Your friends would think you’ve gone insane. But you have decided to be adventurous and backpack your way to the exotic land of Burma, Asia’s last frontier. You are taking the plunge, not only are you backpacking you are also going to do it solo. So you have your tickets and passport ready, you pored countless hours on the Internet busting your eyeballs looking for a hotel to stay for your visit. You got everything covered and now it all boils down on what to bring in your backpack.
You are tempted to bring your whole bedroom and kitchen but you know the limitations for hand-carried baggage which means you have to pack wisely and only bring the essentials. Read on what you should bring on your journey to the Land of 4,000 Pagodas.
Chargers for your camera, phone, iPod, iPad, notebook, etc. Bring a universal adapter to go with it. It would also help to put all these electrical strings in just one pocket. One of the perils of travelling is potentially losing or damaging your gizmos. So unless you are cool with the thought of misplacing it, bring something less flashy. It won’t hurt to pocket an extra battery, a spare memory card or USB as well. And naturally, bring the camera and phone you will be using the charger with.
The temperature in Burma can reach to 40C. And unless you have plans of being roasted to a crisp, it would be wise to bring some sun protection. You might want to experiment on the local thanaka powder as it offers sunblock properties. That is if you don’t mind having the pale yellow paste on your face in all your souvenir photos. Throw in a moisturizer and a lip balm.
First aid pills
Flu pills. Diarrhea tablets. Aspirin, paracetamol or any pain killers/fever relievers. Don’t bring the whole pharmacy, a dozen would probably be enough. Plasters or band-aids would also be helpful. Sanitizing lotion and mosquito repellent are essentials. If you are prone to motion-sickness, then bring some pills especially for long trips. And if travelling to new places do not go well with your gastric activities, laxatives would be of assistance.
Deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, soap and shampoo are must-have’s. Bring the absolute minimum. There is a good chance you would come across these necessities along the road. A small packet of wet wipes would also come in handy.
Just because you can.
Crisp dollar bills
U$D – the higher the denomination, the higher the exchange rate. Make sure that notes are crisp and not creased. Local currency is called kyat. There are functional ATMs but it would be best to just carry the cash you need during your stay. Some slightly upscale restaurants and hotels accept plastic.
…chocolate bars will do just as nice, however. Whether you are on your plane ride into Burma or trekking the pagodas, there’s comfort in the thought that there’s something in your backpack you can munch on should you go hungry.
Carry one with you everywhere and anywhere you go. It’s the universal currency for goodwill.