Yes I know I haven’t left just quite yet, but I wanted to write about what I was planning to pack for Myanmar. My list is compiled based on my research as well as my own experiences around Asia. I will update the list and what was useful or a total waste of time (or what I should have brought!) when I get back from Myanmar. If you’ve traveled to Myanmar, would you add anything to this list? If you are thinking of going to Myanmar, is there something you’ve found through research that I should be adding to my bags now?
I am only taking the blue backpack you see here as a daily adventure pack plus a medium-sized travel backpack to count as my actual piece of luggage. I really liked that the day backpack had pockets inside the large compartment as well as space for two water bottles. In Asia, you need as much water as you can get, especially if exploring in the temples and out in the hot sun.
Even though I love shoes, I guess I am finally becoming a minimalistic packer. I am only taking three pairs: one high quality pair of walking/running shoes, one pair of basic slip-on sandals that has served me well through Asia (and are easy to replace if they give out on me), and one comfortable pair of flip flops from Sanuk. Among these three, I should be able to put my best foot forward each day.
Myanmar is still a conservative country, unlike its neighbors: touristy Thailand and laid back Laos. A lot of travelers have recommended more lose fitting tops or cover-ups. Although, it does seem that Bagan is more open to clothes to keep cool. So for my tops, I am taking 5 tank tops (plus an extra to sleeping in), 3 basic loose-fitting tees, and one button-up that can be used as a cover-up. In addition, I am taking a summer cardigans to pair over the tank tops when I go into temples and other conservative-minded areas.
I have read that Inle Lake can get chilly, especially early in the morning and in the evenings. To combat this, or if I need greater protection from bugs, I am taking one thin hoodie. Think more of a lightweight athletic hoodie.
This one was a bit tricky. Most travelers urge you to bring loose clothing or long pants. However, in Bagan I have seen some travelers sporting shorts. I will definitely be purchasing some longyis or Thai-styled pants once there. I am also bringing a pair of leggings and sports workout capris. While they are a bit tighter, my tops are long and loose so as to cover a good portion of my thighs and waist. Finally, I am bringing two pairs of shorts that can be worn rolled down or rolled up. No jeans on this trip. Too bulky and possibly too unbearably hot.
As you can tell from the picture, I am bringing my Sweet Orange and Rose toner, Spearmint chapstick, Rosemary lotion bar, and Ylang Ylang solid perfume from C & Co. (You can find more information on this great all-natural brand here).
For washing up, I recommend the Olivella 100% olive oil soap bar- fragrance free. The bar is perfect for face and body and is one of my favorite soaps: super clean, but without the dryness.
Bugs are going to be a big problem. To help stay away from all the bites, bug spray is a must. Further, I have found these bracelets for children that are all-natural bug repellants (blue bracelet in photograph). I bought several of these to throw in my backpack in case I need a bracelet or anklet for added protection, especially as evening hits or around Inle Lake. Finally, Tiger Balm is a must to relieve any bites I do receive (fingers crossed that I won’t need this!).
I don’t normally wear face masks, despite how insanely popular they are in Taiwan. However, Bagan seems quite dusty and the last thing I want is to be coughing and sneezing my way through temples and pagodas. Plus, I love hippos and I just happened to stroll right by this adorable gem of a mask. Maybe, just maybe I will use it, tbd.
Imodium, Pepto Bismol, backpack rain cover, and a few gallon-sized ziplock bags (I learned that Thai pants bleed color when wet, so ziplock bags should come in handy in this type of situation or when I need to waterproof electrical gear).
This is a no-brainer. In fact, I usually carry 3-4 on any given day around Taiwan. I write a lot and traveling is always a source of notes, thoughts, and important information. In quieter times, I tend to favor writing over reading. Plus, you never know when you’ll need some paper for a fun little travel game of Pictionary with a shop owner or taxi driver.
A Great Playlist
I am in the process of collecting over 50 songs for a Myanmar playlist. I will post this on Spotify to share with you all soon!
A Culturally-Open Attitude
Most importantly, I am ready to accept Myanmar for what it offers. I wish I could skip a few days into the future just this once to start my trip!
Any other essential items I should be sure to include in my luggage?