel dgn hubby sbb nak gaduh ke marah ke terasa ke tukar plan pun, tak de hal...hahaha!

Lily Riani said... [Reply]

Hahhahahha..... I wanna guest! I am the travelnista mentioned earlier. Muahhahahha.....

Trolley dolly can be fun heh!

I guess, at the end; we need to have high tolerance level anywhere pun. Itu aje... Diff ways/ppl, we gain diff experience, thats the best part - the journey itself.

Doubt I'll remember the temples/places/roads/cities but I definitely remember our fun time. The best time :)

Unknown said... [Reply]

Girls who shall not be named. This is fun read :P

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

OMG feces? hahahaha
I prefer backpack than fancy trolley, I can get it very fast.

Being a travelmate and find travelmate is kind hard haha. Believe me, if we travel together, our color will be appear, I mean the character.

I lost 2 best frens during my trip hahaha. I just knew it that their so selfish, egoist, like a king bla bla bla.... traveling together reveal the truth of them hahaha. ataukah saya yang berperilaku jelek :p

wanna travel with me? I always ask 3 requirements:

No Whining, No Crying, No Complain. That's all ^__^

Always bring your positive spirit and energy :)

Arlida Abdullah said... [Reply]

I've never tried traveling alone, wouldn't it be awkward taking self photos everytime, if not memang amik gambar pemandangan je lah

But surely travel in a group memang memerlukan kesabaran yang tinggi :) been there, done that

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@biqque... untunglah ada hubby.. and then coming soon.. a junior traveler. am still looking for mine. moga dpt yg kaki berjalan jugak =)

@lilyriani.. haha! true.. it's the people we travel with that kinda makes the experience more special and worth remembering. lol. paling ingat tang keretapi tu.. adoiiiiii! EPIK GILERR!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ ivan chan... thanks ^__^

@ alid abdul... perangai kamu jelek kali. hehehe.. ok. will have to wait and see what ur true color is. else we'll be arguing from day 1 until the last. =P

@ arlida .. both traveling solo or in groups have their benefits. ya.. I kinda get u about taking pictures of ourselves.. mmg awkward. wakakaka.. but with a tripod anything is possible. =)

Izzat Eshak said... [Reply]

good valueable lesson!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ izzat.. hehe. thanks babe!

ruggedmom said... [Reply]

cantiknya gambar

msswanz said... [Reply]

Nice one.. I'm more like girl No 1 :P

hlga said... [Reply]

If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together. <-- love this quotes :D

Julie Lim said... [Reply]

How many days would I need to tour Yangon, Bagan and Inle comfortably by public transport? I want sufficient time to tour the places mentioned.

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ rugged mom.. thanks mom! hehe

@ msswanz.. hahaha.. most of my friends are.

@ hlga.. I forgot where I got that quote. Was certainly not mine. =P

@ julie lim... around 5 days. but I have two friends during more than a week there because they want to cover Mandalay as well. hhehe

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Stunning story there. What happened after? Good