Myanmar / Burma Travel Update
Since I was there, the situation in Myanmar/Burma has changed a lot. In February 2021, a military coup sparked widespread civil unrest and armed conflict.
The U.S. State Department currently advises: "Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest and armed conflict." You can find their full travel advisory and security alerts here. And you can find the British Foreign Office's travel advice for Myanmar / Burma here.
It’s known as the world’s largest book. But it doesn’t look much like any book you’ve seen before.
Each of the 729 “pages” is a large marble tablet inscribed with text from the Tipitaka (some of the Buddhist scriptures). The text was originally in gold, but it has long since weathered away. Each page is housed in its own individual white stupa. They radiate out in concentric squares from a central golden stupa. From the air, it looks like a remarkably uniform above-ground cemetery.
The earliest dated example of the written Burmese language (dated to 1112 or 1113) is on a stone slab at Myazedi Stupa near Old Bagan.
The main stupa is modeled after the 11th-century Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung-U, near Bagan. But this one is much newer, dating back to the 1860s during the reign of King Mindon.
Photos of Kuthodaw Pagoda
What To Know Before You Go
It’s the site of a major festival in the October full moon as people gather and light candles within the grounds.
Yep, you guessed it: you’ll have to take your shoes off as with any Buddhist holy site.
Travel Insurance is Just Smart Planning
I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.
But shopping for travel insurance can be frustrating and confusing.
Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.
These are the sites I use to shop for my travel insurance:
Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!