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Village stay in Myanmar

Travelling off the beaten track is arguably the best way to get to know a country. If you are lucky enough to stay with its people in their own communities, away from the well-trodden tourist trails, it can give you a real insight into their culture; a window onto their lives. PJ guest Nancy Johnson, who travelled with us to Burma, found the experience of ‘getting up close’ was both a privilege and a hoot! Here’s what she wrote about her homestay in a rural village.

After a day walking filled with lovely scenery and friendly locals, we arrived in the village for our overnight village home-stay, just as darkness was falling. We followed the cows home from the field into the village, accompanied by a boy riding a water buffalo, and another buffalo pulling a cart in which a man was sleeping deeply, oblivious to the rough ground he bumped over. Thankfully, the animal seemed to know where it was going.

Dinner was with a local family who seemed delighted to have us join them in their house. We enjoyed their company for a couple of hours and they were interested in seeing photos of our families and where we lived.

Our accommodation for the night was in a house on stilts made of wood and bamboo weave. Our hostess, an elderly cheroot-smoking lady, had never had foreigners to stay with her before. We settled down for the night, rolling out our mattresses and arranging our blankets on the first floor.

We rose early and experienced wakening village life… cows being led out of houses, ox and carts going out to the fields. After breakfast we made an early start on another lovely day walking, and set out across the fields with the damp mist rising around us.



"The thing we will probably tell people about first was the stay with the Pa-O family at Inle because being put to bed under pop-up mosquito nets with a class of 6-8 year olds having a post-school lesson on the other side of the room is not something we have done before!"

Simon Acland & Jo Valentine

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