Rustic Pathways | Burma

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Even though Rustic Pathways started full-time operations in Myanmar in 2002, the country has only recently opened to general tourists, which means its spectacular beauty is still largely untouched. All of our Myanmar program managers are native Burmese, enabling us to take students off the increasingly popular tourist track and into the villages and homes of their family and friends.

Largely cut off from the Western world for decades, Myanmar can feel a little like a land lost to time. Its colorful cultures, stunning landscapes, and complex history make it a fascinating destination. You’ll witness a nation wrestling with issues of globalization, internal politics, technological advancement, and cultural sovereignty, all while gaining an authentic look into the lives of locals.

Questions & Answers

12th grade


based on 4 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Best experience of my life

I was in Myanmar this past summer for two weeks. I have travelled to many different countries including Fiji, Costa Rica, Thailand, South Africa, Mozambique, and many more. However, nothing can beat Myanmar. There is such a rich history in this country that I had no idea about. I was here with the Mystery Trip so I did not know anything about it until I got there. The staff here were absolutely incredible. We all still talk in our group message every day. The people here were some of the friendliest I've ever met. It was many of their first times seeing foreigners in their whole life. We went inside a refugee camp and it was truly something I'll never forget. Talking to the students there and hearing their stories was heartbreaking but amazing at the same time. A huge piece of my heart will always be in Myanmar. I'm already counting down the days until I get to go back in two years. I would recommend going here 1000000%.

How can this program be improved?
There is no way to improve this program. It was perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Experience of My Life

I was so nervous with the days leading up to the trip but I cannot stress enough how much of an eye opener this trip was for me. I traveled with my sister which was huge plus but we both our own separate friends so when I got home sick I had her, but my new family was so welcoming. The staff was so friendly and welcoming and encouraged each of us to go beyond our comfort zone. We rode bikes through the temples of Old Bagan, and swam in waterfalls in Pinn Oo Lynn. Best experience of my life and I cannot wait for my next trip. I signed up 2 weeks after I got home. The friends I made are ones I will never forget and the memories are ones I will always cherish.

How can this program be improved?
Since the program I choose was brand new that year, there was a lot of unplanned activities we did. They weren't bad and really supported the Rustic motto of "Live in the Moment" but for me personally, it was pretty stressful not knowing where I was going, if I was dressed according the country's customs, and not knowing how long I would be gone.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Eye-opening experience

I did the Tribal Issues Program with Rustic Pathways. It was one week in Thailand and one week in Burma.
I recommend this program to anybody interested in journalism, video, photography, or just somebody that is intrigued to hear a different perspective from people of another culture.
We interviewed/visited various people/places in both countries. We went to NGO'S, schools, interviewed a the head man of the village, monks, Burmese teenage immigrants living in Thailand to get an education (their stories were heartbreaking but so incredibly inspiring). We even interviewed people at the local border market, a tomato farmer, local families, so may people with first-hand stories that will amaze you.
The living conditions are great for the most part, in hotels (the beds are hard but that is common in SE Asia and it just part of the experience!). The home stay in Thailand was a great experience. The families all loved having us and I felt at home with them. The staff was incredible so supportive and helpful whether it be with the history of a country or revolution, journalism techniques, or video. They were also on top of all medical issues big or small.
I would recommend Rustic really to anyone because they have so many different programs for people with different interests. Also, Southeast Asia is just a great place to travel to because of the beautiful places full of rich history and the people you will meet that will change the way you define happiness.

How can this program be improved?
interviewing less monks and maybe going to visit more organizations or schools
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rustic Pathways Burma

Traveling in Burma changed my life in unimaginable ways. I had barely ever heard of the country and now I am speaking the language, studying current issues and affairs, and find the word Burma slipping off my tongue multiple times a day.
Stepping of the plan in Yangon was a whirlwind for me. On these programs I explored everything from the big cities to the small villages, from the U Bien Bridge, to the temples of Bagan, and watching the sunset on the Irrawaddy to practicing Burmese with the locals.
Learning about the current affairs in Burma can be both heart wrenching and eye opening. It doesn't seem that somewhere so beautiful filled with the kindest of people, could be facing such turmoil. Traveling with David and the staff on these programs, you can learn so much. Asking questions and listening will be your best friend and you will go home with a new binder full of knowledge and experience to put on your life shelf.
This country and this program fosters a fun and light hearted way to experience a deep and complex world, that is Burma.

How can this program be improved?
In this program, I worry that it is more for the students benefit than it is for the people of Burma. It is so important to learn and this program does that, but there should be one more step. I would change the conversations that happen into more of an education about how to help the issues in Burma and how to work with the Burmese people. Tourism is great, but so is offering a hand that is stemming from a person with new found knowledge.
Yes, I recommend this program


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Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on...