Ohn Ne Choung, Myanmar
Put down your Myanmar guidebook: You likely won’t find the small village of Ohn Ne Choung in it anyway. This is Burma as it once was — with the clock wound back a full century or more. Children run down dirt lanes, and roosters roam freely. Carts are pulled by oxen. There are no shops here, and nothing to buy. And that’s exactly why people visit.
What We Love
The Friendly Locals: Expect residents to peek shyly over self-made bamboo fences to get a look at you, the pale, sweaty tourists rolling up the dirt road. Local kids want to hold your hand, and adults all smile and greet you with a hesitant, but friendly, “mingalaba” (hello).
It’s Genuine: There’s absolutely nothing here done for the benefit of tourists, save for the guided walk your tour leader will give you. Everything you see in Ohn Ne Choung is absolutely authentic, and harkens to the traditional way of life that still exists in present-day Myanmar.
Best Known For
The Fact That It’s Unknown: You’ve never heard of Ohn Ne Choung before — and that’s a good thing. Even the guidebooks don’t mention it.
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Who It's Best For
Photographers and Authenticity Seekers: Rays of sun cast visible light shadows through the dust that rises from the dirt roads, creating wonderful photo opportunities. People who desire genuine cultural insight will no doubt find it here.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There’s Nothing to Buy: If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, this isn’t the port of call to find it in. Even the locals aren’t selling their wares.
You’re Going to Get Dirty: The dirt and dust cake everything — most of all, you — in a fine layer of golden grit. Wear it proudly.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.