Myanmar was one destination that was super unfamiliar for us so it was hard to prepare considering that the information found on the net are not up to date. Even the brief from our embassy there was not up-to-date either. So in true DiploFashion, I came prepared. Here is a list of what I brought. I don’t think everyone would necessarily need all of these. Just check which one applies to you because you might actually not need it.
For example, we stayed in 2 cheap hotels and 1 expensive one. Some of the supplies were totally used in the cheap and not so nice hotels but were not necessary for the expensive hotel. But we definitely found the flashlights useful in Bagan despite staying in a more expensive hotel, because of the frequent black outs. Also food in expat friendly restaurants was quite expensive so I was thoroughly thankful for the advice from @alwaysthewinna to bring snacks that tided us over between the 3 usual meals. I brought mostly nuts and dark chocolate – trying to be healthy!
- Lysol – We don’t use Lysol at home because the chemicals are harmful to pets and babies (I’m sure it has some long term effects on us too) but for this trip we needed to play it safe. Lysol in Jakarta costs about 8 USD so we asked the MIL to bring from Manila where it is less than half the price. Usually for disinfecting at home I use a water and vinegar solution.
- Natural aromatherapy spray – I prefer using this for the room instead of Lysol whenever it’s possible
- Mosquito repellant – While Yangon is pretty much like any urban city, there have been cases of dengue and malaria in the provinces (i.e. Bagan); We contemplated bringing katol but found a electric insect repellent which repels mosquitos via sound in a frequency that humans can’t hear. I found this all-natural insect repellent from ECHOstore! Doesnt’ only repel insects but moisturizes skin too! ❤
- We brought plenty of immodium. And we totally used it!
- Tons of wetwipes, tissue, toilet bowl liners & sanitizer – useful
- Flashlights – We always had one in our bag and it was useful because they still have frequent black outs (especially Bagan) and there are restaurants that don’t have generator. It was also useful for walking around in Aye hotel at night. I think our best buy was the energizer head lamp. Because it left our hands free (unlike flashlights), it allowed us to continue whatever we were doing (i.e. packing) until the generators kicked in.
- Pack some snacks because the food might not always be great nor cheap. When we arrived we also went to the supermarket to buy water (and some Pringles they have the REAL Original Pringles! Wooohoo!). As a rule, I buy one 1.5L bottle per day for drinking and brushing teeth. I am a water addict and get a headache when I don’t get enough water. Also it is not advisable for visitors to brush teeth with tap water in certain areas like Bagan where the water source is the river – where they get drinking water and wash their clothers. Residents might be used to it but foreigners are not. Better safe than sorry. TD and the in-laws also got a bum tummy so good thing I brought saltines, coz for a day or 2, it was the only thing TD could really eat. =P
- be ready with cold cash here. No credit card or ATM machines available (they only have a few ATM machines for local banks that are not linked to international banks). Make sure your dollars are new, no folds/wrinkles, no marks (i.e. stamps, writing, etc). Just like in Indonesia, they do not accept imperfect dollar bills here.
- Bring a fan, umbrella and tons of sunblock – especially useful if you take a cab. Most of them are not air-conditioned! Would you believe it was so hot, I had to use an umbrella while riding a cab to hide from the suns scorching rays? =P haha! Pinoy talaga ako! Sunblock SPF 50-70 is highly recommended since you spend most of the days out walking around.
- Bring a universal charger like this. We weren’t sure what they were using so this came in handy.
- I travel to shop (as you can see from my new baby diploshop.net) and I always brings bubble wrap (I couldn’t find any so paper had to do) scissors, packaging tape & rope. This helped me transport my horse marionette and Myanmar gong home! =)
- Another thing we found surprisingly useful are these Terry Palmer Multi-way Headwear – I first discovered them from My Mom Friday here and found them in the GrandLucky Superstore in Sudirman in the Terry Palmer brand. It was especially useful for dusty or pungent spots so I always had it in my bag. I have asthma so dust is a big no-no for me.
- Also bring whatever medicine you need because you might not find the exact brand here. I brought astham inhalers, allergy meds, general antibiotics, fever/cold/cough meds, etc.