Our First Impression of Myanmar


The alarm painfully rang out. We dragged ourselves out of bed, gathered our things, made our way downstairs, and waited for our mini van to Don Muang airport. It seems the mini van had an accident, so we were escorted to a taxi instead. Arriving at the airport, we checked in, made our way to gate 4, and sat patiently until we heard our row called to board the aircraft.


Passenger Declaration Form


We were both excited about Myanmar, asking each other what we think it’s going to be like, and wondering what kinds of challenges we might face. We didn’t have much time to converse as the flight was only an hour and twenty minutes long.


“Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, and fasten your seat belts, we are beginning our descent into Mandalay.” The pilot said with calm and confidence.


We were up, and then back down again before we knew it.

Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay, Myanmar

Once the plane came to a complete stop, and it was safe to unfasten our seat belts (a request no one ever listens to) we shuffled into the long line of people all anxious to deplane.


Stepping up to the immigration officer was slightly intimidating. He was stern, and very serious. But once Cody smiled for the camera, a smile escaped from the officers face, and a few other officers gathered around to check out Cody’s Egyptian tattoos. They nodded, and smiled at me with approval. With no questions asked, and our passports kissed with a brand new Myanmar stamp, we were off.


Cody and I didn’t check in any bags, so we walked directly to the pre-paid taxi stand. “Taxi Sir!“, “hello taxi!“, “Sir taxi!” was what we were greeted with as soon as we were in several young men’s line of sight.


We paid $10 (pristine U.S. dollars are accepted country wide) for a shared taxi into  the city.


We left the building, and hit a wall of warm, humid air. The air in the taxi was equally as stuffy.


First arriving in Mandalay, Myanmar

An hour later, we arrived at Fortune Hotel. Check in was the usual handing in our passports to be copied, and signing a form. A young boy escorted us to our room and we were left to relax.


“Want to go for a walk?” I asked. “Sure” replied Cody. We stepped out into a brand new city. Dusty, loud, busy, and full of life. We only had to walk 100 steps before we came upon a carnival. Kids getting dizzy on merry go rounds, people setting up a stage, blaring music, a live band, and street food all around.

We were definitely out of place, but didn’t feel that way. The wide eyed stares always ended with big smiles, and curiosity. Everywhere we turned, people nodded with amusement.


Myanmar has just recently opened up to tourism, and before we made our decision to travel here, we read up on the country, and spoke with people who have chosen to boycott it. We chose the opposite. We chose to witness for ourselves. We decided it was important for us to visit a country that many people know nothing about. Some haven’t even heard of Myanmar.

To make even the smallest connection is a good thing. And big smiles are always a great start.


So far, so good.

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Lori October 20, 2013 Reply

    I want to hear more !!! L o l

    • Giselle and Cody October 25, 2013 Reply

      Hey Lori, Oh don’t worry. We will be posting a lot about our travels to Myanmar. 🙂

  2. Franca October 21, 2013 Reply

    I look forward to know more about your experience in Myanmar, it’s always been a country that both me and Dale would love to visit so your stories really interest us.

    • Giselle and Cody October 25, 2013 Reply

      Franca, we have a lot of blogs we are going to be posting about Myanmar.
      There are tourists here but when you compare the numbers to other S.E.A countries it’s so low.
      It is a country many people should visit before it becomes a super popular destination and all the hotel chains ruin it 🙁

  3. Dale October 23, 2013 Reply

    Sounds fab already, cannot wait to hear more about the place. As you say, its a place thats off a lot of people’s radar.

    lots of love xxx

  4. Alex October 26, 2013 Reply

    This is one of the very few countries in Southeast Asia that I haven’t been to — something I hope to correct soon! I’m looking forward to reading more about your own experiences, though I’m sure it will change quite a lot in the year it will probably take me to get there.

    • Giselle and Cody November 2, 2013 Reply

      Alex, it really is a beautiful country and the people are so friendly and genuine. They all smile and want to speak english with you.
      They always ask if we are having a good time in their country. We have really loved our time here and we know it is a place we will visit again.

  5. Dale October 26, 2013 Reply

    Watch this space guys…. we may just take you up on that 🙂
    Thailand plans are still not confirmed yet so MAYBE!!!!

  6. Diana Edelman October 27, 2013 Reply

    Oh, that thick wall of humid!! I remember it well! Enjoy Myanmar. Can’t wait to read more of your stories!!

    • Giselle and Cody November 2, 2013 Reply

      We are currently in Bago and it is so hot here. All we want to do is sit in the air conditioned room and do nothing. you head out for 5 minutes and you are drenched in sweat. 🙂

  7. Erica October 29, 2013 Reply

    Want to hear more! I always love your photography and stories. Keep it coming guys. <3

    • Giselle and Cody November 2, 2013 Reply

      Thanks so much Erica!! We have a few blogs planned for Myanmar. Next will be a write up about the amazing food here…..Mmmmmmmm

  8. Zay Yar Tun November 2, 2013 Reply

    Welcome to Myanmar…..

    • Giselle and Cody November 2, 2013 Reply

      Thank you so much for showing us around Bago today. We had an awesome time and it was so nice meeting you. We will see you when we come back 🙂

  9. Constance November 6, 2013 Reply

    It sounds like your adventure is off to a wonderful start! Looking forward to reading all about your travels and tips about Myanmar! Have a great time!

    • Giselle and Cody November 6, 2013 Reply

      Hey Constance, We are now back in Bangkok but our trip throughout Myanmar was beautiful.
      Such an incredible country with warm, genuine, friendly people.
      Definitely a place you should visit if you get the opportunity.

  10. […] When we first arrived in Myanmar we had no idea what to expect for food. From North to South, Myanmar has no shortage of great food to sample. Here are some of our favourites. […]

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