On episode 72 of Talk Travel Asia podcast, Northern Myanmar with Nick Ray, Scott and Trevor talk with Lonely Planet author Nick Ray about his recent explorations of the northern regions of Myanmar for a new version of the Lonely Planet Myanmar guidebook.
Myanmar is one of SE Asia’s most fascinating and least-explored countries. Sealed off from the outside world for almost 50 years, it finally opened-up in 2011, and with it, tourism arrivals grew substantially. Things have tailed-off a bit over the last couple years, but Myanmar is still an up-and-coming, ‘must-see’ and experience destination if you are to truly know SE Asia. Infact, it’s one of SE Asia’s most diverse countries and covers a staggering number of regions. From stunning islands and beaches in the Andaman Sea in the far south, to the ancient temples at Bagan in the desert-like plains, and the 5,881m-high Hkakabo Razi peak in the country’s far north in the Himalayas – Myanmar truly has it all and then some. We chat with longtime Lonely Planet writer Nick Ray about his experience authoring parts of the 2017 Lonely Planet Myanmar book.
Scott & Trevor talk about their first impressions and experiences traveling to Myanmar, Trevor in 2002 and Scott on more recent multiple visits. In addition to discussions of the different experiences they’ve had, having traveled to Myanmar at very different times, they look back at Episode 70: Impressions of Yangon, Myanmar and Episode 30: Up and Coming Cambodia with Nick Ray.
Guest Introduction: Nick Ray: Our guest today is truly an expert on SE Asia. Nick Ray has been living in the region for many years and calls Phnom Penh, Cambodia home. He’s a longtime author of the Lonely Planet’s Cambodia guidebook, has contributed to several editions of the Myanmar guidebook, including the most recent 2017 edition, has worked as a fixer, is co-owner of one of Cambodia’s premier travel companies – Hanuman Travel – and is one hell of a great guy. Welcome Nick!
When and how did you first end up living and working in SE Asia?
How did you end up writing for Lonely Planet?
What books have you written for Lonely Planet?
How did you get involved in the Myanmar guidebook series?
What makes Myanmar different from any other SE Asian countries?
What areas did you cover for this latest – 2017 – edition?
Walk us through the areas – why don’t we work from north to south?
- Indawgyi Lake
- other off-the-beaten-track places
For the last edition you covered Bagan, Central Myanmar and Nay Pyi Taw. How did that differ from traveling for this edition?
What is the capital Nay Pyi Taw like?
Where have you not been in Myanmar that you’d like to visit?
Without saying ‘your favorite’, what are a couple of your favorite spots in Myanmar?
Is there anything people should keep in mind when planning a trip there?
Just before we wrap-up, your wife Kulikar recently completed a movie which won some awards. Tell us about that.
About our guest:
- Nick Ray – LinkedIn
- Nick Ray – Twitter: @lpnickray
- Hanuman Travel
- The Last Reel – IMDB
- Episode 30: Up and Coming Cambodia with Nick Ray:
To learn more about Scott & Trevor:
- Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottcoates73
- Trevor’s Blog
- Scott’s Blog
- Groovy Map Seoul
- National Geographic Cambodia
- National Geographic Thailand
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- Theme Music by Jamie Ruben