Luggage and bags:
Travel as light as you can due to the extreme heat.
I always just carry a small backpack with daily neccesities and my cameras and lenses (out of sight)
Dont forget your bottled water.!!!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I carry with me a small rolled up plastic poncho as tropical storms just happen in a moment. This also covers myself and my back/pack.
A good comfortable pair of walking/hiking boots/shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: DONT BE WITHOUT SUFFICIENT HEAVY DUTY MOSQUITO REPELLANT. This is critical as Malaria and Dengue fever are prevelant here in the tropics. Apply on ALL exposed skin areas.
A small tube of sunscreen is a must 30 +
A small tube of moisturiser
A small tube of lip balm
A small packet of tissues. there usually is no toilet paper anywhere.
Photo Equipment: As I am a crazy photographer it is imperative to make sure that you are carrying your Digital camera battery charger.
An International power point adaptor
A spare memory card (if you take lots of photographs.).
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A small torch is a must to carry here as there are lots of power "outages"..anytime the power will be switched off by the government and also the street lighting is non existant.
Miscellaneous: MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE CRISP NEW U.S. DOLLARS FOR XCHANGE OTHERWISE ...NO MONEY.. They will not be accepted anywhere.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
We always take a gel handwash on our holidays, and make sure we use it before we eat and periodically though the day. I have a bad habit of putting my fingers in my mouth - and the handwash is a good taste reminder not to do this.
Its also a good idea to take the usual gut and butt medication - anti nausea and antidiarrhoea treatments are available enough, but best if you have them readily available in luggage.
I would generally not leave the hotel without either of these items.
Miscellaneous: We always take a gel handwash on our holidays, and make sure we use it before we eat and periodically though the day. I have a bad habit of putting my fingers in my mouth - and the handwash is a good taste reminder not to do this.
Miscellaneous: We somehow managed to "lose" our Lonely Plant - which just disappeared into thin air! Then, we made the discovery that they are VERY difficult, if not impossible to purchase in Yangon, indeed Myanmar all over. We devoted hours on our first day to finding a book store which may hold a treasure - very disheartening process. Even upmarket hotel giftshops did not hold this little beauty. Finally, we found a photocopied older copy in a secondhand book store. One of those little mysteries - not sure if ours is a treasured photocopy source in someone's shop, or just gone to that little lonely planet place in the sky!
Women should make sure they take a sleeved shirt and light pants to wear when visiting pagodas.
Take sandals/thongs as you will find yourself constantly taking off your shoes when you visit various holy places or even people's homes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Various medicines
Photo Equipment: Digital cameras etc are not common so make sure you have a plentiful supply of video film and other accessories needed before you go to Myanmar.
Miscellaneous: Torch-street lights not existent in some places. Also needed as everyday there is a power blackout.
If you like reading in bed portable reading light as the bedlights in hotel rooms are pretty low powered.
Luggage and bags:
Aung San Suu Kyi
Burmese Pro-Democracy Activist
AUNG SAN SUU KYI had settled in to a quiet life as the mother of two and wife of a British professor when a return trip to her native Burma in 1988 turned her life around. Nine years and one Nobel Peace Prize later, Suu Kyi stands as Burma's adored national champion of democracy and human rights.
Her current role as a democracy activist is fitting. Suu Kyi's father, Gen. Aung San, led Burma's struggle for independence from Britain in the mid-1940s. His daughter was 2 years old when enemies assassinated him in 1947, the year before Burma finally won its freedom. Tales of her father's heroism inspired Suu Kyi, charging her sense of idealism and responsibility to the Burmese people. Even as a young woman living thousands of miles away in England, she knew the day might come when her country would need her: In a 1971 letter to her husband-to-be, she worried that 'national considerations might tear us apart.'
'The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social and economic aspirations. The people of my country want the two freedoms that spell security: freedom from want and freedom from fear.'
Aung San Suu Kyi
That time came in March 1988, when Suu Kyi returned to Burma to care for her dying mother. Four months later, Gen. Ne Win, the head of Burma's brutal socialist government, stepped down and a massive pro-democracy movement was born. Suu Kyi joined in, speaking at hundreds of rallies and helping to found the National League for Democracy. Determined nonviolence became her strength as she repeatedly faced down rifles with calm fearlessness. Her popularity swelled and supporters began to reverently refer to her as 'the Lady.'
'Suu is one of those rare individuals who symbolize not just the courage of human beings, but the courage of an entire country. ... There's an almost mystical identity between her and the Burmese people.'
David Arnott of the Burma Peace Foundation, Los Angeles Times, December 1991
Though soldiers refused to fire at Suu Kyi, they killed and tortured thousands of other protesters. The military regained control of the country in September, forming the State Law and Order Restoration Council. When their vicious slander campaign against Suu Kyi failed to stop her, they placed her under house arrest in July 1989. International pressure to release her began in 1991, when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Companies pulled their business out of the country, and human-rights groups worldwide denounced the ruling military junta. Suu Kyi's captors finally relented in July 1995.
Despite her freedom, which is still tightly restricted, battles continue to rage in Burma. Faced with the military's refusal to negotiate and a demoralized democracy movement, Suu Kyi now hopes that international pressure, namely sanctions and tourist boycotts, will be the key to political changes in her homeland.
Luggage and bags:
Take a few $1 bills. The best thing to do I learned from a Chinese watch shop. Trade your dollar for 600 kyat, or whatever the exchange rate is. Then take 50 kyat and change it for 50 one kyat notes. Then, whenever you see a beggar, or rather are bothered by one, give them a 1 kyat note. It worked very well, and I still have lots leftover for souvenirs.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Adventure Travel
May is the beginning of the rainy season. It is bloody awful hot during the day, but like clockwork, at about 4PM the monsoon rain starts. It is prudent to carry an umbrella at all times, to ward off the sun and the rain. Also, when it monsoons, expect the roads and sidewalks to quickly become flooded. Keep this in mind when selecting footwear.
As for footwear, cheap thongs seem to complete the national garb of longyii. They are very practical for popping in and out of Buddhist temples, as they remove easily. Outside of the city, you will probably see nothing BUT thongs.