I have read many times online that food poisoning in Myanmar is very common. So I figure I would play it safe by eating in restaurants instead of street food. Little did I know that the restaurant we ate in was going to be just as unsanitary as many street food stalls.
Karen and myself was exploring the city of Bagan in Myanmar. It was our last day in Bagan and we would be taking a bus to Kalaw the very next day. We would have left with mostly fond memories of Bagan as we continue our backpacking adventure through Myanmar.
After eating lunch, I started feeling a little queasy. I thought that maybe I was just tired or perhaps my lunch wasn’t sitting too well. I figured that if I just took a nap, the weird feeling will pass. After all, I traveled to Egypt before and the food there was definitely dirty. I assumed that I must have built tolerance to dirty food by now after backpacking for over two months now.
I was wrong.
After waking up from my nap, I started feeling really cold all of a sudden. Maybe I just needed to use the toilet and the chills will go away.
After going to the toilet, I started feeling even worst. I was now getting delirious. Thinking that I am just dehydrated, I started to drink lots of water. Suddenly, I felt like throwing up. Something is definitely not right.
Food poisoning in Myanmar
Before long, I was once again in the toilet and having the worst diarrhea in my life. Karen was really worried and she quickly grabbed the garbage can and gave it to me. Immediately, I started throwing up floods and floods of food and liquid.
I puked my entire guts out but also felt a little better afterwards.
Karen gave me some rehydration salt to put in my water to help keep me hydrated. Afterwards, Karen went to town and bought some dry crackers for me to eat.
During entire night I was suffering. While trying to sleep, I was constantly going to the toilet while experiencing nausea, hallucinations and extreme fatigue. It was one of the worst nights of my life.
Karen was next
In the middle of the night, Karen started feeling sick also. Before long, she started vomiting. Damn, now we both have food poisoning. We woke up the next day all beaten up and definitely not looking forward to take the long bus ride to our next destination.
The 10-hour bus ride was hell for sure; it made us feel dizzy, nauseous and sick.
It took a total of three days for the food poisoning to clear out of our system.
I hope we never go through that hell again.
Tips to prevent food poisoning in Bagan, Myanmar
Eat at restaurants in New Bagan. The city is newer and cleaner and they practice better food safety. Many restaurants take pride in their trip advisor ratings and will make sure their guest is happy and safe.
What to do if you get food poisoning in Myanmar
- Let it all out. Don’t hesitate to vomit or go to the toilet.
- Put hydration salt in your water .
- Take sips of water instead of big gulps. Drinking lots of water will trigger vomiting.
- Take your time resting and refrain from doing any activities.
- See a doctor immediately.