As Myanmar gets its infrastructure together and internet becomes more accessible and available (and sometimes faster too!) a wealth of useful sites, groups and resources are available. Here is a roundup of some of the best;
- Yangon Expat Connection. This is a googlegroup that has been going for almost three years and has over 3000 members. Initially created to cater for the transient expat community to exchange information and sell goods, it now boasts on average 20-30 posts per day on subjects ranging from housing, events, visas, sports and many things besides. To read more about the group click here; https://groups.google.com/forum/#!categories/yangon-expat-connection to join the group simply send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org stating why you would like to join.
- Moving to Myanmar (eBook). A fantastic resource for anyone considering a move here. Written by the brilliant Becky in Burma, herself an expat and one-time resident of Yangon, there are tonnes of practical tips, personal anecdotes and shared experiences from locals and expats. Plus a massive resource section on everything from culture shock to What to Bring when packing your shipping. A definite must read! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moving-Myanmar-resources-friendly-ebook/dp/B00CBP3ZFY
- Yangon Connection (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/127303500750801/. A lively crowd of 3000+ expats and locals share blog posts, questions and events, with debates and requests for donations to local projects coming thick and fast.
- What’s Happening in Yangon (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/307122865994971/. Another group of 5000+ mainly younger members exchanging info on events etc.
- Dos and Donts for Tourists http://www.dosanddontsfortourists.com/ A gentle and humorous view of cultural differences that might fox the tourists in Yangon, but is equally relevant (and funny!) to residents and would-be residents.
- Squar.com http://www.squar.asia/ A recently created local language forum, along the lines of social media chat sites like Facebook. Squar bills itself as Myanmar’s First Social Media Forum and has garnered a lot of attention already, despite being only a few months old!
- Yangon Taxi Translator app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chromeinfotech.yangon.hktaxitranslator&hl=en_GB. This neat little app will translate 1000+ street names into Burmese for you so you can show your taxi driver exactly where you want to go. Works off line so you don’t need to be connected to the internet. Currently 83p (GBP) from Google Play.
- Burma Shavings. For a long time about the only resource connecting expats, Burma Shavings is a monthly newsletter distributed to members and staff of the US embassy only. Great classified section though, if you can get your hands on a copy!
- The Golden Guide to Yangon (2013) was once known as the expat bible, being a directory of resources, from embassies to schools, health clinics to shopping, services and leisure activities, all used and recommended by expats in Yangon. Collated and distributed by the excellent fundraising group the IFG (International Friendship Group) the book is available in expat shops such as Sharky’s and Monument Books at a very reasonable 6000kyats – all proceeds to charity. Be quick however as these guides sometimes run out. We are awaiting news of the 2014 edition and publication date.