Just got back from a week in Myanmar. The grace and meekness of the Burmese people was such breath of fresh air coming from boisterous Vietnam. People wait in line. They stop at red lights. They don’t shout, even when they’re drunk. If you leave your wallet in the taxi, you’ll (probably) get it back. The refined social habits don’t reflect the state of development of the country. Limited public transit, an ancient train system, no street lights (even in major cities), Internet that makes dial-up look blazing, and constant power cuts, even at the airport security check, are daily inconveniences. However, the Myanmar food easily makes it all worth it.
Since I run a food tour, I figured that while I was on holiday, I should put my money where my mouth is and book a Myanmar food tour of my own. I went with Yangon Food Tour, which I would highly recommend. My food sampling actually stated the day before, wandering around downtown on my own. I was told that eating street food is not recommended for tourists, as up to 80% of it is contaminated, but I called their bluff and sat down anywhere that looked reasonably busy. Had some great curries on the sidewalk, along with this flatbread burrito.
Yangon Food Tour
The next morning was the official food tour. Our awesome guide James walked us around the downtown, feeding us delicious food till we couldn’t eat any more. Everything was so tasty, with lots of noodles, curries and fried pastries. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but it just might have been the mohinga pictured below. We also had a Burmese coffee, which is black with lots of sugar lime juice. Sounds weird, but it’s actually really good! The tour was a great way to learn more about the local food scene, chat with a local and of course eat a lot of great stuff.
19th Street BBQ
Later that night, we headed down to the famous 19th Street for BBQ. This place was hopping, with tons of grill joints. Rather than ordering off a menu, here you just walk up to the cart, grab a basket, and start tossing stuff in it; they’ll throw it on the grill and bring it to your table when it’s ready.
After a week of eating on the streets (and never getting sick!) I can confidently recommend Myanmar food as a major selling point of this amazing country. I already can’t wait to come back!
If you’re coming to Da Nang, I’d love to take you on a local food tour here!