Tips and Hints for your Myanmar Trekking Adventure
Our favorite way to experience the natural beauty of Myanmar is trekking! From half day walks to cascading waterfalls near Pyin Oo Lwin to multi-day journeys through the highland villages around Pindaya, these adventures are sure to ‘wow’ you.
But in order to get the most out of your Myanmar trek, it is a good idea to be prepared. Below are our helpful hints about preparing for your Myanmar trek. Follow these tips and you will have nothing to worry about on your adventure- just hit the trails and enjoy the experience!
What to wear?
Myanmar is seasonal so it is best to check your travel period with the forecast. But even so, it is best to dress in layers as the nights tend to be far cooler than the day times in the highlands.
A comfortable t-shirt is a great base layer. While specially-designed sports tops are great, a simple cotton t-shirt will do. A lightweight, water-resistant jacket is a handy second layer- helping to protect from the cool, wind and rain. If you are traveling in the winter, a hat and scarf are also recommended.
As Myanmar is a conservative country, it is suggested to wear knee-length shorts or longer trousers. Lightweight materials are highly recommended as they are easier to move in and they dry faster.
If you are doing an overnight trek, you will be sleeping in a family home or monastery. For meals, it is polite to be conservatively dressed so for your post-trek clothes please do not wear singlets, low-cut tops or short shorts out of respect for your hosts.
What footwear should I bring?
The most important factor for choosing your footwear on a trek is that it should be comfortable and broken in. Please do NOT bring a brand new pair of shoes- they almost always causes painful blisters on treks! Running shoes are ok for most day hikes and for longer hikes on well-trodden trails. For treks on rougher terrain, hiking boots with ankle support is recommended. Your travel advisor can inform you in advance of the type of trails you will be on during your adventure.
What to pack?
Your trek includes drinking water and meals, so no need to worry about lugging around cooking equipment or heavy water bottles. Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses are highly recommended as you will be in higher altitudes and, at times, exposed to the sun. A longyi- the Myanmar-style sarong- is a good, lightweight addition to your bag. It can be used to cover you while you bathe (as ‘showers’ on treks consist of buckets of water poured over your head!), a towel or extra padding for your pillow! A portable battery pack is suggested for shutterbugs- most of the villages in the highlands do not have electricity, so charging your camera batteries is only possible with a battery pack. If you are on regular medication, please be sure to carry it with you as it is difficult to get to a doctor quickly if you become ill or have forgotten your medicines.
One last note on packing
If you forget something from home, do not stress. Most clothing items and toiletries are available in Myanmar and your guide can advise you where to purchase these items.
Staying Healthy on the trails
Safety is our first priority when trekking in Myanmar. Our guides will do their best to look after you but here are some key essentials you should know in preparation of your adventure.
Never hike alone! Please stay with the guide and the group. Should you get separated, stay still. Do not try and find the group as you are likely to get lost. Stay in one place and the guide will come find you.
Do not push yourself beyond your limits. Trekking is not a race, so if the group is going too fast for you do not be afraid to let them know. And if you are feeling extremely fatigued or are having trouble breathing, inform your guide immediately!
Stay hydrated! Even when it is cool outside and you are not sweating, your body is working hard on these treks and it is vital that you stay hydrated. Drink purified water (provided on your trek) at least every hour while moving and again before going to sleep. Hot green tea is also a good way to stay hydrated and is served at every village along the way. Even if you are not thirsty, it is always a good idea to drink water regularly!
We hope you are looking forward to your Myanmar trekking adventure! With just a bit of extra planning, we are sure you will have a great trip that is safe, comfortable and worry-free!