How to Stay Safe While Traveling in Myanmar

As awesome and exotic Myanmar is to travel to, just like with any unfamiliar place whether down the street, across your town, state or even across the globe, it pays to stay safe. Staying safe doesn’t mean that you’re traveling to an unsafe place but it means that you conduct yourself in such a way that you maximize your personal security and safety regardless of where you go. This is true when traveling to Rome, Italy or London, England or in this case Myanmar. Keep the following tips in mind so you enjoy the exotic charms of Myanmar without getting your expectations dashed or coming home with a bad taste in your mouth about this Southeast Asian hidden travel gem.

Venture Out With a Tour Group

When going traveling, whether checking out Bagan, exploring the exotic temples of Yangon or taking in the precolonial splendor and grandeur of Mandalay, you need to travel with a group of people preferably with your tour group along with your tour guides. Usually, regardless of where you’re traveling, whether that’s in Europe, America or Asia, when you’re in a tour group, you are less susceptible to crime or other hazards because there’s security in numbers. Moreover, since all of you are traveling together in a group you’re more likely to look out for each other.

Travel During Daytime Hours

Most crimes occur during nighttime hours, that’s why it’s crucial that you arrange all your activities to be during daytime hours when traveling in Myanmar. Ideally, you should travel why it’s cool. Just like any tropical Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar can really hot and humid especially around noon time. It’s a good idea to gather and get the group together at the break of dawn, head out and check out the sites, hit the local restaurants and enjoy yourselves before noon time. This way, it’s still relatively cool and you enjoy the security of being out in broad daylight.

Focus on Common Tourist Spots When Traveling in Myanmar

By basing your travel itinerary on locations that are geared towards travelers, you gain an added measure of security because these places already expect tourists and made provisions for your safety and security. Compare this with traveling to a spot that is quite remote and is unfamiliar to tourists and travelers. In that particular situation, you might just be opening yourself up to all sorts of hazards and security issues. It’s much better to focus on common tourist spots but at the same time truly enjoying the local attractions. This means you don’t have to visit tourist traps but you can still enjoy a truly fulfilling and satisfying exotic travel experience.

Nothing spoils a trip worse than security and safety issues. Maximize your enjoyment of Myanmar by following the basic tips above. These tips aren’t rocket science but they’re pretty much common sense. Unfortunately, in the rush to explore, appreciate and enjoy such an exotic travel treasure like Myanmar, common sense can sometimes be quite uncommon. Keep these tips in mind to truly enjoy a memorable Myanmar travel experience.

Photography Tips While Traveling

Whether you’re embarking on a family vacation or your family reunion, it’s going to be a special time. When we think of trips we’ve taken, we tend to remember them best with photographs. Here’s some ideas to enhance your vacation as well as your memories of them.

Location Preparation

1) Since you know where you’re going (that’s a minimum requirement), doesn’t it make sense to check out the location before you get there? Create a list of attractions, accommodations, special points of interest, amusement areas, shopping, etc. A good source to help you do this is: the Places and Travel section of ( [])

2) Figure out the photo opportunities for each appropriate venue. Anyone can take a “that’s nice” picture of the kids at an amusement park. Wouldn’t you rather capture a “WOW” photo that could be hung over the mantle?

3) Depending on the location you’re traveling to, you can see what books are written about them that highlight the best photo opportunities for the entire area

4) If you’re cyber-savvy, start at and search using different combinations of: your destination, best photography locations, for images of the location, scenic spots, etc. The options are endless.

5) If you’re off to a non-big city area, scout out the national parks in the area. The great thing about national parks is that the scenery is usually so breathtaking, that a so-so shot looks

outstanding, just because of the subject. Once in, do a search on photos and you will be presented with terrific shots of all the parks

Photography Preparation

OK, you’re either traveling through or you’re at a wonderful location full of photo opportunities. You began this leg of your trip at the crack of dawn and as you’re pulling into the most scenic overlook for 400 miles, the sun is just starting to crack the horizon.

You instinctively pull the car over, grab your camera and your tripod, and look for the best spot to set up. Just one tiny little problem… YOU FORGOT YOUR TRIPOD! Rather than smack yourself on the forehead then, why not plan these things now, before you leave?

Your list should include AT LEAST the following consideration…

1) Do I need to repeat – BRING YOUR TRIPOD? It doesn’t take up much room, and as explained at, tripods allow you to capture entirely new categories of photographs that won’t be possible without one

2) Memory. Of course, bring all the memory you have, but also pack your portable storage device (explained at

3) If your camera has a hot shoe, bring your external flash, and any additional equipment that can be used to help with bounce flash

4) Remember your external shutter release cable for those long exposures. How else are you going to get that “angel-hair” look of the waterfalls?

5) Don’t forget the basics like: batteries, battery charger, camera bag, and additional lenses and filters (if applicable on your camera)

6) And just in case you need it, bring the manuals for your equipment.

Finally, don’t get so wrapped up in taking perfect shots that you don’t enjoy the trip. Remember to use the tripod so that you’ll be in at least some of the photos.

Article courtesy of Best Family Photography, where you can see some sample pictures including more photography tips.

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.