Anywhere here in the tropics the temperatures can be excessive especially here in Burma. The days are incredibly hot and humid and fluid loss is prevelant..I ALWAYS make sure that I have more than sufficient water for the day when I set out for a day "out and about". Coming from Australia and being used toreally hot temperatures I don't think that I have ever been as hot as I was in Burma. I found myself walking really long distances here to reach the outlying areas and villages. and dehydration is possible.
*NOTE When buying bottled water CHECK to see that the cap seal on the water bottle has not been broken and re-filled with local water.I was caught once and suffered the consequences for some time..BE AWARE OF THIS
IMPORTANT... When travelling in this part of the world make sure that you have enough insect repellant for your trip..Also make sure that it is what you need...Always in the evenings wear long sleeves and long pants and cover all exposed areas of skin with repellant to minimise the risk..and don't worry about the "fragrance" as everyone is wearing it (if they are smart)..Malaria and Dengue Fever are prevalent here.
There are no ATM's in Burma. Estimate your budget and arrive with at least 30% more money than you expect to need IN US DOLLARS ONLY. Before departing for Burma go to your bank and have them order new, uncirculated US Bills for you. This takes up to a week in the US but all banks can do this, even overseas. In Europe or Asia it is not easy but important. INSPECT EVERY BILL individually to be sure they are clean, have no folds or marks, no tears and are new. "Almost new" or "good enough" is not good enough. If you cannot get new bills you need to scrutinize every bill carefully before accepting it. No pen marks, tears, folds, smugdes, etc. as it will be declined in Burma. This sounds crazy but understand that people in Myanmar/Burma have no outside bank exchange agreements so they cannot replace worn or damaged US Currency in their circulation. Therefore, they use local Kyat for day-to-day spending but they save money long term in US Dollars.
Carry most of your currency in clean, new $100 bills and exchange a little at a time. You can negotiate better rates by changing $300-$500 at a time with new, unfolded bills. We carried ours in prescription bottles so they were rolled and not folded. We were able to get 1020 kyat per $100 when everyone else was getting only 950. Local money changers actually got excited about new, unused bills presented from a roll rather than folded. Also note that during our month there we met many, many people who had $300-$500 on them that they could not use. Nobody would exchange money for the used or dirty bills and they were struggling to get by. Be sure that when you exchange money, every bill will be examined and scrutinized like you have never seen before. They will flatly refuse to take anything with pen marks, excessive folds, etc. US Bils with serial numbers starting with "CB" will also be declined because one was discovered to be counterfeit 10-15 years ago so they think all CB serial numbers are counterfeit.
SCAMS: There are lots of local change scams. Change money in reputable places and make sure all money is kept "on the table" or you may regret it. Chaging $500 means you will receive at least five hundred 1000-Kyat notes. You need time to count each stack carefully and may find that some are short a couple of notes. The average wage in Burma is $1 per day. That is about 1000 Kyat. Shorting a tourist even 2000 Kyat on an exchange is highly lucrative by local standards.
Any tour to Inle may start any time of the day but if you're optioning to visit the Ywama floating market then you have to wake up early. Bare in mind that though it might get warm during day, it is misty and very chilly in the morning. Bring warm clothes as touring with the boat means the wind is blowing and it gets even chillier.
I am not sure if this is a warning or a tourist trap tip. Basically it is this. You will rely on a boatman to take you to various places along the lake. At some point he will take you to various villages or "shops" that specialise in various local crafts such as cheroot making, cloth weaving, paper making, silver ware etc.
Some of these places are actually quite interesting to visit especially in terms of their use of the natural products of the lake. However, I am not convinced that the boatman who takes you there if you buy something he gets a commission.
We bought quite a lot from the lotus/cloth weaving "shop" but there did not seem to be any obvious "kick back". I guess you need to be wary and make sure that your boatman is not just taking you to these places at the expense of others. Plan carefully and tell your boatmen exactly where you want to go.
We spent US$2 to see the displays in the Shan museum in Nyaung Shwe. There was very little to see apart from the magnificent building itself and we could not take photographs- give it a miss unless you are really desperate to see something!!
Only a warning and danger of missing the opportunity to feed the seagulls.
Buy some bags of "fish pretzels" before heading of to the lake.
Tens of seagulls fly with you and catch in mid-air the fish you trow up.
We had great fun seeing them chase the pretzels without missing even one.
Lots of fun for little money.
En los r?os que van al lago descansan tranquilamente los bufalos que se sumergen en el agua y puede ser un peligro par los botes
On the ribers that go to the lake , rest peacefully the buffalos that sink on the water and may be a danger for the boats
This is in the middle of the lake and from I understand it is run by the government. It didn't look like anyone was there when I went by it in the morning. Most foreigners are not eager to promote anything run by the government so they would avoid this place but I thought I'd include a picture of it anyways. Because it is government run is the reason that I put it under Warnings and Dangers!