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Trip Report 3 weeks in Myanmar-What an adventure!

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I returned from Myanmar several days ago after 32 hours on several planes, but wanted to get this TR started between doing loads of laundry, opening mail, and paying bills. Too bad those everday things get in the way of TRS. Bottom line is that the trip was wonderful. It was everything we hoped it would be, in no small part due to the help received from Fodorites who had previously been to Myanmar. One of our friends called us "pioneer tourists" for going to Myanmar, but the true pioneers are the Fodorites that paved the way for us. Thanks so much for your input and advice. You know who you are.

I started planning this trip about a year ago, reading Lonely Planet, asking for advice on this forum, and trying to figure out what would be an ideal trip for me and my DH. We are both retired, so time was not the issue, except that we did not want to make this trip longer than our usual trips- about 2 to 3 weeks. It was decided that we would visit Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Mrauk U over the course of three weeks.

I tried to get frequent flier seats on the many airlines where we have miles, and was finally successful using Continental miles. I was short 30,000 miles for the two tickets and had to add $525 per ticket to buy additional miles plus pay $107 in taxes per ticket. This was a small price to pay for a ticket that priced out at $1900 on the Continental website. We flew BOS to LHR on Virgin Atlantic. and LHR to BKK to RGN on Thai Airways. The leg room in economy on all sectors was fine. The food on VA was good, but surprisingly it was terrible on the LHR to BKK leg on Thai. I chalked that up to the food having been prepared in England, but that is just a guess. In any case, we totally skipped that meal.

As an aside, we had a little personal drama on the flight from BOS to LHR. My DH had been ill with a virus for 2 weeks prior to our trip, but seemed to be getting better in fits and starts over the course of 2 weeks. On the plane I looked over at him and he was white as a ghost and felt cold and clammy to my touch. His eyes were closed and he was not very responsive to my questions. At that point I told him that when the plane landed in London we were aborting the trip and were returning to BOS. I was not about toi wind up with an ill husband in Myanmar with its minimal healthcare. He convinced me that we should continue on to Bangkok, where there is good healthcare, and if necessary we would go to Bumengrad Hospital. I was not happy about this decision, but decided to go along with it, as he said he thought he was beginning to feel slightly better. It was a very uncomfortable couple of hours for me, but long story short, he did get better. He chalked up this episode to a sudden drop in blood pressure due partially to dehydration and a bad mix of his blood pressure medication with the red wine which he consumed on the flight.. Nonetheless, we did wind up having to go to a hospital in Myanmar for a different reason.

When we arrived in Yangon, my husband realized he had forgotten to pack enough of one of his blood pressure meds. He had enough for a few days, but not enough to last for our entire trip. I was too exhausted from the flight and the drama on the plane to try to figure out what to do, at that point. What I needed was sleep. So we napped for about 4 hours and when we awoke I decided we needed to buy some bottled water. I had read about a restaurant close by to the hotel, so we walked about 2 minutes to the resataurant and walked in. It was about 4PM and the restaurant's only customers were a man and woman sitting at a table having tea. As I glanced at them, I spotted a stethoscope around the man's neck, and the table was covered with boxes of drug samples. Serendipity-a doctor, and double serendipity, he spoke English. My husband explained to him that he had forgotten to pack one of his meds. The doctor said we could easily get them at a certain hospital which was a short taxi ride away. He wrote down the name of the hospital for us and off we went to the hospital.

We arrived at the very busyhospital and were directed by the receptionist at the front desk to the pharmacy. DH spoke to the pharmacist, lovely young woman who spoke English very well. We got his needed blood pressure medicine, paid the equivalent of $2 for a 20 day supply of the generic version (manufactured in Mumbai with a good expiration date) and taxied back to our hotel. The meds evidently worked as his blood pressure on our return to the states was fine. Either that or the trip was so relaxing that he didn't need the ersatz meds. lol.

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