I was not meant to be part of that. Well, when setting for Myanmar I was not aware they are going to have the holiday but my first visit in Myanmar let me experience the Burmese New Year and Thingyan (Water Festival).
Thingyan is the most important public holiday and lasts at least four days. In 2012 it lasted a week though! All the banks were closed – I remember that too well as it was not the time of ATMs and my Myanmar currency evaporated from my wallet faster than I planned 🙂 As well, in all countries I was before even during public holidays money changers are open anyway. It was not the case for Myanmar in 2012 though.
So I was left with no money and I had my first experience with Burmese black market then. I enjoyed Thingyan ust for two days and, as it is a pretty loud holiday, I found my rescue in a meditiation center. Apparently many Burmese do that as well. After calling 6 centers in Yangon only to find out that they accept no more people, I was lucky to end up in Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha Meditation Centre in Yangon where I spent a week.
It is quite an adventure to land in Myanmar just before Thingyan but be aware that all the prices go up during the holiday – bus, train tickets, accommodation and all tourist related expenditures double or tripple their original price. As always – the choice is your!
Happy Thingyan 2015!