Category: Destinations

Kakku Guide – Myanmar’s Amazing Pagodas

Myanmar’s Kakku Pagodas showed up on my Instagram feed when I was elbow deep in research for my Myanmar trip. Near-ish to Inle Lake, the Mwe Taw Kakku Pagoda Complex seemed like the perfect off the beaten path alternative to the usual lake and temple tour.

Like a corn maze of intricately decorated stupas, varying in color from white to gold, pink, and orange, these 2400+ stupas are arranged in such a way that you can weave through them, getting gloriously lost in a twinkling, bell-sounding forest of Buddhist devotion.

Pin me!

Most of the pagodas were constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries, and many of them have been restored after suffering earthquake damage.

As you walk through you’ll notice that some appear to be even older. It’s believed that some of the stupas date back to King Aluangsithu, the 12th century King of Bagan (even some claims have

Read More

The Low-Down on Carbon Offset Programs

Pin me!

Alright, folks, it’s time to be frank: the present state of Mother Earth isn’t looking good. The planet needs us more than ever before. We have a pretty serious situation on our hands as a result of climate change, and now I’ve found myself asking — as I’m sure many of you have, too — what do I do now? How can I help?

You may have heard of something called “carbon offsetting.” This term has begun to appear more and more in climate change conversation, and is shrouded in controversy as well. Is it legitimate? Let’s take a look.

What is carbon offsetting?

el nido overlooking

The World Economic Forum provides a graphic (source: graphs.net produced by GOOD and Deeplocal using data from NRDC, US EPA, Clean Air Cool Planet, and The Discovery Channel) that does a great job of breaking it down: The concept of a carbon offset is

Read More

What to Do When You Get Sick While Traveling

Pin me!

Before I sat down to write this article, I was a little bit hesitant to talk about getting sick on the road. I’m not a doctor and nobody likes to talk about stomach and digestion issues, but the truth is it comes up for almost everyone who travels, and when it does, it can be really shitty.

Pun not even intended, and yet here we are.

I used to pride myself on never getting sick on the road. I had a stomach of steel, I would say. I was careful to eat at street food stands that clearly had high turnover, but I ate raw vegetables, smoothies with ice, and I still always brush my teeth with tap water. Suffice to say, apart from getting immunized, I ignore all of the ‘typical’ advice because I find it’s too rigid and I just want to live. That did me

Read More

How to Reduce Plastic Use for Cleaner Oceans

Pin me!

Lately I’ve been seeing a multitude of doomsday news articles related to the state of our planet and the formidable ways in which we’re messing it up. Though I didn’t need it becoming the hot new news topic to notice that beaches in Indonesia are overflowing with plastic and reefs are bleaching, I am glad that the collective is waking up to the issues at hand.

However, it’s normal to look at all this news and feel depressed beyond measure. Fear-inducing news has the power to negatively impact the part of our brain that allows for creative thinking and problem solving. But now more than ever, we need to take an active role in healing our planet, not least of all so that we can feel like we’re contributing in a positive way. One of the biggest issues we’re facing right now is plastic. Here’s what you might

Read More

The Best of Myanmar: The Full Itinerary

Pin me!

This post was originally written by Ryan Brun for BMTM in 2014. While much of what he wrote is still true and remains in this post, I visited again in 2020 and have updated the post as well as added in new resources and spots to see. Enjoy! -Kristin

Myanmar isn’t a Southeast Asian country that is often on travelers “must see” lists, or planned for their great backpacking adventure. Which is a shame, because Myanmar is one of the most culturally preserved and exciting destinations in Asia.

Why isn’t Myanmar on everyone’s “must do” lists?

It honestly wasn’t on my list until I was invited by a friend. Before traveling to Myanmar, I didn’t know anything about the country except about how it was closed off from the world up until about a couple decades ago.

After backpacking through a large portion of Myanmar during their annual

Read More

Winnipeg’s 16 Best Things to Do

Pin me!

There are some places in the world where I can’t help but be in a good mood. The sun is shining, people are friendly, the food is delicious, and there’s so much to do outside. Having both visited in the peak of summer and winter, Winnipeg has consistently been one of those places for me.

An underrated gem in Canada, there’s so much to do in Winnipeg, and it’s impressed me every time with their offerings, no matter the season. The best part is I rarely feel that I have to share it with many people. If you’re visiting Winnipeg, these are some of the best things to do in and around the city:

16. The Forks

The perfect meeting place in the heart of the city, The Forks is an open dining hall with shops and food vendors selling all kinds of different options from coffee, to

Read More