Whether you are an expatriate who has just moved into Myanmar or just here for a short visit, you might have already discovered on the internet what the other experienced people say about this country or probably gathered as much information as you can from books and travel websites. You might have heard of Ngapali, Inle and Mandalay, you might even have been to Shwedagon Pagoda and Bagan and they might have told you about how you can get to all these tourist attractions, probably have recommended some places to stay and informed you some tips of dos and don’ts during your stay here. But when you are here for more than a two-week vacation, you will have more questions that those travel guides and blogs haven’t provided the answers yet. You might start to won- der things like how you can manage to have internet access at your home or office to where you should take your family coming weekend, how to choose a dentist or a tailor and eventually where you should go to get a haircut. Here is the Yangon Golden Guide which recently launched its 2015 Edition will answer you above ques- tions and take you across the city where most of the recently arrived expats tried to adapt their new lives in Myanmar. Even if you consider your stay here has been long enough for a guidebook, you will still enjoy lighthearted yet fascinating facts and you may even agree with some of them.
There are a total of 12 sections and you can look up basic information on the coun- try, accommodation, education, health care, dining, shopping, recreation and tips for trips. It seems like a mini-directory with addresses and useful phone numbers but more likely a diary friend of yours trying to guide you through your initial days in the city. It tells you some expressions, social etiquette, festivals and even num- bers and units in Myanmar language under the General Information section. If you are an expatriate just arrived here and completely new to the atmosphere, you may need to read the second section: Getting Settled thoroughly so that you can have an overall idea about accommodation: whether you should choose a house or a ser- viced apartment, a list of real estate agents, about private transportation and driving license, visas, banking and hiring household help. This Golden Guide also provides with useful information about electrical and water supply, Internet service provid- ers, security, landline-telephone and Cable TV that an expat living in Yangon might need in finding household and maintenance services.
When you are in the process of settling here, one of the first things you have to ob- serve is healthcare. There are a number of medical centers, dental clinics and med- ical specialists included in the guidebook. There are many expats here who bring their family and move into the country together and if you are one of them, there is no doubt that there will be more things you need to add to the list of things I have to take care of. If your have children in your family, you must not skip Education section and Things to do with Children section. There is also a whole section focused on services like mobile, camera and computer repairs, printing, mailing, newspapers and Insurance and Law firms in the book. What more is that you can keep this as your shopping guide (from buying jewelries to books and DVDs) as well as a dining guide.
This Golden Guide to Yangon is organized by the International Friendship Group – IFG which is a network helping women in Yangon to interact, socialize and fundraise. IFG rais- es funds through this Golden Guide and other evens to support local community projects especially for children and elderly. The Golden Guide to Yangon 2015 Edition is currently priced at US$10 and available at Monument Books, Monsoon Restaurant, Pomelo Yangon, Rangoon Tea House and Yangon Bakehouse respectively. IFG published the Golden Guide in 2004 for the first time and then continued its publication in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013. This 2015 Golden Guide to Yangon is its latest 6th edition.