3 Social Enterprises You Will Love In Myanmar

When you go to Myanmar, definitely visit these places.  You’ll get great food and souvenirs, and you’ll truly be helping the local people who need it.  The amazing power of social enterprise – do what you love and make the world a better place at the same time!

As I mentioned in my previous post “5 Fun Things More People Should Do In Myanmar“, there are three great social enterprises that I recommend you visit on your stay.  Here’s a bit more information about each of them:

For your lunch – Yangon Bakehouse

As a customer, what you see when you walk into Yangon Bakehouse (YBH), is a small bustling cafe with a delicious looking menu, and mouth-watering baked goods on display. I ordered a chicken wrap with fresh salad, fresh juice, and had a brownie and coffee for dessert.  If I’d have been passing by, that might have been all I’d have noticed. Freshly prepared, high quality food.  But behind the scenes there is another world going on, that sets this cafe apart from the rest in Yangon. The next day, a came back and met co-founder Cavelle Dove, who explained more.

“YBH runs an apprentice training programme for local women that have come from difficult circumstances” Says co-founder Cavelle Dove. “All women that join the apprenticeships are referred from specialist agencies that work with women in need.”

“The program sees the women training with YBH for 10 months. They become part of a family. During the apprenticeship, they are paid for their work, and often for the first time they feel a sense of security. They are able to access healthcare, and plan for their children’s education. By the end of the program, the women have key skills that can be transferred to other restaurants and bakeries around Yangon, and will be especially well suited to the high value work in the growing tourism sector. ”

The Yangon Bakehouse shop front maybe small, but the dreams and plans are big. New partnerships and locations were being put into place when I visited, so have a look at the Yangon Bakehouse website for the latest information on new locations, and more beautiful photos.

For your souvenirs – Pomelo Yangon Continue reading

What NOT to take on an Adventure – Top 10 Mistakes

My Top 10 Travel Kit Mistakes

  1. Electric toothbrush – I love my ultrasonic toothbrush. My dentist loves my ultrasonic toothbrush. But the charger didn’t fit in my new “global” adaptor, and so I was stuck carrying a dead toothbrush for 5 weeks. Take a small normal toothbrush.
  2. Silk sleep sack – A useful piece of kit for couchsurfing or backpacking, but if you are planning to AirBnB, leave it behind.
  3. Towel – Only take the micro size. Like the sleep sack, most places have towels, but i did use the micro towel once or twice.
  4. Travel money – If you don’t take much cash with you, which can be safer, be prepared to be stung at the cash machines. Even my sensible Post Office travel card was charging me on transactions and didn’t work so well. You need a good travel money card.
  5. Shoes – I love Vivo Barefoot shoes. They’re basically the only shoes I wear at home. But my summer slip-ons were never designed to be sturdy travel shoes, and they  lasted two weeks of travel. I’d like to try their cross trainer model next time. Continue reading